Recently I have fallen into depression, and I am one of those people that when I get that blue, I turn to baser things to distract my soul from whatever it is that is bothering me that badly. Some people turn to drugs; I turn to video games. I recently bought the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 ReMix and played through the first game and beat it (with a level 50 average party) in 18 hours–three hours short of a trophy. Most of you probably have no context for this, but any KH fanboys and girls know that this is a little hardcore. I did not put down this game aside when reminded to eat and sleep.

I’m not proud of this. I mean, yeah, I’m kind of proud of my skills as a gamer but I’m not proud that I skipped two meals and a vast amount of personal responsibility to play a game; I’m not proud that I relied on beating Heartless with the Keyblade to keep from crying (because yes, I can be a bit of a crybaby. At least I admit it).

According to The Pride Institute, LGBTQIA+ people are more likely to use drugs, have higher rates of substance abuse, and are more likely to continue drug abuse into later life. Unfortunately, they don’t say how much, though an older article from the Center for American Progress says “about 20-30 percent of gay and transgender” people use and abuse substances. The American Psychological Association states that LGBTQIA+  “appear to have higher rates of some mental disorders compared with heterosexuals, although not to the level of a serious pathology.” Mind you that, not only are these numbers outdated, but they only chronicle the abuse of substance, meaning hard drugs. But the human mind can become addicted to anything: sex, coffee, chocolate, eating, video games, alcohol, ice, carrots, the list is endless. If it exists, you can fill the empty void in your heart with it. But should you?

Now obviously, hard drugs are bad. If you haven’t done them, don’t. If you do them, I hope you seek help. Obviously, video games, coffee, sex, chocolate, and carrots aren’t bad, inherently. But there is always such a thing as too much of a good thing. So my advice to you, readers, is advice I’m trying myself to follow. Take things in moderation, or rather, try not to rely on material things. Stand on your own two feet. Your legs might be shaky at first; you may stumble, you may fall. But you will be stronger for it, and your world will start to become brighter.

Stay strong and stay golden, readers.