I’ll preface this by saying I’m on the autistic spectrum, which may be guessable given some of the mental health related issues I’m going to talk about below. I also want to thank you for starting this topic, as it provides a relatively safe space to vent (I wouldn’t be posting this if not my username being pseudonymous), share their feelings, or just realise they’re not alone.
My mental well-being has been surprisingly unfazed by everything that’s happening for the most part. My state of mind has always been a fragile one though.
To be quite honest, my lifestyle already had me prepared for this ”new normal” given that for most of my life I’ve only ever left the house out necessity. Some of that is due to social issues, anxiety and maybe a little bit of agoraphobia. It hasn’t really impeded my ability to function though because I found ways to navigate around it. Which might explain why I’m coping so well, though I suspect a lot of the credit for that goes to Animal Crossing too.
I have mysophobia, so the steps people are now taking to either prevent or reduce infection, are things I’ve always done as part of my normal daily routine. One thing I didn’t used to do was use a rinse-free alcohol based hand sanitiser because I couldn’t bear how they felt on my hands afterwards, but I recently discovered one from Espa that doesn’t have that icky feeling, so is more bearable to use. I still excessively wash my hands though.
While I wouldn’t say I’ve ever experienced depression, I’ve never had the most optimistic outlook on life, and there have been points in my life where I’ve questioned my own mortality, usually after a panic attack or meltdown of some kind, but the prospect of dying does scare me because I can’t comprehend what comes after, but I don’t want to die either, so those situations are tricky to navigate, and I do wonder how different things might be now if not for my dog. Pets need their owners, and from my understanding of how I feel about mine, I wouldn’t trust another human being with their care.
As I’ve said, my mental health has been okay for a while, but I do still have small moments, often before bed, after I’ve no tasks left to fulfil. I’ve spent most of the week doing non-stop server admin work, refining my software toolbox (still can’t decide between JetBrains Mono or Pragmata Pro mono and I can never settle on a theme for my dev environment!), and readying some projects for deployment. But after I’d done everything, the reality of Covid-19 sort of hit me , and it dawned on me just how scared I am, not just of the potential negative outcomes regarding the virus, but of the future in general.
I can’t stress enough how much of a positive effect Animal Crossing has had on my mental well-being. It’s probably the biggest source of a distraction from everything right now. Video games have always provided an escape for me. Some of the most important in my life that have helped me through difficult stages have been Destiny, Sea of Thieves, and Pokemon. But I think Animal Crossing right now, with how timed the release was, is probably the most important.
I apologise for this being lengthy, but it feels good to type all that out. It’s a bit like that moment in Harry Potter when Dumbledore just casts away a memory. My mind feels clearer.