The Game is a thought game, in which you're not supposed to think of the Game. If you do think of the Game, you lose, and have to tell someone else that you lost the Game. The grace period is something people can quibble over, but it's generally accepted that you have a half an hour to get your mind back in order so you can continue not thinking about the Game.
It's a modern-day equivalent of the game that goes as far back as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, both, or neither. It's a story attributed mostly to Tolstoy, but there's enough uncertainty I won't commit one way or another. Essentially, Tolstoy and his brother had a game where they wouldn't think of the white bear. Of course, when someone tells you not to think of a white bear, you can't think of anything else BUT the white bear. That's how the Game works.
When I first heard about the Game, I hated it. It felt like self-brainwashing. I still am a conscientious objector to the Game. I have enough practice playing it as it is, I don't need to add more things to the list of things I want to forget.
My husband told me last night that basically I'm playing several Games at once. And when I lose, he said I often go into some form of depression, anxiety, or other mood. There's the subconscious game, where my childhood memories are hidden in some corner of my mind. My brain is shielding me by hiding it away, helping me to win the Game for a little while. But I know it's there. Sometimes all it takes is a trigger to pull one memory out, which brings more memories out in a tangled mess, just like the perma-tangled guts of a skein of yarn. Sometimes I can stuff it away again. Sometimes it comes right out whether I want to or not.
There's the conscious games of navigating life with PTSD. I try to avoid triggers. I try not to think about the triggers. But to avoid it, I have to think about it. And thinking about triggers can be triggering. And triggering it pulls out that tangled mass of yarny memory. What a clusterfuck.
There's the conscious game of not thinking about my siblings. When I do, I get very sad, since they're still at home, experiencing the same psychological pains I went through, and I have no contact with them. Yet, I think about them every single day. After a while, it stopped hurting as much--kind of like how you get used to plucking your eyebrows without having to numb it with ice first. Sometimes though, I see kids that look like the way my siblings looked the last time I saw them--and I can't help but remember memories, both good and bad.
And there's the association with the past versions of the Game that I hate the most. Dad would be tense, we'd walk on eggshells. Dad would blow up and behave irrationally over the least things. We'd be in terror. Dad would "apologize" by purchasing a ton of crap for us that we didn't want or need. We'd "forgive" him in order to "keep the peace." And by forgiving, I actually mean "forgetting." The pain would be overwhelming for a couple of weeks, and then by a certain point, I would suddenly forget whatever happened. I knew it was locked in my head, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember. And not remembering meant not reliving that pain. It was a protective mechanism, but it had the effect of making me feel like I'm the one who's crazy, I'm just making up shit, so there's no reason for me to feel the way I do, for me to have depression. After all, I don't have depression as my dad told me once. I'm just being a spoiled brat.
It is this thought pattern that does hold me back from getting proper treatment all the time. I keep thinking, 'oh, I'm doing MUCH better," which is true, I guess. I am doing much better. But I still have a long ways to go. Even though I'm not as depressed, I still have enough issues that I still need to bump up my Lexapro, or get different meds, or whatever the psychiatrist says will help.
I guess recently I was triggered. I don't know by what or whatever it was specifically--but I just kind of devolved into an anxiety-ridden wreck inside. I'm still trying to get over it. And in that regard, I didn't actually go running or walking last night--I pooped out too early.I feel bad, since I'm trying hard to raise money for PAWS and get the marathon off my bucket list.
It's like I'm already running a marathon, trying to pull away from the tendrils of the darkness that keep trying to grab hold of me, so I face two uphill climbs. One, against the various psychiatric issues I have. Two, the actual training itself so I can somehow finish the marathon within 6 1/2 hours.
Wish me luck.