Sunday, November 4, 2007

Surgical Maneuvers

I made a promise to myself when I started this whole thing that I was going to try to avoid any sort of real personal expression on the blog. Well, maybe not a promise, but it was a sort of goal that I was shooting for. However, after a month plus hiatus I think maybe some personality should be allowed to seep through. Plus, when all is said and done, it's all rather on topic.

Entertainment is ruining my life. Sort of. I have become dependent on outside forces to sustain me through the day. I've been like this for quite a long time now, and I've always sort of known it but it never really shown through like it has been recently.

My college days were spent working, going to class, hanging out with friends and coming back to my room to play video games. As time went on, I left my room less and less as I became more and more depressed about my situation in college (it wasn't good.) The gaming just fed the depression, which I knew at the time, but I never really wanted to do anything about it.

When I got married, I moved away from Ohio to Indiana. I left all of my friends behind, what little I had at least. Erin doesn't share the same fascination with entertainment media as I do. It's always been a rift between us. I can't tear myself from the computer which bothers her a lot. Now, to make things even worse, I am unemployed and cannot find a decent job to save my fucking life. This does not bode well for the self esteem, depression or anything like that. I try to pass the day by consuming bits of entertainment just to get to the point where I can have some human interaction when my wife comes home. The scary thing is that even when she got home, I would still want to play my games or get on the computer. This is less now than it has been, but it's still there to a degree.

Things have spiraled. The only relationship I have which is in close range would be with my wife. This relationship has been deteriorating for a long time now. We rollercoaster from liking each other to not being able to stand the other person. It's no way to have a marriage. We have always loved each other but that's just not enough for a relationship. Things have been starting to change for the better recently. I'm trying to get a handle on my addiction a little bit at a time. I've tried to cut back signifigantly on my time spent on the computer, and both of us are starting to see counsilors. I'm also trying to get out of the house more. It's working too, but it's still not perfect. I still spend too much time doing nothing at my computer. I'm still not reading as much as I'd like to.

It comes down to helplessness. I often feel as though I'm a pathetic parasite just doing what it has to to make the day go by, and I don't know how to change that. I've never been good at change and have always leaned toward the easiest solution to a problem, even when it's not a solution at all. It's really quite scary to live one's life in this fashion. I never know when something is going to fall apart on me. I'm lonely. I'm just sad most of the day.

I'm admitting this to all 2 of my readers because it helps me admit it to myself as well. Like when an alcoholic says to his family "I have a problem," I too have a problem. A big one. It's time to work on it.

I'm not proofreading this post so if some stuff doesn't make any sense then sorry.


Mike said...

I know this post isn't looking for advice, but have you considered maybe taking some classes at the local university there in Hoosierville-B? I understand cost may be an issue and the employment situation certainly sucked here in Hoosierville-A, I can only imagine it being worse in Hoosierville-B, but you need a long term goal.

Human beings are meant to work, I think, and the question is, do you want to work towards something that will ultimately benefit and fulfill you, or do you want to work for someone else so that you can afford, financially, the diversions that you enjoy. Neither of those options are wrong, it's all about what you want and what you want to do to fill your days.

I went to college for 6 years and got a Masters Degree in Advanced Underwater Basket Weaving and ended up in the same wage-slave style job that you had here - but it doesn't bother me or get me down because I've got long term plans and goals and hopes, and I'm able to use my PorkPlant money to buy some of the wicker and glue I need for my Advanced Baskets and stash away money towards my student loan and for getting out of Indiana someday.

The question is - what do you want to be when you grow up? If consuming videogames and media are what you *really* want to do, and not in the depressing "life sucks so I need escapism" way that I'm kind of sensing here, then fuck it, that makes you happy - get a job, it will suck but it's also better than not having a job - contribute some income to the household so you don't feel so parasitic and carefully divide your time between your wife's needs and computer time. (Oh and some advice - never post on forums, ever. You can browse, just never, ever post. All that time and energy spent thinking up a response to some dweeb on the internet, you could have used for something better, like taking a shit.) If you go this route, you may want to consider options that will get you a better wage-slave job in the future, things you can get degrees for like electrician, plumber or paramedic - jobs that pay well (I seriously thought about dropping out of college and instead going to tech school to be either an electrician or paramedic during my undergrad years...)

If there's something you'd rather be doing, if video games and what not are coping mechanisms for perceived failures in the past, start working towards it now. If it involves college or starting your own business, start saving up. I know you were in film studies, did you at one point aspire to make movies? Not all films need to be feature length, narrative, acting-driven films...

Ultimately it is a question of figuring out what will fulfill you, not now, but in the long term, and then pursuing that so that you don't feel like crap day-in and day-out...

...or, y'know, you could always find religion... :P

romana1 said...

You know, life does suck and I am sorry to hear that you and Erin are having troubles. Rotwang and I went through this in the past. Eventually it just got to the point where I asked him to not turn on the computer during the times when we were at home together. It worked out. We agreed that there would be no computer time while we were together unless it was necessary or we were both doing something. Granted we don't play as many video games as you do, but Vice City did put a crimp in things for a while.

Dishes still don't get done, things don't get picked up. The house always looks like crap. We have a lot of crap, yes, but too much time doing other things, computer or video game related, keeps things from getting done. This makes me crazy! I am just as much at fault as anyone else cause I sit around and get depressed about how bad things look around here. There's so much to do and it seems like it never gets done.

Ok, I'm off topic now. Anyway, the best thing that I can say is hang in there. You two are great together and you are very good friends to us. We don't want to lose you guys. The best advice I can give is this - turn off the computer when Erin comes home. Whip out FRAG or Zombies, get a movie and some popcorn, fix her dinner, just do something that has nothing to do with video games or computers. Do it for her. Make her happy. Surprise her. She will love it and it will show her that you can pull away from your entertainment distractions. Try leaving the video games off all day. It's hard, but I have faith in you.

The little voice over my shoulder says, "I think that he should run Traveller for her."


Dr-Rotwang said...

Phil, you know where to find your friends. You both do.