Today feels a bit better than yesterday, which saw me make a grand total of 97 steps according to my phone. I’m still trying to get rid of head fog, but I’ve done the washing up, cooked lunch, hoovered the living room, and engaged with a few people online, at least in passing. I’ve even attempted, and will continue to attempt, to write. I’m currently editing through more short stories, aiming to bring them to around the 5000 word mark each as a starter. It feels like an iterative approach for these is helping, because I’ve actually completed the whole structure of them and can now flesh out and fill in gaps and leaps to even the pace.
So, today feels like I have a few more spoons.
One conversation I had yesterday pulled together a unified theory of cutlery that I’m sure some of you will have encountered as I’m pretty sure its not actually anything brand new. Spoon theory is about the parcelling out of personal energy to perform individual tasks across a day. These tasks can include social interactions, self care, household maintenance, and work. Fork theory is about the same thing, but is exclusively for helping other people – explaining how sometimes we have no problem at all helping other people with things while feeling unable to manage ourselves. Then there is Knife theory, which are spoons borrowed against the day to come to deal with emergencies, but which then lead you to eventually running out of energy and needing more time the next day to recover back to a normal (for you) operating level.
By that set of measurements, yesterday’s near collapse and today’s quietness is connected to low spoons and low knives, with a few forks rattling around from where I’ve been helping other people as well.
In the same breath, I can now confirm that within the DDC we are now referring to being unable to get out of bed as being trapped by mimics. Just roll with it…
I’m focusing on being positive this week, what with the anniversary and my brain’s attempts to continue to sabotage me. For the most part this has manifested in new writing, new items going up in the shop (180 odd designs and rising as of time of writing), and going through old backups to find the graphics that time forgot.
Oh, there are so, so, many. I forgot how prolific I was when I was ill back in the early to mid 2000s. Some of the archives have aged very badly, others look amazing, and others are currently inspiring new works as a revisit.
Its interesting to see how I’ve progressed in some areas, and what looks familiar even now. More than anything else it has got me wanting to spend more time pushing to rediscover digital art techniques.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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