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A weight can be a lightening of existence. Chains can be freedom. The prisoner knows what freedom is clearly.

Permission To Be in Depression


I’m reading a book called “Reality Is Broken” which is about games and how they are designed to put us into the zone and make us happy. Would game playing help with depression or would it just be avoidance? It actually helps. It helps a lot. Some people take the attitude that everything is a game to be nihilistic. They don’t believe it shows adequate respect for experience. I disagree. This is why we lose our sense of direct experience and enjoyment in the first place.

This book says the most successful games are the ones that make us the happiest. This is true. All games make you more stressed, all activities do. The reason why the game model helps is not related to avoiding stress. Everyone in all walks of life inevitably comes to the point where they are confronted with meaninglessness. Wildly successful career people, world leaders, everyone.

If work were structured like a game, we would love it and be really successful there.

Focus on a goal knocks me out of my low moods. Games give you a goal, however short it may be. Focusing on that goal turns off the pain for a while.

Games give you permission to be. When you can act without reason, you can feel without logic, and live without rigidity. The game is a loose premise for activity that you don’t have to define yourself by in any absolute sense. It’s an invitation to just be where you are.

In my case, a nickname for autism is “extreme male mind”. My brain, in an effort to get some resolution in sensory experience, hyper-analyzes everything. It tries to find rules for everything. This is why autistics are so rigid and ritualistic in their behaviours and routines. Being perhaps a bit unusual in that set, I undertook this process with conscious awareness. Just trying to feel like I wasn’t a lunatic, and I discovered that it couldn’t work. In fact, not only did it have no chance of working, but it doesn’t work for anyone else also. What I did discover, though, was that I was not the only person who seemed to be living at the mercy of his mind. Everyone else is as well.

So I turned away from rules and delved into games, stories. Accepted life and socialization on the grounds of let’s pretend all of this is real. What this all means about depression is, depression is a clarity of awareness. It’s your body and mind telling you the game is over. It isn’t fun anymore. But it is not telling you that there will be no other games. It’s a chance to actually, deliberately choose this time.

Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.

Travis Saunders
Dragon Intuitive

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