Things on the XIIIth (Sorry, XXth): April 2019

Welcome to my monthly progress post that (usually) happens on the 13th, which marks the start of a new fiscal month here on Livid Lightning (but not this month). Get it? XIII is my favourite number… because I like Final Fantasy XIII a lot? Jeez… tough crowd.

True story: The Final Fantasy games have taught me roman numerals. That’s how I know 20 is XX (I’m right, right??). Not sure how useful that knowledge is in today’s world, but oh well. Anyway, here’s the late edition of my blog’s fiscal month update! Happy 4/20 to all my stoner friends out there too, by the way. Not my jam, to be honest, but if it makes you happy, blaze it responsibly, eh!

Things on the XXth

Blogging Things

Thank you so much for all the support on my meltdown post. I’m sorry it took so long to find the words to respond to everyone. Things are going better now, for sure. Some time away from mainstream social media was hard, but necessary to focus on real world Ellen’s drama. The stupidest of things were triggering my feelz there for a while there. Sigh. I’ll babble in more detail in the ‘Life & Other Things’ section of this post about how things are going now. It feels good to vent about stuff.

In other blogging news, I’m not planning on going anywhere without a fight first, but I don’t have any solid plans for new posts at this time. I’ll try to pump out the #MaybeInMarch results post at some point before the calendar rolls over to May (already… yikes). Other than that, your guess is as good as mine for my upcoming content! 🙂

I would also like to extend a super huge thank you to my 3 new Patrons:

  1. The Shameful Narcissist
  2. Matt of Normal Happenings
  3. RIN✧DES

You guys are amazing! I’ll find a way to thank you all properly once I get my internet self fully back together again.

Finally, I tweaked my sidebar again. I’ve added a Trophy Shelf to display all my virtual achievements/blogger badges, and a Contact Me page.

Blog Stats
Total Views: 8,413 (+781)
Total Likes: 1983 (+95)
WordPress Followers: 195 (+13)

Things Written Here

Things Written Elsewhere

  • AmbiGaming Article: Year Walk’s Bizarre Terror – Some babblings of mine about the ancient Swedish ritual that this quirky little horror game is based on.

XIII Random Cool Things Written By Other Bloggers

Alas, I don’t have the time or energy to obsessively read blogs like I did in the past. But here’s a random sampling of cool posts I was able to read lately. Keep being awesome, everyone!

I) The 2019 Normal Happenings Blogging Awards! –  Wow! What an award show post. Matt went all out with this one! And so much better than those overrated Grammy, Emmy, Academy award show thingys, in my opinion. And I’m not just saying that because I got a few sweet blog badges from the event… honest.

II) An Inspirational Bolt of Lightning(Ellen) – Ouch! So sorry to hear about the Evil Wizard, Esq.’s delinquent technology that cost him all of the save datas… seriously, yikes. I’m glad my defeatist backlog stance helped ease the frustration. Thanks for the shout-out and for not burning down my village!

III) Hamsters: Celebrating The Odd History of These Adorable Idiots – D’aww! I had hamsters when I was a kid and they are pretty badass (their lifespans are sadly too short). Professional Moron wrote one heck of a post about the little guys. I guess I relate to them more than I thought: “It’s really important to stress that hamsters value time alone, as if you keep two adults in a cage together they’ll invariably fight each other to the death.”

IV) Paradigm: an unlikely hero – I don’t remember ever hearing about this game until this epic post by Kim of Later Levels! With all my life drama going on right now, this sounds like the fun gaming experience I need. I was totally sold after I read the protagonist has a “self-depreciating” sense of humour.

V) Announcing The Second Fabulousening: Blogovision 2019! (WE WANT YOU TO TAKE PART!) – WHOA!! This community collaboration brought to you by Chris and Pix (that has a nice ring to it, eh) sounds badass. Definitely check it out. Not sure if I can get my brain to work for this, but I’ll try to come with something before the May 10th deadline.

VI) Monday Memories: Ace Up My Sleeve – ZOMG! I had no idea the awesome Kris P. over at Double Jump was an ace too. I loved reading her post talking about how representation is so freaking important. Very relatable! Ace puns are indeed the best.

VII) The Broken Rose: Chapter 14 – Lies of Omission – Always happy to see when the Shameful Narcissist posts a new chapter of any of her awesome fanfiction works. You can really feel how special Aeris and Sephiroth are to her in this one! Take heed of the content warnings, though.

VIII) REVIEW – Phanteks Halos Digital RGB Frame – I’m not publicly going into more detail about this yet, but RGB LEDs have been a huge part of my real life lately *mysterious*. Anyway, I always enjoy Killer Robotics’ tech reviews! This one is a great read with pretty pictures of the lighting in action.

IX) The Console Wars reignited – Ugh. Console Wars crap is one of my biggest pet peeves, and a huge reason why I avoid mainstream/toxic gaming sites these days. Who cares which console is “best”? Play what you love and don’t judge others. Jeez. Strange Girl Gaming’s article on the issue was well done!

X) From Book Blogger To Book Writer – Woot! I love success stories of aspiring writers who become published authors. Congrats to Tessa and her book, Tales of Lunis Aquaria, which has been added to my TBR list.

XI) A Requiem for the Fallen – Aether wrote a heartwarming post about the sad loss of many great bloggers in this wonderful community lately. I consider blogger buddies real friends so it’s hard when someone I’ve connected with decides to throw in the towel. Real life responsibilities must always come first.

XII) Do You Miss Video Game Instruction Manuals? – The Green Dude brought back the special memories with this one! I hate how modern games don’t have manuals (sometimes not even physical editions). I don’t really care about the game-playing instructions aspect of them, you know? Seeing all the neat game art was my favourite part of flipping through those lil’ manuals, eh.

XIII) Metacognition: Looking at the Future – I’m still in serious denial about Athena saying goodbye to blogging for a bit, so her latest post about the future of gaming was an awesome read! There’s always hope for the future.

Gaming Things

Games Completed So Far in 2019: 4

Games Newly Finished


Games Actively Played

Fallout 4

Things on the XXth - Fallout 4
I love bobbleheads!!

Well, I didn’t finish Fallout 4 in March like I had planned (no surprise there). BUT after having the game since launch day, I’m proud to say I’ve completed a playthrough and seen the credits roll. Woot! I’m going for the Platinum trophy now so that wasn’t good enough for me to call this game done. I’ve collected all the bobbleheads, done all the Railroad & Institute quests, and the most annoyingly glitchy trophy ever: get a large settlement to 100% Happiness (that was a serious pain, let me tell you).

All that’s left is for me to get to level 50 on my current file (49 now and running Minutemen quests with my dude Preston), and then reload a save file to finish the Brotherhood of Steel quest line. So freaking close….

Games On the In-Progress Back Burner

I’ll get back to these great games… eventually.

  • Chrono Trigger
  • The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt
  • The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty
  • Dark Souls

Gaming Plans

Must… get… 16th Platinum trophy from Fallout 4.

Collecting Things

New Swag

Daisy, Piranha Plant, King K. Rool, Ken, and Young Link Amiibo

Things on the XXth Amiibo
I can never have too many Amiibo!

Amazon Japan thankfully came through for me! I was worried when Piranha Plant and K. Rool didn’t show up last month, but they were thankfully shipped out with the latest batch. Amazon Japan freaking rocks! They are cheaper and have faster shipping than stores here in Canada, believe it or not.

New Swag Plans

Keeping myself in check! I’m planning a big trip in reality in July (my first time outside of Canada) so I’m only wasting my monies on Amiibo until then.

Reading Things

Books Read in 2019: 6 (+2)

Newly Read

Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath

Rejected Princesses

Loved this book! Learning about the brave, badass, and deplorable females forgotten to mainstream history was awesome.

The Tell-Tale Brain by V.S. Ramachandran

The Tell-Tale Brain

This book was… wow. Blew my mind, man. The author is a neuroscientist who uses disorders he’s encountered to hypothesize how different aspects of our brains work. We really are just walking piles of biological circuits.

Reading Now


Reading Plans

Uh… I’ve gotten so many good recommendations lately. I’ll just pick a book at random when the reading mood strikes me again.

Watching Things

Movies Watched in 2019: 3 (+0)

Newly Watched


TV Shows Watched in 2019: 1 (+0)

Newly Watched


Watching Stuff Plans

I’m going to try really hard to watch the new-ish Wonder Woman movie (finally). Other than that I’m so not into watching stuff these days. I cancelled my Netflix until BoJack Horseman Season 6 comes out.

Life & Other Things

Please note: This section contains overly personal details about medical drama and a look into my mental health struggles and experiences in therapy. Feel free to skip this if you don’t want to read about it! I keep these things locked up in reality so it’s nice to open up on the internet.

Medical Anxiety Levels Stabilized… For Now

Yeah…. so as a follow-up to my meltdown post, the appointment with my eye doctor left me with absolutely no freaking answers, and more scary “what ifs” for my chaotic mind to run away with. Basically, the visual anomaly in my left eye is stable and unexplained. My eye doctor says we still don’t know a ton about how the brain and eyes work together, so there’s that, but at least there’s nothing obvious causing it at the moment. It could be because a nerve in my left eye is twisted a bit weird (which was discovered during a test that day), or it could be from the brain lesions that were found last year.

I’m going to be brought back every 6 months to have my vision problem checked on (and I made sure I made the next appointment before I left… I’m NOT falling through any more Nova Scotia medical system cracks, thank you). Now I’ve got brain lesions and a vision problem that are being monitored. Fun times… The good news is that if something starts to show up, it should be caught early and treatment will be more effective. The bad news is I get to drive myself crazy with anxiety and constant worry about when/if things will get worse, or if MS symptoms will eventually show up.

This is probably going to sound really dark (trigger warning?), but the thought is actually quite comforting to me during all this: No matter what the hell happens to me in this life, I’m going to die someday. What happens between now and the end is kind of irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, no? I’m going to work on becoming a better person and living my life to the fullest. And to fully upgrade to Ellen Version 3.0, I gotta get to a place where I truly enjoy my life again.

The Wonders of Therapy

Yes! Thank the Maker, I am getting regular professional help by a trained (and awesome) therapist these days. I didn’t realize how freaking amazing that support feels, either. I’ve been struggling with mood swings and social dysfunction for my entire life (this whole MS/vision scare is just the latest bump on my deserted dirt road, trust me). Clinging onto video games, the internet world, and Lightning Farron can only be coping mechanisms for so long, apparently. My toxic thought patterns need to seriously change if I ever want to break out of this self-destruction cycle for good.

Did I mention my therapist was awesome? Truth be told, before my first session I was expecting someone stone-cold clinician to throw some pills at me to make my sad feelz go away (a reason I was reluctant to seek help for so long). But in reality, my experiences in therapy have been wonderful and confidence-boosting. My therapist is working with me, not against me. Just having her caring 3rd party, and impartial, perspective on the personal issues that have been driving me crazy lately is just… amazing. She doesn’t even hide her notes from me! She writes them on a big white board so we can work together to figure me out. I’ve been to 3 sessions so far, and I seriously can’t wait for the next one in mid May.

It’s looking like I possibly have Borderline Personality Disorder, which could be the root cause of my depression, anxiety, and social issues. We decided together that this thing called Dialetical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is the best way to go for a treatment plan. This type of therapy is designed to give me new skills to cope with my chaotic emotions and (hopefully) eliminate my, um, tendency to utterly destroy personal relationships with the rare humans I love and click with. I’ve lost so, so many great friends over the years.

Things on the XXth 2
This is my IRL weapon triangle now! A shiny new tool in my coping toolbox thanks to my therapist.

My homework before our next session is to capture the thoughts that trigger me and map them out on paper. Then we will discuss them. A good example of a toxic thought pattern I frequently get stuck in is “I’m a burden”. This almost always occurs whenever a friend is nice enough to invite me to hang out with them. This thought triggers sad, angry, lonely, hopeless emotions, which in turn makes me behave like an ass (going silent or rudely abandoning the social situation are my usual actions). To my friend, it seems like I’m being cold (i.e., a bitch) and/or not interested in hanging out with them so they won’t invite me again (then I feel abandoned which is a whole other toxic thought process of mine).

When a destructive thought creeps up, my therapist advised me to think about whether it’s a solid fact or just a thought. Would my friend have invited me out in the first place if they thought I was a burden? Most likely not! “I’m a burden”, therefore, is not a fact. This realization helps keep my triggered feelings from becoming overwhelming enough to spill over into bad behaviors. A simple yet effective technique I’m learning how to wield now!

Yep. These toxic thoughts (Distorted Automatic Thoughts are the technical name for these, by the way) have no logical basis (most of the time) and have been ingrained in my brain from bad past experiences (like a childhood filled with being bullied so much I felt like less than nothing for most of my young adult life.. ahem). It’s going to take some serious mental effort to change my ways. My therapist has told me she can see I’m trying hard, plus my super self-awareness is a serious asset to me. I can definitely do this. I will be a better person! I’m just going to need a ton of coffee and lots of alone time while I deal with the tidal wave of old feelings I need to get over. So tired…

Personal babbling done! If anyone out there reading this is struggling with mental health issues, see a good therapist if you can. It might not seem like something that will help, but trust me, it will likely be the best thing that ever happened to you. You are amazing and we all deserve to live happy lives on this chaotic rock that’s hurtling through space. If we focus on the bad things all the time, we completely forget to be thankful for all the good things we are blessed to have.

There you have it! My monthly progress post thingy. What’s anyone reading this up to these days? Comments section is down below if you want to share your thoughts on things!

Thanks for reading!

If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!

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Published by

"Lightning" Ellen

My name is Ellen, and I've been babbling on the interwebz about video games for over 15 years. Video games themselves have been a large part of my life since 5-year-old me first encountered a SNES in a children's hospital. Fun times... Video game escapism is still the #1 coping mechanism for adult me these days.

35 thoughts on “Things on the XIIIth (Sorry, XXth): April 2019”

  1. Fallout 4 is awesome! I didn’t get a chance to participate in Maybe in March formally because I wasn’t really in a gaming mood, but I’m participating belatedly by playing The Witcher 3 finally, which is probably the game I have been criticized most for not playing to this point. Also, it goes with my goal of trying to actually finish all of the games my husband has bought me over the years…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear ya! March ended up being a bad gaming mood month for me too. I’m almost finished the Witcher 3 and I started it in October… it’s a long one. Sounds like your husband is an ally to your backlog, haha. Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really glad that you’re feeling better and congrats on beating Fallout 4! Did you enjoy it? I think it is pretty good but I don’t think I liked quite as much as New Vegas which I did platinum. I played some of the DLC for Fallout and felt like I had had enough at that point. With that said, some of the DLC is pretty cool so if you decide to play it, I think you’ll have a good time 🙂 I look forward to more updates in the near future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I really liked Fallout 4 and I’m happy to report I Platinumed it last night. Woot. I’ve yet to play New Vegas but I heard it’s awesome. I’m either gonna wrap up the Witcher 3 or Chrono Trigger next. Hm,

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome back! Vvvwelcome! Positive ship on many things and excellence on the therapy. Think I could do with some of that. I had CBT a while back, but I could do with a proper delve into what makes my brain work. The results? Terrifying for humanity, I’m sure.

    Nature and pets are a good remedy too, of course. Spend time with the cats. Bond with the trees. Go full hippy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, good Moron! Ah, I heard good things about CBT too, eh. I’m sure humanity is pretty scared of my brains inner workings as well, haha.

      My cats have been su-purr supportive, which is nice! Nature rocks.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yep, your therapist does sound truly awesome. I’m so glad you found someone you’re comfortable with and are doing well!

    Thank you so much for the mention too. There’s plenty of humour and sarcasm in Paradigm so it might be one you enjoy. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Just having someone I feel comfortable explaining literally everything bothering me to is so freaking awesome.

      No problem at all! I finished Fallout 4 last night and Paradigm is downloading from Steam as I type this comment… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Awesome so far!! Just got a few hours in (boo… life responsibilities) but I’ve legit smiled a few times which is actually hard to make me do these days, haha. I’m trying to buy space dust from the guy who’s “not” a drug dealer. Wow… 😂


  5. Glad to see you back and making personal progress!

    I think understanding a framework, and actually being able to verbalize/ visualize / and contextualize things that were a jumble of feeling really helps one break them down into manageable pieces. There is nothing wrong in asking for help, and is very humbling that you would share your journey with other people. The more people are open an honest, the more other people around them can learn, empathize, and grow as well. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂

      Exactly! Having a professional’s perspective is an amazing aid for that. I don’t say much in reality, but I do like opening up on the internet, haha. If just one person relates to this in someway and feels less alone, that makes me happy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad to hear you’ve got a good therapist and are finding good ground working on your issue’s, gotta agree with you on the game manuals I miss the artwork and character background stuff you used to get in them too I picked up Super Mario Bros 2 a month or so ago it’s unboxed but has the booklet and there’s some interesting character background stuff in there hope you enjoy your trip outside Canada when it happens oh and I hope you enjoy Wonder Woman when you watch such a great movie in my opinion. 👊⚡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😀 Game manuals seriously need to make a comeback. Back in the day, the booklets told most of the story since there was limited space on the cartridge itself. How far games have come. Can;t wait to watch Wonder Woman 👊⚡


  7. Hi there! Just wanted to send a quick thank you for linking to my post. 🙂 I’m glad you’re feeling better, and kudos for your therapist for being so awesome! I also hope that you really enjoy Wonder Woman — it’s one of my favorites, lol.

    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem! Thank you for writing the post and for all the kind words 😀 I always get excited when I see another awesome ace out there in the community, haha.

      Take care, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad to hear the therapy is helping. I just finished a course that I found moderately helpful, though it was all delivered online through text chat and I can’t help but feel it would probably have had a greater impact if I’d had in-person sessions. It was free on the health service, though, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

    With regard to “mind management”, the book “The Chimp Paradox” is worth a read. It sets out an interesting model for compartmentalising thoughts, determining whether you are responding to stimuli with an emotional, irrational, animalistic part of your brain or the higher functions and rationality of your “human” brain, and how to determine whether the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing are the results of “hard-wired” assumptions that you can’t change, or less “solid”, more malleable concepts that you have just come to believe for one reason or another.

    The premise of it all is kind of “cutesy” but the metaphors used work, and since starting to read it — as well as going through the course of therapy — I’ve been able to process certain things a bit better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That reminds me I took a mental health first aid course last year and found most of the info useful to my situation, as well as gaining knowledge to help others.

      I’ve added that book to my reading list! Wow. That really sounds like something I need to read ASAP. Thank you for everything 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m really glad you’ve found such good support! Therapy is a process, and change is never as drastic or as immediate as we’re hoping for, but it’s an important process and one that can get you where you need to go. It sounds like it’s doing good for you. Hoping the best!

    And thanks for the shout out there. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad things are looking up, your therapist sounds awesome too 🙂
    I’ve still not finished Fallout 4, I’m probably going to start the Tales of Vesperia definitive edition instead: Been waiting for the remake since I realised the original English version cut things out 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Since I finished my assignment I’ve done nothing but play games xD. Vesperia is so awesome, I forgot how long it is. Over 60 hours and not done, although I keep getting distracted from the main story 😀 Probably going to dig out Tales of Symphonia after that!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so happy that you’re feeling better and more stable since the previous post (again, I’m so late to the party due to my recent absence!) Your therapist sounds amazing. ❤ I'm glad you found someone like that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Two more books on my TBR list and I definitely bought Tale of Lunis Aquaria because indie author support what what! I should follow her actually but I liked her post.

    I’m happy things have (sorta) stabilized with the vision issue, though I inwardly sighed at the “doctors don’t really know how the eyes and brain work together.” I mean I get that, but you’d think it would be the subject of a lot of study since humans are generally visual creatures, but what do I know. I’m honestly fascinated that images land on your retina upside down and it’s your brain that interprets them and tells “you” what you’re seeing. Essentially we could all be collectively hallucinating and there’s no way of knowing.

    It sounds like they’re treating your lesions and whatnot like some of my health problems. Check it out every six months and if things get work make the next move. You’d think by near 2020 we’d be doing more than that, but here we are.

    Your therapist sounds freaking ace and that’s exactly how therapy has always been described to me. It’s more like you have a guide through past issues, and a lot of what you’re saying resonates with me. I’ll think “Why do these people want to hang out with me?” Though I kind of made it a game of “I MUST be so awesome,” which is part and parcel of my TSN persona, but I still have that fear. Who thought navigating the landscape of your own brain could be so treacherous? I think self-awareness isn’t praised enough, though I don’ t know if it’s inherent in some people or can be taught. More research necessary…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read Tales of Lunis Aquaria! I really liked it and yay for supporting new authors 🙂

      Now that my anxiety has toned down a ton, the vision issue isn’t causing me too much worry. I hope my brain can figure out how to edit it out entirely soon, haha. It’s scary how much real time photo-shopping our brains do. Reality is merely our perceived illusion.

      As long as whatever this is (if it’s indeed something) gets caught early.. I swear, if they tell me they missed something down the road I’m gonna be upset. I am so grateful for my therapist!! Self-awareness is key to overcoming many mental health issues. My therapist told me the hardest part of working with her clients is teaching them self-awareness. She said I came to her with loads of it already so this should be a piece of cake for her, haha. She’s focusing on giving me more tools to deal with my drama, which is fantastic!

      Oh and TSN is most definitely one of the most awesome people I know 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even if I don’t read everything I buy (right away) I try to support indie authors! I was just watching a video about how no one really has blue eyes; it’s all about the amount of melanin in the front layer (stroma) and our perceptions. I think I also read somewhere that our vision is blue shifted (?) aka we take into account the blue sky when we perceive color because we evolved on a planet with a blue sky. I am probably completely wrong about this or at least misguided, but the perception thing makes my head spin.

        D’awwww *blush*

        Liked by 1 person

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