How Pokemon Go has helped me

So Pokemon Go was released here in the UK yesterday and I am already hooked.

Even though my generation grew up with video games, I kinda missed out on it all. We had a console when I was about 6 and my favourite game was Duck Hunt, loved shooting the ducks and then when I was about 10+ I had a GameBoy and my favourite game was Tetris. I also had a Tamagotchi and a NanoBaby which I loved! But that’s where my gaming experience ended.

I didn’t even spend much time on the computer, it was a family computer and I only ever really went on it so I could do school projects and that was it really.

I was always one of those kids that was never in fashion or up to date with the latest craze, I think that was partly to do with the fact I was often suppressed and wasn’t allowed to express my true self. I was expected to be a certain way, I was expected to be girly and like girly things but I detested anything remotely female. I was a very introverted child, very shy, extremely self conscious but I now know it was because I wasn’t allowed to be the boy that I was inside.

I don’t often write like this about my childhood because while I had a good childhood, I didn’t get the emotional support I needed throughout my younger years. Even though it wasn’t physical abuse or whatever, that lack of emotional support still effects me today in many different ways. But emotional abuse is just as bad a physical abuse, bruises fade and broken bones heal but the scars on your mind are harder to heal. I’ve worked hard to heal those wounds but some are still raw.

So how does all this relate to Pokemon Go? Well my gender dysphoria has been really bad, mainly because I can’t bind and when I’m out I get misgendered and every time it happens its like a stab in the chest and as you can imagine it really doesn’t make me feel good about myself and it makes me feel like I just want to hide away and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve been staying in quite a lot because I feel safe at home, I got no one judging me, or thinking I am a girl, I’m not anxious or nervous. I feel happy and relaxed, I can be myself without worrying about anything.

Becoming a recluse is definitely not the answer to anything, I’ve found that my legs have been a lot more achy since I’ve not been out as much as I usually am. I find if I take the dogs for a walk at least twice a week then my pain is much more manageable then if I only took them out for 1omins a day.

My legs have been so achy the last few day and then yesterday this Pokemon Go came out and it was like I had a motivation boost or something because I was so excited to try it out and go catch Pokemon. After dinner I took scrappy out for a walk down to the Quay and back again. I was out for a little over an hour, which is longer then I’ve been out for in a while. It was so much fun and I didn’t have an ounce of anxiety about anything, I was totally absorbed into the game and finding as many as I could. It just sucked me into a whole other reality.

Usually in the afternoon I just watch crappy day time TV shows but I wanted to go catch Pokemon rather then staying in and watching TV. So I fed foxy, gave her some water and took her for a wee and then made sure she was all comfortable and safe, as she’s not allowed out for a long walk just yet. Scrappy and I headed out and we did our usual route around Baiter Park and I caught loads of Pokemon!

I had just won 1 round at a battle and then lost when a lovely lady and her dog Foxy walked by the bench I was sat resting on. We started talking and instead of her thinking I was being rude because I was on my phone, I showed how what it was and as we were walking along up popped a few different Pokemon and I showed her how to catch them and explained how it all worked. It was nice to talk to someone who was genuinely interested in what I was doing and it was just nice to talk to someone, even if she was a stranger.

It has definitely given my mood a boost, I feel a bit happier today. I feel like I have even more reason to go out each day, it feels like I’ve actually accomplished something, as silly as it sounds.

So as much as people have been going on about how dangerous this game is and how children have been lured by adults and how people have been hurt because the aren’t looking where they are going. For people like me this game has already had such a positive impact on my mental health and I can’t wait to walk Scrappy tomorrow so I can go catch more Pokemon.

Keep gaming, keep doing what makes you happy and remember always be yourself no matter what ❤

Peace out