Last night was the first night in almost two weeks that I haven’t had a series of horrible nightmares that woke me up at the end of every REM cycle. I woke up this morning next to my dogs (Anne is still in New York) who seemed as happy to snuggle next to me as I was to snuggle next to them.
GenCon was, on balance, awesome. I played some fantastic new games, spent some great time with friends, and ate a couple of fantastic meals. The only bummers were a day of fucking awful anxiety that threatened to keep me in my hotel room, and a single person (out of hundreds) who was a dick to me when I explained that I can’t stop to take pictures because it draws a crowd and then I get pinned down in one place, unable to enjoy the convention.
There’s lots going on right now that I want to write about, and being on hiatus from The Wil Wheaton Project should afford me time to sit at my desk and be a proper writer for the first time in months, but today I am home, and I need to rest and reload my HP and Mana.
More to come.
101 thoughts on “home again”
I saw you a few times and almost (literally) bumped into you near the Chessex booth. I don’t know how you deal with all of the attention, you are seriously brave.
This was my first Gen Con and I wasn’t able to play any games because of my anxiety. My experience is a bit different then yours, being a woman I am treated like an idiot for not knowing every rule. It was a truely special experience having the Munchkin tournament rules mansplained to me, so I hear you on assholes at the convention, haha.
I think what you need is a few bodyguards. Not the usual muscle bound men, but middle aged menopausal woman. We would blend into the crowd and wouldn’t attract attention unless necessary. We are fearless and mouthy and are able to shame anyone into behaving properly and respectfully. Most people would listen to someone who sounded and looked like their mom.
I think this is just out there enough to work.
Seriously though, I am very sorry that this happened, and good on you for not hiding in the hotel room.
Bumped into you at GenCon this past weekend and I’ll apologize up front for the overzealous “What’s Up!”. Caught me by surprise while I was cruising around the booths. Big fan of your work in the game industry and although it would have been cool to get around a tabletop, roll some dice and swap some craft beer recommendations I totally get the discomfort of being surrounded by people you don’t know trying to shake hands and get pics for their FB page when you’re there to enjoy the Con like everyone else.
Two things I wanted to mention but was too excited and didn’t want to be one of those people:
Would love to hear you as a guest player on CritJuice.com’s D&D podcast. Jillian Bell was just on the last episode and it was hilarious. You would fit right in.
Next time you’re in town, you should check out Rock Bottom Brewery’s Naughty Scot Ale. It’s amazing stuff. You would definitely appreciate it.
“I think what you need is a few bodyguards.”
Hire Klingons (especially, middleaged menopausal female Klingons or Jesuits… 😉
In recent years I’ve noticed that when I have caffeine before going to bed, I become prone to midnight disturbances. Caffeine seems to be a factor for me.
I was delighted to see you on the BBC presenting the Doctor Who pre-show. You did a brilliant job!
I don’t know if you seen this yet but there is a video of Kakyoin enjoying a Wil Wheaton cherry. Apparently you are Lelolelolelolelolelolelol! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxgNS9FB5kc
Hi, Wil. Glad you had a great time at GenCon. We’re sorry you didn’t get a chance to see the latest Castles and Crusades products at our booth this time around, but we appreciate your comments about the game (from last year). I understand you managed to visit our friends at Goodman Games (the makers of Dungeon Crawl Classics). We love those guys, and I hope you enjoy DCC as well. Thanks for supporting the gaming industry.
This is the kind of thing where 99% of those “I met [celebrity] at [venue] and he/she wouldn’t sign an autograph for me” stories come from, I’ll bet. No matter how polite you are, or logical your reason for not being someone’s monkey that moment is, you’re going to be known as the dick who wouldn’t stop for a picture, or sign something. I’m glad I’m not famous.
Damn man, I know it must be nigh impossible to get relaxation, but making up to nightmares constantly is a sign that you need to find some. Check out this cool advice from Dave Chappelle’s dad: “but it’s the advice his father gave him when he decided to try comedy that has stuck in Chappelle’s mind. “He said, ‘Name your price before you get there. And if you ever find it’s more expensive than what you’re prepared to give, then get out.’ “
No, I am not a MTV bot or anything, I just thought of this article after reading your post.
I wonder if you dreamt that Lieutenant Commander Barclay was taking over the Wil Wheaton Project. That would be a nightmare! 😉
Nightmares suck as does anxiety. Nothing to do about it but keep busy and wait till it passes – as everything eventually does. I envy you having pets to snuggle up to. Animals have that unique ability to love you unconditionally and entirely which is just a wonderful thing. Take care
So glad you got to GenCon this year. I didn’t even know you were there.
Hope despite the bumps you had a great time. GenCon serves as my reconnect every year with my gaming friends from across the country and I can only imagine how frustrating it must be when things get in the way of that enjoyment.
You’ll never get bothered by me, but rest assured it’s a great thing knowing such a fantastic ambassador for gaming is in attendance and sharing the same experiences.
Can’t wait to read what you have in store for us!
Do you own a 3DS? Because I either streetpassed you, or someone is living their nintendo life under your name. If it was you, that was a pretty cool thing that’s better than a picture in my book.
That is me! I love streetpassing people.
Anxiety attacks suck. I hate those. Sometimes it hits for no reason.:-(Will, I know some folks are suggesting alcohol, but it will disrupt the REM cycle more and make sleep quality crappier. If you can, talk with your wife or best friend to at least “expose “the nightmare to light. Find a relaxing routine,swimming, reading, a little Halo.: -) Definitely shut down the ‘tronics an hour or two before bed and snuggle with your wife and fur “babies “. Hugging produces oxytonin and seritonine to relax you.
I also want to add to Everyone’s comments of thank you and keep up the awesome work.
And though I also saw you crossing the con floor, my friends an I respected your wishes and just did a mental wave as you walked by. I guess we could have shouted out an HI! next time i guess 😀
Glad you enjoyed GenCon… We always love hosting everyone in Indy.
Our funny story is that my wife was taking my picture with your standee and Annoying Guy was doing his absolute best to stand RIGHT IN FRONT OF IT. We finally got the picture when I turned to the right and not 5′ from us was the actual YOU. You were talking to the DoubleClicks (who we played in Fluxx a few minutes later) so we didn’t want interrupt. It did look like you weren’t having a great day. My wife said to you as you were leaving that your standee was taller and you politely replied in spite of your horrible mood. I hope you day got better! Thanks for being awesome.
I really hope you’re doing better. If possible, if I see you and your wife next, may hug you both. I fight the same frakking battle and it rots. Sometimes crowds are so draining and overwhelming, I can’t be in them. Thanks for attending these conventions and putting up with the occasional butt head. 🙂 When you are ready to hit the blog verse again, the folks that aren’t butt weeds will be here. 🙂
that dude mugging your picture was being a turd. Some of these people really need to grow up. They make Cons suck.
Wil, thanks for sharing your experience. It’s good to know that even famous people suffer from the same things I do. My Depression also leads me to experience “night terrors” at times of high stress. Here’s some of the ways I cope with them:
Family therapy (Wife, dogs, kids; all work,) meditation (takes some practice,) writing, and finally take your own advice and, PLAY MORE GAMES!!! (I have to avoid games with a combat element, but that may be due to my particular details.)
Finally, hold onto the knowledge that this will indeed end. My suspicion is that once you get past mid September and you know whether your show will be picked up for a new season (fingers crossed,) this particular period of stress will be diminished.
As the whole of the previous comments showed, you have a lot of fans rooting for you. Hopefully all the positive energy being directed your way will help.
Freud and Jung both defined well being as the making of the unconscious conscious. Both their therapies (psychodynamic approaches) emphasize dream analysis with Jung’s Analytical Psychology being way more creative and far more positive than traditional psychoanalysis. In short, what we have learnt from both these founding fathers of the psychodynamic school of therapy is that working with dreams,in a creative way can be most healing. Also writing them down or drawing them can also be very helpful – even making cartoons from them. In fact, many poets, Gothic novel writers and indeed many writers in many varying genres use images, motifs and instances from their dreams as “grist for the mill” of creativity. These nightmares may provide some material for your future writing! Keep up the good work.
Wil, thanks for sharing about your anxiety and nightmare issues. My son is dealing with that. We lost his mom when he was only 9, so he was old enough to know what was going on. The anxiety seems to be so random at times. We were at a magic convention and he did have to stay in the hotel room for awhile. And the nightmares are pretty much every night. It seems to have gotten worse as he has reached milestones in his life like graduating high school and getting ready to move out for college. If you ever come across anything that helps please share. He has cut out caffeine in the last week but it is too soon to tell if that is a factor or not.
In reading your words after your Con experiences it’s easy to see everything in your life happened with perfect timing. Had you stayed with your family on STNG, you would have had to deal with all that at an even more advanced level as a young man. Now you’re stocked up with wisdom and the self-esteem to say NO to people who specifically WANT to abuse you. I was watching a YouTube of one of Nathan’s last con appearances and he made a comment to a fan who was trying to manipulate him into doing something for her about having his limits and not appreciating the manipulation. I thought the tone of his voice out of character for him because he IS one of the sweetest guys alive, but after hearing about your experiences I can see that there are many more narcissistic fans out there than back in the day and he had finally reached the point where a line needed to be drawn. I suspect he had run into her before at the con. Making a buck off of something or someone has raised greed to almost intolerable levels in our society and it makes me sad because I grew up in the 60s and I remember when people were respectful for the most part. I’m glad to hear you had a wonderful birthday and wish you great inspiration for the precious down-time you have ahead to do great, creative things. 🙂
Dude. You’re an actor, a Master Thespian. How hard can it be to go incognito and act (pun intended) like a real person. People don’t have to be able to recognize that you are a VIP.
I understand bitching about the same problems. You might try different solutions. (And I’m on your side on this!)
I felt a lot of anxiety this year too. I guess that’s what happens when the number of attendees doubles in 5 years (and I try to go to the dealer hall at 10:30am on Thursday cries). I mean, that’s great, but I am all the more loving my local con. BTW – just finished listening to the audiobook of Ready Player One. I usually would rather read than listen to a book, but for this, I made an exception. It was excellent.
If you are seriously having nightmares, try learning to lucid dream. You learn to realize you are dreaming and become able to control it. After some time it becomes second nature and you’ll never have a bad dream again.
Rest well, my good fellow–it’s well-earned! I’ve been married 19 years, and can attest that in addition, things feel -not- -right- when my beloved is away from me–so maybe that’s part of it. But I echo T’Minh’s suggestion to detox from electronics about an hr. before sack-time; it encourages the mind to sprint less. And yeah, I’ve found bedtime rituals to be pure gold for me: a cup of herbal tea, some reading, and a little classical or smooth jazz in the background.
Thank you so much for sharing your anxiety and depression issues here. The information you so bravely bring to your blog help many others like myself feel like we’re in this together and not so alone with our struggles.
My friend, “The Purple Panda,” apologizes for being in a hurry at Gen Con and nearly running you over while in a hurry to get somewhere.
Hey Wil! Just finished listening to both Dancing Barefoot and Just A Geek and want to say thank you for a fantastic reading of a wonderful books. Your fan from russia.
Hey Wil! stay awesome! that is all!
Must be something in the air – I’ve had multiple night terrors this past week and one was so bad, and seemed so real, that I actually woke my wife up screaming. We sleep in separate bedrooms so you can imagine how freaked out I was. The furkids were rather concerned as well, and I got snuggles from everyone. I know mine is stemming from the stress I’m feeling over trying to get my Doctor Who Fan Orchestra submission up to snuff and in on time when everything seems to be trying to block my progress on it. I’ve found it’s been helping to listen to audio books before falling asleep as my brain gets some dream directions before clocking out. Maybe give that a shot? Just stay far away from some of the more frightening Doctor Who ones!
Hi, My husband and I both like the show and we hope it gets renewed. But I am really writing today to thank you for being so open and honest about your struggles with depression and anxiety. I don’t think we can ever really know if talking about the road we walk might be helping someone else but in my experience, it often does. At the very least it lets another human being know they’re not alone. Speaking of health and healing, I read the article below the other day, and I’ve since shared it with a number of friends. While it doesn’t deal directly with the issues you’ve discussed, I think that this study finally quantifies what many of us have known for a very long time: what happened to us as children affects us in our adult lives in body, mind and spirit. Please take what you need and leave the rest: http://acestoohigh.com/2012/10/03/the-adverse-childhood-experiences-study-the-largest-most-important-public-health-study-you-never-heard-of-began-in-an-obesity-clinic/
Clearly that dick person at GenCon wasn’t even a fan of yours. If they were a fan, they would have known better in the first place. I’m glad that GenCon was mostly great for you though!
you should try the Jamie Hyneman approach and just keep walking…when people ask for a picture just say “Sure!” and keep walking!! His Youtube video was hilarious! One person actually walked with him and managed a selfie out of the deal, pretty ingenious really!
That seems especially dickish, and Wil is not a dick. Also, I had to look Jamie Hyneman up to realize he’s the Mythbusters guy LOL
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