Saturday, July 11, 2015

why i've been out

real sad that i have to make this uncharacteristic post but the community needs to know what's going on at this point. even back before i had wrist surgery, i knew that my wrist wasn't even my biggest problem. the past 1.5 years have been my worst in this game, plagued with health problems and unhappiness.

i've been suffering from crippling insomnia ever since march 2014. it first happened at the tournament The Next Episode in California. nothing significant happened in my life around that point in time, idk why that's when it first happened but it did. i thought it'd be a one-time thing. it ended up being like a disease. ever since then, i've spent most nights before tournaments awake in bed the entire night. i haven't actually gotten a single full-night's sleep at a tournament (even locals) since it happened. not exaggerating when i say that i spent 72 hours awake in a row at MLG, EVO, and TBH4. at CEO 2014 i stayed awake in bed the one night i was there so i just changed my ticket and flew home the next day. at Apex 2015, i played it off as though i didn't enter because of my hand problems because i didn't feel like explaining things. i was having really bad hand pain around the time of that tournament (i hadn't had surgery yet), but i would've been able to make it through a 48-man bracket (which i had qualified for with Apex points). the real reason i didn't play is that i was awake the entire night before, so i just left and went home when i got out of bed the next day.

at regional-sized tournaments like Zenith 2014, Justice 4, and Do You Fox With It, i managed to get just a couple of hours of sleep. i had to use either valium or ambien at all of them to do it, and the sleep still totally sucked (~3 hours, plus these drugs don't give you as good of a sleep as a natural one). but even 3 hours of bad sleep is a notable improvement over spending every second of the weekend awake, which is what would happen to me at internationals. the bigger the tournament, the more stress it would place on me and the worse i would sleep, i guess. my best sets of 2014 were played at these regional-sized tournies, but the sleep deprivation was still killing me at all of them.

i used to only have to worry about not sleeping at tournaments, but in mid-february of this year things became life-ruining. i started to stay up entire nights at my own house. it started out only happening on some nights, but the chances of it happening continued increasing and increasing until i reached the point i'm at now - i stopped sleeping completely.  it's actually impossible for me to fall asleep currently without pills. i take ambien every night and get 4 hours of awful quality sleep with it. tons of other drugs like trazodone, restoril, hydroxyzine, allergy medications etc don't work at all. i haven't had a good night's sleep since february or march...

i still went to tournaments throughout 2014 pretty much praying that i'd get lucky and sleep at them - it never happened. i also went bc i felt a lot better back then than i do now because i used to sleep on the weekdays leading up to a tournament - now i don't sleep at all.

it's a very depressing situation and it's affecting more than just smash; i'm not really making any life progress because i can't function like this. my friendships are being affected because i don't feel like seeing my friends on days when i feel horrible (most days). the lack of sleep also makes me irritable and not my usual self.

the problem almost surely stems from me having a brain that just doesn't calm down anymore. i'm a very stressed person in general who overthinks things/dwells on things. it feels like my brain is in fight-or-flight mode all the time. it's obviously stress-related since it used to only happen at tournaments. 20XX is honestly more than just a meme, it's pretty much a reflection of how i think lol. and i think me being a perfectionist to an insane degree has a lot to do with me suffering from this stress/insomnia. if i could just be more carefree, i'd probably sleep.

i've tried everything i can think of. all the drugs i mentioned above + other vitamins/supplements, going to the gym, meditating, getting sunlight in the morning, shutting off electronics before bed.... no results. i've been going back to the gym/working harder than i did when i went before + giving meditation a 2nd shot as of this past week, but yeah no improvement so far. still, i'll gladly hear out any advice you guys have for me -- i have nothing to lose. and i just wanted to say thanks in advance to those who try to help for having my back. i've always really tried to be the pro who plays friendlies with everyone who asks me to + responds to everyone who messages me on facebook. the only reason i haven't been doing the latter in recent months is because of how stressed i've been/how bad my health has been. i'm sorry for that. i just haven't been myself lately.

incase anyone's wondering, i've seen doctors. there's a huge shortage of sleep doctors and getting appointments with them can be ridiculous. just a few days ago i finally saw the sleep doctor i waited 3 months to see, only for her to tell me that i have to wait another 2 months to have a sleep study done LOL.

but yeah a lot of people were worried that i was quitting. i would never quit this game; i've dedicated my entire life to it. but that isn't to say that i'm not done for, because as long as this persists, i don't stand a chance. i'll probably be at EVO just because it's EVO; it would be my first tournament in like 2 months. don't expect much since i'm not expecting to get any sleep. =/ probably gonna go back on hiatus after it's over with until this resolves since tournaments just aren't enjoyable experiences when you feel the way i do. i really do want to be an active top player again more than anything - not being able to compete in SSBM has made me realize how much of my life it used to be. i don't have much to stand for outside of who i am within this game. so yeah, i'm doing everything i can to get to the bottom of this and come back. just wanted to inform everyone of what's going on; thanks for reading.