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Sanctuary - 'Diablo III' vs. stress

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The Devil Made Me Do It

It's the strangest thing. It really did just show up one day, perhaps attempting to mimic the supernatural qualities of its namesake. It was about two or three weeks before my wife and I were wed when a mysterious package showed up with gifts for the two of us. Inside this bright and happy package, frilly with tissue paper and string, lay the Lord of Darkness, slumbering in his brand-new box (it may sound silly to get excited over a box, but seriously, Blizzard knows how to box stuff). I hadn't even asked for it, but 'Diablo III' showed up at my door.

At this point in my life, I was living in an apartment that I couldn't pay for, one that my wife-to-be and I were going to be sharing. I had no job, no money, just a PC and some unpassworded internet hijacked from the unsuspecting chappie in the downstairs apartment (I was considerate about it, I promise!). I had attempted to join the Air Force, but that had fallen through. I was setting up a wedding with borrowed money and borrowed time, and it was only a matter of that borrowed time before my financial woes would come barreling into me like a linebacker made of debt. During the day, I searched for jobs and got ready for the wedding; applications, pre-marital counseling, different types of cake and financial worries spread my attention and my stress level in equal amounts.

But that night that someone dropped off Blizzard's latest point-shoot-loot was defining. I had kissed my fiancee goodnight and trudged up the stairs to our teeny apartment, sat down at my Frankenstein-esque PC and popped 'Diablo III' in to install. Whirr, whirr went the DVD drive, tap, tap went my fingers, and click, click went my mouse as it finished after what seemed like ages. I stepped into the world of Sanctuary and started clicking.
Click. Click. Clickclickclickclick. Click, click. No thinking. No supremely complex talent theorycrafting at this point in my journey. Just a man, his mouse and hordes of evil to vanquish. I felt stress washing off of me, draining in a puddle around my feet as I dumped my brain for a few hours. Tomorrow, I'd step back into a sea of applications and potential employers. Tomorrow, I'd get my tuxedo fitted. Tomorrow would deal with itself. Tonight, I was a bald monk that punched evil in the face repeatedly.

It's been just about two years since that bag o' gifts showed up at my door, and I still have no clue who was nice enough to pick up a brand-new game for me. They saved my sanity for enough nights that I could keep moving forward and not be overwhelmed by the sheer wave of responsibility that I had to surf during the day.

Two years later, I find myself in a similarly stressful situation, basically attempting to rebuild our recently-acquired house while racing the clock against our son's arrival. Things are being upended, things are scary and new and more responsibilities are being set on my shoulders. Sometimes, I just want to stop thinking for a bit and click on loot pinatas until they explode with legendary goodies. So in light of this, I've been taking new trips into Sanctuary, driving back the crowds of monsters to the holes from which they crawled and pushing my stress back to manageable levels.

And all this is thanks to one person that decided to play the devil's advocate.

Aaron Waite is a level 60, Paragon 20 monk that likes long walks on the beach and farming Infernal Machine parts.

Last modified on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 06:37

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