I have had this feeling deep down inside of me that has made each activity and day moot. I feel like I’m being slowly drowned in a pit of tar, and it’s encompassing everything that I thought to be joyful and made me elated in a shell of indifference.
I have to fight myself to be interested in anything that does not immediately grab my attention. Even if something is objectively good for me and will help me build a habit or I can make some money from it, I struggle to find any sort of enjoyment from experiencing it.
The thing I was most interested in ever in my life was football. When I had the ball between my feet and I was running on the pitch nothing else in the world mattered. All that mattered is that I felt present and alive. I had the ability to make tangible changes to the course of the game, a game that I absolutely adore.
My whole life used to revolve around football. If I was not playing it, I was watching it, and if I was not watching it, I was playing it as a video game. In my spare time, I used to think about football and the various ways to enjoy it. It is safe to say that football was an important and significant part of my life.
Nowadays all interest I had in the one thing that I used to enjoy more than anything in life is all but gone. This is due to several reasons, one of which is that I can’t play it with anyone anymore. All the people I used to play with for hours every day don’t have time to play now.
Another reason is I also don’t have time to play it. I have my work and master's degree to focus on. These things take up the majority of my time. It has been a few years now since I even touched or kicked a ball.
The real reason I began to lose interest in football is that I could not make a career from it. I live in Gaza, Palestine, which is often called an open-air prison. My family did not have the wherewithal to travel to Europe so I can pursue my dream of becoming a football player. I was stuck here with no plan to build my future in football, and that killed me.
I have been trying for years to fill the hole left behind by football but to no avail. Video games worked for a while and managed to make me feel very similar to when I used to play football. Gaming felt amazing and I was actually decent at it. I played games like Apex Legends and Destiny 2 for hours at a time each day.
I prefer the more action-packed and fast-paced games because they grab and hold my attention for extended periods of time very easily. They give me that rush of pure adrenalin that I used to have when playing football. My enjoyment of games gradually decreased, also because I could not find anyone to play with, and I was just bored of playing the games because I kept dying a lot.
3D programs like Blender and Cinema 4D were also things that captured my attention. They were really fun at the beginning as I was just messing around with the physics and running simulation, but they were incredibly difficult to master. Seeing all the amazing art everyone made on Pinterest and Behance and then comparing it to mine made it really hard for me to go on with mastering the programs.
I have not been clinically diagnosed with ADHD, but I’m fairly positive that I have it. One of the symptoms of ADHD is dysregulated attention, meaning if the activity is something I like and I’m intrigued by, then it will have no problem at all holding my attention. If it is something I don’t like, then it is a very arduous task to keep doing that particular activity.
Video games and 3D did manage to fill some of that hole left by football, but I could not enjoy them for very long.
I can’t tell if I am just depressed or burnt out, but finding interesting things to invest my time and effort into them has been extremely difficult for me to do lately.
Writing is one of my new endeavors, and it has honestly been quite refreshing and relieving to type away the thoughts running through my mind. It feels like I’m confiding in my best friend. Of course, making money from writing will definitely give me the drive and motivation to keep writing and publishing, but that is yet to be seen.
© 2022 Haitham Al Bairouti