All posts by Blogghoran

Permanently exhausted pigeon. Former politician. Learning to navigate exhaustion, race issues, patriarchy, colonialism, and disability. If you enjoyed any of these little article of musings, and would like me to be able to write them more, feel free to head over my patreon and check out the tiers there, $1 can go a long way! alternatively, check out my support page for more info.

Mental health: Losing Time

I have lost a lot of time, both in the distant and more recent past.

I lost 3 years of my early 20s, as I got sick towards the end of my 19th year. I lost most of the year I turned 30, because I was in full time sickleave and I couldn’t speak or think properly for 6 months.

Since the first time, I’ve been occasionally better, I even worked for a while (a year, part time) and spent 4 years studying.

But I’ve also lost days, weeks and months at the time because my mind just shuts down. It’s a protective measure to keep me as healthy as possible, but it’s also exhausting. It’s exhausting because any time I think I have an ounce of energy I try to do those things I want to do, and my mind responds with shutting down.

It may seem like I’m here and active and social, but I also zone out and never really know what day or date it is. This is hazardous when trying to take medication to keep you balanced, trying to get your life back into order, or studying.

It affects my studying a lot as a week will have passed since we received our assignment to do in two weeks, which means that I will have to try and do it in half the time, which usually doesn’t work because my mind will shut down again if I try to push it.

Trying to work is a joke right now, that’s why I’m not trying, because I’d probably get really sick really fast. Yet there are projects which are close to my heart, and I like to get them going. Help them off the ground. But I can’t without it killing me, and I don’t want to feel like I’m dying again.

Yet here I am, feeling like I can’t go much further, and that the shut downs are getting worse. Now, everything up until this sentence was written a night when I was having a particularly bad PMS trip, and I’m not actually feeling like the shutdowns are getting a lot worse, they’re just not getting better.

I wanted to share with you all, so you can understand why it may seem like I disappear a lot, why I’m forgetful or don’t seem to have energy to plan anything. It’s also why I seem like I am a lot more talk than action. Losing time is one of the reason some actions don’t come to fruition for me, why some actions will take months or years.

This is why some projects can go very slow, because time kind of just fades away. However, this spring my goal is to be able to get a better grasp of the things I want to do, and make progress on them.

Thank you for reading.

Old Journals (for University)

Some courses have you keep journals, to examine your own thoughts and progress with the course. I think a lot more classes could benefit from doing things like that.

Today I found a 5 year old journal, from one of the first courses I took at University, which was Drama & Speech (but part of English Studies). What I want to do here today is share it in it’s entirety with you, as it was already digitized. Enjoy:

2013-09-03
First lesson. The goal of the lesson was how speech can improve with practice, but also daring to speak out loud. The first time you read a text it can be a bit uneasy, as you keep repeating it you get familiar with the text and get to know it. When you speak in front of a group or around people it’s very easy to get a bit quiet, especially at the end of the sentence.
We also got to try to open up our voices, with energetic exercises. It was interesting, even if the class as a whole still scares the shit out of me. Drama and public speaking has never been my strong suit, even if I still do the latter.
My weakness is definitely my own creative openness, I can be creative in my own time and alone but when around people with a set assignment and the premise of “Do this out loud right now” I really cramp up, and I just had to use my frustrations instead of a passion. I do however feel satisfied that I found an emotion to use. Something inside of me so I could take the first steps in this class to improve, and get through the class.
In a whole I feel the lesson helped me, even if just the slightest, to feel that I can speak in front of the group, my classmates without too much fear. For me this becomes a good first stepping stone to improving my future public speaking (I’ve held lectures and speeches in the past).
It could be very easy to attempt to avoid certain exercises because I would tell myself that I don’t need them. The lesson really helped me enhance the feeling that I will continue going in head first to these lessons to keep improving my speech capabilities.

2013-09-09
Today’s lesson was focused on breathing and trying to make sound come out of us. Focusing your breath, feeling where the sound came from and where it ended up. Which muscles do we use, and what difference does it make for how sound come out.
We received a vocal warm up exercise sheet which we should aim to do a few times a week.
In class today I almost started crying, I had to face fears about my voice that I never got help with confronting when I was younger. I used to be in various choirs, and on occasion they would tell us that we need to feel it in the stomach, I never did and no one ever helped me with it. The exercises and information we went through today definitely helped me face that fear, and was much more rewarding than any song teacher or choir I’ve ever been in. It strengthens me that I got to face this fear today, and it encourages me to keep working towards becoming a better public speaker.
I definitely still find a weakness in my own fears, but I see myself working through them each and every lesson we have.
My own ultimate goal is still to just generally become a better speaker, be able to talk so people can hear me, and hopefully listen. These lessons are definitely one step in the right direction, and it reminded me about a lot of other exercises that are generally good for body knowledge. Partly I need to work on more exercises like the warm ups, and feel “it” in my stomach, and partly I need to work to fight my own fears.

2013-09-16
Todays class had two big focuses. After having had a lecture, which covered a lot of breathing / vocal warm up as well as the rhetoric aspect of speech and to some extent drama, we continued with a few extra breathing exercises. The “elevator” breathing exercise had a huge focus on relaxing. For me most of these exercises come with a lot of tension, and fears. Most of it is irrational, I know that, and I have yet to figure out where all of it stems from, but each time I fight it I am getting a bit closer towards the answers that I need to develop further. The elevator made me relax my face (especially) so much that it caused both aches and nausea. This is due to that I’m always so tense so when I finally relax it makes me sick. In turn that makes it harder for me to actually engage in these types of exercises. I know that for the future these breathing exercises, even if I won’t use all of them, will come in handy. Similar to what I’m experiencing with all the years of different types of therapy, there’s lessons from all of it that I draw upon once in a while. The most important thing for me right now however is to get a lot more comfortable with it.
Before the breathing exercise we were shown a few exercises we can use to make it easier for us to memorize and work with our lines for the Dramatic reading. By using physical movement and activities together with reading the lines we’ll easier bind the lines of text into our head, rather than just walking back and forth, or worse sitting down in the sofa.
I do know that I will need all the help I can get with memorizing my lines, but right now I feel very confident that I will manage to remember them.

2013-09-23
Today we worked on emphasis as a means to learn a text. In this case we chose words referring to one or more people, or in some cases an important object to the story to emphasise. Using the technique we learned to dissect a text and figure out what we were actually saying. Who is this “they” referring to? The women we just talked about or the men? Were the living people referring to women as well, as was the remains after the men’s actions.
When speaking a part, or any text you need to know what you’re saying, not only learning the words.

2013-09-30
Speaking loudly and clearly, to be overheard while others next to you are also speaking. Grouped together with one other person having the to keep eye contact in order to make it easier to hear.
Articulation. Good deep breath.
We walked around in the room, all of us reading lines at the same time attempting to out speak the others, by being clear and articulate.
I learned that I’ve got a good base to build on, but I can definitely improve my articulation. I will do a worse job while I’m tired, exhausted or stressed. I’ll be out of breath before it starts under those circumstances.

2013-10-07
Rehearsal 1
This was the only rehearsal I made it to. It was a chance for us to perform the whole thing in front of someone, and be accountable for it. No messing around. This made all the difference. When it’s only the group working together a lot of giggling and silliness will occur, often more than once per run through of the play.
The weeks leading up to this I’ve been under a lot of stress, and I realized that the more stressed out I am the harder it is for me to remember my lines. Lines that had previously been fully in my head were now slowly falling away from memory. Luckily I could make the best out of having the play in my hands.

2013-10-21
The Performance
We finally reached the day of the performance. Even if I had yet to learn all the lines, due to a lot of stress, I figured out how to improve that area for the future. I ended up mostly rehearsing the lines during the sessions we had with the group, rather than reading them through over and over trying to repeat them without the paper at home, which was something I should have done to make them stick. I did do that in the beginning with Scene 10, and it stuck since then, those were the parts I knew the best. Even if it can sound obvious, it is something I learned and that I will have to keep reminding myself about.
Through the course I’ve learned that picking a piece of text apart, if you have the time, is a good tool. Figuring out what each piece is referring to, what it means and who it’s directed to. In this case you also got some space to play around with it, use the “Who Am I Speaking To” as a part of your performance.
I learned that getting outside of your comfort zone with a bit of drama can help you a lot in the future. Now I am less afraid, even if I will shake like a leaf, to take on and get up on a stage to talk in front of people or read something highly personal (like we ended up doing in the Personal Life Writing lecture later the same week as the performance).
When you pick apart a text there’s nuances you’ll find that might be missed otherwise. A piece of the text which is referring to the same object over and over, will get more meaning if you look over what it is trying to say. When it has more meaning to you it will be easier for you to express that meaning while reading it aloud. Much similar to the one line about “the point” read by S- B in my group.
Take the time to breath, I knew this since before and with the performance I got the time to re use it. If you plan your text properly you can of course use breathing and artistic pauses to help you get through your nervousness, or in my case you will just have to make due with what you got and add them in as you go and make it work.

As a whole this class has given me increased confidence in myself, and the fact that I can make myself heard if I need to thanks to some of the exercises. I know now how to prepare and plan for any presentation to make it more successful than in the past.
Thank you -.

Ages of Change

Dear friends who are 30 and over, what have you enjoyed about your current age? (30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s etc.)

For me my late 20s and early 30s were revolutionary. Simply because I lost the ability to speak, think, write and a lot of memories. My mind shut down and I had some catching up to do, with rest. I had to reboot so to speak.

I lost a lot of memories, mostly about arguments which were pointless. I gained perspective about what’s important to me. And because I’m not fully well yet, I’m still looking at life quite differently. I can’t put exact words to it, I will try though.

Losing memories meant that I wasn’t holding a lot of grudges anymore, and that liberated me entirely. I got a chance to restart with people who wanted to (mostly if they came to me, because I wouldn’t really remember). I could sometimes remember the events, but not the people involved. Which was… Strange, but I got through it.

I found solace in not holding grudges though, and I still forget a lot of stuff, which means if we have a fallout I’m likely to forget. The details at least, which also can be detrimental. I get that. But for my own mental health, it works. It helps me let go and move on. I get that’s not always possible for everyone…

I’ve also learnt that we have to take on our struggles and battles differently. Just because it works for me, doesn’t mean it will work for someone else. Yes, I do preach forgiveness a lot. Because it’s right for me, and liberating. I try to preach less though, since I know it’s not right for everyone, as I already said. Processing hurt, and struggles is going to be different for everyone, which is also something I’ve come to understand.

I’m only 3 years into my 30s, and even if it’s been a struggle it’s also been a hell of a ride, which I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Have you learnt something about yourself?

Did your life change somehow?


If you enjoyed this little article of musings, and would like me to be able to write them more, feel free to head over my patreon and check out the tiers there, $1 can go a long way! 
alternatively, check out my support page for more info.


Featured image: Change, by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 

Writing and stuff in the New Year

Stuff, such a good word.

This year I have a few things I want to do, one of them is write more. So here I am, on Jan 1st, writing.

I asked the community on #amWriting if they wanted to help support each other, and so many people chimed in. With both big and small writing projects. Some want to write whole novels, some just a few lines every day.

As most of you know I’m baby stepping through a lot of things in my life, so my writing will be both on here and for uni, because I can’t max out in writing everywhere. But that’s fine. I’m learning my limits and working to live within them in a healthy way, and sometimes stretching them, but that’s a post for another day.

The way this blog has worked in the past year is to mostly contain my musings, which haven’t been written down too often. I’m looking at a new routine to squeeze in writing. Basically a small session after breakfast, while having had breakfast with reading. The good thing about this combo is that reading can trigger thoughts, and I can write them down.

There are other things that I want to write this year, one is my Creative Writing Project for university (basically a BA in creative writing). I’ve decided on what I want to write and it’s going to be poetry, about my grandmother. I’ve shared my project statement draft on patreon, for patrons only, as I don’t want to get in trouble with class if I share too early.

Me and Loa are also looking into doing more with our gaming blog / channels. While he is focusing on video, I want to keep writing and probably do small reviews of games I play this year. That blog has been stagnant since I moved it to a new host, a year ago. We’ve not even updated the theme to something other than default.

What are you writing this year?

Dear Men*

For anyone reading this here are some content warnings: rape (mentioned / referenced), Non-consent, toxic masculinity.

* Your instinct before even reading this article is going to be to say #NotAllMen. There’s a lot of ways to say it, so I’m here to challenge you. Are you up for the challenge? If not, stop reading now.

Instead of saying #NotAllMen, just read through what we’re trying to say. There’s emotional labor involved here, emotional labor required by you. You have to do it. Feel free to take help from some friends, but try to give them a neutral entry to the article, text, tweet/toot, video you’d like to discuss, to not pre color their response.

Since emotional labor is difficult, especially when you’ve barely learnt anything about it, but only received tips to repress it your entire life I want to present to you with a simple guide. Again, this will only work if you’re willing to try, and it will probably be a disaster the first time you do it, which is why I’m going to recommend that you either keep it to yourself or share it with someone you trust.

In this case I’d suggest prefacing it with something like: “I’m practicing to not react instinctively to these texts women/POC share of their experiences, but rather reflect on what it triggers in me so I can understand myself, and become a better person. Would you mind having a conversation with me about what I came up with the first time I tried this specific technique I got recommended?” what’s key here is that you’re asking for consent before you offload your emotional burden on someone else, if they don’t feel they have time or energy give them that. As in, don’t press it, and don’t be an ass about it.

The next few things you need to do for your self before you share it with anyone else. Pick an article you’ve already read recently that you reacted strongly to where you wanted to scream at the screen “not me I’m not like this, not all men are like this” (or something similar, you know the bubbly rage I’m talking about). It’s important to note here that this kind of trigger is not the same as a PTSD trigger. But rather it’s a an event which leads to another, like pressing a button will turn the lights on. Except you see red. Okay, let’s carry on.

So, you’ve found an article, which you probably shared on your Facebook or Twitter with some snide remark, or in that “men’s club” Facebook group you have with your close pals. Yes, we know about those, yes even your friends girlfriend and wives, they definitely know everything you say about them in there, but that’s an article for another day.

Identify what is making you feel like you want to scream ‘not all men, not me!’ Done? Oh yeah, I should probably say, identify it by reading the article again. And wait for that pang in your chest. Or the moment when you want to share it with someone else to tell them what a complete idiot the author of the piece is, or when you want to look up articles to prove this author wrong (not all need apply, and it can be several or non of these, but I think you get the gist).

Now look at it again, what in you is making you scared, fearful and uncomfortable?

Are you afraid?

Would you admit fear?

Let me guide you with three questions about what you are feeling, feel free to go back to these at any time and add additional questions which help you (even leave them in the comments if you like):

  • Are you afraid that this (described behavior) is you?
  • Are you afraid that you’ve done this to someone you actually cared about because you did not know how to express yourself otherwise?
  • Are you afraid that your friends will shun you if they find out? That your girlfriend will break up with you if you tell her about that one time you didn’t respect consent (or didn’t understand it yet?, or something else along these lines)

Yes, these questions are focused on fear, because I genuinely believe this is the main driving response to these kind of texts. However, it is completely valid if you identify other root emotions, in your journey.

The things you tell us when you comment directly to us are usually along the lines of “not me nor any of my friends have ever done any of these behaviors or anything which could lead to it”. Yet, as we know “everyone knows someone who’s been raped but no one knows a rapist.”

We as a society is not really taught to reflect upon our own reactions and emotions. Why did this make me mad? Surprisingly often it’s fear.

I’m not here to change your mind, but I believe you’ve read this far because you want to change your mind, or you would’ve done some of the things I already mentioned being a typical behavior as reactions to these kind of texts.

Remember that it’s a journey, and you’re likely to fuck up a few hundred times more, but if you use every single one of them as an chance and opportunity to grow, and learn something about yourself you will soon be rich in experiences and be able to help someone else.


If you enjoyed this little article of musings, and would like me to be able to write them more, feel free to head over my patreon and check out the tiers there, $1 can go a long way!
alternatively, check out my support page for more info.

What a day can look like

I wanted to frame it as mental health, but there’s so much more than that. The states I live with are not only mental health, sometimes it’s physical, sometimes it’s a combination. What comes with it is a lot of exhaustion, the mental exhaustion which manifests physically. The mental warnings, which then give physical warnings. When you don’t listen to those warnings the big pain comes, and the complete and utter loss for words, literally.

As I get exhausted I lose words, which I guess is ironic when I’m writing these words now, on one of those days. But if I were to have a conversation with my partner I’d not know what a frying pan is called, or not remember what day it is. I think it’s Tuesday today, but I only know that because I’m home from my Tuesday class today.

Fabulous Femme posed against a white pillar, looking into the camera. The natural light from the window lights her up. Wearing a grey dress with long sleeves, hair up.
Just one of those days.

The image above shows what I looked like today when I could not leave the house. Well, that’s not entirely true, I did leave the house. I left the apartment, went down to my bike, but I could not touch or unlock my bike.

– Bahumbug, that’s ridicilous, what do you mean you couldn’t even touch your bike? You were right there, outside, fully dressed, back packed, breakfast eaten, and you couldn’t? Why not?

I am not sure why not. But let me tell you some of the process which led me to not leaving.

First, I woke up still exhausted, after 8hrs of sleep. Every limb was very heavy. On those days I use my phone to help me wake up, I will read until my mind is a bit more functional, so any social media like Twitter or Mastodon is usually a go, find people’s morning chirps and toots, or articles.
I wanted to go to a creative writing reading today at uni, I knew my friends were going. I reached out and said “I want to join you, but I don’t think I have the energy”.
With my phone in bed I felt the sore shoulder blades still hating me, from the arm I pulled the other day, when trying to finalize my written take-home exam (which I couldn’t finished because my body physically told me stop).

Second, I did get up, and I was like “Okay I can do this, I’ll be a little late, but I’ll just get dressed, eat and go.” So, I got dressed, as you can see in the image above, I packed my bag, and I felt like I could do it, I even felt like I looked nice today. I plugged in my headphones, started listening to the audiobook, which usually helps distract me enough to leave as well.

Third, I’m fully dressed with hoodie, scarf, hat, and coat. I go down the elevator, and as I reach the entry-hall, and go towards the door, I start walking slower. I open the door, and tell myself, just make it out to the bike and you’ll be okay. I see the rain, the wet water on the seats. And I stop in my tracks.

No.

“I’m just going to go in.” I turn around. “But I’ve made it so far.” I turn back around towards the bike again. “I really don’t want to get on the bike, okay if I’m not going to go to school I’ll just take a walk” I start walking out towards the street to walk. I stop again, just under the building. “If I’m going for a walk, I could just as well make it to school.” I turn around to the bike again, and walk there. Still not touching the bike. “I… can’t”. I turn around, and decide to go inside. I check the mail. The box is empty except for a newspaper. I go outside again. “…” I turn around, and go in to the elevator. I do not hit the button. I lean my head against the wall, and try to tell myself that “it’s okay to go, it’ll be okay, it’s fine, you can do it, it’s just 2hrs, it’s fine once you get there, you know this” I step out to the bike again. A few steps closer. I go back in, into the elevator, and up to our floor. Each step down the hall “I can still turn around and go to school, I can do it.”

After going back in, admitting to my partner that I couldn’t go, but at least I tried. I feel relieved. Like always, as soon as I say “It’s okay to not go” I feel like I probably could’ve gone, but trying again would be stupid.

I message my class mates that I, yet again, couldn’t make it to class. And I think about how I’m dressed, how pretty I look, and how no one would’ve been the wiser if I had gone. No one would’ve seen the struggles on me.

But you, who’ve read this text, who’ve felt these days yourself, you can probably see it in my eyes when you look at the photo. Because I can, I can see the pain right there. Behind what’s not really even a smile.

Writing seamlessly

Or so I thought. Running the app was helping me a lot it write, but now it won’t publish, or upload drafts and I’m unsure if why. 

I will keep investigating it to figure out what I can do, as I miss having this easy way of publishing. I’ve set up an alternative, which will hopefully help a little, but it’s not the same. Maybe I’m just whiney. 

Hi, I am still around and I still want to write, I’ve just been exhausted, am still exhausted. I’ll give you all a better update eventually. 

Take care of yourselves and each other in the meanwhile.

Edit: apparently it’s working now, and there’s only one blog post, which I’ve deleted that fails to upload, makes sense

Mastodon, compassion vs Facebook, in your face.

After having spent a good 1.5 years on Mastodon, I feel like I just get bombarded with crap on Facebook that I don’t want to see / not comfortable with seeing.

Why? It’s not because my friends are bad people, it’s because Facebook doesn’t offer a way for my friends to add content warnings which protect the images.

On Mastodon, while it has it’s flaws, you can choose to put up a warning for what your content contains.

You can use this for Trigger Warnings, Sensitive Subjects, Food, and even SPOILERS for movies/series. Or just put your nerdy discussions behind it, and let people opt in to see it.

People will only see it if they click through, and it’s such a different experience. Even though I mostly almost always click through I find that when I’m prepared it’s a lot easier to deal with.

It allows the people posting to be cognizant about what they put out there, and how it presents to other people. It makes a lot of the people on the platform a lot more compassionate, than I’ll ever see here on Facebook unfortunately.

Sleep and Mental Health

I accepted that if I’m going to study full-time I need to rest when tired, and sleep at night. This was hard, even if I know it on an intellectual level, accepting it on the emotional level was not something I’ve really been able to do.

Yesterday I both napped, and slept at a reasonable hour. 3hr nap when I got home from uni, and 10hr sleep from midnight, approximately. I was a lot more tired yesterday than I thought I was, and “crashed” when I came home from uni. Note, I could’ve been home all day, but I wanted to get some stuff done, pick up a book and do some studying, so I went to uni. When I got home we had food ready as leftovers, and I could eat before resting (thank you past me).

What I’m trying to get at is this: I will still need to rest today because I’ve been at it all week. Even if I feel surprisingly rested already by allowing myself to both nap yesterday and sleep at night.

Again, there was an emotional “I’ve been good all week, let me be up all night and game”-response which I had to fight, not too hard luckily. I did it by just examining how I was feeling, and which was stronger, and tired was it. After a 10hr night, I’m still going to take it very easy today, but do a few things around the house to make us both feel better, to make next week even easier to deal with.

I do feel like if I keep at this balancing I should be okay. And I need to process and remind myself what works and what doesn’t work. As well as, why it works or why it doesn’t work.

The Night Owl

This morning, I felt good about having gone to bed early last night, and that sparked a conversation on Mastodon about Night Owls.

I realized that, as a night owl it had helped me to figure out Why I enjoyed being up at night in order to be able to enjoy going to bed early and waking up early. This can also be combined with why I would enjoy going to bed early, but I’ll try to cover that in another post.

For me it’s the silence and calm that comes over the City at night, a lot less cars, almost no people, animals are resting too. And usually it gets a lot cooler.

If I get up early I can still get some of that calm before the morning rush, and if I go shopping while everyone else is at work I catch it too. Oh, also, going out to the park early in the day as the sun is coming up is its own tranquility. Or a morning walk to get to work / school.

I can seize the means of my tranquility by finding space ever day to lay down and ground myself, find quiet areas, ask that we do not have stuff on the speakers all day, as well as tuning out the world with classical music.

The darkness is also very calming at night, and helps me get work done. Lucky for me, as I’m going back to Uni for studies, I’ve found that the silent cubicle at the university, is a glass box for reading, where you’re not allowed computers or sound on your phone. There are drapes up as well which block out most of the light. This space turned out to be a great place for me to hide for a bit and get some energy and focus.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: If you want to change a habit try to identify what about that habit makes you want to do it, and see if you can fill that need some other way. Do it alone or with a friend.


If you enjoyed this little article of musings, and would like me to be able to write them more, feel free to head over my patreon and check out the tiers there, $1 can go a long way!