Video games have always been something of an escape for me. The world is a frightful place and until recently video games have done a satisfactory job of drowning it out, of placing themselves between the world and myself. A shield of sorts, but I suppose that kind of thing works both ways, because while it shielded me from the world that I never felt a part of it also probably kept me from adapting to that same world.
As I'm sure you've guessed this is about depression; something I've struggled with for a long time but over the past couple of weeks has been really gnawing at me. I don't really know what the point of this piece is, but I felt that maybe writing this all out might do some tiny amount of good. I do not share my feelings easily so doing this at all is incredibly difficult for me, but after almost 26 years on this planet of keeping things bottled in...well, let's just call this an experiment in opening up.
I am incredibly introverted. If you're someone who feels that the word is simply synonymous with being shy and quiet then I regret to inform you that is incorrect. I wish shyness was the extent of my problems. It's the sort of thing that leaves me feeling alone in a room full of people, even when I know every one of them. Simply being close to someone is difficult because it's not a simple matter of someone being nice to me or having an interest in similar things, it becomes something deeper. I don't place myself in someone's hands easily and if I do it's a big deal in my mind.
Just having friends is one thing, but friends often feel like people I just have around. There's a step after that which is difficult to achieve, and that role becomes harder to fill the older I get as I become less and less interested in people's bullshit. A “friend” is essentially anyone that speaks to me whose company I don't find disagreeable, and just reaching that plateau is apparently difficult. Becoming close to me is something else entirely. It's something that really requires me to feel connected to you. Like you're the one person amongst the bullshit that I WANT to be around and to speak to; the one person that isn't just another distraction for me.
This way of looking at people probably seems selfish, and it most likely is. If someone who sees me as a friend were to read that and think “Wait, so I'm just a distraction to you?” I couldn't really fault them for that. In a way they'd be right. It's nothing personal though, it's just the way that my brain works. You would assume that the knowledge that I treat people this way would be the first step to working it out, and again I wish it were that easy. Over the years I've made many attempts to push through that curtain of constant loneliness that surrounds me; to reach out and force interactions with people I didn't know but seemed like people I could stand. For the most part these fail, though whether that is the fault of me not trying hard enough, my brain getting in the way, or simply the other person not wanting to deal with me is difficult to say.
You wanna know the absolute worst possible outcome for my situation though? Think of what I have described to you of how difficult it is to become close to people, of how someone wanting to be around me isn't enough. Think of the difficulty that comes with having a brain (or heart I suppose) that forces you to wait until it decides that it has connected with another person for you to feel for them. Now imagine your brain and your heart eventually, finally make that connection with someone...and that feeling is not returned.
I don't simply mean like when you like a girl or guy and that person doesn't want to date you, I'm talking about something deeper than friendship or romanticism. Something that is required in my brain for you to really become either of those things. Then to make that feeling worse, part of you knows that you can't blame that person. You KNOW that you're asking a lot of that person and that, placed in their shoes, the pressure of that role would probably not be so desirable to you either.
As I mentioned at the start, I spend a lot of time trying to drown out this part of my brain. I surround myself with friendly distractions and immerse myself in video games and write gaming related articles every week that feel more and more forced every time. Gaming is a true passion for me, as is writing. I connect with it and it's because it's so important to me that I'm able to drown everything else out with it. Unfortunately though I recently hit something of a brick wall. I found myself becoming disinterested in nearly everything.
I had no desire to play, I had no desire to watch. I found all the suppressed loneliness welling up inside of me, ready to burst out and plead with me to just fucking stop. Just please stop wasting my time and just be happy. Just for a bit, just long enough to feed me and keep me running. I had been running on fumes for too long and now I was broken down on the side of the road and needed to push myself to the gas station, with no idea which direction or how far away it was.
This was about two weeks ago. I am an almost 26 year old man living in a small town in Georgia and I will be damned if “getting out” isn't the most difficult goal I've ever set for myself. I live in a town where the extent of going out is heading to the movie theater or the local Wal-Mart. I'm currently jobless as well, and while I'm sure that does not help, fixing that problem is also difficult. Most of the jobs I've had have made me more depressed than I was to start with, leaving me feeling the need to be incredibly picky in my search for work.
My past couple weeks have consisted largely of sleeping irregular hours, drawing poorly, writing my weekly piece, and trying to watch random things online to take my attention away from the real problems. I binge watched the entire first season of Psycho Pass last night solely to get through the night. I enjoyed the show, and it distracted me from what I'd been feeling while it lasted, but as soon as it was over it just all sunk right back in.
Needless to say the whole situation is less than agreeable. I'm not sure what steps are necessary to work through this, or if maybe it's just something I need to soldier through until I can cheer back up and get back into a “getting by” state of mind, but I really wish that would come sooner rather than later.
I don't know what has really been gained in writing all of this out, and the fact that I'm posting this here at all is shocking to me. If you've somehow made it through all of that and reached this lackluster conclusion then thanks for at least taking some time out of your day to read my venting on strangers and sorry for the massive wall of text. I mentioned earlier that friends to me were distractions that I shared interests with; people who kept the loneliness just far enough at bay to keep me going. I guess in that way Destructoid as a whole is something of a friend to me.