Two Months ago I wrote a post about Pokemon Go! and the benefits it has given me as an autistic adult. Now time has passed I wanted to reflect on how the game has become a part of my life and how it is continuing to help me through anxiety.
Pokemon has always been a huge part of my life and has helped me though a lot of things including playing on my DS while commuting to University and has been a part of my friendship groups interest for years. It made sense that Pokemon Go! would interest me (despite my scepticism at first) but I didn’t realise just how important it would be.
I have been considerably more active than I was before this game came out and I haven’t been having as bad anxiety as I normally would. Two months back and I wouldn’t have been able to go anywhere without needing to know a structured route where the toilets would be. That doesn’t happen half as much now and I have managed to fight back the unnecessary routine of constantly seeking toilets.
It has given me my spontaneity back to just get up and go somewhere without considering every possibility and then convincing myself I didn’t want to go anywhere. The game has given me a sense of freedom. By knowing its there I can use it to keep me distracted from worries and anxiety.
I have been meeting up with friends on a near daily basis and this hasn’t just helped my own mental health but also theirs. I spend a lot of time walking on nature trails (great for water types) which gets me fresh air and exercise. My free time has been changed and I spend more time out of the house.
Now I have returned from Manchester for the second time since Go’s release I have realised just how little anxiety I get from that journey. I still get a bit of anxiety and breaking the habit of the odd toilet stop probably wont happen anytime soon but it amazes me how my mental state has changed. It no longer seems like a huge challenge to get out into the world and engage with it and I couldn’t be happier.
For me, Pokemon Go! has given me my life back from the anxiety and depression that affects me. I can see this being a part of my life for some time to come and I will continue to play for as long as it makes me happy. To me it isn’t just a fad. It’s a way to return control into a world where I have little.