Coping with RL through MMORPG: My Life as a Cow Person, Part II
Thursday, November 20th, 2008 at 2:19 pm
This is going to be the second installment of the true-life accounts of a cow person, just trying to make it in the world, and his IRL alter ego’s battle through depression and life changes. (To catch up, here’s Part I.)
Right before I left that morning, I said goodbye to all my guildies, unsure of what to expect when I reached the hospital. Tarsonus was relaxing, ready for sleep after a long night of leveling out in the Blasted Lands. I wandered to an inn, to be sure I could level with ease once I returned home later. As I logged out, I knew today was going to be one of the hardest of my life.
August 4th, 2008 is a day in my life I will never forget. It was blistering hot, the sun was bearing down on everyone outside that day. Everywhere I looked it seemed like such a peaceful day. Everyone buzzed about their business, my friends and I made jokes, I chain smoked cigarette after cigarette. Everything seemed normal, except that we were outside of the hospital and my mother was upstairs, hooked up to machines to make her breathe, slowly slipping away from me and everyone else who loved her. I felt horrible at the time for thinking, but I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to be anywhere. Even Azeroth had lost its shine and shimmer for me at this time. Dalvengyr (my server) was no longer my sanctuary from the outside world, simply another reminder that time eventually passed and things changed. Outside, my friends chattered on and I am sure I did too, though I couldn’t tell you the conversation. I hated everything and everyone for feeling normal. For being able to smile without a false sense of hope.
My mother passed away at 4:18pm. We had just finished saying our goodbyes and were going to have the doctors pull her off the life support. We never had to make the final choice, as she slipped away shortly after we told her it was okay to leave, and that we would find a way to be okay without her. It felt like such a lie, but if you knew my mother, you would understand that she needed to hear that from us to be okay with letting go. She couldn’t just leave without thinking her children would be okay, no matter how false it all seemed. I spent many hours with friends, just trying to not think about any of it.
That night, very late in the evening, I came home and I stared at my monitor. It wasn’t on, just the black screen. I wept like an infant for what felt like an eternity, but was only a few minutes. To this day (only a few months after the fact) I still know that hopeless, empty feeling I felt, like an illness you can’t rid yourself of.. as I sat there, I flipped on my screen and started to check the stuff I normally do when I haven’t touched a computer for a few hours, not because I felt like I should, but because it was simply doing what was normal and going through the motions. Before I knew it, I was already logged on. After checking my mail, I sat there…just staring at the same 18 inches of Thunder Bluff. Everything felt hopeless. Even Tarsonus couldn’t be strong enough to just march out somewhere and vanquish an enemy. This pain he felt too, as an extension of me. Leveling didn’t happen that night. Nothing did. All of Azeroth was frozen in time it seemed. I don’t even remember seeing people that night, just flying from random flight point to flight point. Wandering around in cat form, cloaked, so I could remain safe. Hours passed, and nothing got done. How could it? Everything I and Tarsonus ever knew changed that day in so many ways I cant properly express all of them.
Right when I was about to log, a friend got a hold of me, to ask how the day went. I don’t exactly remember what was said that night…but I can promise you it helped. My guild members, a mix of all my IRL friends, were there for me sure. But to have a guildie who barely knew me care so much and give his empathy to me like that, so openly and freely, it truly touched me. I cried a lot more that night, and did little in game, but both Tarsonus and myself grew and changed much in that night.
I am not saying WoW solved all of my life’s problems. I am not saying that I still don’t think about and cry about my mother almost daily. But what I can tell you is that WoW not only helps me to cope with life, no matter how horrible it may seem, but it also brings people together. My friends and I talk more than ever, I got my cousin to join my guild, and I have made a lasting friend in Dave3, a man who barely knew me, and still cared enough to listen to me when I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone who actually knew me most of my life. WoW is indeed quite a wonderful thing…a plane of existence where we are all created equally and working towards the same basic ends and means. Whether you’re a Human Warrior, or a Orc Warlock, I can promise you one thing you have in common, you’ve probably let WoW be your crutch in a time of dire need or sadness, as have countless others.
So as you next set foot on the plains of good old Azeroth, remember, we are all just humanoids, trying to occupy this world. All we really need to get by is the little joys…whether it be grinding a level or getting a new achievement. All we want is to find a happy path through this life. And to maybe stop getting ganked in Nagrand.
Until next time, I am Tarsonus, I am now a level 70 Tauren Druid, just looking to gain my rep in Lower City currently. If I’m lucky, I just may meet you in Kalimdor.