So, as a few of you have noticed, I’m already behind. I’m not sure if it’s something to do with some last minute plans that were thrown in my path, taking time out to support a friend, or that I just don’t have a great grasp of time since the UK entered lockdown (what do you mean we’ve already had Easter? no way… wasn’t it just New Years?), or if I just didn’t practice great time management, but I’m a touch behind.
So, today’s titlted EEEEEK!
And I’m going to share a few tips of how I try to manage it, when…I get it right 😉
Time management 101 – leave room
And I think that’s where I made the mistake. I didn’t leave room this week – at all. And while you can’t plan for emergencies properly, I always have a rule that for every piece of time I have planned, I leave 15 minutes on either side of it. Got a therapy appointment? Keep thirty minutes spare. Date night? Thirty minutes. The thing is, I’m absolutely going to be pushing this to the limit, as today is the first official day of TM112, at my OU degree, for Cyber security. Which means I’m going to be planning more time, and putting in more space.
The other issue I have with this is it’s advice *I* give. I’m terrible at following it. I was planning yesterday’s post to be ‘a day in the life’, but reading it back, I realised, I really should rewrite that post as ‘a day in dissaray’ because my ideal day in the life isn’t the one I live.
And when all else fails?
Like now? Apologise, work out how to catch up, and go for it. Seriously. Life is too short to punish yourself. In my case, I’ll be doing my main blogs, and keeping the 26 prompt story to go back to. So bi-polarbears, here, my book blog, and, as Deirdre has injured herself, I’m probably picking up These our Fandoms too. Once I’m caught up, I’ll try and get ahead.
What do you do when life and plans collide? Got any hints?
As to WHY I got a bit behind? Normally I do my catchup on Sunday, but instead, I was in an Arboretum, taking photos, falling down hills (no, really, I’ve twisted my hip and scraped my leg. The camera is fine tho!) and spending time with my family in the spring air. The UK is coming out of lockdown, so we didn’t get to do everything we might have liked, but we did a lot. (this is Batsford Arboretum, and these are unedited photos – my daughter, Artenapanwill be posting some later on her Instagram, and has already!)
(again, as this is backdated, I’m writing this with the benefit of hindsight).
I did actually have this rather neat post about ‘a day in the life’, but, the last few days led to a bit of an epiphany.
You know there’s an Instagram bubble? I think when we write ‘days in the life’ that we sometimes make ‘blog bubbles’. So, instead of talking about what my ideal day should look like, and what it does when I’ve planned it out, I’m going to write about what my day actually is. And for the first time, I’m even going to include some of the mental health stuff I deal with – so this post could be mildly triggering. I’ll be possibly alluding to self-harm, definitely talking about psychosis and depression and anxiety and insomnia. And I have a favor to ask at the end of this post.
A day in the disordered
I fell asleep at 11:30pm – a year of training and working with an app called Headspace and other meditation apps (honourable mentions to Digipill and Let’s Mediate (I have them on Android, they may exist on iOs), alongside my partner, which is now 80% of how my sleep works out.
Unfortunately, about 1:30am, I wake up again. I wake up to a voice, that I always hear. She’s my constant companion, and she’s very hurtful. If I’m lucky, I take a sip of water, I go to sleep again, and I might get to stay there for a bit. Most nights lately though, I’ve been waking up and finally falling asleep again at 5am. The advice is, of course, if you’re not able to sleep in bed, to get up. But if I do that and she starts causing trouble for me. At her worst, she can trap me in the smallest rooms in the house. She’s the reason that I can’t get out of the house alone. She’s the thing I’m fighting back with my favor, but we’ll get there.
If I don’t get to sleep until 5 or 6am, I’ll either stay asleep till 8am, or 11am, or sometimes, I’m asleep till 2pm. And because of that, my day is always harder to plan for. How do I plan to be up at 9am, and exercised and ready to work, if I’m not getting to sleep until 6am? The answer is I don’t. Insomnia is a difficult and hard to live with disorder – couple it with anxiety and psychosis, and though meditation helps, I’m frequently operating in arrears of sleep.
And that’s why I can’t talk about a day in my life. I have half an hour when I wake up that’s a set routine (get up, unplug and box tech coming downstairs with me, plug in anything, such as my Bluetooth headphones or spare batteries that need charged, wash face, rarely moisturise (I’ll be talking about that in S for skin routine, cause apparently, I’m annoying as all hell about that), meditate for ten minutes after making the bed, then come down. At night, I either go up before Tempus and grab a bath, then make my juice/waterbottle for my bedside, plug everything in, brush my teeth, get my Bluetooth headphones connected so that I can meditate, set up the book we’re listening to on Audible. Depending on how I feel then, I either read for 20 minutes, then meditate, or lately, I’ve just meditated, and used a sleepscape to go to sleep to. And then wake up again at 1:30am.
I can’t talk about this really here, but there is going to be an I for Insomnia over on bi-polarbears (the link won’t work until the post goes live 🙂 )
And that brings me to a favor…
As many of you may or may not know, I’m an author. My major project this year is to talk about the fact that I live with a pretty severe (though not the worst, by a long shot) psychosis. I think I’m probably at the end of the ‘living in the community level of it,’ though, she’s quite hard to deal with. As an author too, it becomes difficult. I ‘hear’ my characters, and I don’t like that I hear and see things as well as part of my mental health.
On my birthday, I’ll be releasing a collection of mental health books. I’m not putting up the pre-orders yet, but I am asking people to subscribe to my newsletter, so I can start talking about the run-up to releasing them. There may be a Patreon, there may not.
What I want to do though, is to remove some stigma surrounding both hearing voices and other psychosis, but I also want to acknowledge that authors do hear voices, and that *is not* as far as I’m concerned, is a psychosis. But I guess that’s between you and your healthcare team.
What I do know is that she’s stolen five years of my life. I’ll never get them back, and while I’ve done some things in there, I’ve not gotten everything that I wanted to do, done. There are other things, of course, that got in the way, it’s not just been mental health, but if I can remove from the whole concept of ‘we don’t talk about this, we’ll get into trouble’, then I will. And I hope you’ll help me.
I’ll be talking about about this at P for Psychosis, because it’s important to me. Here, and at Bi-polarbears. I’ve avoided telling people I have issues such as psychosis for so many years, that it’s a bit uncomfortable for me, but I also know I’m in a good community, that accepts me for who I am, and knows me as I am, psychosis or otherwise. I hope to help others like me – because I think in the coming years, as we come out of lockdowns and the shadows of what we did to deal with the pandemic, that mental health is going to be a major issue – more major than even now, and I want to help people that need help. So I am.
(backdated, sorry I was late! It does mean I get to use pretty photos I got on Sunday though!)
Well, sort of. I’m actually more of the ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” which is another truism I believe in. But, when it comes to my mental health, I can’t make excuses. I have to keep healthy boundaries, and work hard. There is no ‘try’ at living after all.
But it’s not easy…
The thing about trying to have a ‘can do’ attitude, in the context that I use it, is that it’s almost always about protecting myself. And it’s all about protecting, I guess, the spoons that I have. (In case you’re not sure what the spoon theory is, here’s the woman that wrote the base idea, and I am republishing my spoonie’s guide soon). ANd not always having the energy to do something is not the same as ‘there is no try’, and I think that’s the mistake many people make about what I mean. If I can’t do something, I’ll wait. Unless I have no choice.
One of the things I started noticing about a year and a half ago, when I started having a few of the things explained to me that made no sense in my life while asking questions and hitting issues with my therapy, that I’m very much of the mindset that (probably unfairly) that if I say no, that my friends won’t like me. I’m very much a people pleaser, to the point that I often do things I shouldn’t. And it’s gotten me into a really difficult pattern to break.
So, my ‘do or do not’ is a complete sentence now. I will do, or I won’t. There’s no emotion attached to it if I can’t do the things I’ve had asked of me. I might feel guilty about saying no, but I can’t always do everything I want to (and as I’m actually writing this on my E day, I’ve already talked about planning fails, I know this). And if they don’t like it, I guess that means my friends aren’t actually my friends. And that might make me sad, but I’ve got to accept that. Luckily, it means that I’ll be ok.
I’ve had many ‘this is my hardest’s to deal with – probably more than anyone my age has any right to deal with in some ways. But this one hit the hardest about three days ago, and I thought there was going to be a bit of give, a bit of wriggle room, but no. I finally encountered the words that just broke me in two. And I won’t repeat them. I’ve deleted them. But I came to a screeching halt, and I’m not sure how things will change, but change they absolutely will.
But first – I have a heck of a lot of grieving and coming to terms with things to do – and I need to build an actual, sensible plan to sustain my businesses. And I have to accept that part of that is digging out my work ethic and dealing with everything that’s gone on lately and putting things right. And I’ve come to the conclusion that to do that, this book needs to end. This story, no matter that it’s not a happily ever after needs to become something that we relegate to the ‘not touching’ drawer. Not everything that’s happened – no, they’re elements that can be reused. But the tale of the sad girl that lives inside her house and does nothing…that’s a bust. That’s so much of a bust we’re not making it past the first draft.
I’m not ashamed but…
When you’re where I am, you’re not *supposed* to admit bullying gets to you. I’m the moderator of one of the biggest indie communities on Facebook, I run a lot of things for a lot of different people and I find myself, daily, waking up and dreading the comments that appear here, and on the other blogs, I run. In my inbox, on Twitter, by PM on Facebook. And, in with that realisation is that I’m as unkind to myself as all of these people. My self-talk is terrible. I’d rather sleep (or try to) than work. And I hate admitting that, but my sleep is disturbed again, and it’s getting difficult to do *much* of anything.
I do have one ray of light though, beyond my family, who are just the best, and my friends, who equally rock, and that’s my books. I’ll be talking about them more naturally in the coming days, but for now, I just wanted to thank anyone that’s supported me as a writer. I don’t always get to write, but it is one of my few places of solace. And if I’m walking off this earth to another, I couldn’t do it without knowing that I was writing the story as I went.
Late start to the AtoZ I know, but I’ve had work and other stuff to deal with today. I think the title of this might give you an insight into me, more than anything else. I’m not… exactly … a patient person. I love to know where we’re going, what we’re doing, and be there. I do not do well with waits. Waiting is anathema to me in fact. My impatience is so bad that I’ve actually made up games just to get through hard meetings. I think part of it is because I’m anxious (which I’ll mention later), but part of it is just that I can’t stand being still. Even for a minute. And I hate that my body lets me down so that very often, even if I don’t want to be, I am.
A also really stands for a couple of other things. I’m an animal lover – I have two cats, and would adopt more if allowed. I want a dog, though, practically, I’m not allowed them. I’m also anxious. If you want a bit of background on that, I talked a little and will talk more about it on my mental health blog, bi-polarbears. Anxiety does, however rule my life.
I’m also also, an author. That, I’ll be showing off on both fiction.bykai and booksbykai. Writing is life for me. As evidenced by the fact that I’ve linked to *all* of the AtoZ blog posts I’m doing this month by mentioning I’m also sharing an AtoZ with a friend, and my post today was American Gods. An amazing book.
With all that awesome ‘all about me’ A entry, I think I’ll close with adieu 😉 (because I’m not sleeping and I’m a goofball). (later in the month I’ll just link back to each post ;))
I take part in the Blogging from AtoZ Challenge every year. I have several of them that I’m taking part in this year, but the main one, the A to Z of me will introduce a lot of the things that are important to me. Unlike other times I’ve done this challenge, I’m thinking about whether to do short (letter is for) posts as seperate, small entries, or having an overall post and breaking out into it in more detail in the next few weeks and months. Any days that I can’t find something to talk about, I’ll either do a poem, a flash fiction piece, or something else.
I’m not revealing all of my posts right now, but just to give you guys a taster, and whether you’d like to give me some thoughts.
A is for Alt-worlds. B is for Books C is for Cats /CPTSD … M is for Mindfulness/Meditation/Morrigan N O P is for psychosis … ZZZ is for sleep disorders
If I were doing a post on any of the ones that have more than one category, would you prefer, do you think, a different post for each concept, or all in one?