Year Round: Mental Health Awareness for Nerds

Hi, John here from Passionerdly—host of Tome Travelers and GM for The Wooden Dojo. Mental health, like so many issues, is not something we should only spend a week or a month worrying about and that’s why I’m making this post.

There are times in my life when I hate reading. I wasn’t always this way. I used to be able to sit down for hours reading and writing. I even got into book layout with my first job specifically in game design being The Bloodfire Territorires for Dark Skull Studios. I then did some layout work off and on for Adventure A Week for their Pathfinder Modules. I wanted to go into game design as a part time job for a long time….

Then I was abused.

I ended up with a partner while I was attending college who was absolutely horribly abusive. During those times of abuse I was no longer allowed to read for enjoyment. According to them it was a waste of time. It’s amazing to think they were a school teacher themselves with that attitude. The worst of the abuse was when I was doing my homework—they would come in, lay on the bed, and repeat over and over “I’m bored…this is such a waste…are you done yet?” Image you’re working on your homework for college and your partner who you know is abusive comes in to trigger a fight anytime you are on your computer; doing their best initiate a new string of abuses. When we finally separated, for years it felt like they were still behind me anytime I got on a computer. Memories of abuse would fill my mind—emotional, physical, verebal, and sexual abuse.

If you’re even a little like me you know how destructive the loss of reading would be as a TTRPG fan. My notebook of character sheets, my love of the new upcoming RPG books, and even my ability to write my own games or edit books on request from publishers. The things I love began to bring pain….

I can say for me, it’s gotten better. Surrounding myself with people who honestly care about me improving my mental health. Getting counseling, going to licensed professionals (psychologists and psychiatrists). Marking my successes since counseling—the first full book I read, the first article I wrote, and now writing and doing game layout again. I have my setbacks, trust me, but I also have my victories.

If you are facing abuse or if you are facing mental health issues there are some resources and I really urge you to take advantage of them: talk to your primary health provider, look into online counseling options if your afraid to go out, seek out affordable mental health care (groups like HOPE or Samaritan Counseling), and if you are in crisis please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Helpline (they saved my life once).

If you are in an abusive situation please (PLEASE) look thru this list of available service that could help you:

National Center for Victims of Crime

Thank you.