Single Player Only

Ever since I received the letter from the SSD (Social Security Department, not Solid State Drive) in regards to the date of my disability appeal hearing, I’ve been retrospective. I don’t enjoy looking back on my past but, since I’ve had to document everything for the court, it’s kinda been a necessity. Going back to doctors to talk about my prognosis, getting old records from hospitals, all sorts of tests and poking and prodding…it’s not my idea of a fun time. To be truthful with you, I wish I didn’t have to go on disability. Unfortunately, I need some sort of stop-gap to pay for my loans/health insurance/protein powder consumption while I try to figure out exactly what I can (and can’t) do with my life. It’s hard to figure these things out when you owe $900 a month, plus various bills, and a dwindling bank account’s breathy murmurs echoing in your ear. But I’ve been thinking on why I don’t want to have to ask for disability and, I think, I’ve found the answer.

For a man that plays a lot of MMO’s…I really don’t like multiplayer.  I much prefer single player games. Granted, I can’t talk with the majority of my friends while doing so but it’s a small price to pay. Single player games are easier on my anxiety because there’s less….unpredictability when everything is scripted. I don’t have to worry about someone messing things up or going too fast or what have you. When you have anxiety as bad as mine, one of the things you seek at all times is control. The less independent variables, the less likely it is you start to sweat bullets and throw up in a trashcan.. Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy online interactions. Multiplayer FPS (hello, 1000 hours in TF2), RTS (sometimes), and MMOs (Final Fantasy XIV)…but at the crux of things, I dislike multiplayer. My anxiety can’t take being depended on to react in situations where I don’t have control. But…it’s more than that.

I don’t like asking for help.

I like doing things alone because I HATE asking for help. Maybe I’m stubborn, maybe I’m stupid, maybe it’s both or some combination of things but I just don’t like having to ask for help. Small things I’m okay with, like having a free company friend craft me an item in Final Fantasy XIV…but I don’t like depending on others. It’s partially, I think, from the anxiety: it’s yet another uncontrollable variable I have to deal with. But it’s mostly from the fact that…well…I don’t have much pride but I have it. There are so, SO many things in real life that I can’t do. Much of my medical history has prevented me from pursuing the jobs and hobbies that I REALLY WANT TO DO (like blacksmithing). So when I find something that I think I might be able to do…I will burn myself out trying to do it.  Unfortunately, this is what has happened in trying to make a life for myself. I have burned the candle not just at both ends but I have somehow managed to cut out a chunk of the middle and light that on fire as well. I can’t tell if it’s the perfect storm of pre-existing problems that have been quiet up until now but just got worse or if it’s things that have come about. On top of having to apply for/appeal for disability, it is also looking like I will be going into a partial hospitalization program for my anxiety. The rational side of me knows that this is a good idea. I’m sure they can teach me far better coping skills than my default of “video games and cigarettes.” But the other side of me is too prideful, too stubborn, too desperate for some sort of personal victory to just let go and say “asking for help is okay.” And having these two warring camps constantly battling inside me has meant that I am now taking Pepcid AC like a six year old with a strip of candy dots. Only there isn’t any paper stuck to the Pepcid AC so that’s a plus.

I wish I could wrap this post up with a neat little bow but I can’t. Only time will tell how this works out. I will continue to keep on keeping on and plug away slowly at figuring my life out. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even play more multiplayer.

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