Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Thoughts on Depression: Just Build Something

Insights about dealing with my depression comes from weird places.  For example, this exchange from Iron Man 3 gave me some insights.

To set the scene, Tony Stark just pulled over to the side of the road, suffering an anxiety attack due to PTSD from his previous super-hero-ing. He was talking to a boy, who was helping him out, on his cell.

Harley Keener: "You're a mechanic right?"

Tony Stark: "right."

Harley Keener: "Why don't you just... build something?"

That caught my attention.  "Just build something."

It got me thinking about what I build.  The answer of course is, well, not much.  However I do create a lot.  Every toy image I make is me building my own world in pixels.

That led to thinking how my photography efforts are a form of therapy.  I mean I always considered that way to get away from my issues.  However it may also be part of my recovery as well.  i.e. it is not just something I really enjoy doing, but an actual benefit.

This means, of course, that I should try to do as much as I can, ya know, within reason.

Speaking of reason, some things have been bothering me lately, so I might as well bring it up here.  Lately it feels like I have an obsession with my toy collection.  Over the past month or so I have bought a lot of action figures, and a smallish amount of LEGO.  Normally I have a shot planned when I buy such figures.  However a lot of the recent purchases are just so I have the figures.

It makes me worry I am obsessing over my collection to paper over my depression.  It concerns me.

I mean, it's not like I am risking the family finances over it, or anything.  My kids are not at risk of going hungry over this.  In fact I have a budget set aside for my hobbies, which covers most of my purchases. 

So you may wonder why I even bother to care?

It's cause I worry.... which is part of my depression, I think.  I feel unsure of myself, so when I see a change in behaviour, I worry a bit about future implications.  Is this a sign things are going further off the rails, or a way for me to cope, or just because I am a geek, and this is what geeks do - collect things.

I should probably just learn to not worry about it.

Part of my desire to acquire action figures is the way the market for such things work.  There is a window of several months when the figures are normal shelf prices.  However after that they become collectors items, and the price sky rockets.  A figure that costs $15 in Walmart now, may cost $50 in a year.  So getting the characters I am interested in now can, arguably, be considered an investment in the future.

However if building things is part of my recovery, then I can justify things further by realizing that the creation process requires having the tools to create with, which in my case is action figures and LEGO sets.

Anyway, it is something I worry about.  If I end up buying a few extra toys but come out saner, it seems like a reasonable price to pay.  Time will tell.

Until then, I am going to try to create as much as I can.