Messages in a Bottle #14: If You’re a Poet and You Don’t Know It…

Traumaversaries are weird. I have learned that it is entirely possible for me to feel stressed, anxious, rejection sensitive and floaty for days with no overt understanding of why I am feeling this way – even throughout events that should otherwise be fun in present-day 2019 – because my subconscious mind still remembers what my conscious mind has chosen to forget.

In my conscious recollection, the first week of June will always suck, and I probably should additionally be wary of early July this year. July will mark the one-year anniversary of that casting off of my fragile sense of safety and my “here and now” to go on not-FMLA and dive again into the horrors of the past in seemingly endless present-day loop. In my conscious memory, I’m aware of these dates as potential “traumaversaries” (from both 2018 and accumulated triggers), and I wouldn’t have been surprised if I had had rough mental health episodes earlier this month. I plan to take extra care of myself in early July.

But, I was surprised by how quickly and painfully those old PTSD symptoms crept up on me these past few days because – as far as I understood – these middle couple of weeks of June were a relative period of quiescence in the general storm of 2018 (and the 9th Circle of Hell in general.) But, apparently, my body remembered what I, myself, did not. Because, after it became apparent I was struggling even in the midst of otherwise enjoyable events, I finally sucked it up and looked up what was happening this time last year.

Trauma memories can affect the subconscious mind (and body) as well as the conscious one, and reality journals don’t lie. This time last year, I had a particularly unmemorable (aka dissociative) day in which I had to take a call with the 9th Circle of Hell that was demeaning and demoralizing, and then be screamed at by my bully-of-a-boss for four hours afterward as further demoralization.

What was my offense that led to his hours-long recasting of every bit of work I had ever done for the company as worthless trash? Well, I had had a meeting with him, and I had been particularly fragile, given how poorly I had been treated on the phone by the 9th Circle of Hell. He insulted me – just the normal amount he always did (and always does) – but on that day I couldn’t quite take it. And, I committed one of the cardinal sins of workplace unprofessionalism in his eyes. I cried. And, when he pointed out that I was committing that egregious sin, I only managed to stammer out that my sibling had nearly been lost from abuse by people licensed to take care of him, the 9th Circle of Hell didn’t care, and I had no clue how to find safety when the very people who were supposed to oversee this stuff were turning a blind eye. Instead of having the grace to stiffen up and grovel for my initial offense, I said more about myself, and admitting such additional “inappropriate” personal details required, apparently, that four-hour spontaneous meeting wherein I was further dehumanized and demoralized as he pretended that I was some sort of imbecile who had barely functioned at my job for the years I’d been there. 

Perhaps if I hadn’t already dealt (unsuccessfully, at that point) with the demons of the 9th Circle of Hell that day, I might have gathered my wits enough to challenge how – if I were truly so egregious an employee – I’d been marked highly by him at each of my past evaluations and had always received merit-based raises to boot. Perhaps if I’d not been treated so egregiously by the 9th Circle of Hell that day, I might also have had the foresight to record his own tirade such that – by the time I went on not-FMLA at the end of the month – I might have had that recording of his own meltdown as leverage to ensure he took me back. (Given he fired the rest of my office while I was on leave and his last words to me before I left were to “fix it in the next few weeks or you are no longer any use to the company,” that leverage probably would have been very reassuring, even though, as my regular readers know, I ultimately survived both Hell and my boss and was rated high-performing again at my last review of 2018.) Perhaps any one of those things might have gained me a bit of a handhold as my entire life crumbled around me last year and prevented this time of the year from now also becoming a traumaversary. But, I did none of those things last year.

I simply dissociated.  After I checked out of my own mind, my body was apparently able to parrot the right amount of kowtowing to appease my bully-of-a-boss and shut him up. I did enough not-imbecilic work in the next few weeks that when I finally asked for not-FMLA, he remembered why he’d hired me and offered it to me (albeit with those delightful parting words to terrify me on the way out…) I pretended I was fine, and – thanks to the miracle of dissociation – I absolutely believed this week wasn’t the one year anniversary of anything terrible until my own imbecilic mind betrayed me and I went hunting for why I have been feeling so re-traumatized lately. 

Dissociation was probably the only way out of that mid-June day that I didn’t-want-to-remember-that-I-remembered from last year. It is also, however, just as weird as any traumaversary. I said and did the right things to somehow set myself up as an employee worth granting not-FMLA to a few weeks later. I looked and behaved like a human – and a competent one at that. I just don’t happen to remember any of it. Thus, the weirdest thing I have now learned about trauma and dissociation in 2019 is that even I didn’t quite realize just how well I pretended to be human while taking leave of my brain temporarily in 2018.

In the process of attempting to work out why I have been so triggered this week, I discovered that – sometime during either the dehumanizing and the demoralizing that was that call with the 9th Circle of Hell and/or the dehumanizing and demoralizing that was my boss discovering I was upset by that phone call – I wrote a poem.

I. Wrote. A. Poem.

That is very weird. I clearly had to have written it in a very dissociated state, because – while I was lucid enough to record in my reality journal that I had been severely dissociated enough to have lost cohesive memory of portions of two events that day – I was not lucid enough to record anything in my reality journal about having written a poem. It’s definitely my poem in my handwriting in my locked leather journal that only I know the passcode. Yet, I’m the kind of person that is terrified to write poetry even in my locked journal because my own-bully-in-my-brain would still be able to find it. I must have seriously needed to distract myself with something else equally scary to have resorted to poetry to hold on to my pretended connection with humanity on that particular day in June 2018. I’m half terrified of just how much I clearly did to maintain my human mask while dissociated and half proud of just what all I accomplished even if I don’t remember it.

I would ordinarily be too terrified to ever share a poem I’d written – especially one that I clearly didn’t proofread as I didn’t remember it existed! – and I wouldn’t post Messages in a Bottle two weeks in a row. But, whether I like it or not these next few weeks all have the potential to be “surprise” traumaversaries for me, this year at least. I’d like them not to be traumaversaries forever. My fear of the internet’s response to some potentially bad poetry this week in 2019 is nothing compared to what I was dealing with this same week in 2018. I should celebrate that with a bit of fearlessness. That means reminding myself that I am safe in the “here” and “now” in 2019, and also that – even when I was trapped in Hell in 2018 – I was still resourceful enough to survive it (again.) If writing a poem was part of that survival, I probably should at least post that poem in commemoration.

A fair warning, though, that poetry written in a dissociative despondent state is not going to be full of rainbows and butterflies. Any readers who are sensitive to descriptions of feelings of hopelessness and depression might want to stop now while they are still just reading about reading a poem written in a dissociated state, instead of reading it!

For everyone else, enjoy my (untitled, because I was apparently not quite that thorough in my trance state) poem from 6/14/2018 below. I did cheat a little bit. I added the punctuation in post hoc because my original handwritten version had none.

Continue reading “Messages in a Bottle #14: If You’re a Poet and You Don’t Know It…”

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Blog Awards Series #6/Improv #17: They Say It’s Your Blog Award

ADHD Storytelling
<Image Text>: Non-ADHD Storytelling = start-of-story to end-of-story. ADHD storytelling= takes every detour and side tangent possible!

ADHD is known for “all or none” thinking, which also translates to “out of sight/out of mind.” It’s basically the reason our infamous desk piles are productive for us. If we put something away in a “safe spot,” we’re guaranteed never to look at it again!

The right amount of color in an organization scheme is similarly distinctive, but, if I color coded everything in my Passion Planner by its due date, as the true bullet journal fanatics will, then nothing would ever be urgent because everything was. In the end, I have two highlight colors only: blue for “due by end of the week,” yellow for “due by the first couple of days of the new week.”

Thanks to histrionicbutterfly of Life As Me, I was reminded of an obvious fact I had still managed to completely overlook: this kind of out-of-sight/out-of-mind” and “all-or-none” thinking can occasionally be neuroprotective. The easiest way to avoid difficulties from two masks falling off when trying to wear them simultaneously is to only ever wear one at a time in the first place! I sent my Partner off to entertain the grandparents-in-law and “revised” my call time extra early. Between not having to put on my “dealing with family is still scary” mask at all and the fact I am still photosensitive and can’t actually make out the audience behind the stage lights even when I want to, it felt like performing normally. I was happy with how the show turned out.

The only thing I was disappointed by in the show was that we didn’t get to play a game called Lyrics Only, which is exactly what it sounds like. Performers must run an entire scene speaking only in lyrics from songs as their answers. I love word games in Improv generally, but I am usually less fond of that one – not because I’m terrible at it in absolute terms, but because I’m terrible at it in relative terms.  The audience connects best with lyrics from popular songs, and my musical tastes run a few generations too old for my audience (and me, by my age alone.) The audience usually can tell they are lyrics but don’t quite know the songs to truly appreciate them because they can’t mentally sing along. However, since I usually have the lyrical stylings of someone’s grandmother, I was hoping that I’d get to trot out this “relative” strength the one time I had honest-to-goodness relatives of appropriate age to appreciate in the audience. Alas, it was not to be.

But, overall, things went well. However, “going well” still meant far more “peopling” than I am used to. I’ll write more next week, but for this week I claim the “peopled out” privilege. I also haven’t forgotten that this week remains the week of the b-word that shall not be named and also the one-year anniversary of the most recent reason why that date continues to live in infamy. I did seriously look into taking the advice of another blogger, Vixxy Rose of Crazy Little Things and renting a rage room to “celebrate” that fact, but it seems that the idea is too popular for its own good. The one that would be nearest to me is closed for the next few months while it remodels to accommodate the “unexpectedly high demand!” (Though, when it reopens, it will, I note, let me pay extra to smash some unwanted mementos of my own to my own custom playlist for a little extra. I briefly wondered what soundtrack could ever accompany the 9th Circle of Hell, then realized I had already unintentionally created one in the form of my Zombie Apocalypse playlist from last year.)

Since I can’t go apocalyptic on any remaining evidence of the last year, I guess I’ll fall back on another old standby for this week for when I want to be an introvert for a week but still post something  remain balanced during a frustrating anniversary. I’ll respond to a blog award! This week’s episode is graciously provided by justsaltwriter

Because I’ve got lyrics (or rather, the lack of the chance to enjoy them on either stage or smash) on the brain and also because the ADHD brain – in addition to being all-or-none – has a tendency to take a very generous interpretation of what qualifies as necessary and sufficient for appropriate storytelling, I’m going to answer all of the questions in the form of Lyrics Only. Why? Because a ) it’s my birthday blog award and b) I have expended more spoons than recently than usual trying to rein in my tangential ADHD storytelling tendencies to play tour guide in a way that doesn’t literally bounce between three centuries of colonial American history within five minutes – with a dash of subway sociology thrown in for good measure. I’m letting my tangential flag fly here in recompense.

Continue reading “Blog Awards Series #6/Improv #17: They Say It’s Your Blog Award”

What Game of Thrones Actually Promised

Content Warning: Massive, huge spoilers ahead for the most recent episode of HBO’s Game of Throne (Season 8, Episode 3’s The Long Night) below. Don’t read this post if you haven’t watched the episode and actually care about being spoiled. This isn’t an actual blog post with any meaning beyond enjoying speculating about the HBO series. There is no deeper message, so feel free to not read this if you don’t care about the series or would like to avoid spoilers. This post is just me sharing some random thoughts because I don’t participate in the Twitter or any other Game of Thrones fan communities, but I still feel like weighing in on the internet debate about last night’s episode.

How do hard core fans of TV shows, book/movie series, etc. feel about spoilers? Would they be upset to know the ending of their favorite show or does it make some more excited?
Warning: Thoughts on Game of Thrones’s The Long Night below contain many important spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Let me say upfront that I am totally cool with the whole idea of Azor Ahai/The Prince(ss) Who Was Promised prophecy just being malarkey. I am not a super fan of fate and destiny myself, as it skirts into dangerous “people deserve the good/bad things that happen to them somehow” territory. Also, I’ve been through some rough stuff in my own backstory, but I’m still waiting for any special Mary Sue powers (or at least a slot on the Avengers) to be offered up in recompense. As long as they fail to show up,  I will continue my longstanding practice of being annoyed with fantasy in general whenever “prophecies” are used as an easy way out and effectively spoil the plot of a book by being written so overtly that a clever reader can see the ending coming a mile away.  

The thing I loved most about A Song of Ice and Fire when I first read it way back when was that it set up prophecies as murky, unreliable things that also become fantastic catalysts for characters to make stupid (and in the Game of Thrones HBO adaptation with Shireen also full-scale evil) choices because a magic power vaguely hinted it was ok. I am actually ok with a gaggle of original (Daenerys), extra crispy (Jon, after both being resurrected by the Lord of Light and dodging icy fire with no official confirmation he inherited Targaryen fire-proofiness in the series last night from Viserion) and a few remaining potentially “secret sauce” (Tyrion, anyone, or maybe Varys, because why the heck not?) Targaryens revealing that good (in)breeding does not make for good tactics.

The D&D player in me also appreciates the destructive potential of a well-executed sneak attack roll and that – since nobody thought to roll arcana on those visions the Children showed Dany and Jon last season about the making of the Night King – it took that other D&D writing team in HBO’s post-show clarification to confirm the reason(s) Dany’s Dragonfire did diddly squat. a) The Night King wasn’t actually in the Godswood, where he had originally been made, at the time and b) It wasn’t dragon fire that made him in the first place, but a sacrifice by Valyrian steel and Dragonglass. It makes a sort of D&D (in both meanings) sense that it would take Valyrian steel in a Godswood to unmake him.

So, why was Arya not hidden in the Godswood the whole time, wearing the face of a generic Ironborn soldier for good effect, from the beginning? Because all the characters got so wrapped up in tropes and what they believed they were due to the point that they forgot about what was until it was almost too late. They didn’t leverage all their resources because that isn’t how epic fantasy works. I also like to envision that Melisandre’s near inability to light that fortification was the result of her rather teed off Lord of Light trying to beat it into her head to stop forcing the world to fit prophecy and shape prophecy to fit the world. Thus, when she later sees a trained assassin crying over another Lord of Light she finally pulls her own head out of her arse and thinks, “Oh, ok, that could work” and actually spins one of her own prophecies (reordering the list of eye colors and strategically emphasizing the blue) to retcon Arya into the hero she wanted once she finally saw her in action.

Thus, despite everything I am about to write, I actually appreciate the idea that, where prophecy failed, years of old-school training saved the day. I like the idea that Azor Ahai was an old-school GRRM Red Herring – or at least a D&D one – and that slavish adherence to it almost doomed everyone while a literal perfect assassin wasted her talents first on a wall and then in a library for 78 minutes.

But, I also enjoy puzzle games. Characters may not spend enough time algorithmically warping prophecies to fully exploit them, but it’s a kind of narrative puzzle game. I like puzzle games. And, since the Internet seems befuddled about how Arya could be Azor Ahai because she doesn’t fit some seemingly quite literal components of that prophecy, I feel the need to dramatically demonstrate how literally any prophecy can be made to fit literally any character in a series if desired. People get remarkably myopic about these things. And, I like messing around with the implications of words.

Thus – not because I actually want Arya to have been a prophesied anything, but just because I enjoy linguistic loopholes and the principle that prophecies, like data, can be tortured until they confess anything – here’s my take on how Arya really could have been foreshadowed as The Princess Who Was Promised all along. Simply because I have read multiple analyses of last night’s episode and so far everyone seems to agree that Arya can’t be Azor Ahai, and the prophecy can thus only either have been a Red Herring or in some way still include the Targaryens. I like playing Devil’s Advocate.

Per the internet’s round-up, the criteria for rebirth as Azor Ahai are as follows:

  1. Being Born After a Long Summer: This Arya fulfills directly. She – like all the Stark children including one who named his Direwolf Summer – was born in the last very long summer.
  2. Drawing Fire from a Burning Sword: Beric Dondarrion and his flaming sword perished saving Arya, and she noticeably grieved for him. Arya seemed lost for a moment after she was forced to literally run from her foes and be saved by someone else. Then, another fire priestess (aka Mel) gave her a pep talk about shutting blue eyes forever. Between the two of them, the Servants of Light effectively put the fire, er spark, back into Arya’s eyes that she could win. Thus, in her “dread hour,” she drew inner fire from a burning sword and the deeds of a couple of flaming idiots servants of light.
  3. Coming from Rhaella/Aerys’s Bloodline: Rhaella was the name of the Mad King’s wife. But, another Rhaella was also a granddaughter of Aegon the Conqueror in Fire and Blood, the Targaryen history and ASoIF prequel. That Rhaella was the twin sister of Aerea, who was the spunkiest of spunky princesses almost three hundred years before badass Arya was even born. Aerea even tried to claim Balerion the Black Dread and visited the East. Aerea’s story didn’t end happily, but her personality in childhood shared some similarities with Arya’s. Her name is also similar to Arya’s phonetically. And, it was rumored that Aerea and Rhaella were, at one point, switched at birth to keep them safe. Thus, the “Aerea” of famed headstrongness might actually have been Rhaella. Maybe this one was meant to be more of a similarity in metaphorical qualities than in literal bloodline.
  4. Born (or Reborn) in Salt and Smoke: Arya’s path to training was literally forged by paying passage across the salty sea to Essos to train at the House of Black and White with a coin and a phrase in High Valyrian. Her path was metaphorically forged by witnessing the Red Wedding, where Catelyn asked the bread and salt of guest rights and was still murdered alongside Rob Stark and his wife and unborn child. In the books, Catelyn is thrown into the Trident instead of cremated on it in a grotesque mockery of her native Tully funeral customs. Arya also retains – or maybe re-learns – some of her capacity to turn from pure revenge and remain human from the Hound, who himself was born into who he is by fire, and Arya herself was certainly around plenty of fire and smoke as Winterfell itself fell.
  5. Born under a Bleeding Star:  The single most transformative event of all of Game of Thrones was Ned’s beheading and display on the walls of the Red Keep. He was the expected, traditional fantasy “star” – the noble, honorable king who sacrificed himself for the realm. He was also GRRM’s epitome of why the just ruler will never survive to rule a harsh land like Westeros. Arya watched him die, and she hardened her heart and created her list to avenge the shining star of a man who had fathered her and taught her honor – and who, in a just world, would have ultimately become the King (and star of the series).
  6. Draws Lightbringer from the Heart of the One they Loved Most: As one obvious solution, Arya got the catspaw dagger from Bran. It had a ruby hilt. But, more metaphorically, Arya sacrificed avenging Winterfell and her own self to train as a Faceless Man. But, ultimately, she drew Needle from under a stone bridge and reclaimed the family she loved. Needle wasn’t what she used to kill the Night King, but the act of drawing Needle and returning to Westeros marked the conclusion of her “sacrifice” of herself and her taking up her weapons as an adult hero.
  7. Wakes Dragons from Stone: Jon gave Needle to Arya. And, Arya drew Needle from under the stones of a bridge by the canals to reclaim herself. Jon encouraged her sword training, and Jon actually believed in the books that Arya was the one married to Ramsay at Winterfell. Jon has always influenced Arya’s decisions – and Arya Jon’s decisions. It is possible that, at least in the books, “Arya” will literally be the cause of its version of the Battle of the Bastards and Jon’s eventual awakening as a Dragon later. In the HBO series, Arya is still one of the few who matters to Jon as much as Dany at this point. Arya reminds Jon in the Godswood that he is still a Stark. Yes, we now know that he is also a Dragon. But, he’s a Stark because of Lyanna just as much as he is a Dragon because of Rhaegar. And, it is notable that Jon told Dany the truth about his parentage while kneeling in reverence before the stone statue of Lyanna Stark in Winterfell’s crypt. So, maybe Arya will wake the Stark in him alongside the Dragon in the last three episodes when his conflicting loyalties much be tested…

Where’s Whoopsie #20: Snow Wrist

Career lessons for the chronically ill:

  1. Write out your routine in your planner, including basic self-care essentials like physical therapy and tracking water intake and medications, alongside your work deadlines. It’s a nice little shot of dopamine to cross off basic self-care tasks in your planner, and it helps with managing energy levels at work.
  2. But, write all appointments in pencil because life is unpredictable. Sometimes you will, for instance, have to reshuffle an entire week’s predictable routine of physical therapy, actual therapy, meals and the like to attend a beneficial career training. It helps if you can erase to adapt.
  3. If and when you willingly disrupt your usual daily work routine to attend an onsite continuing education training that will likely make you more desirable to positive unpredictabilities such as career advancement in the future, suck it up and ask to take notes on a laptop. Planners can be written out by hand. Course notes cannot. DO NOT try to take notes by hand with a pen for two hours. It can – and will – destroy your wrists.
  4. If you ignore the advice in #3 above, at least do not further compound the problem by then attempting to write a full blog post within 48 hours of failing at the above.

I am guilty of #3 this week, and my wrists and hands are screaming at me for it. I will attempt to take my own advice and not also be guilty of #4. Full blog posts will resume as soon as my joints have forgiven me for thinking I could still take hand-written notes this far along in a progressive diagnosis. I couldn’t take notes by hand even back when I was still in undergrad. I don’t know why I forgot that fact during professional training this week?

In the meantime, have a picture of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It is, after all, the reason (alongside Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and a bully-in-my-brain that still feels toxic shame over asking for accommodations like using a computer instead of just taking hand-written notes like everyone else. The Evil Queen has nothing on the bully in my own brain.) I should have just said I can’t handle hand-written note taking, even if the training did take place over a “working lunch” and most people were capable of balancing food in one hand and a notebook and pen in the other. I didn’t. Because toxic shame sucks…

See you all when I’m finished paying for that lack of self-advocacy. (The artwork, for anyone wondering, was created before the aforementioned overdoing it.)

EDS_WheresWhoopsie - Copy
<Image> The Evil Queen staring into her magic mirror. Magic mirror asks her whether she means the age a body looks or the age a body feels when she says “fairest,” as that distinction will affect its answer. In the second panel, a zebra’s ears are burning. The zebra wonders if it means someone is thinking about them or if it’s just a new symptom. <Image Text>: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: when your skin is as fair as Snow White, but the pain turns you into Grumpy Dwarf!

Need a recap of anything I’m talking about in any post? Check out the Glossary of Terms.

Improv #15: Twitterpated

*Knock knock*

“Who’s there”

“Hashtag”

“#who?”

“#whoknewTwitterwasoccassionallyuseful? Not me, at least not until today…”

I do not take the full – or even the half – advantage of social media that a blogger is supposed to, so I can’t actually add my contribution to the #AbledsAreWeird Twitterstorm on Twitter itself. I can say I have been laughing myself silly over that hashtag today. For any spoonie who hasn’t seen it, I highly advise you to check it out when you need a break from the world today.

Since I am not twitterpated by the idea of adding yet another form of social media for my poor ADHD brain to have to manage in general, I’ll add the contribution I would have tweeted if I bothered to maintain a Twitter presence for my blog here instead. (But, though I’m only posting here, seriously go check out the actual hashtag on Twitter too!) I will, though, at least conform to Twitter rules and keep my contribution to 280 characters:

Improv actor share:”Doc 1st thought symptoms were chronic, but thank God my infection was acute. How could I live w/pain forever? Life wouldn’t be worth living!”
Lav(next up w/visible cane):”I guess my share is I’m chronically ill & life is worth living? Kthanxbai”#AbledsAreWeird

Yes, that’s a true story, and from very recently. No, I have no idea what, if anything, I should do about it. The person who made the comment was just a student in a class with me. That class is now over. In principle, I won’t see them again? (I mean, it’s not like I’m going to choose to perform in an indie troupe with someone who’d speak like that when I’d previously shared that I occasionally require accommodations for the physical parts of improv because of my chronic illnesses and they still thought that was an appropriate way to phrase a weekly highlight…)

But, the instructor, who is a regular and very serious theater performer, also did not seem to get that there was anything amiss about that comment. This speaks to the broader complete cluelessness about spoonie sensitivity that the hashtag also makes apparent. There’s clearly a need for more awareness among the theater crowd about a) why a spoonie’s life is worth living, even with their chronic illnesses and b) why if an abled performer doesn’t happen to agree, they should still keep their big fat mouths shut about it since at least 1 in 4 of their audience members will also be living with some form of chronic physical or mental illness.

The theater has been encouraging “tough conversations” around diversity and women’s issues in the theater recently. So, it seems like it might be an appropriate time to point out that many performers – and audience members – are also members part of the largest minority group in America. It is just as critical to have “tough conversations” around how to speak about disability as it is to discuss how to speak about race, class, culture, religion and sexual orientation. I am getting really sick of even so-called Progressives managing to include just about every possible form of inclusiveness except disability in their sensitivity training. I’m also not really high enough up in the theater to know where to start to change the narrative, unfortunately…

Need a recap of anything I’m talking about in any post? Check out the Glossary of Terms.

Crushing it

Things that went through my mind in the process of composing this week’s blog post:

  1. To Partner: “We need more of those crushable baking potato chips that are not potato chips…”
  2. Hey, there is an entire site devoted to logging prior weather in the U.S.! Someone anticipated the deep-seated need of the ADHD community for a site to fact check them when they write, “Even though it seems hard to believe when we hit the 70s this week, we were in the 20s just last week” and they can’t perceive time well enough to remember if it really was “just last week” – or only felt like it.
  3. Good. My Partner added bread crumbs to our order.
  4. That historical weather site was probably intended for historical fiction. Solipsism is great in theory, but the idea that my mind shapes all of reality falls apart immediately upon being reminded that there is (still) no site to determine the actual word I am looking for from the random descriptions of my ADHD/brain-fogged mind. If the Internet were built around me, there would be. Ipso facto, my mind is not the only one that exists.
  5. To Partner: “You are right that if we order bread crumbs instead of making them, then they are not ‘crushable’ but ‘already crushed.’ Isn’t tense relative to the frame of reference though? By the frame of reference of the bread crumbs, the description is ‘already crushed.’ Potato chips don’t come pre-crushed. So, didn’t I use the correct tense for their frame of reference?”
  6. The moment an AI can obtain ‘bread crumbs’ from ‘crushable baking potato chips that are not potato chips’ – regardless of tense – is probably the moment we achieve the Singularity.
  7. This list of random thoughts is about to be longer than the rest of the blog post.
  8. This is also why my Partner and I crush games like Taboo and Heads Up. Maybe I should just go with that and make this post about how effective communication in relationships becomes even more convoluted with brain fog?
  9. I should still explain why I was originally looking up the weather last week to fact check myself, even though it seems kind of anti-climactic now to state that chronic illness and ADHD can lead to word-finding difficulties when I’ve clearly shown it.
  10. Wait, my original example works just as well as an example of effective communication with chronic illness! I can just relay the original conversation from last week’s cold snap that was intended to become a polished blog post verbatim! Crushing it.

Continue reading “Crushing it”

Trust in Mental Health Treatment #5/Where’s Whoopsie #19: Ire of the Storm

The reason I am awake at 4am is below. It is also, apparently, in the papers (or, at least, the digital online copies of the “papers” since it’s 2019 and I don’t remember what any dead-tree paper looks like outside of my intimidating sketchbook…)

I’ve been noticing an uptick recently in the number of media reports of horrible things happening in psychiatric inpatient facilities and other state-funded “care” facilities of various types. There probably hasn’t really been an uptick in the number of them happening, just an uptick in the number of them that I’m immediately aware of given that I now follow a number of blogs that share such things. Sadly, many of these blogs have shared them because the blogger was/is a patient of one of the facilities involved in the scandal, and they aren’t surprised by it. Or, the blogger has shared a personal story of a recent experience at the hands of the system to draw awareness to how even facilities that aren’t in the papers can still act humiliating and degrading towards their clients. These bloggers are trying to create awareness of the full range of mistreatment that occurs at such places via their own past and present experiences. To these bloggers, I’m very sorry for what you’ve experienced and very proud of you all for speaking up, often non-anonymously.

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Cohen Events

*Knock knock*

“Who’s there?”

“Orange.”

“Orange who?”

“Orange you glad Trump might finally be impeached as dictator of this Banana Republic?”

I’m berry sorry, everyone. My joke might be a bit green still, but here’s hoping the currant hints of corruption while in office from Cohen’s testimony do eventually ripen and bear fruit. Trump is definitely rotten to the core.

And on that grape thought….sweet dreams everybody! 😉

 

Improv #14: Sing the Moment

*Knock knock*

“Who’s there?”

“The Perfect Moment”

….

….

“The Perfect Moment who?”

“It’s too late. You already missed it.”

I could use this post to say something vaguely motivational like “feel the fear and do it away” or that it’s possible to “seize the day,” even with chronic physical or mental health challenges. I could use this post to talk about FOMO or the crash that occurs when the future calls in a lien on the present in payment for spoons borrowed against it. I could do any of those things, but I won’t. I may be the only guru I trust, but I only (mostly?) trust myself because I don’t attempt to say the kinds of motivational stuff even I can’t listen to without rolling my eyes. I still prefer snark over spirituality.

Also, I know that I couldn’t back those topics up if I tried. I mean, how could I plausibly talk about seizing a moment when I have no idea what a moment even feels like?

Did I ever mention that researchers out there have amassed evidence that, at heart, ADHD is a neurologic deficit in time perception? Our sense of time is non-neurotypical, to say the least, and totally gone at worst.

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