Posts in category "Random"

quiet revolution

Depression has added an extra cost to everything I do. Something as simple as buying groceries means making sure my energy levels are carefully paced for a few days before I leave the house, and being too burned out to do any form of interaction for a few days after. If something goes wrong during the process — a night of poor sleep, a sick cat, a loss of motivation, a colitis flare-up — and I run out of spoons, the problems cascade and I end up having to cancel my plans.

That’s why I choose to spend time with people who understand what it truly costs me to function; they happen to be the ones who are consistently reliable, very understanding if I have to cancel, and put as much effort into maintaining the relationship as I do.1

Heather portrait

Heather started tapering off her dose of venlafaxine cause she feels stable enough to take the risk2, and wants to start working without the associated mental haze. Even though music is still a joyless experience, the fact that she’s getting excited about Halloween again is a sign that she’s finally healing.

She doesn’t mind carrying more emotional labour (and I remain willfully ignorant, for the time being), cause she knows I’m playing life on hard mode. My job is to make sure she feels appreciated for doing more than her fair share. The crises we’ve been weathering together since we met means our honeymoon phase was cut short, but neither of us mind, cause intimacy is what we were missing for so long.3

self portrait at 35

The fact that it takes me fewer days be to comfortable around anyone when my insecurities get the better of me means I’m gaining some small form of equanimity. I still have moments when I feel too damaged to be happy, too worthless to be loved, or too broken to be fixed, but it takes me less time to realign my perceptions with reality. The lows aren’t as debilitatingly deep either.

I’ve been using the momentum to take small steps out of my comfort zone; spending more time in difficult situations, learning to be emotionally vulnerable, exploring new ways of expressing myself4, processing parts of the past I’ve tried my best to forget. Even though I’m anxious to feel normal again, I’m forced to recognize my limitations and keep myself paced. I know I’m not where I want to be, but I’m moving in the right direction. That’s enough to keep me going for now.

  1. Also, perhaps not-coincidentally, usually people who have deal with some form of depression or chronic illness in their lives. []
  2. I still have no idea whether mine are keeping me afloat, but the fact that I don’t suffer any side-effects means I’ll be on them for the foreseeable future. []
  3. Finding my underwear washed and folded one day — a responsibility I’ve never shared with any girlfriend — gave me the weirdest boner. []
  4. The only luxury purchase for me this year has been an Impact LX-49 MIDI controller. []

Troon, from Knomo

My Canon 5D Mark II has been a faithful companion for five years. It’s followed me on even the most mundane trips, as I wanted to be sure no experience was lost in the years where I found myself growing beyond the furthest plans I’d made. However, it’s remained tucked away in the closet for the last while, as part of an effort to more mindful of each moment; moments that may be lost when I’m finding the right angle or waiting for the right scene.

As a result, the trusty LowePro Fastpack I used to take everywhere — with space enough for a camera body, three lenses, and an assortment of odds and ends — no longer fit my lifestyle and needs. Fortunately, I was given a chance to try out Knomo’s Troon messenger bag, and discovered it’s the perfect fit for my new journeys.

Knomo Troon messenger bag

Continue reading “Troon, from Knomo”…

lessons learned on the path to awakening

Order matters. Timing is important. It’s helpful to arrive at the point where things can only get better, but losing everything takes time. Making mistakes is okay. Being unable to cope is okay. Not being ready to say it back is okay. Life is a balance between holding on and letting go. Some people should never have children. You’re only over someone when you don’t need to make a conscious effort to stop thinking about them. The first step in taking responsibility for your needs is communicating those needs.

cat

Cats are little bundles of non-judgmental, unassuming, food-conditional love.

I need to be with listeners more than talkers. A day spent writing letters that will never be read isn’t a waste. Some people don’t know how to help, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. It’s important to make peace with one’s suffering. You never stop growing with the right people in your life. She never loved me more than the words I wrote. The last thing I want is to be ignored when I open up. It’s okay when friends prioritize their kids before me. It’s okay to prioritize myself before anyone else. Always be mindful of long hair when cuddling.

Foxhole party

There are people who love me enough to save my life (and pants are optional at their parties).

The ones with a little bit of darkness to them tend to be more interesting. If a guy in a suit is cute like me, that means I’m cute like him. Lisa is my third cat and that’s enough for now. I deserve to be happy. A bad trip doesn’t necessarily mean a bad experience. Strength is often quiet, receptive determination, rather than chest-thumping pushiness. Being kind to difficult people is just as important as being kind to benefactors and friends; being kind to myself is most important of all.

thousand-yard stare

Heather G left a package outside my door after trying to make plans and getting what must have been a distant answer. Organic herbal tea, 80% dark chocolate truffles, and not only sushi from my favourite restaurant, but my favourite kinds too. She knows me extraordinarily well for a person I barely get a chance to see, and she cares so much even though she has no idea what I’m going through. It’s helped me realize that some people are better at being what you need, that you can’t expect every person to fill all the roles in your life. I’m also trying to figure out what those needs are right now, and how to express those needs to others (or how hard it is for me to express them).

It always takes me a while to recover from these kinds of weeks, and this one was particularly difficult. When the cops showed up, I pulled the whole Drexl Spivey thing and ate my Chinese, carried on like I ain’t got a care in the world. I know what they need to hear, especially the second time around, and what’s more, I know that nothing they say will make a difference.

Everything has left me feeling numb and overstimulated. Almost all the hours are spent in Far Cry 3 with a bolt-action suppressed Z93, wasting time and lives in appropriate portions. Losing myself in that world and not getting anything productive done at all was an easy decision. I know I deserve to be okay for a little while, and we all deal with our damage in different ways.