Kickstarter and Depression

It’s been three months since I last posted here. I purposefully didn’t post during the month of my Kickstarter campaign. I knew that many of you were following along there… I didn’t want to flood your inbox with spam. Since the end of the campaign, however, well… that’s been something else all together.

The campaign was my main focus for many months prior to hitting the launch button. It remained my focus during that month and trying to add additional content to this site would have been irresponsible to myself. While the campaign was a success (thanks to all of you!), it wasn’t without difficulty. It required significant effort on my part to keep the pledges rolling in after the initial rush stalled out.

And all that seriously drained me. Emotionally, mentally, and in the end, physically.

I mentioned a few times before the launch of the campaign that the #1 reason I was able to go through with it was antidepressants. That wasn’t a joke. I’ve been dealing with depression since I was about 12 years old. For a large majority of that time, I was not medicated. I joined the Marines at 18 and taught myself how to deal with my emotions and motivation. Last year was one of the worst years of my life. Nothing catastrophic happened around me… there was no logical reason for my emotional emptiness… other than depression. Last fall, I couldn’t take it any more and I went to the doctor and asked for medicine. After 18 years without medication, it was time to admit I needed help.

And wow did it help!

I was fueled with new-found energy and excitement. Things were back on track as my home life was crumbling around me. Odd how that happens. Focusing my attention on PULL! allowed me to escape reality for a while… but it also gave me purpose. I drank that up like a bowl of mom’s chicken soup and poured on the productivity. After dealing with depression for so long, you find little tricks to overcome self doubt and anxiety. When I hit that launch button, I didn’t need any tricks. I wasn’t anxious or doubtful at all.

Thirty days later, I was drained. I’m not certain that the close-call on Kickstarter had anything to do with it or not. They say money can’t buy happiness, and honestly, if I had massively over-funded, I don’t think I would have come out of the campaign any less drained. The emotional and mental drain led to physical drain which leads to this sort of depressive feedback loop. You don’t feel good enough to do anything, and not doing anything makes you feel bad. If you’ve never had the displeasure of feeling that lost, count yourself extremely lucky. It’s a horrible trap to fall into.

The weeks following Kickstarter were very dark for me. I went to work, and largely stared at the wall. At home, I sat on the couch and sank myself into a video game or book to distract me from the volume of work I needed to do. I essentially just checked out for a while. It has taken me some time to pull myself back on track, but I’m there again and glad to be at it.

BtAHRAuCMAAqHOTI’ve accomplished some life-projects that needed done.

BsiwK1gCMAA0X9uStarted on a few new projects.

Bs6XtF7CcAA3qKdRe-visited an old project.

Br4RRCoCAAAVkcNBuilt myself a new workbench.

BpfF-5rIgAEnGb1Picked up a new hobby.

All the design work and ordering is complete for PULL! and I should be shipping the game very early. Maybe even right after Gen Con. It feels good to be back on track. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings!

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5 Responses to Kickstarter and Depression

  1. I’ve been there and it is rough. I’ve felt that weird emptiness in the pit of your stomach when there is no reasonable explanation for it. Projects always help that feeling but always be willing to ask for help if needed you are too valuable to everyone to ignore it.

    • chevee says:

      Thanks for the kind comments. While I’m always open about myself and the things I do, I often have the “I got this” mentality that gets me in trouble.

  2. Gray Detrick says:

    Thanks for your frank discussion with your struggles with depression. I’ve had similar issues with depression on and off since my tweens, and hearing you speak about your situation helps me just a tiny bit.

    P.S. Pull! and Me Booty that I picked up from you at GenCon are great fun!

    • chevee says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words!

      Remember, you aren’t ever alone. Lots of us battle this disease daily. Glad I could help!

  3. Pirate T. Day says:

    “Remember, you aren’t ever alone.”
    Of course I’m alone. If I was not alone, I might not be sad and exhausted. Even the way you meant it does not touch me.

    Oh I’m sure you struggle, for personal values of struggle, but I spent 10 minutes on your website and I’m jealous. Time for renewing sleep.

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