MeteoXavier Hi there. As the topic title indicates, I'm having an issue where I'm wondering if I'm too old to enjoy video games, anime, and other things I've always enjoyed. This is actually a pretty complex psychological issue I'm having and I didn't know where else I thought would be better to ask than here.

I'll keep the details and backstory brief as I can.

I'm 35 years old, I'm autistic and have some other issues I haven't identified yet, and I'm recovering from back-to-back major, MAJOR clinical depression and depersonalization episodes that started in early August. I've had these depression episodes going back at least since I was 18, but they don't function like other depression issues I've found yet. When I get these episodes in, they erase my emotional feeling of self-identification and paralyze me with irrational fear of age, death, and even time itself. I don't self-harm and I've got medical care for it, but it still comes back and wrecks havoc on my entire concept of existence.

What I'm feeling tonight, and I can't tell if its the depression or if I really feel this way, is that I'm too old to enjoy the stuff I enjoy. Despite my mental issues and autism, I'm actually deeply devoted to living like a mature, responsible adult. Quite literally, I aim to be something like Hank Hill or a toned-down Ned Flanders. I'm married, I own a house and a car, and me and the wife are trying to have kids (we are not childless by choice and never will be). My wife has some extremely large issues herself and both of us are just barely straddling the line of being legally disabled, but we don't consider ourselves disabled. We're both religious and extremely spiritual while keeping up on science and rational thinking (we're not conservative christians and we keep our beliefs to ourselves). I have all the adulting and maturity I need out in the world that I should be able to tell myself I can enjoy cartoons and games if I want to, but for some reason, I have this emotional feeling like I'm doing something wrong in life. Like still wanting to watch cartoon and play games and go to theme parks and write fanfiction or submit stuff to Creepypasta means I'm some kind of sick person who's trapped in a prolonged adolescence and not growing up correctly.

What complicates things is that unlike the last times I've had existential depression and confusion, this time I'm really not a young man anymore. I refuse to be afraid of getting old and dying under normal mental functioning because those are the stupidest things in the world to be afraid of (I'm Christian but I'm big into reincarnation and the universe replaying variations of this timeline again, making fear of death or old age completely without merit), but the emotional feelings that tell me I'm old and I'm too old to be myself remain strong and have numbers to back them up. I'd also like to add that no one in my life is giving me shit for this either. Not my parents, not my in-laws, not anyone from church, no one online, no one at all. You'd think that would help, but it doesn't.

It's easy to say, "Who cares about my age? I'll do whatever I want and fuck anyone who doesn't like it!" like the wisdom goes, but it's another thing when you do actually get old and don't see a lot of other people your age watching anime, getting into emulation, writing fanfiction and basically doing the same stuff they were doing on the internet 17 years ago. I don't see a lot of lawyers, tax preparers and real estate business owners my age doing that stuff in their off time. I'm not "normal" enough to truly fit in with that level of maturity, but I'm not "abnormal" enough to justify doing the same things I enjoyed before my balls dropped either. Add the total mindfuck of the depression/depersonalization and I seriously don't know what to think.

Any thoughts on something like this? Any examples I can counter-balance against the depression voices?


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