marsden_online: (write)
Complusion com·pul·sion (kəm-pŭl'shən) n.
- An uncontrollable impulse to perform an act, often repetitively, as an unconscious mechanism to avoid unacceptable ideas and desires which, by themselves, arouse anxiety.
- an irrational motive for performing trivial or repetitive actions, even against your will

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is something I have never given much thought to, beyond the common or pop-culture awareness and a vague undefined annoyance when perfectionist friends claim to "be a little OCD". But the post "OCD is not your quirky fun friend from Sarah Wilson at WriteHanded detailing some of the behaviours associated with her OCD prompted me to take a closer, if still superficial look at the definitions and diagnostic criteria, and from there to compulsion in general.
OCD is not just perfectionism, and for many people, it won’t present that way at all. It’s not “being a neat freak.”
...
Telling myself I am experiencing OCD is of little to no help. I feel itchy at best, suicidal at worst, until I allow myself to complete the behaviour that will stop the anxiety. Sometimes, that behaviour isn’t anything that will look unusual from the outside. It might be getting some work done. It might be taking a shower. It might be going to the supermarket with a very specific list. But what people don’t know or see is that work isn’t even due for another four weeks, but I couldn’t let it sit undone. That I’ve already had two showers today, but I feel like i’m unclean and I need to wash again. That I’ve already been to the supermarket, but an intrusive thought keeps telling me I’ve missed things out or got the wrong ones, so I need to go again.

I am quite confident in saying that I would not personally be diagnosed with OCD. I do have a variety of anxiety-linked behavioral compulsions, what I consider a susceptibility to addictive behaviours, and something of a fixation on doing things the "right" way; none of which take anywhere the amount of time out of my life an OCD diagnosis would require.

Following my curiosity I googled for /other/ compulsive disorders but did not turn up any helpful results with the time and energy I had available. I'm sure they are out there; just drowned in the sea of OCD-related results which resulted even trying (failing) to filter out results containing "obsessive". Probably I am stuck in the catch-22 of having to know what the disorders are called before I can find out what they are ....

of/for myself )

Tapped out

May. 6th, 2017 10:14 pm
marsden_online: (skull)
It has been a long week, or maybe longer. I have been giving a lot in both time and treasure, and while there is plenty of treasure left I am physically and emotionally exhausted. today when I got home from Hall duties and grocery shopping I "napped" 4pm-9pm before dragging myself out of bed for a nice dinner which I had purchased the foundation of, and although still exhausted there are other things I am determined to get done before returning to (hopeful but unlikely given my dreams) oblivion.

~~~
This week in particular has been all early starts between having mother staying here while a relative is in hospital and several groups wanting early starts at the Hall for film projects. Fortunately others have been able to cover some of that time because while I could let them in I could not justify taking all the time off work.

As it was the relatively early starts at work were compensated for by finishing earlier most days so I only did my usual amount of hours, although even those were a struggle. And I messed up my timekeeping which resulted in finding a "we really need you to up your game" email from the manager in my home mailbox (replying to my weekly invoice) after I got home from the party last night. It didn't send me into the sort of tailspin these sometimes have in the past (although I had to expend spoons determinedly refusing to let it) but I was already feeling pretty low.

I had actually quite enjoyed the party itself (KAOS perversion party, which generally has at-best-even odds that I will maintain an emotional equilibrium), but on the way home several glooms had set in, some expected and some not, one which I have not experienced so sharply in I-cant't-remember-when.

That particular one which is about how easy it would be for me to manipulate/control people to get what (who) I want is probably a danger sign. It is perhaps the aspect of myself I have been fighting the longest, in my determination to be a good person rather then the total arsehole my instinctive unfiltered reactions and desires would have me be.

I don't know if people think having a considered, positive approach to the world is easy for me. It's really not a lot of the time. I am pretty much constantly filtering my actions and output so as to constructively help (as I want to do) rather than unwittingly hurt (which I am also very good at as those who have known me for a long time will be aware). It sometimes chews through quite a lot of my daily energy.

Wanting to help; being determined to make things "right" at a level which leaves me little choice, may also have been responsible for some of this weeks issues at work. It cones with the particular frustration of having to recover from what was essentially someone else's failure at requirements discovery; something which I do find myself having to compensate for quite frequently.
marsden_online: (skull)
On Monday I cut my planned holidays short by a week and went back to work to deal with issues which had been unfinished last year and blown up over the Xmas/NY closure. This wasn't entirely unexpected so I was mentally prepared and even eager; so much so that I was at work uncommonly early on Monday and pushed through a 7-hour day in determination to complete what I was working on. (Which I didn't, but made satisfactory progress.) This may have been a mistake so I wasn't unduly concerned when I did not manage the same start on Tuesday, but by Wednesday I was lying in bed in the grip of a very familiar slough, one that held me even more as the week passed so that I didn't actually get out of bed these past two days until after 11am and to work until about 1pm. (Despite that quite a productive week. Quiet office.)

The stupid thing (well, one of many) is that on Wednesday I had been out of bed about 6am to put bread (left to rise overnight) in the oven and again about 7am to take it out. If I had just stayed out of bed I would have made it through the day just fine.

Excepting the really good start on Monday this is of course the pattern of my life which I have been trying to change for the past few years. And it really was absent over the break; or at least the feeling of weight that kept me in bed when I knew I ought to be elsewhere. Thinking back there were one or two times it resurged, when I was only partially enthused for some commitment or other.

I do not want to go through another year like this. As I sit here I don't actually know if I can face/deal with going through another year like this. It seems so unnecessary, and it should be such a simple thing for me simply to stay out of bed each morning.

Installing a standing desk has shaken up my routine and broken some of my bad computer habits, doubtless contributing to the amount of other things which have got done over the past couple of weeks; I am seriously considering reserving the bed for naps for a few months and at nights sleeping on the couch in the dining room to see if that does the trick.

~~~
In better news on Monday I gave a home to a box of old RPG books that a friend was disposing of before heading back overseas. Never mind that I haven't finished reading through the acquisitions from the last time I did that, a couple of years ago (longer)? There's some good stuff in there; collectibles and useful references.

books laid out for display
marsden_online: (Sisters)
Last night / this morning I had what I guess was an actual nightmare, considerably ... more icky than my standard nightly fare of angry-making or struggling-to-control dreams. Additionally for the past 2-3 weeks although my mood is OK several other markers have been in the red:
snip )
marsden_online: (Sisters)
When I first started intending to write this post it was as good news. That was a couple of weeks ago when I had leveraged cat-sitting for a friend into sufficient motivation to get out of bed at a good time in the morning several days in a row. I had also taken the week off gaming at SAGA to be home with cats which actually freed up 8-10 hours of time; some of which I spent working from home (light stuff) but much of which was just pressure-free. It is notable how much lighter I felt just not feeling that I "needed" / was expected to be at gaming those nights.

it's all downhill from here )
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Lying in bed this morning I managed to identify the thing mostly keeping me in bed was a mental rejection of tackling anything that resembled "work". Going to work, or picking any of the things on my to do list to spend some time on or even ultimately going to gaming tonight. So I decided to call in sick and spend most of the day napping or in front of the fire.

Ironically once that decision was made my brain then immediately switched mode to firing all available cylinders on a quote-request for a major project which has been sitting in my mailbox since Friday. So I just spent two hours working from home on that, and am currently taking a break before finalising the email.

I suspect this will be followed by a variety of other productive activities around the house, possibly interspersed with naps followed by cheerfully going to gaming.

So it seems that a big part of not getting going in the morning is something to do with being /expected/ to get up and do things. As soon as I am no longer "expected" to do anything it's full steam ahead :/

Need to figure out how to leverage this.
marsden_online: (Sisters)
This morning I reached one of the rare points where I felt I was letting myself down more than others, and that still wasn't enough to overcome the executive dysfunction and get me out of bed.

Every day this happens I feel myself falling further behind on the things I am trying to do.

I toyed with the idea of taking the rest of the day off work too as a mental health day but I have checked my inbox and it is full of error notifications from debugging code I put in last week and a late-Friday request from the client for help, so it looks like I have to go in, only to once again be prevented from finishing the work I was aiming to complete almost every day last week.

For all that the weekend contained a lot of good it also contained a number of loneliness triggers and pain and not eating regularly and all in all appears to have taken a lot more out of me that I had thought.
marsden_online: (Sisters)
I am /very/ run down at the moment as demonstrated by (among other things)
snip )
marsden_online: (Sisters)
I don't handle cocking things up well. This usually evidences itself in relation to work (because in other areas of my life typically no-one else is particularly relying on the things I do).

I'll have all the satisfaction of a job well done and then the email will come in that something isn't working and I'll have made what seems to be a massive oversight (usually in (not) testing something) which needs to be fixed now. All the good feelings and then some drop away in seconds as my mood plunges and I go into hyper-focused hyper-tense must-fix-this mode.

In this mode I will often fix one thing only to break another or fix the specific issue while overlooking related issues, leading to a cascading series of ego hits as I disappoint, inconvenience and make more work for not only myself (that happens all the time) but everyone else along the chain (one of the greatest sins in my worldview).

This month I have had an unpleasant reminder how much this takes out of me. )
~~~
Completely unrelated except inasmuch as they both deal with what goes on inside my head.
It's stupid and frustrating how much of my (un)happiness comes from not getting laid. )
marsden_online: (Default)
The past week continues to have been positive for getting out of bed with or before the morning alarm and putting in max work hours (with still slow, but quality code output) and otherwise being productive / playing quite a bit of FreeCiv and a very busy evening of board games on Tuesday.

Granted with one thing and another the only reason the green bin was filled to go out was that Wednesday gaming was called off, and at the end of Friday I was feeling pretty had-it; but I also despite a small-hours-bedtime rolled out of bed promptly on Saturday energised to tackle weeding and forking over the vegetable garden. I did get sidetracked for a couple of hours crossing minor outstanding tasks at the computer off the (physical) to do list but then I did get the whole vege garden done over the course of several more hours. It pretty much wiped me out physically for the rest of the day, but I had nothing else on :)

After this post I am intended to go out and fill up the green bin again [I got distracted and went out and started before posting and then there was a Hall call; finishing] that will be the limit of my physical activity for the day. I deliberately opted to return to the cosiness of bed this morning aware that it was probably a mistake; my current lethargy indicates that it was but at least provides reinforcement for staying up next time. (Monday is my allowed "sleep in" day and today is a Public Holiday, Labour Day, to boot which is why having to spend more of yesterday (Sunday) than I would have liked at the Hall was less of an imposition than it could have been).

Speaking of, one area where I am /not/ feeling the motivation to continue by my ownsome is Hall maintenance; this was uncomfortably clear on Thursday and again yesterday when I had quite a bit of downtime there but only managed to summon the energy to attend to a couple of very minor patch up tasks off a much longer mental list of things I could and "should" do. Much of the rest of the time was actually spent just sitting in the car zoned out or on the verge of nodding off. Still save for organised working bees the Hall calendar is currently empty for now and there is only one enquiry sitting in the inbox; which has reduced to fewer than 10 active items.

Another thing which has taken up some time is that my motivation to write has returned although so far this has mostly been expressed by engaging in a couple of online debates (as preserved in recent posts). My backlog of intended posts, gaming write-ups and promised essays seems less formidable than it did, but is still going to take time to get to / through.

Awake!

Oct. 17th, 2015 08:59 am
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
I half expected to be writing this post at 5am. Instead I lingered in bed to a relaxed 7:30am.

I don't know what combination it may be of the increased sunshine hours, the change in medication, the week I took off or the absence of one stressor from work but the last three days have been excellent for getting out of bed and having time in my day.

Wednesday I told myself if I could get to work early enough and do 1-2 hours work beforehand I would go to the Fox Hunt Stunt at Uni, and so it happened. Then back to a solid afternoon at work followed by gaming.

Thursday I was prepared to languish in be wiped out by the previous day but was still up by an early-for-me 8:30am followed by a solid day at work and a little productivity in the evening.

Friday I was up before 6am for a walk around the block before a full day at work (including a staff lunch-slash-meeting which was mostly positive rather than the doom and gloom and whip-cracking I had been fearing). (In fact over the week I maxed out my target hours at work; which is also good for the bank balance.)

I won't say I haven't been feeling the effects in the evenings; Friday (last) night I did topple into bed at 8pm. And I was awake and could have been up and attacking the day at 5:30am again this morning; but instead just lay watching the clouds drift by out the window and petting the cat for a couple of hours.

As with all upswings in mood there is no telling how long this one will last so I need to try and make the most of it. But for a change I find that means a balance of doing-little / taking it easy / relaxing alongside getting-stuff-done rather than trying to crush as many backed-up tasks into the time as possible. It may help that I have no urgent outstanding matters and the Hall calendar is fairly empty for this weekend. I have time.
marsden_online: (skull)
Th last few weeks at work I have been grimly working my way through the projects in my queue to reach the point where it does (should) not matter if I take a significant chunk of time off to try and recharge. Finally that day is here, and yesterday informed the rest of the office that next week I will be away.

I'm not convinced they wouldn't have been finished sooner had I taken time off sooner and gone back to them. I have not been functioning at my best.

Theoretically that would give me 9 days of Freedom. Of course even though other events have freed me from my Russian lesson and from the Hall for this weekend Hall bookings have already built up from the next weekend and I have not been able to deny two visits during the week. (This week been was /supposed/ to be mostly free of the Hall but was no quieter than usual in part because apparently even when it is another group's domain I have to be /told/ every time they do something differently from what they told "us" to start. Next week is unlikely to be different.) Already it starts to feel like too much of the time is going to be spent on other people not myself.

And how am I going to spend time on myself? Closing loops mostly. The garden is in desperate need of attention, as are a number of other tasks around the house. I have at least 4 journal posts bugging the back of my mind, one of which is probably going to take a whole afternoon of introspection and re-reading over the source material. There are dozens of articles backlogged in my feed reader. My Sunday game is at the point where I need to put in some proper advance prep. There is a long-lapsed family project I need to get back to.

Some of these activities are (probably) therapeutic; they are all intended to lift some of the weight that holds me down every time I open my eyes in the morning and see the daily routine looming before me with no opportunity to address them. But they will hardly count as resting or relaxation.

For that I kind of have planned FreeCiv and some dead-tree reading. I hope to go out and maybe gently social with some people. I will probably stay in bed until after midday one day and just see how long it is my body wants to sleep.

Hopefully in there somewhere I will recover some juice. Because right now I can't even visualise what that would feel like let alone hat could do it.

Engaging

Sep. 3rd, 2015 10:14 pm
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Monthly psych appointment today. Although I seemed to spend most of my time talking around in circles around a knot I can't identify one good question was raised;
What is the difference between the way I engage with activities which will benefit other people and those which will benefit me?

This is in relation to the way I can get myself out of bed with just enough time to get through my morning routine and to work with just enough time to make the amount of hours I need to do for the day to contribute to my weekly target-ish (even allowing for other commitments later in the week) or to get to the Hall /just/ before a booking or to make an appointment on time;

but I cannot even force myself out of bed an hour or three hours earlier to make the time I could use to
- exercise;
- or work on any one of a number of languishing but theoretically rewarding projects (a number of which will also benefit other people, but there is no urgency);
or even get the household chores done before they become /necessary/;

even though I feel wide awake in body and mind at that time (and remember I'm stuck spending 10-12 hours a day in bed for no apparent reason, that's a /lot/ of lost time).

The psych described it as sounding something like an internal game of chicken; the part of me that wants to stay in bed / not deal with the world against the part of me that wants to get things done; but that metaphor doesn't usefully ring true to me.

What is true is that getting out of bed does inevitably lead to things which consume more energy than they deliver reward. Work or Hall, often. Hall emails and related matters, on a daily basis. The gradual erosion of my faith in humanity / my faith in myself (not that staying in bed actually helps with that last /at all/).

Still you'd think that having planned "this good thing" to do to start the day would counteract that to some extent. Nope. Better unhappy drifting in and out of pseudo-oblivion than being active with that feeling of impending doom? If it isn't a commitment which somehow involves another person I am stuck. (Using the word involve rather than benefit because appointments eg I had a dentist appointment yesterday to fix up a filling - no problem getting out of bed in plenty of time.)

So I guess you could rephrase the question:
What is the difference between the way I commit to activities which will involve/benefit other people and those which will mainly benefit me?

And actually I have no trouble with committing to things with a clear and immediate ongoing benefit eg aforementioned dentist appointment (I only chipped the tooth over the weekend).

So there is a definite cost/reward dynamic in effect. Wonky though they are I care more for my teeth than, know better than (and yes, can afford better than) to let a gaping hole remain in one of them even if it is not currently discomforting.

Situations where the main benefit to me might be that "I feel better" however are a different thing. I am "terrible" at discounting my own enjoyment of life against even the convenience of others; and I have the whole "good of the many outweighs the good of the one" complex going on. (Oddly enough I never class myself as one of the "many"...)

Discounting the value of future benefits against the value of immediate gains/losses is of course a well studied aspect of human behaviour.

Here's one possible answer:
- The benefits to others are usually clear and concrete. If I do this thing, at this time, this persons life is made easier / happier.
- The benefits to myself are usually uncertain. I'll achieve this thing, but there is "no urgency" (in a life full of other things clamouring for my attention can I just shut one of them up for a while?). It will still be there tomorrow and the day after and the day after ...). I'll (probably) feel good about having done it, but the feeling will be fleeting and will it really be worth the investment from the energy I have available to me right now?

If I had a crappy life perhaps I would weight things which bought pleasure to /me/ higher. But I have a good, comfortable life. The things I can do to look after / entertain / bring pleasure /to myself/ are easily accomplished and frankly provide little reward. And therein perhaps lies another clue - with "limited" energy reserves, why spend them on something which is not materially going to improve my well being? Fundamentally completing the project / doing the thing becomes just. more. work.

Work (the paying kind) is probably worth a tangent here as that is after all what five days out of seven I eventually drag myself out of bed to go and do. Work is a slog and has been for some weeks. I do not have the energy to push myself to finish an ongoing project any quicker than the much-longer-than-it-ought it is taking. I sense if I try I will actually crash and burn again. I need a holiday, but not as much as I "need" (want, am stubbornly determined) to clear my projects list first.

Work has become something I am doing primarily because income. I enjoy the coding, but if I wasn't coding at work I would probably be doing so for my own projects. If I lost the income ... I really don't have a plan B beyond "eat the house" until "something comes along". This is perhaps my greatest anxiety.

Getting back to the point (if there is one)... So anything which strongly resembles work - in subject matter or in process - automatically comes with some feeling of exhaustion attached. And that includes the majority of my outstanding projects and things which would normally be considered recreation such as reading a book or watching media (I deal with text and screens /almost all my waking hours/).

I know picking up an exercise regime would do me the world of good immediately and long term but I lack the willpower to get started. Just to add another hurdle the fact that I "should" be exercising also triggers a small internal rebellion.

Trying not to angst ... and failing ... I crave the distractions of pleasurable company - but that is not something I can /give myself/ and my history with trying to seek it out consists overwhelmingly of failure.

Have I answered the original question in all that? Maybe. Am I any closer to a solution? It does not feel like it.
marsden_online: (skull)
when everything goes just not quite right and you just start failing to cope.
Negativity dump )
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
This Queens Birthday was a much needed break from work but not particularly rejuvenating. On the one hand it was Buckets of Dice weekend and I had carefully avoided putting my name forward to run anything supposing (correctly) that I would be pretty wiped out after a month with two programmers away from work and would have had no time to prepare. This theoretically left me free to apply my (minimal, as those I gamed with on Saturday can attest) brainpower to board gaming. Saturday in particular was expected to be free of Hall-related interruptions. It was not to be.

I'm not going to type out the whole saga but multiple of my Saturday games (which, as mentioned, I had precious little brain and spoons for) were interrupted by phone calls and txts related to people randomly deciding they would turn up to the Hall /then/ contact us and see if they could be let in to take photos. There was a flow-on effect to this which meant it also happened again today (Monday) causing me to be able to play one fewer game than I would have otherwise. Some damage overnight on Saturday also caused me to stay behind after a (booked) tour Sunday afternoon which may have caused me to miss someone who stopped by BoD specifically to see me :( (But who left chocolates and literal spoons in my mailbox today anyway <3 ). And again today a short-notice (but at least made last week) request for access to the Hall to retake some photos for a project saw me sacrifice a games worth of time in the morning.

The games which all this was interspersed with were nevertheless good and I even won several of them. I was introduced to ... four? new games one of which I had considered purchasing from the sale table just for the art on the box and another which had it been on the Games Depository stall I probably would have bought / will buy next time I am deliberately spending money on such things. I only once found myself in a game with someone I really prefer not to play with if possible and many times in games with people I preferentially play with.

I did not even try to take photos this year, not even of the usual excellent LARP costumes (and there were two flagship LARPs this year to boot). I just did not feel the effort was worth it.

I have marginally improved brain/spoons over each day but I'm still not looking forward to the rest of this week. For tonight: the next thing I am doing is making for a really early bedtime.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Jotted in my Fb this morning:
Feels stuck in a holding pattern destination unknown.
This is not doing any for the areas of my life which require me to be self-motivating. Which is having flow-on effects for others ...

The area in particular is work where I am managing closer to minimum hours than maximum; which means that projects I am working on are not being delivered as quickly as they might (should) be; which must flow on to the client's perception of the company.
I am managing good periods of focus - the hours I am at work are being well spent and the work I am doing at present is challenging and a learning experience. But I might describe it like a favoured food - it's still not something you want to eat every day. This is in comparison to a staple food, which you can have for e.g. breakfast every day. As my source of income I really need to be able to chew through work every day.

Planning to do other things before work isn't helping; do things (housework, writing) before work and I am afraid I will be out of spoons before I get there. The result is I cannot be bothered getting out of bed until not only is it to late to do whatever I had planned but too late to get to work at the time I would like to (not that I am achieving that with any regularity anyway).
Scheduling things after work is a little better; but the usual pattern is I am a little less late than usual and work harder down to the wire where I have to leave.

Before work also usually means someone at the Hall (because for it to be something I have to keep to there have to be other people involved). And for all that many people are enjoying their association with that place and I still feel it is where I can make the most difference right now - as a project it's not returning/achieving what I'm looking for and I feel hamstrung by others lack of commitment and follow through.

And for all it feels like a holding pattern objectively most areas of my life are progressing nicely.
- Gaming continues to be excellent, with the recent, possibly temporary; addition of non-junk-food/meals to my mid-week game making it feel less like a group of over-aged teens and more like a group of actual grown-up friends socialising (this is a new experience).
- A deposit is down for solar panels to be added to the house, measurements taken and it is currently at the design stage; I don't mind if it's stalled there as I wasn't originally budgeting to initiate the project until next spring/summer.
- by my maths I will finish paying off my student loan this month and be properly debt-free - plus an effective pay rise of some tens of dollars a week.
- even the recent plumbing issues may have a silver lining in that I may discover that the next major project *needs* to be the kitchen; which would simplify certain decision trees.
- I have built a small reserve of money and investments - a long way away from closing off the mortgage aka emergency fund or living off the interest, but it feels those might one day be possible.
... if I can keep myself working and earning. Back to the start.

There's a little ... verse I found running around in my head in the car on Monday -
"Want to make a difference;
need the resources to make a difference;
back to working in an attempt accumulate the resources;
will I ever have enough to to make that difference?"
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Looking back it has been a year of ups and downs - but overall ups. Despite some pretty tough patches I'm in a much better place emotionally than I was this time last year.

Freeze frame )
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Tomorrow is my pre-Xmas psych appt and if it's not to be a waste of time and money I need to have something more defined to talk about than "I felt really crap at the end of last month but things have picked up and are looking up for the next few weeks".

Lets split that into its two parts.

I felt really crap at the end of last month (beginning of this month)

Life didn't *suck*, but it was *dragging*. Getting out of bed in the morning was regularly not happening until after 9 or 10, even with fairly regular 10pmish bedtimes, and afternoon naps were also frequent. I was managing my work hours and gaming and some Hall commitments but little else.

What I did identify this time is while I had/have plenty of *incentives* to get out of bed (in the way of chores to complete) I lack(ed) any *imperative*. Once I got going work hours and other commitments would get done. The ever-growing list of chores and other non-urgent things I might abstractly /want/ to achieve was an immobilizing weight.

Looking back at my journal though it appears I felt a *lot worse* this time last year.

Things have picked up and are looking up for the next few weeks

The last few weeks I've been gradually improving on the getting-out-of-bed, things done and to work earlier. My time at work hasn't increased much (although enough to show in my weekly pay) but has generally become more productive with improved focus (although "early" starts almost invariably seem to result in about 20 minutes spent nodding off in front of the computer after 30-60 minutes). Today is my third such day this week (and in a row), *imperative* supplied by
- a present-buying mission to be completed after work on Monday
- as it's the last week of work I pretty much *have* to finish the code I am working on this week and maybe even manage some documentation.
- a dental appointment today (and the need to complete my desired hours of work around it)
-- I'm hoping that the psych appt will have a similar effect tomorrow although this evening I collapsed into a (much interrupted) nap after I got home and it is going to be a late bedtime by the time I finish this post.

In the process (over the past three weeks) I have accumulated enough time (or perhaps managed to eschew enough commitments) that the backlog has been reduced to reasonable pre-Xmas levels (weight lifted) and I've found time to relax (as close as I get anyway). I am going into the Xmas holidays feeling not-completely-run-down for the first time in years. (Although I fully expect to spend much of next week in "crashing now" mode anyway.)

Interestingly I can pinpoint the exact point at which I started getting excited again - being asked to quote on a significant new chunk of work for one of "my" clients at work. This was probably the biggest single quote I've written up (just on my time) and we have been provided with a pretty good outline of what they want by the client so I was able to break it down and write it up much more clearly than many past projects. Work will start as soon as I get back next year, another reason I have to have the code I am currently working on finished this week. That was however the same week my body got a forcible reset on the Monday due to a dawn Hall alarm.

I get four weeks Xmas/NY holiday this year which will be interesting. The three weeks I usually take generally leaves me feeling like I needed "just one more week" after recovery and then festivities to actually get the things I wanted to do done.
marsden_online: (Default)
A friend is researching fr a blog post and asked...
I'm particularly interested in people's input on the difficulties of trying to hold down a job while maintaining your illness. And the frustrations of not being able to work not so much because you CAN'T but because you cannot reliably stick to a set schedule. Also what things do you do to keep busy if you are not able to work? Are the hobbies you pick up able to be translated into a potential source of income? Would you be willing to work if there was something that could be worked around your illness? If there was a business that understood that some days you can't do anything and there will more often than not be no warning for those days. You know the stuff - you're not totally broken but sometimes it feels like you might as well be because so many things are stacked up in a way that just doesn't work for us.
Have you ever thought about what you would like to do if the illness was the ONLY thing in your way? You're stuck with it, but if all the other variables were stacked favourably - what would you want to do, what COULD you do?

I feel like a bit of an imposter answering this because my limitations are trivial compared to those of so many people I know. OTOH I just had a day spent largely in bed where just deciding to do something about dinner was almost too much effort; let alone deciding what to have when it turned out I didn't have the ingredients for plan a.

As I said I know many people who while very intelligent, very full of potential, often very skilled and productive in their own ways are prevented from either making the contributions they would like to society or (and this is the greater shame) being seen to be of value and included as such simply because their illnesses or their ways of thinking or both mean they cannot cannot reliably stick to a set schedule - at least not the schedule society demands of us.

I am fortunate to have a job which works around my illness (slowly recovering from depressions/burnout); employers who accept (even if they may not understand) that I can't drag myself out of bed to be there at a certain time each morning and that if I am there early chances are my brain is gong to shut off equally early, and who consider my skills bring sufficient value to the company to pay me a generous amount for the time I do spend there.

Being nowhere near as certain of this as they are, I often find myself pondering what life might be like should they decide I could be better replaced. I have no answer for that question. If in that situation I could find (or start) another business with a similar mindset I would certainly work. My hobbies such as they are alas don't really translate into a potential income stream (I've thought long on that) although coding could from some angles certainly be considered a "hobby" for me.

On the silver lining side going through this has given me reason to consider society's current expectations about how a life should be lived and what makes a person a "valuable contributing member of society" and come tot he conclusion that they are a chamberpot full of shit (chamberpot: rendered obsolete by modern technology in most situations and shit: stinks).

So for me / in my case the frustration lies not so much in not being able to hold down a job but in that holding down that job (which even part time takes most of my available energy, and suffers when circumstances lead to prioritising eg the Hall higher for a bit) leaves me not being able to do the other things in life which take similar energies - like housekeeping, like using those skills on my own projects (I rarely code for my own purposes any more), like reading for pleasure, like the game prep my players deserve, like (much needed frankly) exercise.

As my recovery (which I have gradually come to accept may never be "complete") continues; if more things can be stacked favourably; those are the things I want to bring back into my life.

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