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)
The same thing we do every day, fight the ennui and despair with distractions* until we are past exhaustion."
"But what if we are past exhaustion** to start with brain?"
"Then we're fucked, and not in the good way***."
ya-snip )
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: (loved)
This is something I wrote to someone who is finding everything too much at the moment. I have been asked to make it more widely available - if you feel it would help someone please feel free to share it. If that is the post, please use the Dreamwidth version. Link at bottom if you are reading this on LiveJournal.

I don't know you very well, we've maybe spoken a couple of times at parties and other than that only what I see on FB. But I'd like to share something I've learnt in times like these - we're /taught/ that it's a bad thing to be a "burden" but that's a lie. People will happily carry something (or someone) they see value in. Additionally the context always seems to consider the weight as if it all has to be borne by /one/ person. This is also false.

Sometimes we just have to accept little bits of ourselves being carried by different people as, when and how they can. And life is a complicated beast so sometimes individual people have to set down the responsibility or they (and we) have to let it pass to a different person.

And yes sometimes it feels that we are the only one left to carry our own weight with no hope of respite, and that can be a terrible, crushing, soul destroying feeling. But it is never, ever true. Sometimes we do drop pieces of ourselves along the trail, or cannibalise our ability to care about something to make it through another day. There is always hope. There is always another day. Someone will smile at us, even a stranger in the street, or comment on something we post and the weight will lift a little.

We all become a burden at some point in our lives. I believe it is just part of the human learning experience. When we come out the other side - granted not all do and every one of those is a loss worth grieving - we are better prepared and equipped to carry not only ourselves forward but others as well, strength permitting.

The comments on this post show you have a lot of people who see value in you, even if you don't, can't believe it right now. I certainly do even if all I have to offer are my words. They are willing to lift and carry you for a while. Trust them. Lie back and ride the crowd. Rest. Be well.

As a bonus here is a something else hopefully uplifting another of my friends shared.

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)
It has been two months since I did a "state of me" post. Looking back I see I was definitely in a worse place at that time. Things have picked up but I feel back in a bit of a dip at the moment.

Some major loops have been closed - the drain-laying and landscaping have been done; replaced with the less intimidating "cleaning up the mess left behind" and "paying off the mortgage again" loops. Having to be out of bed by 8am for workers did wonders for my productivity over those couple of weeks and I had hoped it would "stick" as an adjustment to my body clock but I have slipped back to not being able to force myself out of bed until quite late in the morning.

I have also switched off the medication which may have been helping with that (Sertroline); I developed a strong physical aversion to taking it so switched back to a low dose of the leftover Citalopram then changed my prescription back as well. There was an almost immediate improvement in my mood, alertness and creativity (measured by my urge to write); at the same time I have experienced a resurgence in vivid and sleep disrupting dreams and also a near-constant hunger/snacking.

The only weekday commitments I have at the moment are work; so that isn't suffering relative to my established "norm" but we are still behind and I would like to do more; as well as of course keep on top of other things before the list grows long enough to again feel overwhelming.
Hall commitments have receded; hopefully for the next couple of months until it starts warming up again.

running through my head )
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: (BlueDragon)
"Earthquake brain" is a term coined to describe certain mental symptoms of stress which rear their ugly heads in many people as and after the earth moves. They can range from irritability and trouble focussing to emotional breakdowns. Here in Canterbury the earth has been very active for the past month or so; compounded by this period coinciding with the 5th anniversary of the February 2011 quake and a deliberate neglect of the regions' post-disaster mental-health needs by central government.

I don't suffer directly from earthquake brain (fortunate) but have nevertheless noticed my mental health take a sharp downtick as I worry for the state of my (less-fortunate) friends; which is always top-of-mind after I feel a jolt or a wobble come through.

There are other factors to my mood drop - there always are certain circumstances in Feb/Mar and this year there is a new one.

So I've been feeling run-down, worn out, unenthusiastic about and not focused on work, procrastinating way too much and overwhelmed by my to-do list outside work, and helpless in the face of it all. To get some stuff done and close some loops I took (tried to take) a mental health day last week in conjunction with my monthly psych appointment but that didn't go well overall.
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: (Sisters)
I need my brain to be active; it's like treading water. If I stop I start to sink into the dark depths of loneliness and self-pity.

Then there are times like now when I am too exhausted on one or more levels to seek out or initiate or maintain self-distraction. These times are like being sucked down and slowly drowned in a morass of unrequited want. The physical exhaustion adds a particularly visceral quality to the experience.

I know that I am just tired and drained after last night: poor sleep, dubious food, forgetting to take my meds, unfortunate party drama, the weight of years of baggage which always seems to fall out of the wardrobe at New Years. I know (hope) that in a day or two I will have recovered the energy to stay afloat. I have marshalled myself enough to take a walk around the block to somewhat disrupt the loop my brain was repeating and a healthy dinner is cooking.

I know that other people have it worse but this is about me, and right now I feel pretty shit.

"A friend in need's a friend indeed
A friend with weed is better
A friend with breasts and all the rest
A friend who's dressed in leather

A friend in need's a friend indeed
A friend who'll tease is better
Our thoughts compress which makes us blessed
And makes for stormy weather."

Damn earworm in not helping.
marsden_online: (skull)
when everything goes just not quite right and you just start failing to cope.
Negativity dump )
marsden_online: (Sisters)
Last night was not well restful. I had (woke from) three very emotively charged dreams (plus lesser-charged segues) and had one of those instances where you hop out of bed to go to the toilet and discover one side of your body has forgotten what balance is.

Dream the first: Anger/Rage
The first of two dreams featuring the Hall; this one followed the now familiar course of people going in uninvited and then giving me the run-around while my phone refused to dial 111 (in one instance it actually dialled only to drip the call in favour of answering one from M about something less than helpful which resulting in me shouting down the phone at him for a bit.

I don't think anything in that dream ever got resolved but the frontage did somehow get pruned, although this involved a tree (conifer, of which there are none there - but neither is the steep hillside it was on) falling onto Riccarton Road and endangering traffic.

Dream the second: Sadness / helplessness
The first dream mostly took place around the motel wing (with several extra floors) and the garden; after an awake period it sort of picked up again with going into the managers residence and finding it had been quietly overrun with homeless people. Packed 20-40 to a room, Chch earthquake insurance/nobuild* refugees mostly. There was filth, there were flies, there hopelessness, helplessness and illness. Somehow I managed to get media attention drawn to the situation (I don't know how, the dream skipped to finishing showing a reporter around and the worse cases were in the process of being moved out to ambulances.
This dream left me with a feeling of deep sadness.

* nobuild - the rebuild which hasn't eventuated

Dream the third: Attachment
My last for the night and coming after a few other, shorter but still emotionally turbulent episodes segued out of an animated fish swimming olympics (where the winner "won" by being almost lapped then swallowed by his larger competitor only to bust back out of his gullet at the finish line to win by a nose) through
a desperate run through a post-apocalyptic trail / unused subway / mine / partly working forge and factory trying to avoid or fighting off the brutal / murderous / cannibalistic survivors and gangs which had claimed various areas. At some point a cyborg was introduced to the dream who later went crazy and full-on war-machine bloody slaughter - the dream shifted to the future where she had calmed down a bit;gained control of the factory and used her knowledge and it's facilities to create impressive war-machine bodies for a number of other serious wounded women (men only got basic cybernetic replacements) .
[No I haven't seen Fury Road yet except for the trailers, I've even managed to avoid spoilers, I'm hoping to go on Thursday]
Anyway she and I had become a thing and I would much rather have stayed in that future wasteland with her; mostly metal body serious psychological issues and all; than have to wake up again here.

I wish I had time to go deeper into why all these things are so important to me, but I have little time and still have to do that for the one from night before last (next post). For those who know me well the connections are probably all clear anyway.
marsden_online: (Rage)
Last evening I attended a fairly convivial flatwarming drinkies where I managed to complete the find-all-the-things (20 symbols hidden around the flat) game going on about 30 minutes ahead of anyone else, netting some chocolates and 400 "badass points to do with as you will". Unfortunately no (in)decent opportunities arose to take advantage of that. (What else would I use them for?).

Unfortunately by the time I got home my mood was ebbing and the rest of my night was broken not only by the sort of dreams where one wakes up covered in cold sweat but also by a completely unnecessary 2:45am phone call which whil eit dragged me out of a dream I was not enjoying was nevertheless not an improvement.

I can't remember the details of that first dream now but the second was perhaps unsurprisingly filled with anger and frustration although the targets were forces and people outside my control, particularly economic and government/social.

The last was running (which included the superleap-glide combo one often gets in dreams) to try and stay ahead of a zombie-virus which was outbreaking. Most of the population of the city (wherever it was) had been infected by a dormant version which was now being activated by an airbourne vector but the active virus could also be spread by touch (starting as a rash). The front created by the airbourne vector spreading outwards was what I was trying to keep ahead of but only just keeping pace with. There was a lot of treetop/rooftop/walltop jump-gliding as well as trying to get over or past infected groups (which retained humanlike intelligence just with a very specific goal) without being noticed, often this included entering a building which may-or-may not have an active contagion and trying to get through and out the other side before the inhabitants were affected.

Fortunately the zombies were fairly easy to disable with small amounts of stabbing (often with cutlery) but that still meant they had managed to get dangerously close. There were a number of incidents of meeting/teaming up with people who were not infected/active only to have to stab/kill/evade them as the virus was contracted or became active.

I did get infected as the virus which was apparently developing some form of hive-intelligence started infecting wolves and one of them managed to superleap onto my back in mid air. Attempts to kill myself by biting down on home-made bullets I'd acquired from someone in the process of succumbing earlier failed but apparently I was not entirely human or something (in the dream just before the virus outbreak I had been some form of lower-social-class ape creature) and the virus was taking longer than usual to affect me.

I managed to make it out of the city with a flying leap over a steep slope which although I could glide down into the sea/lakeside wilderness beyond it was such a distance that safe/gentle landing was in no way assured (or likely) after which I was likely to be lying helpless until I either died (properly) or fought off the virus. I woke up at that point though.

When just about finished typing this up the first time the damn cat decided she was going to walk across between me and the laptop without care for where she was standing and managed to step on the F5 key wiping it all.This is how I discovered the Lazurus plugin while installed is apparently not working in this browser and is responsible for a sharp decline in my mood, as a consequence of which my next actions are not going to be write up the three sessions of On the Road I am behind but go back to playing Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge which I purchased from GOG.com a couple of days ago.
marsden_online: (Sisters)
I can say yesterday was a good day. On about 6 hours sleep (I sleep wayyy to much anyway) I somehow was out of bed and stayed out of bed at a fairly early hour over my body & brain's protestations. I had planned to spend the morning writing but instead somehow pruned a chunk of hedge, mowed the lawns, and completed several smaller chores before a midday lunch and over to the hall for a half-hour vigorous grubbing of thistles and some pruning before first roleplayers and then a photographer and crew turned up.

Some explanation: I had (reluctantly) arranged to be at the Hall for the photographer, and the DM for our Wednesday game had a week off and was keen to run an extra session. Since the weather was theoretically going to be fine and I wasn't keen on twiddling my thumbs around the hall for 3 ½ hours I saw the opportunity to cross "game at the hall" off the bucket list.

The weather was not as warm as it could have been on the day before summer (pity the models) but we still managed to have a good time I think.

I got home a bit later than I would have liked, had a nice burger for dinner and still had just enough left in me to process the weekend party photos. Crashed into bed before 9pm looking forward to waking up early and having an equally productive day today.

Slept solidly, woke up around 7 ... with completely no ability to get out of bed. A long list of things which need doing (see below); several of which I want to get done; but absolutely no capacity to act on those desires on my own accord. Eventually my bladder forced me out of bed a little after 10am.

That's 3 hours in which I could have completed any of
- update my AU spellsheet to output Markos' new 3rd level spells and Zediz'r's new 4th level spells
- write up the next "On the Road" (as I continue to fall behind)
- persuade the flatmate to excavate ~ the last two weeks of dishes from his room so they could be washed, and washed them

Those 3 things all sort of needed to be done today (because Tuesdays are invariably completely taken by work and gaming and the backlog will just get worse come Wednesday evening's session). I will still have time and spoons to complete /one/, probably the least necessary, after I have eaten tonight.

Alternatively I could have caught up of the hall stuff I am failing to find the motivation to push (eg overdue working bee) or managed a "full" day at work and been home to complete one or more of these things in the evening. I haven;t even been very good at getting out of bed for work the past couple of months - I haven't lost *all* the progress I thought I had made but my performance has not been stellar.

It's not even that I don't want to go to work either because I do, it's just that
despite all the reasons I lie there listing to myself about why I should be getting out of bed
none of them "do it" for me.

And yet Sunday, when I could have stayed in bed for more hours and it wouldn't have mattered, My system was suddenly "Bam. lets get stuff done". And I /know/ that when I get up early I have good days and get stuff done. I have a lot of stuff I /want/ to get done even though I'm wondering about the point of some of it.

It's like I've forgotten how to can.
marsden_online: (Sisters)
Dreams (the night-time variety) .. one can leave you feeling relaxed and happy, the next can turn around and leave you shattered and broken. If they'd happened in the other order I'd feel better.

It is probably the after effects of a week of widely fluctuating emotions in response to a series of events - from nigh exhilarating highs to gutting comedowns. Also a week where I pushed myself somewhat at work and while I am happy with the time spent and with the quality of my code I still did not complete the results I was aiming for, at the cost of tiring myself out.

So today I feel broken and hurt and alone, and have a bad case of the "don't wanna's" which means I only* managed to drag myself out of bed because I have commitments to meet this afternoon - this will get done as will probably some other things which sort of /need/ doing but the things I had planned to do today are probably dead in the water.

* Also because lying in bed moping wasn't going to increase the chances of someone turning up on my doorstep to "distract and comfort"** me - but then neither is dumping and angsting in my journal.

** totally a euphemism

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