Daily Archives: February 26, 2013

On Gaming

I’m bemused that even thinking about trying to explain this fatigues my poor bipolar brain… ah well. Hopefully I can hit a few of the key points!

Firstly, I’ve been a gamer since I was 3 or 4. I remember waking up before everyone else to play Atari during G.I. Joe (as my parents didn’t permit me to watch it for some reason that I cannot recall). I had a crush on Link as a little girl, and used to tug my ears to try to make them pointier so I could go to Hyrule and adventure with him. I had a Nintendo Power subscription, a Game Boy, the works. It broke my heart when Nintendo moved away from real gamers to casual gamers, because it was not a road I could follow them on anymore (not to denigrate casual gaming; I tried to stay loyal to my first console love and got dumped). PC gaming and I started our love affair in the early 90s with Wolfenstein 3D and the first Civilization, and continues to be a vital part of my daily life.

In short – I love games, and they love me. But I came to a realization lately — they are filling the gap where most people would say… climb mountains and achieve things. That isn’t to lament lost time, ’cause it has been time well spent and well enjoyed. It has helped to keep me sane over the past 17 years of questionable health, both mental (bipolar) and physical (???).

You see, I take commitments very seriously. If I say I am going to do something, I expect myself to do it and do it well. So while there are people who were impressed with me finishing NaNoWriMo, I only even gave it a go because I knew it was within my abilities and spoonage to pull it off… or at least, strongly suspected it was going to be possible, a high enough chance to warrant giving it a go. But for the most part, I cannot and have not been able to count on my brain with its bipolar or my body with its… whatever the hell… to hold together for any meaningful commitment to a task. Gaming, even the open-ended sort I prefer, gives a steady sense of minor accomplishment; I might not get the endorphin buzz off of it, but it’s something to fill my time that feels vaguely productive and vaguely fun.

Anyways, it’s better than drinking and doing drugs, ha ha. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t try to get out of the house and try new things and meet new people. I’m just grateful that it’s something that helps me cope. And as I said yesterday, coping -is- the name of the game.

<3

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Poison Rain- a post about bipolar, panic, and self loathing

It’s 4:37 am. I woke up at 4 am to the sound of pounding rain and wind. The first thing that popped into my head were the words “poison rain”. I LOVE rain. Hell, my daughter’s middle name is Rain. But there’s a difference between types of rain. Warm summer rain is blissful. Cold winter rain is harsh. Poisonous. It chills you to the bone and erodes at the warmth.

Bipolar and panic are the same way.

When manic or in a neutral holding patter, being bipolar isn’t all that bad. Like a warm rain, it makes you feel hopeful and good and you can almost harness happiness like catching a drop of rain in your palm.

A functional panic can be your body’s way of warning you to be more careful, more wary, it can signify nervous anxiety for something new that is not entirely a bad thing.

Flipside….

Bipolar in its depressive or coming unhinged state…pure poison rain.

Panic in its most extreme, when the world around you begins to spin, and every fight or flight instinct your reptilian brain possesses all start firing at the same time for not legitimate reason…poison rain.

I am feeling the poison rain vibe today.

Yesterday was…Eh. I managed to fall on the snow and bruise a knee, then I sat down in a chair and bashed the back of my head, leaving a goose egg. I was not born with patience or an inherent grace.

The session with the counselor was more productive than usual. Upon learning of every shitty thing that’s happened in the last two months, she actually asked if I felt I was ready for work and if maybe I shouldn’t postpone the job search for awhile. That gave me a little breathing room. As did her not laughing at me or mocking me or berating me. Because I was fully prepared to just out and out tell her I was ready to quit therapy.

The shop was busy. He went out on a house call and I dealt with six customers in an hour. For that place, that is a whirlwind of activity. I liked being kept busy, but the panic was pretty harsh. When the walls feel like they are closing in and I can’t catch my breath…That’s a fleeing from the scene of the crime situation. It makes me very uneasy. I came home with a stomach ache from the stress.

It took a lot out of me. I was in bed before 8 pm.

Now…I am cold and the rain makes me feel colder and it just feels like it’s gonna be a poison day. I don’t want to go out in this shit. I don’t want to force myself into a shower then have to spend a half hour under a blanket getting my body temperature back up. I don’t want to deal with the laundry piling up and having to drag it out.

What I want to do is take a mental health day.

I won’t, but I want to.

I must tread carefully, though. On poison rain days, the ones inside my head, I run a high risk of a meltdown into tears or a fight or flight induced panic that results in me cursing and shrieking.

I told sunshine spewer that is something I want to work on. Keeping my cool in public. Let me melt down in private if I must, but I have got to learn to keep it together in front of others. Showing weakness to the kind of people I know is only arming them, sad statement that it is.

I also want to learn how to cut myself some fucking slack.

Because part of what makes the poison rain depression so much worse is the fact that I loathe myself so much for a lot of things that aren’t my fault. I didn’t ask for the bipolar and panic, and yet, I take absolute responsibility for it like it was a choice. And my own inability to kick its ass and come out on top make me hate myself and think my kid would be better off without a loser like me for a mom.

Gotta find a way to stop thinking that way. Gotta stop invalidating myself.

Really gotta get a heavy duty umbrella to withstand the torrential poison rains my own mind lets loose on me.