Tag Archives: mental health

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.