It’s wearing to always be the weird one. I have to get that out there before I start blathering about whatever is on my mind. Fair warning: I woke up feeling as if I was hit by a dump truck (not as bad as a Mack truck, but still), and I’m slightly dizzy and nauseated. So, I’m going to write until my brain gives out, which could be in five minutes or it could be in an hour.
One common wisdom people give about depression is to write about your feelings as a way of tracking them. It makes sense, but I refuse to do it. Why? Because I write a lot on a regular basis, and I don’t want to make it a chore, rather than something I enjoy doing. Telling myself that I have to jot down every feeling I feel is a sure way to make me not want to write. I do it, anyway, in these posts, so making myself journal seems excessive to me.
Another common wisdom to counter depression is to get some sun and to exercise. I’ve heard the latter so much, it’s embedded in my brain. My experience with exercise, however, begs to differ.
Side Note: I have SAD in the summer instead of winter, which is yet another way in which I am not normal. I love winter. I roll down the windows in my car until it’s zero degrees. I used to do it sub-zero, but I’m more sensitive to cold now that I’m an Old. My thermostat is set at 62º during the day and 60º during the night. I did not wear a coat all of last winter, but I also didn’t go out during the coldest days. I think we reached something like -50º including the windchill, which is cold, even for me. I do appreciate the sun, but in small doses. I like it better than gloomy weather, but it has to be paired with cold.
Back to exercise. I’ve heard it all my life, and I’m sure you have, too. “Exercise drives away the depression!” Well, no. That’s not true. I found that it didn’t make my mood worse, but it didn’t help, either. No endorphin boost for me, except when I did dancing as exercise. Fast walking (and I used to do four miles a day) just made me actively angry, in part because I was getting hot and sweaty while doing it. I sweat. A lot. More than most people. I don’t have a problem with that, but it’s not fun to be bathing in it. Also, being in the heat makes me actively angry. Anything over seventy is not my happy place. I read about the office temperature wars, and I have to shake my head. Most people seem to think 70º to 75º is the comfort zone. In fact, women in general prefer a higher temp than men do. Me, I would cuss everybody out if I had to be that hot every day.
People who like it warmer complain that they have to cater to people who like colder temps, but it’s because at some point, we can’t take off any more clothing. One person on this temp war thread said their dad started a new job at a place where a woman kept the thermometer cranked to 85+º. Eighty-fucking-five. PLUS. The commenter said their dad almost fainted, and I would have fainted. The dad also kept his thermostat at 62º during the winter, so he’s my kind of people.
Back to exercise. I just spent ten minutes looking up depression and exercise, and I found something very interesting. There’s a new study that suggests that exercise does not help women with depression. I’m going to read the actual study to see if that’s what it actually says, but for now, I feel vindicated. The only exercise that has helped my depression at all is taiji, and that’s more of a long game gain than an instant boost.
I can even say this plays out in how I play video games, namely FromSoft games. I’ll tell you the way you ‘should’ play the games and then how I actually play them. Please remember that I have beaten all the games, and I’ve soloed all the bosses in all the games except for three in the DLC of Bloodborne. I have not played Demon’s Souls, but one day….I’m just getting my creds out of the way because they matter a lot in the FromSoft fandom.
First of all, they are melee games and are meant to be played melee. I’ve heard that so many times from the people I’ve watched playing these games. Mostly men, of course, but even the women who play them in Let’s Plays or Let’s Look At or whatever have parroted the same line. Of course, I could rant about the masculine expectations of the industry, but I’ll refrain with difficulty. Anyway, blah blah blah melee blah blah blah magic is OP blah blah blah pussy. That’s pretty much how that line of reasoning sounds to me, but I will concede that the games are meant to be played melee. Especially BB and Sekiro. There is more leeway in the Dark Souls trilogy, but even there, it’s a common belief that you need to play melee in order to truly understand and enjoy the games.
“You should play melee the first time or you won’t get the real Dark Souls experience.” That’s canon in Souls fandom, which is utter bollocks. First of all, magic/pyro/miracles are options in the games. THEY. ARE. IN. THE. GAME. That right there tells you it’s viable. Second, it’s precious that many of the men who utter this bullshit have not actually played as a caster I’ve heard the ‘magic is OP’ bullshit for as long as I’ve played the games, and as someone who actually plays as a caster, it’s bullshit. I mean, maybe it’s true for PvP, though most people can dodge the casts, but it’s not true for PvE, especially in the original game. There are a fairly limited amount of casts, and I always ran out of spells before finishing the area/boss. That means I have to use my rinky-dink weapon–in my case, a battle axe my first time through for the rest of the area/boss.
In addition, if you want to build towards a caster build, then you have to scrimp on other stats–such as Vitality and Endurance. And whatever equipment-load-bearing stat the other games throw into the mix. My point is that being a caster is just as viable as being a melee player, and it has its benefits and negatives, just as being a melee player. In addition, one of the complaints about casters is that we never have to get up in the face of an enemy. Au contraire! Once the magic is (literally) gone, I’m all up in there with my axe, plinking away for potato damage.
I will say that I agree with conventional wisdom in the case of Bloodborne, conventional wisdom being not to use an Arcane build the first time through. In this case, it’s because it’s a shite build with Arcane being really weak until the end of the game. I did love my beloved Augur of Ebrietas and shouting, “Tentacles to the face” when I used it, but I definitely made things harder on myself. You know what, though? I would do it again if I had the chance because I gotta be true to myself. I’m a caster, through and through. I will play any FromSoft game as a caster the first time through if I can (couldn’t in Sekiro), and that’s just the way it is.
In general, I don’t care about being a weirdo. I know I’m strange, and I’m fine with that. It’s just when I’m reminded of it several times a day that I start becoming self-conscious about it. It’s heartening to see other people with similar mindsets to mine, which means I probably should find communities that align with my weirdness. The problem is that most of the ways in which I’m weird, it’s not really something to rally around. It’s more the lack of something than an active thing. I mean, not wanting to be married, not wanting kids, not wanting to be in a relationship. Yes, you can gather around, say, not wanting to have children, but I would rather not talk about what I don’t want on a regular basis.
Yes, I realize the irony of saying that when all I do in this blog is complain, to use the loosest definition of the word. I usually discover what I want by process of elimination, but I realize that it would probably be healthier if I focused on what I wanted rather than what I didn’t. However, I usually am better at figuring out what I don’t want than what I do. Again, I can recognize it’s not the best way to be, but it’s the way I am.
I’m done now. I’m tired. I might need to nap.