Just some stuff

It’s better to write something than nothing. It doesn’t have to be a groundbreaking book tonight. This helps me wind down for bed.

I had a positive experience of coming out to my DBT class as trans and in a same-gender relationship. I’m glad I did. In early posts, I mentioned how it was holding me back from expressing myself. Everyone was really nice about it, including the instructor. That was a relief. I went for the first time today with everyone knowing, and it just felt right.

I’m still dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety. I react to anxiety lately by sleeping. I know that probably sounds weird but it’s true. It’s a way of putting off my stress. Everyday things cause me tremendous anxiety. Today I was proud of myself because I biked to downtown, which is a good 30-45 minute bike ride from our house. I think I am going to try it again tomorrow and hopefully it’ll be less rainy.

Working at GC has been sporadic. I struggle with getting bored and overwhelmed, which usually feel intermingled. I am trying to just stay in the moment and focus. This week has been weird though because of Joey’s schedule shifting, and blah blah blah. The point is I haven’t worked much this week. Which is making me feel this nagging guilt, which is really not necessary.

I started a new anti-depressant which is really slow to start. My psychiatrist is hopeful it will give me a mood boost though, which would be….great. I also ordered a date book because I’ve been feeling really lost in time without one. When that arrives it will be a relief.

Something I’ve been thinking about is closeness. It relates somewhat to what we are covering in DBT (interpersonal effectiveness). I’ve been trying to be more open to my partner, and hopefully other people soon too. I sometimes have expected it to be a one way street– what I mean is, I’ve been upset because I “don’t feel close,” and I tell him this and it seems to just get worse. I’m working on instead accepting the feeling as my own, and trying to instigate activities to be close, and be more present when we are together and a better listener.

 

A life worth living, pt. 4

I was at a group for addiction and PTSD recovery this week. We had to come up with a word. We started with lemon, and said it aloud enough times until it was just sounds. Then we were supposed to choose a judgmental word and do the same. Consequently, I found myself repeating the phrase “Loser,” over and over again. It then became, in our minds, “I am a ___” In my case, loser. We were supposed to overcome it, or see that it was just a word. I guess it’s stuck with me though.

That was the first word I thought of. It was immediate. “I am a loser.”

Evidence: I am in mental health recovery. I am in substance abuse recovery. I wear sweatpants a lot (Caveat: my boyfriend says they are stylish sweatpants). I’ve gained weight. I was a stoner. I have no money or income. I find cooking meals, doing the dishes and going to the grocery store to be daunting tasks.

I have put a lot of pressure on myself to accomplish external things. I haven’t been successful in any conventional sense as an adult. The closest I came was when I was working at the library in Syracuse, as well as working on CNY for Solidarity. I am also proud that I self-published four books. The first three especially were accomplishments. I got some recognition for my writing, in the past. And I travelled many places to give readings.

But lately, I feel… like a loser. More than ever. I want to challenge this, rather than dwell in it. Often, I find writing in the third person and past tense helps. Watch this.

That was the first word he thought of. It was immediate. “I am a loser. “

Evidence: He was in mental health and substance abuse recovery. He wore sweatpants a lot (Caveat: his boyfriend said they were stylish sweatpants). He’d gained weight. He had no money or income. He found cooking meals, doing the dishes, and going to the grocery store to be daunting tasks.

He had never been successful as an adult, in any traditional sense. He was a writer, and had some success and acknowledgement for the books he’s self-published: mostly fictionalized accounts of his own life…

OK it’s getting too meta 😊

Really though, I almost am finding this guy charming, and I feel for him. I guess in that sense, writing fiction is more therapeutic than memoir. If fiction is third person and past tense, conventionally. I need to keep this in mind. Who knows, maybe that will be the answer to my next novel.

The day I did nothing.

Today is already difficult. It’s 8:49 AM and I don’t have plans. I’ll be spending the day alone. I tried working a bit on my novel over coffee, but it feels very strained. My interest isn’t there. I have a number of creative projects in my queue that I don’t feel like doing. I want something new.

It’s at least sunny. I struggle worse on days without sunlight. The trees are bare, but from where I’m sitting, I can see a bird nest. The light is refreshing. November through February are hard in upstate New York. I’m trying to appreciate the sunlight, rather than wish I were somewhere else.

And so, I decided today would be the day I did nothing and to try to feel good about it. It was nearly impossible to feel all that good. I spent most the day sleeping, after picking up the apartment. I read over some of my literature for my mental health-related classes, particularly DBT. “Today,” I thought, “I will just observe.” My legs were sore from walking around Ithaca so much lately anyway. I noted colors of things. I stood outside and practiced 4-point breathing.

The most that can be said about today is I haven’t gotten really upset over anything. So there is the silver lining I suppose.

A trip to Oakland, depression, etc.

I feel depressed. It’s annoying. I feel like I should be in a good mood, because things are going fine. Better than fine. Last night was the Oakland Queer Open Mic. It was a really good event, and I played two songs and read a short except of one of my essays. I’ll be back next week as a featured artist, reading, selling, and signing my books.

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A photo from the Oakland Queer Open Mic (credit unknown)

In a couple days, I’ll be a featured reader at the San Francisco Queer Open Mic. I’ve wanted to do this for a while.

For some reason, no matter how many events I do or things I publish or whatever, I feel disconnected and empty.

I’m traveling. I have a great boyfriend. I have great cats. My books are being read. I’m not stuck in Syracuse. I take antidepressants. Why aren’t I happy?

Sorry, I suppose it would be more interesting to hear something else. But this is how I currently feel. I’m trying to get through it anyway and do things to take care of myself. It’s funny, when I don’t have any readings going on, I feel unsuccessful and mopey. When I do, I feel like I just gotta get through them.

I’m going to try to fix this. I need to look at what I’ve done in the past and apply it to the present. Otherwise this just spirals.

It’s difficult.

Until next week. Hopefully I cheer up. Meanwhile, we’re still in Manteca, at the RV park. I’m going to try to seriously work on fixing this negative thinking in the morning. I want to be more open to people. I just don’t honestly know how. Even if I see people and try to socialize, there’s this wall. I need to examine that.