Horrible night on the ladder. Went from being close to a promotion to losing to middling gold players doing one-base void ray strats. God dammit does this game grate your nerves. I raged so hard after the last loss that I repeatedly punched myself in the jaw--and then I realized I shouldn't be fucking hitting myself because of a game. I'm not pro. I'm not making a living off this. It literally is just a game. I mean, even pro players don't inflict pain on themselves (err, at least I hope not!). What the hell is wrong with me? Not having fun? Quit playing. Simple as that. Shit, lately I've become disillusioned with sports in general; but that's completely unrelated.
Problem with me is that I don't know when to quit, and I have a hard time controlling my emotions. I especially hate it when I know what I have to do, but just can't fucking do it. Basketball is a perfect example: bounce the ball off the backboard and win. Ohoho, you should see me rage. Why can't I make a layup in traffic EVER? Why can't I jump that extra inch I need or shift my feet faster? I expect perfection, dammit, and my body won't comply.
The hitting thing is something I did as a kid: if I was mad on the playground (which, surprisingly enough, wasn't often) I'd punch a pole or something and wait until it stopped smarting. I'm sure it's some psychological/chemical thing, but that's what Google is for.
Anyway, it's the same thing with Starcraft: I know I need to expand now; I know I need to tech now and scout in thirty seconds--OH SHIT VOID RAYS IN MY BASE. One bad loss and I'm on tilt for the rest of the night, but not a normal tilt; it's like a subconscious self-loathing tilt, a little nagging voice that says "WHY DIDN'T YOU WIN?" Compound this with the fact that I inexplicably choose to play in the wee hours of the morning, and it's a recipe for disaster.
Sometimes, I literally don't let myself sleep until my record is evened out, I.E. if I'm at 3-4 for the night, I'll only put it down until I'm 4-4 or until I'm hopelessly tired.
Give me anything competitive and watch me turn it into a life or death struggle with myself. If I become mediocre at something, suddenly I expect to be Kobe Bryant on the next play or the next step. Oh, you had one good game in Starcraft? Then you should win. You should win every match you ever play.
And if I don't? Then this bizarre self-punishment mechanism activates, and I deprive myself of something or, like I said, cause myself pain. It happens so rarely that it shocks me back into reality when it does happen, says to me, "Why are you taking this so seriously? Why do you need to be perfect in games you KNOW no one can be perfect in? What makes you worth so much less than anyone else that you HAVE to win?"
Christ. Writing that last line almost made me tear up. I'm not prone to naval gazing, but that pretty much sums up my subconscious.
There was always a sweet spot I hit before this insanity: in basketball, as a kid growing up, I knew I wasn't particularly athletic, and I held no fantasies about becoming a pro player; but in High School I learned how to play smart and how to play rough, and combining those two attributes I put together a slashing, banging style that none of my friends are fans of, to say the least. Before that though, I was laughing during lunch, tossing up half-court shots and doing fake radio play-by-play analysis of my friends' games. That's the sweet spot I'm talking about: that one period of time where I'm starting to get the hang of something and enjoying the learning process.
Now I just want to win. I don't give a shit who's on the other team or who I have to bulldoze to get to the rim (oh, and I had BETTER make the layup after contact). What, you're playing grown men who are in the military and your drive got snuffed out by someone who was two feet taller than you?
Reasonable person: "Ah well, I'm overmatched."
Me: "Oh for fuck's sakes I'm fucking terrible. Why do I fail so much?" *tries harder and fails harder*
I can't remember the exact instant this happened to me in Starcraft 2--hell, yes I can. I remember taking my laptop and saying to myself: I'm going to win today. I then proceed to collapse under an 11 game losing streak (which I proudly came back from to end with a winning record, btw). There's only so many times you can bang your head against the wall and not be bothered by the dark red spots that look suspiciously like brain matter. Can't remember what I did that day; probably skipped eating or something ridiculous like that.
In World of Warcraft, there was only one moment when I truly felt utterly fucking useless, but that was quickly remedied. All in all that game didn't stress me out as much, because it wasn't so intense (but, needless to say, I did mainly pvp).
le sigh, whatever. I'm tired now. Exhausted, actually. It's 4 in the morning: I spent about four hours commanding squishy bug-like sprites around in pretend war and beating myself up about it--except it's not an aphorism. Enough's enough. I don't know why I stated the blog title as a question, because I already know the answer: I need to quit fucking playing for a LONG time. Or, if I do play, just dick around and do random stuff, not play seriously.
That's it, there's nothing poignant to say, nothing poetic to end this on. I'm a screwed up person, but at least I recognize it.