Step Forward Program

I don’t know about all of you, but I have been feeling rather down in the dumps for the last several weeks. Some of this feeling can no doubt be attributed to the Seasonal Affect Disorder, often called the winter depression, a blight on my consciousness caused by the lack of sun, warm weather, and feeling imprisoned in the house. But for me, it goes beyond SAD — I have this palatable fear, a feeling like a worm in my stomach, that gnaws at me. Often I cannot control this feeling of misery and utter depression. And I often sit dumb-struck as the world passes by me, as if I was a child left alone in a big train station — the people and the trains whizzing by, off to far flung exotic locations while I sit anchored to my little wooden chair frozen by fear of the great shadowed hall around me.

I often wonder if others have this feeling? I think most people just enjoy themselves, doing whatever they find fascinating or fun without the thoughts of wasting time or that they are losing out to some greater purpose. . . I can sometimes feel this way, for a brief period of time, but then I get this feeling again that I should be doing something — something that will make a difference later on.

I often feel depressed when I am enjoying something, and the more I try to relish the experience, the more I find that gnawing anxiety at my throat. I can lose myself quickly in playing computer games, watching TV, listening to music, just about anything — but the specter is always there, looming over me.

I begin to feel jealous of others, for no apparent reason. I really have so much to be thankful for, including my health, a great wife, a fantastic family, a good job, and a beautiful country. Still, all of that is washed away when depression looms its ugly head. I try to rationalize my depression, putting it in prospective of all that I have and even all that I have accomplished. I can win the argument, but often I waste my time worrying about things I have no control of, and regretting things that bring me joy and solace.

I have decided to try and further fight my depression, with a little program called Step Forward. I have agreed to myself that if I can do one thing, each day, to move myself forward in being more creative or being more successful, that I can enjoy the things in life that I have always considered fun. That if I can take that single step forward, that for the rest of the day I can do what I want without having that guilt haunt me that I am wasting my time.

My step forward, may or may not make sense to you. As my depression comes from the lack of self-confidence and the inability to enjoy those most tiny moments that others take for granted. For I am a horrible introvert; on top of being shy and scared of most things in life — but there is a part of me that craves attention; that wants to be the center of it, that yearns to be the star, the hero, the guy who makes the winning point, the successful writer, actor, or musician; I want to be smart and knowledgeable, I want to go on wild trips, have a job that I love, create worlds of wonder in story, movies, and books. . . I want to have others look up to me; be my friend; to want to spend time with me — to tell me that I am not wasting my time here, but doing something that matters to them!

So, if I can convince myself that if I take 1 step forward, that I can make a difference. The goal of course is so after a month, a year, a lifetime I can look backward and see all the way back down that twisting path of where I started and proudly feel that I have gotten somewhere. That the steep hill in front of me isn’t impossible to climb, if I just take it step by step.

I must convince myself that I can enjoy that movie, or the computer game, or that dinner out, or being with my friends, or taking that nap in the house that I live in — if I can continue to move forward, one step at a time: albeit one day at a time.

To me, a step forward may be continuing development of my games, both computer, board, and RPG. A step forward can be writing a chapter in a book, or writing a blog post, or a producing podcast, or making a video-cast. Another step may be in engaging in conversation with a book publisher, or agent, or publishing house. A step forward, can be as easy as getting out of the house and meeting new friends, going to different places, building upon a game development, story idea, or having a progressive discussion on my future. Going to Conventions and talking with others in the field of gaming, is a step forward to me!

It all comes down to moving forward, not letting life be squandered by letting the world pass me by. I want to break the bonds of playing endless, mindless nights of computer games, that go no where and do nothing for me creatively. I want to break the chains of just coming home and plopping in front of the TV and watch television show after show, until I fall asleep. I want to do more than just go to work and tread the same path over and over and over — being a mindless one-tooth cog in a machine that spews out the same old garbage year after year.

Today I have taken that first step toward something bigger, brighter, more adventuresome — I will not lie in a pool of drudgery, ineptness, and melancholy! And when I take that step forward, I can proudly proclaim the rest of the day to myself and enjoy life.

This is my proclamation of success!




  1. O…M…G…You’re me!!!

    I might as well be reading something I just wrote about how I feel a large portion of the time.

    I deal with depression, and only have a select few friends to talk to but can’t offer much help beyond some advice.

    It must be hard on your wife/family. She must be a marvelous woman, if she is supportive:) Because, at least, the depression I have, that seems to be exactly what you describe, ripples out to my family and friends.

    I myself am just concerned about getting through college, again, if they even let me back in(this will be like my 3rd try).

    But I know there is good things on the horizon, hope.

    I know it isn’t always so dramatic, in real life. Many days go by and I just whittle them away reading and playing video games, with seemingly no “WB drama” 🙂

  2. A thought struck me today as I read about the stunning win of Taylor Swift and the Grammies. In the pursuit of fame, glory, and adulation there is always another rung above the next. I think of all these very successful musicians, and just like me, they must feel dejected this mornin- after losing out in the awards last night.

    I guess, fame is like a freeway with speeding cars. For a second you really can blaze down the freeway, but eventually there is always someone ahead of you, someone trying to pass you, and some jerk in the rear that always seems to want to go faster than you.

    Stay the course, but have fun at it because it can never last and you might as well enjoy it while you have it.

  3. I have my ups and downs. I tend to get down during winters, since they are dark and long here. I can come to work before the sun rises and leave after it sets. And all day inside the plant, with no windows. The days one do get out and see the sun screaming at you from a clear blue sky it’s like being hit with the Happy Stick.

    Anyway, by your description of how you feel I get the feeling that my downs are pretty mild in comparison.

    I wish you luck, Troy, you deserve it. And remember that making this Step Forward is not a small step. It is actually pretty big. Kudos.

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