Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression


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Monday, May 25, 2009

Mostly on the verge of saying no because it is scary to open myself up to anyone, not including virtual strangers. When I talked about it on twitter I was met with a lot of encouragement from some amazing people to do this because it might help others. Although it makes me nervous and scared, I really wanted to talk about my depression and how gaming helped me. Growing up, I always was different like the odd duck in a group. The kind of person who marched to the beat of my own drum. I was nice, friendly, and the kind of person who would become the mother of the group even though they were my peers.

I always just had a motherly instinct and tended to just make sure everyone was okay.

However, nothing in life lasts forever and when I hit 3rd grade it ended. I became a pariah where I was bullied at school and it continued at home. I had no escape and no one to talk to. I just had to endure it, and even though I had become dead inside I would smile between the tears and learn to eat my sadness away.


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I was told so many horrible things by peers and family that I just became a shell of a person. It was just a very lonely life where I found the most comfort with my cat, Fluffy or reading a book just to get away from the constant stream of bullshit.

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I knew I was sad at times for an extended time where it was mostly confusing because I would be happy then something would just change and I would feel sad. I was always told to suck it up, to stop pretending to be sad or no one cares about your fake tears and I just would cry along with Fluffy under the covers at the night, just so no one would see or hear me and the cycle would repeat itself. Fluffy became my constant companion where she would just wander to where I was and spend time with me until I was okay.

I played video games here and there as a kid. I met Terra Bradford and just that interaction changed my life. As I played, I saw a character who was unsure who to trust, unsure who she was or what she was and just trying to find her place in the world.

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She was thrust into the spotlight of being the one savior to save mankind where each side needed her for a reason, yet Terra never changed who she was even when faced with tough decisions that altered her life. With Terra, I saw someone who faced her fears, found the courage to not only save others but herself and she retained being a good person despite the abuse the Empire placed upon her.


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I was still trying to find out who I was with the struggles of depression and the realization that I was adopted which had its own set of problems. Playing the game, I realized that I could be like her. I could be a better person than everyone around me thought I was capable of being. I could reach for the stars and have the stars shine around me. I realized it was okay to be different and others would find me endearing with my quirks. I never thought that gaming would be the one thing to have taught me the most about life. I find it humorous that a pixelated character could be the greatest mentor I had.

Gaming has been a real boost for me with my depression.

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It allowed me to not view my depression as a hindrance or myself as a monster. Instead, I saw people who were different and how they could do such amazing things in the story. It became a boost just seeing how people with different beliefs and background could work together. It would make me wish that I could be a part of something so grand in my own life. I was diagnosed with depression when I was I was on medication where I became a zombie as all creativity was drained from me. I found myself going back to gaming where it helped find passions and interests that I never thought I be interested in.

I became a fan of history because of playing Castlevania especially due to Dracula. Fluffy Sitters is an application that was founded by Nada El-Barkouky and her brother Moataz after he graduated from the University of Toronto in Canada. The whole idea of Fluffy Sitters started a couple of years ago when Nada and her brother used to have a cat and they found it very hard to leave him home alone when they traveled.

Something like Airbnb but for pets who need extra care. This way, pet lovers can enjoy the company of animals without worrying about the long-term commitment and at at the same time, pet owners will have peace of mind knowing that their furball is in a safe and loving environment.

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Nada and Moataz knew that such an idea was untapped in Egypt and that many would benefit from it. They initially started the idea of pet-sitting mainly among their circle of close friends. They, later on, decided to expand their community by looking for more sitters due to the increasing number of requests they were receiving from pet owners. They finally decided to introduce the application to help keep everything organized and monitored. To top it off, the demands of my job seemed insurmountable and never ending. This is when I can recall the intrusive and unwanted thoughts ramping up to no avail.

I had inappropriate thoughts about homicide, suicide and hurting my baby. The first thing that probably popped into your mind was a pink elephant, right?

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The thoughts became so bad that I became scared to hold my daughter. I was afraid that if held her, the thoughts would be prolonged. I knew that this seemed irrational and most of all, physically impossible since I was still breastfeeding and I was of course, her mother.

I cried in the shower, experienced awful night sweats and became reclusive with those that I loved. I was ashamed of myself. I was convinced that I was a bad person, and, in my darkest moments, thought about ending it all so I could make these horrible thoughts stop. I felt as if my brain had turned on me and everything I longed for in life, that the vision I had of myself as a mother and a wife was quickly dissipating as quickly as it began.

I felt robbed.

I was too embarrassed to tell anyone, even my husband or my mother. I feared that they would look at me like the monster I thought I had become, so I stayed silent. So I stayed silent. The thoughts lasted on and off for a few months. I felt paralyzed by them. I still remained silent. As time went on, I began sharing a little bit of what it was like for me with my husband. He too tried to find articles online to help him understand better, but nothing he said, despite his best efforts, made me feel less alone.

I have a semi-large following on social media, and often women and mothers comment on how loving and tender I seem.

Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression
Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression
Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression
Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression
Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression
Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression
Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression

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