seventhe: (Quistis/Rydia: Yeah I Ship It)

so i've talked here a lot about fibromyalgia, and stress, and energy and chronic fatigue, and the concept of overcharging on a credit card and then having to pay the balance and interest later; it's an analogy that feels pretty close to the experience, just another way to phrase the spoon theory. I've been managing this on a microscale for the last couple years: spend all my energy at work, push off the crash until i get home, have no energy to do anything; repeat. well, it turns out this happens on the macroscale as well, as i found out last week when i finally had the first part of the breakdown i've been holding off for four years running.

i took two days off of work to manage it - yeah, i haven't even been here a month and i'm taking vacation, but they know about my health problems and are v understanding - and it was ... just ... weird

it's very overwhelming when all the bullshit you've been suppressing for four years straight decides to come due and crash down on you all at once. and it isn't over -- you can't recover from four years in ten days, you just can't.

but that's where i am, and that's what is happening, and my partner and i had an incredibly pleasant lazy weekend and he also cleaned my entire kitchen (as in, exiled me to the couch to relax while he cleaned it, which did lead to a massive meltdown on my part, but worked eventually when i fell asleep on the couch) and we went to the farmer's market and bought delicious fresh local food and veggies and fruits, so i have good motivation to eat well and take care of myself this week.

i'm very wary of what else might be behind the (cracking, breaking) dam, waiting to flood me out, but ... if i could handle those four years, i can handle whatever backlash they're gonna dish out

seventhe: (Rosa/Rydia: got your back)

So I am having a hard time dealing with this celebrity death. Which is incredibly awkward for me, because I severely dislike celebrity culture in all of its forms and all of its cultures and find admiration of celebrities weird at best and dumb at worst --- and yet, with very little actual fannish involvement on my side, I -- find myself torn up on this one.

Part of it is that she was a brutal advocate for mental illness normalization and a firm voice for feminism against judgment and ownership of womens' bodies; and, in combination, my personalization and respect for that.

Part of it is as a child, with Star-Wars-fan parents, Princess Leia was one of few lady icons I was given that I could relate to and would choose to embody in play with my brother and friends. (Keep in mind I came up in the 80s, in a family who deliberately grew me fierce, angry, and (actual quote) "one tough broad"; does it surprise anyone that I drastically, spasmodically embraced Rosa and (especially) Rydia in the first video game I played where women were fierce and did damage?)

Part of it IS that childhood nostalgia, because (the) Star Wars (trilogy) was our "family night" backup movie in the case that no one would agree; this movie series is a fundamental arterial vein in the blood of my family and my own history and development.

Part of it is her amazing script writing talent, and her incredibly self-deprecating amazing writing, and the way both of those things knit into my own psyche.

and Part of it is that literally the day before, my partner and I were hanging with my parents post-Christmas, and they knew (despite the fact he's 18 years older than me) he'd never seen the trilogy: so we watched the whole thing in one day, fueled by pot roast and wine and whiskey and more wine, and family feeling. Lots of feeling. Even if he fell asleep during the third one because it is literally against the laws of physics to keep this man awake during any given movie.

and literally The Next Day we were out for a lunch with my parents before we drove back to Ohio, and I happened to pull up my text messages, and discovered Carrie had passed away that day in 2016.


I am now watching Clone Wars, the periodical cartoon, in her honor; no matter that Princess/General Leia did not even exist in this time frame; I needed something that was related but wasn't her face: something to respect without it making me more tied-in with this celebrity - a tie-in I already found awkward - and making my own reaction less dealable; I am watching Clone Wars.

And I appreciate it now: there is a young lady as the protagonist --- yes, Anakin is the protagonist, in many ways; but the story is told through Ahsoka, a young badass fucking amazing and powerful padawan lady, and

right now it is what I need, to remind myself that any genre can spit out a powerful lady if it feels compelled to -- and with the bar set to General Leia, I should never expect less.

what the fuck am i even saying

seventhe: (Ondore: he lies)

So over my brief microsabbatical I decided on a list of things I want to get done by the end of the year: thus, New Year's Resolutions, in reverse, ie my resolution is to have this done before the new year. See? Get it? It's like I'm clever instead of backwards and wrong!

  1. Get Healthy [metric: exercise 3+/wk; lose 10+ lb]
    Content note / Note this: being healthy and losing weight are not always the same thing! Health has a unique meaning to every individual body!
    That being said: for me getting healthy and knocking off weight go hand-in-hand at this point in time. From May-September I ate poorly, rested poorly, drank too much, drowned in stress, and had no time or motivation to work out at all. That plus medication changes has resulted in what is, for my body, unhealthy poundage.
    I miss swimming. I miss yoga. I don't miss running, fuck running, but I miss being able to run I guess? I miss punching my bag. I want to have Korra arms. And I have, quite reasonably, 10-20 lb I could lose before being even close to "danger". (Trust me, I'm a Taurus; we don't diet.)
    This is something I can make happen by 01 Jan 2016.

  2. Inhabitable basement [metric: obvious]
    Right now the basement is storage, which is part of what basements are for, but mine opens up to my patio (and grill, and fire chimney) and has a nice little area by the windows where friends could sit and drink wine and grill things. I've two drum sets in my basement and my keyboard, all of which I have been missing desperately. (I miss music! I dream about pianos.) My workout area is functional, but not at all welcoming. My laundry area could use some sprucing.
    Much of the storage is related to the above, which means I just need to sort it and work through it. A good part, however, is my grandmother's stuff. She finally passed away in August (I am not sure I even mentioned it here; I was too broken by it to do so) and I do not mind storing her things forever but need to go through them and decide which way makes sense.
    This is, also, quite doable by 2016, and having those areas back in my life will please me immensely.

  3. Shame room --> Craft room [metric: obvious]
    I want to turn my spare bedroom into a crafting room, to house sewing / knitting / beading / anything else I may start doing. Right now it's a shameful repository of clothes-to-be-donated and a few boxes from moving (not original boxes - these were empty boxes that were repacked with "shit i do not want to deal with rn" and hidden).

  4. Plan for the greatroom [metric: having an estimate / loan]
    I have plans in my head to redo my entire greatroom, which started with my neverending desire to replace the horribly stained carpet in there and grew into a really, really epic floor plan. I need to get it from my head onto the page, then find a contractor who can give me estimates on time / cost to make it happen. Why not? Houses are investments, and my cafe-bar thing will be incredible.

  5. Work-Life Balance [metric: ???]
    I need to prove to myself that I can, in fact, work the kind of job that pushes all of my success buttons without killing myself. The next 3 months will be busy, as always, but not deadly, so it's time to fucking do it. I still don't know how to make a metric for this; maybe I can use success on the other Resolution points, because they won't happen if I continue to use my energy on work.

  6. Mental Peace [metric: ???]
    I went back through some journal entries and I've been in a massive depression funk since early 2014. That's too long. It has started to severely affect my health and my job. I need to attack this. I realize depressions don't "go away" but I haven't tried anything really and I at least deserve an effort.

  7. Write Again [metric: get some word count] No real comments. I just miss writing.

I stopped there, since there are really only 3 months left in the year, and they will contain not only the major hols of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but also the birth of my newest niece or nephew, so I'm well aware that this is a lot to do in that time frame. (Obviously they won't need to be complete, but I work better with deadlines, even self-imposed ones. Better to not let myself cheat.)

There. Public posting makes it real, right?

seventhe: (chocobo: hey bb)
I come home from work every day with the intention of working more. I realize this sounds dangerously pathetic or pathetically dangerous - choose one! - but it's the way I get myself out the door: go home, just bring this one thing, NOT EVERYTHING, just this one thing; working from home is much more comfortable and productive than being in the office anyway, you can have no pants on and cats get in your lap and there is always wine and music and more comfortable chairs and your wife the hot pad! don't you love your wife? DON'T YOU LOVE YOUR WIFE SEVENTHE DON'T YOU

it's a fine compromise that I am actually more than willing to make: the workload never stops, but it's much nicer working from home, PLUS it's much nicer to come home and be able to focus and do a much better job on something. it's nice to come home to an hour of catching up on email, or 45 minutes of pulling data into a report: I don't work all night; it's just small individual tasks I can get done in a low-key and helpful way.

But lately. BUT LATELY: lately, I come home and my brain just won't focus on the work. I have this report about all of the kerfuddlefuckery that has taken my plant down for four weeks already that the CEO asked me to write and I am all yes sir please let me hand-deliver this horrible news to your office, shall I seal it in my blood now or later like I actually do want to write this report and show what we are doing, what we are fixing, what we are facing - what the dumb godsbefucked people before me left to us, what I have sacrificed the last fucking six weeks to defeating which is like running a thousand goddamn marathons all at once on three hours of shitty sleep because I have been up at night worrying about my plant and my people because everything is goddamn fucked right now and -- and anyway, I want to write this report. But I get home and I open it and my brain gives this long-ass, horrible groan-sigh noise just like : reeeeeeeally, Sev, we are going to do this?

I am not going that way. No.


I'm trying, I want to, I'm in a comfy chair with the laptop on my lap right now. Come on, fucker. I just need an hour of your energy and we'll be ok.

painful

Mar. 17th, 2014 08:42 am
seventhe: (SAZH)
Can we. please. have. mostly-constant. temperatures. More than five days in a row.

Lady Fibromyalgia-Arthritis Johnson thanks you.


In other nonsensible news, I may be considering signing up for a triathlon. A baby triathlon - sprint triathlon category: swim 0.5 mi, bike 15 mi, run 3.1 mi. I don't know why the prospect is so appealing -- it isn't like this body is running low on pain and exhaustion and thus has to pick up some more at the triathlon training store. This is a good idea, Sev, said no one. However, the thought of doing something stupid and violent appeals to me. It's cool.
seventhe: (Cats: I LIKE THEM)
This just in: still alive.

I'm not even going to get into work here because the things people have done to me and the things I have done to people in the last six weeks belong in a horror film. One about fire and brimstone and lots and lots of swears.

More importantly, I finally got in to see the rheumatologist. I'd delayed calling because I am a busy and forgetful fuck, and then when I called there was a 6-8 week lead time on appointments, but I've finally been in to see an expert. Diagnosis re-confirmed, it's fibromyalgia. There's also some general autoimmune-disease stuff going on in there, but Fibro is an absolute.

(With fibro, there are these "trigger tender points" that are part of the diagnosis process: for people with fibro there are certain points on the body where the nerves are hypersensitive, so a normal touch feels like someone punching you directly on a bruise. Things I wasn't prepared for. The doctor was doing his check-over and hit the one on the knee and I screamed. I've always just thought bodies were sensitive there. Things I wish I'd known years ago.)

So I'm being taken off the escitalopram (anxiety med) and put on Cymbalta. The Cymbalta should be able to take the place of the Lexapro with regards to anxiety, and additionally will help deal with the fibro pain and sensations. I do get to keep my trazodone -- you can pry that sleeping pill from my cold dead fingers.

I'm on a starter dose for now, which will be increased if/as needed, and if Cymbalta doesn't work Lyrica's next.

As part of the prescription, I've also been "prescribed" exercise. The doctor says that mild (no strenuous weightlifting or sprinting intervals) exercise will help the fibro and, even though it hurts, will also help the Cymbalta work -- basically adding some exercise activity will give the drug the best chance to be effective as time goes on. As I would really like (one of) these drugs to be successful, I'm going to go back to the gym and just be gentle with myself until/as the drugs start to work, and then go from there. I'm thinking of restarting yoga in addition to that.

I am sure it won't be easy, and adding something else to my to-do list and daily schedule is moving in the absolute wrong direction, but I'm at the point where I've needed a reminder that my health is important even though it's complicated to care for.
seventhe: (Cats: I LIKE THEM)
You may have noticed I seem to have vanished off of the map. This is because my new job is absolutely batshit fucking crazy. I think I've only posted like three times in all of July?, and I send far fewer text- and email- based daily communications than I used to (it's funny how long my phone battery lasts when I am not using it!), and this is because my new job is absolutely batshit fucking crazy.

There are days my employees catch me before I have even entered the building; I swear to god they're timing their smoke breaks since they know I pull in at 7:55am every morning, because they flag me down walking from my car to the door with whatever the day's update is. There are days I don't log into my own computer until 10; there are days I don't start my own actual work day until 4-5pm when everything else has calmed down. There have been evenings I am there until 6, 6:30 pm; there are nights I bring work home (tonight being one of them). There have been absolutely zero days where I leave at 4:45pm like I am supposed to. I use my mobile so much for work the company has started subsidizing it.

Did I mention things are absolutely batshit fucking crazy?

I have no time for anything anymore. I'm basically now working the same 10-hr days I was working beforehand, with added bonus 8+ days on Fridays. Becky is joking that I didn't actually get a raise, I'm now just being paid for epic overtime; it's actually truer than it should be.

It's a common joke among the management team (who I think I shall nickname after summons, because it pleases me to think of us all as a team of eidolons), because on those days where shit has been flying off the fan at intense and disastrous rates and we don't sit down at our own desks actually alone until 4:30pm it's actually nice to stay until 6:00pm because we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow but it's quiet now and we can focus. Ditto on Fridays; Fridays have become a blessing, the one day a week I know I will be minimally interrupted and can make a reasonable attempt to churn through all of the work I meant to do during the week and was pulled away from: 40 hours in one 8hr day, that's doable, right. Siren (the manager focused more on products and projects) and I mourn the loss of our ability to tell everyone to fuck off (Siren is also new to her position) and complain about the intense upkeep we need to do to stay targeted on our underperformers; Golem (the manager focused more on mechanical aspects) and I are already planning late-night office pizza parties as we are forced into a software update we weren't consulted on and weren't a part of but are still expected to launch into our maintenance program by some ridiculously unwieldy date like September. I am lucky to be surrounded by amazing people who understand and desperately want me to succeed (although in Golem's case I think that is mainly so that he can stop working on Saturdays); I adore them immensely, even as we all joke about using and abusing each other. (I, as Operations, am the cross-sectional point where Siren's research & development & troubleshooting projects intersect with Golem's preventative maintenance & plant improvement work; this makes my life difficult but also means that they both have to be nice to me, ha.)

I am overwhelmingly, bizzarely, incomprehensibly in love with this job.

This is what I was made for. I have already, after a month-and-change: dealt with a problem underperforming employee in a way that promises to either make progress or GTFO after basically 20 years of experience and 5+ years of not seeming able to do the job; sent nastygram after nastygram until the two worst communicators in the plant specifically come to me to let me know what they are doing before anyone else even knows; solved scheduling mishaps; yelled at the EPA; called our safety director's work stupid and dumb in the same meeting (although that was inadvertant and accidental), to her face (which I realize is tactless; here's the fucks I give, because incompetence is the match that lights this stubborn Taurean fire); defended my own employees against attacks and slander and bullshit they shouldn't have to put up with from other people and been specifically thanked for doing so; learnt how to buy things within our online file management system and promptly spent $300 on hard hats to play with; improved the attitude of a supervisor who has been a negative vendetta-hound for 8+ years; redone the old lab where I used to sit into what will be usable office cubicles (although I can't take full credit for that one); made my boss say the phrase "you are right, he/she/that is fucking clueless" half a dozen times; made my boss either grin maniacally or put his head down when I walk into his office; made my boss regret his decision to hire me probably four hundred times; made people actually run from me; made changes, made improvements, made an impact. I've revamped systems and redone OPSs and made demands of our alarm management system that no one has made until now. I've let out my inner asshole, my inner control freak, my inner perfectionist: they're all running around rampant making decisions and giving orders and frightening bystanders everywhere. I'm not sorry; I was not hired into this position to be good and play along.

I am absolutely loving it which is good because right now this is my only life, my highest priority, the shit I eat and breathe.

It will not last forever. I will not last forever in this: canceling PT because I have to stay until 6 because there's work due tomorrow, not scheduling doctor appointments because I don't have the time, not working on my thesis because fuck more work; this level of intensity will eventually fade as all of the plant becomes used to this position's existence and my presence. I will burn out, the initial activation energy will be met, the workload will become manageable even if I have to light half of it on fire. It's not forever.

But right now all things Sev are absolutely batshit fucking crazy, so please forgive me if I take a while to reply to an email or respond to a comment or do anything I have told you I would do because I am running on fumes and adrenaline and caffeine and stubbornness at the mo.



HOW ARE YOU ALL
seventhe: trowasfacewhen.com (Trowa: OH NO)
  • I am still in love with my sleeping pills. I've discovered through some trial and error that trazodone has a very narrow window of sleeping -- so my usual "get in bed and read/play games/whatever for 45 minutes" method does not work. Once I take that pill I've got 5-10 mins tops and if I get caught up and read through that drowsy couple minutes, I'm back to my usual looonnnnn-n-ngg-g-ggg ass falling-asleep time. Trazodone is apparently a picky mistress. I forgive it its quirks because it is so good to me.

  • I have solved my shorts dilemma - a shorts dilemma I may not have mentioned here; I hate shorts. Absolutely despise them. All ladies shorts I've tried - and I have tried quite a few - just don't fit right, don't look right on my body, make me feel many levels of uncomfortable: it isn't just an issue of how I look and feel while wearing them, uncomfortable in the sense ofoh god I look ridiculous, most are actually legitimately uncomfortable -- like help I cannot bend over, also when I sit down my thighs bulge at angles I didn't think skin could do and my ass sticks to what I am sitting on and also did I mention I cannot really move at all and I feel sweaty and sticky?. The problem is mainly that shorts are tight, and my thighs are ungracefully still built as if I'm running half marathons - even if that muscle has been replaced with pudding - and no matter what length the shorts feel like they are as tight as saran wrap and my legs look like sausages. I swear to god I have tried every style out there in the stores and I just went to wearing maxi skirts made out of the kind of fabric that feels like you're just wearing pajama bottoms even though you look ~fancy~.

    --- BUT THEN I FOUND THE ANSWER, and it is: DUDE SHORTS. They are comfortable as legitimate fuck, exactly the feel and convenience I was wanting, and since my "sense of style" is already kind of like "hobo bum that can't match things" anyway, they go with everything I have. I am legit so happy about these shorts I am blogging about them. Don't make fun. THEY ARE SO COMFORTABLE. I AM SO HAPPY. Today I was actually a normal temperature in the summer because I wasn't wearing jeans. HOW DID I NOT FIND THIS SOONER.

  • I have a lot to say about the new job but it would take up so much time. I have been there late 2/4 nights this week. I had to take Friday off because I was just so fucking behind on everything that I needed a day to lie in bed and then do four loads of laundry. (This is not a joke.) On Wednesday we had a massive storm front move through that flooded out a giant portion of the tank farm - complete with tornado warnings! We evacuated! - this is seriously the kind of thing that makes old hands at the job stress and die, and I had been there all of ten fucking days.

    I am exhausted. But I freaking love the job so far. It is -- it is a breath of fresh air to be actually doing things that will help people, even if they are so far the small things - "low hanging fruit" - and I'm probably going to feel underwater for the next three months before I get the hang of it all. I love the job; and I hate that I love it, because it is very tiring and all-encompassing. I get emails at 1am -- and sometimes I answer them when I get up to pee. But so far this was the right decision. I will not say a GOOD decision because I am so tired and burnt out on people I had to take a vacation day to wash my unmentionables -- but it was the right decision.

  • I'm now out of energy on this entry. Whoops. More later, then.
seventhe: (Rosa/Rydia: duality)
  • Apparently my new sleeping pills work so well that this week I've managed to pull my flat sheet out of the bed/mattress entirely; it sort of flops out from under my blanket and comforter (neither of which I need in Ohio's quest to become Louisiana) like a sad detached piece of fabric, drooping towards the floor and doing me absolutely no good at all. I am not complaining; I am not sure I have ever slept this well in my life. Is this how everyone sleeps? I am so envious - and so happy to be getting there via drug :D

  • My first three days in the new job have been... incredible. I mean that in a good way and a bad way. Each day has actually been packed with the feeling of being productive: being useful, being effective, being efficient; I'm already making small changes and contributing to things in a way I think we've needed for a very long time. I love that part. That being said: I've already got two HR issues - one being one of my guys; one being someone not technically under me but as it relates to something I need to sign off on, it's also mine - and I've spent the past three days literally not having more than 15 mins uninterrupted at my desk (in my new! office!!!!!!) between phone calls and visitors and meetings, oh god the meetings, and shit I have to take care of and deal with and uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh.
    I get the feeling that this job will be much more exhausting and much more fulfilling than my old job. Thank the lord I have sleeping pills. I cannot imagine taking this shit on with insomnia.

  • I went to PT today and then went for a 30min run/walk at the gym. Spoiler alert: That is too much activity when your body ain't used to doing anything. My neck and back hurt from PT; my legs hurt from running and I am tired as hell. (my body is crying, druuuuuuuuuuuuuug me) I am so fucking goddamn out of shape. :( I love the fact that I can get in the pool and swim for 30 mins and get out of the pool raring for more, saying to myself, "You shouldn't overdo it, ~1300 yards in 30mins is a good workout, don't break yourself further, take it easy" -- and I cannot run more than, like, 5 mins without needing a walking break. I now run like an 80-year-old woman. Hello, I would like to return this body and upgrade to a newer model, please.

  • Have I mentioned I love my night pills? I love my night pills.

  • In the last ~month I have been both home and home on time less than 50% of the days: it's more like 33%. I am so sick of people. Next weekend I may lock myself in the basement and not come out.

  • Happy 4th of July, American yos. Enjoy some awesome fucking fireworks.

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