Loss of Control

So, I’ve been in a pretty good mood as of late, you could say I’ve been manic, for a few weeks.  Normally, this leads to a burst of productivity.  I often get the most done during these times, but I always have to be careful, I can be the most destructive during these times as well.  I have myself on a pretty tight leash money wise.  I don’t have a job so I try to stay as cheep as possible.  I don’t spend money unless the wife says its OK, and usually not even then.

The other night I did have a bit of a nervous breakdown.  I had been up for nearly 36 hours on two hours of sleep.  I decided I would go to bed at midnight.  That was my 40 hour mark. At about 3 am, I realized I still was not in bed asleep.  I continued to come up with things to do to distract me, even though I was nearly falling down tired.  I could not make myself go to bed.  I wanted to, but I just wouldn’t go.  It made me cry at the thought of not being able to control myself in even this simple way.

I also realized that I was letting life slip away again.  Here I was, weeks into a perfectly good manic phase, and I was wasting it.  I was having great ideas for new games to create, but for some reason wasn’t following through with them.  OK, I did write down one, but that’s out of about five really good ideas.  I had fallen into my old routine.

For years I was on autopilot, I’ve mentioned that before.  I would simply go through the motions, doing the exact same thing every day.  I didn’t need to think about what I was going to do that day, I already had it planned out.  This went on for years.  I had broken out of that habit, but now I am slipping right back into it.

I get up around 3 pm, when the wife is due to get home from work.  I sometimes grab some lunch, but more often than not I don’t eat, maybe a PopTart if I’m feeling frisky.  I usually play Minecraft waiting for the wife to get home.  Then I might do dishes if its an even numbered day, or I will just keep playing while Anne relaxes on the couch checking Facebook or watching Netflix.  (let’s see how many trademarks I can toss into one post, eh?)  Eventually she will make supper.  We will eat it.  I will complain that it could have been better (because I’m an ass) and we go back to being brain dead until Anne goes to bed around 9 pm.  If its a Saturday, we might have friends over to play some board games, otherwise we either watch Netflix, or I’ll play a game on my iPad (see, another one!) while she plays one of those Facebook games.  Once she goes to bed, I feel free.

I’m free to do whatever I want and not have to feel guilty about not being in the same room with my wife.  I usually go down to my office and either play Star Trek Online (what’s that, six now?) or the Avengers Facebook game (does that count as two?), usually both.  I’ll grab some more PopTarts and diet Cokes while taking the occasional smoke break (Marlboro).  I will wind down somewhere between 4 and 7 am, go for one last smoke and head to bed.

Overall, it doesn’t sound like too bad of a routine, except I didn’t mention cleaning the house, or bathing, or working, or calling my mother, or spending time with the kids, or getting any one of the thousand things done that I want to do.  Auto pilot does not make course corrections on it own.

I almost did the most rash, horrible, disgusting thing I have ever thought of: get rid of all my video games.  They were the highlight of my routine and needed to go.  Playing games my be a distraction for me, but its a much needed one.  I need to cut back on them so I can get other, more productive things into my schedule, but I can’t get rid of them totally.  Anne said she would kill me if I did that anyway.

On a semi-related note, I recently canceled my Gamefly account.  It was money I was spending on myself that wasn’t really needed.  This is a great way for a gamer junkie like me to play all the cool new games without having to buy them.  It has been a godsend to me over the years.  Anne is not really sure why I chose to do this, but she might not have figured out that I am trying to be as cheap as possible so she doesn’t kick me out.  Anyway, I’m off my topic here.  Since I had killed Gamefly, I decided to go back and load up some of my favorite old PC games.  Star Trek Online was the latest.  It’s an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) that I played when it was first launched three years ago.  I quit playing because there wasn’t really much to do when you hit max level, and I didn’t want to keep paying for it while they added more stuff.  Now the game has gone free-to-play, so I don’t mind if I go a while between playing.  I always liked the game, and they have added so much more stuff to do at the top levels that I could see myself playing it for at least a few more months before I quit it again.  

With the upcoming release of Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, I decided to load up Wings of Liberty again to play through the amazing story line again as a bit of a refresher.  I’ve been haveing a bit of a problem though, as it seems I don’t remember my account information, so I can’t play the full game.  Blizzard is looking into it for me, so maybe we can get something worked out so I can play it again.

In the meantime, I decided I should load up Dawn of War, the Warhammer 40,000 RTS (real time strategy).  Again, I’ve come into some issues.  The main one being that I can’t find the disks for it.  I found two of the expansions; Dark Crusade and Soulstorm, but not the original game itself, nor the other expansions.  Sure, I could load either or both of these and play them, as the core game is not really needed, but I was never really crazy about the Necrons or the Sisters of Battle.  Yes, they are both cool armies, but I want to play my orks.

So, that pretty much catches you up to what I’ve been doing this last month.  I am sorry it is so long, but hey, its been a month and you want your money’s worth, right?

The really sad thing is this:  I’m only writing this as an excuse not to go to bed.  I’m glad I did, but still.  I know I should have gone to bed an hour ago, but here I am, not in bed.  At least I’m not as insomnia plagued as I have been in the past.  My record is five days.

I love you all, and thanks for letting me ramble on.

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4 Responses to Loss of Control

  1. Em says:

    “A parasite is anything that latches onto you or your partner and sucks the life out of your marriage. They’re usually in the form of addictions like gambling, video games, drugs, or pornography. They promise pleasure, but they grow like a disease and consume more and more of your thoughts, time and money. They steal away your loyalty and heart from those you love. Marriages rarely survive if parasites are present. If you love your wife, you must destroy any addiction that has your heart. If you don’t, it will destroy you.”

    This is a quote from a movie where a husband is winning back his wife. So it’s about their relationship; and if you guys are cool with the routine, I know it feels safe. But what could you be doing together rather than zoning next to one another?

    it is stupid-hard to put restrictions on our entertainment, but when I look back at my own ‘best days’ it had nothing to do with entertainment and everything to do with ‘doing’ stuff. With or without my spouse or kids. Also, I think that media/games steals time with us. My kids played all summer one summer…and it ‘flew by’ without them feeling they had a break. The summer I made them get out more FELT more like there were actual DAYS in the summer.

    Just my two cents…but I’d limit the game playing to a couple hours a day or quit cold turkey and challenge yourself. You grew up the same time I did. I didn’t have games though til I was in late teens… so I was satisfied with etch-a-sketch, writing, or etc. I can still like crafty stuff and have challenged myself with a bucket list not of what exotic or life-endangering quest I can go on…but what can I LEARN. So…I learned how to use a sewing machine and made a quilt. I learned how to can and made some cranapple jelly…I WILL learn how to play the piano…eventually.

    What do you wish you knew or grew up with? Start that list, baby, and you will start to ‘live’ again. 🙂 Many hugs!

    • mikemeader says:

      I hear what you are saying, but the sad part is, and this is what I wanted to get across, is that the games are not an addiction so much as the only thing that kills lots of time and I don’t have to think about it. We have no life. When I look back at my past “good times”, they all have one thing in common, friends.

      One of the best times in my life was our senior year. I had several friends and we hung out a lot. Video games were an occasional thing back then, but D&D was our thing, but not our only thing. The point was that we spent time together and had fun.

      Then the cold, dark days of marriage followed.

      The next great time came during what I call my collage years, even if I only went for a year. I had made lots of new friends and we spent so much time together. Parties, dinners, movie nights, and yes, D&D. Again, video games played a small part.

      Now, life has moved on. I have one friend left, and we try to hang out when we can, but it’s not the same. All I have left is my games to pass the time. Sure, I could get a hobby, but those cost money. Lessons, materials, they all add up, especially starting out. I do try to do other things, writing, cross stitching, whatever, but they require me to think, and my brain only likes to create about 25% of the time. That’s why I feel I’m wasting my manic moments.

      The routine gets me through the depression alive. Autopilot is safer. I just need to break out of it when I’m manic so I can get things done. If I had other options to pass the time, that’s what I would do.

      As for my marriage, well, that’s a story for another day.

  2. Em says:

    Oh – sorry – didn’t mean to suggest anything with your marriage 🙂 It was just that the quote was from that…but could apply to ‘life’ in general. Didn’t really make that clear, I hope I didn’t offend. I hear what you’re saying. Routine is safe. Comfortable.

    • mikemeader says:

      It is, and a prison. My point is that I need something else to do besides video games. Something new. We have the most boring life, and we have nothing in common, so finding something new is nearly impossible. Unless I find something to do on my own that is free. I know there are lots of things to do, but I can’t, or won’t, think of them.

      My attention span really does not help matters any either.

      I guess I need to be taken care of more than is fair to ask. I need an assistant and a boss, all rolled up into one.

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