I’m in New York City this week doing training. Carole is back home starting her third week of unemployment.
I didn’t post at the time, because it was a hard and troubling time, but yeah, Carole lost the job she’d had since June of last year because of one too many times getting caught using computers for non-work purposes. She’s been really depressed because of that. The job in question was the best opportunity she’s had in years; the company has a strong pro-recovery culture, but I guess there are limits to their understanding. Carole’s had major depression her entire adult life and she’s used silly little games like Freecell and Spider Solitaire and Sudoku as a way to forget, even for a little while, how rotten she feels. I guess that’s much of the same reason why some people drink to excess.
She’s been doing 12-step meetings every day via phone and text — meetings with groups of people who, like her, have an addiction to online gaming. Some of the people she interacts with are the sort who lost their jobs and apartments and stuff because they couldn’t stop playing World of Warcraft, and others are more like Carole, playing mindless games like Freecell for hours out of sheer depression and compulsiveness. Much like alcohol, compulsive gaming seems to have at its source a desire to make the real world go away. Severe depression sucks.
I wish her the utmost luck. If she can really arrest this habit of hers, she can make a go of a real career. For the last 19 years, almost all of the jobs she lost were lost due either directly or indirectly because of compulsive computer gaming. 🙁
But on a more cheerful note, we still have excellent cats. We have four: our tortoiseshell Starlight, who is 13 years old or so, our gray tabby Huck, who’s around 9, and the two blackies, Marie and Jacquie, both around 3. Marie is shorthaired but very plush, and Jacquie is long-haired and very skittish. Starlight doesn’t get along with anyone but Huck. Mainly it seems to be a battle of wills between her and Jacquie. I don’t know if it’ll ever get better; I think Jacquie was abused before she wound up at the animal shelter and she has PTSD or something. Starlight can get along with Marie if Jacquie isn’t around, but together, they seem to gang up on her.
It must have been somewhat sunny today in Vermont because mid-afternoon, Carole found Huck and Marie and Jacquie doing this: