Up until I was about 15 years old, I lived a very depressing life. My grades sucked, I had almost no friends, I was overweight, and I found comfort in very few things besides food and video games. If I wasn’t in school or doing homework, I was sitting alone in my room eating junk food and playing games on my PC.
Sometime around 2012, I started playing WoW. Being a stereotypical lifeless loser, I played it a lot, and by a lot I mean approximately 9 hours per day (or about 15 hours per day on the weekends). I hung out with my friends a lot less, my diet became even worse, and I basically became the “guy with no life” from that one episode of South Park.
It was around this time that I began to develop suicidal thoughts due to the fact that my life was a complete mess and that I was a stereotypical virgin loser. These thoughts became so bad that I regularly considered attempting suicide and spent many hours crying myself to sleep. I actually had to drop out of school for a few months due to mental health reasons and had to go to an alternative school (which I hated). My physical health, my mental health, and my life were all a complete mess. I was a depressed fat loser and I just wanted to die.
Cut to Christmas of 2013. I received the MoP Collector’s Edition as a gift. I redeemed the xpac code and I was then able to play as the monk class. Within minutes of creating my first monk, I was taken aback by how cool the combat animations were. This was back when the other classes still had the 2004 combat animations and weren’t that spectacular, meaning the monk’s animations stood out and actually looked cool compared to the other classes (IMO at least). Not only that, but the very idea of beating enemy NPCs to death with my hands and feet was the most satisfying thing I had ever experienced in my entire life. For the first time ever, WoW actually became an exciting activity for me.
A few years passed in which I exclusively played as the monk. I got so much enjoyment out of spin-kicking enemy NPCs and doing all these fancy acrobatic punches and kicks that, at one point, I thought to myself “I wanna be able to do that IRL.” This led to me developing an interest in martial arts, which led to me attempting to learn them on my own. This started off with me watching YouTube tutorials on how to do fancy spinning kicks which, of course, progressed into my fat ass attempting to do them in the confines of my filthy room and failing miserably. This led to me deciding to properly enroll in a local Karate studio, at which point I began taking lessons regularly.
Taking these Karate lessons not only allowed me to live out my monk-related fantasies in real life but also led me to lose weight while doing it. For the first time in my life, I was actually getting physical activity and becoming somewhat healthy, again all thanks to my interest in the monk class. Of course, I still spent hours upon hours playing WoW every day, but I found an overlap between my interest in playing as the monk and actually studying martial arts IRL. Playing WoW felt like less of a way to drown out my sadness and more of a fun activity that I learned how to balance with IRL activities.
More years passed and I started supplementing my Karate training with other physical activity such as cardio, weightlifting, yoga, etc. I became stronger, I got more flexible, I lost weight, and I was happier than ever. Most importantly though, my suicidal thoughts slowly went away and eventually became non-existent. There was no depression or anxiety to speak of; I felt as though I was becoming a strong, healthy, happy, humble, well-disciplined individual. I began to feel more and more like the WoW monk I fantasized about all those years prior.
Cut to 2020. Not only am I still diligently training every single day and regularly attending Karate tournaments but I am also working toward a Kinesiology degree as well as a Personal Trainer certification; martial arts and fitness has become my main passion in life and I want to spread that goodness to other people. As for the monk: he’s still there on the character selection screen on the same server I made him on, still holding his staff and still wearing that rice hat of his.
I went from being a depressed, suicidal, fat loser to a happy, healthy individual who actually has a purpose in life, all because of the monk.
Thanks, monk. <3
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