Circles

Sometimes my mind is a fortress I can go through stressful days for weeks at a time and come out feeling empowered.

Other times one tiny slip in concentration and I start thinking in circles.
This forces me to repeat a scenario in my head which increases my anxiety.
I become afraid to take any action convinced the worst possible outcome is the only outcome and always hear the negative side to a conversation. This pushes my paranoia.
My focus gets shattered and I am unable to keep my attention on anything for more than a few minutes. This stops me accomplishing anything and has me frantically jumping between different forms of media unable to concentrate. I jump between these in a loop as well reinforcing the circular thinking so now my attempted distraction is also making me ill.

The worst this when this happens is that I am not always aware of it.

It can take me a few days to stop. To take a step back and control my breathing and reset my thoughts.

Thankfully this is something I can do now.

I can calm myself. I can answer the first question in my head instead of asking a dozen more in its place.
I can get my work done and not feel like an imposter.
I can relax and regain my focus.

I would have killed to be able to that 15 years ago.

Victory in Defeat

Your army is impressive but it is only capable of doing one thing.
You declared total war and weaponised your people.
Killing is all they know now.

Yes you have one the battle and soon our city will fall.
Our soldiers bought time for our families to flee, our nation may fall today but our people and our way of life will live on.

You however. For the sake of your war have killed your people.
Everything that made them unique is gone. They are killers now and will never go back to the life they once led.

So march on. Attack us and the other nations around us for war is all your people can do now.
In the end our cultures will live long after yours is forgotten.

My head is full of ducks.

They seem so calm and happy but secretly their little feet are flapping like mad.
Then occasionally one duck bumps into another and the quaking begins.
Sometime calm and cheery but usually loud and angry.
Loud angry quacking ducks flapping around inside my brain.
It’s a wonder I ever get anything done.

As I’m currently ill my head is also full of clouds making me feel weightless and foggy.
For the ducks however is causing more crashes and much more quacking.
All the ducks are unhappy now. All quacking. All loud.

No happy friendly quacks remain. Only anger and threats of violence.
All of this would cause me to question my mental health if I didn’t remember that ducks have a large corkscrew shaped penis. Then I laugh and the ducks join in the laughter.

I fear the day mating season starts for the head ducks though.

Swings

Walking home in the early evening I passed a small playground. Walked by it hundred of times. In the summer it’s full of children during the day and teenagers drinking at night.
In Winter it’s mostly empty and sad looking.

Tonight however there is one man sitting on the swings slowly rocking back and forth and staring directly at me.

Only after a whole minute of constant staring do I realise I am staring right back. Our eyes are locked and I have started to walk toward him.

He mutters something as I get close that I don’t quite understand.

Then he gets up and walks away. I take his seat and slowly start to swing.

It won’t be long till I deliver his message.

My Battle

So my war with the cold is not going well. It has so far proven resistant to time, fire and constant hydration.
It has also stepped up its attacks forcing coughing and sneezing much more regularly and in an act that has convinced me I am being trolled waits until I answer the phone and then forces my nose to start running.
So my nemesis you’ve played your games and had your fun but our little battle has now come to an end. I am backpedaling from my declaration not to use chemical weapons and it is now time to flood my system with medicine to purge you.
Our little dance is about to end.

(Typed and uploaded from my phone not even a quick attempt at editing has been done)

Cold

It is January third I am back at work and the cold I have been incubating since the middle of December has decided to stretch out a little and try and claim more territory.
My head and chest are now colonies for the illness. I can breath using only half my nose and balance is off due to one of my ears being blocked.
It thinks it has won. It thought I would sit idly by while it took over.
I was content to leave it be while it was a mild cough or occasional headache but it got greedy and now it is time to fight back.
I has gained my attention and begun to prove a hindrance so it must be destroyed.
The heating is turned up. I am wrapped up warm. Coffee and Hot Juice is on constant supply.
Oh I’m not using medication to get rid of you my little friend.
You are getting burned out.
Your entire colony will suffer as the heat sears you. Yes I will suffer as well but in the end I will be triumphant and stronger for the ordeal.
Your ambition will be your downfall.

Review: Jerrys Game

Rick and Morty Presents Jerry’s Game
Developer: Big Pixel Studios
Publisher: [adult swim]

It is Monday the 15th of August 2016 and I am very tired but unable to go to sleep.
I’m in a room I can’t leave and internet access varies drastically minute to minute.
Recently on my phone I have mostly been playing Pokémon Go but as I can’t walk around that is kind of pointless. I’m too tired to really concentrate on anything so while I have a solid wifi connection I download Jerry’s Game.

The game itself is simple enough there are balloons each time you click one it pops and you get a point. There is a timer constantly going down but clicking on a balloon fills it completely eliminating any real challenge. The only real fear of losing comes from the black balloons with the skull and crossbones on them. One click of them and it is game over.

With my tired brain I happily click on the balloons, with each new milestones tiny celebrations happen and either Rick or Morty appear and give me encouragement to continue.
I don’t know if there is any sound or if Rick speaks when he appears. My phone is silent the balloons help me not focus on the fans and lights in the room.
Every milestone I hit also gets me bonus balloons making it easier to hit the next. Each bonus bigger than the last encouraging Jerry … me to continue onward.

I am constantly encouraged to keep clicking the balloons. For I am Jerry and this simple task is enough for me now. Each balloon it’s only little victory, every milestone a triumph. The little parades help tell me i’m doing well even if Rick and Morty’s encouragement feels a little hollow. I am achieving something. This is my game and I will click the most balloons. The timer cannot stop me and I will not be fooled by the black balloon.

Though I am not Jerry at the moment it helps to be him. The balloons occupy a tired brain and I see how this game could easily have been made by Rick to distract Jerry for an hour while he takes Morty on an adventure. Jerry would probably keep playing even after figuring this out. It is the perfect game for Jerry.

For a short time it’s the perfect game for me too. For fifteen minutes it distracted me allowed me to think of balloons and weird little scenarios of Rick trapping Jerry. Placing me in Jerry’s mind while I ignore where I really am.

I however cannot continue to ignore it. I allow the clock to go down while waiting for a black balloon. As soon as it appears I click it and end the game.

All the balloons I got can be spent on power ups and different shaped balloons. SIlly DLC options are there to con Jerry out of his money in exchange for better balloon hauls in the future. I click through the power ups and switch the game off it’s not time to be Jerry any more.

Jerry’s game is a simplistic game that I could easily believe was made as a joke.
For 15 minutes it was the greatest game ever.
It pulled me out of one of the worst moments of my life for a short time.
It allowed my brain to not completely focus on the hospital room I was sitting in.
Now the game is off and I look at my wife thankfully asleep after going through the worst day of our lives.

In the tiny bed next to her our son lies looking as though he’s asleep as well.
Our poor Lucas who never got to open his eyes, or laugh, or cry.

Playing a silly mobile game that was probably a throwaway idea at adult swim allowed me to not focus completely on losing our son for 15 minutes. That in turn allowed me to finally cry and begin to grieve.

Jerry’s game didn’t come out in 2016 but it was my game of the year.