This is an entry I posted on April 25, 2016. I added it to this journal on April 25, 2017, but backdated it, so it was inline with any other posts I may have made, to better understand my mental state at the time).
ALL GOOD THINGS...
I was off of work today. Much like Peter Gibbons from "Office Space", I spent it doing nothing: sleeping, absentmindedly browsing Facebook, or running Molten Core on my WoW characters to obtain some rare item so I can make a Nifty Thing before my account expires on Sunday. I switched from one thing to the next as the urge struck me, or as I got tired.
This feels like one of the first days off I've had in a while. I can't explain it, since I'm getting my two days a week without fail. In an attempt to explain it, though, I guess it's because I've had Things to Do most of my off days this month. Until this week, Saturday was my one definite day off every week. What is particularly telling is that I can't remember my other days off each of those weeks.
The first two Saturdays of the month saw me trying to wrap up my 13th Age game (which somehow grew into a Real Game™, even though my plan was "fun little bullshit game we do for 2-3 weeks"). Of course, the first of those two sessions were broken up by Justin showing, and a great deal of discussion on matters spiritual. My heart wasn't in it the next week, and it ran longer than I wanted, due in equal parts to the story being longer than I anticipated and because I wasn't able to rein things in and propel the game forward when necessary. To say I was dissatisfied about how that game ended would be an understatement.
The next week was the first session back with Travis's game. We'd had an impromptu party at Jon's the night before, and again had discussions of a spiritual nature to go with our alcohol. We started the game back at level 15, and it was fun, but I realize now that we had one direction to go: into battle, which took up the whole session. Craig participated as a stand-in for Justin, who was feeling under the weather, and we laughed and gamed until we had to call it a night.
This week was Dane's birthday weekend, and my Saturday was supposed to be spoke for all day. However, I'd begun to have trouble sleeping again, and was getting exhausted quite severely during the week. I found my neck and shoulders were in an almost sharp pain at times, I was so tense (this whole thing coincided with the District Front End Coordinator staying on us all week about what we weren't doing right or turning in -- even other CSMs were commenting about it in our group MMS messages). Heck, I'd even gotten used to a near-constant stabbing at my right temple, that only abated when I dozed during my lunch. I had hope that being off from work, and being able to just be around people I liked would help.
The Friday night before Dane's birthday, though (despite spending the evening at the Leaky Cauldron and feeling somewhat recharged), I still had trouble sleeping. Or rather, I had trouble sleeping WELL. I was spending more and more time asleep, but wasn't feeling any better when I woke. I'd wake during the night, and maybe mess around on Facebook for an hour or two, but I was going to bed early enough that a brief interlude in my resting shouldn't have mattered. I woke at 10am, and promptly fell back asleep after I finished breakfast. I woke enough to rouse myself sometime after 11am, which just had me agitated, since I knew I was running late.
I was late trying to get to the place for Laser Tag (after struggling to find clothes I could "get dirty"), and Google Maps misdirected me something fierce. I gave up and came home, only to fall asleep HARD for the next two hours. That should have been a sign. I woke, picked up something for Dane, and grabbed Brian so he could go. We had the most difficult time getting there, because it seemed that every direction I chose to get us there was congested with cars, all the way up to the section of Winchester right before the last major turn. That probably was a sign, too.
We talked and ate and had a good afternoon, which was pretty fun, because it was unstructured and spontaneous and had no purpose besides fellowship. When the discussion turned toward starting the game, I realized I had NO energy. I wasn't just tired, but I was kinda flopped like a rag doll on the couch while people began prepping things like bringing in the table and wiping surfaces down.
I joked about playing from the couch, and was told as long as I "don't fall asleep" there. I *knew* I was going to fall asleep, so I got a chair and sat at the table.
My heart wasn't in the game, from the moment we started back up. First, I couldn't remember what we did the previous week. Then, I knew absolutely NOTHING we could do to overcome the first immediate obstacle. I said something in frustration, and Travis asked if that was in-character, so I decided it was. Turns out, that was something to move the story forward. Despite that, though, I felt my energy draining faster and faster. I tried eating some more dinner (love Julie's potato salad!), and it helped a scant hair, but the lethargy returned.
Finally, I wanted nothing more than to get up and go home, in the middle of a combat round. I wanted no more part of gaming at all. I wanted my bed and at least the hope of 9-10 hours of sleep. I used the bathroom, where I realized it was only going to get even worse. I could have literally fallen asleep in there, sitting on the toilet. I came out and said I was going to pumpkin after combat.
I don't really recall what happened after that, until Brian and I were leaving. My eyes hurt, my neck hurt, my shoulders hurt.. I couldn't make myself feel better. What I do remember is that Brian and I talked about how much work has grown to suck, and we talked from when we left until we pulled into his driveway. I explained how overwhelmed I felt about work, and how I didn't know how to fix things and make it better. Brian vented a bit, too, but I only remember he did, because I can't recall what his specifics were.
I left, and made it home alright, but when I got in, I went STRAIGHT to sleep. It was only around 1am, and I didn't have to get up until 11am for work, but I slept almost all of that, and STILL felt tired when I got up.
Work wasn't quite as bad for me Sunday, so I left feeling not as exhausted, but I still came home and went to bed. And today has been, as I said, off and on sleeping all day. I'm about to go to bed again, and hopefully I'll sleep until I have to get up for work.
My problem is that, in the last week, my stress related to work has ramped up a great deal, and things that were helping to take the edge off, no longer do the trick. Gaming should be my release, but instead, I just can't care about it, especially the idea of my own game. I almost don't even care about Travis's game or Leif's game, for all that I called myself excited about them. I'm short-tempered and miserable. What exacerbates everything is that I just *know* that if I quit the games, I'll get worse.
Between stress related to maintaining my job (so I can afford to live where I do and keep my car), the stress of doing my job (that place is a fucking madhouse at the best of times), and the stress of knowing my lease was coming up (and it was only Thursday that I learned that I'm okay there), I don't really enjoy being at home much, and I *really* don't enjoy being at work. Those few hours where I spend time with Leigh Ann or at the Leaky Cauldron are pretty much the only times I'm not constantly reminded of how much pressure I'm under.
I don't know if I can keep playing, if something doesn't break to relieve me of some of this stress. The spiritual discussions helped, as did fellowship with fellow Norse tradition folks, but it either isn’t enough, or isn’t happening enough. I'm unhappy about it, and I may still head over to sit on the couch and watch (if allowed) or nap as necessary, but I can no longer promise I will play.