Welcome to a long overdue post in a long history of long overdue posts. Just for the record, I knew this was going to happen and I warned you. I also know it’s going to happen again. The best that I can do for now is to manage the time in between posts as best as I can. Here we go..
The first four posts were a big hit. Both with me and all those people that decided to take this journey with me. Not only did I get those three posts out but I have a few empty page headers waiting to be written at some undisclosed time about a writing topic. It all felt good until it didn’t. I fell into my own personal trap that seems to get a hold of me just as I get started on a new venture. This pattern happens regardless of what the hobby is. I get super engrossed in something almost to the point of mania until some event or action spirals me into a completely different direction causing me to either quit or take a long break before my motivation returns to a normal state. In some cases I recover in a few weeks, other times well… I’ll probably never learn to play the clarinet…
Why it happens?
There are potentially a number of different reasons why it happens. The easy answer is that I need to quit playing video games especially alone, for the long haul. Before I start getting hate mail I need to qualify that I don’t believe video games are bad for everyone… just me. Our brains are a strange place. When we dig down we can find both scary and amazing things. I am a creative person. Whether it be working in my shop or writing at my desk, I get the most joy in life from making things. Unfortunately for me, this place is a creative vault and in my head is hidden in a labyrinth structure that I have yet to figure out (and probably wont ever).
As a writer the only way I can access this place is by searching the various hallways and file cabinets for that secret entrance. While inside I enjoy the thrills of not only writing but wood craft and other creative activities. It’s a small room with a big comfy chair. A few book shelves lined with books and trinkets. There is nothing extraordinary about it but when I sit in that chair, my brain relaxes and out come the ideas. Before I sit down, I picture myself in this vault looking at the main entrance. (you know the real way you get in). Its locked from the outside. The only way to find the entrance is to continue to search for the answers but why bother… I’m already here and breaking a window is a lot of fun. 😉
While I am in that room I feel like the optimal version of myself. That is who I am meant to be. Normal everyday tasks don’t take me out of this place. I know because when I started this blog it had been at the tail end of a few months worth of creativity. I am in a mental bliss until I flip the switch on the PlayStation and/or I fire up a PC game (like that Minecraft Mod).
The simple fix of just not doing it isn’t that easy. The PlayStation has been unplugged which was an easy fix. In fact that went a long time ago. Culling the PC games come with other consequences that I need to deal with mainly because it is through those games that I am able to socialize with certain friends. It is the friends that are too far to travel too without prior notice or without a hotel stay that make it difficult. Online gaming breaks the barriers of time and space. Playing games online with my friends becomes the catalyst that eventually leads me to playing games alone. Again I feel like it is my responsibility to say that the videogames are not the problem. I am the problem. Like sneaking off to smoke a cigarette everyone knows is dangerous, I find myself sneaking more time to play. Eventually I find myself wasting precious time, with deeper consequences potentially harming the job that actually pays the bills or those that care about me the most.
To the point already…
The grand point is that for me playing games (alone) is a way to shut my brain off. While it has its uses particularly on a stressful day, after feeling such a high while writing, shutting off my brain at that point is enough to throw me mentally into a depression. I imagine myself walking up a hill that is being generated with every step. When the brain shuts off so too does the land but I keep walking. Eventually I notice that there is nothing keeping me up and I fall hitting the canyon floor like Wile E Coyote.
The larger queue is that this depressive state doesn’t just effect the words I put down on the page but also the larger picture of my life. It has taken me almost thirty years to (attempt to) figure out why I have gone through these cycles in my life. I do know that it is not as easy as flipping a switch. I don’t believe I suffer in the same way that others do and I would not dream of insulting anyone who battles with it every day by saying it was easy. All I can do is pick myself up off the canyon floor and make the trip back to where I was one day at a time, one page at a time. If your like me and you find yourself searching for a way back to where you were then I wish you luck. All I can say is take a full account of what your vices are and do your best to limit them. It helps to know that you are not alone. We all struggle with out own demons. Write it down and maybe you’ll be able to see the patterns that take hold of you. And please do your family and friends a favor, Ask for Help.
I look forward to seeing you at the next episode.