Remote Control

Image: Toothbrush says “Sometimes I feel that I have the worst job in the world!” Toilet paper thinks in reply, “Ya…right!”

If a bully-of-a-boss screams in an office, and there is no Lavender around to hear it, can he still control her amygdalar fear response?

We’re about to find out.

I am now a 100% remote employee?!

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Heavy Subject Matter (Pt. 1: Mentally Heavy)

CW: This title was meant to be humorous, but what I wrote initially didn’t end up humorous. The title became both a play on words and not one simultaneously. I did what I did the last time I tried to write about one thing but ended up writing about another. I split the post. The parts where I reference things going on with a family member may not be suitable for those who are vulnerable in their mental health to read at this time. Feel free to skip this post if necessary. There is a Pt. 2 that reflects the more banal slice of life to follow. I’ve mentioned before that I am experienced at living with the dichotomies, so both parts of the post are simultaneously true. I’m both having a rough time and still myself, you know? I still struggle one night and go to Improv another. It’s how I (mostly) maintain my mental health. I don’t apologize for that self-care. (I don’t. The bully-in-my-brain doesn’t technically apologize for the humor part. Just for the rough part. A$$hole.)

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Lack of Selfiesteem

I love winter because I can plausibly claim scarves as a fashion accessory. I don’t have to face the overwhelm that is shopping with ADHD or planning coherent outfits in the morning with low blood pressure. I can wear seemingly infinite permutations of plain black or brown work pants, button-down blouses and vaguely stylish scarves that I can buy from the comfort of my computer. If I could wear scarves indoors year round, I might actually have a viable personal brand!

We were spared the brunt of a full nor’easter, but we did still have snow on the ground this week. With temperatures hovering around freezing in the first full week of Spring, I’ve enjoyed the guilty pleasure of an extra week of wearing scarves instead of having to think about what I’m doing with my work attire.

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Improv #5: Meta-Analysis

Image result for I rarely have a thought by itself ADHD
Source (as best I can tell): GAGfm

This post was supposed to be about physicality in Improv. It was also supposed to be titled The Body Keeps the Score. It is neither of those things because it turns out even a girl with ADHD can’t truly have an original thought. My brain can’t stay inside the box, but it certainly can stay within the bounds of the total accumulation of all of the centuries of human thought. Unless the author is writing in their native cuneiform, even the next Great American novel will most likely share overarching plot themes with thousands of other plot elements throughout history – and that’s okay!

As my new Improv teacher describes it: “You remember that movie about that guy and that girl? And they seemed like they were good together and you thought they’d get together? Then something happened, and they didn’t get together – but then they did and it was okay? What was that called?” There is nothing original under the sun, and we’re encouraged in Improv to tap into universality for comedic effect. Improv encourages us to mine tv tropes for concepts to explore in a pinch.

Realizing I’m not that original after all is why this post is no longer about physicality in Improv, which was the topic of the first session of the next series of classes that I finally started this week, but is instead about the use of call-backs, Chekhov’s gun and strategic use of Breaking of the Fourth Wall to meta-analyze my own motivations for talking about physicality in Improv (and/or life) instead of exploring physicality in Improv (and/or life.)

It’s also a good example of why you should never look a gift call-back in the mouth, of what stream of what unedited stream-of-consciousness ADHD thinking looks like, and, of course, of pressing the punchline in general.

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Rejecting My Diagnoses: Am I Really a Spoonie?

I have ADHD, PTSD, and anxiety. I also have chronic migraines, IBS, food allergies, and I’ve been getting poked and prodded more than normal recently because my physical symptoms may or may not have changed in a way that warrants an additional diagnosis (we shall see). Thinking too hard about myself as a “spoonie” – or sometimes trying to practice self-care in the ways recommended – often embarrasses me and triggers RSD. I’m not ashamed of any of these diagnoses themselves, per se. (I am especially not ashamed of the idea that people with mental health challenges or learning disabilities are “spoonies.” It is a huge pet peeve of mine when people say that people with these challenges aren’t “spoonies.” Just no, readers. Mental health counts on this blog!) I know that invisible illnesses are not an indication there is something wrong with me. I know they are real, even if others don’t always accept what they cannot see.

However, if I’m honest, I’m ashamed to admit to myself that I have most of them because I don’t feel like I “have it bad enough” in the severity of any of them to justify when one or more of these diagnoses causes complications or a bad day. I am the staunchest advocate for invisible illnesses in general, but I know I still don’t always know how to apply that advocacy to myself. To someone – anyone – else, yes, absolutely. Just not me.

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