Podcast Interregnum

This weekend sees the “Finale” of Roleplay Rescue Season 11 and then we enter into another interregnum. It’s an uncomfortable time for me because, in all honesty, when I recorded that final episode… well, I was done. I felt exhausted and fed up with the whole thing. I tried to cover it in the recording but I’m not sure I succeeded. I thought I might take a stab at explaining why.

When I started the podcast, back in 2018, I was angry. I was frustrated (aka angry) at the fact that people kept leaving the hobby. I voiced that anger and tried to be constructive but, at the beginning, it was mostly catharsis. As time went by and listeners accumulated, things started to change.

First, I realised that mostly I was losing players because I was being a crap Gamemaster – the label I assigned myself was the World’s Flakiest GM. In response, I started to look for solutions and explored the whole theory of RPG gaming as much as I could locate and digest. Mostly the effect was to convince me about just HOW bad a GM I had been. In recent weeks, I finally realised that the biggest mistake of all was to forget I had a gaming group that met to play D&D.

In time, however, I began to surface deeper underlying causes for my GMing flakiness. First, a listener pointed me towards Barbera Sher’s work on Scanners. Then I became seriously ill with a mental health crisis caused by GAD and Social Anxiety. Eventually, therapy revealed that I am very likely ADHD. All the work I have done through two years has helped me to see that my neurology affects my thinking, which in turn affects my emotions and actions.

I’ve been changing my mind in a very literal sense. Rewiring my neurology slowly over time has proven slow, difficult, and yet productive. The work continues for me to figure out how to, on the one hand, adapt to the reality of who I am but, on the other hand, seek to change those aspects of my thinking that are most unhelpful. My typical process involves cycling through various stages of thought and being which, after inevitable relapses into old behaviours, slowly lifts me up.

At the end of this past year, as I recorded Season 11 Episode 26, I was exhausted. I had been unwell for several weeks and succumbed to bedridden flu-like sickness and a slow house-bound recovery up until the New Year. I had given up all my gaming in October and suffered depression from the loss of companionship and play through until December. Frankly, I was a glorious mess.

As the New Year chimed and I began to push forward into trying to recover the Saturday Night Roleplay group plus revive my solo gaming, things have felt better. Even though old challenges reoccur, I have been emerging anew back into my hobby. But the podcast is on hold right now.

Right now, I don’t know what to talk about on the podcast. It’s as though I feel there’s nothing more to say. I am pretty sure that’s not true but it feels that way nonetheless.

Writing this post is partly to explain the silence that arrives after Saturday’s episode airs. It’s also an invitation to hit me up with stuff you’d like to hear me talk about. I can’t promise I’ll get back behind the mic anytime soon – because I am still exhausted – but it might encourage me to try.

To me that’s an irony: the podcast about rediscovering our lost roleplaying games hobby is out of things to say? I dunno. But I thought I owed it to listeners to not simply go dark.

Game on!

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