I’ve always paid attention to the FM community, but, never really taken part in a great deal of stuff.
Theres content creators and blogs I will always read, but, I’ve never really found somewhere to just sit and watch the world go by.
About 6 weeks ago, I was introduced to a Twitch streamer named Teach, I say introduced, more like, I noticed a link to his stream pop up in my timeline on Twitter, and popped in to watch.
Before I go further, a little aside.
I’ve spent a lot of the last 3 months off work. I have a variety of issues, but the big one, is that I suffer from depression, which, recently has shown itself in the form of PTSD like symptoms that I’ve been suffering in the workplace.
This is something that I’ve suffered with for a long time, and in recent times, I’ve been on a bit of a bounce back, I had a massive blip in February, which resulted in a lot of things, but, I felt I was coming back, however, life hits you, and more importantly, the symptoms came back, and before I let them take hold, I took the steps and looked for help.
At first, I didn’t show my face, hell, I didn’t even log in. I didn’t feel comfortable with anything, and, as I have done previously, I felt anxious about putting myself forward for anything.
The other thing I noticed was that also lurking around in his chat, was a guy I have a lot of time for, FM Blogger and big community member, Cleon.
Cleon is a great guy. I’ve never met him, but, hes more than willing to offer his advice, not just about FM, but anything in general, when it comes to it. I’ve had discussions with him previously on social media, ranging from Football Manager and other games, to Wrestling, to sport in general.
Seeing him there drew me a little bit forward. I didn’t feel comfortable enough to log in, I just lurked.
Now, Teach is interesting. A Mancunian by birth, now living on the Isle of Man, his accent and manner are thoroughly disarming, something which a lot of people from the North West of England can be. He comes across as caring, and actually wants to know the story behind the people who come to watch him play a game.
I took the plunge a couple of weeks ago, and finally logged in and followed him on Twitch, before subscribing to him using a free subscription. I felt comfortable there. I felt that I could be judged on being me, the person, instead of everything I see as being negative about me.
Then comes Friday 10th August 2018. At this point, I’ve been part of Teach’s stream on a regular basis for about 3 weeks. either commenting on stuff, or just having it on in the background whilst doing my own stuff (again, it just helps me keep going). In the early hours of the morning, I suffered the ignominy of having my car broken into, and several thousand pounds worth of camera equipment stolen.
I’m not going to enter into discussion about why they were left in the car, thats something I need to deal with in my own head.
My camera equipment, and ergo, the use of it, is something that I have had for a long time, coming on over 15 years. I’ve upgraded it in time, and, as a result, find myself in a decent position when it comes to covering sporting events. However, this isn’t the only use I have for it.
Given my mental health issues, I also use my cameras as a crutch, when I’m having a bad time, I can get my dog on his lead, put my camera bag on my back, or in the car, and I can go out, and use it to just let all of my issues out.
As a result of this happening, I found myself in a massive slump. I barely left my bedroom all that day, and, just didn’t want to face up to the world.
My personal support network of friends and family helped out, and got me out of the house for a bit, and we managed to get some things done that may have assisted the police in narrowing down where the camera equipment had gone to.
That evening, as per usual at this point, I joined the group of people on Twitch that gather to watch Teach, and generally, discuss our days with each other.
I wouldn’t call it a normal stream as such, its more of a cafe or pub type environment, where we can all exchange opinions, ideas, laugh, cry or whatever else we want to do (as long as it is legal).
I remarked in chat that evening, that I was having a shit day, and that I didn’t feel up to discussing it in chat. Teach, and Cleon both saw this, and said that if I wanted to speak, I could message them elsewhere, with what was going on.
Normally, I’d clam up, and not do anything, just run and hide away from it all, but, given the welcoming nature of the two of them, I was able to send them a quick message with a link to a post on Facebook, where I’d detailed everything that had gone on.
A lot of what myself and the others talk about doesn’t take place through private messages or anything like that. I felt comfortable dropping a message to them that way, and, giving him his dues, Teach has referenced me a lot of times in recent streams, saying how he hopes everything turns out OK, and that he would be there if I needed a talk.
This afternoon, 15th August, I received a phone call from the officer on the investigation at the local police station. She informed me that they had found the items, and after matching the with Serial Numbers and other things that only I would know, they were satisfied that they were mine.
I gave a statement, something which I’m used to with my day job, and carried on my afternoon and early evening, letting friends and family know the news, and preparing to get my livelihood back.
I messaged the two guys again to let them know what had occurred this afternoon, and what was happening, and that I was better than I was.
Again, I got messages back from both of them, saying how happy they were that I was in a better place again.
I don’t know why I started writing this post, or even, what I wanted to achieve.
I suppose, I could say, that, thanks to the community of this game that I take great pride in doing a lot of work for, I’ve found a couple of guys who,will not judge you or anything, and are there to offer their support, to a 35 year old guy who they’ve never met.
Drinks are on me if we ever meet.