Difficulty to Settle, Satisfaction Sought

I’m feeling a bit brighter for now, and I started listing the things I enjoy while taking the subway to band practice. The reason why I felt I had to think of everything I find satisfactory is because it’s been a very long time since I last felt like my life was good enough and that I had “enough” things that gave my life some sort of meaning. For example, when I stay home for a week and only watch tv-shows or play games on my computer, I feel like I’m wasting time I should use for something better: something that’s social, intellectual, has long-lasting benefits et cetera. And when I don’t have enough of these “valuable” things in my everyday life, I’ve made my life something that I shouldn’t be able to enjoy. I can’t settle for spending time alone eating and entertaining myself in front of my laptop – and it feels like I shouldn’t settle for it either.

It may sound silly to try and settle for life as it is instead of trying to improve it or find new things to spend time on, but my problem is that when I feel like I should have more things in my calendar, I can’t really enjoy anything that I do have there. Therefore I’m trying hard to visualize all the things I enjoy so that I could see them as fulfilling enough for my life at the moment. Most of them are simple, such as eating, but still very effective at improving the quality of life, at least for the time I spend doing them. Yet the feeling that those things aren’t worth settling for makes them all feel like a sort of “guilty pleasure”, something that I actually enjoy but feel like I shouldn’t.

Here goes:

Food: cheap both in monetary value and in the mental effort required to achieve some euphoria. You can’t be really depressed or really anxious while eating. Although when you are, it’s almost impossible to eat anything, as if all the muscles in my neck were trying to block anything from going through. Not that great in the long run, as gaining weight doesn’t do wonders to self-esteem.

Music: very situational. Sometimes listening to music relaxes or helps by amplifying certain feelings and thoughts, but sometimes silence is the best treatment for anxiety caused by social paranoia. In terms of playing bass in a band, it has the benefit of giving me something to do on each weekend, and learning to play better is a very satisfactory achievement. Getting gigs and recording music in a studio feel like “doing something” which feels like a great change from my everyday life. Slightly improves social life even outside the band. On a downside, causes stress as I’m responsible for filling my spot in the band, coming to practice every week, learning new songs, being able to play etc. The band chemistry is also sometimes a problem, as you can’t avoid the people you have to play with.

Games: a massive time-spender. This is both a good and a bad thing. I can decide to occupy my mind in games for weeks and weeks, so I can avoid some of the suffering from feeling depressed. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed and I’m usually very good at video games. Some of them also have the social element of playing with the same people over the internet. This leads to the worse part, as playing with a social group means I’m also responsible to them: playing enough so the gaming group keeps running. Also, I have a bad tendency of starting the ritual of gaming and watching tv-shows even when I’m supposed to do something else, because having all your senses overloaded makes it impossible to feel or think of anything else.

Tv-shows, movies: a bit same as above, but requires no active role from me, thus making it a lesser form of entertainment. I usually combine these two, doing something very mechanical in a game while watching a tv-show in a smaller window.

School, learning, studying: I like learning a lot, but I’m not good at spending effort towards it. It’s hard to start doing homework when the sensory-overload-ritual is such an easy solution for being bored or unsure that I’m not going to feel down that day. Seeing schoolmates is an experience that usually brings me down to Earth from my world of paranoid thought. Something that is really worth it in the long run, but causes stress and burnout because it feels so important and has a heavy pressure around it in my mind.

Social life, friends: having someone call you or send a message via Facebook, Msn etc is a really nice feeling. It’s a shame that people in my social circle rarely do anything that doesn’t involve drinking. Not that I don’t enjoy that as well, but I’d really like to spend time with many of them even without a “reason” or an event.

Thinking, philosophy, psychology: I like spending time inside my head. I enjoy making deductions of things going around, trying to evaluate politicians, figuring out principles and rules for various things. There’s a ton of things I like thinking about, more than I can verbally express. However, I often try to occupy my mind with something else, as when I’m having a difficult time the same engine turns to running depressed, paranoid and disturbing ideas around my head. I’d like to feel better even if just to be able to “free my mind” and not have to try numbing it down.

Physical exercise: it makes me feel better and I know it. Still, it’s hard to muster the energy to start doing something as I’m almost always tired and it can even make exercising painful. Going outside for a jog also requires a confident enough feeling because I have to let other people see me without my normal shield of clothes and exterior. I’m not really into going into a gym, because the uncertainty of not knowing what to do and how to act makes me over-conscious of myself and other people.


It would seem this post was needed, as I’ve written half a page of text about things I enjoy but felt like I only wrote about the obvious and not that noteworthy stuff. Time to start being content with these and not feel guilty about not saving the world every day?


~ by Ndprs on March 5, 2012.

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