Saturday’s Dilemma: I am bored Day 6

Source of image: Pinterest

Yup, I am bored. My life is still dull despite the turmoil. I do what I can to reduce the chaos and wait.

A couple of years after the head injury, I became addicted to a game where I spent vast sums of money. I am embarrassed to say. I hated the game, but it gave me something to do at $100 per pack. More importantly, I could escape reality 24/7 except to use the bathroom or eat. Often, I would forgo eating to have enough money to play. It took my time, my money, and almost my sanity. Fortunately, I got bored and left for the final time over two years ago.  Boredom and frustration with life kept me going back.

I justified wasting my time and money by calling it game therapy. In some ways, it was. It taught the new me to communicate. I was able to observe social interactions and role play. The game was a dangerously addicting war game where I could vent my aggression.

That was a scary time partly because I didn’t understand why I was doing what I did. I was playing games instead of paying bills. Eventually, I shared my bank statements with the neurologist, who offered to help in any legal endeavor to recover the money I wasted. He used a term to describe how the game exploited people like me. I’m not sure how I broke the addiction, but playing that game 24/7 was one of the many self-sabotaging things I did post-head trauma. It made my insomnia and anxiety worse.

Before TBI, I filled my hours reading books and engaging with people in the real world. After TBI, my vision mysteriously became terrible in the right eye. I continued to read at least one book a month, but I stopped the routine when my eyes started to burn while reading at night.

So much packing still to do, and I am bored to death. Go figure.


Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

17 thoughts on “Saturday’s Dilemma: I am bored Day 6

  1. A reader just brought to my attention the image I used might have another meaning than what I intended. The picture shows a black woman sitting on her bed surrounded by clothes. That image resonated with me because I do most things on my bed. I am rarely in any other room except for zoom calls.

    1. Omg that’s me, the last bit. I say this all the time and no one believes me! Life , calling all the govt agencies and doctors and whatnot for me, begging for breadcrumbs bc they are all only open from 8-5. I feel a slave to it all. It most certainly is the opposite of reasonably acccomodating to my disability….the most infuriating part. Ugh. Perhaps that’s a MA thing ….I can say I’ve never had that conundrum anywhere else. The expectations here for handicapped individuals are not in line with reality and exacerbate the conditions I have making cognitive rest impossible. I sleep when I shouldn’t and don’t when I should….nah, I crash from exhaustion. I wish the post-Injury TBI survivors would wage an all out war / uprising similar to how the parents of the autistic children did and say F no to all the refusals to accommodate, to the demands upon our conditions that don’t give us a chance in hell to resume life in a healthy way, outside of our rooms, off of the screen filling out forms, and off of the phone. In the Carolinas I found a better way at living post-Injury, got in the best shape of my life. Here? I’ve managed to get fat in shelter, and the most non-functional in daily living and independence as ever. Everything I do by back bending to accommodate the system, breaks mine. I don’t know how people stay silent. Sometimes I wonder if they all just roll over and play dead or let the MA medicate them til mental illness. I can safely say I hate it here. But, thanks to MA, I can’t go back safely from where I left, so here I sit. Sorry…that’s depressing. Argh. I’m sitting in a shelter where a child has been screaming at the top of his lungs for at least 3 hours, which doesn’t allow my disability to function…but since it’s invisible no one cares. My brain is running on fumes and I am supposed to be out looking at areas on my own bc of having to move by a deadline. All the outlets stopped working last night and my devices died. Where am I ? Yep. In bed.

      I’m not bored…I dream of being bored. But apathy I do have, finding little interest or pleasure in what I used to do….perhaps bc I know the commonwealth will only try to keep me all the more from doing it. I want to build a nonprofit so bad I could scream…one thing I know nothing of. Public art? That too. Teach my zentangle? That also. Build a tenancy union for the disabled ? Wanna. Actually be on the speakers beareau for BIA-Ma as I was invited a year ago? Mixed feelings. I do and I don’t. On one hand it’s an honor to be asked …on another, they’ve not done anything for me or people like me in the 14 months I’ve been here …and I wonder if that’s what I wish to be associated with. When I came here I’d finally gotten my post-Injury products to market …now they have sat in boxes as my teeth fot and my hair falls out, with the best coverage in the state.

      Oh my g….I have to stop typing , I’m so sorry ! I did buy a domain, and seems I need to find a way to write there. I’m always at the mercy of the housing situation…and Mass Health. I gotta tell my story. And this state needs to leave me alone. For now, I’m going to stop ranting on your blog. Lol

        1. The one that has me functioning when no one else is awake ? Lol….or something. Okay…functioning may be a stretch …but…

          1. Seems like so many others, you once were told when it’s sleepy time and when not, and then internalized this shit. My tip? Sleep when you feel like it, or when your body tells you: “Hey listen up, sis, enough is enough, I need to get some fucking rest now 🏨 So you better do as I say, or I will make you” 💤

      1. Deanna. I can relate where MA is concerned. They help only to control your actions and activities. Despite two health insurance, I qualified for nothing with having to pay for the services. Services covered by my health insurance they wanted me to pay out of pocket. They designed the system that way. I guess that’s the liberal or Democratic way. I thought about it. Why should I pay volunteers with no experience to perform a service? I stopped the meals on wheels but they still come. You are not ranting you are sharing your story and many parts of it resonate with me. Start your blog and write your story. Then turn it into a book.

    2. The image? That’s because the lower part of it is not visible here. Huh? Yes, on it is a cake with the number 30 on top of it 😋

      Note: I would have posted that pic here, but you (WordPress) don’t allow such action 😡

  2. I play online chess to pass the time. At times I would have 10-12 games going at one time. It was hard to remember the play for each game. I learned a lot about life from chess. However, in the last couple of weeks, I lost interest.

      1. When I started last November, I felt the same. I would forget whether I was playing black or white. However, I was determined because I knew it would help my memory and brain fog, and it did. Last year around this time, I was a mess, struggling with suicidal ideations. Playing chess allowed me to focus on something else. It also cleared my mind enough to realize the blood pressure medication was compounding my fatigue and causing other issues. Changing to a different anti-hypertension medication made a world of difference. I could think without the molasses, and my memory wasn’t as bad as I thought.

        All this to say, I admire your spirit. You will make them pay, believe that because I do. If you want to chat, I am a good listener.

        1. Thank you. It’s hard to keep believing, so I will try. I haven’t had someone in my corner. I came here bc a friend opened their home to me, only to shut that down when his son became violent and I became a DV victim, and then I was homeless. I wasn’t ever to be in his care bc the safety plan in leaving was a diff agency to take me in …but they didn’t. Anyways, enough of that but my drawing is black and white. It makes me feel as you describe above, or at least that things be tolerable :). Thx for the encouragement. I’m glad I found your blog. There’s a lot of courage in it. Bravery is lacking in these parts, so I needed reminding. 🙂

          1. You’re welcome. As for chess, don’t be discouraged if it takes forever to play when it’s your turn when you get started. Figuring out tactics through brain fog was a feat. Despite having two insurances, I couldn’t get the medical help I needed, so I created my health team and designed my treatment. Playing chess helped my cognition. Some people didn’t know they were part of my health team and others learned their role. My recovery, though not close 100%, was swift and remarkable. Thank goodness, or else I would be crumbling right now, given my predicament.

            1. Oh man, I wish you were still here. Lol I will have to try chess, it would slow my brain down in a good way to focus. I always feel I never have time for such things anymore but will try. I can see something like that helping. I used this approach when I homeschooled my daughter (a genius) and it was one of few things which challenged her intellect. …. I had this thought similar to your comment on the health team. I think I was doing something like that but then I let them know …the problem is that, for housing and lots of other hurdles, you need letters from that health team. Maybe I’ll be able to avoid the latter soon, I’m not sure. But, what you describe with the two insurances is me with dental. I cannot even get an appt. in over a year after a dentist here abandoned my procedure leaving me in dire straights. He was so horrific I kinda didn’t want him touching my mouth again. But cannot get an appt. to fix it and now have a slew of other issues. It seems I may need all of my teeth replaced. I’m so glad you made a swift recovery. I thought I was sick when I came here…..but oh my word, it’s nothing close to now. I feel so foolish. I would like to write and sat down to do it yesterday. Somehow I always end up making a list of 20+ titles and get no content. I guess I have so many tales to my story long overdue to be put down that I don’t know which one to tell, or how to know which part to begin at. But then I see myself on things like this, and I wonder if I’m telling the story and if I just do the same thing in my private writings. I don’t know why that part is so confusing for me. I feel I could write a book on so many topics yet also I don’t have a big happy ending. So it seems the books would just be depressing ? Aye….

              And, I would ask, if you’d be willing to write here or on a post about the system you talk about, about how the healthcare is set up. I must say it took me almost a year to understand how Mass Health even worked and I still do not know why it’s set up as it is and why on earth I’m not allowed to see so much as an EoB statement for any of my care….especially -if I had money- if Mass Health can take your estate to pay for care. I mean, I’ve never had private insurance that blocked me from seeing the bills. I don’t understand the big secret or why when I look even in my patient accounts with hospitals that it appears as though there are no bills? Like , what? How can I reference something besides a date? How can I know what’s being coded and how? In the Carolinas, there was one main hospital system ….nearly a monopoly and they lost suits over coding improperly on purpose to exploit the billing and inflate the costs …then come after you in every form possible including garnishing your tax funds before they touch you. I don’t want ambushed by surprise but my coverage technically comes through another state entity, and they will not stop putting falsifications in my records either. In my case, with the last abusive landlord, who required medical records access with my tenancy agreement, I’d find 2 providers in 30 days to put serious falsehoods which could have born criminal consequences on my record. I caught them….but it doesn’t mean I could get them resolved. MCAD seemed to think that didn’t count as discrimination….just care “I wasn’t satisfied with”. Last night I was listening to a podcast called RIGGED…wonder if you have? It’s about the scandal of the false drug reporting with UMASS….man, it echoes the types of things we’ve shed some light on here in terms of how the state operates. They commented in the intro about how the media still hasn’t done their job. This is one of the largest drug lab scandals in history, and we still don’t know fully WHY some of the employees were compelled to lie in this capacity for umpteen years, or what or whom influenced that.

        2. I also often reteach myself the Zentangle steps of a pattern each time. Since there are only 3-5 , it’s not a problem, 🙂

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