Tag Archives: mental health

Is This the Final Frontier?–Starting Trauma Informed Therapy

It’s not the first time I’m in therapy, I’ve been to more therapists and psychologists than I can count since I was 12. I do occasionally try to count them, but some have been pretty much repressed from my memory at this stage, and I have actual memory loss on top of that.

As I began to realize I probably have C-PTSD and wanted to unravel that mess, I realized that I probably needed a trauma informed therapist to help me figure it all out. So I reached out to a fairly local one, and asked for their availability.

While I wont be talking about any specifics about our sessions, I will probably end up writing about things around it, things it made me ponder in the inbetween and made me realize about myself. Maybe? Or I don’t publish this, I don’t know yet. I’m probably going to ask where the limits are. But instead of distracting myself about those details… let’s get some thoughts down.

I think I expected a lot more to happen already in the first session, probably because when growing up every time I had a first session with a therapist I had to go through my life story to catch them up, and it was often involving a lot of crying. This time that’s not quite what happened at all, so I came out of it tired, but not totally exhausted. I still tried to give myself grace and rest a lot during the rest of the day though, so there was TV shows, and naps, and gaming, and cuddles on the sofa with partner and doggo.

Putting word to things you know but can’t talk about is incredibly valuable, and knowing that I’m in a safe space where I can do that, and figure things out is also very good. I am very privileged that I can spend the little income I have on going to see a therapist privately, and my brain is like “It’s only x / month”, while in the past that would’ve been way too much money.

In our first real session, but our second meeting, I was able to ask for something I needed, twice. That felt revolutionary. I often just believed I had to deal with what I was given, but this time I realized that, no, this is a give and take realtionship, and if I don’t let them know where my limits and boundaries are, it’s going to be hard to have a working relationship with them.

It does feel significantly more different than it has in the past, maybe I’m just in a different place, and have other pieces of my puzzle in place, like my ADHD diagnosis, and my pain diagnosis, so I can be more goal oriented to keep moving forward, instead of confused about what’s wrong with me. And now I get to pull at some of the threads to see what’s what around the things I already know of, and see how it overlaps (yes I love my mixed metaphors, deal with it).

I want to talk about the boundary I set with my thereapist, but I want to wait for a while as well. So that’s what I’ll do. In another post maybe, in the future.

Before moving on I want to say this: You can make great things happen if you allow yourself to take just a tiny bit of space, with the people who are supposed to help you, even when you’ve had really bad experiences with it in the past.

A few weeks have passed since I wrote this first draft, and I’ve since asked my therapist about their thoughts about me writing. I had kind of created a blockage by not asking, so I didn’t write nor edit even though I wanted to.. The result and response was perfectly in line with my needs, luckily! So, I will definitely keep writing and then decide how much I’ll publish.

I think I celebrated a bit too quickly about not feeling too bad after the first meeting, or it changed after the second. I kind of don’t know, because my sense of time gets really screwed up when I shut down. This was the long way to say, I’ve pretty much been in quite a bad state since the week following that first meeting, and had some other stuff come up too causing some stress and anxiety and exhaustion. It’s definitely something I think I could talk about more, and have on my Mastodon account.

At this stage it became important to me to give myself this space to feel like shit, while also trying to take care of myself and our household. Over the past few weeks. This interlocks a lot with my physical disabilities too, which occasionally makes it tricky to untangle what’s going on and how to manage it. Because I know that when it’s only mental health things affecting me, going outside is one of the best medicines, but when physical health gets in the way of that it can get really difficult to come back to some semblance of normal, whatever normal looks like for you.

I was reminded that I’d spent pretty much the past year always focusing on my baseline, to such a degree that I forgot I was doing it. It just became routine, even if it had its ups and downs in regard to success, I always kept coming back to it with a lot of compassion for myself when I was faltering, because the easiest way to come back was to give myself that space, that break.

Another subject for another post, again. So yeah, there’s a lot to talk about, and I expect we’ll keep talking about it over the coming months and years as I continue therapy and untangling the mysteries, and the traumas and processing and learning to forgive myself for the struggles I’ve had.

I am hopeful that this therapy will help me greatly, but I doubt it’s a miracle pill, it will require a lot of work, but I truly do appreciate being in space where I can slowly work through things at the pace that feels right and safe for me until we get some more breakthroughs and then work through them.

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.

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.


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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.


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Mom, don’t read this. And if you do don’t cry.

Because there is darkness ahead, this text has the Content Warning: Suicide, Suicidal Ideation, Emotional Dysregulation, Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria.
It is okay to not read this text. If you do venture ahead, know that this text is raw and painful with a glimmer of hope splashed in, and some resources at the very end.

Dark raining clouds over swelling water, at the very horizon there’s a patch of sunshine, and a glimmer of hope.
Photo by Auro Queiroz from FreeImages

I took a walk tonight, in the dark and rainy British evening. I left the house without my phone, because I was not in the mood to be reached. I did however take my keys and locked the door behind me, out of consideration to indicate that I did indeed have my keys with me, as my partner was about to leave for his night shift.

As I began walking I started to wonder how many times had it been, since that first time when I took the cushioned kitchen chair, old and battered with striped corduroy covering the seat, out to the balcony. When I stepped up on it, looking down from the 8th floor, myself being only 12 years old… How many times have I not killed myself?

Can we even consider not doing something an achievement? If this was a game, would it be an achievement equal to a no hit run? Is it the equivalent to a pacifist run? If I didn’t harm myself significantly, am I a better suicidal-person than the people who took a knife to their wrists, jumped in front of a train, drank themselves to death or swallowed a bottle of pills?

Or am I just an invisible suicidal person because I’m not in any statistics because I never actually tried to kill myself? Or was I registered as a possible attempted suicide that time when I ran away from my mom’s car in the dead of winter, threw my backpack out on the ice of the frozen-over river and wrote a throw-away text to my mom that I should throw myself in as well, to which she called the police to come find me? At least there was only so many rivers (one) in town, and there was only so many places I could go from the bus station.

In this particular case, it’s more probable that I’m not a statistic, because my mom worked together with the social worker that showed up at the police station, who said something to the effect of “I wont tell anyone at work about this”, like my mom needed to be ashamed of me running away in the dead of winter.

How many brushes with death had I avoided, since I was old enough to make angry decisions and run away? Me thinking that the first time I wanted to die was at 12 is probably just wishful-thinking. I’ve been trying to throw myself out of cars, since long before 12, because I had to get out of the situation and there’s not many options when you’re in a moving car on a country road, and have you no say in if the car moves or not. If you gotta go you gotta go. I do not remember how old I was the first time I opened the door while the car was going, but I do remember who was in the car with me. And I know for certain that the first time I opened it was not the first time I wanted to. It was only the first time I was prepared for the consequences. At the time I found it most infuriating that as soon as the person driving heard the door open they stopped the car. I can’t end this if you stop the car when I’m trying to throw myself out of it! Have you no manners?

All the while, someone can write and direct a scene with that without having ever done it, and it will hit home with a huge crowd. I really should sit down and watch Lady Bird at some point. I guess we write what we know, even if we don’t. I never threw myself out of a car with any success, so I wouldn’t call it hypocritical, that would make me the hypocrite. I do believe that she took a lot of emotions from her youth and poured it into that script, to great critical success, I might add. Even though she lightheartedly laughs about it in the interview, it’s probably just nerves.

Is it possible that I am coping with my current overflow of emotions by writing instead of killing myself? Yes, but also, not quite. I feel like I’m just at a point in my life where, even though everything inside of me is screaming that I should kill myself, and it’s probably for the best, I mean look at you you can’t live up to this capitalist hellscape’s standards and you never will, so why should you even be alive?, I have so much practice in that I know how to make not killing myself an active choice by now. It’s tonight’s activity, just like game night.

Oh yeah, I should respond to my partners text, to tell him I came back home alright. I came home, but I wasn’t alright, so I didn’t reply. I guess that’s unfair to him. Okay, that’s handled.

And I guess, I should probably check that place on social media where I’ve been spewing dark suicidal jokes for a good while, without any real response or check ins.

Even though it was true in the moment I wrote it, earlier in the evening,

“I’m okay, I’m safe, don’t worry about me I just needed to vent. I will not kill myself, and if the urge is too great I know who to call (not anyone I know, but rather some emergency mental health services)”

moments later it wasn’t true anymore, because everything changed in a mere second.

Nope, no interactions on the algorithm-free social media network. Probably, because I properly CWd (added Content Warnings) and labeled everything so no one had to see that absolute pile of shit on their feed, unless they wanted to. A feature I’m simultaneously thankful for, but also kind of saddened by. That said, if I had posted the same thing on Facebook, wait Facebook was down so no one would’ve seen it either way. Let’s get back on track, where were we? Oh yes, suicidal “game” nights.

During my walk in the rain, I began thinking about GNU/Natalie Nguyen, a young Vietnamese/American trans girl, and about the night almost exactly 4 years ago (minus 1 month) when she killed herself. She was at a party with friends, and had what seemed to everyone a great night. A loving night with people who loved, cherished and supported her. She told them that she went out for a walk, and then she posted to let us know in our online community that she was sorry and that she couldn’t do it anymore.

That was the last any of us heard from her. This was traumatic for so many reasons, and it wasn’t going to be the first suicide among us, but it was the first that stirred up a huge part of the place we called home. A place we felt safe in. A place where we thought we were able to protect each other from the outside world. Many among us tried to reach out and let her know that we were there, even the people who had just moments earlier been with her in the same physical space. They could not reach her anymore. We all watched their tearful pleas for her to come back, for her to just let them know where she was.

Just like I walked out the door tonight, she had just walked out the door. Our reasons weren’t the same, and our lives weren’t the same, I’m not even going to pretend that our lives were anything alike, but that feeling inside of us to just get out… I think that deep need to escape was the same, and if not it was at least similar.

When I left the house tonight, it wasn’t unprompted, and I wasn’t just going for an evening walk, but I also knew that I wasn’t going out to kill myself. Even though the walk itself, while trying to make sure I did not fall for any of the urges to throw myself in front of a moving vehicle or just keep walking until my feet bled, most definite felt like playing life on hardmode. Like Dude, have you even played Life on HardMode if you haven’t actively tried to NOT kill yourself while out walking on a dark rainy evening? No, my evening had, all things considered been great. I had just been to a fantastic (online) party for a friend who just launched their new book.

I had however arrived late to this party, because instead of getting dinner ready in time, I had to sit down to write a letter to rein in my emotions, emotions that I can only explain as a severe case of Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) to things I will not get into here. The letter had started as one thing, I’m not sure what, and I wrote it in a compose window in my email, so I must have intended to send it to someone. It soon warped into something else, something much more painful: A letter to my partner. Saying goodbye.

In what I can only call a cruel twist of irony, I realized that I had just written a suicide letter. To be more precise, I had written a suicide letter in order to not kill myself. Tonight I had used my years of experiences, and the countless number of practice opportunities which had honed my skill at not killing myself. So, I proceeded to pour everything I was feeling into this letter, because I did not want to kill myself, because I did not want to just run away and never come back. Even though my insides were screaming at me, at the top of their lungs, that I should do just that. Screaming at me that no one cares about me, and several horrible things about my relationship with my partner (I’m sure we all know how these internal monologues go), I kept writing until I felt ready to get started with dinner, and join my friend’s party!

I quipped about it online, and no one responded to it. To be fair, I did post it only to my little corner of this particular sphere of the internet, and also only to people who follow me, which is an even smaller subset of people. It was hidden behind proper content/trigger warnings, so if no one wanted to see it they didn’t have to. I’m sure it was filtered by some people too for mentioning suicide. So, let me be vulnerable for a moment:

“That awkward moment when you write a suicide letter to stop spiraling and talk yourself out of any suicidal ideation… At least I got my coping strategies 👍. I’ll be calling the GP tomorrow, or emergency psych. One of those things. I’ll be okay, and I’m going to take better care of myself. I’m safe, just hurting a lot inside.”; “just putting on a brave face. as always.”; “or I wont, because I’ll be pretending that I’m perfectly fine.” “always the fucking masks”
When I wrote this I knew I was being too vulnerable, so naturally I hid it with as many layers as possible. The CW tag, the Local Only, and then Private Post. This meant fever people would see it, and I could get more upset that no one checked in with me. Even though I clearly said “I’m okay, I’m safe”.

I put on my mask, and continued to enjoy my evening with my friends and I had a great time. I guess it’s a dichotomy, something we don’t talk about. We can have a sincere, genuine and fantastical evening with friends where we’re happy, and feel safe, while also dealing with a lot of inner turmoil. While I was masking, I was also being there for my friend on their big night, which was as important to myself as it was to them. I do fear that when they read this, they’ll be horrified. I couldn’t title this with all the people who shouldn’t read it, so I’m sorry if you are reading this. I need you to know this: That hour I spent with you and the others wasn’t about me, it was about you and your fantastic book, and the incredible world you have crafted. And it was a pleasure to be there.

After that hour with friends, old and new, I felt okay. I felt much better and calmer. Not as serene as I do today (this part is being written the following day). I thought I had everything reined in, and under control. All I had managed to do was to calm myself down enough to cook dinner, and distract myself with a fantastical game with fantastic friends, and just watch everyone happily interact with each other. Distractions are good and healthy. They can be helpful, and they can keep us alive.

Before long, another thing hit me, and it hit me hard. It was like a truck of emotions came out of nowhere, and just slammed into me. My RSD interpreted the trigger as the most horrific betrayal, disregard and just plain neglect. I was mad. I wanted payback. I wanted to scream. I wanted to smash my plates, the plates that I treasure so much because to me they are a symbol of my first true independence. I wanted to destroy them. I felt trapped, and I felt, I guess knew, that I had to keep calm and carry on. Like I always do.

Except, as I have just described, I didn’t want to keep calm. I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t let myself get any of these emotions out. That’s when I just put on my hoodie and walked out the house, without my phone. Because at least this way I could walk off some of it. And maybe scream into the dark void which is the outdoors in the early fall evening, in England.

We are back to where we began, the beginning of this story, but not the end of my story. I think it could have been an end. There has been many times in my life that could have been my last, both intentional and unintentional. And that’s okay.

I can’t tell you how to learn to “manage” these feelings of overwhelm. The feelings that will rush over you, like a wave, as if with the intent to crush you against the cliff-face. I can’t tell you how to get there, how to survive the next wave. I only want to remind you that you can. Even after the darkest night, the sun will rise again. It may rise to orange ominous clouds, or it may just rise to another overcast day, especially here in England, that will be just as boring as the days before it.

I think, the greatest lesson I ever learnt was to see tears as a release valve, of pressure building up inside. A release of stress. Stress can be caused by a lot of things, and if we do not flush it out of our system (metaphor, please don’t try to cleanse yourself of toxins) it can cause severe damage. I was tempted to say irreparable damage, but I shall refrain. Because while it may seem irreparable, that may just be because we need to build something completely new. If you are in a position where you are unable to cry, remember that that’s okay too. There are other ways to find release, that aren’t the ones everyone else around you will wish you hadn’t done.

In your hour of need, remember that you have survived everything thrown at you up until today, and you can, heck, you will survive again. Know your outs, your emergency exit, your emergency contacts. Be it a friend who has promised that you can call them whenever, be it your National Suicide Hotline, the Samaritans (thank you, Erik), for you to walk into the ER/A&E, or whatever is available to you where you live.

Even when all else fails, just allow yourself to keep crying, and cry yourself to exhaustion, watch your favorite movie on repeat, and either fall asleep or have something to eat. And remember, maybe tomorrow will be better.


This post was originally published on Medium, if you liked it it would help me out if you also clap over there.

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.
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Keep trying to get my life back together

I have been struggling, and I’ve gone from struggling to doing great and it’s been a mess.

@kinkymal

##ADHD meds update. Day 3 on a higher dose.

♬ original sound – maloki

I’ve over the past few months been doing a lot of my updates on TikTok instead of in written form, and about a month ago I got diagnosed with ADHD finally, and put on medication. Unfortunately when going up in dose after 2 weeks on it, I encountered a lot of issues, and I had to deal with that for past week and a half. Today I finally got back on the right level again and will hopefully start feeling better and be able to do things again.

It’s unfortunate because I’d just started to edit video, and giving myself permission to edit and enjoyed it, then the meds happened and my focus went elsewhere. So the RimWorld series isn’t live yet, but I can start again this coming week.

I don’t know when I’ll have another appointment with the ADHD services, so I can get my meds regularly prescribed, but I probably need to call them next week.

I keep finding myself here, where I think I’m getting my life back, and myself back together, and then something happens and it’s a lot harder to deal with it again. And it’s a bit of a pain. It’s hurting me on the inside, because I want to have a life, I want to reclaim the life I’ve lost over the past 15 years, and I want to start living better. Better as in, being able to do things, not as in “I must.be.good.healthy.and.pure”.

I have some grief I need to process, of the life I lost. Of my childhood and everything around that. And I need to allow myself to take that time to process it. It’s gonna be a pain, but I think we can do it.

I want to put things into written word as well as the video shorts. We’ll see if I can balance it, I’m hoping to start using my project Bullet Journal notebook now, which will be specifically focusing on any projects I work on, and allowing myself a better over view of things I want to get done.

This post is a mess, but I’m a mess.

Also, you can head by my other blog to see the posts I’ve been sharing about my first experience with Minecraft.


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.

On being energetic

I’ve always been a pretty energetic person. Sunny disposition, optimist; shining when out and about.

This doesn’t directly reflect my inside, it’s probably quite the opposite. In order to be able to leave the house I would have to pump myself up, to be happy and energetic. I’d have to make sure I could exude this energy all day, or weekend if it was a conference or such. I did the same thing when I had a job, I also loved all the jobs I’ve had. But they’ve been short, because this kind of pumped up energy isn’t sustainable.

Today I’m at home, and the work I do is from home, the mere thought of working in an office is incredibly uncomfortable to me. I think it’s because I’ve eventually learnt that, as I said, that level of energy isn’t sustainable for me anymore. In the past I thought it was, but it isn’t.

If you wonder why you’re so energetic at work, but at 0 energy when you’re at home, maybe this will help you to think about. It may be worth looking at how to make going up work sustainable, instead of slowly burning yourself out.

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.

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.

When the world around you gives up and forgets you

While a lot of the work I do do is public and visual, all the work I can’t do, is for quite obvious reasons, invisible.

That I can stream may be indicative of the fact that I should be able to work. And maybe it is but I just can’t see it myself, maybe I haven’t gotten far enough to make something worth while out of it. This isn’t a text about giving up, but rather about feeling invisible, and it’s going to get personal and it’s going to suck. But here goes.

I most likely have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or something similar or close to it, while I thought I was already diagnosed with it, it turned out I wasn’t diagnosed with the Chronic one, even though I can trace it back to being 17 years old, if not earlier. So there’s things I need to do to get the help I need to be able to live, things that I can’t get myself to do because I do not have enough energy. Energy in this capacity is often referred to as spoon, as per Spoon Theory, which tends to help people who struggle with mental health or chronic pain issues, explain why they do not have energy, or why they can’t take care of themselves.

I am a very sociable person, I’m just bad at reaching out to people who are important to me, and family in particular. I reach out to my family when I’m in trouble, and I wait until I’m in a deep hole I can’t get out of on my own. I reach out to friends who I have showed that I can pay back when I can’t afford to pay off some shit, especially since I thought I had a job, turned into me not having a job, and not having an income and now I can’t pay them back. No, this isn’t a begging for support, post. I’m beyond that. I won’t do it, it’s not my style. So I’m here providing content, if you may, so there will be a reason to support me, and the stuff I do.

Other visible things I am able to do, which you probably see that I do is the streaming, which I already touched upon. Streaming is something I can do from home, without having a shower (on my worst days), and push over that threshold of anxiety that would leave me paralyzed and not able to leave the house. Again this loops back to “But if you can stream, why can’t you get a normal job?”, who would want to keep me hired if every few days I collapse in tears, or can’t get to work because I’m exhausted or crying? What work could I do that doesn’t drain me entirely? There was one thing, and it’s something I may be able to do again, and that is working with community and taking care of community.

Sharing this post, may actually turn into being detrimental to getting a possible job in the future, so be it, because I need to talk about these feelings.

Yesterday, which I guess is the trigger for this, I saw that people close to me, close to my heart was finally close by geographically, my sisters. And they were just across the bridge, and if they would’ve wanted to, they could’ve seen me, or let me know that they were “in town”, I would have dipped into those savings and headed over, because being allowed to see them if just for a few hours, instead of spending more than 16hrs of travel to try and go to where they live (I say more, because 16 is if you go by car, with no stops). But I did not get the chance to go see them yesterday, or if it was the day before, who knows when Instagram shows you these things. I did not even get a “hey we’re going to be in Copenhagen, but we can’t make time to see you for x y z reason”, I could have lived with that. But I’m afraid that they didn’t reach out to me, because they know I don’t have enough money for rent, and probably didn’t want me to ask for money to be able to see them.

I am considering throwing myself out on the job market, even though it scares the crap out of me, and then work myself until I’m totally exhausted and broken and end up on full-time sick-leave again, because that would be a way to pay the rent. Unfortunately, because I’m in between, and not sick enough, but also not well enough I can’t get help. Because I followed my heart and my passion last year, I lost any chance to get supported via the Swedish welfare system, because that system isn’t adaptable to people like me, people who may get spurts of energy, but then be nonfunctional for the other 75% of the year.

Maybe this is why my rate is pretty high, because I need to be able to afford not being able to work. I need to be able to pay the proper taxes and insurances to handle getting sick. Does that mean that what I can give when I can give isn’t worth it? I wouldn’t think so.

Who wants to support someone who’s just sad and depressed, that’s what we ask ourselves a lot of the time isn’t it? Even when we are being supported, we view ourselves worthless, because in a capitalist world, you’re only worth as much as you can produce, and maybe even then you’re not good enough.

What I’m trying to say I guess, is that I do not know how we’ll be able to support ourselves this fall, but we have made due this year, barely scraping by, with some extra pushes around Xmas, and for my birthday. If we can’t get money from studying this fall, we may be fucked. But we’ll deal with that when we come to it.

Making due, and barely making due. We’re okay, I mean we have a roof over our heads, but as soon as we can’t pay rent anymore, then what? I don’t know. Anyways, summer still has a lot to bring, and I can maybe write more again, finish the revamp of my patreon, continue streaming, and figure out if I have enough energy to squeeze anything else into this. Thank you for reading, and… I think you know where the tip jars are, if you feel so inclined.