zetasyanthis: (Default)
This is a small update, but I figured I'd toss it on here rather than try chaining things on twitter endlessly. :)

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I just attended my local OFA (organizing for action) group, chaired by the head of the local democratic club. 3x city council members were there, as were a couple folks from the board of education. Three awesome speakers too, talking about a nearby republican district, running a campaign, and mental health.
 
Oh... And I actually chimed in at the end re: the last speaker's talk, which involved mental health, and got no less than five "Are you going to run for office?" XD That, and an invitation to go canvassing and a "You should totally sign up for this fellowship!" from the head of the group. XD
 
Guess talking about empathy is a thing! XD

Nero

May. 7th, 2017 05:26 pm
zetasyanthis: (Default)
CW: Violence, Anxiety, Depression
 
Time for another weird one. (Feel free to blame The History of Rome podcast, which I've been re-listening to over the last week. Or, if you want to go meta, feel free to blame my anxiety, which has been spinning out of control the last couple weeks and demanding constant unhealthy input leading to re-listening to The History of Rome podcast?) Anyways, here's a weird one. It's going to be a mix of my typical status blogs, and a bit of unexpected empathy yet again. Think something in the vein of Orlando.
 
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Anxiety has been beating the fuck out of me lately. >.< I've had a few good days, but quite a lot more bad ones, and even though I'm making major progress in my therapy as of late, I'm just about ready to collapse. >.< From shame about my sexuality and very identity to depression that won't let me feel anything at all in the last two days, it just keeps coming. It feels like I'm being physically hammered on, as though someone is trying to break me with iron when they couldn't break me with tears. >.<
 
(Author's note: Yes, I am getting better, but it just doesn't feel like it right now. >.<)
 
Therapy on Thursday this week was particularly bad, and I was actually unable to get unstuck when we went searching through my past. (My therapist performs EMDR, meaning we go back and reprocess things, then return to the present.) In many ways, I'm still stuck there today, and it doesn't feel very good. >.< [VIOLENCE WARNING] I'm still lying there bleeding on the cold concrete floor, crying in a pool of my own blood and vomit, stab wounds oozing from my back, unable to do anything else but die. I'm still freezing, unable to see past the pain and tears, everything so, so dark. >.<
 
And so when I found an unexpected feeling of empathy yesterday, it really really shocked me. Because I wasn't the only one hurt, pressed into a life I only ever hated, and that ripped my soul apart. I wasn't the only one who wished she could hide from all the world, her music the only thing that kept her going. And you know what? I'd have made a terrible emperor too.
 
I feel very much like a dragon who's had her wings ripped off, and is bleeding out despite her best attempts. And it *hurts*. >.<
 
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(Author's note: It feels out of place putting this here, but I know I'll be asked if I don't say. No, as far as I can recall, I've never been physically abused, but apparently that doesn't stop my dreams from ripping me apart. >.<)
zetasyanthis: (Default)
I've had a hell of a lot of depressing journals as of late, and since I'm having a really good day, I think it's probably important that I take a moment to be present with that and acknowledge the progress that I have made. Important too is acknowledging those of you who have helped me make it as far as I have.

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I am lucky to be here at all. ...and I don't know how the hell I made it this far. The more I learn about where I'm at now, the more I can recognize that my brain has been genuinely trying to kill me for longer than I can even remember. The pain that shines through my journals isn't even the half of it, as I keep finding more and more every time I dig into another layer. And yeah... just like you'd expect, the deeper you delve, the darker it gets. And it's getting pretty dark. :S

I wrote on Twitter yesterday that, "I'm pretty sure anxiety has driven almost every major decision I have made in my life." And the more I think about it, the more devastatingly true that statement is. They're not *all* like that, but everything from schools to careers, and yes, even founding a convention was been driven first and foremost by anxiety. And I didn't even know it... I convinced myself my choices were driven by something else because I had no word for what I was experiencing. I have that word now, and it's good that I can see that, I guess... but it still hurts to even look. >.<

Quick note: I'm not suggesting that all the choices were bad ones, just that the reasoning I convinced myself to believe was not the actual reason. Some ended up working out very well, but it still hurts to know how crippled those choices really were.

With that recognition comes an added burden, which is just straight-up not knowing how to function without anxiety as a primary driver. No, it's not gone (or even more than dented), but trying to wrap my mind around the concept of making choices without that pressure is like asking my to draw a 5-dimensional object. It's frighteningly complex, and very, very alien.

And so we come to a request... If you're a friend to me, and you see anxiety driving something I'm doing, can you try to tell me? I know that's asking a lot, especially since I have a suspicion that I'm not going to end up handling that that well... but I could really use the help. >.< It's not an exaggeration to say that if anxiety is making the decision, I am not.

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Back to progress...

How to describe this... Though it's still marginal, anxiety eating the vast majority of my mental energy, I *have* been having more safe time than ever before. Gentle evenings spent with Dakota have done their part, as have dinners with friends (Goldkin) and other loved ones (Solei). Even some silly mid-rain car maintenance had its part this week, and I am thankful for all of it. <3 So many amazing moments together have made this week a wonder in my eyes, and I am so damned lucky to have all of you.

Really quick, though, I have to highlight one thing this week that led up to today, though. He's a little red and gold dragon that now shares my bed. His tag says 'Legend', and the little runt looks adorably grumpy from one angle, and really happy from another. (No wonder cats and dragons seem related! XD) Safety tokens have great importance to me, as I have so few of them... and that one really meant a lot. Thank you, Solei.

So what have I learned from all of this?

I'm learning is that my default state, sans anxiety, is love. And I *could* *not* be happier with that answer. <3 It is an answer I have dreamed of my entire life, a nightmare and a hope that I could not bear... I can now. Because I am no longer alone... and never will be again.

And so this morning... I put my collar on. For the first time since December I am whole again. So powerful was that moment that it felt as though the leather had bonded with my skin... and in that heartbeat, I felt scales.

My name is Zeta Syanthis, and I come back to you now... at the turn of the tide.
zetasyanthis: (Default)
I guess I'm writing a status update?

Basically, I don't know how to find peace with this, and I really, really need it.

Needs:

 1. I can't sit around like this forever not knowing what to do about it. I need closure.
 2. I need their presence in my life dramatically reduced, if not eliminated.

What are the options?

 1. Let it drift without doing anything.
   - See need 1 above.
 2. Just cut off communication, declare them effectively dead.
   - Likely to result in a flurry of contact attempts, and pissing off my sisters.
 3. Break of the relationship officially, but without a real explanation.
   - I don't trust my ability to not be pushed into explaining.
 4. Break of the relationship officially, with explanation.
   - I don't have the energy to properly communicate with them about this.
   - Could I try to summon it? What happened last time I did?
   - Don't be an idiot, self. Don't open and be vulnerable with them again. That ended really fucking badly last time.
 5. Talk to my sisters and explain the situation, ask for advice.
   - They may not understand. Even if they do, this is really heavy duty.

How do I feel about them?

 1. Brother
   - Not safe to have a relationship with. Can be distant (indirect) contact as he is now, but that's about it.
 2. Dad
   - Very depressed just thinking about him. Nothing I can do to help.
     - Am I even willing to try at this point? No. I HAVE to self-protect here. Realistically, I can't help, and even trying will hurt me whether I want to help or not. (Note: I'm enmeshed, and so part of me really wants to even though it would destroy me. Boundaries... ouch.)
   - Therapy is a per-requisite to having any kind of relationship.
 3. Mom
   - I'm very angry with her. That toxicity growing up really fucking wrecked me, and I don't know how to explain that. Trying will only cause more harm on both sides.
   - Reminder to self: She doesn't want to understand and won't put in the effort! She won't! You've tried for 10 fucking years!

Decision Timelines

 1. Communication
   - My birthday
   - Their birthdays and holidays. (They won't forgive me missing them.)
 3. HRT start and effects
 4. Name change

Do I feel safe doing X?

 1. Sharing my new name and identity? No. I wish I hadn't given her my new first name. (See boundary issues!)
 2. Traveling home and staying in the house. No.
 3. Traveling home and being in conversation for any significant duration. No.
 4. Traveling home and seeing for lunch. I don't really want to. Not sure if it's safety though. I just don't want to see them.
 5. Talking on the phone. Not really?
 6. Inviting to a therapy session in San Jose. I could force myself, but I would be messed up the entire time either of them was in CA.

I guess that means we're done? :S

Why can't I close the door then? :S
zetasyanthis: (Default)
Just a quick update here...  Generally, this is vastly exceeding my expectations so far.  It continues to be hard for me to not try to work around the blocks I've set up on my cell phone, but the following is a list of "highly recommends".
  • Drop down RSS feeds, even if you still view the site.
    • In my case, I read several sites where I really like the articles, but don't care about 50% or more of the content.  Just like an email filter, stripping out the RSS feeds means I only interact with the articles I actually care about and don't have to "clear my inbox" so to speak.
  • Using uBlock to "ad-block" your preferred news sites on your smartphone.
    • Allowing myself to only check most sites only at home, and only once per day has cut my time down dramatically. 
    • In particular, uBlock makes it so that I have enough of an extra step to access the site that I won't work around it.
  • Disable RSS feed readers and the Youtube App on your phone
    • Again with the "only at home."  You can read way quicker on a laptop or desktop, and most of these sites should be blocked per above anyways!
Basically, the goal is to reduce time waste (and attention problems) from constantly trying to refresh and check for new stuff on my phone.  I'm still twitchy and looking for stuff that now isn't there, but the goal is to get that to start dropping off slowly.
zetasyanthis: (Default)
I've been trying to trim down my distractions lately so I can do the things I really want to instead of getting bogged down in the things my nervous ticks focus on.  As such, I'm going to try and put out a few short notes on this periodically to track how I'm doing.

This has come in a few phases, so I'm going to detail my attempts and failures according to them.

Phase 1 - Disabling Noise

Step one is to start stripping this crap out.  Let's detail it and then talk about how I've done!
  • Phone-centric noise
    • RSS news feeds
    • News applications (BBC, NPR)
    • News sites (Reddit, Anandtech, Ars Technica, BBC, NPR)
    • Podcasts
    • Twitter
    • Youtube
  • Home (laptop-centric) noise (and content)
    • RSS news feeds
    • Twitter
    • Youtube
To reduce noise at home, I've stripped down about 70% of the content in my RSS feeds, ~50% of the content I follow on Reddit, and about 10% of the Youtube channels/content.  I've gone from maybe 70 articles/webcomics/stories per day via those feeds to about 10 per day.  I've also made the conscious decision to leave my reddit account active, but not add it to my RSS feeds anymore.  That means that I can go check the stuff I'm interested in in a summarized fashion if I want, but don't see it as a matter of course.

How have I done sticking to this plan?  Eh, kinda well, kinda poorly?  Youtube is still deactivated for the most part, and my RSS feed reader has stayed off the phone.  (I now force myself to only check them at home, once a day if I can manage, but I have occasionally visited the site manually.  Just added those to my ad-blocker though, to stop myself from going there!)  Podcast Addict stayed away for two weeks or so, but it's back now, with seriously reduced volume.  (I'd kept a few podcasts since my OCD brain really really wants me to complete things I start even though I wasn't really that interested.)  I'm still heavily refreshing Twitter, but I'd say the time wasted on my phone during the day (until I get home at least) has gone down by about 80%.  I'm calling that a win.

So, let's see those bullet points again, this time with the adjustments!
  • Phone-centric noise (reduced by 80%)
    • Podcasts (stripped out about 50% of the active ones)
    • Twitter (reduced by ~ 15%)
  • Home (laptop-centric) noise
    • RSS news feeds (reduced by ~60%)
    • Twitter (reduced by ~ 15%)
    • Youtube (reduced by ~10%)
Phase 2 - Adding Things That Matter
  • Journaling about my emotions and stuff really helps.  I've started a blog here.  Yay!  Progress!
  • Writing poems and stories.  Some of this has worked, some hasn't.  I've been writing stuff, but not a ton yet, as much of my creativity seems to be focused at work due to the intensity of what's going on there.  I think this is on the up-tick, though!
  • Reading stories and checking out awesome art!  This gets my creative juices flowing, and I've been doing a lot of it.  Some has hit emotionally really hard, so it's a bit overwhelming once in a while, but overall, major progress.
  • Health / Exercise.  I need to start this.  I have a free gym at work that I walk by every day, and I ought to be using it!  Maybe this week?
That's all for this week's update.  I'm going to try and make this a regular thing, though!
zetasyanthis: (Default)
I just caught up on the latest bits of Sunstone, and that was pretty heavy stuff.  Still wouldn't trade it for anything though.  Just beautiful.

I wanted to add another thought here today, for a short short I recently discovered.  This one is special.  It tastes like rain.  http://365tomorrows.com/08/30/lastly/

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