At least, it’s Mother’s Day//Mothering Sunday here in the United Kingdom. So don’t forget to pass on well-intended Hallmark greetings to your friends who fall into that category. ‘Cept for me, ’cause I’m scooting back to playing SimCity. Mmm, addictive…
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Posted in Read Along
Tagged gaming, me
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.
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It’s Christmas Eve, and yeah… not feeling it. I’m not sure how I feel about that either. I’m just… here. There are things that need opening, there’s a turkey that needs cooking, and I’m just sort of here. Lurking around the edges is a hefty dose of ‘What’s the freaking point to anything?’ as there has been for the last couple of weeks, but I continue to do my utmost to ignore the crap out of it.
Still, I’m not in a bad mood either. I’m aware that I’m slightly depressed, but I’m still enjoying things and not feeling too snappish; I guess that’s a minor improvement over yesterday? So maybe a little bit of the Christmas spirit is invading and brightening up my innards. Or that could be the chocolate chip cookies I baked, ha ha.
Anyways, back to Simming and crochet, and cursing my sore index finger. Heatherbat posted about a surreal new-to-Android thingie, and I jammed my finger slightly playing it on my husband’s phone (my phone apparently isn’t compatible). Maybe I’ll rub some Deep Heat on it, but really… I should probably quit typing and let the poor dear rest.
We are watching some Olympic matches today; it feels like we’ve not watched enough considering the fantastic coverage the BBC is providing. It’s nice to enjoy some sport, and to watch as the UK moves to what looks like a firm third in the medals table. Mainly, I’ve been perversely pleased that the abysmal NBC coverage is making many people I know back in the States question why they’re getting such a raw deal; I feel this might aid in more Americans thinking to question and quest past their borders, and realize how the concept of American Exceptionalism is used to get Americans to at sub-par as ‘best in the world’.
Beyond that, I’m wandering about Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings Online. My main character is a Hobbit (though the subject line refers to a picture on Engrish.com), as I find it an agreeable species to wander about with. I like the freemium model because pay-to-play doesn’t get along with my addictive personality; it didn’t matter so much when I was rotting alone in San Antonio, but now that I have a life, I don’t want to squander it on trying to get my money’s worth out of something. And as I’m frugal, there’s a lot of squeezing there indeed.
So yeah, a whole lot of nothing much, but if it keeps me sane? I’m not gonna complain.
Part of my survival method is to set minimalistic goals for myself. That way, I get the sense of accomplishment without risking hurting myself too badly. And I do hurt myself if I set too many; I will ignore my health and sanity just to complete all the things.
It makes me sad to a point — I’d like to do more things. And who doesn’t? People in general like to be able to say, ‘I did that. I left this mark on the world.’ Even the lazy do, but in their case, they hope it will be by sheer luck. The ‘mean’ and ‘bad’ go for notoriety, the nice go for good deeds, and so forth. I’d love to be able to say that I’ve done things, but I’m so nonfunctional that I can’t even get to the point of identifying things I’d like to do. It’s too tiring to thing past the vaguest concepts — ‘I’d like to write stories.’ ‘I want people to acknowledge my sagely kickassness.’ ‘I want a chocolate bar.’ Okay, the last isn’t really a deed, but it is tasty.
And that’s the other thing — functionality. I think we all accept our basic level of functioning as functioning, even if it isn’t. The thinking about goals and doing things makes me acknowledge that no, I really am barely scraping by. I consider washing my hair a sing-to-the-hills accomplishment; I can only imagine people think that I’m wholly slothful rather than ‘unwell’. I was attempting to explain this to my youngest sister, when I stumbled upon this:
The Daily Energy It Takes to be Normal
I don’t rapid cycle, but it otherwise speaks true. It takes a lot of energy I don’t have to be ‘normal’ at the best of times. At the crap times like this? Hah. It goes hand-in-hand with the Spoon Theory to best explain what it’s like living with a mental condition. I have no spoons, and I have no focus, and deity it’s a victory that I’m out of bed and not sobbing. With that as a baseline, is it any surprise that thinking big and having lots of goals seems more like a prison than an aspiration?
With that in mind, I’m going to go eat crap food, and play video games. Because at least in that, I can feel like I’m doing something, even if it’s absolutely insignificant.
I feel significantly more human today after sleeping through such a large swathe of yesterday. That is definitely hopeful for not feeling quite as zombie. Which, in turn, will elevate my mood just that tiny bit. It’s harder to be cranky and sad if you wake up feeling decent, yanno? I suspect my brain will find another way to get at me, but for today? I’ll be happy I woke up feeling human. I’ll be happy that I got to enjoy a spectacle in the Olympic opening ceremony. I’ll be happy that the temperature has dropped to something reasonable, enabling us to rely on breeze for coolness rather than air conditioning.
And now, I shall get back to some good quality gaming time.
I’m sure the fact that I’m playing two games at the same-ish time makes a statement about my mental health… but as it’s probably an upswing sort of thing, I’m not going to worry too much about it. Instead, I’m going to make another coffee, and get back to it!
Is that it’s Friday. I don’t even know why my brain is so fixated on today — it’s not like I work a full-time hell job that kills my soul. I work part-time ’cause I can afford to. I like what I do. I like that I can have a game up in the background, and indeed, am encouraged to by my husband so that I don’t burn myself out with hyperspeed mega-w0rking. I can get up and take breaks, I can take a half hour chat if I want to… so definitely not sure why my mind is so fixated. I guess because being at home means I’ve got both my computers up, and can overclock my geekiness by having multiple games up alongside any crafting I may or may not come down enough to do. Am I up, am I down? I honestly have no idea right now. I think I’ve been in depression, I’m pretty sure of it — could I be swinging back to hypomania? I wouldn’t say no — I could stand a dose of get up and go to keep chugging along on The Bipolar Blogger Network. I need to be getting the word out more, but I get all sheepish about it… hypomaniac periods are great for getting past that reticence and making stuff happen.
For now though, I won’t beat myself up. Time lost in self-loathing… I’d rather not. I’ll circle back around and manage to pin my brain down enough to make stuff happen when I do. And that is the best I can do for myself. *nods firmly*
Inspired by Alice’s biographical post of the other day, I feel inspired to follow suit. The problem with that? Focus. Focus focus, who’s got the focus? It’s not me, and that is a bit of a perennial problem. Writing things in advance is difficult for me because of this; I’m still amazed that I’ve managed to get anything into my notebook as per my clever plan. Maybe if I can get myself to jot an outline… maybe that would make a difference? As much as I hated them in school, they are sort of useful for getting points down to build off of. Hrm…
It also doesn’t help that I’m especially off in my head right now. I’ve neglected to do anything chore-like for the bulk of this week. My husband is an awesome trooper and gets things done faster than I can blink most times, for which I am grateful. I avoid spending my time beating myself up for what is because frankly? That seems like one of the quickest routes to Depressionville. I’ve managed to stay afloat for a few months now, and I am not going to let my mind’s nasty cheap tricks work their ill against me. That just means it will eventually find and try other ones… but I continue to thank zod/deity/science that my meds continue to mainly keep those unpleasant elements strapped down.
But still, I should see if I can muster an outline at least. It will be cathartic to write out things, especially if my family continues to neglect coming by; this frees me to be more honest without fear of being told that I am wrong about how I feel. I am not wrong about how I feel – my feelings are valid, period, end of. It’s doing me more good than I ever possibly realized to finally realize this… which is probably a redundant and obvious statement in the scheme of things. But if it’s something you didn’t know, how could you have known? But it is good, and it is helping me, and it is making me stronger and less guilty.
And speaking of lack of guilt, back to some guilt-free Sims indulgence. It feels lovely to be trawling through a Legacy again. I might not get very far (the game is a glitchfest of shite coding, to be brutally honest), but that’s okay – as long as I’m having fun with my time.
No time to talk – there’s monsters to slay! Yes, today is a Diablo 3 day. Providence schemed to let us be home today (had a workman coming in), so I’ve been enjoying playing. Oh sure, it’s a simple game with a simple formula of kill all the things, but you know what? Sometimes, that’s all you need; it’s a formula that works, so while change it? Too many games have gotten too crazy about looking nice and seem to forget that (re)playability is sort of vital to make a customer feel like they’ve gotten their money’s worth. Oh sure, there are people who are contented to be playing a movie, but that’s never been my style of gaming.
Anyhoos, back to enjoying my day!