Be kind to people because you never know what they’re going through, the battles they’re fighting, the bosses they’re soloing. Everyone deals with struggles in their lives and it can be hard to face them alone. Some people are alone due to circumstances and some are alone by choice. Others aren’t alone but choose to keep their struggles private for fear of being judged, being seen as a burden by family and friends, because they feel they’re strong enough to handle them on their own, or a multitude of other reasons.
While playing World of Warcraft, there are times when I’ve soloed bosses, but it’s usually in older content where I know I can win. I have also run headlong into trouble thinking I could handle it and quickly discovered otherwise. This parallels my experiences in life somewhat in that there are troubles or “bosses” that I tend to fight solo because I’ve been dealing with them for so long and they’re therefore “old content.” I feel weird sharing with friends (especially new friends) that I’m still struggling with the same demons that have plagued me for decades. After all, that was several expansions ago, I should’ve figured out the mechanics of that boss fight by now.
There are also times in life when I think I’ve got issues all figured out and dealt with, only to realize that, when I try running in headlong to beat them, they’re not what I expected and I’m in over my head. Both old and new life challenges can be difficult boss fights when having to fight them solo. And yet some of us still solo bosses because we have trouble opening up to loved ones and friends and asking for help. I’m guilty of doing that because I’d much rather be the supportive friend than the down friend and thus I keep my sadness to myself sometimes. After all, I know lots of people have it much harder than I do, so who am I to complain?
But hiding and suppressing feelings can backfire, trust me, I know. For a good portion of my life, I was very good at burying my sadness and negative emotions. They were safely buried away beyond even the touch of Spirit Healers. I built up walls and put on a happy face no matter what. Then my father died and those walls vanished. They didn’t fall, they just disappeared. I had no rubble left to rebuild those walls and I was left raw, exposed, and in pain. It was by sheer strength of will that I held it together to take care of my daughters. You know how it looks in Warcraft when you’re gathering magic to cast a really big spell? That’s what it felt like for me to get out of bed every day for a long time.
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I think sometimes it does. As much as I miss my father and wish he was still here, I know that losing him made me a stronger person. It also made me realize that my dad gave me a very important responsibility when he left this world. He always wanted me to share my light, positivity, and optimism with the world and that’s what I do every single day. Some days it’s harder than others, but it’s always worth it because if I make just one person smile, I’ve helped fulfill my purpose in the universe.
What is always a very emotional stretch of October for me is finally drawing to a close and while my sadness will never go away, it loses strength as difficult dates pass. Fortunately this year, I’ve been blessed by my Warcraft family and have done lots of fun things with them to keep me distracted, occupied, and laughing so hard I cried, which is always better than sobbing in misery, in my opinion.
Over the years, I’ve built new walls but they’ll never be as solid as my old walls were, nor should they be. Walls are a great way to stay safe from hurt but they can also prevent good things from coming into our lives. I don’t often share my down moments on social media or in the discords I’m a member of and I don’t know that I’ll ever feel comfortable DMing my Warcraft family if I’m struggling. I want hearing from me to be a good thing and not, “Oh, what is her problem now?” I’m hopeful that eventually I’ll learn and accept that I don’t have to solo the tough bosses, that I’ve got friends that want to help me, and that I’m not a burden. I’m quirky, weird, rambling, random, and perky, but perhaps not a burden.
I believe that people that care about us don’t want us to solo bosses (Warcraft and real world) but even so, we all might still choose to do so from time to time. However, if we remember that we have friends and loved ones ready to form a raid or dungeon group to back us up in game and in real life, that makes any boss fight a whole lot easier.