My online identity as a knight and the motley friends I made along the way

photo 1[This post is dedicated to the players, past and present, of AO] 

Help sometimes comes in funny forms. If you blink, you might miss it.

About one year ago I was really struggling.  My mom had just died.  I became the primary caregiver of my dad.  My husband was gone long hours due to his work. My world was crashing down like dominos all around me. I would stay awake – far too late trying to solace my fears with shows on netflix, reading Game of Thrones – yes you heard me right READING, or playing stupid games on my iPad. I was essentially distracting myself from my real problems. Feeding myself on all of this like an addict rather than face the real pain boiling inside of me.

Don’t get me wrong, I have tons of friends all around me. They would call to check up on me but sometimes I just got tired of the same questions:

How are you doing?

How is your dad handling things?

Do the kids miss grandma?

And so on.

Not knowing what to say, I started answering with “I’m fine” “He is adjusting.” “They are doing well but busy.”

I would go about my day in a fog and at night when it was quiet, I would feed my pain with distraction again.  Things would get boring really quickly so I was always out to find newer shows or games. Eventually, I found a game where you essentially build a kingdom, build up troops, and fight other players. I quickly got sucked in.

Distraction distraction distraction

So in the game – you want to join an alliance because that creates a safety net, you can share resources, and band together to wage war on other alliances. Okay check – joined alliance.

What happened next I didn’t expect….

Suddenly my lonely nights were full of voices – I was surrounded by people. people talking, people making jokes, people from different countries, people from different walks of life. People who didn’t know me. People who would joke with me and didn’t ask all those questions I was avoiding.  I loved it. it was fun, different. It was the best distraction EVER! We would steal resources (yes virtual ones), share, and wage battles, all while we laughed and talked the night away.

And talk we did. We started talking about real stuff, stuff going on in our lives. We started sharing pictures of our kids – weird places in our communities. Some really brave ones would share audios of themselves talking or singing. Videos of kids singing in school music programs appeared. And painful stories started to appear too. Somehow, this motley group of people had become trusted friends.

So, I started telling my stories in an honest way that I had not been able to do prior to that. I felt myself slowly being able to heal. An army of people who not only listened to me and gave great advice but also made me feel welcome and worthwhile surrounded me. I changed throughout this year and those people; those voices were part of that change.

Through all of the joking and jibes that surface through “alliance chat” the number one theme in there is that this is just a group of people who love being kind to one another. I doubt that every online community functions in this way but ours did. In fact, I know they don’t because as new members would come in, they were always taken aback by how we functioned as a family.

So, to corroborate my feelings, I had to ask them, what this alliance has meant for them in this last year and here are some of their responses:

touchI think in the beginning, it was fun & exciting in the sense that we could say n do whatever in a group of grown up strangers… Of course as we all came to know each other better & get more comfortable, we all started allowing our daily lives in bit by bit until some pretty good friendships have formed.

Yes I agree. In the beginning this was for the game and the game was fast and fun back then. Now I don’t play so much but I love that we have got to know each other as real people and I value our friendship ❤

I think this group has made a deep impression on me… All the wood sharing has been magnificent!!! But seriously you guys have been a great support throughout this year both psychologically and physically. You have been my support group; my pillow to cry on and the ones that make me forget the hard times… Time after time you have helped me get over whatever life throws at me and it has been great. I have enjoyed so many good times I have laughed so hard ppl looked at me weird and I just love being a part of such a dynamic group…. I ❤ AO!!! And you guys and gals Freaking Rule my World!!!

Jo is basically the father figure ive never had and the rest of ya like brothers and sisters i never had. Its great that we can always say whatever is on our mind and we help each other through everything.

Many of us don’t play much anymore. The “alliance chat” can be entirely dead on some days.  But, even when I was “gone” for two whole weeks, I jump back into say a quick hello and I still find myself surrounded by some very real and dear friends – despite the fact that I have never set eyes on them.

So Jo, Tricky, Z, Mari, Piz, Ophi, Leav, Theo, St., Husk, Big Daddy, Rich, Qb, Ced, WhiteRaven, Bornley, Honda, Caleb, Kali and so many others who have come and gone…. Thank you for listening, being a shoulder to cry on, and making me laugh through a difficult year.

Last year I was lost – I was lonely – I needed answers.

God sent them to me in the form of an alliance formed over a battle game

pt

10 thoughts on “My online identity as a knight and the motley friends I made along the way

  1. PT. I know how u feel. JO has talked me through my tears many times over the last year or so. When I have a chappy day I log on and leave smiling. The definition of community had transformed in recent times and psychological bonds have become more important than physical ones often times. Love u lots lady!!

    Queen B

    Like

  2. Our aliance is amazing… The most unexpected thing is that it made us allies beyond the game. I’ve been playing for over 3yrs on and off and I’m honored to have been a part of such an amazing group of individuals. Btw you could
    have omitted the wood part 😉

    Like

  3. Lol Z. I’ve seen more than wood being sent on game 😉 but your right. I still have friends who haven’t played in over a year. And I feel as if they will be in my life forever.

    QB

    Like

  4. As always, such a joy to read your blog! To literally see life through another’s eyes as you take the time to share with us. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to steal resources and talk the night away with you! Mostly though, I’m just happy to call you friend!

    Like

  5. Don’t forget puddin 🙂 I’m glad now to know I helped make someone so down, be able to laugh and smile. Message me sometime 😛 I’m good at smiles 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s