Alexisofroses’s Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Hugs

I sit in a coffee shop I’ve never heard of, trying to gather my wits and courage, all so I can turn around, fearless, and face the Dragon that’s chased me most of my life. My power ups include the ability to be awesome at will, to chug endless glasses of water, and pat my own back in appreciation. One by one I struggle through quests, all to level up so that some day I can face my arch nemesis, and cut off it’s head. Then I will hold it up for all my allies to see, and we will all exit stage right together, triumphant and proud.

The game is called SuperBetter, and I heard about it on a TED Talk I was watching last night at three in the morning as I got ready to call out of work because sitting at home seemed like a better, easier way to spend the following day. It takes the challenges of real life, and turns them into a task based role-playing role. Here you take on a secret identity known only by yourself and your trusted allies, you take on tasks suitable for the hero hiding inside your heart, and you tackle large issues by taking small steps. It’s all very reminiscent of playing World of Warcraft or Rift, except that instead of killing fifteen goblins for their fire brands, I am finding pictures to embody emotions and working towards being a better, happier person.

The only thing is… this game is hard. World of Warcraft is comparably easy, especially at the casual level I have always played at. But when I look at the “Power-Up” called “Hug Yourself,” I am filled with emotions which sprint through me in different directions, threatening to tear me apart down the center. Taking advantage of this power up should be easy. This is how it is presented in the game:

“Studies show that accepting and feeling better about ourselves not only helps us be happier with the body we have, but also stick with our fitness and weight loss goals so we can have the body we want.

Give yourself a hug or a pat on the arm or back while telling your body what a great job it’s doing—just the way it is.”

That’s it. All I have to do is wrap my arms around my body and hug myself, all the while telling myself that I am a good person, that despite my difficulties I am a good person. It should be easy. I hug other people all the time, and human contact is something I crave nearly endlessly. It’s not the hugging that’s difficult. Instead it is that second part. You see… I have an unexpected repulsion to it. I don’t want to tell myself I’m doing a good job… because in so many ways I’m not. School is turning into a disaster. Friends in my area are non-existent. More, both of these issues are fed by the fact that whenever I seem close to making friends I withdraw into myself, avoiding social contact in loo of escaping into books or video games. It’s easier to socialize via text message then face to face… and all too easy not to socialize at all. So how am I supposed to tell myself that I’m doing good the way I am? 

And this is the issue I keep running into. I know in my head that despite everything I am a good person. I know that I am worthy of love – both from myself and others. I also know that if I don’t face these challenges, if I continue to let them consume my head space, I won’t get better. I will continue to withdraw into myself. I will continue to procrastinate. I will continue to escape into fancier, easier worlds. And in the end that’s what this game is all about. I’m not fearless. I’m terrified. I look into the future… and I don’t know what I see. But I just gave myself a nice pat on the back, told myself that I am doing okay for this instant in time. Then, unexpectedly… smiled. And that is a tiny but measurable step in the right direction.

 

Call of Allies!

So… one of the things this game encourages me to do is make allies through people I love and I trust. Seeing as this blog is written for exclusively those people (and for me). My allies are companions that are willing to help me on my quest to chop off the head of the fearsome Depressed Dragon. If you are interested in helping me please leave a comment here or on my Facebook and I will send you a link to my SuperBetter page. Helping me out means you would log into the SuperBetter website a few times a week and look at the page where all of my quest progress is displayed. Then you would give comments, advice, or encouragement for me. I would also super like it if someone was interested in chatting with me via phone or v-chat once a week at a set time. Obviously there is no pressure here. But if you want to help me out that would be amazing.