Friday, 22 August 2014

Mindfulness and Video Games

I've been making another attempt to get back into gaming. It makes me so anxious to even think about, and I don't know why exactly. But right now I'm finding sewing too stressful to feel good about it, so I'm trying to find another distraction.

I used to be an avid gamer, but not long after I developed Anorexia, I just stopped (like I did with all of my hobbies). I just find it so overwhelming, and I get so obsessive about it (like I do with all of my hobbies). It baffles me how I'm supposed to balance gaming and exercise and sewing and tapestry and blogging and and and...

I have a lot of favorite games from over the years, it's hard to choose a few to name. Part of the reason it's so overwhelming and time-consuming is because there are so many games to play, but I used to play a lot of World of Warcraft, Team Fortress 2, Portal, Morrowind, Monkey Island, Pokemon, Knights of The Old Republic. When my Alienware died a few months back, I was in the process of setting up Heroes of Might and Magic II.

But anyway, this week I started playing Terranigma. It seemed like a 'safe' choice because it's a game I've played countless times over the years, which is less daunting than new content. Offline games are less anxiety-inducing, even though my social life used to revolve around gaming. I've managed to clock up a few hours in the past days, so that's something. I go through phases where I start gaming again, but it never lasts, so we'll see how it goes.

In other news, I saw the mental health nurse yesterday. I feel like a bit of an idiot, but I don't understand Mindfulness. I can't even explain what I find so confusing about it. I don't understand how to be 'mindful'. I just don't get it. She kept trying to give different examples, but I just got more confused. I don't know. It seems a lot more complicated than just "do one thing at a time".

She gave me the name of a CD called Mindfulness Skills, which I bought and downloaded this morning but haven't listened to yet. I'm halfway there. But she wants me to listen to that and practice some exercises with her. She said it can take a while to grasp, but I still felt like a bloody idiot.

I didn't manage to talk much, I couldn't say what I needed to, but my GP had spoken to her and told her that I don't feel ready to do DBT. She said she doesn't want to push me because she knows it doesn't work that way, so we're just going to work on Mindfulness and talking for now. She actually suggested going on walks together, and asked if I get out for walks, and I practically squeaked "I don't leave the house". I don't know if people forget, or they don't realize just how isolated I am.

Just a short post for today... Thank you guys for your feedback on my skirts. Sometimes I think I'm too close to be able to ignore the flaws and appreciate it. Oh well. 



  1. My brother watches Team Fortress videos and frankly I find it kind of boring. I can't handle any complicated games - the only things I play are match 3 games.
    You're not a bloody idiot. You're smart and talented.
    I guess people do forget sometimes? I tended to forget that when I first read your blog.
    Have fun with your video games! <3


  2. Gosh! We have all the same games. Now they're all retro and I still try to re-visit the experience, whenever I can, though I rarely finish one because of my work. I particularly favor the Elder Scrolls series and I still play them. My external hard drive is filled with mods for my E.S. games. Hahaha! There's something beautiful about gaming, more than the graphics and action, like how you live the life of a character and how it makes your imagination bigger than the dimensions of the everyday world. I hope you find your inner gamer again. Anyway, I definitely agree with the commenter above. Just because you can't grasp a concept as easily as other people doesn't make you mentally backward. We all have our weaknesses. You're a beautiful and amazing person, and don't let others tell you otherwise. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I wish you all the best!

    Kurt Cantin @ Tab Data Systems

  3. I am the same way about gaming! I used to play a ton of video games and now I just either get too busy with work and school or other things or I get excited to play a game, play it, and find myself disappointed, and quit. And I go through bouts where I play for a little while, and then give up and get bored.
    I wish I could get back into it! It's honestly an amazing way to waste time and not really think about anything : ) lol.


  4. Oh wow, I didn't know that about you! Gaming is something I've never been into but I know it's really fun.
    I think a lot of us underestimate the complexity of mindfulness. The fact that you don't "get it" just means you're thinking about it where the rest of us just use that definition- doing one thing at a time. It's not bad. In the end you're going to benefit a lot more.

  5. I used to be a big gamer too! :) Now it feels like a's sad when depression takes over the hobbies you used to enjoy...i've been asked about mindfulness too...seems odd, doesn't it? I duno about it...thinking of you <3

  6. Oh my gosh video games are the best! I had a NES (Mario anyone? :D) but never had a SNES. After my NES died, I got a Nintendo 64 when I was 7 but sold it when I went to college because I was under this stupid impression that "I'm too old for video games." Ha! You're never too old! Over the past few years I've been feeling really nostalgic and longed for my childhood back. I recently got a hold of a N64 that my co-worker didn't want anymore so I've been playing Mario Party 2 and Snow Board Kids (I don't like playing "against" anyone in games because I get really competitive and I think I have the video game equivalent to road rage...). Pokemon is the only game from your list that I've ever played. I never could get into PC gaming (probably because the PC's I've had sucked and I could never get used to using the keyboard as a controller, but once I save up for a new computer I definitely want to give them a try!).

    Don't feel like an idiot about the mindfulness thing! Honestly I had to Google mindfulness because, even though I only possess a vague understanding of it, I really don't know what it means either! I guess it's "living in the moment"...whatever that's supposed to mean!

  7. JEALOUS OF YOUR RETRO GAMING!! You'd totally love the dark matter comic cafe, if you ever come and stay (I realise that is a massive anxiety provoking ask but just you know I love you and if you ever could manage you are more than welcome once I am home again) i know how you feel... i get moments where I think of all the things I like or liked to do and then become crippled by the weight of all the wants and urges and thoughts. I cant balance everything, it seems easier almost to wipe everything out and carry on just breathing and sitting. why is living so complex Bella? why can't we do this!?!?! xxx

  8. I was thinking, you might find Tara Brach's podcasts for getting a taste for mindfulness. She's a psychologist and Buddhist teacher. I just listened to these two and really liked them.

  9. I love WoW. I've played it for years. And don't feel like an idiot, because I don't understand or grasp mindfulness neither. I've tried over the last couple of years, but I just don't get it. Thinking about you hun.

  10. Just thought I'd say hi in response to your comment on my blog! It's a pleasure to meet you, too.
    I definitely think getting back into gaming is a good idea as you used to love it so much, and that offline is probably the best way to go about it to keep the stress down. I have no idea what mindfulness is. I had to look it up and I still don't really get it.
    About the yoga, there are lots of websites online where you can find video classes. Definitely give it a go :)