So I’ve been really hitting this content creation hard lately. I mean, I love doing it, but I really tried to take a night tonight to myself after finishing my video that releases tomorrow evening. With the exception of taking an evening for dinner and a game of cards with some friends, I worked almost nonstop. I stayed up until 3 AM Friday night recording voice over, only to then make a collection vlog video. I sit at my computer every single day for hours trying to research content, create content, watch other people’s content to inspire me and network, and I take very little time to myself to relax and recharge. I’ve recently tried to start reading a book every night before bed to kind of wind down, and it has been helping a bit. I’m honestly not trying to complain here, I just finally think I’ve pinpointed some of the causes for my workaholic tendencies.
I’ve almost always had an issue with anxiety. I remember my first anxiety attack was in the middle of the night in my dad’s apartment way back in the mid 90s. I was 10 or 11…I can’t remember how old. I’m always on edge, and if I’m not on edge, it’s because I’m buried in something. I’m either playing a game, reading a book, or these days, making videos or writing. It’s good to have an outlet that allows me to blow off all that excess nervous energy that I build up all day at work. Don’t get me wrong, I like my job, but it’s tough. It’s a strain every day wondering if I’m doing good enough work or if I’m going to screw something up and have to address an emergency. It’s not good for anxiety.
When I get home, I pour myself into my video game work. It is very stressful and draining, but I always kind of excuse that with the whole “I’m making my own deadlines” thing. I feel like I can stop at any time if it gets to be too much, though I keep pushing myself, full well knowing it’s stressing me out even further. I’m an anxious mess lately, battling panic attacks and having problems shaking general unease every day. I’m battling with a work-life balance issue. Noting this, I decided that tonight, I’d sit down and watch some Dragon Ball Z. Shut off the computer and social media (with the exception of a chat or two I have going with close friends) and just watch Frieza pound on some Z fighters. (Goku just got to the battle!)
The problem is, I couldn’t shut off work. I couldn’t get work off my mind, either the bill paying kind or the “fun” kind. I wasn’t being productive with my time. I have so many games in my backlog. I have so many videos to work on. I have to go to work in the morning and solve REALLY challenging issues. I have a deployment coming up and I don’t know how much time I have left….wait….what?
I’m still in deployment mode. It’s been 7 years since I got back from my last year long deployment. I thought I weaned myself out of the Army with 5 years of Reserve time. Nope. I’m still living each day like I have to get as much in as I can because I’ve “got a deployment coming up and I don’t know if I’ll be coming back”…when I really don’t. I’m not going anywhere. I have my whole life ahead of me without some looming deadline on my freedom. But my mind doesn’t think that way. My mind keeps saying that I only have so much time to get in what I want to get done before I have to leave for a deployment that doesn’t really exist.
I keep rushing to get in as much as I can each day, just so I can say that I’ve gotten enough done so I can pack it in for a year of suck and unpredictability. And I keep repeating it. It feels so familiar now, for whatever reason. It feels just like it did back in 2007 when I was finally living with my wife whom I hadn’t actually lived with despite being married since the end of 2005. I need to slow the fuck down, and I’m not really sure how to do that. I look at my dad, who is very much the same way. He’s constantly trying to be as productive as possible, and I worry that I’ll never be free to sit down and relax for awhile.
Well, whatever. Time to go record game footage for my next video.