Anxiety and Life Changes

This doesn't contain actual advice and isn't a cry for help. If anything, this is my therapeutical vent session. The Long Backstory Lots fo…

Geek Stuff

 ⋅ Dec 3, 2021 ⋅ 4 min read

This doesn't contain actual advice and isn't a cry for help. If anything, this is my therapeutical vent session.

The Long Backstory

Lots fo life changes and stuff hit all at once over the last month. My mother in law is in declining health and had to move in with us. She has to use a walker and has normal days and very low days. Our house isn't very handicap accessible. It's a 2 story house, master bedroom and office downstairs, kids and guest bedrooms upstairs.

We converted my office into her bedroom. I moved my work laptop and a couple monitors upstairs to the guest bedroom and our gaming consoles to the master bedroom.

I really didn't know what to do with my gaming PC. I don't have ethernet in the guest bedroom and it's far enough away that the wifi signal is rubbish. I ended up putting my pc in the bedroom and hooking up a small monitor to it to play games. It's not at a desk and I use a wireless keyboard with a touchpad on it. I really prefer to use mouse and keyboard for playing games, but I'll make do with just a controller for a while.

My wife also started working from home. This makes my typical work day a little more complicated. Does a good husband inhale lunch and spent the last 55 minutes of his lunch hour in the garage?

Roughly two days into the new situation I started having super high levels of anxiety. I thought I was going to need to go to the hospital. Everything seemed to be a trigger. Thinking about catching up on games or my unfinished woodworking projects were some of the worst. I find a lot of joy playing games and working with my hands, but recent events turned them into my biggest stressors.

I needed to convince myself that my old stress relief methods needed to be replaced. I couldn't game the way I normally would and I couldn't work on wood the way I normally wood.

Journey to Ok

It took me several days to get into the head space and identify my stressors. I was angry that my mother in law had to move in with us. The situation could have been prevented. It's complicated, political and could burn bridges if I shared my perspective. Not being able to change the situation and not being able to game normally were my primary stressors. I needed to address these first

I had to convince myself that a 5th person living with us is the new reality. Maybe if we can get her better health care, we can get her somewhere that can take better care of her. $3k a month for assisted living is way too much to split between our family and my wife's brother. We ran the numbers and can't realistically do it. Anything we could do right now would only get her a couple of months of care and toss our planned long term investments out the window. There isn't anything my wife and I can do to long term impact this stressor so we are doing our best to adapt to it. We've worked with some family members so that we can try to get out and do stuff that we would normally do during the week as a family.

Gaming was the next thing I needed to address. Gaming is my primary source of stress relief. I normally play from 4am to 6am. I haven't really done any evening gaming since the kids started Taekwondo. My son's sleep patterns are all over the place. He tends to get up around 5 now. It's discouraging being in the middle of a long mission and hear feet running down the hallway. I only played games with a pause button before I picked up Destiny. I needed to go back to this.

Destiny 2 was giving me enough anxiety I had to cut it off. I've kept my eye on Destiny 2 news and a bit on Twitter, but I stopped watching anything related to D2 on Youtube or Twitch. I also took a further backseat in my DoD discord. I was already dealing with anxiety about participating with my buds, but I needed to just step away to not worry about it. Gaming drama triggers me and I cut it off the best I could. Halo and Destiny drama are really high right now and I choose to not even expose myself to it.

What does gaming look like for me right now? I convinced myself I didn't need to play Destiny for a while. I greatly enjoy the game, but there are still aspects that stress me out. I spent about a week only playing Animal Crossing. I setup a small battle station on my bedroom floor that doesn't bother my wife while she's sleeping. I eased my way back into PC gaming with playing the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters. I picked up Destiny properly for the first time in about a month. I've mentally prepared myself to not complete the new dungeon any time soon. I'm going to play what I can, when I can. I wont focus on my Triumph checklist as much as I normally do. I also wont get discouraged by tiny person interruptions.

I'm still trying to figure how to re-incorporate my light workouts and wood working back into my life.

I wont sugar coat it. I've been miserable and selfishly angry for about 3 weeks, but I'm in an OK state now. I'm far from good, but I'm also not feeling like I'm about to have a heart attack every day anymore. I know my changes are probably the norm for some people and I took my privileged life for granted. The changes were severe for a family with young kids and relies heavily on routines and schedules. The quest to get to 'good' continues.