A few weeks back, I was all set to attend a local Warmachine Tournament (better known as a Steamroller at Thunderground, to the Warmachine community). I was very excited to get the opportunity to play several games in a day, against opponents I don’t regularly see. I was also very excited because I had a pair of lists that I was reasonably comfortable with how they *SHOULD* operate and how they fit into my personal style of playing.
Round one was a rough match. It was the first time I had played against Bradigus the Stonecarver, which is a pretty rough game all around to begin with…add on top of that, it was being piloted by Josh Richter, one of Canada’s representatives to the World Team Championships for Warmachine, I was frankly, nervous and intimidated. I made some huge mistakes during the game and in the end, I did learn some valuable lessons and Josh was great at telling me what I COULD have done to help my situation. I lost the game by running out of time on my deathclock (though, I only had my warlock left on the table and he had pretty much everything left).
Not a big deal, I lost a game I wasn’t favored in against a world class player. Round 2 was coming up and I’d have the opportunity to redeem myself.
Except the day took a turn for the worst.
While moving my stuff to the table that I’d be playing round 2 in…my army tray fell out of my hand. Or was misbalanced on the table and fell. I don’t really know what happened other than I watched all of my painted models fall from a height of 3 feet or so and crash onto the hard floor of the store.
These are roughly the emotions I felt in the span of 2 seconds.
I hit the floor and began to gather my broken army. Not really looking too closely at the damage, for, I didn’t REALLY want to know. But my day was DONE. Thankfully, there was an odd number of players at the event, so the player with the bye was able to step into my pairing and the event continued with a (relatively) short disruption. (At this point, I’d be completely rude to not mention Roy’s compassion and desire to help out during my cleanup – he definitely did his best to try and salvage my day!)
Now, after all of this preamble, I’m finally getting to the point, which, may not be clear to anyone but me at this stage, but…well, here it goes.
Painting my Warmachine models has become part of my self-care for helping me to decompress and manage my depression. It’s something that I talk about frequently with my therapist and she agrees that it’s been a very positive thing that I’ve focused energy into.
So. I’m looking at my army, which I’ve painted, an almost…physical representation of my mental health…in shambles on the floor. What do I do? Well, I already said I cleaned up, because I was in the way. I had to get stuff out of the way. Then, I told Roy that my day was done. There was no way, even if I could reassemble everything, that I’d have fun playing the rest of the day. So, without so much as an effort to safely pack my stuff away, I just piled it onto my tray and shoved it in my car.
Then I told myself not to cry. At least…not yet.
Then I did what any normal person would do (ok, no it isn’t). I posted a photo of the carnage to the Legion of Everblight facebook page and to twitter.
It made me feel better. A bit.
I finished up a few things at the store, namely the important acts of thanking Roy for hosting and making a purchase at the store (because I can’t attend a tournament at a store without making a purchase), and telling some friends good luck.
Then I sat in my car for a while and cried over my dolls, and made some self-deprecating posts on social media. I then went about the rest of my day and found some other activities to partake in and leave the incident behind me. I also thank all the folk that took the time to message me after the fact to check up on me, those messages were really appreciated!
Now, a week and a half later, while writing this, I can see how while, yes, the destruction of my army was a rather significant event and could have easily been a trigger for some incredibly negative thought processes – I was able to use some of the other tools in my mental health toolkit to prevent that from being the case. I’m proud to say that.
Thinking about all of this has me wanting to embark on a new project. I have a bit of legwork to do before I can give all the details, but the end goal is to organize a charity fundraiser to take place during the Blood and Gears Masters event in October, supporting an Edmonton Mental Health organization.
I hope to share more details of this as I am able to sort out details.