There’s a lump in my throat as I write this message, and whilst it may be the second time, it isn’t any easier. In fact, perhaps just because the pain is fresh, but making this decision felt far more complicated and confusing than the first time around. From the title of this post you can probably tell I’ve come to my decision at long last and that is to move on from DARP.
There were many good moments of my return and I did strongly hope I’d want to stay – there is still uncertainty in my mind as a write this, and I worry I’ll regret it in a week or two – but DARP just simply isn’t the place for me anymore. For months now I’ve wanted this decision to be clear and solid, to be permanent, but neither choice (stay or leave) felt that way. I’ve been stuck in this sort of illogical paradox where I don’t want to leave but don’t want to stay either. But today I just…I’m accepting that it may not be the right choice, but it’s the one I’m going with and the one that brings me most peace right now.
Throughout my entire trial I’ve been struggling with the mixed emotions DARP was giving me - guilt over leaving originally, grief over my old characters, loneliness and confusion as I try to fit back into a world where characters and users have progressed and moved on. I did solve a number of the problems, with the amazing help of various people, but…it hasn’t been enough. The remaining blockages aren’t DARP related, the issues that remain are closer linked to my own real life issues. It isn’t anything bad about DARP or the people here, this is entirely down to me and how I want to spend my time and live my life right now. And I’m not saying that as a shameful way to beat myself up or place blame on myself, this decision isn’t a reckless choice I’ve made on a particularly bad day, it’s just what my heart is telling me right now.
I want you to know that in general I’m feeling okay. Honestly. I’ve switched to a different anti-depressant lately and my days are on average feeling so much brighter and easier. There’s still a whole bunch of issues I need to sort out and my life is nowhere near perfect, but I’m starting to do okay. The strength it took to make this decision and how I’m handling with it proves to me that I am growing.
While my time on DARP hasn’t always been positive or productive, I don’t really regret any of my time here (in my initial time or this return) and I’d never take back joining in the first place. Perhaps the only thing I’d change would be me leaving back in April 2016, or at least the sudden and unhelpful way I did it (unhelpful to me and others). Maybe things would be different right now if I hadn’t, if I’d stuck it out and stayed with the characters I loved…but it’s no use wondering that now.
DARP has taught me so many things, from little bits of Harry Potter trivia, to complex life lessons about friendships and love and family and so much more. I feel it’s helped me to be a better writer, and without a doubt a better and stronger person.
The help that people have given me has been invaluable, from those who welcomed me to the wiki all those years ago, to the people putting up with me during my miserable periods, and more recently the amazing users trying to help me settle back in during my trial and giving me support and advice. I was going to pick out individuals to praise, but I realise that would take too long. I’m sure they know who they are. If you’ve spoken to me at all during my recent trial then I am honestly thankful for that and appreciated it so much. Honestly, just thank you to this entire community and the people here, both real and fictional ;)
If anyone wants to keep in touch, which I would be most delighted at, just let me know! I’ll try to find a way to get my email address or Facebook name to you (I didn’t want to post it for obvious reasons). Either way, I won’t forget you and how amazing you have been.
But to DARP as a whole, I think this shall be my last ever visit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy about that, I’m not skipping off into the distance saying “so long suckers!” but…I feel it’s what I need to do. I’m deleting my bookmarks, I’m closing the curtains and I’m letting my memories here rest in peace.
I need to teach myself how to move on from something that I once loved. Perhaps my decision to return only made that entire process worse because now the wounds are fresh again, but I suppose that now I’ve had chance to clean some things up and the question of ‘should I return’ will no longer be viable, because I tried it and it didn’t work. Even if I did decide to extend my trial further, I fear that decision would always have followed me.
Honestly, just the moment I decided to leave filled me with peace, even though this is sad and difficult. I’m no longer on a knife-edge or constantly questioning how I feel about here.
I wish you all the best for the future, I do truly love and respect you all so much. Oh, my characters (Anna and Halley) can either be deleted or placed for adoption, if anyone happened to like them. Everyone is free to use any of my old code or anything that they’d like, no need to get in touch and ask permission :)
And…I guess that’s all I can think to say right now - there's so much more I want to say, so much that it's all tangled and garbled in my mind. I want to end this on a positive, so just...thank you everyone, for being so awesomely wonderful and unbelievably kind and amazing :)