Sunday, February 28, 2021

Just What is Needed

I discovered something about raiding on Friday night: it is a drug.

I'm not being facetious, but rather kind of honest. After last Monday's raid, I saw two days of not doing much (work on one day and taking my son back to his university on the other), and then one and a half days of farming to get enough pots for Friday's progression raid. Work had been beating on me day in and day out, and progression raiding felt like a job. And I was tired of the grind.

I was giving serious thought to throwing in the towel and going back to just doing occasional raiding and merely goofing around.

But instead of following through, I decided to give myself a week or two before I pulled the trigger. I don't like doing anything rash, and a rough week is still just a rough week. I've been there for people in game if they ever needed someone to talk to, so I decided to reach out to an in-game friend and ask if she had some time to hear me bitch for a bit.*

It turned out that we both had things on our minds, so we both took a while to discuss them and unburden ourselves. I felt much better after that, and I decided that yes, I should give myself a few weeks before I did anything stupid.

And that Friday, I zoned in and we raided at our usual time.

And after about five minutes, I forgot entirely about quitting.


Two hours into the raid, I realized just what it was. Raiding is a helluva drug.

If you're in a good raid team, you pick each other up, you laugh, you joke, you have a cameraderie that helps you get through rough days and rough weeks. And this past week definitely qualified as "rough". I'd miss all of the aspects of progression raiding with this raid team, and in spite of the grind I needed this. It felt good to be part of this raid team.

But even outside of the raid, on the drive back from Pennsylvania, I had 6 hours to myself and a bunch of CDs to listen to.** So I listened and sang.

And sang.

For six hours.

The best part was that it was six hours of uninterrupted singing. Nobody to judge my music selection, my (lack of) tonality, or my volume. Because I was not quiet.

When you wanted to sing loud and you're
from the Cincinnati/Dayton area, there was
always Fannigan's Isle. Even on a ballad like this.


It felt good to belt out a lot of songs. Therapeutic. And then, when you combine it with the Friday raid, I realized I did the right thing in waiting. It wasn't the raid itself, but the week, and I couldn't see that clearly.

I reached out again to my friend and thanked her for listening, because I really needed that. It got the ball rolling, and music plus the raid itself finished the job. I wasn't going anywhere.

Regardless of what you think of The Eagles
or Don Henley, Heart of the Matter is a great
song. This version was from 2000.

*Well, read. I wasn't going to say it out loud and have anybody else in the house listen in.

**The car stereo only had an analog AUX input, so I decided to use the "old" method instead.


  1. Replies
    1. I would qualify that as a "yes and..."

      The reason why I put the "and" in there is that friendship by itself isn't the only thing, because when you focus on doing what needs to be done in a raid everything else falls away. The act of focusing also helped to clear my head, and from that point I was able to let the friendship in.

      A lot of times when I have bad weeks (or really really bad days) I tend to mope a lot, dwelling on what went wrong and what I should do to fix it. That in itself becomes a kind of negative feedback loop, spiraling my mood downward. The very act of shocking myself out of that loop by focusing on the Friday raid was the biggest part. Once that was done, however, the friendship of the raid helped immeasurably.

  2. That was unexpected. Usually when people describe something as a drug - especially if they go on to clarify that they're not being facetious - it's because they're going to go on to say something negative about that thing. Not that I personally ascribe to the "drugs are bad" orthodoxy (I think there's a lot more nuance to it than that, as there is to most things) but that's definitely the convention.

    Anyway, glad you were able to put your bad week behind you and your drugs of choice did the trick!

    1. I can understand that, and I've jokingly used the "meth is a helluva drug" line to describe bizarre encounters I've seen in game and in "the real world".

      But as you said, drugs don't have to be bad. I've seen the positive effect of drugs on people with depression, and that was what I was aiming for. Or, for a more conventional scenario, an antibiotic on an infection.

      Obviously, a gaming addiction in the sense most people would ascribe to an addictive drug like cocaine or opioids is a bad thing, but as a salve it can work wonders. Just like how some people after a really rough week will just go out and hit golf balls for a couple of hours (like my dad would have) or shoot baskets, losing yourself in a raid can be very therapeutic.

  3. What is it one of my friends likes to say - remember drugs, kids are bad for you! 😆

    And, I've had no greater times in WoW than raiding with my old raidguild. I've also had no worse times.

    1. Yeah, I can see the highs and the lows. I've participated in both in raids, and while not my own personal highs and lows they can be pretty extreme. Thankfully I've had more highs than lows.