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Hitting the Wall

rocks fall - everyone diesI made this graphic, inspired by this cartoon from Something*Positive (warning, NSF language), as a representation of having hit the wall, hard today, with regards to gaming. Which is, as most of you probably know, the general center of my life.
rocks fall icon
If you're feeling constructive, feel free to offer ideas on re-energizing in the comments.

Also an icon, if you want to nab it for your own LJ.

Below is an extended whine...

It may be the lack of chemicals talking (been off my antidepressant for 3 weeks to prep for a narcolepsy test), but all of a sudden I have just lost the ability to care about any of the games or campaigns I'm involved in. Or the club. I usually care passionately, but suddenly I'm all meh.

As a coordinator for the Dave Arneson's Blackmoor campaign, I'm supposed to go to Orlando for MegaCon in March, but after another round of the Ego that Ate the Southeast, I am dreading it. Why should I spend a significant sum of money to go do something that makes my stomach knot up? For the most part the scenarios have taken a very wargamist/strategic turn,and I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a dull spoon than run 4 hours of pointless combat. Or even 4 hours of combat with a point. Do. Not. Want. And not a good mental framework for someone helping with the heavy lifting of making a campaign run.

As for the club... every month it's the same struggle to get people to step up and pull part of the load, and I just don't know if I've got it in me any more. There are a few people who do step up - I don't want to sell them short - but I'm pretty confident that if I were to walk away it'd fall apart. Last time I did (to run Living Force) the club had 6 members when I returned... I wonder what would happen if I didn't stand for re-election as President this time? Would I be able to stand it?

Meh. Maybe the world will look better tomorrow, or someone will have a brilliant way to re-energize this bunny.


Jan. 30th, 2008 06:32 pm (UTC)
I had a similar problem recently and confessing that I needed help got me some. Maybe you should do the same, selectively?
Jan. 30th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
You mean re the club? I've kinda pummeled them, and a few people stepped up (one of whom will probably keep doing stuff, and is running for Treasurer, our almost-always-dumped office), but I've got to do it *every* month. Gah. Nonetheless, it's good to know I'm not alone.
Jan. 30th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
What one of my friends said to me is that any decision I made would probably be revisited when I was feeling better. I have SAD, so he meant in the spring, when it's sunny.

I do feel a lot better after core dumping, even a week later.
Jan. 30th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
I've found that when I hit the wall it's best to take a step back and rest for a while. That's the best way to re-energize. Call a 'holiday' for the club for a month or two. The people who currently play will come back. Real life always has to come first. I can't step up at the moment because I have 2 cats in dire straights that need me home more and more. As it is, I've had to cut back to 1 slot at any given game day because one of them needs meds 3x/day and I can't do it when I'm away for that long. Regardless, you efforts and Patricks are appreciated and noted by everyone. That being said, the club members are adults and as adults they have to realize that things can't always go their way. Meaning, if they don't step up to help and the games don't run, they are partially responsible. If they get upset, they have to either step up or stop complaining.

When things settle back down for me I'll be helping out and running again. In the meantime, if the games don't run, I can't complain because I'm part of the problem. I would hope that the others would be mature about it as well and realize that the handful of people who are doing all the work need a break and deserve one.

If you need to cancel the games this weekend, I know that at least those signed up for FWS and WH are mature enough to understand and certainly won't send you hate mail.

Sounds like you need to go to Florida to enjoy the beach and NOT Megacon. That's my 2¢ worth, for what it's worth. Take care of yourself, k? :)
Jan. 31st, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
What I'm afraid of is that if nothing happens for a month or two, the club won't survive. Then what will I do when I do want to run or play something?

This weekend should be okay - Scott, Alex & Lisa L have all stepped up to cover Blackmoor, and I can do the others. I might just schedule one (WH or FWS) to run next month.

As for Florida and beach... not so much for me. I burn in about 15 minutes. :)

I hope the kitties feel better.
Jan. 30th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)

Sorry to hear that the blahs have hit :( If I was up that way, I'd do the Treasurer thing for you. That's my normal role in most clubs/organizations I'm involved in.

I agree with Yeopard, maybe some sun would be better than the con :)

On a lighter note, I love the graphic :)


Jan. 31st, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
I think we're good for Treasurer this year, at least. I tend to end up secretary or president of everything I join.

I just need to catch up on all of the FWS I haven't played yet!

And thanks. I'm inordinately pleased with the macro. I don't know where I found the picture - it was on my hard drive, and my developing mad Photoshop skillz did the rest.
Jan. 30th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
Were I close enough to be involved in CARP, I'd definitely help out. Having been part of the crew that started up U-Con, I know the benefit of many sets of hands working in unison. Few groups survive without the dedication of a series of people, and maybe the time has come to pass the torch. It was tough to step away, when I left U-Con after the '94 con, mostly because I feared it would lead to the convention's demise. It nearly did, because I had built up relationships with people in the industry which my successors squandered and ultimately lost. But U-Con eventually saw a resurgence, thanks to strong leadership and organization.

Honestly, perhaps you need to step away and allow yourself to do something new. Whether this means finding a new group to play with as a sideline or taking up a new hobby to fill some of the hours you might otherwise devote to gaming is yours to decide. Were I not half a state away, I would love to have you as a player or gamemaster. I don't know that I've ever played in one of your games, and you've really only played in a few of my sillier convention scenarios. Too bad I neither have a group nor a place to play, unless I rope Ben and Patty into playing. There are a lot of games I'd love to run, and play. Regardless, you should concentrate on your own needs and let CARP, MegaCon and other organizational duties rest in other hands for a bit. If no one else picks up the slack, fuck 'em.
Jan. 31st, 2008 02:27 am (UTC)
I wish you were closer just 'cause you'd get to play more (and run as well).

The problem with concentrating on me is that's what everyone else is doing, and thus we've got the volunteer problem. Or rather the lack of volunteer problem.
Jan. 31st, 2008 05:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, sometimes it seems like there's a better chance of finding a coelacanth in your bathtub than a decent cohort of volunteers. U-Con always finds a handful who are dedicated above and beyond, who easily work twice or thrice the required amount to get their refund, and often that's enough.

As for me playing more, keep in mind that I'm also an utter snob who tends to revile the more mainstream games in favor of my few little obscure gems. Remember, I largely avoided the entire d20 craze. The last time I played D&D was at least twenty years ago. :p
Jan. 30th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
Here's another vote for the beach!

The other Ladies & I do appreciate all that you, Pat & Patrick do for CARP.

When's your narcolepsy test scheduled for?
Jan. 31st, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
Thanks. Monday night through Tuesday. Then it'll probably be a couple of weeks before the dosage settles in.
Jan. 31st, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
Good luck with it.
Jan. 31st, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
Ok, as one depression sufferer to another: YOU are making decisions while you are un-medicated??? Has this worked well before? If not, then don't do it now. Personally, it sounds like you need to take the narcolepsy test asap, and become re-medicated.

Then, instead of spending stupid $$ to go to MegaCon, you should take the $$ and pick a con in S. California or S. Florida, and go and PLAY. Do not run, do not volunteer, do not pass go, just go and HAVE FUN. Shop at the dealer's tables, buy some sparkly dice, try a board/card/rpg game you always wanted to play but didn't want to buy the stuff for. Just relax, take time for yourself. Remember what it was like to be a "newbie" and just have fun at conventions. Go into the hot tub each nite of that convention and relax. Go sit at the bar and flirt with some hot men(or hot women if that is your cuppa joe). Or, since you will be at a gaming convention after all, flirt with some geeky men. Just take some time for you!
Jan. 31st, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
You have a good point - I'm trying to avoid making any non-reversible decisions while I'm this depressed. On the other hand, if I'm going, I need to make a plane reservation soon.

I do need to attend a con again. I've managed to slide back into running stuff at every event.

I do flirt, but alas most of 'em mistake me for Mom. :)
Jan. 31st, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
From reading the other comments(and your replies) it sounds like you should just "attend" a con and let this other con go(I looked at it via your link, and holy crap, Orlando will be innundated with the geek! Especially the anime fan geek!)

When you do go, and flirt, remember that lipstick and a curling iron(if your hair is long) always help erase the mom image...if you don't like makeup, even just wearing pink/coral/mauve/red/or cinnamon lipstick makes the "mom" factor go away...because no one wants to imagine their mom with pouty lips...LOL...actually, I have a real life friend I wish you could meet, he is single, nice and about your age(born in 1958(or whatever year was sputnik))...and as you can imagine, horribly geeky...a member of mensa...a trivia maven(beyond buff, into nerd zone). If only I could convince him to come to GenCon. Speaking of which, will you be going to that in Indy?
Jan. 31st, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... I'm trying to imagine me in lipstick. I think I own some...

Sputnik was '57, and how geeky am I that I know that? I'll be at Origins and Gencon, though I'll be running some stuff I plan to leave the mornings open to sleep and visit the crack...er... dealer's rooms.
Jan. 31st, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
you do nice work:)
Jan. 31st, 2008 03:28 am (UTC)
Thanks. I've been learning Photoshop. :)
Jan. 31st, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
I know there was a Jan 31 deadline for Origins. Is everything done? Can I pick up any slack? What can I write?
Jan. 31st, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
I just need to get the title and blurb in, and you sent me those. And we need to get the wiki up so that I can start sorting out details, but Reimer's working on that.

We've got a lot of work to do (imho) to get the current library ready to release, so that would be a good focus.

Why yes, I am administering another campaign...
Jan. 31st, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
OKay then. I'll get Gail the information. Are you taking care of Trey? I think he's the guy with the deadline of today, and that's for the program. If you want me to handle him too then let me know.

I'll keep plugging away at my comments on the current library. If there's some more specific way you'd prefer me to help then please let me know.

For CARP, what if you announced a six month leave of absence, or something? Might that spur people on to pick up the reins and give you a break?
Jan. 31st, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
For the mods, I'm more thinking actual writing/formatting/getting the modules into shape where they can be run by less-than-cluefull GMs. The comments are good, though, so don't stop with those.

It's probably just my ego, but I'm afraid if I took a leave of absence from CARP there wouldn't be a CARP to come back to.

I'm trying to hold off big decisions like that till after I'm back on my meds for a couple of weeks, though I'm feeling pretty good about not going to MegaCon, so that I may go ahead and call a decision.
Jan. 31st, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
This sounds very familiar to me...with the exception that I don't have meds for my depression and I probably should. This sounds like everything I went through with MPGA for the last two years..and now I have decided to make it someone else's problems and just enjoy myself where I can. You might not be quite able to do that but hopefully someone will step up to help soon.
Jan. 31st, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
Lexapro has made a huge difference in my quality of life, and I'm really looking forward to getting it back into my system. If it turns out I have narcolepsy, at least I don't have catalepsy (seizures) and it is treatable.

Stepping away works if I can detach to the point where it doesn't break my heart if the thing I've been supporting doesn't survive. I helped found the club in '96, and I'm not willing to let it go yet.

I encourage you to look into treatment if depression is causing you difficulty in your life. I think I'm seeing proof that I have a chemical imbalance as opposed to uncontrolled sadness, and something as simple as the right chemical is a blessing.
Feb. 12th, 2008 04:17 am (UTC)
Last I heard you'd decided against MegaCon which is a good thing. Based on all that I've heard about the style of gaming there...why spend precious time, money, energy to go and be miserable?

A pair of married gamers whom we both know & respect have decided pretty much not to go to cons to game anymore. Well, they'll have big writing and administration duties in one campaign, so they can't play in it, and they're tired of going to a con and getting a random table of losers to game with and having a lousy time. Their solution? Home play. It's not to say that they'll never game at a con, but it's no longer their focus.

As to the club, much as I enjoyed CARP and am thankful for it, it could be that it's time for it to stand up on its own without you for a bit. I agree that this is not a decision to make when you're depressed. Is it that you're devoted to the club, or are you afraid that you'd not find any gaming opportunities, or friends, without it? If the latter, I think you might find that you get more gaming opportunities (and friends) when you're not so focused on keeping the club afloat just for its own sake.


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