This is not a real post. It’s a tiny bit of advice for people like me who have anxiety and depression and sometimes get trapped in their own homes because their brains are being assholes and it’s too people-y outside. I’ve been talking about my own mental health issues for years and I’ve shared so many important things that help: medication, therapy, community, etc. but today I have something even more important to share.
Today I was at my shrink’s office and I told her that I’d found a new tool that’s seemed to help with my anxiety and agoraphobia and she was like, “Is it PokemonGo?” and I screamed “IT IS POKEMONGO! WHAT THE FUCK?” and she was like, “What level are you? Let’s trade tips.” And then we did. Because apparently this super embarrassing thing I was going to admit is helping lots of people because it sort of forces you to get out of the house to play and suddenly you’re at the park at midnight and there’s a live possum next to you. That’s a bad example but it’s going to happen. Get ready.
But it’s nice because my OCD makes me want to collect all of these invisible creatures and that means I end up in parks and in malls and on road rips and in places I would never normally go in a million years. And then strangers who also never go out come up to you and say, “HEY DID YOU CATCH THAT BULBASAUR NEXT TO JAMBA JUICE?” and instead of running away from strangers and small talk you’re like, “OF COURSE I DID. What am I, some kind of amateur? And also, what’s with all the rats?” Because seriously, what is with all the rats? They’re everywhere and I’m always yelling “GO AWAY, INVISIBLE RATS. I’M NOT YOUR MOMMY.” Which gets stares from normal people but empathetic nods from other weirdos playing PokemonGo, and technically I was already freaking out the normal people, so not much has changed except that now I’m the middle of Macy’s while it’s happening.
This post would be much longer except that so many ridiculous things have happened to me while playing this ridiculous game that it turned from a blog post into a chapter in my next book. But I still want you to know about it. Because it’s awesome and makes you accidentally live life and walk dogs and take your kid hiking. It’s distracting enough to ward off the pre-panic attacks that keep you from leaving your car and suddenly you’re playing a game with the rest of the world. Also, you can rename all of the Pokemons. (Pokemen? Pokemi? Whatever the plural is for things that don’t exist either way.)
Also, Victor loves it too. And by “loves it” I mean that he’s getting used to me pretending to take a picture of him to capture how amazing he is even though he now realizes I’m really just catching nonexistent animals that have landed near him.
Sure, some will say that it brings you away from real life because you’re staring at a screen but once you’ve fallen into a few canals (2 is my record) you learn to stick your phone in your pocket and just pull it out when it yells that invisible monsters are near. Like a totally normal person. Almost. Close enough.