Everything has a start and an end, maybe. So far my blog posts have covered my personal thoughts and feelings, but I’ve been keeping it strictly business. Gaming is my main passion but when my rig powers down where do I go? Well in this blog post I’d like to share what is effectively the origin Story for Rigged for Epic.
Have you ever been in conversation with someone who you want to get away from? I’ll give you a guaranteed way out: start talking about your illness. ‘How are you?’ is a common conversation opener the world over and one which most people use without thinking about it. This question is easy enough to answer when everything is peaches and cream. However, if you start telling people all your ills and woes, you will most likely see a look I’ve grown to know all too well. Hey, I get it, everyone has their own problems and often only a limited capacity for other peoples suffering. So I’m just giving you a heads up, in this blog post I’m talking a little about my personal story and how it has landed me where I am today. This is a one-shot deal and you should expect a new blog post very soon in which I will be back on topic, talking about the games industry.
Nine years ago I was found to have massive malformations within my circulation system, veins in the wrong place, valves missing and all this on the back of three deep vein thrombosis. I remember researching these and feeling quite proud of surviving so many. I have also been in constant pain for the last eight years, everything I have done, every place I’ve been, the sensation of intense pain has been pushing against my concentration. I often liken it to being in a storm that only I can see and feel. People you converse with can’t understand why you seem distracted, why you didn’t retain everything they said or why you don’t seem fully engaged with what they are saying. I don’t blame people for not understanding, it is a hard thing to imagine unless you have been there.
Seven years ago I was retired from a career I loved and was put out to pasture, this felt strange considering I was only just in my thirties. Ironically my son was born on the official first day of my retirement, so my world tour would have to wait. In truth being a full-time dad is an incredible privilege, one which not enough men have a chance to experience in our culture and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t feel blessed in this way.
After some very dark days, I now try and see the positive in any given situation but this isn't always so easy. When in recovery, time can really draw out which leaves you to dwell on things. It was at or around this time that I started writing reviews for the games I loved the most. Initially on a community website, just as a distraction and something to occupy my mind. After some good feedback, it was suggested that I set up my own website. It was after stumbling across Squarespace that I finally took the plunge and picked up the domain name for Rigged for Epic. Using a web platform like Squarespace allowed me to dive right in without hiring a web designer or having any previous knowledge. Starting your own website is a strange experience; it was for me at least because right at the moment you flip the switch and nobody knows you are there. For the longest time, this didn’t matter because the site was in effect a therapy tool, keeping my mind active and focused. However, today I will admit when I see how many people read my reviews I feel a little jolt of pride. I know that written content isn’t top of the pops in this YouTube-driven era and that none-scored reviews are the minority. However, that is ok because Rigged for Epic has already done the job it was designed to do, it saved me when I need something to get out of bed for. Now moving forward it will hopefully grow beyond its original designs and become a reliable tool for PC gamers everywhere.
I now know that going through chronic illness on your own is possibly the worst thing you can do. Last year I actually attended a course on meditation, designed for people with chronic pain. Just sitting in a room with other people who instantly understood where I was coming from was very therapeutic and I am thankful to them for that. If anyone out there is suffering from long-term illness and chronic pain, meditation is the first thing I would recommend they try. There’s actually a nifty app called Headspace which will get you started and the course I attended is called Breathworks. If anyone would like to ask me questions about my illness, coping strategies I’ve found or just to talk: you can always email me at Riggedforepic@gmail.com
This is a gaming website and so if you have stuck with me so far thank you for indulging me this personal story. My current fight with my condition has been ongoing for the last three months, hence me being relatively quiet. I’m happy to report that I am now kicking its arse and should be fully healed soon... so the preparation for E3 begins!
Take care of yourselves and each other.