Lapras 100: Real Life Loss
Three months after writing my “Dratini 100” article, I hit level 40. I even threw a party and gave a speech — it was semi-epic. I claimed I would put “Pokémon Go Level 40” in my dating profile and also go back to having a real life. Well, the former did happen, but I still went about catching Pokémon and accidentally grinding for hours even when not necessary.
There is a Pokémon much rarer than the 100% Dratini and finally, after more than 11 months of playing Pokémon Go, I had a chance to catch one.
Last week, during the Fire and Ice Event, a 100% double ice move Lapras spawned close to where I live. I was super excited. A number of us had all been grinding together at our local spot and we all rushed over to catch it.
But three razz berries and great ultra ball throws later, my Lapras broke out of the ball, gave his last “fuck you” look, and bounced. I screamed.
As a level 40 player who has spent countless hours playing this game, I was devastated. It was a bad Pogo week — a perfect Blissey had run from me a few days before as well. Little did I know, I would also miss out on another perfect Dratini just two days after the Lapras ran from me. I also just missed out on a perfect Snorlax just before writing this — but it was way too far from where I am anyway.
And so fuck. Really fuck.
But the real story is that last week was a terrible week for me in “real” life. My family was affected by mental illness and was left grieving. I am unable to divulge all the details, but literally the worst possible thing happened. I don’t want to shy away from the word suicide, but it was even more complicated than just that. When I actually told people the shit that went down, most remarked, “I don’t know what to say.” There were no good words to be said.
I also was fighting with a boy. Nothing really serious had happened between us, but it was enough to make me feel like shit. I don’t always open up to someone in an intimate sense, so when I do and it doesn’t work out, I’m always be a bit disappointed. I guess he was not a 100 percent Dratini for me.
Pokémon, on the other hand, was supposed to be my happy distraction — a hobby of sorts. You’d think it was definitely something to do to lessen the feeling of grief and loss. Yet, it just made me feel worse. And I had to question myself about why I felt so crappy over losing out on something that was only real on my phone. I mean, I’m level 40 — I played a shit ton.
I really felt like quitting the game. What was the point when so many other people would cheat and have multiple 100% Lapras and I, with one chance a year, would have none? The only way I wouldn’t care was if I didn’t care about the game at all, which was difficult since I’d spent so much time on it.
I told my teenaged nephews about how the perfect Pokémon eluded me. They comforted me, telling me it wasn’t real. The kids who had just lost someone dear to them in real life comforted me over my virtual losses. In the end, we all laughed together. Of course, my Pokémon heart still aches, but I have to remember what’s important in life.
It’s always almost cliche to remind others to embrace the ones they love. But there have been several times in my life now when death has smacked me in the face. It’s easy to forget that it happens and it always comes as a shock. Suddenly, one day someone you love just isn’t there any more.
I may never get another chance at a 100 percent Lapras. I’ll always remember how it ran, but the point is, it won’t always matter. (But really Lapras, really?? Why did you run from me??)
I urge everyone out there who is suffering from depression to seek any means to treat it. You should never suffer in silence, even though I know myself have done so. It is painful and I know that sometimes it’s hard to believe anything will get better. And even if you feel alone and are physically alone, just remember you are not alone in your feelings. I felt that way this week — with death, breakup, car accident, and Pokémon running away — I really needed to sob. It was way too much. And it was too late to help the one we had lost.
But hey. Maybe one day Niantic will implement protein and iron so I can turn my 98’s into 100 percent gold. So, at least, there is hope for that. Until then, don’t forget to love.
Asian Pizza Monster
Your Heartbroken Pokemon Go Level 40