A Calm Centre

I had a brief chat today with a friend about how we’re each coping with everything going on, and how it is reported. We both agreed that we were each actively working on not letting ourselves get angry on a regular basis.

I went on to say that I was doing lots of focusing on being firm but kind with people that came in to the library, and helping where I can to at least make my small corner of the world less beastly.

What’s the alternative? Hopelessly screaming, shouting, and ranting is therapeutic to be sure, but helping keep everything stable for others helps me in the long run by requiring less sets of spoons to maintain after a while.

It just feels a lot of effort to be getting there. Being kind is full time work.

Introspective Spiral

I’ve just sent off my draft to my counsellor talking about my most recent experience of suicidal thoughts and actions and of the journey back. Unsurprisingly it has raked up a lot of thoughts, emotions, and memories.

What has surprised me has been how much more difficult it has been to get it all down on paper rather than talking about it. It has done more than just make me stumble over those words, and had me in tears in the kitchen this evening.

Quite impressive for something barely over 900 words long. It took me five attempts to start, and in the end bluntness was the only way to make it happen. It mirrors the process of taking these things into session – building up and digging over implications and deductions to work out the whys and connections.

I may post it here at some point. If I do it will be heavily marked with warnings.

If you are in that dark lonely place, dare to reach out. Don’t let go. People will listen and care, and they may be the people you least expect. Don’t give up. Talk.

GoFundMe News

So myr s launched their GoFundMe last week to try and get the finances for their first appointments with a gender clinic and thanks to some wonderful people has enough to be able to begin that process and pay for some of the prescriptions and ongoing support required.

They are doing this privately because the waiting lists to even be seen for starting conversations are currently running at several years, and the gender dysphoria that they suffer from has been causing deep depression on an ongoing basis.

The fund is still open, and every little bit to help them will be hugely appreciated. This is literally life changing, and I want to see my partner thrive and be happy.

The campaign can be seen here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/morganrileytransition

Return of the Mini-Weekend

So my weekend started today after working my Saturday, and I’ve been quietly enjoying the sunshine, that and the knowledge that I’m also off on Monday. I’ve been mostly just enjoying being in my own head after a week of being around people at work – and I definitely plan to spend some time quietly by the river tomorrow – mostly reading and writing.

And following my most recent counselling session this evening, I’ve got an interesting challenge. I’ve been asked to write a piece that can be used in a training session as a testimony – in this case to talk about when I’ve been suicidal: both in terms of lead up and what came after on the counselling side. I’ve agreed to do it, so a quiet spot by the river without interruptions sounds a good spot to have that introspection.

It’s not the first time I’ve written about my “journey” for use in a class. It’s been a while though. The last time was more focused on recovery from self harm and was both challenging and rewarding to be able to be a coherent voice speaking to people directly and give a perspective on what they may encounter. It’s the same reason I’ve agreed to do it this time – because I want to talk about how I didn’t make it obvious to people that I was in a spiral, but also how it felt to be able to talk about it in counselling once the crisis moment was past. If it helps someone with a future client its worth it.

Sleepy Day

I was up at about eight or so this morning, mostly because I could hear Lady M moving around having breakfast so I got up too and got on with putting out the washing and similar household essentials. So far so normal, but its not been without feeling sleepy.

Thats probably as much to do with the journey to Portsmouth and back as anything else along with spending a little more than planned in the process, which always sets the nervous twitch going. I don’t regret spending the money, and it was within budget, but deciding to have a quiet day of not spending much has helped to settle the worry brain.

And so when Lady M was tired and wanted a nap it was no big deal to curl up for a couple of hours too. And there went the afternoon. My only regret is that I didn’t take a photo to send to myr s – which is what Lady M did to me before I got up yesterday.

Hmm, maybe thats why I woke up early today, just in case.

Spoons Management

I’ve been reviewing staff risk assessments over the last couple of days, checking how people have been coping with being back at work. Its part of an ongoing one-to-one process we’ve been doing as we get the libraries reopened to ensure that we are able to properly support people’s physical and mental health during this extremely unseated time.

I am very lucky that the people I’m managing are pragmatic and well-motivated. There are one or two who have needed more support than others for a variety of reasons, but without fail each person in the review to date has been positive and expressed a relief at how smoothly things have been going. For the most part everyone has been relieved to find that their worries have not materialised. Dare I say it, but we’ve even had smiles.

I have to say that I am exhausted, but its not from the day to day of the library. Instead we are still in limbo at home waiting on Lady M’s MRI, which we just learned was cancelled as the hospital accidentally discharged her when they let her come home. For some reason it is now up to us to chase and rearrange it so we can get a clear picture of what’s going on. Lady M is bearing up as well as you could hope for, but the worry is taking its toll on both of us.

For my part I’m just exhausted, all the time, and a bit numb when I’m not. Understandable really, but its not depression, its just what my counsellor calls over-saturation and I call running our of spoons. Catnaps and an early night beckon to rebuild my energy for tomorrow. And in the meantime I distracted Lady M with a new Funko that I knew she’d been admiring

Graphics, graphics everywhere

I had myr s half jokingly beg me yesterday to stop putting up new pieces on https://ludd72.redbubble.com because there was no way they could afford to buy everything.

Never not drawing

I don’t know about that; there’s something very viscerally satisfying about seeing something I’ve created printed on a physical object. Even if I’m the only one who uses it as a print on demand service, its worth it to me. That said if you do like anything on there enough to buy it then know that you will be fuelling my coffee consumption, not just stroking my ego.

Yes, I am already drawing inside this

Its a great distraction from everything else going on in the world at the moment, so there’s very little chance of my not continuing to put more items up to tempt, bemuse, or entertain you all

Just like this

Low Spoons

We’re not gaming tonight, as across the board we’re variously at a low ebb, ill, depressed, exhausted, in pain, and/or all of the above. So that’s fun.

Instead I’ve been playing around with photoshop some more while watching a boxset and occasionally exchanging texts.

There’s a lot of rough edges but I’ll keep tweaking it, and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes when I’ve the energy to explore it further.

Meeting and Plotting

Its been a long day, but it feels like its been productive. I spent this morning with some colleagues putting together a risk assessment for reopening one of the libraries. Lots to consider but the writeups didn’t take too long to complete.

The bonus for the day however was getting home to find a care package from one of the DDC – specifically Mre B – full of hand crafted items, and tactile delights. It absolutely raised my spirits and I’ll post photos when everyone who has had one sent has received their parcel.

Art Therapy

I’m still exhausted from the last few days, and still seem to have a nagging pain thats either muscular or a trapped nerve. On the plus side I’ve been feeling a bit more creative, so I have some things to show for the day.

I had a bit of a double-whammy in the delivery of some replacement grey, black, and sepia ink pens in the morning; and then my digging out my venerable graphics tablet this afternoon.

The sketchbook image above is freehand line art drawn this evening while Lady M played some Assassins Creed. The other two are Photoshop enhancements of some pieces I doodled last year. I’ve cleaned up and added to them over the course of the afternoon.

And thats what I’ve done to settle myself a little after the events of the last couple of days.

Lady M is still recovering but seems brighter this evening, and has been answering good wishes and enquiries through the day.