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swjthomas

Food for the soul, my own FM therapy

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I've spent quite a while deliberating with myself whether I should write this at all. However I fell that it is something that I need to share amongst the FM community. Either to see if anybody else has had a similar experience with FM like mine.

First of all a little backstory of my experience of SI games; I started playing CM sporadically in the early days of yore. Personally I didn't get much satisfaction out of a football manager simulation games, when i was younger. So I have been an on/off FM player over the years, I got more fun playing IRL football with my mates. However I have always been a nut for anything football, my obsession has only increased as I gain years, never ending. Every couple of years I would pick up a copy of FM and have a crack at it. Each time getting a little bit more into it and going a little bit further seasons wise in game.

I have suffered from mental health problems since I was a young teenager. Which has now been mostly diagnosed a Major Depression with minor OCD tendencies. Which I am not going to go into all the ins and outs of my condition. However spring last year a collections of circumstances came to rise and caused me to have a major mental breakdown (not the first I may add). So I left my job, had a large operation on my leg to repair my buggered muscles and ruptured ACL's (year old serious football injury) and I was classed as long term unfit to work. I spent many months doing physio and seeing a multitude of mental health professionals to help me. At this time I had a copy of FM2012 which I was playing rarely, due to the fact that my depression almost renders me unable to engaged with anything. Because of no energy and no motivation along with other problems. I was turning into a ghost of a young man.

Eventually along with the psychiatrist and therapist, we found medication that was working and that was not giving me adverse side-effects. I started a long road to recovery from here on. However I needed something to engage me mentally. So after a long discussion with my therapist and an old close friend who was a trainee mental health nurse (is now fully qualified). We focused on what have engaged me over this period, even if it was so miniscule. So I said FM2012. I was told to keep at it and expand my interaction with tasks and get me mentally active again.

So I knew FM2013 was released on steam. I bought and downloaded it and got to work. I started off small playing it here and there as I had nothing else to do or engage me. My playing time increased and I started feeling something I thought I would never feel again... enjoyment! So from here on I expanded. I started reading again, anything and everything on FM and football tactics and management I could find. I started to really get really engrossed in the world of football management (only playing simulation at least). After a while I was more mentally and physically active all thanks to playing this one game and able to cope with life better. Its been quite a while since I rediscovered myself. But I'm not out of the woods yet, I've been steadily making slow progress to be where and who I want to be in life. Sometimes I have fallen back (like recently), but I am forging a path out of the forest. To brighter pastures new. Currently I am trying to get better again enough to get back into work. But thats another story.

So thanks SI GAMES for making a game that has been a release for me. Helped me rediscover myself and my emotions as a sort of therapy, also give me a resolve to beat my condition. All through the enjoyment of playing FM. Once again thank you.

From Sam, a 25 year old sufferer of depression, an AFC Wimbledon and Liverpool FC fan. Now a FM fan.

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heartwarming story, very good of you to decide to share this.

all the best to you

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Yes wholeheartedly agree with above poster. Glad to hear your on the mend and that this game was helpful in that process.

K

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Mental health issues are probably THE most misunderstood illness today. I'm really glad you are sorting your problems out and well done for having the bravery to put it into words on a very busy forum that has a wide ranged, cross section of society based on it.

You may or may not know it, but you've just ticked off another box on your road to recovery just by doing this.

All the best.

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Guest Satchy

Great story. Thanks for sharing and I wish you all the best.

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there loads of jokes that can be made here. Combining depression with being a Liverpool fan, or wondering how you didnt go from being depressive to aggresive after playing FM 13 (judging by how many people react with red mist on most of the things about this game). But putting jokes aside (i repeat JOKES!) great for you that you managed to go through all this and with help of a wonderful series of games that is FM! Hopefully you'll only get better, as the games will :)

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Maybe writing a blog might engage you as well? I'd sure follow your writing

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All the best to you.

You write well. Have you thought about maintaining a career update thread?

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Good work champ, hope your road becomes brighter and your path better, I agree with wwfan - get yourself a career thread happening, I would be one of many to read along! :)

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OP here

thanks for the kind messages, i wasn't expecting my story to be so well received. guess i was wrong lol.

ive considered writing a blog (more so than a career thread) as a blog could contain a FM story or career. However i would need to give it a lot more thought. As I am not the best FM player out there, its more that i don't have the confidence in actually pulling it off. There are so many great FM bloggers, i would need something to stand out amongst the crowd. But never say never, it might just happen.

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Don't want to elaborate much, but this resonates close - there's lots of people with "issues" and you're definitely not alone in there. FM is fun, anything fun is helpful so it helps to an extent. Find more fun stuff to do. :) FM is just a beginning, there's another trillion fun stuff to do in life.

You don't need to be good at FM to have a career thread (or blog) or even good at writing. Some of the most fun careers to follow aren't the most successful at all. You could give it a shot, why not.

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Great post swjthomas, I'm tremendously happy for you and all that you've overcome. FM has helped with my depression issues as well. I would love to read a blog if you do get one going.

Best wishes mate :thup:

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Good work mate! keep it up. I'm sure you'll get out of the forest. And may be in the future, you even get into football managing in real life :D

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Start a career thread mate. One of the the best threads is a fm rage quit which explained how he turned his team around. Some of the most inspiring threads are from people who don't consider themselves any good and then turn into accomplished players through discussion and logical common sense rather than just downloading a tactic and expecting world domination!!!!

I wish you all the best for the future my friend.

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Thanks for sharing your story and good luck with your recovery.

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Keep up the good work Sam, it can be a long road. I had pretty much the same issues 6 years ago. Things will get better (though maybe not your FM tactics hehe).

Thanks for posting, if only one other person gains insperation from it then you can be proud of making this thread :)

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OP here

thanks for the kind messages, i wasn't expecting my story to be so well received. guess i was wrong lol.

ive considered writing a blog (more so than a career thread) as a blog could contain a FM story or career. However i would need to give it a lot more thought. As I am not the best FM player out there, its more that i don't have the confidence in actually pulling it off. There are so many great FM bloggers, i would need something to stand out amongst the crowd. But never say never, it might just happen.

All the best to you :thup:

No need to be scared about writing in the careers forum.

First of all, you don't need to be the best player out there. Stories of continued success are actually more boring to read than the ups and downs which the most of us face as well.

And you can be sure that every poster in there did start off one day himself. If you enjoy reading the posts in there then I'm sure you will also be able to write interesting ones yourself. :)

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OP here

thanks for the kind messages, i wasn't expecting my story to be so well received. guess i was wrong lol.

ive considered writing a blog (more so than a career thread) as a blog could contain a FM story or career. However i would need to give it a lot more thought. As I am not the best FM player out there, its more that i don't have the confidence in actually pulling it off. There are so many great FM bloggers, i would need something to stand out amongst the crowd. But never say never, it might just happen.

I know this will stop a lot of people from starting career threads, but it shouldn't. I get quite bored of the people who take a nothing side, and then go to the top in successive seasons with little trouble. The best threads are ones with just as much heartache as success. In fact, the best ever thread I read was one that started out as a Pentagon attempt and then ended up as just being about one man's battle to get revenge on all managers who had wronged him while steering Portuguese sides to glory. Several relegations, a few sackings, but it was a brilliant read.

I say go for it - who cares if you lose a few games

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Thanks for posting swjthomas ...

Like others, I would encourage you to start a blog or a career thread, you write well and others would certainly be interested in how you are getting on, I know I would. Your skill as a player is neither here or there, it's all about the journey/career :). And frankly, the main aim of one is your own enjoyment, and to keep you interested and engaged yourself, not others.

Either way, I wish you the best, and have fun with the game.

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i agree with welshace, having a blog or career thread is not a privilege reserved to the FM gurus. I'd be very interested in how you get along with your save as well as in life. I'd be sure to follow your writing & judging by the replies above, I think many others will do the same :)

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SWJ - It's stories like yours and the positive comments that it has elicited that remind me what makes this game and its community special. Don't under estimate the positive step you have taken by pressing the post button on this thread. And I will echo everyone else and encourage you to do a career thread. Fm ability is not a barrier to a good career thread.

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Great story. I believe if Miles and people at SI read your opening post, they will share a tear in pure delight and contentment, because a game they develop are helping you to recover from serious illness. :)

As a suggestion, i'm with the rest of the people here. Start a career thread or blog, do it because you wish to share your enthusiasm and love for the game and your career.

All the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

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I've looked around here for many years now and I very rarely post, however after reading your story I just had to click that reply-button and thank you for sharing this. I wish you all the best, both personally and in your FM-career!

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good luck mate I have also suffered with mental health problems and at the moment am having a bad bout of depersonalisation all the best in your fight

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It's great to read a positive story on GD, and best of luck on your journey on FM and in the real world offline swjthomas. :thup:

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OP here again

once again thanks for the messages of support, i am definitely considering the blog/careers thread for FM 2014 as its getting a bit late in the day for the current game. however i am siding towards the blog, as a career thread can be incorporated into it. if and when it happens i will make some sort of thread announcement in the forums.

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Well done buddy!! My ex suffered from depression, i was with her every step until we split so i know how much it physically and mentally drains you

However my friend u are in a forum of friends and its good 2 see FM has helped u. I usually see people complaining (and im one of them) we are here for u dude. Get on the threads dude i look forward 2 a good read

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Great Story, hope you continue to recover and write a career thread mate, how good you are doesn't matter, I read a lot of them and it's a much more satisfying read when somebody isn't winning all the time because it has more to it as a story.

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Hi Sam, I don't post on here anymore but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your original post. I myself continue to suffer from mental health difficulties (I believe mostly self-imposed due to Porn, but that's another story).

After I was first diagnosed with depression, I played my last really enjoyable game of FM - Shaktar Donetsk Manager on FM 11. In 4 seasons, I won the league twice, the cup once and reached the last 16 of the Champions League twice (my only disappointment.. I have regarded the Champions League as the holy grail since I was young, and really wanted to win it). Since then, whilst I have bougnt every version and continue to maintain an interest in the game, i have had another lasting and/or fulfilling save. This is due to a combination of reasons: me not finding the right challenge, being a perfectionist, falling out of love of the game quite a bit (I think I still love it, but I find the Sky/BBC coverage unwatchable, the media coverage annoying/arrogant, and the amount of diving is putting me off... but again, that's another story). Lastly, I find it difficult to find the patience to do all the stuff that is required: I simply want to manage the team, and occasionally buy/sell players.

I would definitely be interested in reading any career thread/blog that you write. I'm not exactly Einstein at the game either, so please don't feel you even have to be succesful. Best wishes on your recovery, hope all goes well.

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Thanks op for posting this. If you swap mental health problems with a physical disability (and the inevitable consequences of health issues and dealing with societal ignorance), you pretty much have described my situation fairly accurately. my friends and family don't really get that FM is a therapeutic thing for me and see it more as just a 'crutch' I use to hide away from life. It's kind of nice to know that there are other people out there that just 'get' what it means to be able to have something like this great game to help us through the tough times.

As a poster above mentioned taking the step of speaking out publicly is a big step in the right direction and as others have said good luck with the recovery process.

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Well done that man, you deserve praise in so many ways for writing that post.

Happy trails.

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