Time For an Upgrade!

I usually don’t spend more than £500 on a new computer. More often than not I’m an incremental upgrader; adding a bit here or a little there, but each time I invest in a new system it’s almost a quantum leap. With this last machine I couldn’t really do that because the motherboard was end-of-life on the socket for the CPU, I already had an SSD in it and the bottlenecks on the motherboard made it so getting a new graphics card wasn’t worth it. It’s gone on for five or so years (though the graphics card is older) and I decided that it was finally time for an upgrade. I’d been saving up for another plan that hadn’t panned out, so I figured I would spend a decent amount, though not only has the game changed in terms of what’s available, but also in terms of the price.

I spent £1520 on a machine that will blow my socks off, and it has just been assembled and is awaiting quality check before being shipped to me. It’s got a 4.4Ghz quad-core i7, 16GB RAM, a 240GB SSD with a 2TB SATA to back it up, with a GTX 1070 from MSI. I’ve never invested this kind of money in a system before, nor have I been this close to the bleeding edge of tech. I always lag behind a couple of generations as best I can to make sure that I get a good deal.

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(I fully expect a lot of people to be rather venomous after reading this. Go ahead; I have a thick skin.)

It should be a surprise to no-one (read: a previous entry) that I suffer with mental health problems; more specifically depression, anxiety and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, or winter depression). I’m glad I can talk about it to people who are in my life, and those that can talk about their coping techniques to get through the day. I’m far from unique in my issues, but once again I find myself at the point where I just look at the world and get a little bit angrier at it.

World Mental Health Day is supposed to be a day when we bring mental health to the forefront of the public mind, talking about the stigmas surrounding it and the ways those that suffer with mental issues can get treatment. It’s supposed to be something that just sits in the back of all our minds after we see it, and  for those that are undiagnosed to possibly use it as a crutch to get over the mogul of suffering in silence and actually ask for help. But what I don’t like is seeing everyone trying to celebrate mental health issues, that they’re completely normal to have. Mental disorders are not normal. Mental disorders are anomalies that, were we an animal species, would be taken care of by Darwinism.

What I’m specifically talking about here is the tumblr-centred SJWsphere where everyone is a special snowflake just because they diagnosed themselves on WebMD, or are going to a therapist without having been referred there by a medical professional. It honestly infuriates me, because I know several people who have been diagnosed and are awaiting treatment because their local health services can’t deal with the influx of people who are waiting (I personally had to wait three months just to talk to someone after my evaluation, without being triaged based on severity). In fact what they’re really missing is a solid upbringing and a moral centre that has any gravitational pull beyond the self-centred ‘me too!’ culture that has enveloped some of my generation, some of the generations prior, and most of the generations henceforth. The ones that truly need help are the quiet ones, because in the big picture they’ve made themselves quiet to make sure that nobody will miss them, or they are too incapacitated from said mental health issue to speak up. It is their signals that are lost in that white noise of ignorance and narcissism.

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“I ain’t Perfect.”

This blog entry is going to be a little personal. I would apologise for those that would find this kind of stuff boring, but what else did you expect other than personal stuff when you get onto my blog?

I have been having issues with my body for quite some time. I’ve almost always had an issue with my weight, and of course recently I’ve had issues with depression that have been diagnosed and worked on. Well, neither of them seem to have made any recent progress so I’m trying different ways of dealing with them this time.

My weight has always been an issue for me, apart from when I was doing a paper round and I was exercising hard for about an hour each day while earning next to nothing. When a certain someone (1 million Kinah, I know [it’s an inside joke]) says behind your back that you look like you’re “pregnant with triplets” it tends to stick, regardless of the source. I’ve been watching what I eat, and writing it down. That daily routine of checking my weight means that I’m constantly on it, though I am slipping just as regularly. Eventually it will stick, though without exercise I’ll constantly be fighting this battle. I don’t want to be fighting this forever, I want to get fit and in the last week and a half I have lost 11lbs. I reckon most of that was just weight from my stomach being a literal conveyer belt of food, but progress is progress.

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Arieluma, Friend

Returning to Aion wasn’t something that I planned on doing. To me, the game had served it’s purpose and in its latter stages sustained its wounds. I wanted to remember the good times I had with Aion, mostly pre 2.7 (The Coliseum Update) and leave it at that. I found the housing system to be a chore that was necessary to get an increase in potion sales, and I’d earned the best gear in the game (at that point) through a combination of crafting and fighting in the Coliseum. When Redh (the Cyrus Guildmaster) decided that he was going to try Aion, I was curious and decided to join in. A few hours later and we had a group of six or seven that were willing to pile in.

They had chosen a new server as a fresh start, since neither of them had brought their accounts under Gameforge EU’s ownership for varying reasons. I chose a Bard, and quickly became bored with it. I never told Redh that, but frankly it was a one-rotation pony that did a group MP restoration. Granted I only took it to level 27, but frankly the other classes at that level were so much more involved and developed.

We were speaking about server transfers (note: lol, transfers) when I said that all Redh and his wife had to do was email Gameforge, supply some information about the account and the characters, and they would at least have a chance at getting them back. Even Redh’s banned account (hacked to facilitate RMT and then banned) was reinstated, and Dia’s was ported over. So the three of us power-levelled our trio of fresh level 1s.

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It’s All In Your Head

A fortnight ago I took the last pill out of a snap pack, looked at it and realised that this would be the last time I had a crutch for my emotions. I was struck with both excitement and trepidation. I put the pill on my tongue, swallowed it and looked myself in the mirror. I thought to myself ‘That’s it, no more safety net’.

It took a lot of cajoling and ultimately a threat for me to actually reach out for help, and then reach out a second time. The first time things didn’t go as planned and I had been lost in the shuffle for both therapy and an evaluation for depression. The tipping point was my partner at the time essentially bartered our relationship for it, that she couldn’t be with me any longer with how I was, and honestly I couldn’t blame her.

I went into therapy and started taking the pills. I was given Citalopram, an anti-stress drug; the best way I can explain it is that it narrows out your emotional range. If emotions are a scale of one to ten, it felt like I was constantly in four to six. It worked but at the price of feeling any of the extremes. It’s similar to Prozium in the film Equilibrium, a film I highly recommend. The therapy was cognitive behaviour therapy, and despite what some say, if it works for you, then it works for you. Sometimes all you need is to look at yourself and talk about why things are how they are, and look at that as your starting point of change.

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