It’s only a game…isn’t it?

As many of you will know, I am a football fan and of course as part of that, will come the various football orientated games. My favourite PC game is the Football Manager game and the favourite console game is FIFA. Anyway I love to play the game but recently I have been having a few issues. Not with the game as such but the merging of gaming and reality, I tend to always play as Liverpool F.C naturally of course with me being a Liverpool F.C fan. Up until recently Liverpool had a run of bad form and certain players were not (and some may still not) be playing as they should. That’s fine as in reality they will be dropped, rested, evenually sold. Unfortunately for me ,when it comes to playing the game, I have taken these real life issues and taken them to the game instead of just playing it as is.

Whilst in reality, Simon Mignolet has turned a corner in form and kept 5 clean sheets away from home, I still find myself wanting to drop him, This though means I have to buy another goalkeeper. I would have to sign another goalkeeper before doing that as I really don’t wish to be left with Brad Jones as my number one. The Australian goalkeeper has also fallen foul of my real life thoughts being transferred into the game. Unfortunately for me I am playing FM14. This means that I really dont have the opportunity to sell Mignolet if I wanted to as he has scarcely been at the club long enough to ship him out, but I do try and ship out Brad Jones as soon as possible,  I am also playing with the latest patch which means I have Mario Ballotelli This is another problem as because the Italian enigma has not been at the club long enough, selling him is impossible as he would have barely been there long. I try not to play him as much and sign another striker. It doesn’t help that even in game Ballotelli is as useless as the real version (although lately he started to find the back of the net) I don’t even think highly of Lambert either, based on their real life performances, but yet again there is not much I can do.

Joe Allen on the other hand, I find myself trying to offload as soon as possible, yet again I find myself basing my in game opinions on real life. I just cant fit him into my team how ever much I try because my mind is already blinkered ha ha. I have to say though I am able to make exceptions, Jordan Henderson who has this season picked up from last seasons increase in form, has found himself bench warming, In one game, I think it was on FIFA though, I shipped the midfielder out as part of a swap deal. I still dont end there as I have been known to ship out the Brazilian Lucas Leiva.

Im not sure if these decisions would have had any bearing on the performance of the team as in one season I had progressed well only to get sacked after losing the FA Cup final to Chelsea. It was literally win or bust, no matter whether I lost on penalties or by cruel luck in the last minute, they were giving me the boot. The most amusing of it all was the fact that they would appoint Andre Villas Boas as a replacement. One game I played, he took over and made more of a cock up than I ever did, so when he got the sack, I applied for the job again…..safe to say they didn’t accept my application.

Maybe one game I will keep them all and sell other players and see where it gets me, maybe I might make it to a second season….Do any other FM players out there have the same method of madness?

A year gone by – My journey through depression

So here we are early February 2015 and it is a year since I was diagnosed with mild depression by my doctor. It has been to say the least a year full of many ups and downs and a year that for that reason I would be glad to forget that it ever happened. What I won’t forget though is the support I had from my family and various friends, both old and new. I will always be grateful for that support which has never wavered and the friends that have stayed around to support and pick me up with words of encouragement and of wisdom as well as a chuckle at my expense (I still blame that London wetherspoons).

Despite everything and although I am not completely there and sometimes fighting a hidden daily battle even now, I do feel that I am in a better position than I was this time last year. This time last year felt pretty bleak to be honest and I wasn’t ever sure I’d be getting to enjoy myself like I used to.

Being round the gang at the gaming table for one has been great, having a good bit of banter in amongst the gaming campaigns, has been brilliant and has certainly helped. The number of times we have laughed and laughed at the table due to some witty comment, double entendre or bit of innuendo.

I am also fortunate to live in a house with some great people and a great little westie. Taking Daisy out for walks when I feel upto it and I get the chance, is really good. It is something I enjoy and it is very true that pets and especially dogs can help you to feel better. Coming home whether from work or from just being out and having Daisy come to say hello is really good. She is very much full of energy although I do sometimes worry when I walk upstairs and she bounds up with me and rises on her back legs so close to the top of the stairs. Whenever I take her out for a long walk, I sometimes just let her lead as its always a good experience. Getting to play various new board games and board games based on computer games like civilization and Xcom has been good. Notably the friends of my house mates have also become friends to me as well, which also makes it good. Im very certain that there will be more fun games and entertaining evenings ahead.

Seeing old friends from previous gigs has been good as well as meeting those who only managing to chat online which happened in November and December.

One thing has surprised me with various friends both in person and online, I have had the support as usual from my good friends but also that of friends that I havent really spoke to much and who have been through their own journeys with mental health. You may remember the blog regarding my journey with depression. I received several messages saying how helpful it was to them in understanding what people close to them were going through. That was really all I wanted to do. There are many people throughout the country, too many in fact, that have or are suffering with various forms of mental health issues. Some people thought it was wrong to share something personal. Yes it was something personal and some people may not have agreed with it, but for me it was about not only helping myself but helping other people. As cliche as it may seem, if you help one person then that is one person that is no longer fighting a battle on their own, if someone was to read and realise through what they were reading, that they too were suffering then to know that they went and sought help is a good thing. It was reading a blog post of a good friend and someone who has had their own battle, that I realised that I was suffering.

There are of course those who I thought were friends but then opted to walk away, but that is their choice and whilst it is a shame, it is also a disappointment because you thought you knew those people well,

I wont name all the people that have helped me through this year, they know who they are and many will just say its what friends do, but it still does mean a lot to me and always will.