Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Not pretty; effective

There's an old line of "I'm not pretty but I'm pretty effective". That's me.

Today, without realising it, I walked through the outcome of a successful Mikey attempt to improve his work environment. i was so engrossed in thoughts of the day I was on autopilot as I walked from the lift to my desk. So it was my foxpod colleagues that alerted me to it being done and, once informed, I rushed back and saw.

They'd cleaned the carpet.

There was a giant fucking stain outside the kitchenette on the long walk to our desks and due to the lighting you could see it about 20 metres out. 

It looked ugly and made our environment ugly.

So, fuck it, I put in a request to get it cleaned—using the name of a senior person on my floor and noting the presence of VIPs that come along the passage. I hoped that would be enough justification instead of having to wait for annual clean in the distant late of the calendar year.

And they cleaned it. They cleaned up the horrible fucking spot and now the carpet looks just scuffed and worn instead of scuffed, worn and hideously stained which, with the latter, is a slippery slope to it becoming a crack den.

Okay, so that's an exaggeration.

Having a clean, safe, well-lit work environment is critical to workplace well-being. Yet just a few of us actually put in the effort—often
in the face of opposition—to bring improvement or even basic rectification to our workplaces.

I call such people workplace warriors. I am one; I've been one since the beginning.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thar be EMDR

I started the first session of EMDR. It was brutal having to drill into moments of acute pain from as far back as childhood and I cried more than once. 

But just a tiny little bit and not for long

As with any form of therapy it comes with pain. Like wounded muscles being rubbed back to life, the damaged brain is being massaged but the rubbing and massaging is agonising and the soreness lingers.

It hurts now, but only a little, and not for long. At the end will be wellness.


UPDATE: IBS, tremours, fibro pain sprayed across the back and sub-concious anxiety upon waking. But not conscious anxiety—and that's pretty sweet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


The paperwork mountain has been conquered. I failed on the first attempt but thewife pushed it up and over on the second go. 

I feel hollow. I'd expected to fail and the sudden success and its resultant acknowledgement has left me empty. 

I've not cried, I've not yelled. I'm not even in a state of befuddled wonderment. To have succeeded is through the looking glass stuff and I don't know how to cope. That all those forms, meetings, appointments, assessments, sessions and bouts of distress came to something; a positive outcome.

So it's WFTW but is it?

I've had a fuck-ton of medication and I'm about to board SoTPC for some daily anxiety reduction (slash) physical exercise. So that will help ride out the mixed-feelings wave. 

I had a pit crew to help me through this hideous tranche of paperwork, thewife assisted by D— and others. I have no idea how anyone without loved ones or friends skilled at the art of bureaucracy could navigate such a process and both succeed and stay sane. 

Thank fuck for the pit crew.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A beastly battle anthem

"Sabotage" by The Beastie Boys.

There's a lot of passion, rage and wonder going on in this battle effort.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The snaggle had to go

I have limited toe nails, in that I have to pull them off and they take a few months to grow back. Then, if they survive that, they grow into a snaggle and I have to remove it.

Because I've lived a life of nail pulling and or removal they grow not forward but upward, rising like a thickened keratin Ularu from the bed of the toe. Then the fat nail gets a hint of an edge, a dart forward from the bulk of the nail and they snag on a sock then get part-pulled off then have to come off completely.

So it was easier to pre-remove it. From years of OCPD-fueled nail removal, the terrible thing is no tools are required. The thick-yet-pliable nail can be readily pinched between finger and thumb then ripped off in an easy motion, blood pooling in the empty and sunken bed. 

All credit to me—this time I threw the snaggle in the bin instead of tossing it into the lamp corner where the dead skin from my former habit of foot skin picking used to also be thrown. I then wrapped the toe in the hem of my ladies PJ pants to soak up the blood until the flow ceased.

I managed to give the habit of picking feet the heave ho, but not through will or anything like that—bodily degeneration means I simply can't raise my feet to have a robust go at picking at the soles. 

It's stupid habit, to pick holes in your body or raise nails or scars up from your feet or face. But it's just all part of the Mikey adventure—and my weal outweighs my woe.


Not replaced; he's still fucking there

The US Treasury announced that Harriet Tubman—perhaps one of history's most awesome peeps—will replace President Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill, a man with a somewhat lackadaisical attitude to civil rights.

Only that's not the case; he's still going to fucking be on it. He'll be on the back, only in a smaller size. 

What a bizarre dichotomy—a woman who fought against slavery prominent upon the $20 but still with a slave-holding genocidal fuck-hole on the back but in smaller form. Did I mention the slave owning? And the military adventures in Florida and the extinguishing of a community of native Americans and escaped slaves. He was not a good president; he was one of the shit ones.

Symbols matter. All countries, especially in the west, have leaders that now in the twenty-first century we look back on has having a somewhat problematic attitude to, well, just about everything—women, sex, democracy, land, original owners of that land, race, cupping and phrenology. This is the chance to show the best side of America, putting a woman on a bill and an awesome woman at that, but on the flip-side they're leaving the original stain—the worst part of America, the near-complete destruction of an original people and the possessing of actual human beings. It's just nutty bonkers-time stuff. 

(forehead slap) design decision fail. 

Bridge Fun.

During the school holidays I've been busing to work and my route involves a trip over a bridge. 

One morn, just as we roared onto the bridge, "Some Nights" by Fun. came on the bus's radio. I grinned as my ironic battle anthem took me into the day and I sang along to the parts that I knew. 

Some Canberra mornings just fuckin' sparkle. 


A second ping, a cry and a bounce back

I sent out a second ping—a proper, solid one as opposed to the first getting-the-feet-wet exploratory effort—the ping one of my six month goals I set upon return to work. It felt good to have achieved a goal near three months early and I glowed with accomplishment.

The next day my calendar reminded me it was the last possible day to do a set of mandatory training—training laced with triggers and put off until then.

I fortified myself with a Valium, waited a half hour for it to kick in, then warned my foxpod comrades I was fording ahead but that I might have to leave once I'd done it.

I got angry about a minute in. By two and a half minutes I was crying—silent cheek rolls as I battled through. By about 25 minutes I was done, shaking, crying, angry and I had another Valium. 

I emailed the pit crew know what had happened but said I'd use CBT to fight off the worst of the rumination and stay the day, then went for the first of many power de-clench and vent walks. In the lift down I yelled heartily for a good twenty seconds before the lift car stopped suddenly, half way to the ground floor. As the doors opened I realised the solitary would-be occupant probably heard muffled shouting as the car approached only to have revealed but a single person within. 

It was an uncomfortable ride down.

The CBT worked; by lunchtime I knew I could make the day and even though leaden with post-anxiety fatigue and the jitters with gritted teeth I stayed and stayed productive. It helped having my foxpod comrades looking out for me and checking how I was travelling.

The day finished and I bused home. As my bus rolled down a road that showed parl house in the distance I checked home email on my phone and found the second ping got a bounce back—a faint one, but a bounce back nonetheless. 

I had a big stupid grin on my face all the way home. The goal was to send the ping; getting a bounce back was just fucking gravy. 

That's the fun of being a low echelon super competent with a psychological injury. The latter is always with you, and can bring unto you moments of woe—such as fits of anger and acute despair—but it helps fuel the former which was already a blaze of fucking wonder. 

Let's face it; I'm the life-equivalent of a tyre yard fire.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Well played

theboy was in the toilet and I was waiting to go in. So I sang an insulting song while I waited about how I was going to grab his bum when he came out. 

Then he charged out of the toilet, the spiky toilet brush held before him, and he twizzled my arm with the wet, spiky end, having obviously just twizzled it in the toilet before charging forth.

I was not expecting that.

He looked for an improvised weapon—a gross, disgusting, improvised weapon—then met the challenge. 

He promised not to do it again—to attack people with a freshly twizzled toilet brush. But he's set a precedent and I have to confess i will think twice before singing at him when he's in the toilet. 

Well played. 

Ten hours sleep

Oh, it was broken. I woke at 4 am, 6 am, 7 am and 8:17. But, in total, I slept ten hours.

That's the longest stretch since returning to work. Where I've woken, but not to a nightmare, and instead of being awake and ruminating I've just gone back to sleep, each phase riven with strange but not troubling dreams.

It's another indicator of recovery. That my mind is no longer tethered to the past. Sure, waves of rumination come and crash upon my shore, but the tide is going out and the crashes don't hurt as much.


Friday, April 15, 2016

If not me then who?

Part of the delicious adventure that is having OCPD (conscientious sub-type) is holding yourself to a near impossible standard of "if not me then who?"

If you see something that needs fixing, and you know how to get it fixed, then the moral duty falls upon you to fix it.

I've been fixing things since the moment I broke into the world—lights, stains, chips, breaks, holes, divots and systemic failures. The latter I'm especially proud of because I've fixed a fuck-ton of stuff through sheer fucking will and determination. Whenever an opportunity presents itself to make the case for a fix  then I'll take it.  And if I fail on the first attempt I bide my time until another opportunity comes to try again.

I spent the day trying to get a smart form fixed so it wouldn't cut information out of a field when the form was processed. Because I noticed whenever I got the email back repeating what I asked for I saw that the information from said field was cut about 10–20 words in. 

So it was broken and had to be fixed and I spent the day tracking down who could fix it.

Because if not me then who? How can I yell at the world for being broken if I can fix it?

Last year, on my last day before unforeseen gardening leave, I spoke to a leader on his near last day before retirement. We talked about his childhood, study and career. We talked about finding purpose in work and the responsibility we had to do our best. I told him how I wrote statements of purpose and worth on the ex-govie furniture in my shed, a psychological defence against ever feeling shit about myself, and that one of them said "I have the moral duty to help as many people as I can because I can." 

He smiled in agreement, eyes crinkled behind glasses of owl.

I wouldn't be me if I didn't try to fix or improve the world. It's in my genetics, it's in my upbringing and it's a giant fuck you to everything that stood in my way; I prove my worth by inflicting wellness.

I am the change we want to see in the world—and I'll keep changing things, fixing things and improving things right up until I circle the drain.