In the past few years, I’ve been looking at the world through a different lens. As I probably mentioned in previous posts before, the world has become a little grayer. It’s like I’m living in Ravenswood. Remember the original Pretty Little Liars show? When they went to Ravenswood for the first time, it was kind of gloomy and creepy town (the whole vibe of it). I haven’t seen that show in years, but that’s the first thing that comes to mind when I’m out and about. When a lot of your loved ones leave this earth it’s like the light of the world dims, and to top it off with everything else that has been going on it just feels like someone out there is playing a long-drawn-out game of Jumanji. It’s like finish the game already so we can go back a few years when things weren’t as dark. As I navigate through life trying to find peace, joy, and happiness I lean towards what keeps me going no matter how pointless it may seem.
What brings you peace? What brings you joy? What calms your mind when you feel like you’re spiraling? What takes you away from the internal pain that’s pushing you towards the edge? If it’s something legal and not hurting anyone (or hurting yourself) then do what you need to do to keep yourself from falling down that black hole. Sometimes we can’t always turn to others to help pull us out of the darkness because everyone has their own problems to worry about. People are busy as well, and the load that they’re carrying might be too much to make themselves emotionally available to you. We have to find our own way. When you’re sitting there alone and your mind starts to go in dark places and you feel like you’re mentally checking out (in a zombielike state), what’s your next move?
In a perfect world, I would love to jump into something that’s productive or super positive. In those heavy moments, I would want to immediately start decluttering, organizing, or go for a run like Blake Lively’s character in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Some people put extra energy into their communities, volunteering or gaining their own personal achievements and skills. Although I have dabbled in most of the things that I have just mentioned to help pull me out of depressive episodes, I must say, the things that I lean towards to the most is what people would call useless. Yup! That’s right! I gravitate towards what’s looked at as Time Wasting Activities. Video games and daydreaming are my most frequent go-to stress-relievers. Video games keeps me distracted and focused, while daydreaming takes me to a different world that’s brighter. Don’t get me wrong, I still fit in exercising, organizing, learning, and practicing skills (that I hope to master someday) throughout my week. I just spend more time than I would like to admit on games and letting my imagination run wild.
I brought up this topic because I would feel so bad about it. I always feel like I’m wasting time, and that I could’ve put that time towards something more productive. It was like I was constantly lecturing myself in my head whenever I would indulge in more than thirty minutes of game play or drifting in a daydream. At the end of the day, why am I feeling so guilty when I’m trying hard to remain balanced. Every day I try my best to keep pushing. There were moments when I felt like that switch was going to flip and I was going to have to check into a facility, but I’m still standing. I’ve managed to keep getting up after every breakdown. There’s still a little fighter inside of me that’s hopeful and refuses to let me give up. So yeah, I may “waste time” on playing games and visualizing another life, but I call it mentally and emotionally surviving. And who knows? I might have a completely different hobby next month or next season. I was so into Angry Baking 2 years ago. It was so therapeutic and satisfying, but after packing on the pounds that summer I figured it was best to let that stress relieving hobby go. Who knows what the future holds. As of now, I will do what works for me, and I will do it unapologetically.
I just want to add that I am fully aware of Maladaptive Daydreaming and what could stem from it. I feel that for now it’s okay to continue to do what I am doing, but I will mention it to my doctor during my next visit just to be on the safe side.