Disclaimer - Zack and I are not trained medical/mental health professionals. This episode is about my personal experiences with mental health and how it’s affected me in regards to content creation and MtG. Please do not take anything said here as official advice. If you are having mental health issues please reach out to a professional. (https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-help)
Main Topic - #MtGMentalHealth
My story -I’ve suffered with mental health issues for as long as I remember. It all started when I was in junior high with depression, with anxiety becoming an issue in college, and most recently with a diagnosis of being bi polar. I’ve tried a lot of medicines, therapy, and just white knuckling it while trying to hold on. Currently I see a therapist roughly every other week, but sometimes more, and I see a psychiatrist every month.
Hook your friends into playing with you.
Once you’ve hooked your friends into playing, roll to the LGS together.
Be open to new people joining your group and becoming friends with them.
I’ve def done it by myself though. I remember that’s how I met Ryan. I was casually collecting World of Warcraft cards and one day when I was at my local comic store I saw that people were playing in tournaments with each other. I called the store to find out when tournaments happened and just showed up.
This was very difficult for me to do, but I really wanted to get back into playing cards and make new friends.
Magic - I’ve always been into card games and have played several over the course of my life at varying levels of competitiveness. This was not something easy for me to do, but I found tricks that helped me get over my anxiety and play.
Eventually the WoW card game was discontinued and I started getting curious about MtG again. My current roommate, Brando Calrission, and I had vowed to stay away from Magic due to price concerns, but eventually got sucked back in with some Planeswalker Decks.
I remember at the time I was also playing a Star Wars card game and went to spend a week with a friend in Houston who used to be a big MtG player. He told me I should look into playing something called Elder Dragon Highlander.
Not long after I got back Ryan and I were talking and he mentioned he and some friends had been playing EDH. I started playing for a while, but due to the anxiety caused by the size of the card pool and not knowing what a lot did I sort of backed away.
Eventually I came back to EDH when Ryan started a league that I ended up running for a few years.
I know that was a lot of build up, but that brings me to the podcast. Ryan at the time needed a third host for the podcast and asked me to fill the position. At first I was very nervous about it because I felt like I didn’t know enough about the cards or at that point EDH to coherently discuss EDH on a weekly basis. I agreed to do it though, because I had wanted to do a podcast in general for several years, but added the caveat if I didn’t like it, I’d stay until they could find someone to replace me.
I’m not going to lie, it was hard to get over the anxiety and at times I’m still very anxious about recording because I don’t feel like anyone would want to hear what I have to say.
The number one thing that has gotten me through this adventure is my partnership with Ryan. I couldn’t ask for a better co-collaborator in a creative endeavour.
He’s always been my biggest cheerleader, fan, and advocate. When I feel self conscious about things he’s there for me. He’s always willing to listen.
The second thing that has gotten me through content creating are the listeners. Nothing makes me happier than to hear a “good episode” from someone and over the years some of our listeners have become some of my best friends.
Covid has definitely been a blow to me depression and anxiety wise, as it has been to a lot of people.
I personally have to actively fight this. I stay in contact with friends and I find ways to busy myself.
Despite having Ryan and an internet full of friends, I often feel isolated, sad, and bored.
One of the ways I find to keep myself busy is to play mtg via spelltable. Moo and I started a stream to play more and to get to play with / meet more people. Ryan and I try to get in as many patron games as we can too.
Magic isn’t the only thing though. I’ve tried to take up new hobbies, such as bread making, and focusing more on my aquarium too.
Covid and Magic during Covid
Mental Health is a big deal, even if you don’t suffer from depression or anxiety, you need to make time for your own mental health.