How compulsively do I need to do idle-tasks like clicky games and solitaire? I don't know exactly what it is, but if I quit one, I immediately find another that fills my free time, or another takes my attention just as one fades. There is no point to clicking at just the right moment to get another of these dragons, which I'll ignore once hatched because it's the point to have them, not to regard or enjoy them. (What's the point? They're pixels.) There is no point to yet another game of solitaire, any of the variants I occupy myself with. There's just the sense of doing something, the sense of having an activity keeping my restless eyes busy without filling my brain with words, the sense of creating a small amount of order, the soothing repetitiveness of it.
I tried this evening to resist the repetitiveness craving. I closed Quicksilver every time I tried to bring up the app by typing "sol". I closed Dragcave after a minute or so of frantic refreshing. I persistently closed the window when I reloaded my friends page and read page despite having done so a very brief while before.
About fifteen minutes ago my willpower snapped like an elastic band and I frantically played a whole load of games of solitaire. Why? Stop it!
Technically I don't even need to stop. My time is my own, my time is leisure time right now... I can do what I want. But isn't that the point? I don't think I want to do this, I'm just doing it because it puts me in a state of mind that knows what's coming next.
I'd rather be writing - if writing, before I am actually writing, didn't feel as futile as panning for gold in a breeze. I'd rather be doing something Of Note - if thinking of what to do didn't plunge me into a little biteen of an existential crisis.
I'm thinking that maybe these brainless busy activities are like handrails I can grab onto when thinking unaided evokes the abyss. Doing them, I can daydream, let my brain idle. They're not relaxing: I get tense playing solitaire, I get frustrated when I miss catching a dragon. But they feel safe. They soothe the cactus-head (the spikes are on the inside) anxious frustration at myself by retargeting it, diffusing it over various minor things.
The clicky games are not the problem. They're a solution. Not a particularly helpful one, though I can think of worse. (Very few solutions do not have a worse, anyway.)
It's time I start practicing meditation again, isn't it? Yeah, I do think so.
(Edit: I put down the distractions, got really anxious, heart beating too fast. I'm lying down now and feeling somewhere better - listened to a song on repeat, focused on the music and kept returning my attention to it. It seemed like the right kind of meditation to try. Move softly, there is a reason for resistance.)