How @playhearthstone, @twitch, and @kripparrian saved my life
Most of you know me as the often salty streamer who probably cares just a little too much about winning and losing in a "childrens" card game and is one of the game's most staunch critics. What you might not know about me is that 3 years ago today I was suffering from unbearable back pain that left me bed ridden for over a year awaiting spinal surgery and would lead me on a journey that involved severe depression, losing my job at a high profile CPA accounting firm, and failing to complete my CPA training. Yet through all of this a simple card game, an amazing community on Twitch (largely Kripparrians channel), and the love and support of my family have helped me get to a point where I feel like I can start my life over again.
Since I was 18 I've dealt with back issues but in early 2016 it had gone from simple back tension to constant nerve pain and numbness in my left leg and my body had become completely out of alignment. The pain became so bad that for most of the year I was confined to my bed with only my laptop to give me access to the outside world. From here I spent the majority of my time learning the ins and outs of Hearthstone and was always present in Kripparians sub chat making my usual sarcastic comments. I got to meet so many incredible people that although I haven't met in real life I can truly say are great friends and have made me laugh and put up with my ramblings throughout these past few years. This would continue until late 2016 after three postponements I finally had my spinal surgery.
Throughout 2017 I spent countless hours rehabilitating my back in physio but the impact of being bed ridden for over a year left an extreme mental toll. I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety which kept me at a near paralysis state when it meant to going back into the public circle. I missed my best friends wedding, my only nephews second birthday, I was unable to properly return to work which cost me my career, and I've nearly lost my girlfriend of 11 years.
However I wasn't going to let this hold me back, I was going to fight and one thing that had kept me going through all of this was the relationships I had built on Twitch and the amazing experiences I had playing Hearthstone. I had some disability money, and in October of 2017 I bought a gaming PC and started streaming. For whatever reason my anxiety and depression seemed to not have any hold of me from streaming from my house and I began to stream Hearthstone, a lot, and I mean a lot. I streamed 10-15 hour a day every day for almost a year straight, rarely taking a day off and I've never in my life had more fun then what I've done.
As you may know I now stream full time still as a member of Fade2Karma, I make a living off of it now and I'm so happy to say that I no longer suffer from that chronic back pain anymore (still will always be an issue to work on), I have been off anti depressants for nearly 6 months now, and my relationships with my family and friends have finally begun to build up again. I honestly have no idea where I'd be right now if Hearthstone and Twitch weren't a thing when I was in my darkest hour, I would've had no outlet for my creativity in playing/building decks and who knows who I would've been able to talk to outside of the community in Twitch.
I know I come off as a real jerk sometimes with Hearthstone but I truly love the game, love the community and am so thankful for everything it has given to me. One day I hope I can give back to the community in more then just my salty ramblings but until then I just want to thank Blizzard, Twitch, and Kripparrian for getting me to a point in my life where I finally feel comfortable in my own skin again, I honestly don't know where I'd be right now without all of these things.