I’ve been able to talk to a couple of people, included my therapist, and I’m a bit better. I still have things to process, though. In the meantime, I want to talk a bit about… video games.
I work in IT, I’m some sort of a nerd, so obviously, I play video games. Actually, it’s not that obvious: I really started playing very late in my life. I remember it quite well: I was just out of another big breakup. Since then I’ve been playing quite irregularly: sometimes almost nothing for months, sometimes head first in the game and doing little else, to the point of being ashamed of being such a no-life.
These days, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research about Asperger, about depression, and obviously about the interconnections between the two. Do you picture the Venn diagram? Is there anyone reading me who doesn’t know what a Venn diagram is? It’s this kind:
OK, I just wanted to display that picture.
Back to what I was saying: all the reading I’ve done these last few days about Asperger and depression come back regularly to the kind of occupation aspies find sometimes to more or less shut off the brain. And one that was coming back often was “video games”. It appears that it is an usual way for aspies to deal with the problem, because it focus the mind on the task at hand, and leave little place for the usual ruminations. I talked about it with my therapist, who gave me a small master class about how, of course silly, it’s one of the main tools. Some people are doing meditation, and it’s a very nice thing, but hard to start for someone with such a brain that the ruminations are running in circles and driving the person mad. Apparently, it’s well known of people with AS to use games to help themselves not drowning in dark thoughts in difficult times.
OK, I can understand that. I still have a hard time not to see it as an excuse, but hey; I’m the guy who thought he was searching for excuses when he was skipping on trekking barely a month after a leg operation. Playing video games is even harder to justify, obviously, as it has, say, a societal stigma.
Still, let’s admit it helps me, because it would be lying that it does not, excuse or not. How can I include that in my understanding of the event? After quite some reflections about it, two things:
The first is that I am painfully aware that in my relationship, playing video games at a time when my girlfriend was longing for more personal connection and more shared activities didn’t help. At all.
The second one, and it took me a while to come to that conclusion, not solely based on my playing, but I started to analyse things from there: that depression I managed to hide from myself, it’s not a reaction to the breakup, it has been well under way for several months.
Actually, and that is scary to think of, it’s not just that the depression is not a reaction to the breakup. It might be that the breakup is partly rooted in the depression.
And it explains too why I didn’t even fight.