I was cycling through battle anthems on YouTube when an ad for Fathers Day, to use the correct case and punctuation, from Bunnings caught my attention: "... whatever your dad is into we can meet their need." (1) Now I suspect the origin for the response to this immediate "accept the offer" challenge was Clerks 2 but I instantly said "fucking donkeys?" Then I imagined the apron-clad ginger likewise accepting the offer as a good troupe member should to let me know that tiny harnesses could be found in aisle 12. That's Fathers Day comedy gold, I tell you, gold!
(1) I believe that was what was said; it's too hard to cycle through to find it again. Bunnings cleverly have a high number of different ads on rotation to hit their branding message but make it "not boring" by having a different ad where possible—and they keep them short so they don't get skipped. Well done to the peeps that run the Bunnings campaigns; their YouTube use is best practice.
The compressing of time is upon me and I am experiencing it physically. Last night I was awake until 2:30 then woke at 6:30 with four hours sleep. At one pm it was back to bed for three more hours; my wake-sleep cycle is lapping. Then, during the day, jitters and extended, jagged space outs, both good and bad, until sleep comes to claim me. It's what I've experienced before but squished into a near-montage rate of speed. It's a bizarre ride but I just got to push on through.
I had a reaction to paperwork; it's benign but it sparked anxiety. I found myself falling back on CBT and calmly, vocally, telling a panicking, trembling self what I was going to. "We are printing it." "We are finding a pen that works." "We have signed it now we are getting our washing from the dryer..." and so on. It seems so dumb to react to it; it's just fucking paperwork. But, sweet lord baby Jesus, reacted I have. "I will write this down then go and then put my washing away". WFTW.
UPDATE: It happened again; this time it was an email. It's benign but I don't want to see it and it sparked a reaction. Emotionallyit's like being stuck mid-huge-poo; you just have to push on through.
I've dealt with cripplingly bad dreams lo these past few weeks. I wake, bad dream afresh, and they sit on me for much of the day. I had a series this morning—I woke up from one to go to the toilet and returned to bed for the dream to restart then morph into something worse. This is my subconscious purging ahead of the GLF; it's getting "this" out of its system. If it continues after that, well, then it's back to the psych for another round of treatment—and I'm okay with that. (ding, ding) WFTW.
Farewell, SoTPC, whose computer fried at the seven kay mark and is now inert. Fortunately, the resistance setting didn't die so I shrugged the loss off, watched the end of what I was watching, listened to some Tripod, then got off and put "?" against most of the stats I collect given the loss of the computer. So it seems I have ridden yet another bike to death. That's a lifetime total of three; one free-wheeler (the handlebars tore off at the stem when I tried to cross an intersection) and two exercise bikes—The Purgatory Cart (TPC) (I broke the seat stem) and now Son of The Purgatory Cart (SoTPC) (dead computer). Looks like Mikey be goin' shoppin'. (Cue montage of Mikey walking into an exercise equipment shop, looking at two bikes, choosing one, then thewife organising it all to happen and assembling it because she is totes awesome at that shit). UPDATE: SoTPC ... is alive! Turns out the plug in the powerboard was loose. Plugged it back in and, voila!, back to normal. Well, presumed so. Yet to re-board it since it "died". We shall see...
I was atop the SoTPC when I entered an extended stretch of bliss out where your body, breathing and pedaling are all in sync as music fills your head. It lasted most of the album I listed to—"The Fauves" by The Fauves. To be fair I have those moments because I am exercising—it's not an inverse reaction to trauma—but if you had said to me ten years ago you are going to do daily exercise and occasionally bliss out on it I'd have brayed pizza at you in mocking laughter. But moderate to intensive exercise is the best anti-sads defence there is and it keeps the wobble moments at bay. It's a "must do" not a "want to do" but how glorious that amid the grinding toil of a "must do" that I can just bliss the fuck out.
I decided to wear my fancy new dress shoes for my sixth ping chat but it proved a dodgy choice—we ended up trekking up a hill, including along a well-worn "made by people" path through bare earth and foliage, to reach the café for the meet. Plus, being narrow and new, the shoes compressed the sides of my broad feet and they ached like a m'fo. Hilariously the cat I was meeting with appeared to be wearing the exact brand of black with pink piping sneakers I normally wear. Gold; I dressed up for a dressed down chat. Still, better have fancy shoes and not need them than need them and not have them. I still remember that many-ministers-and-VIPs function I went to whilst wearing cargo pants and being acutely conscious my lower limbed clothing did not match the majesty of the event or surrounds.
Anyway, sixth ping; it led to a chat and that chat has been had.
One of the effects of medication and psychological injury is dropping things; my fingers spring open of their own accord and whatever I am holding falls. I just dropped my dinner. Sure, it was just toast but it dropped onto the kitchen floor and, well, that toast is toast. That's the bullshit I have to put up with for being injured. Dropping things or not not being able to do things that require fine hand-eye coordination because of trembling fingers—another manifestation of wound and medication. It is what it is. I wouldn't change what happened but, fuck me, I am so sick of dropping food because of it—or the dropping of anything else I am holding. Grr.
(shakes trembling fist at imagined amorphous black smoke cloud representing injury enhanced by medication).
I didn't blow my horn but I did lose my cool. I had a in-the-car rant, a wobbly moment as promised by my psych, and then I got confused and angered by road works while trying to get a park. It took 30 minutes to find a spot. I ended up finding a park, presuming it a staff-only spot, but too broken to give a shit and left. Panicked, heaving, total composure lost. Rage and fright consumed me as I cooked off, in the car and out. Then I got lost in a maze of corridors and my anxiety built. By the time I found where I needed to be I was of no help and had to take myself away to calm down. My psych said it would happen, that these moments would come and to deal with it when it did. But I didn't deal with it; I was just scream-crying "why?", "I want this to end" and "please, I just want to park and end it". I loathe that it happened and while I shouldn't admonish myself for expressing my injury it's different when it's mental injury and not physical. You do feel like it's lack of will, that you should be able to snap out of a panicked or angered state and become insta-calm even though sometimes your brain has taken you on a ride to a destination you know not where.
When I'm in that state I radiate distress, anger or both and I don't want anyone to be around it. If I am trapped I turn and face the wall or window so angry tears cannot be seen. Today's was especially hard to get over.
But I got overand I'll get over the next one—and the one after that as well.
I got the laptop synced with our email so I don't have to port thumb drives to and from. Email on the laptop hasn't worked since 2011. As part of phase two I'm going to "get busy" in this here shed and the laptop currently is faster than our ancient PC (to be refreshed). Multiple devices all in sync to support Mikey in the GLF. I feel enhanced; like tingling all over. The tingling could just be that I shaved back my beard then had a shower but I feel like I'm about to embark on something remarkable. WFTW.
I had a farewell from the team that hosted me on my return to work. They surrounded me with love when I came in shattered and crying and surrounded me with love on the way out. I had an awesome last day and enjoyed tear-inducing thanks and deep recognition. It was the greatest goodbye I have ever received and I got to leave knowing I'd done an awesome job. Now that's a fucking career coda. GLF phase one is complete; bring on phase two.
It's an amazing thing to enjoy self-actualisation and anxiety. That you can recognise your worth in spite of afflicted brain chemistry and physiological reaction to mental injury.
So I have these wobbles, like yesterday's juddering horror, but once I am through them I am back to my heroic, actualised self. It's like Superman encountering kryptonite—he's momentarily weakened in the K-laced encounter but as soon as the K is neutralised he's back to his super self and ready to pound with super fist.
And you don't want to be super fisted by Superman.
I may not wear a cape or have actual super powers but I have the bizarre literary (comic) combination of super abilities and vulnerabilities that all make for an interesting life. I didn't choose it; it happened to me . But once I was in then I happened to it—and I did more to it than it ever did to me. WFTW.
A three-year-old started screaming outside the lift at a shop and I was just outside. There was a ramp to the ground but it led past the screaming child or there was the steep stair. The screaming triggered an anxiety attack. My knees are failing, sometimes they feel they'll snap at any second, and so going up and down stairs is a painful challenge. Made all the more challenging for having to do it with my fingers in my ears and without benefit of the railing. I braced myself against the side as I stepped carefully one step at a time, using CBT to block out the screaming I could still hear. I ended up at the exit of the shop car park to wait for the others, fingers still pressed to ears. A pair of fuckwits in a car exiting the park added to the stress by honking their horn twice right next to me—clever joke, cock-spanks, to frighten an ashen-faced man with fingers in his ears. The anxiety bled off on the trip home, tears rolling as once again my injury had imprinted on us all. I had two Vallium and slept the afternoon, leaden with fatigue from the attack and the medication. Now I have to try and ride. It will help but I don't want to do it. I hate that a screaming child can trigger me so badly. It was an absolute shocker. Whilst I had a layer of logic over the escape—gently reminding myself it wouldn't be long until I was safely down the stairs and then away from the unholy sound of terror spawn—I had to contend with the reaction of panic and dread. That's what it is to live with an injury to the mind.
I hated the parent in that moment, because in the brief seconds I looked to see what was happening he appeared to be doing nothing, but no parent chooses when their kid is going to cook off—especially a toddler. I hate that I vocalised too. I yelled as I slowly went down the stairs—though I don't know what I said—and I yelled at the departing car of horn-tooting cock-spanks that had deliberately given me a fright. But that was then and now is now. And now I ride.
My habit of swearing in a G-rated fashion copped some gentle teasing after I dropped a "biscuits!" and R— said "Woah, what's with all the crusty talk?!"
But I am a professional and I try not to drop anything more than a "shit" unless I am describing something heinous—and I'll forewarn that some adult language will be coming if that is the case. Once the GLF begins I'll have to further retard any salty sea talk until I find my sea legs on whatever ship takes me. At least until I work out what's considered acceptable onboard. After-all, in some workplaces the seven no-no words are used in common discourse—as evidenced by any time you read a transcript of a police-to-police conversation where it's "c—" this and "f—" that. I'm going to miss my team; they got me through some nasty despair and wrenching bitterness. Onward and fucking upward. WFTW.
With thanks to Futurama. I'm in this weird place of anxiety and excitement, of stress and hope, and of worry and calm. It's an insane collection of emotions to having running at once. It feels a bit like "Death ... by snu-snu!" At least that's how I described it to R— and being a Futurama fan she got exactly what I meant. The GLF; it's a funky ride.
Being injured and then having it recognised means lots of admin; scads of it. Drowning in stressful fucking admin. Not just admin but meetings too. Things are discussed, you re-traumatise and you likely cop a bad space out afterwards. Then other bureaucracy landed; a must re-do course due even though it's not going to be needed soon.
So I had to grit teeth and just do it.
Then I battled the forces of IT to get a colleague's desk set up.
It's a Monday in the nation's capital; so if you're going to be swamped in admin then this is the day and place for it.
But it's just for now and not for long. Then it will be done; fin.
It can't come soon enough.
UPDATE: Swamped with bad space outs during the ride.Well, I did warn me.
I also saw the ladies-only reboot of Ghostbusters (1) and it was some damn fine work. I love the originals—they're emblazoned on my youth—but as far as reboots go this was something special. Different characters, different circumstances, lots of great comedy.
The antagonist was especially good. Nice work, comrades!
I can write and I can orate; I am versed in pacing, alliteration, projection, maintaining interest, callbacks, rule of three, and presenting a situation and leaving it hanging mid-way then returning to it just at the end to complete your point. I watched myself in the mirror practice one of my bits and I realised that I looked awesome. I looked powerful and I looked awesome. I saw conviction and honest-yet-restrained surgical fury. That I can do this and that these skillz are going like piggy to market is just fucking awesome; I cannot wait to unleash them. WFTW.
I opened the packed boot only to have a normal-sized brolly and a shoulder-bag-sized one to spurt out at me from the combined pressure of all that was within. I was somewhat shocked to have received the brolly ejaculate. Ever since we paid out the lease it's been acting badly—you naughty car! It's lucky that I, unless it's a computer and I am highly stressed, rarely take out my anger on inanimate objects—but it has been known to happen. Not Basil angry though; never that bad.
I was seated, I wasn't thinking, and I projected right across my pants and the floor. To the point the urine actually collected in a pool along the grouting and I had to strain to reach paper towels to drape across the pool to soak it all up. Because of that, and re-traumatising myself due to a survey and an email, I had to go. I was crying as I told colleagues I was going for the day. So I'll now need a back-up pair of pants for work as well undies for those embarrassing moments like hosing your lower clothes (and the fixtures). If I'd had the back-up pair I think I would have toughed it out, even with the RT in play, because I'm a lot stronger—and because for every moment I am not at work, ten people are not at work. I hated that I cried. I was collected by the time that I left, having to finish work kneeling at my computer to avoid tainting my chair, and when I passed R— on the way to the lifts I said I was sorry for going for such an embarrassing reason. She laughed with kindness and made me give her a high five. The gap. Curse it and the reasons for why it exists. But hooray for comrades that can see a wounded, sad man off with comfort and joy.