Yan’s story: How boardgaming saved my life

Through my life, I suffer from anxiety. During my darkest moments, where I couldn’t function well in my day to day life due to my mental health condition, I play games to cope. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a bunch of boardgame friends through Meetup, which connected me to more boardgame friends, and we eventually became close.

All of my boardgame friends were well aware of my anxiety disorder and supported me really well without judging. They understood when I avoided eye contact or behaved awkwardly in social situations. They understood when I had to take a break from gaming and go to my room to lie down. They understood when I couldn’t finish a game due to my curfew. They even took the extra effort to travel to my home to boardgame with me when they knew I had trouble driving. We didn’t have to talk about my problems, they supported me simply by being present to play boardgames with me as I took my time to recover.

During those dark times, boardgaming was the only activity that I felt physically and socially connected to people without having to go through a panic attack. Whenever I felt uncomfortable, I just focused on the game. It was the bridge that saved me from social isolation.

Today, I’m doing much better than before. I can confidently drive, travel to places by myself, sustain a hectic job in advertising and am excitedly preparing myself to move out and live on my own. Before this, I couldn’t do any of those and I’m very proud and happy that I managed to pick myself up from rock bottom. I wouldn’t have made it this far without my boardgame friends and the guardian angels of my life (you know who you are)… and I’ll always be grateful. THANK YOU! 🙂 ❤

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