So, story time. I always felt uncomfortable dealing with people, unless it’s with very close friends it’s an emotionally draining thing. I remember the words constantly being thrown at me: “You’re just over thinking it” and “it’s all in your head”. I mean, thanks captain obvious, now tell me how to stop the subconscious bit of my brain from irrationally doing that.

Nonetheless, I managed well on my own. I lived away from family since starting my A-Levels in 2009, managing routine life. I could go out, talk to random people, carry on with my life and mentally recharge by keeping to myself on some of the days. Everything was holding on fine.

But then about three and a half years ago, with the pressure of trying to do well in my second year of university life, I just snapped. No longer was I just uncomfortable dealing with people, it was a nerve-wracking ordeal. Pretty soon it turned into leaving house means meeting people thus staying in my room was safe. Outside scary.

It was getting bad. I hadn’t left the house in two weeks. I was stuck on canned foods and that too was dwindling. Food delivery was expensive to do every day. I was cold, hungry and tired.

So there I was, browsing the internet as I usually do. I heard about this game called Journey and how great it was. I was curious, but I didn’t have a PlayStation (or any game console for that matter), so I went online and watched a silent play-through of it on YouTube.

The music resonated within me, the art was amazing. It moved me. I don’t really know how to describe it but it made me see something in the world differently. I was sitting curled up in my chair just crying and whispering to myself over and over again about how beautiful it was.

The next day, I fired up Skype and talked to a friend. I talked with her, and eventually I told her the three words I had been having trouble saying all these years: “I need help”.

I saw a therapist, eventually a doctor, and had a small circle of really supportive friends, all of whom I am eternally grateful for. It wasn’t all uphill from there, and in fact there were times where I was in worse situations.

But most importantly, from that point onwards, it made me know where I wanted to be. I wanted to be happy.

So, to Austin Wintory, thatgamecompany, everyone involved, and all my friends who gave me support in this journey. Thank you.

Published by

Zher Huei Lee

Programmer, tinkerer, generic nerd.

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