When depression makes you stupid, & dealing with it…

I know, I know. The Holidays (dun-dun-DUN!) bring that out for a ton of people. But really, it isn’t so much that. I haven’t been depressed in the sense of feeling sad; it’s more that feeling where things are pointless or you’ve mentally checked out.

I recognized the depression after three mid-afternoon naps again. I figured out the “mentally checking out” part around 1 a.m., and that I’d been doing it for a week and change.

Yeah, that was craptastic.

And as is typical when I’m in these depressed modes, nothing that is beneficial and useful gets done, and the purse strings loosen so quickly. I spend money on really stupid shit because my mental filters have just gone away for a while. I started playing an online game and (since depression seems to up my impatience level to max… when I’m not in the throes of “whatever-dom”) found out how to get upgrades to the team I was building. And kept adding more and more stuff.

What is so bizarre is I’ve never been one of those people who could sit and play video games for hours on end. if there were many people in the room with me and we were trading controllers around, I could last a few hours, but at some point I’d get up and go talk to someone else for a while or just see what was up.

But the past week and change I’ve been sitting on my ass getting nothing done for a week, other than a bit of cooking and laundry. I’ve let everything else, every plan just go. I got a little scared that I’d hit a gaming addiction so quickly, but it’s more I got invested–literally.

Depression usually means I need a quick boost of happy feeling, and that unfortunately has often meant a little spending. The feeling doesn’t last long, and I hate that that’s something I would do on reflex. I can tell myself that I’m not shopping or going to go online and get upgrades to the game or whatever… but then it would happen and by the end of the day I’m beet red in the face from stupidity.

Yeah, I cut off my money account after this, took the card info off of PayPal and managed not to do anymore. I hate that the game fed my impatience, and I kept wanting to see how much further I could go.

But it wouldn’t end if I didn’t make it end.

Just a little time each day if I really want and put it all away. An hour at the most, because I do NOT like sitting here doing nothing. I like the character combos I’d been putting together and seeing what worked best to give me a better score against other teams (I’m not on headphones talking to others, it’s me against the computer). But I don’t have to blow a bunch of money on upgrades to make my team stronger quicker. If I am patient enough, I’ll get those reward perks and not have to spend a dime.

But two days of exhaustion and being unable to sleep at 1 a.m. hit me hard and the realization came like a jolt: I was in a depressed state, just being aimless as all hell and stuck in a rut of “what’s the point?” I suppose the constant concerns about COVID and trying to keep to precautions, only to have the numbers go up because so many aren’t taking them seriously… I started to wonder “who gives a shit if I get the virus?” and “what could I possibly do if I got it?”

I had no idea that was in the back of my mind.

I hadn’t even started and just realized I’d given up.

And when it hit me this morning, all that awful screaming cacophony that displaced my ability to sit and think (and meant that I’d be in front of the computer to try and tune it out–ugh, the vice fed itself there) began to dissipate. I kept waking up throughout the nights because I was hyper-aware (and kept going over gaming crap in my head). I couldn’t write all week because the overwhelming noise in my head of worries I couldn’t name wouldn’t let me dream.

And perhaps it was the exhaustion and acknowledgment, but I was tired enough that my mind was much quieter when I went to sleep at last.

I’m not writing yet. I hope to do that in the morning. I took a baby step today when I restricted my playing to an hour and then re-planned my food shopping list for extras I couldn’t get yesterday. And those library books needed sorting.

I was fighting a headache all day (probably from a week of staring at the TV) and it took time to get things going in the right direction. It was a slow start, and perhaps I can sleep for a reasonable amount of time. I just can’t believe I was doing so well the first few days after the hospital, but suddenly I was just checked out mentally. It was awful to know I’d wasted so much time and I was determined to get started on job searches and writing exercises again.

A wasted week. A night of sleep and getting that checklist out will change that. It doesn’t help that it was dark and poured two days in a row, so much noise and rain (not the gentle kind that puts you to sleep, unfortunately) and antsy pups that needed to go out but couldn’t make themselves do it. But though it got really chilly today, it just means better, quieter sleep tonight. And a fresh start on tomorrow, with all the resources I need to get things done around me.

And no more computer games for a while. The universe (and the character team I’ve put together) won’t suffer in the long run if I take a break from gaming. I can’t believe how much I let myself spend on stupid online stuff. But I’ve made steps to make that so much harder in the future.

Time to pull myself away from the waste and stupidity of the past week and find what it is I want, whether the world ends or not.

Perhaps tonight, I’ll be able to dream it again.

3 thoughts on “When depression makes you stupid, & dealing with it…

  1. Rae Longest says:

    Please keep me posted on how you’re feeling (raelongest300@msn.com). I have been where you are/were (I hope), and it ain’t no fun! The last time it happened to me was when I decided it was time to retire from teaching–since then I’ve decided to go back and keep at it until I can’t anymore.
    Also, I need your mailing address. I had planned to be FIRST with the Christmas card once again, but can’t find your address anywhere. (I know I had it on a scrap of paper in a manilla folder marked “Students”, but…
    You’d think I would organize all that “stuff” on my laptop, but…
    I intended for this to be a short response, but…

    Liked by 1 person

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