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As I posted, I have accomplished the most recent performances of Mrs. Hawking. The quality of the productions, plus the high attendance and overwhelming positive response, pleased me enormously. In an additional herculean effort, I've also finished my grading and submitted grades for the end of the semester. That means that I finally have a significantly lighter period ahead of me, and I mean to keep it that way. I need some downtime after all that intensity and stress.

Predictably, in this the first week since finishing, I have gotten sick. The cold Bernie brought with him when he came down for the show, and the migraine I gave myself with an excess of caffeine. Both of those I don't tend to get more than once a year, and I've noticed I tend to be ill in my off-time, rather than when I've got stuff to work on. I commented to Bernie that maybe it's the adrenaline and force of will keeping it off until I can afford to lie flat on my back and get some rest again. He countered that maybe it only happens after I've thoroughly run myself ragged. Equally possible, I suppose.

But as I said, at least I've got some downtime for now. I can use that to rest and repair-- eat right, sleep enough, and destress. I've got some projects this summer, but much less work, less tight scheduling, and less pressure to be on all the time. I think I'll feel better soon, and for now I'll just be grateful that I didn't get sick until after I finished.
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It's been a few very long weeks. My last class for the semester, the eight-week Creative Writing intensive, began on top of everything else, which threw in a new module to plan and eighteen more papers to grade every single week. The extra work has really gotten to me, and I'm starting to get worn down.

On top of that, my body has felt... sore. My knees are a bit painful and my muscles are generally achy. I'm worried it's because I'm not eating that well lately. I've been working out harder than usual and maybe I'm not taking proper care of myself. I should probably incorporate more rest, but I'm always worried about falling out of the habit. I always sleep pretty well, but it's rare that I'm not getting enough protein and vitamins the way I probably am lately.

What I need to do to deal with this, I think, is an actual free period of time where I'm not drowning in grading to catch up-- make maybe a few days' worth of nutritious dinners, rest without running around, and straighten up my life. I haven't been keeping up my normal level of organization either, which ups my stress level. I could also use a massage-- maybe more than anything else --but I probably shouldn't spend the money right now. Or hell, the time. But if this level of exhaustion and stress is making me less productive, maybe I just need to find the way to make it happen.
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I have reluctantly taken on a few more hours of tutoring this semester. I can really use the extra cash, for several reasons, not least of which because it's looking like I'll need to have some expensive dental surgery in the near future. Despite being told as recently as a couple years ago that they were fine, apparently my wisdom teeth are going to have to come out after all. I'm really unhappy about that, first because I do not relish the time spent out of commission due to how long it takes me to shake anesthetic. I might even need somebody to babysit me as I come out of it, as my history suggests it hits me very hard. The last time I had it when I was nineteen and had to be put under for a minor eye surgery, I was ridiculous and combative when I first woke up, then slept for like twelve solid hours, and then for the next day I was foggy, stupid, and not of totally sound judgment. Ugh. So at least for the beginning it's probably not the safest thing for me to be alone, but I hate to waste somebody's time with that.

And then there's the cost. It's looking to be extremely expensive, and my stupid insurance doesn't take much of a dent out of it. Overall, even before the extra hours I'm supposed to be making more this semester than last, but because of the schedule I'm getting paid on I haven't seen it yet, so this is a way of dealing with things more immediately. I'm not delighted to make my already full schedule even fuller, but I'm grateful that my work is flexible enough that I can do this at a time I need to. A lot of that is down to Bill, my awesome boss, so I'm particularly grateful for him.

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I hesitate to say it for fear of jinxing it or speaking too soon, but I think I can finally declare that I've recovered from the most intense burnout period of my life. It took almost two months, but I actually think I feel like my old self again, with my old energy and productivity. I confess I still feel fragile, like if things get tougher I may lose it all, but I'm hoping I'm actually past that level of exhaustion.

I'm back mostly in my preferred life routine, with regular exercise, careful if not obsessively controlled eating, staying on top of chores, and working on projects on a regular basis. I've gotten into a writing groove I'm pretty damn pleased with. I finished the edit of the Mrs. Hawking pilot and sent that off to my contact, which made for a respectable two-week turnaround. That's one item off my current list. I'm making steady progress on the Hood pilot draft as well, generating at least one scene for it every day. My plan on that is to get it sent in no later than one month after our last meeting, in an effort to keep to a brisk, efficient schedule.

I'm trying to maintain the work habits I've historically found to be the most efficient. I am a big proponent of the "vomit" or "slam" drafting process, which is where you just push to get a complete draft on paper without worrying if it's exactly right or not. I find that editing as I go prevents me from actually getting the words on the page. I do much better if I can just MAKE THE THING EXIST, and then editing and improving it once it does. So my current plan is to get it all technically "complete" without really rereading once it is, and once I've got a full draft, then go back and start fixing. It means I think this one is particularly rough at the moment, but I think it will make the improvement process easier on the back end.
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I am doing my best to cope with how bad I’ve been feeling. My lifestyle is pretty clean and healthy, but stuff slips when you’re not at your strongest. So here are something I’m trying to stick to in an effort to take good care of myself while I don’t feel strong.

Exercising regularly. I’ve stuck to my six-days-a-week routine really well. I feel like I’m getting real workouts without excessively stressing my body.

Dieting but not too sternly. I’ve been mostly keeping to my smoothie diet because I feel physically best when I do, but not being quite so strict just to go a bit easier on myself.

Drinking more water. I’ve been bringing a water bottle to work, which I drink and fill back up throughout the day.

Going for walks. It gets a little extra low-key exercise in, and makes me spend more time outside in natural sunlight. I spend way too much time indoors.

Taking a multivitamin. I should have started doing that ages ago. It’s gummy and tastes like raspberry.

Letting myself get up an hour later in the morning. My summer hours start later, so there’s no pressing need to be up at six every day. I worry about when I go back to my early schedule, but I have two or three months of buffer.

Seeing friends. I’ve made an effort to not just hide in my house every free moment. Having nice social time will do me good, so I’ve been reaching out to schedule things with the people I care about.

Sitting properly. I have a tendency, whenever I’m sitting in a normal chair, to sink down lower and lower in it until I’m basically sitting on my tailbone. It’s making my lower back hurt. I’m making a conscious effort to sit on my butt, with my back straight.

Not taking on new commitments. I need to not be overloaded for once. I’m trying to stand firm and not feel guilty about it.

I’m trying to limit myself to stuff that doesn’t cost money, as for the summer I’m on a tighter budget. I honestly am afraid this isn’t going to be enough to make me feel much better. But at least I won’t feel worse, and my physical health won’t be compromised during the bad spell.
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I haven't written in my journal for ages, which I absolutely hate, but I have just been MORE BURIED THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN IN MY LIFE. Which is really saying something. But now, finally, I am just days away from having completed all my obligations in this the most INTENSE PERIOD I'VE EVER HAD.

I just finished all my grading and submitted my grades for my two classes. Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina's latest performances have wrapped, leaving only the cleaning and putting away. My tutoring job will go on a two-week hiatus after this Thursday. The show I am costuming at Dana Hall goes up this weekend. So once I hit this Sunday, I am FINALLY DONE WITH MY RIDICULOUS LEVEL OF COMMITMENT.

THANK GOD. I am burnt out like I've never been in my life. I am looking forward to my very light summer, which will consist of just tutoring, no classes or anything, and very little else. It means I won't be making much money, but my schedule and my responsibilities will be light enough to give me a much needed break. I am going to do my very best to rest and recharge and not load myself up with projects and commitments as is my usual wont.

In devoting all my energy to just getting things done, I haven't been taking very good care of myself. I've been off my diet for like three weeks now and I feel lousy. My skin is more of an acne horrorscape than it's been in ages. The only exercise I've gotten is running from place to place and hauling set pieces. So I'd really like to take the time to put myself back together and start focusing on my own wellbeing. God, I can't wait until this weekend.
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I've noticed my throat has started to ever-so-slightly tighten up when I exercise lately. Not when I run, interestingly. These days I run outside, and while I've always been sensitive to breathing in cold air, I'm fit and accustomed enough that it hasn't been a problem recently. It's only happened when I do my fighter abs routine, which I do indoors in a temperature-controlled environment. It hasn't been much, but in the breaths between, when I transition from one exercise to the next, I've noticed a cold, constricted sensation in my airway. It goes away quickly with a few deep breaths and hasn't really been holding me back in any way, but it's new and a bit worrying. I've always been concerned by my proneness to side stickers, but that's gone away as I've gotten stronger, and this seems to be almost like exercise-induced asthma. Why would that be appearing now, that I'm at the strongest I've been in my life?

I always worry I'm not breathing properly. I have tendency to hold my breath when I'm concentrating, and when putting the effort into finishing a difficult workout I often don't breathe enough. Maybe that's it. I should put some extra attention into regulating that pattern. I've gotten good at doing that when I run, as it distracts me from the sometimes-unpleasant sensation of exertion, but not so much during fighter abs. It definitely couldn't hurt, even if no real problem is developing.

Biting

Feb. 24th, 2016 07:50 pm
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Something that preoccupies me a great deal is wondering if my experience of life and the world is anything like the way other people experience it. Am I like anyone else? Does the skin they’re in make things so very different? And if it does, why? Especially if it’s a person with a problem, I wonder what about their situation means they have that problem when I don’t. Are things really that much harder for them? Or am I just not as sensitive to whatever it is they’re dealing with? Maybe I struggle with empathy— or maybe I’m doing my best to develop some more.

Content note: food issues. )

And I take so much pleasure in food. I love it so much, in so many ways. I love looking at it, smelling it, choosing it, touching it, hearing about it, talking about it, preparing it, cooking it, laying it out, serving it, sharing it, EATING IT, sometimes EATING IT until I’m ready to burst because I can’t get enough of the joy. I want you to send me pictures of the dinner you just cooked. I want you to tell me about the fabulous meals you ate on your vacation. I want to discuss how you cook this and what you made when you prepared it like that. Food means joy to me, joy and safety and strength and security and creativity and hope for the future and LOVE, the most primal act of love one human being can do for another. I get teary-eyed thinking of how much of human connection is forged through food. If I cook for you, I am loving you in the most fundamental way I know how.

And just as sharp as the screaming and biting is? So too is the joy of not only soothing it, but of leaving a feeling of full contentment in its place. Maybe that is what keeps me healthy this way. Maybe this love makes it so I don’t develop a problem.

More on this another time.
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I'm sure you're all very tired of hearing status updates on my health and schedule by now, but writing things out helps me get my head on straight about what I'm doing and what I should be doing. Slowly feel like I'm getting myself back together. Diet, exercise, and skincare routines have been put back to where they should be. The cold is almost gone; I'm not as sneezy and stuffed up but the tiredness remains. That's still really bugging me, though.

I've always found a pretty definite sundowning effect in my ability to focus and get work done I don't specifically want to do. I'm a morning person in the extreme; I always feel best and am most productive when I rise early, do important stuff first then, and then chill more as it gets later, but in the past few weeks it's been ridiculous. My work schedule for the semester has a couple of ten-hour workdays built into it now, and by the time it's over, it's at a time of day where I am notoriously unproductive even when I'm not burnt. In the last week I've passed out around nine PM four times. I get up at six, so I guess nine hours isn't an unreasonable amount of sleep for my body to want, but it sure means there's not much time to do anything else once I get home from work.

I really want to go back to the writing habits I had before the Mrs. Hawking productions got so intense. But with so little focus by the time I'm free to do it, and so little time before I'm crashing like a ton of bricks for the night, it's not happening. Ah, well. Maybe I need a little more recovery time. I hope by the time this cold is totally out of my system, I won't need so much sleep. Or maybe I should plan on devoting more of the lighter-scheduled days of my work week to writing. Maybe I should just say screw the evenings on Monday and Wednesday and do what I want then. I'm not good at being easy on myself, but sometimes there's just no point in hammering when you're not going to get anything out of it.
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I don't feel very good today, for a variety of small and totally explainable reasons. But even though I feel this way, everything is okay. I say this as a reminder to myself, because when a lot of little things pile up to make me feel generally lousy, it tends to make my depression-brain assume that just because I FEEL BAD, everything MUST BE BAD.

I am on the second week after finishing Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina, and I was hoping I'd be back to my normal routine by now. I am keeping up with responsibilities, and I've ever done some highly productive project work, but the routines are still not in place. I feel really scattered, like I'm not getting anything done even though I know that's not true. Maybe I needed more rest than I thought. Coming down with this stupid bug is not helping. It's not that bad, but I feel incredibly low-energy and foggy. I've only been exercising every other day, and my skin is a nightmare. It's made me insecure about my appearance, as I can't shake the feeling that I look soft and yucky.

I need to figure out how to get myself together. My routines make me feel not only healthy but also productive, which is essential to my mental wellbeing. Perhaps I do need more rest, to get over this illness, if nothing else. Maybe giving myself a little more time will enable me to actually get myself together by next week.
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I woke up with a cold today, the first I've had in like five years. It's not all that bad, but I dislike anything that reminds me that I'm not actually invincible. If I'm not invincible, it means there are some things I can't do, which I don't like to think about. Moreover, it's sapping my energy, and I've got more on my plate than I hoped I would right now.

I finished my writing project I needed for a submission opportunity, thanks to some awesome friends giving me feedback. Thank you, brilliant people! But now I need to finish editing my article for Game Wrap, and it's pretty demanding with jumping into new classes now. Not a good time to feel even less focused than usual.

I am close to having a break, though, or at least as much as I can with my normal work schedule. Next week I won't have the pressure of any due dates on me. I will use it to take a breather, but also to figure out what my next direction is. Which writing project to do next, what I want to have on my schedule, get into good life habits again. I want my exercise routine to go back to near-perfect, and my skin is a volcanic wasteland. I'm usually relentlessly healthy because of my routines, so if I'm compromised enough to finally get a cold, I probably need to take care of myself.
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Cut for diet, exercise, and body talk. )
I also added in a calcium pill and a joint supplement. My doctor recommended the calcium, as all women under thirty-five should be working to build up their bone density before it starts deteriorating, and I thought the joint pill might be a good idea since I've been running so much. I haven't experienced any knee pain, but I have noticed they've started clicking when I do squats and things that involve deep bends. That's not much, but it makes me nervous, as I know runners often suffer knee problems later in life. So maybe the supplements will help stave things off a little.

My skin's kind of a mess, though. I've been so busy I haven't been as consistent scrubbing my face with my automatic face brush lately, and I've broken out a little. It's funny because they don't recommend using a brush like this every day, but apparently my skin produces SO MUCH YUCK it defies conventional wisdom. Sigh. If I get back in good habits it should probably get better again, but I'm only going to get busier from here, so I'm sorry it takes so much dedication to work.
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I had a rough time emotionally this past weekend. I went into one of the most intense depressions I've had in a very long time. The initial bad feeling was triggered by something specific, but spiraled from there mostly due to getitng myself stuck in a particular negative mindset. This is typical of me-- while I have diagnosed depression, it starts due to something situational, and then the brain chemical shift and I end up dwelling there.

I dug myself out of it by the end of Sunday. I'm very good at doing the things I need to do in order to keep myself on track, if not necessarily feeling good. I got out of the house and did something different. I bought myself a couple of dresses off the sale rack at Forever 21, because what's the point of working this hard on staying thin if you can't make cheap fashion look good? I went for a run and used my anger at the world to push myself as hard as I could, and I ran a mile in five minutes and forty-five seconds, the fastest time I've ever hit. I saw Magic Mike XXL, and through the combination of enjoying the hot stripper boys and humorously livetweeting the experience, managed to shake myself out of things.

I probably shouldn't have spent the money, and it annoys me that it took doing things that required spending money to make myself feel better. I'm annoyed that I still get that depressed, particularly when triggered by small things that spiral. I'm glad I am capable of finding ways to dig myself out of the pit, but I hate that sometimes I do all the stuff I'm supposed to do to take care of yourself and I end up in the pit anyway.

Bernie has started doing research on my behalf, and he's discovered some things that are worrying to both of us. I probably should look into dealing with this stuff in a more permanent way. But given the nature of my issues, and the things I've already tried to no success, I'm not sure exactly what might help.
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I am two days into my two-week break, and taking good care of myself. When I get very busy, certain personal care stuff tends to go out the window. Other than sleep, which everything else tends to get pitched out the window in favor of, I find myself sacrificing things like eating right, getting enough exercise, and taking care of my skin. But these two weeks, I'm making up for it. I am exercising every day, including returning to ballet class. I am cooking for myself again, upping my fruit and vegetable intake, and I've decided that two weeks is a perfect period to cut out processed sugar and carbs, just to reset things a little. And I'm regimenting my skin care routine, seeing if I can't get back in the right habits, and adding some topical treatments to see if I can get rid of my blackheads and pimples. I feel better already.
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For the first time in a while now, I don't feel totally drained after the day I've had. It was my last day of work before my break without many students, and all the real work for costuming Urinetown is done. So though I still have to be at tech rehearsal, I can sit and relax and watch the show.

I've been thinking a lot about how I want to spend my two weeks of break. First of all, I want to get my eating and exercising back under control. Though I've been doing a fair bit of physical work for Mrs. Hawking, mostly hauling around sets and props, I haven't gotten more than one or two proper workouts a week for the last month, and I feel weak and gross. Nor have I been eating anything other than quick and easy junk I can grab between commitments. Want to fix all that, get lean and strong again. I also want to get settled on project work.

I want to get writing again, more than just scribbling here and there. The two things I really want to get going on are Base Instruments, the third installment of the Mrs. Hawking series, and the sequel to Adonis. Those I think are my most important properties, and so I want to see them continue as strong as they started. Both are very challenging to write, so it's all the more important that I devote real time to them while I have it.

I also want to work on writing pitches. By that I mean writing up what I would say to sell my work to people who might be in the capacity to produce it. I may have found an avenue for that in my professional networking, and I want to take advantage of any possible opportunity, but not before I'm fully prepared. I've never done that before, so I need to do a lot of research first to find out what a proper pitch should have. But I'm definitely at the stage where I think I need solid ones for my major properties. I really need to get things OUT THERE, and this might be the real best way.
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Urgh, I'm so annoyed. I had so much I wanted to get done this past weekend, not least of which was finish my larp for Festival, but I got food poisoning in the early evening on Saturday and it laid me out until the end of Sunday. I got almost nothing done, because I couldn't focus, got no sleep, and then spent the rest of the next day making up for it. I'm so pissed at myself.

I get sick so rarely, at least the kind of sick that lays me out. I haven't had a cold in years. My stomach is kind of delicate, but usually I can either put up with it, or else throw up and feel better. I'm good at pushing through and doing what I have to in order to take care of it. I super hate when I can't do that.

I take really good care of myself, partially to make myself resistant to health issues getting in my way. I like to be tough, strong, resilient. I dream of being a superhero who can do anything and is invulnerable. I hate reminders of how that's impossible.
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Well, now I don't know what's up with me physically. I've been feeling a little generally off recently without really knowing what to attribute it to. I thought maybe I was working out too much, but the most recent snow storm gave me three enforced days of basically doing nothing, and it didn't seem to improve things. I've been eating well again, which is good, and today's fairly intense circuit workout left me feeling great, so that's probably not at issue. I've been sleeping a lot more, usually from 10 to 7, when I used to be crashing around midnight, but I haven't had any easier a time getting up in the morning or feeling much more rested. I had a period of this once a few years ago, and I couldn't explain it then. My best guess is that, with my fairly high-functioning body and immune system, and the fact that I haven't caught an illness in literally years, it's my body's way of fighting something off that I'm not showing outward symptoms of.

Monday saw the onset of an awful migraine, the worst one I've had in a while. I don't get them too much anymore, as my stress level hasn't been nearly as bad as it was a few years ago, and usually they're painful but not that bad. Monday's was terrible, and it hit me with the works: splitting headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound. I took a huge pain pill-- the 800 milligram ibuprofens I keep around for just this occasion --moments after I noticed the halo in my eye, but it didn't work at all. I probably ended up puking it up anyway. I should probably just stick my finger down my throat as soon as the nausea hits and speed up the process, as I usually feel at least a bit better after throwing up. I finally was able to sleep after that, but it cost me hours out of my day. And the headache behind my eyes wasn't totally gone until Tuesday night. Yesterday was a tense, upsetting day generally, which I don't really want to get into, but it got me so wound up I didn't relax until probably after my workout this morning.

But mysteriously, now I feel good again. Pain gone, general "off"-ness gone. I really shouldn't complain. I'm lucky to be so strong and healthy and pain-free most of the time. I guess that's why it seems to strange to me when the old machine is slightly out of tune. Just should be all the more grateful for the condition I'm in.
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Blah. Felt yucky all week, physically at least. Not sure why, just a general bodily "off"-ness. Weird given how fit I've been, but there it is. I wonder if maybe I haven't been eating right for the level of activity I've had lately. I've been working out like crazy lately, with some added stuff like shoveling approximately 450 cubic feet of snow the other night. I know haven't been eating all that great. That usually only happens when I'm busy, or on occasions like recently when the snow means I haven't been getting to the grocery store and there's nothing all that nutritive in the house. Yesterday I was feeling so yucky and lazy I just had crackers for dinner, which I find comforting but ultimately gross.

Maybe I should be eating more than usual with all that activity, and I'm certain I haven't been getting much protein. I crave protein like a zombie craves brains; even non-animal sources tend to not make me feel as healthy. Normally neither of those is a problem for me but I think it hits me hard when my intake is down and my output is up. I don't have much in the way of reserves to fall back on. I got told by a doctor recently that my metabolism is actually fast enough that if I ever need general anesthetic, there's a real danger of my waking up on the operating table, so I guess it's not a stretch to think that I'd also be really sensitive to a caloric imbalance.

I'm busy tomorrow, so I may struggle through one more day of this if I can't get something healthy at work. Friday is pretty free, however, so that I will make sure I stock up on healthy groceries and get some meat into me. I'm a little tired of feeling yucky, but I suppose one can have worse problems than those that can be solved by "eat more stuff." Oh, no! My metabolism is SO FAST YOU GUYS. IT'S AWFUL. ONLY HAM CAN SAVE ME NOW.
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I’ve been meaning to write up a status report on how I’m doing lately, partly to get myself to assess it, and partly in case any of you might be interested.

Mental:

I have been very busy with creative projects lately, which is good for my mental state. Vivat Regina is in rehearsal for a staged reading, which is going well so far and I’m very excited about, as I’m hoping it will spark interest in the property. Currently my biggest writing focuses are working on Puzzle House Blues, the musical I’m co-writing, and editing Adonis in response to the feedback I got from the BlueCat Screenplay Competition. I feel energized and excited about those two things. PHB has a real chance, I believe, of going somewhere in production, and Adonis was both one of the most challenging and creatively satisfying projects I’ve written in a while. I also made great starts on some other things in 31 Plays in 31 Days, including Base Instruments, which will be the third installment of the ongoing Mrs. Hawking story.

I’m a little hungry for a little more payoff for my work, though. I want to start reaching a larger audience, getting my work out there. My efforts are geared toward that—the staged reading, the musical, the contest submissions, and the fact that I put in a bid to get permission to put on a full production of Mrs. Hawking at Arisia. Nothing had quite come together yet, but these things take constant effort, and I’m doing my best. Still, I’m hungry for more.

Emotional:

It’s been three and a half months since my mother died, and the loss of her has gaped. I think about her almost constantly; I still go to call her most days, and her lack of presence is felt in dozens of ways. I talk about her a lot too. But my family has been handling everything so well that while it’s painful, it’s manageable, and I think we’re all going to be okay.

Bernie also is out of town for a while, I’m not sure for how long. Our relationship is very strong and I feel confident enough in it that I’m not worried it will suffer for the distance, but I sure do miss him being around. He just brings so much joy into my life, and while most of that is maintained just by talking to him, his presence meant a lot to me.

To deal with it, and to prevent myself from hermitting as is my wont, I’m making an effort to plan at least one social event a week. Lately I’ve been averaging at least two, which makes me proud of myself. And I’ve been seeing lots my lovely friends.

Overall I still feel pretty good, which is a nice change. My ability to stay even and positive is better than it has been in years. What a difference it makes to deal with difficult things when the depression is well and truly gone.

Physical:

I’m in great shape right now, possibly the best of my life. Not only do I look pretty good, I’ve been up to physical challenges I wouldn’t have expected myself to be, such as when I’ve helped friends to move this month. I have been exercising very frequently, including fairly intense circuit workouts. Now that it’s September again, my ballet class, which I love, has started back up, and my work schedule will allow me to attend all three offered in the week if I want. It also gives me more time to walk places, and I can get in a nice brisk three miles at least if I go to do errands in town.

The only thing physically that’s not so great is that my acne is extremely bad lately. I know I have a predisposition to have it chronically, my mother had it pretty severely too, but I really wish there was something I could do and I’m not sure what. Admittedly I’ve never stuck with a skincare regimen for very long, and I should try that and see if it helps, but I’m afraid it’s just my genes and nothing’s going to help.

Responsibilities:

I like my day job, which is tutoring writing at Bunker Hill Community College, which is easily the best and best-paying day job I’ve ever had. There’s even a chance it might develop into more serious work. But, and here’s where I’m struggling a bit, my finances have gotten away from me in the last few months and I’m trying to get back on top of them. I’m trying to cut back where I can, so I’ve been turning down most events that require spending money or driving long distances. My expenses aren’t huge, but the workouts that I do most reliably and get the most benefit and enjoyment from all cost money, and they’re the pricey thing I’m most unwilling to dispense with.

I've been very on top of other chores recently, helped in part by starting HabitRPG. The house is clean, stuff is happening on time, and I don't feel overwhelmed. More regiment, woo! I do however need to nail down one more roommate. Basically I’m looking for a young professional/college/grad student (preferably female if I don’t know them already) preferably as quickly as possible. Let me know if you know anybody!

Basically I'm doing pretty well. Yay! Given some of the rougher stuff, such as my mom and Bernie moving away, I'm really grateful to be feeling as good as I do.
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Just some musings on depression while I’m in a certain frame of mind.

I am prone to depression. I hate admitting that, because everybody’s depressed these days and it’s not like my burden’s heavier than anybody else’s, so what am I complaining for, but it’s unfortunately the truth. I am fairly certain it occurs only situationally— I can never remember experiencing it when I was not going through a difficult period —and that if I didn’t have anything that upset me, I would not feel the symptoms. But the hopelessness I feel in times of trouble seem in excess of simple sadness or grief.

So I guess I count as “having depression.” But even when the depression was at its worst, even when my mental state was negative to the point of despair, I always stayed functional. I was still busy and active, still highly productive, still always keeping the commitments I made. I never demonstrated any self-injurious behavior. Except for rare isolated occasions, my eating and sleeping habits remained healthy. I mean, I was still desperately unhappy and something needed to be done about that. But I wouldn’t say my depression “disabled” me. In fact, I think if a person can push on to that degree even while feeling that bad, that is the opposite of “disabled.”

Depression is a mental illness, and I would never tell someone with a mental illness that they didn’t have a real disability. But even at its worst, I definitely would not say that depression made me count as “disabled.” Still, I’m not sure that suggests an objective metric. I don’t think it’s right where people police each other for being “mentally ill enough” because they’re “only” feeling despairing and hopeless and still manage to hold their life together. I honestly reject that label for myself, but I don’t think it would be fair to invalidate it for another person in my position if it felt right to that person. So what is the definition? What’s the difference between a discontented able-bodied person and a person disabled by their mental illness? And what’s the difference in how they should be treated-- if not medically, what allowances made?

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