The following are health bars from Left 4 Dead 2. The way the game works, the only time a player will be at 100 is at the very start of a game, and once they take any modicum of damage that brings them down from 100, you will never see 100 again, no matter how many health packs you use. It’s kind of an appropriate analogy to life itself, that once damaged, it will never be unblemished, no matter how much repair and fixing goes into it.
Note the partial bars that are to the right of the solid colored bars. These are what the zbs community refers to as “decaying health” or “pill health.” It’s health that counts towards your overall hit points, but also ticks down over time, unlike the solid bar health. In spite of the tropes and memes about L4D out there, you can take pills as often as you can find them in order to keep your health high, but it will always be temporary and degrading over time.
L4D health bars are a good analogy to how I feel my life is going these days, and often times why I feel like I could use some therapy. I’m long past the point where I’m probably closer to 50 than I am 100, and much like in L4D, I don’t think I’ll ever see 100 again any time soon. Right now, if I had to guess, my solid bar probably maxes out at 60, and if I ever want to be any higher than that, I’ll have to down a jar of pills to get up into the 90s, but that time will be temporary, fleeting, and will come back down naturally over time.
I realize that this makes me sound like I’m thinking that I need a lot of medication to get through my days, which couldn’t be any further from the truth, but from an emotional standpoint, I definitely could be in much better shape and I can’t really figure out why I’m in such a dark space in my head so often lately, when I really shouldn’t be.
But today, I am frustrated, sleep deprived and completely over basically everything and I feel like this is the culmination of weeks of a thousand cuts and I’m having a day where I want pretty much nothing but to be left the fuck alone and to have a little bit of time to myself.
Yesterday, I worked late because of an incident involving people I work with not doing adequate work, leading to me being contacted, investigating the problems, realizing that it was said people not doing adequate work, but because it was at the very tail end of the work day and everyone’s remote, nobody but me was ready and/or willing to fix things, and I’m in this position of being disappointed with some people on my team, but debating on whether or not I should bring it up and risk putting said people whom I genuinely like personally, into the line of fire, professionally. It’s a dilemma that could probably warrant its own post, which I should capitalize on since I’ve been in a drought lately and struggling to find things to write about, but I probably won’t because I don’t like to write too much about my job.
Afterward, I ran an errand with my mom, had dinner, went running, did some house chores and then showered, I sat down ready to start winding my day down. Five minutes later, my child is crying, and I look at the clock: it’s 10:30. It’s a little on the early side, but this is still about the time in which mythical wife and I wake her up anyway to give her a night feed, before we put her back down for the rest of the night. Dejected by my sheer lack of me-time, I head up to begin the night routine.
By the time my child is back to sleep, about an hour has passed, and mythical wife is already off to bed since she has to get up before I do. I’m pissed because I had a day in which I worked late and have had literally five minutes to myself, and I still had some winding down to do or else I’d be going to bed angry and I don’t ever think it’s healthy to go to bed angry, so I stayed up a little bit longer to do some shit on my laptop that I had intended on doing.
A few weeks ago, I saw this thing on social media outlining the basis of what is derived from the Chinese interpretation as revenge sleep procrastination. Among the many of people I know who feel that this describes them, I am most definitely one of them.
Either way, I still go to bed feeling frustrated, but I also need to not be going to sleep too late since I have a job, as agitated as I can sometimes get with it. As I lie down and close my eyes, I pray that this is a night in which my child will sleep soundly and not wake up in the middle of the night more than once.
Naturally, that can’t possibly have been the case, otherwise I wouldn’t be so filled with angst that I’d feel the need to write about it. She woke up at 3 am, 4 am, and when she woke up again at 5 am, that was the last of it, and she was not going to go back to sleep. I was miserable, sleep deprived and already in a shitty mood from the day prior and I felt like my life was spiraling. I wish I had more help in spite of my wife and my mom also being present, because at that very present, it was mine and my problem alone and I was already beyond over everything.
Obviously when it comes to my child, I need to exercise restraint better than anywhere else, so I just had to set her down and let her try and figure it out for a few minutes while I sat and tried my best to futilely get my head on straight. By the time I had calmed a little bit, it was already time for my first alarm to go off, and I figured the morning was a wash and might as well get the day started and prepare for one where I’ll probably go three cups of coffee deep, and where going to bed early sounds like a great idea, I’ll probably declare revenge on tonight too and stay up to my usual time and hope that I can have more than five fucking minutes to myself.
But until then, I am a powder keg of angst and frustration. I have been for a little while now, and it’s really nobody’s fault. Everything is inadequate and the smallest things have a tendency to set me off. I am irritable and unsatisfied by everything, when I really have no real right to be, given the facts that I have a loving family, a beautiful infant daughter, and am employed.
This is why I feel like I could benefit from therapy. Just because I feel like my L4D health bar can max out at 60 doesn’t mean I’m actually ever there. I feel like I’m always in a state of some sort of damage, and that any time I’m at or above 60, it’s typically on pill time, and it’s only a matter of time before a metaphorical zombie punch drops me back down into a state of irritable weariness where nothing can really bring me back up.
I do not like this, but I don’t really know what to do in order to get my head back on straight. So until then, it’s brog therapist word vomiting.