What Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Teaches Me About Self-Care

I have recently started to come out of silence about the stress-related seizure disorder that I have battled for five years. People who suffer from conversion disorders like PNES require more self-care than many- the stress levels that cause most people’s skin to break out can cause my body to go into seizure. Plus, there’s a ton of shame around the condition, which makes it harder to explain to people and receive adequate treatment. Self-care has to always be my number one priority.

As many of the people close to me know, I rely on Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory to keep me on my self-care track- knowing that my inner resources are absolutely scarce, I have to be incredibly careful to make sure that no spoon goes wasted. I have upcoming plans for a spoon theory tattoo to remind me to self advocate and take care of myself, but in the meantime, I have found those helpful reminders in my newfound Kim Kardashian: Hollywood obsession. I originally downloaded Kim Kardashian: Hollywood because I thought that the EPA’s tweet snafu was kind of hilarious.

{Screenshot:

{Screenshot: Tweet from US EPA Water’s Twitter account, “I’m now a C-List Celebrity in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Come join me and become famous too by playing on iPhone!”}

Aside: the best reaction to these tweets came from Congressman John Dingell.

At the prompting of a friend who I am sure would like to remain anonymous, I solidarity-downloaded Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. I also was curious how impressive of a feat becoming a C-List celebrity is (spoiler: it’s actually super impressive- I’m not quite there yet). Kim Kardashian: Hollywood works by giving you a certain amount of energy per game and different tasks cost energy to complete.

{Game screenshot:

{Game screenshot, demonstrating that it takes several lightning bolt energy points to “focus” during a photoshoot.}

Once you run out of energy, you need to either pay real-people money (not something I am willing to do) or wait for your energy to replenish.

{Screenshot: Message box, "You're too tired! You don't have enough energy to do that. Would you like to get more?"}

{Screenshot: Message box, “You’re too tired! You don’t have enough energy to do that. Would you like to get more?”}

I have not spent a dime on Kim Kardashian: Hollywood but I have been able to play with success because I am good at waiting to complete tasks for my energy to replenish. You also know how long different parties or photo-shoots are before you start them, so you can know if you can handle these tasks yet with your real-life responsibilities (I’m not going to start a three hour photo-shoot as I’m about to start a nine-hour work day). I spend my points wisely to rack up the most points (be it dollars or stars, depending on my motives), but when I run out of energy, I’m done until my character can replenish her energy.

photo 2

{Screenshot: it costs 4 lightning bolt symbols to ‘take a break’}

The best part of this game for me is that it actually takes a serious amount of energy (4 whole thunderbolt thingies!) to take breaks during photo-shoots. Though some snark on this game for that, I think it is an incredibly powerful symbol. Self advocating for self-care takes a lot of work and can be incredibly daunting. Taking a break for yourself when so much else is going on can be emotionally difficult as well.

Is this game perfect? No, absolutely not, far from it. While you can choose to be a guy or a girl, and you can choose to be straight or lesbian (though when you select lesbian, as I did, it encourages you to flirt with professional contacts who are men but not women), you have one body type and one body type option only: thin. You cannot be the plus-size model friend of Kim Kardashian. Also the concept of money is totally off, as Cosmopolitan recently pointed out. Here is how much this punk-inspired shirt costs in the clothing store:

{Screenshot: a shirt with a skull on it costs $950 in this game}

{Screenshot: a shirt with a skull on it costs $950 in this game}

Joey Ramone is rolling over in his grave! And this is how much a bus ticket costs:

{Screenshot: tickets are as follows:

{Screenshot: tickets are as follows: Downtown LA: $2, Hollywood: $6, LAX: $8, Calabasas: $20}

I have never been to LA so I cannot comment on whether these are realistic. But this is how much plane tickets cost:

{Screenshot: plane tickets are as follows:

{Screenshot: plane tickets are as follows: Miami- $15, Las Vegas: $20, JFK: New York: $35}

If only. I also think it’s hilarious that you can take a flight across the entire country for less than a bus to another part of town. I have accidentally gone to the wrong city dozens of times without it having too much impact on my financial situation, but I don’t think I should buy that t-shirt right now- I’m saving up for a $6,000 beach house. No seriously, property is dirt-cheap in this game- that would be home number three for my celeb that has about $2,000 in the bank right now.

Speaking of homes, I also noticed that these celebrities do not sleep. They must go home to one of her two apartments I never go to when the game is shut off. Maybe that’s how they replenish their energy thunderbolt things. Regardless of how realistic Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is, I am grateful that it serves as a reminder that energy is a finite resource and it must be spent wisely. When battling a chronic illness, that can sometimes be the difference between being able to go about your daily life or being bedridden for days.

Until Christine Miserandino comes out with Spoon Theory: The Game, I’ll be Keeping up with the Kardashians to remind myself about self-care.

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