Welcome to my World

Where else can you get a really good look at a train wreck of emotional dysfunction
and not be right in the middle of the thing?

Friday, July 26, 2013

First World Problems

Part of the negative chatter that reverberates in my head, particularly when I'm trying to improve myself, is a feeling of guilt for being absorbed in my own problems when I have lived such a charmed life compared to 99.9% of humanity.
Working downtown, I see people trapped in the misery of their lives every day.  It's tempting to believe that everyone has the resources to make the most out of their lives if only they would apply themselves, but I have less and less faith in that proposition.  How many of these poor souls walking around grew up in an intact home with loving parents willing to rescue and assist them whenever life turned sour?  I am one of the lucky few to have that, which is why I feel guilty about my failure to thrive.

Wallowing in self-pity isn't helpful or productive, and we should always be mindful (and thankful) for the blessings in our lives.  But failing to spend the energy to improve myself doesn't help anybody less fortunate than myself in any way.  And one of the greatest things I ever learned in therapy is that I can't assist anyone else until I'm in a stable position myself.  We all have to live our lives within the context we find ourselves in.  We all have to tend to our own needs with the tools and resources we have at our disposal while hopefully being kind and generous and open in our daily interpersonal interactions.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Shy Little Bunny

I don’t actually have anybody to talk to, so here I am.

I’ve been so good, but it’s been so hard. I just feel so tired and unhappy all of the time.  And yet I haven’t had a drink since July 8th, and I’ve been trying to eat better (not great, but better) and take a bit of exercise. All of this while holding down a demanding job and dealing with a never-ending stream of family drama.

Every single day of my sobriety, I’ve said, “Fuck it! I’m going to drink.”  Being constantly dysthymic means that stealing moments of pleasure by drinking, smoking and playing my video games is an almost irresistible siren's song.  I want to indulge myself, but I'm actually holding out for a longer-term payoff.  I've even superstitiously kept the beer bottles and used ashtray from my last drinking session around because I didn't want to dramatically clear them away, only to fall right back into my pattern of usage, as I've done so many times before.  Of course, any attempt at making better choices ramps up the negative chatter in my head to the point where I'm constantly on the verge of a panic attack at the inevitability of death.

My Game Pausing Strategy

I can't even be a simple drunk without being a complete freak about it.  All summer I've been drinking several times a week while playing the first two Mass Effect video games, but I have to carefully co-ordinate my alcohol and my gameplay so that I have enough of each and my progress of inebriation matches my progress in the game.  (By the end of the night I'm too drunk to follow and process what's going on in the game.)

Anyway, right now I'm at the endgame for Mass Effect 2, which is longer than the regular missions without any convenient pauses where I can save and stop.  Since this disrupts my normal drinking pattern, I've used it to disrupt my drinking itself.  I know it all sounds kind of weird, but I'm a weird guy.  The point is that it's been working for me.  Since July 8th, I've actually been in the grocery store with my hand on beer and have been able to talk myself down from giving in.

The problem is that I've been excited about the prospect of diving into Mass Effect 3.  You have to understand that, given my psychological problems, being enthusiastic about anything in my life—even something as irrelevant as a video game—is absolutely intoxicating to me, if you’ll pardon the expression.  But I'm afraid that if I get back into the normal rhythm of a new video game, I'll end up falling back into the rhythm of drinking.  I'm probably going to have to hold off on the pleasures of Mass Effect 3 so that I can hold on to my sobriety.