My Coping Mechanisms Were Overwhelmed

I don’t think I’ve ever had a week that has tested my coping mechanisms as much as this past one has. 2023 has been a rough year, but this past week has been a special brand of hell. Not only have I had to deal with a few incredibly stressful events such as cancelling a flight and booking a new one, confronting my body image and gender identity issues as I get fit for a suit and buy new clothing, and trying to ramp up my performance at work even more as projects get shuffled around and my timeline gets drastically reduced, but I’ve also been trying to juggle preparations for this trip I’m going on. I have dropped every single ball multiple times this week (or had it knocked out of my hands by circumstance) and, despite wanting nothing more than to crawl into a hole for twenty-four hours so I can rest and recover before cleaning up and trying again, I have had to carry on immediately. I honestly don’t think I’ve had a week where I’ve had to just suck it up and keep going when I’m this stressed and miserable since I moved out of my parents’ house.

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Being Anxious Saved Me From A Worse Disaster For Once

I’ve been busy with getting ready for a trip. I’ve known about the trip for a while, but with everything else going on this past year, I couldn’t afford to spend time and energy on trip preparations until this month. Now, as the final weeks count down, I’ve had to systematically prepare myself in a situation where I don’t really have that much room for delays or procrastination. Unless I wanted to give myself a truly awful final week before the trip, I needed to methodically work through everything in a timely manner. Thankfully, I’m good at getting organized, so it was incredibly easy to come up with a broad to-do list and then sort tasks into a day-by-day order that would still leave me with time to rest so I wasn’t burning myself out before the trip. Unfortunately, everything blew up pretty much immediately when I lost an entire day to discovering that my flights had changed and the agency I booked with not only hadn’t notified me, but didn’t even seem to be aware that anything had changed when I started digging into it.

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Infrared Isolation Will Return On April 8th

As a result of how busy I’ve been and how busy I expect to stay, I’m not even going to try to get a chapter of Infrared Isolation ready for any Saturday this month. I’ve got a two-week skip planned for the end of the month anyway, since I’ll be traveling and am planning to not update my blog at all while I’m on the road (though I expect I’ll have plenty to write about after my trip). So I’m just starting this now. Gonna save myself a whole lot of mental effort and strife, and do my best to get rested before I have to go on my first trip to Europe.

To be clear, there will be no new chapter posted on the 11th (today), the 18th, the 25th, or the 1st of April. Aside from today, there won’t even be a disclaimer post. I will post a reminder on the 27th not to expect anything new until the 3rd of April. I’ll actually focus on my vacation and what my friends and I are doing for once, instead of trying to keep this place going constantly.

On the 8th, though, I’ll have the next chapter queued up and ready to go. Until then, enjoy your weekends.

You’re Probably Going To See A Lot of “No New Infrared Isolation Chapter This Week” Posts This Month

Life is, once again, kicking my ass. I’d like to say that I listened to my friends for once and decided to take it easy rather than continue to work through the stress, exhaustion, and series of incredibly demoralizing events involved in the past five days, but I genuinely just have not had time or energy to do anything, no matter how much I’d like to. Work has been busy, life has had a series of unfortunate events for me (nothing emotionally destructive like most 2023 prior to last week, thankfully, but it has still been a lot to process and work through every. single. day.), and I’ve been struggling with depression again because of all that on top of returning sleep struggles. It has been a pretty miserable and unredeemable week only made manageable because I’ve been getting a sense of accomplishment (and utter mental/physical/emotional exhaustion) from my day job, so it’s been a bit easier to go without all the writing I normally do to get that.

Anyway, if I keep going too long here, it’ll turn into a full post and the whole “do less so I don’t hate myself, my life, and the entirety of creation” thing I’m trying to do will have failed, so I’m gonna go. Have a great weekend and get some rest. I’ll be doing my best to do that while also attending to the million other things I’ve got to do this month… No real rest for me until April, unfortunately. Who knew international travel took so much preparation?

Anxiety Is A Terrible Roommate

Some days, having anxiety is a lot like that moment in a movie where a dog starts barking about something and it is clear to the people around the dog that something is very wrong. The dog’s behavior makes in irrefuatably clear that there is a problem that needs to be corrected, but when that problem isn’t incredibly aparent, most people are at a loss for what they can do to handle whatever has caught the dog’s attention. There’s been jokes made for decades now about how people respond to a dog clearly attempting to communicate something when they don’t know what that is, everything from answering as if they know but without committing to an interpretation (“Yes, yes, I know”) to falling on popular media references from decades past (“What’s that, boy? Timmy fell down a well?”).

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Dark Days And Long, Sleepless Nights

As I was going through some notes, I realized it has been two and a half months since this one night where I was so stressed out that I wound up staying up all night. I wasn’t exactly well-rested going into that evening, but I thought I’d be able to handle it without too much of a problem given how frequently I used to be able to go without sleep. While I did, eventually, get through the day, it was not the simple but tiring experience I remembered. Much to my chagrin, given how much I relied on this ability to carry me through my bouts of insomnia, I have slowly but surely reached the age where I can’t function without any sleep. It is an unfortunate fact of getting older, but more unfortunate is that this loss hasn’t come with a corresponding increase in my body’s day-to-day demands for sleep. I still struggle to fall asleep just as much as I used to and the impacts of losing sleep seem to hit me harder. At least until it comes time to fall asleep, again. At that point, it pretty much counts for nothing.

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A Fresh Can of Whipped Stress and Chopped Anxiety on This Burnout Sundae

I’m really starting to think that I am, in fact, cursed. Every time I take a vacation from work, something happens immediately after that vacation ends that seems to completely destroy all of the rest I got while away from my job. This time, it didn’t even wait that long and then doubled-down. I had an anxiety attack that lasted a few days, wrecking my sleep for most of my second week away from work, and then, when I had finally recovered from that (so much as I can in less than a week) and went back to the office, I wound up with a whole pile of emotionally draining and difficult events scheduled within a thirty-two hour period. All of which felt incredibly trite and inconsequential after I learned of some awful news impacting a dear friend. The first two weeks of 2023 were one hell of a start to the year.

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Rhetorical Questions With Real Answers

Sometimes, when I sit down at my desk or stare at my blank daily checklist and ask myself what I hope to accomplish with my day, I have a pretty good idea of what the answer is. Most of my days are fairly routine, after all. The daily grind of exercise, work, and taking care of my needs (rest, food, etc) is the name of the game, most of the time. Some days bring a greater variety, of course, but not many. Those that do are rarely pleasant, these days, since variety frequently means needing to warp my schedule in one way or another, or needing to do something else that warps my day in a way I had not anticipated nor will I enjoy. Still, most of the time I know what’s going to happen in a day and most of my questions about what my goals are or what I am trying to do are rhetorical.

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Post-Nap Confusion And Peak Ambient Stress

I had the misfortune of taking a nap today. It was not a long one, thankfully, but I woke up from this accidental time jump incredibly disoriented and completely disconnected from reality. It fell at the cusp of my transition from work mode to post-work-writing mode, as I took a break to sit on my office’s couch. Since I’m working from home this week due to being under the weather and wanting to avoid spreading this respiratory bug around the office, I usually take some time to move away from my desk, do something else for a little bit, and then return to my desk. Since I’ve been ill and exhausted lately, I’ve barely had the energy to do anything after work and have thus developed the habit of just sitting down on my couch under a blanket while some music or a podcast plays and I sort through post ideas in my head.

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