hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
My GP surgery rejected my request for more birth control pills and took it off repeat. The receptionists didn't know why when I came in to pick up the prescription and they say I have to see a doctor about it. I can't even have a phone-call appointment for a week.

I woke up with cramps, they're not too bad yet but I'm scared they'll get worse. I remember what they used to be like. But even more than physical effects, I had terrible emotional dysregulation without hormonal contraception. Andrew can testify that at least once a month I'd keep us both awake all night crying.

So it's probably not doing my tendency to burst into tears lately any good either! Here I thought it was just the stress of a badly-designed project whose deadline is a few days away (which I know has made classmates cry) or the job interview I'm totally unprepared for (I have dressy clothes somewhere but I'm going to have to find them!) or the neverending churn of stress, anger, fear and frustration that I go through every time I think about Brexit!

That would be enough. But let's have my hormones in turmoil too eh? That sounds great.
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My computer crashes every time I try to do a pivot table. So I can't follow along in the tutorials where we learn how to do the data analysis. So I am confused and frustrated.

And somehow it seems even more unfair that this is for a big project due on the 29th of March, Brexit day.

After the second week of a totally baffling and thus terrifying tutorial, I went to the library ocmputers that have magnification software and tried to follow through the worksheet with that. I really didn't have the spoons to go from one of those things to the other, but I only had an hour before my tutor's office hours and if I couldn't understand it or do it, I had to know in time to be able to go and ask her.

It turned out I did manage okay. I still don't understnad why I put which feature in which bit of the pivot table (I think this comes down to my haziness on independent vs. dependent variables still), but at least when I follow the examples it looks like it should. I need to remind myself how to do a chi-square test too, but that doesn't need to be today.

Yesterday was the most scared I've ever been of a no-deal Brexit, but today isn't actually much better. Even the petition thiat's giving people the only sense of a voice they've had in this shitstorm for almost three years -- so starved are we for some actual democracy that we're following the numbers on the petition as if they're our own heartbeat.

A sympathetic friend, on hearing about my uni project deadline, said "Sorry but nothing should be due on Brexit Day. Business as usual is entirely inappropriate." It already feels inappropriate. Everything from going to the shop to making plans for any date in the future to looking forward to even the most innocuous things like baseball season starting is so fraught it's exhausting.

And with nothing at all that seems uncomplicatedly good in my life (not even baseball? not dogs? (yeah because I'm worried about food and medicine for them too), my mental health is in tatters. I know there are people who are just ignoring it, but I have never been able to be one of them. Brexit has contributed to disordered eating. I'm having nightmares and anxiety attacks because of it. The vote is the reason Andrew gives for his mental health reaching the point that he had to quit his job, sending our microworld into chaos the same time the macro one was for the whole country.

I was thinking about all this on the bus home, and when when I got home someone shared an article about how Ichiro finally has to retire. She said, getting teary about Ichiro, it's fine, Ichiro forever. And I did too, but honestly less for him, amazing as he is (And he is: "Already half-out of the batter’s box, as he connected with his inimitable slap swing. Wildly rounding third as he went first-to-home on a double. In right field, making the frozen-rope throw to third that never stopped catching runners by surprise, no matter how many times they’d seen it.") But because Ichiro makes me think of my brother, because a 45-year-old baseball player is a link between the world I live in now and the world Chris knew about. A year ago I realized this, and I finished that will "Now I'm going to be sad when he retires." I was not wrong. But it had to be today I found out?

All the tears I hadn't been crying all day made their appearance then.

But! If you're like me and will feel better if you're doing something, [personal profile] kaberett has e-mailed their MP to encourage them to support revoking Article 50, and has kindly shared the text of that e-mail in case others would find it helpful not to be starting from a blank page. I know I do.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
There's a picture of some text that I've seen shared many times on Facebook, which shows how relatable my friends group finds it. It goes:
Hi. Sorry I haven't texted you back I've been anxious and depressed. I haven't had time to catch my breath, you know how life gets. I am so drained I can't even collect the energy for the most menial of tasks. Iike texting you back or washing the one dish in the sink. The weather has been beautiful, right? Yesterday I fought off a panic attack while I was driving. I had to pull over because my vision was blurred. I focused on how blue the sky was. I haven't washed my hair in three days. I just want to sleep all the time but if l told you you would want to uncover a reason behind all of this and there is no tangible reason you would accept as valid. How are you? I hope well. Let's get dinner soon!
I look at the entry I'm trying to write for today, a day when I wouldn't have written anything if I wasn't determined to blog every day this year, and I feel like it has both the crossed out parts and the other stuff together.

I thought it'd be good to blog every day to get some idea of how I'm spending my days, of the ephemeral things so soon forgotten otherwise. But some days, like today, there isn't anything to say about what I did, no clever anecdotes, I haven't even read anything to share. I tried to write that superficial stuff and it came out all wrong. I don't feel like I'm expressing myself well at all today. I tried adding the crossings-out and it finally made sense:

I can hear the wind howling outside. It's been cold and drizzly today. I didn't have a lot of fun waiting for the bus home (there's no shelter, and I finished work with 20 minutes to wait until the bus was due).

I walked to Asda afterward because we needed dog food. Andrew saw me come home with two bags and laughed. I said I'm just buying two of things these days. He reckons no-deal Brexit, i.e. the one where there's no food or medicine, is less likely now but I don't remember the details that convinced him of this because I only let him talk to me about politics for about two minutes a day before the panic rises (so no comments on the subject please). I'm already having nightmares and anxiety attacks. Friday was bad because it was March and March 2019 had been held over us like a threat for two years, so I wasn't coping very well with the fact that it was now real.

I bought snacks for myself because I feel rubbish so of course I only had junk food for lunch. I started some laundry and then slept for three hours. I've been awake another hour but I'm still so tired. My depression is so, so bad lately. I woke up with the dog snuggled up next to me. I was lying on my side and he was stretched out along my spine, the smallest big spoon in the world. I love it when he does that: it is the most comforting feeling.

54/365

Feb. 23rd, 2019 10:37 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I woke up early thinking I could catch up on lots of reading for uni, I could do all the dishes, I even had time to go to the gym if I wanted!

And then I played games on my phone and watched old familiar TV and barely got myself fed and dressed in time to go to Brighouse for games night.

Not much to report today.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Today I cried when I got on the bus to uni, which means near the end of Week 2 of this semester, I'd estimate I'm at about a Week 8 level of stress.

The crying was because the bus driver stopped for me, which was a damn good thing because I hadn't spotted it was finally my bus, after waiting a very long time in very cold rain with a lot of buses I didn't want zooming by me even though they're all supposed to stop. I'd already determined that if my 197 didn't stop I'd have to go home and miss the seminar for the class where it's really bad to miss seminars. But then the driver did what he should and I was so grateful (even though he'd just done his job, it's so rare; it's been months since this happened, so my instinctive reaction is still what it would be for an extraordinary kindness), and I started to warm up from the wind and icy rain I'd been stuck in, and water started falling out of my eyes.

I need to carve out some time and spoons to deal with a backlog of disability-related shenanigans. That's what's piling on the stress. I just don't know where to start.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
The homework for this class is still making me cry a little. Last week and this week.

I hate crying but I'm too stressed not to: it's too much work to do, and I'll never know which four tutorials to ask for as part of my grade.

I never did ask if I could have as a disability accommodation the four best chosen for me but I guess maybe I should. It wouldn't fix the problem of me still not being very good at this, but it would take away the biggest part of my frantic anxiety.

Gloom

Oct. 15th, 2018 11:32 am
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I know the after-effects of Saturday night's anxiety attack were still with me yesterday -- I found myself a little nervous to be getting a bus to work, even though it's a different bus a different stop, and I've had pretty good experiences in that situation. Then the bus was late and I got wobbly about it where before I would've just been fed up.

And today, I started crying in my first lecture because I was so overwhelmed by all the stuff I couldn't see -- this lecturer doesn't use slides so I don't get recordings of her lectures, and it's an incredibly complicated and abstract subject so I feel totally lost in all the syntactic trees scrawled on the whiteboard, with important differences marked only by subscripts and that kind of thing. This subject is totally new to me and it's clear my classmates are confused at times too but I just feel so intimidated and in-over-my-head that...well apparently that I had to cry. A little, silently, so no one noticed but me. But it was halfway through the lecture so it was really tough to stick around.

I did though and just about managed to talk to my lecturer about it at the end. This was overdue anyway: she was away last week or I'd have done it then. She was surprised to hear I'm not getting lecture recordings and is going to look into that, and has offered to meet up with me once a week to talk with me about what's been covered in the lecture.

So it'll be fine. I just was not feeling assertive or extroverted enough to have that conversation just then, but I didn't want to wait and do it by email so I just had to suck it up and chase her at the end of the lecture. And I'm glad I did.

It's exhausting, though. I'm starving but still too tired to get my lunch out of my bag and eat it before my next class. (That kind of thing has been happening a lot lately too: both buying/making food and eating it have proven such insurmountable challenges lately that I'm having to force myself to do them. With variabke success.)

I am just feeling particularly disabled today, because I have been -- by the lectures, by the buses, by my screenreading software not reading a single goddam pdf so far this academic year -- and I'm upset and tired and resentful.

Sleep

Jul. 25th, 2018 09:04 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I slept for three and a half hours this afternoon and I still fell like shit. It was all I could do to drag myself out of bed to eat dinner and I didn't even have to make it or anything.

I have been having a lot of naps and not sleeping well at night lately but even by my usual standards this is ridiculous. I'm not getting anything done after work lately. I'm stepping over laundry to get to and from the bed. I told myself I'd finish my long-overdue Kickstarter book over the summer and I've hardly even looked at it.

ARGH

Jun. 13th, 2018 02:24 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
So, my laptop was taken away to get one of the assistive software things fixed.

I just got it back, and all they did was reinstall Windows.

All my documents, except a couple I needed for that last exam I was studying for, are gone. I know I should0've been better at backing them up but still. A warning that this might happen would have been nice!

All my settings are gone. I can't get the screenreader to stop talking to me, which is much more a hindrance than a benefit to me. I don't remember how I got the free-download-of-Microsoft-Office because that was done with the training bod here. I will have to try finding the printer drivers, which was done by the guy who set up the laptop in the first place when it was brought here in December.

I know I don't need the documents, the notes I so carefully transcribed, the PDFs made accessible to me any more...but I wanted them. I'm really upset not to have them. I'm upset my computer is much less usable now than it had been when it was taken away.

I'm having a bad mental health day/week/etc anyway, so this has left me a bit teary and sniffly and I'm really mad about that.

And I still need to tidy the spare room, make the bed, and do a million more things before my parents get here tomorrow. When all I want to do is curl up and sleep.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I am going to see Hamilton in a month. [personal profile] po8crg bought tickets for his birthday and I'm one of the people he's taking with him. Which is so nice and like everyone we had tickets forever so have had lots of time to get excited.

And I was excited, until people started going. One of the first, a wheelchair user I followed on Twitter, gave a rather disappointing access report of the venue. Other friends started going and talked about how much it adds to see the performance we've been listening to for years: there's a whole character who doesn't speak so we didn't know he was there, apparently? And lots of clever stuff with what's happening physically and how that interacts with the lyrics/story/etc.

At some point, [personal profile] po8crg and Andrew and I got talking about audio description. Richard said he'd checked and there isn't any. I know on Broadway Hamilton got audio description because of a lawsuit. On a second's reflection, it makes sense that they couldn't use the same audio for a whole nother production in London, but I guess it hadn't occurred to me. Richard's investigations indicated that the London production wasn't likely to have AD for a year or so, long after we were going to see it.

It's made me really sad now when I read friends talk about how much the visual experience added for them, because I know that isn't going to happen for me.

And for a few weeks now, since the last time someone mentioned something like this [note, friends: this is not something you should feel bad about mentioning! it's good and true and I'm so happy that you're all having such fun at Hamilton], I've been increasingly upset about going myself. I told Andrew a little while ago that I didn't want to go any more. Because, if I just don't go, I'm having the same experience as everyone else who hasn't seen it; I'm listening to the same music. If I do go (when I do go), I'm getting less. It's not the experience my friends are getting, and everyone else is getting, and I was really upset about that for a while.

Andrew said I'll be fine when I get there, and I've nodded along because that's what I've told him about loads of things and that's probably what I'd tell me if I weren't me. I've been trying to shake this feeling off, to blame it on deferred stress or misery from university. That is certainly going to be part of it. And yet, it's still intruding, unbidden, on my thoughts almost every day.

I hate it because it's making it harder for me to be happy for my friends (I have like one or two a week mentioning on social media that they're going, it seems), because I have to brace myself for the possibility that they might (totally innocently!) say something that reminds me of this and makes me sad. I want to be better at being happy for my friends and I certainly want to be happy for me, or at least stop dreading something I am supposed to be looking forward to.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Can't remember if I've talked about this before but shit, buying a birthday present for my mom can suck.

I'm mad at myself because I've left this too late: I was browsing the university gift shop the other day to find something to get my dad for Christmas, and I saw a coffee mug there that I think she'd have liked but didn't have my shit together enough to buy/post it then (this was Wednesday when I turned up to uni an hour early because I am officially an idiot) and even if I had it might already have gotten there late. Of course now here present's going to get there late because we're not going to pay as much again as it costs in shipping. But only a few days and I think she'll be fine about that; I just feel shit about it. It's not like I've forgotten her birthday, it's just...well, like the tweet says, "gestures vaguely at everything"...

This is a bad time of year anyway, for my mom and me (and maybe my dad too but there's no way of ever finding that out). Her birthday is ten days before the anniversary of Chris dying so it's a nice way I can do something for her without calling attention to why I might be extra inclined to be nice right now. We don't talk a lot about Chris or the day any more, but there's this underlying tension and melancholy until we get Thanksgiving out of the way (or the date itself, whichever is later...this is a perfect year because they're not on the same day, which my mom particularly hates, but they're also not like a week apart which...well she also particularly hates; pretty understandably in both cases I guess).

So I really feel like I owe her good presents these days, anyway; I don't want to just phone something in -- so to speak, though that's of course what it feels like I'm doing because I'm so goddam far away!

Anyway, if you search somewhere like Amazon for, like "mom gifts" or something, you get a few "funny" things: coasters that say "Don't fuck up Mom's table" would be hilarious for a mom like, say, [personal profile] mother_bones (who has the same birthday as my mom! but so little else in common with her that I'd be hard-pressed to believe in astrology!) but not for my mom...or coffee mugs that say things like "You're such a good mom for putting up with a bratty, spoiled, messy, difficult, etc.etc. child like my sibling!" And a few other "I'm your favorite kid" style of things which are so inappropriate for my family I feel like I've been punched in the chest just thinking about them.

Andrew was filtering through the dross and said he'd screened out tons of "the best moms get promoted to grandma" kind of stuff, which, again, thanks universe, holy fuck. It's a minefield. And especially this time of year.

And especially with living in a country that doesn't even have Thanksgiving to keep Christmas from appearing right after Halloween; I'd read this twitter thread just before, which is so sweet but it's about missing your parents in a particular way which seems exacerbated by Obligatory Present Buying Season. And then at the end of the thread someone comments who went to the school that the beloved and missed dad was headteacher at and it's like a damn Hallmark Channel movie...

I didn't cry when I read it, but I cried when I was trying to buy a present for my mom because of it. My go-to present used to be to get her a gift card for one of my parents' favorite restaurants because I wanted to take her out to eat for her birthday and couldn't be there to do it -- my parents love going out for meals and it was a feature of my childhood that they made us, every Sunday, even though my brother and I hated it and now of course now going out for a meal is my go-to treat too -- but it's too sad to get something so fleeting when I'm so fleeting myself. I get her little things she can keep around her nice house and think of me (maybe) when she dusts them every week. I am very glad my parents are with me so I can imagine these things and buy these presents, but being so far away feels like a tiny echo, a shadow, of what it sounds like to have lost a parent.

This year she's getting a candle in her favorite scent that says "Home is where mom is," which is the only thing I found on seemingly the whole internet which is terribly twee but also happens to be what I really believe.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Been a strange, nerve-jangly sort of day.

I missed a lecture because there were no fucking buses for 40 minutes. I know I could've turned up late but I was all wound up by then, and I can catch up because the lectures and slides are recorded.

We got the orange sun around lunchtime, it's clear and sunny here now (though still with particles of dust in the air hurting my eyes) but it's gone down south where a million more people are tweeting about it, and a million freaked-out status updates on Facebook and bad-joke tweets haven't helped somehow. That we feel such a sense of impending doom at such a minor change in the quality of the light makes it easy to see why humans had to invent religion.

I didn't feel doomy but I was also pretty sure it was something to do with the hurricane, and the hurricane is because of climate change and that make terrified and so miserable. My anxious brain told me "One day we'll look back on these as the good old days, weather-wise," because my anxious brain hates me.

I slept awfully last night. Went to bed early, woke up after midnight and didnt get back to sleep until five in the morning.

Andrew emailed while I was out saying the washing machine is broken, he thinks he can fix it but I'll need to help. But when I got back home he's out, so I'm sitting here writing this instead. I hope the washing machine's okay, we can't afford it not to be. Don't know where he is, but I think he was going to buy food. And I thought of something on my way home that I wanted but I forgot to tell him to get.

The people next door are having building work done on their house, and the loud whine of the drills makes it hard to concentrate or relax.

I need a hug or a cry or a sleep or a vacation. But none of those things seem like they'd be enough really.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Dealing with immigration bureaucracy is still exhausting. Maybe first thing in the morning wasn't the best idea. But the passport and naturalization certificate I'd sent to the student loans people arrived soon after I woke up (the certificate in one of those "do not bend" envelopes, so in better shape than they got it!) and since I had to go to the post office anyway I figured I'd ask if they had passport applications and they did. So when I got home I thought I might as well start in in it.

And it's fine, but it's occasioned a big discussion on Facebook where I said
Applying for a British passport as a foreign-born person with foreign parents is like a test in How Much Do You Love Your Family.

Not only do I need to remember what town my parents were born in (which I only know because I needed that for citizenship), I need to find out my GRANDPARENTS' place of birth, date of birth, and date of marriage?! Good thing my parents were going to Skype me today anyway because I could only guess at most of those! Three of my grandparents aren't even around to ask!

And I can't remember how to spell my mom's middle name. Worst daughter. Well, I think I do but there's nothing like a form to make you second-guess yourself!
The comments are sympathetic and thoughtful because I know good people, but also reminded me of new ways this could be fraught.

Then I had to get new passport photos taken, because none of the money I've spent on passport-size passport-style photographs in the last year or so will do for the current set of restrictions. I hate that they now require glasses wearers not to wear their glasses, because the only way to get me to be facing the right away without them ends up being to have a man, a stranger, put his hands on my face.

It wasn't too bad today, but it reminded me of the time I had to get biometric data collected for my citizenship application, when the photos were done by some horrible automated computer process in a claustrophobic booth. And I kept getting told off for the photo coming up wrong. I was there with my white cane and everything but the staff were busy and I guess just didn't notice or didn't know what to do with me. It took ages and still ended up with a man touching my face and I felt really shitty afterward.

I went to Levy market afterward, because it's near the photo shop and because I had the vague sense that I had been Good and deserved a treat. I ran into a couple of people I know which was nice but the market just seemed overpriced rubbish which is probably at least as much a reflection on me as on it! I usually enjoy it.

I went to the Asian supermarket on the way home because I wanted some halloumi but they didn't have any! I asked Andrew to see if there was a film or concert or anything we fancied going to tonight, but there really isn't.

And now I'm sitting here thinking I should make some food but needing to do dishes first and that's all I get for a treat today, it looks like!

Hang-ups

Jul. 28th, 2017 03:06 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
When I mentioned not wanting to go out (again) in the torrential downpour, in a Facebook post about making plans for this evening, someone left a chirpy comment about how I chose to live in Manchester and it rains a lot in the UK, especially Manchester....

...I got so mad I wrote a comment about how picking the one where I could have healthcare didn't seem like much of a choice. But they probably won't have seen it because I deleted the whole post, without even really realizing that's what I was doing, immediately after.

Yeah, I guess I have been a bit touchy lately, particularly on the subject of not feeling like I have much control over my life.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Acting like a stereotypical depressed person today. Still in my pajamas, spent way too much time on twitter, only eaten pizza and chocolate today. Strangely, none of that's helped!

But in the last hour or so I walked the dog, did the smallest bit of tidying, talked to Andrew about some of the stuff that's bugging me. So this evening has been slightly better than today.

(I also found that gmail is a dick: a scary e-mail I thought I sent a whole week ago (saying "I cannot continue volunteering with this thing any more because it's too stressful I need to concentrate on looking for paid work" (well, they're both true...)) didn't fucking send so I've sent it now but have to stress again for a while about every new e-mail I get. Because yay, anxiety making me avoid confrontation.)

Bleh

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:48 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
It would be nice to have one goddam day with no nap needed in the evening, no anxiety attack in the wee hours, no debilitating headache...

Yesterday was anxiety attack in the middle of the night again. Today was blinding headache so I was in bed by eight o'clock (I'm awake again now to tell you this because somebody thought 11:30 on a Tuesday night was a good time to set off fireworks that sounded like they were right outside my bedroom window).

Something every day. Seems kind of crazy I'm trying to find work again, when these symptoms are worse than they've been in years.

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