As crazy as it may sound, I owe my sanity to a Beast Wars figure. It just so happens to be this guy, who isn’t really known for being tremendously cuddly.
Yep, I owe my sanity to Depth Charge. It’s an interesting story, if I do say so myself.
The year was 1998. I was in the last few weeks of “the Year of Hell”, which happened to be the twelve month period that brought my relationship with my ex to an end. Technically, the relationship had ended in October of the previous year, but I in my foolish loyalty gave him another chance. (Honestly, I shouldn’t have, as he had been unfaithful and learned nothing from his indiscretion.) I hadn’t spoken to my ex for the past two months, as he had stopped calling me and I simply didn’t want to talk to him. Any conversation we had ended in an argument or with him insulting one of my friends, which I couldn’t stand. Our last conversation ended with him saying that he was no longer friends with someone he had known for over a decade.
Upon hearing the news, I sank into a fairly deep depression. My friends were now splintered, scattered to the four winds. The group that I had known since high school was no more. Nothing would ever be the same again.
It was over. For good and all, it was over. I was devastated.
Although I had been collecting Beast Wars figures at the time, I quickly stopped. I didn’t head over to Walmart or Kmart to hunt down the newest Maximals or Predacons. Instead, I simply went to work, then went home. In the last few days of summer, I sequestered myself from pretty much everything that made me happy. I wasn’t living, just existing.
Then, on a chilly October evening, I decided to walk into my local Walmart. This was completely on a whim; although I had just gotten paid, I hadn’t really planned on looking for anything new. But on that night, I walked the toy aisles and spotted none other than Depth Charge. Without hesitation, I grabbed him, bought him, and took him home.
I was still staying with my parents at the time, so I took my new purchase to my bedroom, pulled him out of the bag, and with scissors in hand, said, “Let’s get you out of that prison, shall we?”
I froze. Because at that moment I realized that Depth Charge wasn’t the only one in a prison. I was in a cell of my own making, only no one was going to come along and set me free. I had to do it myself.
I slit the tape on his packaging, pulled him free of the mass of twist ties that held him down and transformed him, keeping him on my desk as a silent sentinel to watch over me, a reminder to myself that I had to move forward with my life.
I did. Holy Primus, I did.
In the span of two months, I went back to going out on a weekly basis, looking for new figures. I managed to get a computer for Christmas and got back online and reconnected with my cyber friends. I also reconnected with Prime, chatting about everything and nothing.
I went from treading water to actually living. It felt good. And I owed it all to Depth Charge.
I’ve often said that this fandom, this franchise, has given me so much that I almost can’t put it into words. I’ve made friends and family through this community. I’ve been able to see and do things at BotCon that I never thought I’d ever do. But most of all, this fandom picked me up right at the one time I needed it the most. When I hit my lowest point, when I believed I was drowning, a Maximal lifted me out from the depths and gave me a reason to keep going.
It’s not always about the toys. It’s so much more than that.