For those of you who care enough to read this personal post, I appreciate your time. It’s only been about two months since I returned to Twitch, and I had high hopes for it to be a great thing, but unfortunately it hasn’t. And with that said, err written, I’m hanging up my streaming hat (again). History has repeated itself where I’m constantly working around the clock from sunrise to dawn, and in result, am not getting ample sleep, which has led to exhaustion. For the past few weeks, I have been doing a lot of crying behind the scenes and putting on a facade on screen that I’m great. In that time, I’ve been thinking heavily on figuring out the best plan of action to move forward, and here we are.
This anxious, sad feeling has been eating at me since I decided to start streaming again, and I can’t hide it anymore. Where do I start? Two months seems like a short amount of time and doesn’t seem like a big deal, but there are larger, deep-rooted feelings at play here that made this decision both difficult and easy at the same time.
A quick backstory of why I took a quiet hiatus the first time… because I never formally announced it: I couldn’t fit streaming into my schedule – I was starting a new job, finding a place to live, getting involved with firm activities and maintaining a social and dating life. Don’t get me wrong – streaming five days a week on a set schedule in LA was amazing, and having a community built from scratch was one of the best rewarding feelings, which is why I wanted to try again to recreate that safe space and chill environment for people to be a part of.
However, since my days of streaming years ago, other external factors stacked against me to find my way again. In my absence of Twitch, more and more content creators and streamers joined the ranks, which saturated the market more, and it’s been a challenge to forge my way to share my voice through all the noise. That’s not me blaming other people for pursuing new hobbies or careers, but I do believe it’s a factor. This external factor coincided with an internal, emotional factor – a constant feeling of negative reinforcement of not being able to successfully build an organic community again. Without seeing those fruits of labor to stream and more recently fundraising for the Black Lives Matter movement this past month, I began to question myself, my capability and competence to make a difference or make change.
Years have passed since Los Angeles, and I think I’m still broken from the experience and transition I went through coming back to Houston. I’m not the same confident, free-spirited person I used to be – instead I’m this super timid, anxious, easily triggered person who can have a breakdown at the drop of a hat. So, what’s been going through my mind is that maybe I’m not as entertaining as I used to be, maybe I was more likable back then, maybe I’m boring as shit, maybe I’m not good enough for Twitch audiences anymore, maybe I don’t deserve support and a community.
Add on top of that, the recent new wave of content creators and steamers coming forward with their brave stories about being abused, harassed and more have caused a PTSD-like experience for me. I’m not claiming I have the same intense stories as the people telling their truths, but I’ve endured my share of sexual harassment live on my streams. Back then, when they happened, I was strong enough to move past them, but behind the scenes they bothered me, so now, anxiety spikes right before hitting the “Start streaming” button, because I’m so terrified of dealing with it again, especially in the fragile state of mind I’m currently in.
The point of this blog is not to whine about my problems. What I’m trying to drive here is that we need to be more careful with our mental health, especially in times of chaos with a worldwide pandemic and civil unrest. 2020 has proven to be a mentally and emotionally tolling year so far for six months, so it is imperative to be aware of your own health and not ignore, dismiss, deny the warning signs. I managed to convince myself that I was perfectly fine being alone, without family, without friends, without people, but when I put myself in this situation where that presence is needed, it shattered me; I basically self-sabotaged myself indirectly. I’m trying so hard to make an impact on something, someone, but unfortunately I fail to see the finish line of those efforts coming to fruition and I equate that to being a disappointing failure.
The culture of instant gratification, which is prevalent in my generation, plays such a huge role in feeling self-worth and what we define as “success,” and I am no exception to that cliche. At the end of the day, just remember to take care of yourself. Constantly working to keep busy and lose focus on your number one priority – you – can be dangerous and lead to dire and irreversible consequences if you turn a blind eye to it. Recognize when you’re pushing too far past your limits before you go over the edge.
There have been a few times in the past where I’ve recognized I’m struggling with life due to the restless constant search for my sense of purpose, to figure out what God put me on this planet to accomplish. The past few months, I came to the realization that I’m truly just a small voice nobody cares about, and what I’m doing now is not effective. So, I’m done putting myself through emotional turmoil, and I’m going to keep on keeping on to find new avenues that will help me make a difference and make change happen.
Anyway, we’re not going to end this blog on a depressing and melancholic note, though.
- I want to sincerely thank the dedicated viewers and friends who came to streams regularly (and almost all of them). Talking with you and geeking out hardcore were some of the most positive moments I enjoyed lately.
- Thank you to all my subscribers, who have contributed to my channel in support of helping get new games to add to my gaming roster.
- Thank you to everyone who has donated to all my charity fundraisers – the short ones, the marathons and the month-long ones. That’s the spirit and energy I love to witness, and y’all give me hope there are still decent people out there.
- And a special thank you to the friends who have spent time on the phone with me as I sobbed, opened my heart about dark thoughts I was having, and tried to calm down from panic attacks right before streams.
All your support is cherished and appreciated, and I’m blessed to know I have people who care enough to be part of my life. I wish I could be better for y’all.
Trust me, I love streaming and connecting with fellow gamers and geeks around the globe a few hours a day, and recently I’ve been fighting myself thinking I was being selfish to not push past all these feelings and continue streaming. But honestly my mental health is in the danger zone right now, and I need to take care of myself.
There are other things I want to try doing that might be a better platform to fulfill what I’m supposed to do with this life, but I want to be able to have my life to be able to do it, if that makes sense.
This is a self-proclaimed hiatus now, but at the same time, I don’t want to say I’m done forever. No promises either way.
Thanks for reading. And not to worry – I’m seeking out help for the dark emotions swimming between the lines here, and if you’re reading this and feel any percentage of what I’ve written here, please consider taking that first big step to take care of yourself too .