Last week I was asked if gaming had helped me in any other way following my post: How Board Games Saved my Sanity. There is actually a really large way that board games continue to help me. I suffer from anxiety, particularly social anxiety. I’ve always had a difficult time around large groups, but even the smaller groups get to me sometimes. This is something that I have attended counseling for and tried unsuccessful medications, but board games have been the answer to working through it.
I have a difficult time doing anything outside of the home, like shopping or visiting other people’s houses. It’s even gotten in the way of employment a few times. My husband has always been very supportive and tried to help me overcome these obstacles. When him and I first started getting into board games we slowly started bringing new people over to play with us. It started with people who I was already familiar with and has become the new way that I get familiar with people.
We try to host a board game night at least every two weeks, once that got easier we started hosting board game nights multiple times a week. We’ve even started going to the hospital to play board games with a friend of ours that suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. While I can admit I am still not 100% relaxed about going to other people’s homes to play board games, I am very confident that I am close to that particular break through.
Hosting board game night has allowed me to test the waters, by inviting new people over in the comfort of my home. It has done wonders for me. We have a local game shop that I was extremely uncomfortable with visiting even a year ago and now it’s like a safe haven. Having confidence in myself that I can properly engage new people has given way to me having the confidence to engage new situations. My husband has a group of friends that have been inviting us out to eat with them since we first got together, I’ve been with my husband since late 2011 and had been putting off the meeting the whole time. I finally got the courage to do so a couple of weeks ago and it was nice. I wasn’t afraid, I was talking to everyone and I had a nice time.
Meeting with a large group of new people is something completely new to me and it’s something that I never would have had the courage to do in the past. Now I won’t sit here and say that board games have 100% cured me and have been a complete miracle, but I will say that board games have been a gateway cure for me. Having knowledge and love for certain games makes me want to share them with others, I am still trepidatious about trying new board games with anyone but my husband.
To sum it all up, I’m not perfect… I’m quite flawed and it is quite noticeable. I would have to say that I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t have something or another to improve on. Anxiety has been a cruel part of my life that has kept me from doing many things, but it will not continue to hold me back. I’ve done a lot of work trying to overcome it and I’m succeeding more and more every single day. Without my husband pushing me to try new things and board games giving me a gateway to do so, I’d still be very much in the dark. I love board games, I love what they’ve done for my life, for my family. I hope that anyone reading this right now that can relate to my troubles gives board games a try. Have someone close to you give it a try with you and if you need someone to talk to I’m not just a blog, I’m a person… and I know what it’s like.
I want to take moment to just say thank you to my husband, for always being there to help me through this… I love you.
After reading all of this sappy crap, I will leave you with this…
“There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive… wormhole refractors… You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.” -The Doctor (Doctor Who)
Until next time… Live by the Board