Racing Thoughts & Wasted Time

I’m sitting here at 8:30 in the evening. The room is dark, save for my monitor. Music is blaring in my headphones. I don’t want to hear the outside world. Normally I would find something resembling calm in this situation. I’m certainly trying to.

I can’t. My heart is racing for absolutely no reason. I can’t bear the thought of meeting up with anyone — I haven’t been able to all day. There are very few people in the world I’d even want to talk to. Even they don’t understand what’s going on in my head now.

I have generalized anxiety disorder and it has absolutely crushed my day. I didn’t feel this way yesterday or a week ago, I haven’t felt it this strongly in a while and it’s usually pretty well-managed with the SSRI Citalopram. I’ve taken it for a little over a year now.

But I screwed up. I ran out a couple of days ago and have been so busy with life that I kept forgetting to go in and get it refilled. I finally did that tonight but here I sit. Just waiting for the world to pick itself back up off my back.

This has affected my entire life for as long as I can remember but I hadn’t talked to a doctor about it until last spring. It changed everything. I am so glad I did it. And while I’m here in a dark room, just going over my day and tomorrow and the rest of the month in my mind, it does help recognizing that all of this pressure, the feeling that the walls are closing in, and the obsessing over every little detail to make sure I didn’t screw up — it’s all in my head. It sucks that I can’t flip a switch and just be okay with it, of course, but it does help just recognizing it for what it is. Knowing that there’s a decent chance I’ll wake up in the morning and everything will be fine. At the very least, I have my SSRI again. Even if it’s not bright and cheery, it’s manageable.

My anxiety isn’t based in or a result of depression. There are similarities between the two, for sure, but they’re not one in the same. Sometimes family and friends don’t realize this. I have extended family members that have dealt with major depression and so it’s a familiar topic. It is incredibly difficult to explain how my anxiety is different. That it has different triggers. That I’m not necessarily sad on a bad day. While I’m probably affected daily, the really bad days are few and far between. When they happen, though, they’re absolutely crushing and the thoughts that fuel them are completely irrational.

For instance, earlier today I had to take something into the post office drop box. There were 3 stop signs on the way through town and someone was following me. Any other day, I’m not even thinking about driving. Today? I’m worried at each stop. Did I stop abruptly in front of the person behind me? Why are they so close? Did I do something wrong? Are they on my ass because I pissed them off? Did I stop long enough at this stop sign? Did I take too long to move forward? I had the right of way there, right? I know I had right of way. Did that other person reach their sign at the 4-way before me?

I stopped at the gas station before I headed home. I said hi to the cashier. Did I smile? Was I frowning? I hope they didn’t think I was a dick. I hope they don’t remember me. I hope I don’t run into anyone I know today.

When I wasn’t freaking out in my head about the mundane day I was having, I worried about all the stupid things I have said to my family, friends and the people I care about in recent weeks. Do they all think I’m an idiot? Am I sure I’m not an idiot? Am I just a giant joke in the back of their minds. Do they even count me among the people they think about in the back of their minds, ever?

I suppose that’s where the depression similarities kick in. But I’m not so much sad about it. I just have to keep going over it again and again and again, even though I know everything is fine.

Then there’s the future. It’s a whole other beast. You get the idea. Fear and panic and obsession. Today was a shit day. I don’t mean to sound whiny — I’m just trying to get some thoughts out about how these days happen. I’m not alone. It’s fairly common. It’s just really difficult for people who don’t deal with it to understand.

Tomorrow’s gonna be better though. I’m feeling better now. My heart stopped racing. Hmm. Go figure.

I’m A Fan – Kinda Funny Goes Fulltime

The gaming media scene dropped a bombshell Monday, at least as far as online presence is concerned. Host Greg Miller, senior editor Colin Moriarty and production team members Tim Gettys and Nick Scarpino announced they were quitting IGN to focus on Kinda Funny. Launched in mid-September of last year, Kinda Funny is the group’s video podcast and shorts brand, started as an avenue to more directly connect with fans.

The news was a pretty surprising start to the new year for that scene. Each of these guys has, in some way, left their mark on IGN and many considered Miller the face of the entertainment website that covers music, movies, and gaming.

I’ve wanted to share my thoughts on the decision since Monday but opted to wait until I saw how this week played out and I had the opportunity to see some content from the gaming division of Kinda Funny that launched with their announcement Monday. We’re not even a full week into, what is now for these four people, a full-time venture. I’m still going to jump into it.

I’ve followed Greg Miller’s internet shenanigans since around this time last year. I don’t remember what I was watching on YouTube but the related videos linked to A Conversation with Colin. Down the rabbit hole I fell. I was watching this guy in a black shirt with “TEAM FAT” spelled out in large block letters review new Oreo flavors, talk with his roommate about classic 90’s TV shows, and yell “BEYOND!”. I didn’t know who Greg was to IGN – I just didn’t follow those kinds of sites very often. I wasn’t aware of the strong personalities behind them. Review sites had always been something I largely ignored. A bit ironic considering how often I tend to throw my own opinions out there.

So then I came across this video and learned what Greg had gone through just months prior to learning about him on the internet.

I enjoyed the short videos I had watched on this stranger’s YouTube channel and how genuinely he seemed to just enjoy who he was. It wasn’t until this video ended up on my screen that I realized the kind of person Greg was. It wasn’t until I read the IGN blogs linked in the description that I understood to what degree Greg Miller connected with his fans.

So am I surprised that these four gentlemen left their stable source of income? Benefits like healthcare? A far larger pool of resources than they’d have without a large media corporation behind them? A little.

But mostly I’m happy for them. I’m confident they’ll succeed if only because they’ve already done so by taking this step. By recognizing what they had to do to connect more deeply with their audience than was possible while under the IGN banner. Because they’ve got the support of their family and friends and viewers. And the proof is all in the numbers.

Kinda Funny is funded in a few different ways. Views on their YouTube vods and Twitch streams provide income from ad views. This means that anyone that watches their content and shares it when they like it is supporting Kinda Funny simply by being a fan. Those interested in supporting on Twitch via subscription can also do that.

The guys also have Patreon pages up for both their gaming and non-gaming content. Patreon is part crowd-funding/part content subscription where users can support artist and content creators monthly in different amounts depending on what they’re comfortable with. Those different amounts unlock more benefits for content consumers. The guys have two pages set up so users can pick from the content they want to support. Benefits range from exclusive subscriber episodes and early access for the episodes, all of which eventually go up for free for those not able or unwilling to sub, all the way up to personal thank-you’s and guest spots on an episode.

In addition to personal benefits, milestones unlock with more subscribers. I mentioned earlier that the proof is in the numbers. The guys announced they were committing to Kinda Funny full-time just this week. Prior to that announcement, the highest milestone reached was a second new show. They had just hit over $12,000 on their original Kinda Funny page. The day of the announcement they hit $14,000.

It’s almost 3PM PST today. They are sitting at $15,368 with 2732 Patreon subscribers. Kinda Funny Games is sitting at $17,934 with 2478 subscribers. Again, that page just launched Monday.

So things are looking promising. Content is rolling. And I’m happy to be apart of something that, in whatever small way, helps people create and connect in new ways. I’m excited to see what’s in store this year.

You can check out Kinda Funny for yourself at the following links

YouTube – Kinda Funny Collective (All content ends up here.)
Twitch – Live shows and let’s plays.
Patreon – Early access and more.
Patreon – Kinda Funny Games (Gaming focused content.)
Twitter – For more updates.

Immersion

I’ve enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been good at it but I’ve always enjoyed putting my thoughts down in one way or another. A pencil and a new notepad put a smile on my face when I was little. I was a weird kid.

Somewhere in my timeline between blowing off school and realizing I needed to actually start creating and reaching goals to rectify my many, many past mistakes, I latched on to this idea of new media journalism. It was something I wanted to be a part of. I started rambling about things as often as I could force myself to sit down and write out my thoughts. Things happening in my life, things happening in the world, my general interests, and more opinions than any person that age should have or take seriously. I wanted to immerse myself in writing, and succeeded. I enjoyed it a lot. At first.

Along the way I found myself typing out my thoughts in a way that almost censored what I was actually thinking or trying to portray then. I was trying to write in a voice that wasn’t my own, I was trying to adhere to what I thought was a perspective that people reading would expect from me, and I was trying to convey thoughts to an audience that hardly even existed.  I started obeying little made-up rules in my head that didn’t have a reason to even exist in the first place.

I posted with less and less frequency and eventually let my hosting subscription lapse. I held on to the domains but abandoned all the content.  It misrepresented who I was as a person at the time and certainly not who I am now. Have you ever pulled out a piece of homework or a project from when you were in middle school? Something you remember working on seriously but was bordering on embarrassing now? That’s how I felt about everything I had written online before. It was all bordering on embarrassing and full of someone trying too hard.

So I’m starting over. The only agenda is to not repeat the same mistakes or veer off course. I’m writing for me, on my schedule, and without an audience in mind. Here we go.