Tag: depression

Due to Shopping Anxiety, I Hired Someone to Take Me Grocery Shopping Once a Week, and it has Made Life Easier

Grocery shopping on the bus was really hard. When I managed to go, I couldn’t put much food in my rolling cart. The bus route for where I live gets so crowded that I worried about the extra space that my cart took up. Since I couldn’t carry much on the bus, I had to choose between not having enough to eat, or making multiple trips per week.

A lot of times, I starved. When I did manage to make multiple trips, just getting food consumed hours and hours from my week. I’d rather put that time into things like working on my blog and job search.

I sometimes ate at nearby restaurants, ordered delivery, or bought way overpriced food at nearby convenience stores. I couldn’t afford to buy enough food from any of these places to fill the gap from my shopping difficulties, so I still often went hungry. My orders from these places wiped out my savings. I was hoping to use my savings to pay off my school debt so that I could return, turn my blog into a business, put together a decent wardrobe, get a pet from a shelter, and finish furnishing my apartment. Now my savings are gone, and all of those things will take way longer.

I tried a couple of grocery delivery services, Instacart and Shypt, but neither of them took food stamps. Trying to get an agency caregiver was a nightmare. Recently, it occurred to me to look up resumes on Craigslist and hire someone myself.

I got lucky with the first person I contacted. I can put groceries in the back of his truck, so now I can get enough food in just one trip each week. That has given me more peace of mind, along with not having to worry if people on the crowded bus resent me for taking up space with my cart of food. A nice bonus is that it has been fun having him to talk to on the way to the store and back, such as when I got to hear about his experience working with farm animals.

I wish I had thought of this sooner. It could’ve saved me thousands of dollars. My back pay went almost entirely to my food crisis. I’m so sad and ashamed about that. I feel stupid. It could take years to bounce back from this financial setback to pay off my debt, make my apartment look nice, etc.

At least my shopping problem is finally solved. Although my back pay is gone, going forward, I’ll be free to spend my regular money on other things besides just trying not to starve to death.

 

 

 

Grief and Overcoming Resulting Housekeeping Challenges

In September of 2018, my mom suddenly died. At first, I still kept up with my housework.

Then several people magnified my grief with the hurtful ways they treated me. Some criticized me for, in their opinion, not doing a good enough job handling the logistics of her death. Some kept pushing me to go faster, even though I was already drained from my mental illness and various other traumas that had happened before, and her sudden death happened when I had barely had a chance to start recovering from that other stuff.

Others steamrolled my boundaries. Also, I was more prone than usual to making mistakes for a while after her death, such as forgetting an important item at home, and at times, people were ruthless about it.

The added layers to my grief and trauma ruined me. The feelings that ruined me, in turn, ruined my home. I was so out of my mind after these additional awful events that I stopped cleaning my apartment or even throwing anything away properly.

Now, I’m surrounded by garbage in my apartment. Even being in bed is uncomfortable, because there’s garbage there, too. I’ve had so much to handle and so little support that I’d just weakly open my palm when I held a piece of garbage and let it drop to the floor, barely registering it. Other times, I’d set down garbage, nasty dishes, etc. on whatever furniture was close by. My apartment is infested with bugs.

I have to act…if my landlord finds out that my apartment has gotten this bad, she’d have to evict me. I’ve already dealt with homelessness before, both as a child and as an adult. I fear what it would do to me if I had to endure it yet again. Not again. Not again! I need to save myself.

I hope to later have an update, readers, with a picture of a clean, organized apartment, a picture that I won’t be ashamed to share.

My Mom Died

My mom died today. The doctor called and said that there was nothing else they could do for her and that he thought it would be best for her to let her pass away, so I agreed. I don’t think that I have the strength to visit her one last time, but my dad and I visited her twice yesterday, and I hope that’ll be enough to have made a good transition for her to the other side. I’ll post a tribute on Sunday of all of the things that I loved about her with a link to the guest post she recently contributed. I wish that we could’ve had more time together. I hope that we’ll be together again after I pass away. I hope that there’s a peaceful afterlife. I admit that I’m skeptical, but I feel like I need to believe in order to keep my mind intact.

My Thoughts on the Computer Game “Please Knock on My Door,” developed by Michael Levall

I had high hopes for Please Knock on My Door, since it’s about depression and social anxiety, conditions which I struggle with. If you’re familiar with my blog, mental health is, of course, a big interest of mine. I was disappointed with this game. That’s mainly because I couldn’t tell when my character was hungry or needed a shower, so it was aggravating to suddenly get a notification that he was starving or filthy.

I think that the Sims games are more manageable. I have Sims 4, and my characters there have bars that show their needs so that they aren’t as likely to get into crisis level needs as the character in this game is. Sims doesn’t exactly get into mental illness, but Sims 4 does include emotional states, such as sad or angry, that Sims need a little guidance to work through, so I recommend that over this Please Knock on My Door if you want to play something with some emotional depth. I’ll cover Sims 4 later.

 

Works Cited

Please Knock on My Door. PC, Levall Games AB, 2017.

My Thoughts on Nintendo Switch game “The Lion’s Song,” by Mi’pu’mi Games

My Thoughts on Nintendo Switch game “The Lion’s Song,” by Mi’pu’mi Games

In this media series, I divide the post into two parts: Part 1 for those who haven’t experienced the work yet, and part 2 for those who would like to read more deeply about it. Image description: an artist paints their subject’s portrait while standing in front of an easel. Other portraits they’ve painted are hanging on the wall.

 

Part 1:

The Lion’s Song is a narrative game in which your choices affect whether a few artists and scientists find the success that they’re looking for in early 20th century Vienna, Austria. The playable characters are mainly a violinist trying to find inspiration for her composition, a portrait painter trying to figure out his identity, and a mathematician who faces sexism from characters who don’t believe that someone who’s assigned female at birth can do math. It’s hard for me to tell, since if it’s there, it’s very subtle, but I think the game may imply that Emma (who also portrays themselves sometimes as Emil to work around sexism) maybe be transgender and/or genderqueer. The fourth episode ties the previous three together.

There’s some crossover between arts and sciences, such as how Wilma, the violinist, can find inspiration from a science textbook, and Emma/Emil, the mathematician, can have their portrait done by the painter, Franz. I like that the game shows that art and science can be interconnected. Another example that I can think of in everyday life is how science books can have photos and other illustrations in them.

I like the social justice theme in the third episode. The game acknowledges that people who are assigned female at birth have also been disadvantaged throughout history in the science fields, and further than that, it even acknowledges that there are more options for presenting and identifying as than just female or male. This episode reminds me of the book Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, and I just bought the Kindle version, which I’m excited to read.

 

Part 2:

I played Wilma differently than I would’ve acted in real life, but I played Franz and Emma more like how I would’ve acted.

I set Wilma up for heartbreak by letting her nurse a crush on her music teacher. She eventually gets together with him, but the last episode reveals that she gets so obsessed with him that she neglects her music career, and both her relationship and career fall apart. I’m taking this as a warning that getting too obsessed with anything can derail me. My mom recently warned me herself that worrying too much about how to transition from being on disability to becoming a mental health therapist could undo the progress I’ve made in my recovery and possibly even go as far as to put me back in the hospital. I’m being more careful now to think about other things, too, such as while I finished this game, which required some concentration.

The last episode reveals that Franz gets more depressed, which shows in his artwork. This surprised me, since he figures out his identity in the second episode, and he seems really happy about that. While I played him, other characters encourage him to interact more with the “real world.” His grandfather said that the real world is made of deeds, not words, but I don’t entirely agree with that, since words themselves can be a type of deed. I would instead say that both words and more concrete actions are important. The characters have different interpretations of what is real, such as how his grandfather considers it to be rock climbing, and Emma /Emilconsiders it to be science. Since his grandfather and Emma/Emil also have pretty specific views of reality, I don’t see why some of the characters think that Franz’s niche of painting is beneath theirs. This reflects how, sadly, in real life, some people think that what they care about must be objectively more important than what other people care about.

In Emma/Emil’s episode, I have them strike up a friendship with a disabled girl, Nikol, who finds out that they sometimes present differently and shows her respect for that by offering to call them Em, since both of their names have Em in common. I found that a heartwarming moment. At first, Nikol feels blah about most things, but the last episode reveals that my choices about their friendship lead to it helping Nikol get to a more positive place as she gets older. Em wins a debate with a professor who tries to humiliate them, but I have them remain calm and kind, which leads to the professor eventually mellowing out and even collaborating with them on mathematical developments afterwards. I like how Em makes a positive difference both academically and in their relationships with others.

 

Works Cited

The Lion’s Song. Nintendo Switch, Mu’Pu’Mi Games, 2018.

 

 

How I Find Word Search Puzzles Beneficial for Mental Health

Word search puzzles help me with my anxiety and depression because each puzzle gives me a list of words to search for that are related to a specific topic. I often pick topics that are good for my mood, such as animal related ones. Focusing on these clusters of related words makes me focus less on what I’m depressed or anxious about and more on the puzzle’s theme. For example, I did one about cats yesterday. One of the words in the puzzle was “sunshine,” which made me think of a cat sleepily soaking up the sun’s warmth, and another was “ears,” which made me think of how pointy a cat’s ears are and how they easily flick when there’s even a slight noise. The puzzle really immersed me into thinking about cats.

For me, doing these puzzles feels similar to meditation due to how they shape my focus. They keep me concentrated on a specific thing that doesn’t need to go anywhere aside from brief mental imagery and looking for the word. Since I tend to over-analyze, they’re a good way for me to give my brain a bit of a break.

 

A Simple Mathematical Thought Experiment for Finding Hope

If you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, using even very simple math may help you feel more hopeful that your life can get better.

For example, I currently only know my parents and professionals who provide me services, such as my therapist. One source of my mental illness has been wondering if I’ll ever have friendships in my life.

I just thought of an easy mathematical thought experiment today that has somewhat improved my outlook. For the sake of easy math, I rounded my age up from 24 to 25, and estimated that I’ll live to age 75. That would, theoretically, give me about 50 years to try to make friends.

If, for 50 years, I go to one social event (i.e, a book club at my local bookstore) per month, that’ll give me 600 opportunities throughout the rest of my life to meet potential friends. If I have a 1% chance of meeting someone who becomes a friend at any given event, then theoretically, there would still be six events in my lifetime at which I’d meet a new friend. Making six friends throughout my lifetime would still be better than the number of friends I’d have if I don’t socialize, which would be zero.

If I manage to go to two social events per month, that would be around 1200 opportunities to meet potential friends. At 1% odds, that could be 12 friendships throughout my lifetime.

If I go to four social events per month, that would be around 2400 opportunities, and that could be 24 friendships throughout my lifetime.

I know that in reality, the probability that I’ll make friends is a lot more complicated. There are a lot of factors involved. The purpose of this exercise, at least for now, isn’t to calculate what exact odds of making friends, but to give a broad overview of how simply spending enough time socializing throughout our lives, in itself, can give us better odds than we might initially think of finding the connections we hope for.