Bring your own sunshine

wowscrnshot_022209_012356If there’s one personal characteristic I dislike the most, it would be my mercurial temperament. The upside is that I can go from furious to calm with a deep breath, but the downside is that I can go from calm to furious in a split second. My mood is very dependent on physical circumstances. Joint dislocations, increased pain and getting things wrong makes me irritable, grouch, grumpy and annoyed. Doing something that I enjoy or a little sympathy usually goes a long way to help me bounce back. As things often go wrong repeatedly, my mood tends to swing up and down accordingly and that tend to lead to the lingering blues. What’s the point of cheering yourself up if you’re just going to crash again in a few minutes?

There’s always one joint in particular that causes problems. It usually starts with either an injury, repetitive strain or overloading due to issues with a related joint, or more likely a combination of these. Right now, it’s my right wrist. I’m pretty sure it started when my thumb was acting up. I was using my wrist instead and soon it was wobbling under pressure, until a little too much warcraft mouse play caused a dislocation. Once that door opens, it doesn’t close. A dislocation damages the joint and surrounding tissue and as a result, recurrent dislocations follow shortly. The only way to move on from it is to use my wrist less by either using a different joint to do the same things or to stop doing what I have been doing altogether.

Instead of accepting my fate, I chose to object vehemently. Loss of control is not something I accept with any eloquence and my usual reponse is to try and push through rather than go around or take a break and come back to it later. It’s infuriating when I can’t do something just because stupid bones keep moving on me. The in-game result has been that I have been feeling rather discontent. I want to do things and I either can’t do them or can’t do them as well as I am used to and neither options are any fun for me and I’m pretty sure whoever plays with me. I may only yell about people and not at them, but me in a state of discontent is usually a morose affair that I don’t normally inflict on other people.

The fun aspect in warcraft has nothing to do with in-game achievements. I don’t salivate over loot, I am not all that passionate about theorycrafting. I don’t really care if I am raiding or not and the peripherals like fishing, cooking, questing, rep grinding and auctioneering are only slightly above neutral experiences for me. I do find all of these things interesting, but it’s not why I play. The one thing that I get from playing that keeps me logged in is a sense of having done something well. It’s why I play a healer. It’s why I have an auction toon. It’s why the first twenty minutes after logging in, when everyone is saying hello and whispering invites, is my favourite time on-line. There’s few things in life that are more satisfying than having done something well. When my wrist starts to affect how well I play, it makes me want to quit.

I am balancing on the knife edge of sticking with something despite not being able to play the way I would like to play or taking a break for a while until I can. I also need to concider whether playing the way that I have been playing helps or hurts my health. Escapism is great, but not worth risking joints over. That said, I’ve dislocated more joints in my sleep than I have playing warcraft, so I doubt that playing is directly causing any issues. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing I don’t think. I have spent the morning browsing addons and tweaking my UI and will probably spend my afternoon watching TV, including a healthy dose of warcraft related videos. Rather than thinking about warcraft in real time, I am choosing to think of it as loop time. Instances will be run again and again, if I miss out on today’s or this week’s, there will always be tomorrow or next week. Time is not a line, but a dimension.[1]