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bloodborne and anxiety

when playing this game for the first time in 2018 (got it free from ps+), i was pretty damn scared. like all the time. not only does the atmosphere just excels at doing its job, but i was mostly scared of dying and losing my echoes and having to do all of that progress again. like i thought about it and having to do all that all over again and it just made me crawl under my skin. i didn't know why but it just did. i couldn't even dare to play it. i didn't think id be any good. so i left it behind.

i've always had an appreciation for bloodborne. i am deeply obsessed with its aesthetics, atmosphere, music, character designs, etc. i think it's a beautiful game. i wanted to play the game so badly but i was just too scared to do anything. i swore to just stay away from these "soulsborne" games since i won't have a good time with them if i'll just be too scared to do anything.

but recently i got a ps+ subscription again and decided to download the game again just to see what's up. say hi to my character from 2018. it was like opening a time capsule. i wandered around the first area (central yharnam) while my boyfriend was giving me some tips and pointers which def helped me loosen up a bit! this helped me take a step forward and go out and explore. i eventually stumbled upon my first boss fight: the cleric beast. and i beat on just my first try! but i knew this was just the beginning of something very big and rough.

now it was time for father gascoigne to die (sorry...). the first time i saw him was while doing co-op with my bf. he was mostly doing all the work i think LOL. we got him pretty low but i ended up dying. but that's okay. i think i started to get a bit more confidence in myself building up to these next 2 fights with this boss. i went back. tried again. got him pretty low, but died cus i ran out of blood vials. so with my newfound knowledge of how the boss works, i tried again. and this time i actually defeated him!!!! all by myself. i almost jumped from the excitement. as of writing this, no other boss has had this reaction from me than father gascoigne. my bf was so impressed. he said to me: "you need to have more confidence in yourself! this boss took me so many tries. but you only beat it on your 3rd try, you're good!" and i was just like woah.... all the time i spent being scared. and yet here i am having fun and learning from my mistakes. i was really liking the game, so i decided to continue it.

earlier that day i had been thinking about how my anxieties and fear of failure can even take form in the video games that i play. anxiety is something that i struggle with a lot in real life. it could be the most mundane thing ever. going out to the supermarket, meeting up with friends, making a phone call, writing an e-mail, and i will still be a little bit anxious about it. and the only thing that gets me out of that "mental state" is to go out and do said thing. so my brain can see that there is nothing scary about these things. i've had to give myself small pep talks for me to not be afraid to just... get out of my house. sometimes my anxiety takes it to that extreme. and i think it's the main reason why i am so frozen and stagnant with myself currently. i am very scared of doing new things. i am always telling myself that i will fail without even giving it a chance. and all this sounds quite familiar, right?

without even noticing, i had been projecting my anxieties into bloodborne. a video game i had been trying to play for ages but couldnt because i was too scared. i was too scared to fail in a video game where failing is in its core gameplay. to fail and learn. realizing this kind of shook me a bit to my core. i started crying. my fear of failing had been preventing me from playing bloodborne. i noticed how much FUN i've been having while learning how enemies attack, exploring the cursed place that is yharnam, and getting jumpscared at every corner...... i've been really liking the game so far. and it just really got to me. that what i was so scared to try turned out to be one of the best experiences i've had in my gamer (derogatory) life.

this made me think of my real life. what other things have i said no to because i thought i was going to fail? probably a lot. and there's a lot of things i want to do. but, again, i just feel scared to do them. but still. i know that i might be missing out on something amazing because of this. i might not see it right now. but in the long run, i know i will regret not doing those things. its hard because while i know that my fear is irrational and caused by anxiety, it's still hard to break through that comfort zone.

i wrote everything i've learned while playing bloodborne into the following bullet points, to hopefully take this and apply it to myself in real life

all of this is, of course, easier said than done. but i'd like to think that this experience has helped me clear out a bit of the brain fog that i've been having for... well a while. both in real life and in-game.

and besides the very emotional journey this has been i also can't help but laugh when i think about how all of this came from me playing bloodborne. if you're a person like me (who likes watching video essays about stuff they have no clue about) you've probably stumbled upon video essays about how [x soulsborne game] helped me and just wow. i really get it now. i laugh because i find it funny how i ended up here, but i also find it so heartwarming. and i think it's pretty obvious why people have such a reaction while playing soulsborne games. the experience can be pretty damn rough at times, but you're gonna be able to surpass it one way or another. and its incredible to me the different ways people have been able to connect to these games and how it has helped them to cope with their struggles in their own ways.

here are some examples of video essays that i'm pretty fond of

at the end of it all i asked myself: what other experiences (like bloodborne) have i been missing out on?

all of the things i've talked about here are things i was aware of previously to playing bloodborne. but going through the game just made it a bit easier to understand that this is something i can surpass if i really really put my mind to it and don't let my fears take over me. that i am missing out on great experiences. and i don't want that to happen again.

theres days i wished i wasn't alive because i just feel so embarrassed from just existing as a person. but i am here and i am alive. i should take advantage of that and at the very least try to become a better version of myself. i hope to learn from all of this to achieve my goal.

written with love by des, 16.jul.23