When Life is as it’s darkest… then you came to me.
The sun rises above the horizon spreading his wings of light to all places where it was dark. In the shadow I stand shivering from what’s left of the night. No clouds this morning makes this into a spectacular and beautiful view – one that must be remembered forever – perhaps not in my memory but from a photo print that I’m about to take. The orange sky tell tales about the warmth, but inside I’m still frozen. Little by little the sun reaches higher above the horizon. It’s like the sun is attached to a string – pulling it higher and higher – spreading his ray of lights further and further. The ones working behind the scenes this morning have made a perfect job. The stage manager of today seems to have full control as he is about to fully put on the only light bulb of this scenery and the heat attached to it.
The first stroke of light hits the skin of my left arm as it was a red threaded needle pushed right into the skin – only stopping until it hits the bone or finds whatever it’s after. The first sting hurts me, but instead of moving away I stand there and let the stroke of light take me out from the dark, as this pain is nowhere close to the pasts’. I looked down on my half dark and light arm as it happened. Perhaps the red thread and the needle I believed I saw stuck into my skin were only a mirage, but the feeling of it moving through my veins as a poisoned snake seems real. After a few seconds the ray of light gets stronger moving millimeter by millimeter closer to my heart and other vital organs. Inside the red thread rushes through my veins as a shark that tastes blood. While I was tired and sleepy a few moments ago, the body awakes with the sun rise and gives me unexpected energy to dare to face it. With the ray of lights embracing my body as I wasn’t alone, but had all my family around me, it comforts me.
I look up, upon the sky, watching the ray of lights gets stronger and stronger turning the city below me into a viral city as this industrious town really are – a place where I’ve lived all my life and one I will most presumably walk the gates into eternity in. The sun is almost clear from the horizon now and the first few sounds from the city below me reaches me – perhaps a younger baby that was hit by the light in her eyes or one who opens the window to let the first glimpses of today become visible.
It’s in this moment I realize that everything is okey, that it is meant to be that after dark comes light, after cold comes warmth and after night comes a new dawn with both new and fresh opportunities – only limited by yourselves beliefs, reality and imagination. Instead of hiding in the dark at this new dawn that I’d done for so long I suddenly dare to face it, the bright light that would normally have blinded me if it was daytime. But not this morning. Today my vision is clear. “There is still hope” whispered the first ray of light before the red threaded needle full of energy and life stung my sensitive heart.
A Background – Back on Track for Football Manager 2017
Football Manager has always been my go-to-place whenever I’m feeling down, generally tired after the days events or to just enjoy life with some competitiveness by controlling and instruction 11 players on the pitch through my vision of how to play good football. Upon the childhood years Football Manager have always been my ‘savior’ – my hideout place whenever I struggled or just wanted time for myself. Football Manager was always there for me whenever I got picked on in school because of my height or skinny body, or perhaps it was the intolerance to injustice that made me speak up when I perhaps should have kept my mouth shut. As a ‘loner’ Football Manager were perfect, there I had a database of real players and the world stars right in front me. Either it was to fine a player who turned up late for training or purchasing the next football wonderkid that made me put hours into it I don’t know. But at least it helped me on a person scale as I had something to do rather than to take a wrong path in my life.
For over half my life this has been the case. If it ever was an addiction then it was certainly a healthy one.
This blog were started to share my passion for Football Manager and share my vision and philosophy about how to conquer the world within this football management game. I enjoyed working for the community and felt and still feels pride of being able to be part of Football Manager that I have been for the past 2 years as a member of the Sports Interactive approved fansite scheme. After getting awarded with the highest order Star Affiliate prior to Football Manager 2015 I had high hopes to be able to convert more teenage boys and girls letting them experience the wonderful world of football management. Hopefully this has been and will certainly be the reality… hopefully for many years to come.
As said I had high hopes for 2016 as the growing community were at its best. But when January 2016 arrived there were suddenly other necessary factors in my life that obliged me to fully focus on it and the time I had left to write about Football Manager limited itself to 1 or 2 days a week. Energy got drained out of me handling both family and job affairs as well as some projects I had to help out with took it’s time.
While I had high hopes for 2016 to be a great year this vision completely collapsed right around Easter. It was at a moment that I finally would have had more time to write about and play Football Manager if something else did not have happened.
Still I don’t know how I shall write it or how I shall phrase myself. In the past I’ve always been told that I’m good with words, but this is definitely not the case now. I must admit that it has simply been too difficult for me to write about it earlier, perhaps because I’m a sensitive person, perhaps it’s just normal when something traumatic within your life happens or perhaps the situations doesn’t require any words (as it’s private). But I do will tell a shortened version of it now, mostly directed to all those who may have wondered why few or none new articles have been released the past months. Despite I’d like to keep it private I feel I owe an explanation to all those thousands of people who visits this site daily or have visited in the past. What happened directly is something that is private to the concerning person and my family, but it influenced me and rocked my world to it’s very core.
Let’s move back to right around Easter…
In the days prior to Easter day one person in my family that I hold close suddenly got ill and were rushed to the hospital after a weekend I will never ever forget. Simply writing about it makes my tears drop… blurring my vision as I writes this. The situation and the uncertainty rocked the bottom of my heart. I felt empty really… powerless and shocked that it could have happened without any warning signs or without anyone noticing it – not even the person itself. Days were spend back and fourth to the hospital – some days it was good news, other days it was bad. In the back of my mind there were always a doubt about what could happen next as this disease and the case of it looked ‘as bad as it could get’. I prepared myself for everything – as far as you’re able to prepare yourself for the worse.
For months the situation were unclear despite everything seemed to move in the right direction. Will it come back even stronger? Can it happened again? Thankfully the medical team made our worse predictions false doing the best they could by trying out new methods. It was not until in the middle of the summer that the person got the all clear sign and was labelled fresh.
But this case affected me on a wider scale. I got depressed and anxious and kept myself to myself. I felt I had no energy to be social or perhaps it was the worries of having to tell other people what had happened that made me avoid it. Since then I haven’t been on social medias, not even Facebook or Twitter… or strangely enough opened up Football Manager. It took me a long way and a great deal of battle to overcome this depression, but knowing that the person got better also enlightened my mood and the stress I felt within because of the uncertainty of how the life of me and the people around me would be affected if things went bad – either the person would require care until the last gasp or a funeral were next in line.
So in order to get my life back on track and experience some positive things and put the situation behind me I started to run. Not only to get fit in order to avoid such a disease when I gets older, but also to improve my self-confidence and body shape that had taken a hit by closing myself in. Running helped me to shift the mental focus from negative thoughts to experience the moments – sometimes getting only a few glimpses of positive, but in overall all those few brief moments turns into a decade.
Now I tries to run every second day and have run over 300Km this summer. Something that I’m proud of. I’ve set some goals; one trying to compete in a half marathon someday another to run faster than 45 minutes on 10km. With running I’ve found new life energy and a stronger will to live and keep living life. Without it I wouldn’t have known if I ever would get back to blogging about Football Manager, but with a refreshing summer I’ve rediscovered the motivation required to keep my blog active and write longer articles.
I feel I’ve found the words again despite the letters are all over the place. I have to search for the letters seemingly like my uncle kid has thrown the whole alphabet right in front of me.
The opposite of a piece of paper full with words and sentence is emptiness – knowing that the blank piece of paper gives me every opportunity to destine the outcome of it, once I hit the last punctuation mark – no matter if it’s a question mark or a exclamation mark.
It feels like there is a lifetime since I blogged, but by simply putting one and one word together it sparks my motivation and my energy on a scale I’ve never imagined. It feels like I’ve come home.
It’s in this very moment I regret I never opened up my laptop and started a Football Manager game to get me out of my depression before, as it has done in the past… but perhaps it wouldn’t have been enough this time… Football Manager isn’t everything in life. But it can sure be one of the best ways to get yourself one needed distraction from the everyday struggle. Four months since it happened it seems like a distant dream, but I know it happened for real as the surrounding concern about this illness will always be with me. Not that I’m currently affected, but the concern for those around me who currently has it and their well-being.
With these words I’d like to announce that I’m back for Football Manager 2017 with the hope of ending the year of 2016 far better than it started. At least I have some things to look forward to in the coming months, such as the release of Football Manager 2017 that were announced a week ago.
I hope these words will give strength to all those who finds themselves in the same situation – either you gets bullied on a daily basis, have a family situation you wish you could get out of or isn’t that social as the current society requires. It’s okey. Be yourself and take time to whatever gives you strength and better self-confidence. No matter what happens it’s your own well-being that matters. How you look at yourself and how you look at the future. Find something that interests you and it will give you strength to overcome almost everything.
It’s okey to feel sad too, but get to know yourself enough so you know how you shall change a disruptive behavior. At least that is what running started to do for me. It was the step I needed to overcome depression and the surrounding lack of motivation to live and face the troubles of life. It was the little thing I needed to be able to shift focus and divert the inner compass from flying round and round like a magnet were attached to it and instead let the compass do its job – lead the way.
It’s in this moment I realize that I’ve scribbled down sentences after sentences on top of each other – the piece of paper is apparently full and the task to wipe it all off and start from scratch lies ahead. Later I have to put together words after words… constructing them into meaningful sentences, repeating the same process again and again, week in and week out in order to complete my project to share my passion for Football Manager to a wider audience… but this time it doesn’t scare me.
The blank piece of paper I started with is just a reminder that also you are able to start from scratch whenever it’s needed – no matter if it’s just a brief pause or you are starting a new chapter in your life.
– Espen Høgli (owner of Passion4FM)