Prepping for Battle

I’m having a quiet day, and being productive at the same time. I had my second covid jab this morning (Astra-Zenica) and so far there’s no aches or pains so I’m just keeping hydrated and will take some paracetamol later if anything starts up. At worst it should feel a bit like the flu if last time was anything to go by.

In the meantime I’ve written the introduction to tomorrow’s game:

And so that’s one less thing to make up on the fly tomorrow. Now I’m going to go and prepare some spare encounters and maps that I can throw into the mix if the game goes in strange directions.

As ever I’m using a combination of Roll20 for the virtual tabletop, and dndbeyond.com for the creatures, people, information, and tricks of the trade, so I shall probably get lost for a while delving into lore and obscure rules for a while…

Certified in a Good Way

I had the assessment today for the Mental Health First Aider course I was on last week and I’m pleased to be able to say that I passed.

I of course spent most of the morning beforehand in an anxious read and re-read of the course materials and nearly set off an anxiety attack with my brain catastrophising wildly.

Gentle breathing exercises and customer enquiries to distract me kept me going, but I’m now exhausted. Who knows what’s in store for tomorrow…

Brain Fizz

Somewhat fittingly I’m currently quietly stressing about the assessment tomorrow afternoon for the First Aid for Mental Health certificate. I’ve every confidence in my ability as its basically what I regularly do for staff and customers every day – I just worry about acronyms and jargon.

I know it’s just my brain pulling its usually tricks, all will be well. Even if I don’t pass I’ll still be supporting people as ever.

Oh, and I applied for a thing speculatively in the restructure but I’m not expecting to hear anything on that front. Still a minor stress to throw into the mix but there you go.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Today was pretty intense with a concentrated combined learning approach to teaching mental health first aid. I should specify it was me getting trained rather than imparting my wisdom to the masses.

As a technical note, the course is the FAA Level 2 Award in First Aid for Mental Health and so there will be a formal assessment on Thursday before I can earn the qualification. Essentially the training is in how to be the initial response and advocate when mental health needs addressing – and formalises the sort of general pastoral support I do with staff and public as well as friends and family.

Most of it is common sense and appropriate signposting and de-escalation, but it’s still been heavy going with a lot of my own issues raked up in the process. Still, if it means I can help people it’s worth it.

Ow ow ow

As is traditional, a few days after exercise, muscles are complaining bitterly. Sadly that exercise was my being violently ill so the painful muscles are the ones connected to my ribs and diaphragm and it hurts when I laugh.

Those who know me, will appreciate how much this is an irritation. I like laughing.

A lot.

And yes, that’s in no small part due to being very familiar with depression, which is always lurking in the background.

So, hopefully I’ll feel less tender in the morning and I can enjoy my day off.

Odds and Sods

Another day done, reasonably productively, so that’s good. I’d been concerned for a colleague who seemed to have slipped through the cracks in the vaccination program but was pleased to hear that they’d been successful in securing an appointment.

Perhaps unsurprisingly I seem to have gained a reputation, at least with my manager, for being able to help distressed colleagues. I’m more frequently being asked to check in on various people so I’m having to remember to maintain my boundaries and not carry things home.

Proof myr s loves me

Still, I’m doodling and plotting things for the next few games, so that’s a positive thing. Shenanigans are afoot.

A Day of Consultation

Every now and then I’m called upon to be the fount of all knowledge, or at least the nodding insurance advert dog that people come to for permission to do what they’ve already decided to do – or for sounding board duties while they justify the decision their subconscious has already made.

Today has been that day. Thankfully I was only due to work a short shift as the hours were swapped with yesterday so that we could head off an issue with cover.

During the scant few hours, somehow every single conversation was about the same small pool of topics and individuals. I was therefore very relieved to get away for a coffee date after work with another colleague. An hour of gossip and putting the world to rights was just the right antidote to it all.

In other news, I’ve been confirmed as a Mental Health First Aider, and training booked in for early next month. Just in time for the big restructure. Just, generally, in time.

And Now The Week Is Done

It’s been a very long day. Nothing horrible, and mostly very productive, just long. I was supervising some new staff so that took a more active management and training regime than usual, and then I had counselling this evening as well. That’s taken a lot out of me.

Nothing like a discussion of whether my supporting people is a way of pushing away help to get you double guessing yourself in knots.

It isn’t, for the record, but that’s the type of day its been. Tomorrow brings the next episode of the DDC, so hopefully see you there at 7.30pm London time. I might even have written a plot by then…

Creativity Flop

I’m tired, but I think the worst of the vaccine side effects have faded. Now I just have my perennially creaky knees and about a week’s sleep debt to worry about. No wonder my creative juices are barely ticking over.

I’m aware I’m being a little harsh on myself under the circumstances. I’ve just finished one of my journals and will be filing it away in the writing bureau some time soon. A previously started one has now picked up the baton and will travel most places with me.

I’d love to be writing but my brain says no. Not right now – so instead I’m setting up possible battle maps and locations for the game on Sunday before the yawning gets too much.

Covid Vaccinated

Today’s been a bit odd, but positive. I was up early to go get my first vaccine shot and needed to get to the Harlequins Rugby Club which is the nearest centre.

I hadn’t slept well because I was worried about sleeping through my alarms, but that was fine because roadworks meant I was delayed and got there ten minutes late anyway. That said, nobody batted an eyelid.

From there it was a smooth conveyor belt of positivity from volunteers and staff alike, and I was soon headed back home, freshly stabbed. They gave me the Oxford AstraZeneca jab, by the way. The second dose is due at the beginning of June.

Since then? Tiredness and aching joints for the most part, but nothing more than annoyance level discomfort. Just feel out of sorts, and reminded of the illness I had about this time last year. So that’s a thing…