A Day in the Life

Homeschooling and Medieval Living

But I got Better

So many things happened to me because I got the flu. This illness kept me in bed for days. While lying there, with nothing much to do, I had time to reflect on things. Not only was I trying to cough up a lung, but I was also depressed. I have written about my depression before. I had gone to my doctor for a checkup. At that time, I thought I was really doing OK. Then, I lost my insurance. I am currently looking for new insurance. But in the meantime, I am looking for a way to combat all this without meds. I think I have found a solution called SuperBetter. This may seem a little silly. It did to me, at first.

This journey began a few months ago when I saw a TEDTalks video on Netflix. The series was called Life Hack. It was so amazing, I watched the entire series in one day. The one that really stood out was “Jane McGonigal: The Game That Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life”. This woman is amazing. I was really moved by her at the time and I shared her video with friends and family. Then, I moved on. I didn’t need her game. I was doing great! I got out of bed, I wasn’t crying non-stop, yadda-yadda-yadda. I didn’t think I was depressed. Then, the flu hit with a tsunami of headaches, fever, and sore throat. I went through tissues, paper towels, and (finally) toilet tissue. I went through the NyQuil and DayQuil. I still felt like utter crap.  What was I going to do? I forced myself out of bed. A couple of days ago, I wrote about how that went. I tried again yesterday. Instead of writing, I went back to Jane McGonigal and her SuperBetter game. This game can help you battle depression, kick an addiction, recover from an illness, lose weight, or just about anything. It is completely free and it is truly a blessing. Thank you Jane!

This is what I found – inspiration and the strength to beat up bad guys. The bad guys here are things like Sticky Chair. To beat Sticky Chair, I must get up and walk away from my seat. I just have to take two steps. I can also use Power Ups. I set my own Power Up as Cleaning for Five Minutes. I took the challenge and I got out of my chair. Then, I took it one more step. I unloaded and then loaded my dishwasher. It may not seem like much to the average person, but it was monumental to me. Then, just before going to bed, I brushed my teeth and cleaned my face.

Today, I have accomplished many things. Usually, the first thing I do in the morning is check my phone (emails and such). Today, I left it plugged in – forgotten. Instead, I got up and got dressed. First Power Up used! Now I am writing in my blog. Second Power Up used. Baby steps. Next, I will actually make breakfast for my family. I am still sick with the flu, but I am not down and out. I am on the mend both physically and emotionally. I think I can really beat Sticky Chair today. I am definitely on my way to getting SuperBetter!

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It all started with the flu. About three days ago, I got a sore throat and body aches…this led to fever and an all-over crappy feeling. For the next three days, I only felt like sleeping and playing on my phone. Since I am not much of a game player, this means I spent an unsightly amount of time on Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Music, and Firefox (gotta love Googling stupid, fever-induced searches).

My addled brain made me choose things I might not normally choose. OK, confession time. In the past I have watched (and secretly loved) the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Brazil, Mr. Nobody, Twin Peaks, and Jacob’s Ladder. So maybe my fever had less to do with my choices than my odd taste in things that are…well…odd.

I chose to watch The Institute on Netflix. It is an odd “documentary” to say the least. This choice came well after my viewings of Tent city, USA, An Idiot Abroad, and Forgotten Planet. So, needless to say, I was expecting something that pointed out the dreaded wrongs in society. I was feeling a lot better off than all those people I had seen. I was not homeless, stuck in a foreign country full of disease and poverty, and I still had my home, community and loved ones.

I then came upon The Institute. Netflix’s description read: “Meet some of the 10,000 San Franciscans who took part in the Jejune Institute, a combination citywide art project and living game, from 2008 to 2011.” I love art projects and decided “Why not?” This is where my journey down the rabbit hole began.

This movie really opened my mind. From their website:

Welcome to the Jejune Institute, a mind-bending San Francisco phenomenon where 10,000 people became “inducted” without ever quite realizing what they’d signed up for. Was it a cult? Was it an elaborate game? Told from the participants’ perspectives, the film looks over the precipice at an emergent new art form where real world and fictional narratives collide, creating unforeseen and often unsettling consequences. Fusing elements of counter-culture, new religious movements and street art, THE INSTITUTE invites viewers down the rabbit hole into a secret underground world teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life.

This film mainly made me think of connections. Today, I think most people want to connect with others in some way or other. I know I do. I have been without transportation for a while. Recently, my illness even has me laid up in bed. So, I had a more pressing need to connect than usual.

This morning, I finally emerged from my dark lair of comforters, tissues and Netflix. My zombie-like body (with the dark eye-circles and runny nose) shuffled and drooled into the living room. My husband had left for a July 4th party. My teen-aged kids were still asleep. Cradling my NyQuil as an alcoholic nurses his drink, I managed to make it to my computer. I shut down Maple Story and logged out of my son’s profile. Once I finally remembered my password and logged in (thank you Microsoft), I was assailed by the last page I had viewed on Firefox. It was AT&T’s website. “Reach out and touch someone” immediately sprang to mind. So, I began my day as  I usually do. I Googled the current thing on my mind. This usually brings writing inspiration. Today, I put in “The Jejune Institute” and hit enter. Many links popped up (many of them blogs on the game and/or movie). I now have a plethora of ideas, all of them hinging on that all important word – CONNECTIONS. Now, if I can just move my half-dead extremities over that keyboard… nah. After writing all of this, I am more than half-dead. It’s back to bed I trudge. Now where is that NyQuil?


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