Monday, August 24, 2020

Pokemon for Pain: Finding Joy in a New Community After CRPS Diagnosis

Sometimes when living in constant pain, it becomes necessary to find a distraction from it. That is why I got into Pokemon games, to begin with. But, it goes deeper than this. You see, I found community and connection in a common interest. 

When I think about the people that have entered my life because of Pokemon, I see people who live with determination. People like Real Breaking Nate who are breaking down the barriers of anxiety by creating content in the Pokemon community. He doesn't just open cards, but he openly shares his personal struggles and triumphs! When I found Real Breaking Nate, it came at a time that I needed his energy the most. 

As some may know already, I was hit by a car in May of 2018. It pretty much turned my whole life upsidedown. I ended up going through not only losing the chance to serve my church, but also a debilitating medical condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. (CRPS). Shortly after an entire summer of physical therapy and a nerve decompression surgery, I found Real Breaking Nate on YouTube. 

Really tho, I liked Pokemon from the time Pokemon Go came out. I found that the card came became one of the very few things I could still enjoy. I needed that so bad, and I still do. We all need something that lights our fire. 

When I realized that I could help someone across the globe have a better day because of my videos, it gave me a purpose to create them. It went beyond just a fun hobby to taking the time to comment and engage with an amazing community of people who are looking out for each other.

When someone tells me that my wheelchair photo inspired them to spend time getting to know other people who use similar adaptive tools, it made my efforts worthwhile. I made a difference in that person's life that started with Pokemon. There is a general message of tolerance by seeking to understand one another in the community. It's a life lesson that can be taken from Pokemon. 

I met another early return missionary because of the weekly game nights I was attending locally before the COVID shut down. This also happened because I like Pokemon, Dominion, Magic the Gathering, and many other visual strategy games. Meeting amazing people in my journey is incredible! There is a determination to do your best in the community too. 

Strategy and sportsmanship along with a social outlet that I can participate in from a wheelchair really makes me miss our local game nights. I met so many cool people including another wheelchair user with cerebral palsy. Don't let that fool you though, he is incredibly smart! 

This post sponsored by: Do you Tech blog

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