It’s past 6 PM and the view of the parking lot was just as stale for Jane as it had been three hours ago. The studio apartment was cluttered with a cheap brown couch that had a broken pull-out bed, shaky desk for a computer, a cheap dining table with three mismatched chairs, and an acoustic guitar collecting dust. She hadn’t been outside all day, other than four times to smoke on the balcony, reading erotica.
From Friday AM to Sunday AM, I was voluntarily awake for about 60 hours. I took breaks, ate well, and slept, of course, but otherwise, almost all of my focus was spent capturing as information as possible. I didn’t work quite as hard as some people, but I’ll use myself as an example of why I think it’s important to pace yourself. Working to that degree of intensity works only if you take care of yourself.
Do we play videogames to escape from reality? Do we drop into videogameland vistas to explore new or familiar territories out creative curiosity? Or are we compelled to ignore our controlless, chaotic world in favor of fanciful fictions? Are fictional worlds candy for our imagination or the full-course meal that enriches us with delicious delights? This could apply to everything from reading, writing, working, overworking, or playing sports, we’ll just focus on videogames for now.
I’m drowning in this feeling of hopelessness. To fully consider an event and the circumstances around it is to live with this dread and panic that not everyone in life is acting with your best intentions. As much as I’ve wanted to think about how my childhood with a difficult compulsory education, where I have no friends from elementary through high school, made me ready to protect myself against betrayal, it really hasn’t. Oh well…?
I’m writing this on the tail-end of a headache. It’s still in there, lingering; lumbering its way through my body. There’s still a massive pressure behind my eyes, in my neck, and in my ability to concentrate. Normally, all processes are clear, I can focus, and do my work unimpaired. Headaches are like a sudden inebriation. My concentration and willpower are massively impaired as I’m struggling to even want to continue writing about this experience.
I’ll be in a different space when this publishes. Different job, different experiences… different lifestyle? The space I’m in as I’m writing this in late August is mostly a negative space. The veneer is nice and I’m meeting great people that are generous with sharing themselves, yet deep down, it doesn’t feel right. There are malaise and disquiet rumbling underneath my psyche. Why isn’t it good? Let’s explore, to help the “me” of October 13th.
The day before I sobered up is one I’ll always remember, not so much sequentially, but more cerebrally than that. I was working at the thrift store at the time, directionless, unmotivated, blaming others for the problems I wasn’t addressing, and just squandering my life. It was a difficult job. When I wasn’t jumping into moldy trailers or being lambasted for working “slowly,” I was trash-compacting high-quality goods. Then… maybe a glimpse into something greater…
When things get a little too weird for me, this phrase gets me in a good space: “reality is subjective.” If everyone observed the same reality equally except for me, then I’d be feeling pretty left out, you know, but it’s not! If you and I observed the same situation, we both have subjective filters. I wear glasses for vision impairment, which innocently changes my perspective of reality, but let’s dig into this deeper still.
I like to use the joke that I have a set of gnomes in my head that do all my work. Some will figure out incredible (actually, incredible) solutions to problems I’m trying to figure out, others will keep my focus, while others maintain the general health and wellness of my mind and body. It’s mostly a joke to help explain what’s going on deeper. What happens when one of those gnomes calls out sick?
The best and worst thing for maintaining one’s sobriety is employment. There is no better crutch to rest your mind upon than your employment, where any subconscious faults in your life can usually be reasonably blamed on some external factor like a boss, colleague, or situation. Yet that constant career pressure can break us down if we don’t moderate our workaholic tendencies. Spend an extra five minutes for polishing something? How about… five more minutes?