“The only thing between him and us is a thin layer of gabardine.”

computer desk

How about the latest Game of Thrones?  No spoilers, in honor of those who need more time to take in the newest episode.  I had to break it into two viewings.  I was continually hitting pause, and taking several laps around my apartment (to coax Anxiety into allowing me to breathe like I wasn’t just barely winning a 200-meter dash away from White Walkers.)  I had to watch an episode of Bob’s Burgers before I could consider sleeping.  (Thanks for the tip, Narcoleptic Aspie.)

The second-half viewing, I watched while on my treadmill.  I figured if I was going to feel like I was sprinting, I might as well get the full benefit.  It didn’t hurt that it was on a much smaller screen, (laptop.)  I invented a new way of watching TV:  look just to the left of the screen, so you’re practically looking away when the tension rises.  For some reason, it’s less frightening in peripheral vision.

The soundtrack was spot on, as usual.  I’ll have to rewatch this season on my TV that has HDR, so I can see what happened in the shadows.  (And look directly at the screen with full knowledge of when to long blink.) The portrayal of PTSD is fabulous;  So many of the characters afflicted after witnessing and surviving unspeakable horrors.  Being perpetually stalked and chased by a supernatural entity whose only purpose is my utter destruction is how living with PTSD feels to me.  It’s no wonder watching a symbolic, on-the-nose depiction turns me (and everyone else I know) inside out emotionally.

shadow play

To refrain from speculating about the story, I focused on how we may be altering our DNA by programming our brains with entertainment so immersive, believable, and enthralling.  Our ancestors nights were dark and full of terrors of a different nature.  Did this program an expectation we’ve fulfilled with our imaginations?  Do we need to experience a full range of emotion and stress on a somewhat-regular basis as humans?  (It was a lot more interesting in my head.)  🙃

I did make it to the VA for my annual checkup.  I used Lyft, which eliminated the stress of driving there.  I met my new care provider, and she was kind.  I wasn’t present for as much of the experience as ideal, but I managed to get a blood pressure medication changed from one with a known carcinogen.  I mentioned I stopped having menses, yay.  Yay, again.  Heh.  Nothing problematic with my labs.  I got my tetanus vaccination and was out of there before Anxiety had a chance to ruin everything.  Uber yay.

I still feel powerful for the victory.  (Even though the side effects of the tetanus shot made me feel like I overdid it at the gym for a few days.) I binge watched the entire series of The Office (American version) over the past few weeks.  I loved it.  It’s brilliant.  It helped keep me from drowning in this awful round of depression.  I’m approaching it as if it’s no big deal and nothing to panic over, mostly because I can’t afford to add anything detrimental to this shit storm.  (The skin of my teeth, yo.)

Besides, Liana Mormont, Arya Stark, and Ser Brienne of Tarth wouldn’t freak out over a little despair.  Not today.  💜✌🏽

“Death is number two!”

garbage or junk food

A letter to future me:  Please read this whenever you think perhaps you can get away with it just this one time.  You cannot. You cannot get away with it.  You’ve forgotten the consequences because it’s been so long since you last attempted this foolishness.  Stop it right now.  Read the whine-fest below, and remember where it leads.  Dammit.

I’m a strong woman.  Sometimes I make poor decisions and regret them later.  Apparently, I’m also a bit of a sadist, because I’ve made this particular error repeatedly.  I know better.  I guess I forgot I’m autistic and have PTSD or something.  Oops.  Tut tut.  There are rules.  I can’t eat garbage without paying a hefty price. It’s due to consequences that usually take at least a week to resolve entirely, and sometimes far longer.

The universe is laughing at me.  (Not the fun kind you can join.)  I put the wrong fuel in my body, and now it’s acting up.  I need a priorities intervention, stat.  I get tempted by junk food every so often, and instead of analyzing why, I give in and indulge.  I need that data because the results are once again kicking my ass.  (Perhaps some mild public shaming will finally put an end to this folly.)

It hit me just before 7 AM.  I awoke later than usual with no desire to get out of bed.  Just the idea of rising made me whimper inside; a red flag because I’m not big on sleep.  Unless I’m unwell, I’m ready to get up when I wake up.  Then, The Depression Monster showed up.  That bastard went straight to a commentary about politics designed to raise my blood pressure.

My mood did a backflip over the cliff, while simultaneously flipping both birds at half mast.  It happened so quickly I was stunned.  It probably worked in my favor by causing me to question what the hell just happened.  I realized The Depression Monster was involved and slammed on the brakes.  Then I figured out why and launched directly into beating myself about the head and neck for doing this to myself again.  Sigh.

garbage

I didn’t manage to shower and dress until 4 PM.  I didn’t spend that time in bed, though.  I spent it pacing around my apartment while debating with myself silently.  Some of that time was spent experiencing awe over how long I’d been doing it.  I tried so hard to stop.  I even wrote out the one step I was trying to take on my whiteboard, (then passed it over and over without it registering for a long, long time.)  It said, Get in the shower.

These are hours of my life I can never get back, (and this is day one.)  All because I had to eat some freaking garbage.  It’s not worth it.  Memorize this, Alison.  You’re in training for menopause, and it could start anytime in the next decade.  Get your shit together, or it’ll end you.  Dammit.

“Oh yeah, the nipple. But besides that, how did you feel about Kramer’s work?”

Laughing

I finished building my workstation computer last night.  I had to remove the enormous Cooler Master MA610P RGB CPU Air Cooler, and it’s going back to Amazon, along with the non-working cable extenders, and the extra Cryorig H7 ordered accidentally, (a $10 return shipping fee.)  I think it’s the last PC tower I’ll be building, even though I probably said this last time.  Heh.

It’s incredibly fast, so I’m pleased with the outcome.  I’m most impressed with the G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series RAM.  It looks fabulous with its cycling rainbow LED lights.  I wish motherboard producers would stop putting their drivers on a DVD, though.  It’s time to use stick drives as Microsoft does with Windows, (at least the LAN driver.)  I haven’t built a tower with a DVD drive in ages.  Software distribution by downloading is nearly universal.  I can’t think of an exception.

inside new build

I’m heading out of town soon.  The Depression Monster still has me in a headlock.  I don’t want to do anything.  Everything takes so much effort and makes me want to cry.  I guess it’s a good thing I forget about this shit once I’m feeling better.  The downside is how surprised I am each time I experience an episode.  I hate having to give myself a pep talk just to get up and go to the bathroom.  Fortunately, Amelia Bedelia is a sweetheart, and she follows me everywhere as if she’s lending me some strength.

My appetite has fled.  I forced myself to practice my drums yesterday.  I’m also almost finished rereading Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson.  I’m awed by its depth of understanding regarding PTSD.  It’s helping me in a manner I thought could be achieved through therapy, but unfortunately, I’ve never had a therapist who could see beyond my skin.  I regret how long it’s taken me to recognize it’s a dead end.  (I’ve met a few who saw me as human, but they weren’t available to treat me.)  Thank goodness for the incredible novels I’ve found, (Harry Potter series and the Cosmere stories.)

I listened to the latest episode of Gettin’ Grown with Jade and Keia on Tuesday.  They talked about how women of color are at a higher risk of certain diseases and conditions, and the necessity of maintaining checkups and preventative care.  They both admitted to neglecting to keep up their appointments and committed to scheduling them before the next episode.  I thought about doing the same, but then I recalled my predicament.  Subjecting myself to the treatment I’ve received at the Sioux Falls VA is sadistic.

I still liked listening to the podcast, though.  It’s something I look forward to each week.  I’m more interested in enjoying however much time I have left than potentially prolonging my life by enduring hateful people.  As much as I’d like to forget my experiences there, I’m grateful I remember because it prevents me from going back.  I could do without the nightmares, though.  The CBD oil has allowed me to sleep for at least four hours a night since I started taking it.  I only take a few drops before laying down (because it tastes horrible.)

I’m going back to Azeroth (World of Warcraft) to force The Depression Monster back into hiding.  Flying around and looking at the scenery while listening to my healing sisters (Stevie Nicks, Agnetha Fältskog, Lorde, Amy Lee, Beyoncé, and Sheryl Crow on my ultimate playlist) will help me shake free of this lingering melancholy.  Then I’ll follow it up with some comedians on Netflix and a lavender bath bomb before finishing my novel.  I’m feeling better just from typing this out.  Yay.

“It was more like a full-bodied dry heave set to music.”

For the music

I’m sad about the passing of author, Ursula LeGuin, yesterday.  Today is Virginia Woolf’s 136th birthday.  I decided to spend the day listening to Lorde.  I’m not done yet, but it’s been a soothing day so far.  She’s one of my healing sisters, along with Stevie Nicks, Beyoncè, Amy Lee, Sheryl Crow, Agnetha Faltskog, and Aretha Franklin.

They’re who caught me up through their music when I was (barely) enduring a period of devastation.  Losing my parents and closest siblings, divorce, surviving rape, etc.  All leveled me.  I can’t really wrap my head around the concept of such powerful bonds with people I’ve never met.  It’s too abstract.  (Much easier to just cherish it and enjoy the music.)

I’ve come to an important decision.  The next time Stevie Nicks or Fleetwood Mac tour, I’m going to go.  I’ve imagined it and tallied up the known consequences as well as potential unfortunate situations.  If they all happen, it’ll still be worth it.  (If nobody shoots me,) it’ll be an incredible experience.  (That’s the only thing I can think of at the moment that would utterly ruin it.)

I’m not going to let autism or PTSD rob me of this experience.  (Because hell no.)  I already know it’s not possible to die from being too happy.  So it’s all good.  Whatever I have to pay afterward (stapled to the floor) will be worth it.  Depending on when, I’ll either be going with M. or his sister, S.  Hopefully both.

I have noise canceling headphones to wear when the band isn’t playing.  Also, dark tinted glasses if it’s an outdoor show, or they flash bright lights at the audience.  I have lots of pocket-sized fidgets and anxiety focus figures.  Mini Tina (From Bob’s Burgers) is my favorite.

Tina

She’s only 2″ tall.  I also have a 24-Karat-Gold:  Songs from the Vault keychain from the Stevie Nicks website.  I love how it feels to hold, and it’s always cool.  I used to have a tiny Garnet from Steven Universe, but I lost it.   (I love cartoons.)  Now I want to watch Hey Arnold!, or Rocket Power.  Heh.  I’m off to read.