January 17th, 2019

world is quiet

Writing About Nothing?

They say that we're supposed to journal daily, those of us who struggle with mental health or traumatic experiences. There's good scientific evidence that it can be as effective as antidepressants in helping to maintain a balanced outlook on life, which I suppose is due in part to the tendency to want to write about things that are going well.

Honestly for me there are things going well and badly, and many things are running thin, like when in science fiction there is an emergency and they divert all the power of unnecessary systems to main power.

These last few years the haze of depression obscures so much of my past. It has stolen so much of my memory, my concentration, my confidence, my focus, and my drive to do anything. It has trapped me in a private hell of boredom.

It's partly phisiological, I know: as my massage therapist (and very supportive, good friend) always says, "Everything is connected." Sometimes she sings the silly song, "The ankle bone's connected to the... knee bone!" or whatever thing I am exclaiming could not possibly be causing pain in what seems a perfectly alienated part of my body. Once on a particularly memorable and painful session on the table, she took me through an exercise of locating my emotions in my body.

My sternum is the center of my sadness. My chest is bristling with resentment. My upper chest and shoulders are seething with smouldering, old anger. In the center of my belly I tremble with fear.

Most of the time I experience this as physical pain, and sometimes as emotional pain, but the effect is often similar on my life. Reduced capacity, reduced trust, and a heightened sense of fight, flight, and failing those two, simply numb, mindless escape.

Some days are better than others. I'm finding that every third day or so (today being one of those days) I have a day where the good, productive, and unhappy moments outweigh the bad 10 to 1. The other two days usually rate a 2 and a 5 out of ten. Thankfully my memory is bad enough that I rarely remember those anyway.

This is one of the reasons that I stopped blogging regularly. What am I going to say? "Today I am once again alone, have no work, I'm cold and hungry because my office floor is always cold and I didn't have the energy to meal plan something easy enough for me to make. This morning I stared at the wall for nearly an hour before I mustered up the recognition that just because it seems monumental to take a shower, it will feel good and it won't take all of my energy to do it." (This day brought to you by my actual life.)

I'm getting better at using that one day in three. I'm even getting a little better at giving myself grace the other two days. But it's not something that inspires me to share very often, because my acute loneliness refuses to acknowledge the presence of people in my life. When I'm in a good space I don't mind being the main aggressor in ensuring that my friends and I spend time together, but unfortunately with several years of funk behind me some of those relationships have suffered. I've got some plans to repair and refinish them, much as I have plans to repair and refinish many of the objects in my house and yard.

So that's the story of two out of three of the days in about a third of the months of 2018, and the first two weeks of January have been brutally similar.

The other portion, on the other hand, has yielded some Very Fascinating Days.

Paul and I are watching the Netflix Series of Unfortunate Events, which has been an excellent way to a Very Fun Date every night we watch. But ask any stable person, and they would say look away. I had forgotten all of the wonderful literary references, incompetent villainy, and unique stylistic touches of the world. Highly entertaining.

Last year I had heard that there was a project in Edmonton to create a Tool Library - and by the time I got around to getting myself a subscription last week, they have grown to two medium-sized rooms full of tools. I borrowed several to put up some hooks that I had been meaning to put up for years, but have been at the top of a closet since we moved in. It has vastly improved the front porch and the back door areas. I find that having a place to put things is the biggest contributor to uncluttered living other than actually putting said things in said places... Which is a whole other set of habits, but improving all the time. I am excited to tackle quite a few woodwork projects in 2019.

I spend a lot of time watching YouTube and TV. Most of what I enjoy is silly or informative or some of both. At the moment I am into Returning the Favour on Facebook, which reminds me of a young adulthood spent yelling "Move That Bus!" at my screen while watching Extreme Home Makeover. I like this new show more though, so that's nice. I'm following various professionals on YouTube - two doctors and a lawyer, all of whom review and talk about TV shows and current events and how they relate to their jobs, a singing teacher who talks about the technique of various celebrity singers, and a few other things. Paul and I watch cartoons about funny D&D incidents (Puffin Forest) and Worth It! Food on Buzzfeed. I also watch a lot of entertainment filler, but I'm cutting down on those and sticking to the "Discovery Channel" kind of content I always liked best. There's always deeper content like documentaries, TED talks, and amateur or professional psychology/sociology. I usually have this stuff on as background filler while I'm working. (I've never understood people who have TV on when other people are around and talk over it - but I do like it on when no one else is around.) Yesterday I saw a Lindsay Ellis video about how successful youtubers essentially fool people into feeling like they're in on something and are friends with them... which, while depressing, is clearly happening to me. I'm doing my best to stop replacing people with internet personalities, but that's tough to do after midnight when you can't sleep.

I just recently splurged on a present for myself to make me feel feminine - gel polish and a gel nail light to harden it. The polish I purchased a few days ago, and the light came in the mail from Amazon today, and after layering while psuedo-watching TV, I'm sporting a neutral tone that I quite like. I was tired of never-drying, too thick, short-lasting polish, and I've always liked doing my nails. Something I have in common with several friends. It will take years to assemble a collection of colors again, but at least I can do french tips, which I definitely enjoy. Also, the internet tells me that if I can wait for regular polish to dry overnight, I can put a gel topcoat on, so that might be a solution for the immediate future. In style news, I also got a new pair of jeans and a cute dress last week at serious discounts, and I've got a few nice new makeup options that I've been using - the secret of using green on red areas of the face is really nice, now that I don't have completely flawless skin anymore. Makeup can be a really fun thing to do sometimes.

I'm seriously looking forward to plus size shopping in Dallas, TX, where I'm headed sometime in the next few months for my friends' wedding, which I'm photographing. There are SO many American plus size chain stores, not to mention there possibly being some thrift options, too.

The rest of my time this month has been in planning the World Youth Day at Home at St. Theresa's, where I'm the young adult co-ordinator. Co-ordinator is a job I am reasonably good at. Speaking of St. Theresa's, we played Taboo and ate pizza yesterday with our other Catholic friends and some new folks, and it was a really great time. The buzzer, as usual, nearly broke up couples and long-term friendships!

I just found out today that I get to shoot the opening ceremony for a new Cora's restaurant - it's my favourite breakfast place, and I think I actually like shooting corporate events more than anything else.

So, now I've written a whole big blog post, like I used to do. How do I feel? Well, I guess it helps me to remember that I'm not writing about nothing. I have a life.

I've got plans for the future that involve blogging again, but who knows. If nothing else, I'll have some little snapshots. Maybe it's just another failing New Years resolution. Or maybe it's Maybelline. At any rate, I put the writing client on my application bar on the computer, so perhaps that will allow me to remember to blog more often.
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