The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

When all you wanna do is pillow fort but you have to ‘adult’

When all you wanna do is pillow fort but you have to ‘adult’

I know this is an odd concept to raise for someone that’s a business owner and often works as hard as I do to advocate for others, who has raised two children to adulthood and when I think about it, survive what could be seen as serious negligence by my older psych team, but sometimes, do you wish you didn’t have to ‘adult?’

Adulting is overrated

I don’t mean by this that I don’t think I should have zero responsiblities. I’m just really tired of not getting ‘a win’ in the things that I do, not really. All of my planned treats, no matter how small, have either fallen through, or I’ve had to ask my partner to pay for them after all – which makes me feel bad. He doesn’t mind as much, but it’s a bit hard to talk to my kids about being adult and responsible then running to my other half and crying because life is hard.
And lately, I’ve been crying a lot.
I try not to focus on bullying, because it’s not a positive thing to think about and it gives them power, but often, I’m finding a lot of people when they are challenged on what they say, suddenly try turning the tables and creating the idea that they’re a victim. That you’re in the wrong.
Compound that by the fact that often, this is over hosting bills or whatnot, and you can see how it hurts me to have people treat me this way.

Reality…

Realistically, my company actually works, just about right now. I’ve got some work to do over the end of my Kaiatus to launch a few websites, but, we’re actually stable. Wire thin margins, but stable, so when someone starts complaining about their hosting bill, there is a bit of me that doesn’t want to engage. Another bit of me that knows I have to, because if I don’t, they’ll not pay. And a huge bit of me that’s wary, because I’ve been attacked recently for not considering giving away services free for the pandemic.

I only really manage what I do because I’ve kept beta accounts with places that aren’t as great as they could be and finding ways to fix the shortfall, or doing the stuff that I need manually. But realistically, I’ve been out of spoons and upset for about a week now.
The thing is…I can’t really pillow fort. Next week sees the start of my graded exposure to the outside world. In laymans terms, that means for the first time in five years, I’ll be leaving my house and going for a walk…and trying not to throw up when I do. It’ll either be brilliant, or I’ll make it brillaint, but today was a day where I could have just done with hiding away and not needing to deal with the world. If I manage it though, Prime Day reward will be nice. I never get anything extravegant, but….treating myself to some new books for Uni or some additional research tools would be nice (cybersec isn’t a ‘cheap’ study area, Forensic linguistics even less, and honestly? I’m lucky. I’ve got access to stuff through my partner and friends). If not there, Humble Bundle always has cool books on AI.

See…I can adult

When I start thinking like this, often, my friends point out that I pull myself out of it. I’m #blessed to get to do what I do. And, yes, I am. It doesn’t change though when nothing is going right and no one wants to do as they’re supposed to, and you need the books before the end of the month, or you’re looking forward to a tiny treat that keeps getting postponed, that you feel this way. It’s still not the ‘correct’ way to think, but….rewards are sometimes good. When applied sensibly. I can’t do it any other way. And for those of you pointing out ‘I can ask…’ I can. You’re right. Lucky me again, but….why should my partner bail me out when I’ve planned and it should work?

Like I said, I don’t like adulting. At all. 42 years old and I wish I didn’t need to. I’m just so tired of everything being uphill.

And don’t ask me about books. Still waiting for my 100 ISBNs…

A day in the disordered #atozchallenge

A day in the disordered #atozchallenge

(again, as this is backdated, I’m writing this with the benefit of hindsight).

I did actually have this rather neat post abouta 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.

If you’d like to, ALL I need you to do is to sign up for my newsletter and join my mental health street team. That’s it. If you also want to share this post or the post about the project, I’d be delighted.

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.


C is for Can do #atozchallenge

C is for Can do #atozchallenge

(backdated, sorry I was late! It does mean I get to use pretty photos I got on Sunday though!)

Do or do not. There is no try.

Yoda, “The Empire Strikes Back”

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.

Lately though…

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.

A for ‘are we there yet?’ #atozchallenge

A for ‘are we there yet?’ #atozchallenge

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 ;))

Tell me something beginning with A about you?

The radical changes I need to make #Mondayblogs #Wedswriters

The radical changes I need to make #Mondayblogs #Wedswriters

So, I was a bit quiet about it, but I went on holiday for two weeks in the middle of August.  I spent the last two weeks battering around a pile of theme parks – Disney, Universal, Blizzard Beach (One of Disney’s waterparks), plus Nasa, Gatorland, the Florida Mall, Denny’s, IHOP… we did so much that I’m spending so much time just exploring my experiences and filing them away carefully.  My memory being what it is, I’ve also got about a gazillion photos that we all took – me, David, his mom, his sister, the kids.

I’ll talk about that more in another post (because this blog is getting picked up again as my ‘personal’ place to talk stuff, aren’t y’all lucky), but I need to touch on something I realised while I was away.  I am doing far too much.  FAR too much.  There’s no room for me to learn and explore my world, and there’s no room for writing, none at all.

So, you might say ‘but you knew this already Kai, this isn’t a surprise’.  And you’re right.  But between barely holding it together to grief, and to sleep deprivation (I sleep six hours a night, on my best night.  Normal nights are closer to five hours clawed back, with melatonin and other meds), so my little brain needs to be taught the hard way.
And the hard way was basically taking me offline for most of two weeks.  My phone doesn’t do roaming and I decided, early on, that I wouldn’t use the wi-fi, so I basically read, spent a lot of time hanging out with my kids (my son and I played pool a lot) and just enjoying *being*.

Now, my being is books and writing, so I spent a lot of time trying to work out what I should do with myself.  I don’t read or write nearly enough, and just behind that, I’m not doing a day of learning that I promised myself.  So there’s all that.  Behind that, and not far behind that either, I have a business to run – hosting and apps as it happens, and a diary I designed to help with all of this stuff.  I know it works because I hit the ground running when I came back.

I know it sounds like I’m happy with all of this, but I’m not.  It’s one of the most important things in my world- the ability to get to the point where I am comfortable and happy and can work with what I’d like to do, and I’ve lost that.
I’ll get there, but I’m sure it’s going to be bumpy for the next few weeks.  I’m happy to get with it, but there are things that are important to me, lost in the shuffle.   And all it took was a two-week holiday to spot it.

My mental health is still deteriorating, but I think I know how to sort that out too – I just need a bit of space to do it.  Space isn’t easy to come by though, so while I do, I need to make sure I’m holding up my end of other stuff too.

But there is a ray of hope.  Writing and my books.  While this is a personal blog, the pro stuff will appear here too.  One thing I did learn while I was away was that while my heart is full helping others, my soul sings for words.  And I have so many stories to tell.  And I want to tell them.

And then she said….follow me :)

And then she said….follow me :)

I know, I know, I said yesterday I’d post something, but we filmed this, we filmed some other stuff, and then…well, other things got in the way, so we changed the order we did the vids in, and stuff.

I’m writing this from my bed today – I’m not having a great week already, but I’m sure it’ll get better 🙂

So, today, I’m inviting you over to Authorinterrupted, which you, Constant Reader, may or may not know, is my ‘professional’ writer’s blog, but which, for a very long time last year was just ‘my blog’.  I’m going to split off the personal posts and either mirror or redirect those to here.

For those of you asking how best to keep up with this instead of remembering where I left off the day before, if you go to ByKai, you should find that all the posts mirror there, though they may appear slightly out of synced order to when I post on Facebook to say there’s a new post live.  But, also as requested, Kai’s Blog Page, or Kai’s Blogging Network as I prefer to call it, has started this week too!  Exciting stuff.

So, without further ado, my promised freebie, and see you later, over on Authorinterrupted.com – let me know what you think!

If it’s not behaving here, I’m launching my own Youtube Channel too, so please join me over there, or on my page at Facebook, where I’ll load it direct!
([youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDMd_U4lGIw])