/> What Would Ripley Do: fighting
Showing posts with label fighting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fighting. Show all posts

Monday, 29 June 2020

Fighting Depression

I sometimes compare having depression to being a boxer, fighting in a ring.

Both you and the black dog are in a dance, with you trying to repel the quick jabs and the hard punches.  You duck and dance and deflect and sometimes manage to get a punch in there yourself too.  Some fights you will win, some you will be defeated.  That match is done and the next day you will get up, shake yourself off and fight once again.  

Just like boxing, depression is not a team sport and you are in the ring alone.  No one else can fight for you and your opponent is invisible to everyone but yourself.

Each morning you wake up and find out whether you have a normal day ahead of you, or a fight.  At the back of your mind you hope that one day, it is not a fight to the death.

Image from Unsplash

The things that I have heard people say about those of us who have depression disgust me.

I am not weak.  I am not lazy.  I am not as someone once said to me "wallowing in self pity".  I am strong.  Stronger than they are.  I would challenge anyone who thinks that depression is easy to spend some time in our shoes.

Unless you have had depression, you will never really know just how bad it can get.  How sometimes it feels like your soul is dying and your heart is shattering into a million pieces.  It takes a lot of strength to just get out of bed some days.  But we do.  We get up, we go to work and we hide the monsters that are attacking us just beneath the surface.

I started another battle with the dog today.  Everything I have done so far today has taken effort and strength.  All I want, and still want while I write this post, is to go home, hide under duvet and binge watch Bob Ross.  But instead, I reminded myself of what I have accomplished so far today, with each step a punch, however tiny, against the black dog who seeks to hold me down.

I dragged myself out of bed                  Punch!

I got myself dressed                                 Punch!

I left the house and got on the bus                     Punch! 

I went to work and spoke to client                         Punch! Punch!

I had a telephone conference and put my points across        Punch! Punch! Punch!

I am writing to you now                The black dog starts to back away a little

That sounds like a very normal day and indeed it is, there is nothing special about it at all.  But accomplishing even the smallest step feels impossible when depression hits and your tears are only a blink away.  Everything takes effort and will.

Some days, you know that there is no fight in you.  Not even the smallest steps are possible.  That is ok.  It takes as much strength to admit defeat when you need to, as it does to come out punching.  Even when the day is a loss and I feel like I have slipped down into a deep, black pit with that bloody dog standing at the top, snarling at me; I am silently picking myself up, inch by inch, for the next day.

I have spoken about how having depression is like being a boxer in a ring.  It also involves being an actress.  Whilst I am able the majority of time to have a normal day, go to work and converse with people, the symptoms of my depression are being held back by me, just under the surface.

My smile may not reach my eyes, but I am able to get through a day without anyone noticing that there is anything wrong.  (I do not recommend this to anyone, it isn't healthy.  But it is my way, for now).

Tears are either supressed or fit into time slots when no one else will notice.  I switch off my heart so the heartbreak I feel doesn't show whilst I speak to a client or a colleague.  How do you switch off your heart?   Practice.  Years of practice.  You are however turning yourself into a walking stone, for essentially other people's benefit.

I will finish my working day.  I will go home and allow myself to feel again.  The duvet will come into play while I recharge.  The gentle tones of Bob Ross will sooth my soul.  Tomorrow, if the black dog has stuck around, I will do all this again.

Tell me I am not strong.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Changing History for Inclusivity?

I am not a gamer.  I think that the last game I played was Mortal Kombat back in the 90s which mainly consisted of hitting a lot of buttons with no idea what I was doing.  (Worked for me though, I had a good success rate!)

The guy I am dating is a gamer.  I was interested to see how games have progressed over the years, in terms of graphics, how realistic, what they were like to play now etc etc.  My first introduction was the new Spiderman game and I was amazed at how far games have come along.  You could actually learn your way around New York just by playing the game and the quality of the animation is as good as and in some cases better than film quality.

Then he showed me Battlefield V.   I wasn't sure a first person shooter game was going to be something that interested me, but he showed me the advertisement video as a taster and I was shocked to see that one of the first people I saw was a woman.  On the front line, in a WW2 game.

Women were not on the front line in WW2.

Photo Credit

The Russians, I agree, had women in active duty, such as Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the famous Soviet  sniper.  But were there American and British women on the front lines of battle in hand to hand combat against the Nazis?  No.  

Featuring women on the promo posters and showing them predominantly in the game for me, is an insult to both the men who actually served on the front, but also, the women who contributed to the war effort, many dying in the process.

Have we reached a place where inclusivity prevails over historical accuracy?

Now in 2019 women can serve in any branch of the military as a man.   If you can pass the same physical tests that men undergo, there is no reason to stop a woman who wishes to serve her country and be at the front line of battle.  Women are already doing this now and have died doing so.

But in WW2 this was not on the case.  Not in battle.  This is where EA DICE have fundamentally screwed up.  Including women in this game is completely historically incorrect and to me, is so wrong.

While women were not subject to the draft and were not called to the front, women did contribute to the war effort, some sacrificing their lives in the process.  They worked in munition factories.  They drove ambulances.  Ferried planes.  Nurses joined the war effort in their thousands, stationed close to the front and helping wounded soldiers.  Some died in the process.

Women were recruited for and joined the resistance, became spies and operatives; risking their lives to share information and derail the Nazis.  They fought.  They shot and just like the men who they fought along side, some were captured, tortured and died.  

Women like Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who saved over 2500 Jewish children from the Nazis in Warsaw.  She was captured, tortured to the extent that her legs and feet were broken, yet she refused to provide information.

American Virginia Hall, called "the most dangerous of the Allied spies" by the Nazis.  Despite only having one leg, she helped to train the French resistance and caused chaos for the Nazis with cutting supply lines and gathering vital information, all the while being hunted by the SS/

New Zealander Nancy Wake aka "the white mouse" as she was called by the Germans who on occasion, killed Nazis with her bare hands.

Violette Szabo, who worked as a British operative and resistance fighter and fought against the Nazis.  She was ultimately captured and despite several escape attempts from the concentration camp, was ultimately executed.  She was the second woman to ever be awarded posthumously the George Cross. 

There are so many more.

My point?   EA DICE did not need to pander to inclusivity by including women in the game, featured in places where they did not fight.  Because although not at the front lines, women served their countries in many ways, dying in the process.

You want to include women in WW2 in a game?  Make a game about the resistance, about spies in WW2, where women served alongside men.  Don't just include them in a game to appease gender equality.  Women played their own, active and vital part too.

Celebrate that.  Don't put women where they were not and do not insult in the process the war heroes who fought on the front lines and died for our country.  Both men and women deserve better than this.