It has been far too long since I’ve written. Life has been incredibly busy, and most of my creative energies have been taken by work projects. But in addition to the business, I’ve been seeking help with years worth of depression and suicidal ideation. My wife and a couple of friends have been at me for years to seek help. I’ve had mixed results with counseling in the past. I typically hit a point where progress stops, but I felt obligated to keep going to the counselor I was seeing. My current counselor, however, has helped me sort through many things. Years of burnout and suppression of my own wants and needs are taking time to unravel, but progress is slowly being made.
As the depression has started to become less frequent, I have pursued some changes at work that are actually freeing up my mental energy. I feel like writing again. Well, more accurately, I feel like seeing some sort of personal creative work. And so, I want to post here from time to time. My goal is once a week, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I miss a week here or there. I’m also not going to put pressure on myself to do in-depth analyses or reviews (unless I feel like it at the time). It’s more an outlet to share where I am and what I am doing, and if anyone gains insight or enjoyment, that’s great.
After playing through the Final Fantasy series (which I continued to do, even though I stopped writing about it), I’ve moved on to other games. I’m currently streaming a Kingdom Hearts playthrough on Twitch for an hour or so on Mondays and Tuesdays. My goal is to play through all the games on the 1.5, 2.5, and 2.8 remix collections in preparation for Kingdom Hearts 3 next year. One or two nights a week, my wife watches me play Persona 5. She didn’t plan on watching, but the story has hooked her. The game is a lot of fun, and I love the music and visual design.
Outside of those games, I’ve been looking at something to play on my own, free from the obligations of being “on.” At the risk of jRPG overload, I picked up Dragon Quest VIII for the PS2. Again, great music and visual design. But the main thing I enjoy about the game is the grinding. Sometimes grinding can lead to a mild zen state. It also accompanies audio books well.
My gaming tastes tend to skew toward jRPGs, but I also enjoy some Western RPGs, such as The Elder Scrolls and some of Bioware’s games. You can probably tell that I also like games with compelling music and visual designs. (For example, I picked up Hyper Light Drifter from a GOG.com sale, and I look forward to digging into the world of that game.) So, if you have recommendations, let me know.
I’m also trying to get back into reading. I hit a string of uninteresting books lately, and rather than finish them, I just avoided them. One personal goal that I’m working on is to not force myself to finish a book if it isn’t working for me. Finishing books was just another area where a sense of obligation was wearing me down. But really, who was I reading for? Does it matter if I stop reading a book because I don’t enjoy it? No one is standing over me to make sure I read every word. I don’t have to give a book report as an exit exam to life.
And that brings me back to why the depression and suicidal thoughts became overwhelming: years of accumulating “have-to’s” for no reason. That some illusory entity was there to make sure I was doing all the things I was supposed to be doing. I was tired all the time (and still am from time to time), and suicidal thoughts were a longing for rest. They still arise every now and then. Years of habitual thoughts don’t stop overnight. But I think I am making progress. I am working rediscover my sense of self, to re-learn what it means to enjoy things after years of emotional repression. I am working to learn that I don’t have to prove myself and to be okay with discovering what I like and don’t like.
And if I feel like sharing, I’ll do that, too.