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Living with Type II Bipolar

A Twitter acquaintance who goes by @UnseenPerfidy shares an article on what it’s like to live with Type II Bipolar: https://medium.com/@UnseenPerfidy/dealing-with-bipolar-disorder-5ccbe6374228

Now while I don’t share his use for semantics on “being” vs. “having” Bipolar, I think it’s important to talk about. I’ve written on it here in the past, shortly after an online friend took his own life.

When you’re experiencing hypomania or depression, it’s really hard to put into words what it’s like to be feeling them at the time; and @UnseenPerfidy does, in my opinion, a pretty bang-up job describing it. In particular, I can relate to the feeling of impatience when other people can’t “keep up” with me.

I chatted a bit with him on Twitter and asked if addictive behavior is something that he’s noticed with his own Bipolar, and he says, yes. In his case, it was alcohol. In mine, I have such a fear that alcohol will become addictive that I stay away from it altogether. I was the kid who never went to a party in high school, who never got trashed in college, who never went out drinking with co-workers at the end of the day. My own addictive behavior tends to the much less self-destructive, but rather self-hindering (like the many years I spent not studying or getting decent work experience, pissing away my time on Second Life. I still piss my time away on Facebook. I gotta work on that. I’m only elven.)

Now, I’m working a full-time job and it is a decent one, but there are hours and hours I still piss away online. I’m not writing the book that I say I’m writing, for example. I’m not drawing or crafting or much of anything except drooling in front of social media.

So I need to work out a way to really make time to do something else. Replacing undesirable behavior with desirable behavior.

Anyway, check out Rob’s article, you might find it insightful.

Posted in Uncategorized

Following up

OK, so, my post yesterday. I really wasn’t expecting anyone to, like, DO anything. I was hoping, at best, for some “aw dude that sucks” and maybe a handful of Ls if I was LUCKY.

You guys are gonna make me cry and stuff.

My intent was to illustrate having a hard time staying on the wagon, just in case other people struggle too. I guess the moral of the story is, don’t fall off the wagon, talk about the struggle instead. You never know what will happen.

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I REALLY want to…

We’re struggling right now.

Lost job, waiting on payment for invoices, waiting on refunds, waiting on being put on the schedule for a new job, waiting for new health insurance, waiting, waiting, god damn waiting.

Rent’s paid for September, that’s a good thing. Got a T pass for September, that’s a good thing. Made a little cash playing music at the farmer’s market yesterday, that’s a pretty good thing. After we pay our gas bill, we got about $50 left for groceries for who knows how long, I’m running out of my meds (got enough for September), our health insurance is in flux, and the phone bill is due in 3 days. Not such good things.

I would REALLY love to be Mistletoe right now. I really want to log on and do some kind of fun thing and see Ls roll in and feel like I’m Doing Something. But I haven’t yet, I’ve stayed strong I guess. I even quietly closed Clover’s Kitchen when nobody was looking.

In case the Linden Fairy exists and is reading this, I still have my PayPal tied to Mistletoe’s account.

I’m stressed and tired and feeling like it’s my duty to save the day and be strong and I’m tired of being strong. I want to forget for a while. But I know if I log on, that while’s going to turn into 8 hours a day and the shit I have to do won’t get done. I have to see if I can get some kind of unemployment benefits, and/or food benefits, and/or prescription benefits, just to hold me over until I’m on the schedule and get the health insurance. Or until MONKEYS FLY OUT OF MY ASS Himself actually gets paid for work he did in JULY, let alone AUGUST. They keep promising him that as soon as X happens, they’ll put him on the payroll and he’ll have full time work AND benefits so amazing you’ll think a Unicorn farted them out and promises promises promises. A promise and five bucks would LITERALLY BE FIVE BUCKS MORE THAN THEY’VE GIVEN HIM. And he feels like he can’t speak up about the stick because if he does it might screw him out of the carrot they’re dangling.

So… yeah. Stressing hard, wanting to not think about it, doing my best to avoid the anesthesia.

Posted in day-to-day, depression

Dr. Phil, Second Life, and Gaming Addiction

So, as no doubt you’ve heard by now, Dr. Phil made an appearance in SL, and Ebbe made an appearance on Dr. Phil.

Kudos to Dr. Phil for making clear that video games and virutal worlds are not by default bad. As I’ve said myself, they’re neither good nor evil, because they don’t think and don’t have intentions one way or another. For many people they’re therapeutic.

But I could really sympathize (though on a lower level) with Justin saying that it’s much easier to just anesthetize himself than to face the harsh realities of the world, especially when he feels like it’s too late in his life to make anything positive of it. The feeling of having missed my shot is one that resonates with me as well; I’m 40 years old, no degree, diploma by the skin of my teeth, with huge gaps in work history that make it really hard to make look positive on a resume.

But if by some chance you’re reading this, Justin? No. It’s really not too late. It’s easy to feel like you’re lost when you’re 23; lots of people do.

At 23, JK Rowling was broke. Tina Fey was working at the Y.M.C.A. Oprah had just gotten fired from her first job as a TV reporter and Walt Disney had declared bankruptcy. None of these wildly successful individuals could have predicted what was in store for them next but the one thing they all had in common was that they knew that there was more to them than what they were doing at the time. And that’s what you have in common with them, too. You know that there’s a bigger, better version of yourself to bring to life. You just haven’t gotten there yet.

That doesn’t mean that you have to become the next JK Rowling or Walt Disney. It simply means that there’s so much more ahead of you, and within you, that you don’t even know yet. And it’s scary but it’s also exciting.

And, the same goes for me. Did you know that Phyllis Diller was almost 40 when she first gave stand-up comedy a try? Or that Julia Child was 49 when her groundbreaking cookbook got published? Stan Lee was 39 when he published his first comic book. Vera Wang went into fashion design at 40. Darwin wrote “On the Origin of the Species” when he was 50. Laura Ingalls Wilder started writing books in her 60s. Harland Sanders was 62 when he franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken.

My point is, it is NEVER too late to be successful.

And it’s frightening because, for me at least, fear of failure and that nagging lie of “IT’S TOO LATE” are always always hanging over me. Or fear of making a wrong choice. It’s so much easier to just not make any choice, and curl up, and let life happen while I’m deluding myself that I’m making amazing things happen too, just in a virtual world. It feels GREAT to be ultra-popular in a virtual world. It feels GREAT to have the ability to make anything, do anything, go anywhere, and be seen and appreciated for it. It hurts like hell to walk away from that. It’s HARD AS HELL, Justin, and it might take lots of tries, but I believe that you CAN do it!

One thing the show only briefly touched on, though, is HOW. I know that On-Line Gamers Anonymous tends to preach the hard line that all video games are bad, all relationships in them toxic, and you’re 100% better off without them. I don’t agree with that, and from the sounds of things, neither does Dr. Phil. I think maybe for some people it’s easier to talk themselves out of an addiction by convincing themselves that the thing to which they’re addicted is absolutely undeniably BAD. I believe personally that the hard (but necessary) first step is to face the IRL dragon. Look what you’re running from in the eye. For me, that was financial troubles. I had to do a lot of paperwork, make a lot of appointments, pay a lot of debts (and as a result, make a lot of sacrifices), and it was draining and overwhelming. It helped to break things into small pieces, and give myself some kind of reward (preferably tangible, not virtual) for accomplishing smaller goals. For example, if I sit down and pay all my bills and get them sent out, I go and treat myself to a favorite junk food snack while I’m out at the post office. Or, I get a new bottle of nail polish. Or something at the fabric store. Or art supplies. Or a matinee at the theater. Things that I have to be AFK to enjoy.

I’ll reiterate to Justin and all the other Justins and Mistletoes out there: it’s FUCKING HARD. But you can do it. It may take years and years, and you may stumble on the way, but you can do it. We can do it!

Now if you will excuse me, because I reached my goal by sitting down and writing this blog instead of playing on FB, I’m going to go and treat myself to some embroidery floss and a nice walk outside to get it.

Posted in day-to-day, personal

Another Phase Out

Deleted a chunk of people from the friends list at SL yesterday. People that I talk to already out of SL (so no need to keep them on my friends list), people I’m likely to never talk to, or else haven’t talked to in like five years, or else have no recollection of who they are.

I am the WORST about letting go of things. I keep people on my friends list when I know for a fact that they are literally not breathing anymore, because I like to hold onto the reminder of them. I kinda horde in that way. And I won’t even START about my inventory.

But, I am trying to let go of this thing, and one of the ways to do that, is to make steps to clear out my friends list. So while I try and say to myself “they won’t mind…” the more likely fact is “they won’t notice”.

In other news, the friend who wrote me and said “I don’t want to be [Avatar Name] anymore” has taken the plunge, sold their land, and cashed out. It’s one person I won’t have to remove from my friends list because I’ve already been removed from theirs. We still keep in touch via email, and it sounds like things are really looking up in this person’s world.

A hard thing for me is that I kind of replace one addictive behavior with another addictive behavior. Lately my addictive behavior is stupid Facebook games. I like to think I’m practicing moderation, and relative to eight hours a day, I am. I’ve still got a way to go. Bit by bit. I’m really being tested lately, because there’s Uncertainty About Life going on, but I’m doing my best to bravely face what I need to before zoning out in front of Monster Busters.

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The Legend of Zynga

So I have a Facebook (under a pseudonym). And one day to pass the time I decided to log onto one of those stupid Facebook games. I KNOW that it’s a Skinner box and little more. I KNOW that they’re designed to maximize the amount of time, money, and social sharing spent on the game by the user, and that just about the very last thing on their list of priorities is FUN. The last straw on this particular game was when they changed their rules mid-stream and suddenly decided that in addition to spending a pile of gold, and time, on a thing, I NOW have to “hire” other FB friends to “open” the thing I just wasted my time and game money on. When himself asked me, “Is it still fun?” I couldn’t give an honest answer, because it wasn’t in fact ever really fun.

It made me nostalgic for games I played when I was a kid; and in particular, my all-time favorite, the Legend of Zelda (1986, NES). I played that for countless hours. This was in the days before the Internet so I couldn’t go online for hints or walkthroughs, and I was in a small rural area besides, so my siblings and I had to puzzle it out ourselves. And we LOVED it. Each new level, each time the little “You discovered something!” tune played, we were having FUN.

So, well, I got to wondering, what if that game had been made today?

Below are some images I put together with that idea in mind. I give you: the Legend of Zynga.
Continue reading “The Legend of Zynga”

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Heads Up

It really annoys me when I get offline IMs from people solely for the purpose of promoting their Next Big Thing.

They can’t be bothered to read the nice big capital letters in my profile that say “RETIRED FROM SECOND LIFE”. It’s like, you want me to do this thing for you (time and time again) but you can’t even do one little thing for me: read my fucking profile!

I friended you because I wanted to talk shop with you, or else actually be friends with you. Not to be your shill.