Struggling, with editing

While yes, it’s true that I’ve been struggling with life in general over the past two years, I’ve also been struggling when it comes to writing. Well, the writing part is usually fine, it’s the editing part that gets me.

An old friend of mine said that most of his blog posts are written and edited in his head before they end up on the page. I don’t think it was intentional as such, but he would just mull over it until soul and fingers screamed to put it all into words and on the page. If you know what you’re writing does that mean you don’t have to edit as much? That’s surely what it seemed like with him. I don’t know how much he edited after he wrote things but mostly he’d be done with it pretty quick.

I never quite understood that I had trouble reading, until I went to see an eye doctor for a stress test and they showed me colored overlays at the end of the test. Because I didn’t respond correctly to the overlays he concluded that I didn’t need any, but if I find they they help me I could of course buy some myself. Since then, this was in November 2021, I’ve had even more trouble reading, because I now know what it’s like to read without the struggles I’ve been having.

I went and bought myself some overlays, and they work great, I did some testing on my own and I was reading the same amount of pages in about 75% of the time. This was truly amazing. I was so happy! So excited to keep reading and such. But there was a few issues, this didn’t translate well to computer work and I’ve spent a lot of time looking for “overlay” solutions to the computer, software wise, but not been able to find anything that would work for me. And holding onto books while using the overlay works poorly with my painful hands, so I have to really take effort and read only for a short while before I get too annoyed.

This led me on to understanding that the best solution would be to have the color in my lenses, in the glasses I’m already using for focused work, but for that I need that prescription (I think, I’m too much of a spoonie to research it too much). So I drafted an email to them, as they had said I could come back if things felt different after I got my glasses in December. I’ve yet to send it though.

What does all of this have to do with editing? Well, part of editing is reading what you’ve already written, and that’s my biggest hurdle right now. It’s so uncomfortable to read it, because I know how much nicer it is without all the interference, that I can rarely get through my own written texts. So I have a lot that’s almost done, just needs some polish and I just can’t finish it because I lost the steam where I was just writing straight from my brain, and reading is uncomfortable so I just avoid the editing part. I publish things where it just pours out of me, or where I’ve used the crafting of each paragraph as a way to ground and stabilize myself.

I think two things will follow from here, I will send off that email tomorrow. And I will try to do writing where I’m focusing on crafting paragraphs about the thing that’s been mulling around my mind for a while. Maybe I’ll be able to write and publish more again because of it.

Enjoying something for what it is

I have another post brewing with the same title, but that one is focusing on adaptation, this one is not.

This week I was catching up on Another Life season 2 on Netflix. And I decided to look up if there’s going to be a season 3, as one does when you finish a season of anything on Netflix “was it canceled yet?”. It brought me back to those thoughts again, why don’t we just enjoy things for what they are?

There seems to be an overwhelming problem with over-hyping something we’re excited about, or hyper-criticizing things that come out. Either it’s because the adaptation isn’t right, or it’s because these actors who were in these other truly epic pieces of television is now in something similar but not as good (yes, I’m talking about Starbuck).

I think that Another Life may have gotten a lot more negative reviews because it had these iconic people from other really good sci-fi, and if this show isn’t better it must clearly be trash.

Yet here I am after having watched season two, and seeing them wrap up the show in a great way that allows for the show either to end here, or continue further, being very happy about having watched it.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I know individual tastes can vary. But maybe we need to stop being so hyper-critical about very single new Sci-fi show that comes out.

I guess this is just turning into a sneak peek preview of my post about adaptation and just enjoying things for what they are, because it’s helping me think about more examples and structuring more words in my head.

Maybe that needs to be my Master thesis, a continued conversation about adaptation and fandoms burying a show before it even got a chance to get it’s footing.

Fearing getting better

When I lost my memories I also lost a lot of grudges, and I lost a lot of what I considered the negative parts of myself. I lost the ability to be mad for any extended period of time, partially because I just didn’t have enough energy, and partially because my brain just let go consistently.

As I’m slowly healing, over the years I’ve been given little boxes to unpack with memories, at least that’s how it feels. It’s like my brain has packed these memories away, and now that we’re moving house (both figuratively and literally) I’m finding boxes to open up, and realize that a lot of things have changed.

Like, I’m aware that I’m a very different person. I know I’m calmer, and I know that if I’m mad at you today I probably wont even remember it tomorrow. If we’ve had a bout I’m very unlikely to remember it, and if I remember it the details will be fuzzy.

Some people have used this against me, but mostly I’ve not surrounded myself with people who would use it against me under any circumstance, counting my blessings here.

Yet , I find myself fearing the possibility of that more angry me coming back as I recover more brain power and memories. What if I am only this calm because I can’t do anything else, what if I heal those scars and regain the ability to feel different again?

I don’t necessarily like the person I used to be, and I’ve told a lot of the people who’ve gotten to know me after (a year after I had lost the biggest chunk, and was still suffering quite a bit) that I don’t think they would’ve liked me back then.

I see glimpses of her when I’m tired and lose composure, I guess is the best way to describe it.

Composure.

I’m wondering if what started as memory loss, is now more calculated, yet I don’t think it is, because I still suffer a lot. but I do prefer this me to the old me.

It also means I’m afraid someone will “tell on me” and share something that I don’t remember, or have very hazy details on. But that’s not entirely true either. I know how I would handle that now if it happened. Their experience of whatever happened will be true, to them, and I can’t nor should take any of that away from them. I can offer my apologies not expecting forgiveness, and explain in what ways I’ve changed, but it’s rare that that’s anything anyone in that situation would want to hear. But I’m okay with that.

People do change, but that doesn’t mean their old behaviour shouldn’t be called out. It also doesn’t mean they have to be hounded about it, and expecting someone to show you change can be tricky too. It’s complicated and a bit I don’t think I’m able to elaborate on now, so let’s leave that thought unfinished.

I don’t have to be in connection with any of the people who knew me back then, just as they don’t have to be with me. A few I still am, and I think our relationships are better now than they were then, which is a blessing.

I have grown, I’m able to handle my RSD a lot better. And I got my ADHD meds, which help me immensely in that regard, and others. I will still get that initial bout and hit of the rejection sensitivity, but then I can calm down within minutes instead of hours. In the past those hours could lead to me ruining relationships I had with people who knew me.

Back then I didn’t know what I didn’t know and now I still don’t know what I don’t know, but for completely other reasons. I’m actually proud of myself for how much I’ve grown and learnt over the past few years. Not even believing that I will ever be perfect, but I will keep trying to do my best, and keep my mouth shut a lot more than I used to.

So. I guess the fear is unfounded, but today I got to put words onto it. And I got to face the fear. I got to see that maybe I didn’t only change because of the memory loss, but it also gave me a clean slate, so I could get a fresh start and rebuild into someone I wanted to become.

New Year, New Chaos

I want to pretend like I usually don’t do it, but I think the problem is I do it all year around: Trying to do all the things.

So new year came around, and I have so many plans, so much I want to get done this year. And this month I’m doing a course that’s taking a lot of my brain power, and yet I still want to try to do ALL THE OTHER things at the same time.

I need to allow myself space to just focus on the course I’m taking. Focus on the reflection that will come after each session. It’s an Anti-racist Classroom, and there’s so much that boils up to the surface after each session, much more than I expected. Yet I want to keep writing, but I am writing the reflections, and I forget. So I try to keep doing the normal writing, like this but I guess this is different because it’s on my mind.

I want to start a newsletter, more news on that some later time, but the response thus far is good. It wont be published more often than every two weeks, but also it may be published more seldom, because I am really bad at doing things on a schedule for extended periods of time.

What would that newsletter be about? Everything probably. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. But a focus on adhd / autism, and disability and queer stuff. Because even though I live with a partner of the opposite sex, I am still queer as fuck.

Anyways, I need to calm myself down and not try to do 50 other things in January than I already am doing. See you in February hopefully.

When your community closes ranks around you to protect you

Content Warnings: Fatphobia, body-shaming, trauma, unsolicited advice (not given but referred to)

Something I did not have on my January of 2022 bingo cards was my community to so fiercely protect me as they did today. I want to cry happy tears about it, but I figured that channeling these emotions into writing is a better thing to do with my time and energy today.

I’ve slowly, over the past few months, been opening up more and more about my trauma. Realizing I have trauma, trying to discern what that trauma is, etc. And today I discovered one piece, so I posted about it online, as one does.

I’ve always been an over-sharer, so when the response I got from one person was that I should just lose weight to lose the trauma held in my body fat storages (paraphrasing), I thought I only had myself to blame for opening up to the possibility of such an attack. But, I knew that I was in a good community, a community that would keep me safe if they saw something wrong with the interaction.

I naturally reported it to my own server, but I also knew that the server that account was on, for the most part was a good place, and that they’d listen to my concern, so I forwarded the report. (This is a mastodon/fediverse thing, so similar to twitter, but people run their own servers).

I also sent a DM to one of the mods on my server, with an extra link to the account, where I also saw their reaction to me blocking them. It wasn’t a good reaction. They inferred things that just wasn’t part of the conversation (like I was popping pills to deal with my trauma, I don’t even know where they got that from). And they (my mod) reached out to the admin on the other server, because they had the same feeling as I did, that this is usually a good place.

The response, from both of these moderators astounded me. I was not prepared to have my friends and community close rank around me to protect me the way they did today. I kept telling them I was about to cry from their response, in the best of ways, but that I couldn’t cry. But now, as I’m recounting this I’m crying. Because I feel so loved and protected.

Talking about trauma is hard, and it’s a journey that I will keep having to tread. I will keep having rough times when sharing so publicly about it. And some people will tell me I’m over-reacting, and I’m almost always going to expect that I’m over-reacting, because I’ve been told my entire life that that’s what I’m doing. I even reported this incident with a wary like “I dunno how bad this is, but I feel uncomfortable”. I did not expect anyone to confirm my feelings or even follow up with such a strong response.

Fatphobia is everywhere. And trauma is everywhere. Waltzing into someone’s mentions to give them unsolicited advice about weight-loss is a bad idea at the best of times, but doing it while they are writing about their trauma, behind a content warning, is just…. tasteless.

I think I have a lot of unprocessed trauma around community too, and how often when I noticed something and reported on it in the past, no one saw what I saw. This happened at school, at university, in guilds etc. Or if someone saw it they wouldn’t say a word. No one ever had my back, I always had everyone’s back to my own demise. So, on a day like today, when so many people showed up for me, there’s nothing else I can do but sit here and cry from how touched and happy I am to be here with you all.

Thank you so much for being in a community with me. I love you with all my heart <3

There’s still time to write, #NaNoWriMo or not

At the end of the month it’s easy to feel dejected, feel like you aren’t going to reach the goal of 50k, or whatever goal you set for yourself. So I’m here to remind you of something:

No matter how much you write in the next 8 days, if you write any words it’s more than no words.

You can keep writing even if you’re not going to reach the goals you set out for yourself. And that’s still a good thing all-in-all.

Last year a lot of people around me used the hashtag #NotSoWriMo, as a way to indicate that they were writing and joining in, but in a different way than the set goals of #NaNoWriMo.

I set up my own goal this month, which was to write every day if I could. And I’ve not been writing every day, but I’ve had the chance to learn what a good weekly writing schedule would look like for me. I also got the chance to figure out what works for me right now.

In 2010 I wrote a full 50k draft. No editing just writing writing writing. But since then I’ve not even touched that draft, even if it plays at the back of my mind occasionally. Mostly because it’s such a big draft that I didn’t try to write well. I was just trying to write it all.

I don’t necessarily think this was a bad thing for me, but I have started to learn that just trying to write a set amount of words in a set amount of time means I will spiral on meta writing or loop a lot. Instead of like when I’m writing by hand in the journal, contemplating what I’m writing and trying to craft good sentence, after good sentence. I guess it’s similar to the brick laying (Will Smith). I’ve found that for me, a well placed brick now means less work later. Imagine having to tear it all down to adjust it later. Phew.

Sorry, this went a bit off track. What I’m saying here is, there’s no one way of doing this writing thing. And I hope that you can find the encouragement and energy up keep writing.

Give yourself these last 8 days this writing month, and continue writing. Each day you write another sentence is more than you had before.

I believe in you.

Today we’re in mourning

Today we’re in mourning. I don’t know who we’re mourning, but we are. And it’s strange, to not know who or why or how. Not that it’s the first time. And it’s strange that we ended up with this just a day after I published an old poem about grief. A poem I don’t remember when I wrote, just that I wrote it and was going to publish it later, or continue writing on it.

Not every poem has to be complete. Maybe the poem being incomplete adds to the poetry sometimes, especially when it’s about grief. An interruption, to ourselves, to our lives, to someone else’s life. Not just an interruption, but an abrupt ending. A goodbye without saying goodbye. A loss of a friend, and a future of what could’ve been. A future that will not be anymore.

We may grieve for ourselves, our relationship with them. We may grieve for them, their family and their loss. Grieve for the future with their children, family and relations that they don’t get to continue. We may grieve that we never got to tell them how much they meant to us.

There’s a story here, but that story isn’t mine to tell and it never will be unless I am given the honor of write that story.

Today we’re in mourning. I’m feeling it through-out my entire body, and I know that I’m joining this too. So I say we. Even though I don’t know them, and I don’t know their name.

Today we’re in mourning. We sit in solemn silence, and we are distracting ourselves the best we can, from the thoughts and the feelings. I am writing, but the act of writing is a way to refocus, to process, to mediate, on the life that was lost. Because someone died. It wasn’t my person who died, but it was one of his people, and he is my person, so when he grieves I grieve.

Today we’re in mourning, and that’s okay. It’s horrible to say that it’s okay. Because it’s not. It’s not okay that someone lost their life way too early, but we keep losing so many people before their time. When is it ever truly someone’s time?

Today we’re in mourning. And it’s not okay. We’re not okay. But we will be. For now, we grieve a loss of life.

Poem: Grief begets grief

Grieving for one
Brings grief for another
Memories of pain
Hurt
Tears
Rushing back
With hints of
How it felt last
When they passed on

Today it's another
With the reminder
Of grief
Of grieving
Of mourning

Filled with sorrow
For loved ones
For friends
For dearly departed
Bereft of life too soon

89 years old
still too soon
to leave this earth
Even with great-grandchildren
still too soon

Grief begets grief

Finding myself in the darkness

This was written in the end of October, but I was unable to edit for quite a while. I didn’t publish this until today, because I wasn’t sure if it was going to stick, if I was going to find myself crying, wanting to run away, and die again. I think I wanted to future proof, before sharing this text that isn’t advice, especially since so much I talk about comes out as advice.


I keep having mental breakdowns. And it’s been getting increasingly harder to come out of them. I’ve felt a need to escape, to use all my remaining energy to just run away. From everyone and everything. All the while knowing that I don’t want to run away. So I stay and I suffer, unable to understand what’s going on with me.

Other than the glaringly obvious, that my meds is doing shit with my brain. I need to figure out what exactly. I know bits and pieces of it, it’s my new meds which are supposed to change things with my brain chemistry, there’s a reason I’m on legal speed. *laughs in ADHD* but also it seems to interact with my hormones and I don’t know how much of that is what. Then I have my anti-depressants on top and I don’t know if I need to adjust them down or up. If I had a choice I’d prefer to adjust them down to find out where I am without them but on the ADHD-meds. But that also feels increasingly dangerous as I’m currently in my worst depressive episode in very many years.

As you can tell, there’s a lot going on, and as you can tell by recent posts of mine, my mental health is not doing too well. But I’m alive, which is an achievement all on its own.

I’m slowly putting all the pieces together. Constantly referring to my life and my experiences as pieces of a puzzle. It’s tricky, and nearly impossible to figure out all of it in one go. On some days I’m living for the challenge and finding joy in pulling the threads—all balled together—apart, while on others it’s driving me mad.

I’ve always been an over-sharer, who a lot of people have looked at and laughed while I’ve been sharing my weird stories and experiences. I’ve been encouraged to get drunk and tell my tall tales, while everyone else in the room was nearly sober. And my friends giggled at me as I was having trouble getting from point A to point B. I would always go from A to D, maybe via F back to H, the C, I , and completely forget about B. This was my ADHD. My brain doesn’t work like everyone elses, and I just didn’t know until three months ago.

So yes, I’m going through the worst depression of my life, but it’s different this time, even if it’s just as painful. I have so many more tools in my tool box, at the ready. Unfortunately, I also have ADHD, so I don’t always remember what’s in that tool box, or where I put the toolbox, or I forgot to put the tools in there at all. Even though this is a metaphorical box, I have created a physical one, where I write down things on little cue cards, and they are neatly organized in a box. It took me 7 years to even start writing them since the idea came to me, a while before I even met my current partner. I have had the box since we started dating, I have had some of the cards since before then.

You see, I’m extremely self-aware, and sometimes I get completely lost, within myself, trying to fix things, trying to fix myself and people around me. If I’m trying to save someone else I don’t have to worry about myself, you see.

But sometimes, I get so lost that I have completely forgotten that I know how to swim, and that I know how to love. I’ve been threading water for so long, for so many years, that when the water is shallow enough for me to stand in, I forget. I don’t know. I’m that screaming child, because the water is too deep, and my parents are letting me go, and then I realize that I am able to stand in the water. That screaming, aches in me when I see it. I identify with it on such a deep level, because I keep getting so lost, unable to see the lighthouse at the shore line because I’m only looking straight up into the sky, and the sky is dark with clouds. And I’m freezing in the water. Ready to let go, and stop threading water.

I’m mixing metaphors, as we do, but I think you can understand how easy it is to just not be able to identify your situation. Over the past few months, I have been quite sure that I was going to die, not because of Covid-19, not directly, but because of my, what feels like a, very broken mind. I did not feel like I could see any way out of the darkness.

I didn’t hear my partner, asking me if I was okay. I’d always just respond with “yeah, whatever” or just not be able to say anything useful. A lot of “I don’t know”. Just saying I don’t know, is… usually an indication that we’re not okay, but we may not possess all the words yet.

I knew I wasn’t able to talk with my partner about how I was feeling inside, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t understand why. I thought this would be the end of me, or at the very least us.

I kept crying, but I didn’t want to cry. Crying is annoying, it bothers others, and I didn’t want to be a burden anymore. I am tired of being sick, and sick of being tired. I struggle to take care of myself on a good day, and I have so so many bad days.

What did I do to find my way back? I… I don’t know how it happened, I just know that it happened. I was cuddling with my partner, talking about my last bout of leaving the house and sitting on a bench, out in the cold night, not the rain this time. We had not been cuddling much in a very long time, for reasons. In the week prior I had began braiding his hair, giving us a few minutes of intimacy before he’d go to work every night. That ounce of intimacy reminded me, how good oxytocin can be. Yet, I had a complete breakdown that very same weekend. Again. So I was seeking comfort, before I could formulate what was going on. Saying that I was not okay.

As he was drifting off to sleep on his day off of work that week, with me right next to him I said, that I felt like I was invading his space, if he was falling asleep, and I should probably leave. He said to me, something that helped me find my way back again out of this darkness:

I’m falling asleep because I’m comfortable, I wouldn’t fall asleep with you here if I wasn’t feeling comfortable with you here.

And I realized, that I had locked myself into my head, I had created a distance by withdrawing because I thought that was what he wanted and needed. He had never told me to leave him alone all the time, but I thought that him being in his room meant he wanted space to be alone. So I left him alone, as it was the least I could do given that he works and keeps us safe and alive when I can’t work enough to pay my own bills let alone ours or any food on top of that.

No, I had decided that he was withdrawn, so I kept withdrawing. I didn’t ask to watch something together, I didn’t ask to sit together, I didn’t ask to cuddle anymore.

When he said those words I realized that I wasn’t alone. We’ve been together for 7.5 years now. We’ve been through some of the worst things in my life, but we’re still here. And we’re still building our home together.

I thought I wanted to edit this last bit out, because it was way too private, but as I read it again, I realize that I need to leave it in because it was important. Important in order to understand how easy it is to get obsessively lost within yourself, not seeing a way out.

I think it’s valuable to reach out to your friends. Whether you see them struggling or not, whether you’re struggling or not. Remind them and yourself that you are not alone, and maybe even help direct each other to the shore. The answer isn’t always “you’re not being treated right”, but it’s also not necessarily “you’re crazy”, it can be somewhere in between, or way out of orbit. This post isn’t a recommendation, or a solution for anyone else, this was my solution, for me, and it may not stick, but I did feel like it was a proper breakthrough in the most positive ways.


If you enjoyed this piece of writing, and would like me to be able to write them more, feel free to head over to my Ko-fi or my Liberapay and throw me a little coin.
Alternatively, check out my support page for more info.

To Follow your own advice

I know, it sucks. Like a lot. Coaches don’t play, you may want to yell at me, and that’s a very fair point. Yet, recognizing when you give advice you should follow yourself, it could actually help you do it. Let me explain.

Yesterday, a friend was sharing some of their struggles with their workload with their studies, and having to pretty much just put their head down and keep studying as much as possible to get through it. Which reminded me of when I had my worst crunch periods, but I was also very sick, so I had to balance everything I was doing on a knife’s edge to not completely crash. So I gave him advice based on how I took care of myself during such periods.

When I needed to crunch studies, the most important thing to me was to eat regularly and take a walk every day. At least one walk. This would depend on the level of my health, and at one point I had to just opt for much shorter walks, but more frequently both for mental and physical health reasons. I’ve gotten through the worst times, health wise, of my life while studying full time, and it’s been strange, but you pick up some interesting coping mechanisms, and one was take good care of yourself while studying.

So there I was, yesterday, unable to really go out the house and unable to take very well care of myself, and handle my physical and mental anxiety enough to get writing done as I wanted, and get resting done as I wanted. And it hit me, I wasn’t following my own advice. I knew in theory that I would be better off, if I wanted to write, if I took a walk every day. When I took a walk every day for like 14 days, I wrote two good articles in that time.

I have the proof that putting in this effort makes a difference. I got the experience, to give me the knowledge what I can do to create a better better environment for myself. And since my goal for the coming 2 years is to write, if not daily at least a majority of the week’s days, establishing a pattern and habit of treating my self as well as I’d treat my friends would be a stable foundation to start on.

So here I am, again, sharing my advice, but advice that I want to follow myself. I want to write more, and in order to be able to write, I need to take a walk at least every other day. And to not feel icky, I need to shower, and I need to remember to feed myself because my brain is doing a lot of work. I need to remember to take breaks and go up and just do something else. I need to allow myself restful sleep, even on days I haven’t written anything.

I can work on figuring out what habits work better for me. But still keep treating myself with compassion, and care. Even on high anxiety days, I can help myself through because I know that 30min walk is very likely to make me feel better, and even if it doesn’t, that would’ve been 30minutes where I didn’t have to sit and just tense up, it was 30minutes I moved my body, and 30minutes I got to breathe fresh air, and 30minutes I got to listen to a book as I took my walk. It was 30minutes that I was able to meet cute dogs, or just see the colours of the leaves change in the park. It was 30minutes that I took a little bit better care of myself instead of just wallowing in my anxiety.

And even if it doesn’t work, I can always take a nap after my walk, and try again tomorrow.


If you enjoyed this piece of writing, and would like me to be able to write them more, feel free to head over to my Ko-fi or my Liberapay and throw me a little coin.
Alternatively, check out my support page for more info.