(aka Distraction isn’t the start of the apocalypse)
I have started to write repeatedly in the last couple days and gotten nowhere beyond two sentences. It’s hard to stop and focus. My fiance asked me last night if I’d written anything and I just stared at him shaking my head. He asked if I was taking weekends off. No, no that’s not it. I just had no way to get myself to stop the hamster running in the wheel inside my head long enough to get words out.
I held my phone up and started listing non-Ingress games I’m playing – Clash Royale with its three minute rounds, my fishy game which is one of those ‘match three gem’ kind of games with rounds that are even shorter, my search and find game with two minute or less rounds… I’m like “I couldn’t even finish my crown chest yet!” It means getting ten towers down in that first game, usually takes me under half an hour. It’d been over three hours and I was still at 9, with the phone sitting dark next to me.
“That’s my level of focus, three minutes and, really, not even that.” I’ve been using phone games as distraction from my physical issues lately. There are many coping skills but over the years I have learned that when things are weighing heavily on my mind, it’s distraction that helps most. It lets my subconscious mind work on the issues without invading my conscious mind to the point of obsessing and panic attacks.
While we are becoming a generation of screen junkies, there are benefits sometimes. Yesterday’s distractions, beyond the games, were: watching Empire Records, talking to a person online I’d never talked to before, contemplating meeting friends from online and running through a list a friend gave me of topics he’d like to see me tackle. I must have read the list twenty times. It’s a short list, but I like it – some hows and whens and a little entertainment.
Distraction is my warm comfy blanket as far as coping with racing thoughts is concerned, as well as anxiety and sometimes depression but most often the racing thoughts. I do have an actual warm comfy blankey for the others, and a bear (Mr. Bear… I’ve had him about ten years, he’s sitting next to me now), and a cat when she’s awake. Some people say you need to work through your issues or you need to ‘figure things out.’ While they are correct, sometimes taking some time away from those issues and those things is exactly what can help you figure out how to handle them.
This morning, I am in a much better place emotionally. I’m more able to accept the high brain pressure thing, more able to handle needing to retest my blood in a couple of weeks to see if I truly have an issue with my kidneys, more able to think about my future. By the way, the kidney thing – that test that was off when I wrote last – my general physician just wants a retest – the level is not far out of range so I’m not as terrified as I was. I will still keep you updated.
Mainly, if distraction is being detrimental to your life – if you’re binging netflix instead of eating dinner – that’s not really good. However, sometimes a little distraction can make you feel capable enough to make dinner or to take a shower, or to actually have that conversation with your boss to request a vacation. Our little glowing screens may have the power to diminish our quality of life if we’re not careful, but sometimes… sometimes they can vastly improve it.