It’s not the first time I’ve used a video game metaphor for my life, and it won’t be the last.
Unlike video games, there is no reset button on life. But much like some of my favourite video games, there is a a way to take the experiences, items and elements from a previous play through, and carry them forward to a new beginning. I’m talking about “New Game Plus,” or NG+, an unlockable mode in many games where you start the game from the beginning with the experience (levels), items and so on from a previous character, in order to play out the storyline differently, try for a different ending.
Now in video games, you don’t get to NG+ unless you beat the final boss. In some ways, I did not beat the final boss, that monster called depression. But in other ways I did… for I am here, I’m alive, the monster no longer has power over me. I have lived to tell the tale; I am able to start again.
I have been spending every waking hour on my New Game Plus over the last few months, and although the first battles have been incredibly difficult, I am loving how the storyline is playing out. Of course, I am still in the early stages of the game and I have a long way to go in (re)building my character. Sometimes it’s hard work and sometimes I wish I could simply reload from a previous save of my old game (but like the reset button, reloading is not an option in real life). I am making progress and am excited to see what adventures, quests and victories are in store for me in this new life.
So what’s it like, this New Game Plus? Asides from Instagram I’ve been pretty quiet online because, to quote Ernest Hemingway, “In order to write about life you must first live it.” I have been living it, all day every day just like a brand new video game; I’ve been all-in.
I want to tell you more. I want to say I’m ready to write again. But I’m not quite sure I’m there yet.