I suffer from anxiety and depression and have done so for many years undiagnosed. One of the symptoms is an inability to remain focused on, or finish, certain tasks or projects, and for those who know me in the wargaming community, this has presented itself with dozens of half started armies, game systems and painting projects.
Here's a list of just some of those un-finished projects, reading lists or paint range swaps:
- Horus Heresy: Betrayal At Calth
- Horus Heresy: Burning Of Prospero
- Horus Heresy Black Library novels
- D&D: Castle Ravenloft
- D&D: Temple of Elemental Evil
- The Legend Of Drizzt novels
- Blood Bowl
- Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower
- Age Of Sigmar: starter set
- Age Of Sigmar: Sylvaneth
- Age Of Sigmar: Khorne
- Age Of Sigmar: Nurgle
- Age Of Sigmar: Tzeentch
- Age Of Sigmar: Death
- Age Of Sigmar: Destruction
- Age Of Sigmar: Ironjawz
- The Walking Dead: All Out War
- Project Z
- Zombicide: Black Plague
- Army Painter
- Foundry Paints
- Vallejo Game Colour
That's just a small sample. Scary, isn't it? Just think of all those models bought, half-assed started and then sold on - yes; everything on that list with the exception of the D&D Drizzt novels got sold. I dread to think how much money was wasted there.
But even worse, how much energy was wasted? How much time?
I've always prided myself on how organised I am. I have spreadsheets for everything at work, and for home as well - checklists to keep me focused each day with daily tasks, reminders and tick boxes for when it's complete. So when I see all these unfinished, some not even properly started projects, it's very disappointing.
And recently, after doing really well I've started to suffer a setback with my condition, one that I can now recognise for what it is: depression. Instead of happily getting about my hobby projects, I've been wasting time and energy again browsing the 'net and checking out possible new games to get. Aliens Vs Predators; Blood Bowl (again); Warhammer 40'000; the list goes on.
But what is good is that I did recognise the signs and could do something about it.
What did I do - I wrote this post. I closed down the online stores and started writing, all the while looking at the boxes of Soviet troops waiting to be assembled for Flames Of War; the British Desert Rats waiting to be painted. I remembered the Soviet Army that is finished and sat on my desk at work and felt pride at accomplishing that task.
I opened the online store and ordered a new figure case, as I'll be needing it for all the Soviets that will be getting painted. I started to think how to organise my time and plan out the assembly and painting of the army. I started thinking how I could make this a great series of articles for the Flames Of War website, timed for when the new Late War book is released around November time.
The depression will always be there, but I can manage it, as long as I continue to recognise the signs for what they are.