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: (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)
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: (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: (Rage)
Last night (well this morning) I had dreams of epic length even by my standards. The sort where your bladder drags you out of bed midway for a toilet break, but that is only a temporary escape. The content was not pleasant either.

long post is long )
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Ref this OotS comic . Also disclaimer for wee-small-hours rambling.
personal blah )
marsden_online: (Sisters)
A month or so ago I jotted in my tumblr
Questions of myself
What are you trying to do?
Prove Worthy
Worthy of what?
Not of what, of whom.

once upon a time )
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Back to my current favourite source of advice on procrastination
The procrastinator is in the bad habit, bordering on addiction, of letting the monkey win. He continues to have the intention to control the monkey, but he puts forth a hapless effort, using the same proven-not-to-work methods he’s used for years, and deep down, he knows the monkey will win. He vows to change, but the patterns just stay the same. So why would an otherwise capable person put forth such a lame and futile effort again and again?
The answer is that he has incredibly low confidence when it comes to this part of his life, allowing himself to become enslaved by a self-defeating, self-fulfilling prophecy. Let’s call this self-fulfilling prophecy his Storyline. The procrastinator’s Storyline goes something like this:
For the Have-To-Dos in my life, I’ll end up waiting until the last minute, panicking, and then either doing less than my best work or shutting down and not doing anything at all. For the Want-To-Dos in my life, let’s be honest—I’ll either start one and quit or more likely, I just won’t ever get around to it.
The procrastinator’s problems run deep, and it takes something more than “being more self-disciplined” or “changing his bad habits” for him to change his ways — the root of the problem is embedded in his Storyline, and his Storyline is what must change.
And the takeaway - good advice for anything you want to achieve in life...
3) Aim for slow, steady progress—Storylines are rewritten one page at a time.
In the same way a great achievement happens unglorious brick by unglorious brick, a deeply-engrained habit like procrastination doesn’t change all at once, it changes one modest improvement at a time. ... The author who writes one page a day has written a book after a year. The procrastinator who gets slightly better every week is a totally changed person a year later.
So don’t think about going from A to Z — just start with A to B. Change the Storyline from “I procrastinate on every hard task I do” to “Once a week, I do a hard task without procrastinating.” If you can do that, you’ve started a trend. I’m still a wretched procrastinator, but I’m definitely better than I was last year, so I feel hopeful about the future.

This storyline concept has shown up in a number of other articles I have read and also in my counselling sessions. Here are some of my most pernicious - by externalising them here I intend to given them substance whereby I can challenge them going forward.
marathon post )
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
One of the things on my to-do list for this holiday was to step back and assess my life from the new vantage provided by higher mood. To see what looks different from up here and what new options may be visible; to see if there is anything old or new I now feel it is within my power to change for the better.

This post pulls together some of those thoughts.

insecurity )

procrastination )

fear/pain )

This post has felt like forcing myself open from the inside and I've procrastinated more than a little while writing it, but I think I have reached some insights. Still more yet to come, later.
marsden_online: (write)
If I don't write this post while I'm in the pit I'll probably never get around to it.

The first half draft has been sitting in my brain for about a month and a half, since Wil Wheaton's response to another's post about how depression lies floated through my G+ and FB feeds. (Because my friends share the good stuff.)
snip1 )
I have no great desire to become self-sufficient in this. I crave companionship - some level of intimacy - as the one significant thing missing from my comfortable, privileged life.
snip2 )
marsden_online: (dragon)
Expectations. Often I exceed them - especially work-related stuff. Sometimes I'm oblivious to them - especially relationship-oriented stuff. Almost invariably the fact that I do not meet them leads to at best surprise, at least confusion and at worst anger.
long ramble needs to be got out of brain )
marsden_online: (skull)
I awoke this morning with a sense of calm, that things were right with the world and that it was all right to lie in the cosy bed for a while. This usually means one of two things:
1. there is a disaster waiting in or about to hit my inbox
2. I've cracked
3. both of the above

Given that the world has slowly been turning to plastic over th past few weeks and I'm at the state where I don't have the spare brain cycles to contemplate anything more than a few hours ahead probably at least the second (I've checked my inbox and it's clear - so far). For instance this weekend is Winter Weekend but my brain cannot comprehend this - the concept flits away like a frisky butterfish. I'm going out tomorrow afternoon - or evening, depending on the painter - despite clearly needing some sort of break I'm expecting two surreal days which will immediately disappear in the fog of "happened".

On the subject of painting - after two weeks without the final coat being applied it turns out that the painter is away sick and the project manager has -finally- (after I actually started chasing him up) assigned another painter. Who is supposed to be here late this afternoon to apply the first coat and tomorrow morning for the second.

On the one hand this is over-and-above the EQC work so I don't want to push things - on the other hand that means *I'm* the one paying for it and I expect better. Especially since I need the paint fumes to have cleared by the end of the week when another EQC refugee is moving into that room for a few weeks / months.
marsden_online: (write) has a post on some of the cultural programming that men encounter about women. (And let's not forget that women are exposed to the same messages.)

I'm still turning over how much some of these memes might have had an influence on me (that they have is undeniable) but I actually want to spin off one line of the article to go into something more personal.
So, from about age 13 on, around 90 percent of our energy and discipline is devoted to overcoming this, to behave like civilized human beings ...

The rest of the sentence isn't really relevant. This sums up where an awful lot of my spoons go when I'm out in public, and even when I'm communicating (or deciding whether or not to communicate) online.

Maybe other people internalise it better, maybe my routines just run closer to the conscious mind such that I can observe them. They include
- don't stare
- give everyone due attention/acknowledgement
- think before you speak. Then think again.
- don't marginalise
- avoid anything likely to give offence
- try to avoid preconceptions about people
- recognise and counter internalised biases stemming from culture/privilege
- avoid anything likely to give offence (yes I know I put it twice)

These are habits that have formed over decades. They override my basic mode of interaction which is pretty arrogant and abrasive. Mostly they're OK because courtesy is the grease which keeps the wheels of society turning, and the cycles spent on these sort of things are just one of the prices we pay for the benefits. That I may have to spend relatively more of my resources (that's what it often feels like) in the process is just one of those things.

Being the type of person I am these habits are very firmly ingrained. So far that it becomes a problem in situations where for not-so-random example flirting would be appropriate, maybe even invited*. In any more intimate situation where communication requires doing or saying things which would not be acceptable in a wider social situation, or in a formal situation where a likely hurtful opinion/criticism needs to be expressed - the habits don't differentiate. "Acceptable" and "non-upsetting" override "desired" and sometimes even "necessary".

So in these situations I stall. Why? Because just the other side of those habits - which are safety catches - lies a pool of anger and violence that I can only see unlocking as a valid response in extreme cases. And - here's the real problem - that I don't want to risk opening accidentally on anyone I care about. Or, anyone I might be having a good time with who hasn't signed up to deal with my baggage.

*I'm probably doing myself no favours admitting as a 30mumble guy that I don't know how to progress when a woman is interested in me, even if I happen to have picked up the signals.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
The precarious imbalance between reason and impulse in my life nearly took a dramatic shift tonight. Fortunately rational habit (with perhaps a touch of apathy) stopped me doing something really stupid.

Roll on towards the promise of a sanity lifeline on Wednesday. Can't come too soon.

Thanks for the times
That youve given me
The memories are all in my mind
And now that weve come
To the end of our rainbow
There's something
I must say out loud (I wish)
You're once, twice, three times a lady )

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