Dark Mornings and Depression Coping Mechanisms

I’ve been struggling to stick to a schedule lately. Well, specifically to the timing part of it. I’ve still done all of my stuff every day, I just haven’t really been doing it on what I would call my preferred timetable. Which has had the unfortunate side-effect of really disrupting my sleep schedule, bedtime patterns, and mental well-being. It’s a complex issue since there are a few reasons for it, most of which are valid and difficult to argue with, and all of the problems I’ve encountered exist only in the practical application of this altered daily schedule rather than the on-paper version I’ve been trying to argue with this entire time. It has been going on for a month or more at this point and the roots of it can be traced back even further, but now I’ve taken the time I need to work through the actual problems and have arrived at a proposed solution that might just work for me.

Continue reading

Midweek Check-In

This upcoming weekend is my first weekend off in what feels like months. It has been long enough since I’ve had a weekend without commitments that I would have to carefully backtrack to figure out when it was and I’m currently too tired to do that, which means it has definitely been a while. I also technically don’t have zero commitment this weekend, either, because I’ve got three or four tabletop things planned (four if my Friday group meets), for a grant total about ten hours of tabletop gaming. More than half of which I’m running. Plus, most of my “relaxation” plans for this weekend are about cleaning my apartment since I haven’t had a chance to do much of that lately. Not that I’m living in filth or anything. My kitchen is clean and my bathroom is as clean as most bathrooms ever get, but it’s been a long while since I’ve done anything other than spot dusting and vacuuming. So I’ve got a lot more going on than pure relaxation this weekend.

Continue reading

I Am So Tired But Will Not Stop To Rest

After some initial bumpiness that involved scheduling sessions 3 weeks out, the Dungeons and Dragons campaign that used to be my Sunday game is now sorta back on track. It’s only been a coupla sessions of more regular playing, but it seems like it having the flexibility to schedule around busy weekend days should get us up from once every three and a half-ish weeks to every other week on average. Maybe a little less frequent than that, but not by much. I would enjoy that, even if it would be exhausting and stressful to be running that campaign on top of whatever winds up taking place weekly on Sundays, not to mention the Friday game I run or play in (it alternates irregularly these days), my coworker game on every second or third Tuesday, and the game I play in on Thursdays. And that doesn’t even mention my busy work schedule with my job, my non-tabletop roleplaying game obligations, and the endless labor that goes into being an adult with a household I must maintain. Honestly, as I look to the future (especially in light of the work news we all got today that makes it look like I might wind up doing more overtime than ever), I feel myself already growing tired and exhausted.

Continue reading

August, My Least Favorite Month, Is Finally Over

One more week in the bank as I trudge through a spate of incredibly draining and difficult weeks with the hope of some kind of peace and rest on the horizon. The exact kind is to be determined still, from where I’m writing this (nor do I expect to have any answers soon), given the on-going health issues I’m dealing with on top of the work-related stress, world-related stress, and constant pandemic stress. I don’t know what things are going to look like once this flurry of activity has come to an end. It’s difficult to tell from the middle of things, especially given that I’m partway through a bunch of medical tests, none of which indicate that this is going to be a temporary issue if I’m reading the supporting documentation correctly. I, of course, could be wrong, but since I have to wait to speak with one or more doctors and then get one or more additional tests before I know anything, all I can do now is speculate. Which isn’t super helpful for me, but I’m grasping at straws and unsure of what else to grasp at.

Continue reading

Eyes, Teeth, and Insomnia! Oh My!

My eye problems came back again. After four or five months of being symptom-free as I work my way through the “maintenance” mode of my on-going care, they finally came back. In the other eye, this time. Feels pretty exhausting for my usual symptoms to be showing up in a new eye, despite all of the care I’m taking to prevent the issue in the first place. Most of my treatments work for both eyes, with the exception of the eyedrops I’ve been using, so the progression has been much slower than previous iterations, which means I’ve been able to take better notes about the symptoms. That, combined with the slight variations in how the issue is presenting itself in a new eye, means my doctor has some new ideas about what might be causing it and what we can do about it.

Continue reading

Progress Takes Effort, Which Kinda Sucks

The longer that 2022 goes on, the more I see how my mood on any given day is effected by more factors than I could ever account for. I’ve been working to get into better habits this year and while I’ve made some progress, I don’t feel like my average mood has gotten any better. I feel more productive for sure, but I also feel more tired. No matter what I do, I seem to always wind up trading one thing for something else and making almost no net change to how I’m feeling. For instance, I recently changed my wake-up playlist to music that engenders positive feelings in me, but now I’m having a more difficult time feeling awake and alert because the old songs did an incredibly job of rousing me as the playlist played through. I’m getting out of bed later than usual, but I do feel a bit better in the mornings.

Continue reading

The Slow, Onerous Grind of Change

(Another brief reminder that I write these a week ahead of time and while I hope nothing drastic has happened since I wrote this, it might not be an immediate reflection of the day it gets posted).

The past few days have been exhausting. Reeling from all of the expected but still devasting decisions by those sitting atop the judicial branch of the US government, I still had to go grocery shopping, clean my apartment, make myself meals, do laundry, and navigating a draining social situation that was one of my biggest anxieties which I’d been coping with by telling myself it would never happen. Because it’s not like my life grinds to a halt the instant something terrible happens in the world. I still need to pay bills, feed myself, maintain some kind of social connections, and take care of myself even when I’m trying to figure out how I can respond to the horrible things happening in the world around me.

Continue reading

The Perils of Creative Expression

I’ve been working on a new poem (goes up tomorrow). I got a draft done pretty quickly, forty-five lines across three pairs of stanzas, lots of nice imagery, all of that in about twenty-five minutes. I had a super clear image, a theme to work with, and a form that rapdily emerged from the way the thing arranged itself in my head. Not my fastest work, but still pretty good for a first draft. I spent another five minutes over the rest of the day reading it and making small adjustments and then sent it off to a reader for a quick review. I was expecting a comment about the end, that it would feel very abrupt or like it shouldn’t have been the end, and that’s the comment I got back. See, I had more I wanted to say, but I couldn’t find a way to say it, so I tried to wrap it up there. After all, not everything needs to go into one poem. But clearly it was missing something, so I decided I’d spend some time today to work on it.

Continue reading

Taking A Moment For Perspective

I was taking a break at work, sitting in my chair and mindlessly flipping between email accounts on my phone so I could feel like I got something done (clean out my email inboxes) without needing to really do much (all I really get are ads these days), because I was too exhausted to engage with even something as simple as a sudoku puzzle. After I ran out of inboxes to clean, I decided to text a friend a simple complaint about being exhausted and not knowing why, given that I’ve actually been getting decent sleep this week. As we talked and I went from that general statement to considering the specifics of my past few days, I realized that I should actually be very proud of myself for only being this exhausted. All of the stress of the last two months hasn’t actually gone away, I’ve just adjusted to carrying it and started getting enough sleep that I’m not so tired in the morning that I need to spend two hours convincing myself to get out of bed.

Continue reading

I’ve Been Practicing Taking Breaks

While I know that I am the source of most of the pressure I feel to be productive and to do most of the stuff on my to-do list in a timely manner, I can’t help but feel like it is easier to find better ways to work than to address the monumental issue that is how much of my self-worth is derived by being productive. Nothing highlights this more than times like right now, as I’m working on catching up with everything I didn’t do for the full week I was feeling exhausted and out of it due to sleep deprivation and stress caught in a horrible feedback loop that is taking me multiple weekends to break out of. I have a simply massive task list since I wrote down everything as it came up last week (I’m pretty good at recognizing that my memory is going to be faulty once I reach a certain level of exhaustion), and it has been a struggle to ride the fine line between productivity and rest. After all, it won’t do me any good if I get a lot done in one day but wind up tiring myself out so that I’m useless again the day or two after that.

Continue reading