023. 2013.

Time for a yearly recap, isn’t it? I have been putting it off because to put it plainly, 2013 sucked. I spent most of it so utterly worn down by my mental health that I sometimes didn’t leave the apartment for weeks. I just couldn’t see any reason for doing it. Come September I finally had my meds checked over, after waiting a full seven months (I was supposed to have an appointment in February but there were no doctors so they just… didn’t bother), and now I feel somewhat better. Still fragile in some ways, but I feel like I’m getting there. I can cook more, I’m cleaning a bit more than I used to, etc. So that’s a start.

My goals for last year mostly weren’t fulfilled, but let’s run through them anyway:

Spend more time on original writing, less on just fucking around.
Nope. Did not happen. I did love my NaNo novel and will get back to it some time soon, but for most of the year I did no original writing at all. I had one thing published (one a year three years running now!), an essay in Queers Dig Time Lords by Mad Norwegian Press.

Read 25 books.
Nope. I made it to 19, which isn’t awful, but not great either. I think my favourite books of the year was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which I can’t say much about without spoiling it but it was beautiful, Only Ever Always by Penni Russon (reviewed here and omg I loved it so much), The Name of the Star and The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson (sort of reviewed here) and Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan. I also quite liked Doll Bones by Holly Black and Abhorsen by Garth Nix. Wasn’t a big fan of Lirael, book 2 in the series, though. I read book 1 in 2012 so it doesn’t count.

Take my meds, cook food at least twice a week (yes, it really is that bad), leave the apartment occasionally.
Somewhat. I took my meds, but they didn’t help. I cooked a little, I rarely went outside. A bit more towards the end of the year, though, so that’s something.

If I feel okay come summer, get another cat (!)
Did not happen, mostly because the summer was a pretty awful time.

Try not to withdraw socially (Twitter counts! For now. Because I’m sad.)
Nope. I failed massively on Twitter and blog reading, but made a few friends elsewhere online. Still not great.

Yoga/Couchto5k/Something else. If you can.
Nope. I kind of want to start going to the gym again though, if I can afford it and I feel strong enough. Giving it a month or so to recover from Christmas funtimes.

This is a pretty depressing end of the year summary, sorry. It just wasn’t a very good year. My goals for next year (not resolutions, I don’t do resolutions) will be the following:

- Spend more time offline. It’s good for you.
- Work out maybe? Or do walks. Something like that.
- Cook more often. Bake a bit. It would be cool to learn how to make gluten free bread.
- Remember fat acceptance and health at every size. Practice it.
- Drink more water (at least 1 liter per day would be excellent, 0.5 liter minimum).
- Another cat? Is this the year for that?
- Work on a novel or short story or SOMETHING at least two days a week. You can dooooo it.

And that’s going to have to do because there’s a game on in 15 minutes. LET’S GO PENS.

019.

So I did finish NaNoWriMo. Sixth consecutive year, seventh over all. Last year was a struggle and I pretty much hated the book by week 2. This year was a lot easier, once I swapped the tense and points of view around a bit. Once I’ve had a breather and submitted some other stuff I will go back to it because it’s a story I will finish. Once I read a lot of comics and watch a lot of X-Men, that is. Because I still have no idea what I’m doing in regards to the powers these kids have or how they even work.

Yep. I’m writing superpowers. ME. It’s really different, but fun. Lots of fun.

Another good thing: I feel well enough to actually do things like cleaning for Christmas, thinking about baking cookies and saffron buns and making my own Christmas cards. Last year I couldn’t even be bothered to put up the tree. This year I’m buying decorations. I may run out of spoons and not do half the stuff I have planned, but but just thinking about doing these things and not freak out from the pressure is weird. Good weird, but weird all the same. Basically: I think the meds are working. I’m tentative in the whole NOW I’M HEALTHY AGAIN HOORAY thing because I don’t trust my body enough to believe that this is it, but even small steps like this is exciting. Which I guess tells you a lot about the last few years in Kaialand.

Finally, a few pictures…

07 05 04
03 02 01

They can be summed up as: hand knits are awesome, I love my sewing corner, I do all my typing with my hands sticking out under my cats belly and I don’t recommend living through the biggest snow storm in years with a window that doesn’t close. Also, it’s advent.

016. NaNoWriMo, day 12. And muffins.

20875 / 52500 (39.76%)

I’m doing decently with NaNoWriMo. And yes, my wordcount is 52,500 rather than 50,000. It turns out the short story I wrote to get myself familiar with the universe didn’t want to be a short story. It wanted to be a first chapter. So yeah. Extra words needed.

Now that my meds are (mostly) working I am trying to actually remember how to be functional. After spending most of the year hiding under the covers because I had no medication that worked and couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment, that’s really hard. I’m just not used to it. The schedule I posted about last time is going so-so – I’m definitely not going for walks every single day, and I never “work” for four hours in a day. Ever. But I try to do a couple of hours and it’s sort of working. Even if I still go to bed at 3 am more often than not because my tragically CST timezone afflicted friend never gets home from work before 1 am my time. But you know, it really doesn’t matter when I do my sleeping. If my goal for the day is to cook something, do some dishes, and write for two hours because that’s all I have spoons for, why does it have to be at 9 am? (It doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.)

As far as food goes, today I made these using this recipe. The flours used was about 150 grams random gluten free flour mix (this one had whole oats sprinkled into it, which was weird but very yum), 50 grams buckwheat flour and only 30 ickle grams almond flour, since the latter is so expensive that buying it makes me want to cry. It makes really good food though. I used three medium eggs instead of two large and about 400 grams of bananas. Aaaand the magic ingredient (as it turned out) was to replace half of the walnuts with dark chocolate chips.

(This is all notes for when I make this recipe again, #sorrynotsorry.)

And as it’s 3:06 am I suppose I’m past my bedtime. So if you’ll excuse me, I will congratulate myself for having the energy to both cook, clean out the fridge, do dishes, bake and write 2500 words in one day by creeping to bed. And hopefully using all those spoons today won’t leave me at a shortage for the next three days.

Fingers crossed, etc.

012. Queers Dig Time Lords (again)

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 16.24.25

So I’ve been too lazy to blog about Queers Dig Time Lords, the book I have an essay in that came out two days ago. Blame the depression. It’s what I do. This morning (cough 1:30 pm) I woke up feeling awful (oh woe is me) and not only because the Penguins are 3-0 down in games in the playoffs what is wrong with you the Bruins suck get yourself together I can’t go on if you let MARCHAND go to the finals you jerks and I spent all night watching them lose in second overtime, but you’ve heard all the rest before, so let’s not even go there. But then! Then I went on Twitter and was linked to this review and I know keysmashing is strictly a Tumblr thing and definitely nothing you should post in your offically officalest of official blogs which isn’t all that official since all I write about is depression, books and muffins, but aökdfafdaöhdfadhfa!!!! (The same goes for multiple exclamation marks, doesn’t it?)

For posterity and also because it makes me feel good, let’s blockquote it:

The most moving section of the book is by Kaia Landelius. In “Spoilers: A Letter to Myself: Age 16”, Landelius writes a beautiful letter to her younger self. The message is one of hope. She explains that no matter how difficult things seem and how confused she is, not to worry. One day she will find the Doctor and all of his wonderful companions which will put everything into perspective. This contribution struck a chord as no matter what your sexual orientation, all Whovians who find the show later in life wish they would have had it sooner to help make sense out of growing up.

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 16.24.47

I love how just reading the table of contents is an amazing exercise because the titles of the essays are just so brilliant. I’m sure the essays are just as awesome, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to read the book yet. The few times I’ve been published I’ve simply let the book sit on my coffee table for months, sort of circling around it like it’s something really scary, because I’m a ridiculous person. This time I hope to get that down to a few weeks because they all sound brilliant.

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 16.25.09

And finally, the first page of my article. Because I want to, that’s why. It wasn’t quite a police phone box, by the way, but close enough.

After writing that last paragraph I actually went and checked whether it could’ve been a proper one and yes! I think it actually is one. Probably not in use but in the words of Wikipedia:

Some have been converted into High Street coffee bars. These are common in Edinburgh, though the City also has dozens that remain untouched — most in various states of disrepair. Edinburgh’s boxes are relatively large, and are of a rectangular plan, with a design by Ebenezer James MacRae, who was inspired by the city’s abundance of neoclassical architecture.

So that’s pretty cool.

007.

My goal when I rebooted this blog was to not start every post with “yeah my health sucks”, but dear reader? It really does. I’ve spent most of it on the couch or in bed. Blah blah blah boring things blah blah blah.

I’ve been writing “drabbles” (flash fiction it might be called in non-fannish terms? tiny bits of prose, 500 words or so), and as I wrote it has turned into a storyline I’m filling in bit by bit, and not in order at all. I love it, other people seem to like it and it’s making me want to do proper writing again. So I opened up Scrivener and rewrote a chapter. Started a second. Then there was hockey on the TV and I stopped.

Goals for next week (I wrote this week and twenty minutes later realised it’s Friday, good job):
- Rewrite half a chapter a day,
- Clean my fucking bedroom,
- Go outside at least twice,
- Answer the phone when people call,
- Start reading Lirael.
- cook at least twice.

It’s sixteen years since the first episode of Buffy was aired. This means it’s also sixteen year olds since I was in high school. What the everlovingfuck, how did this happen?

I think I’ll go contemplate the idea that I’m almost in my mid-thirties. If twenty-year-old me had known she would still be struggling with depression thirteen years old later I might not be. So I should be happy. But oh dear God, I feel old.

My obsession with Les Misérables continues. I’m actually going to attempt to read the book. Researched what translation I want and everything. Wish me luck.

006.

It’s ironic, how as soon as I decided to at least try to turn my life around at least a little, I fell into the biggest slump ever. This week I had one day when I burst into tears at least a dozen times, and a whole other day when I went to sit in the dark with music to block out all sound, because there were too many people in the room.

So either I’m having a dip (fucking bipolar, I hate you) or I’m getting worse. Again I don’t know which and it would be less worrying if I knew when I’d get to see a psychiatrist.

Let me fill you in on this one:

I live in a small town in Sweden where no psychiatrists apparently want to live ever, nor do they want to work at the (state run, I guess? Idk the proper term) mental health clinic because nobody wants to work there so working there sucks. I’m told by my sister who has four months left before she’ll be a licensed nurse (right now she’s in Tanzania on a work study thing, how cool is that?), that makes complete sense. The health care is seriously lacking in this country, and so many doctors and nurses simply can’t do it, it’s too stressful to cope.

But back to the story: at the only mental health clinic in town they have no psychiatrists, so they keep having to rent doctors from other clinics in other towns. Which is expensive and leads to them having even less time and money to put down on treating their actual patients, who get a new doctor every single time, because none of them stay more than a month or two. I think I’ve seen six or eight in the last couple of years, only one more than once.

I was promised by one of the temporary psychiatrists I saw in January that I would get contacted before my sick leave paperwork idk what you call it in English ran out. I never was, so I called them and was told that I’m on a waiting list. They can’t even tell me if it will take a month or more to get my appointment.

So hahahaha I need to contact the aköfhdaöfdhafdahfdafd everything in the whole world to tell them this clinic sucks but that their paperwork will be in SOME TIME THIS YEAR HOPEFULLY BEFORE SUMMER and hope they are okay with that explanation or I’ll lose my precious precious income.

Being mentally ill really sucks. You have to be healthy to be able to do all the phone calls and arguing and stuff for your appointments. Which… you wouldn’t need if you were healthy.

So yeah, that’s a whole new kind of stress, and I really don’t need it right now. I try to hang in there and do my best to get better, but it’s hard when it’s like this. My mum says she’ll pay for a private therapist (we have those), but I’ve seen so many and they all say the same things, and I can basically script their answers out before they even say them. But maybe I will. I don’t know. I guess we’ll see.

But this? This is really fucking frustrating

004.

I’m going to write about something I have avoided to blog about for over six months. If you don’t want to read I understand, because God knows I scroll as soon as someone mentions the word weightloss. This isn’t about ‘life style changes’ (I hate that fucking expression) and counting calories, though. It’s about being so depressed that “if I eat that food today I’ll have nothing cooked tomorrow and cooking is too hard” makes perfect sense.

I’m ashamed of it. I try to blame it on new meds. I try to say I eat pretty well. Here’s a secret: I don’t. Some weeks I live entirely on sandwiches or chips or apples. Other weeks I cook maybe once, and eat that stuff for that whole week. Sometimes I go over to my parents house on weekends, just so that someone will cook for me and I won’t have to use all my spoons to make a simple meal. They always send me home with leftovers. Sometimes they last for days.

This is not me losing weight on purpose. This is me living extremely unhealthily. This is me losing 32 kilos (and counting) by eating chips instead of vegetables, and toast instead of fruit. This is me feeling that I’m doing good if I cook more than once in a week.

People have started asking me if I eat, what I weigh, if I’ve lost weight. Not in a good way. In that way they had, back in high school, when I had an eating disorder and a mystery illness and was too weak to sit up by the dinner table and had to suck on sugar cubes just keep from collapsing in class.

I used to weigh 100 kilos and run and eat perfectly healthily. I used to rant and rage about idiot people in my blog on fat acceptance and health at every size. My last run was in May 2012. My last post in that blog was in August 2012.

Technically speaking, I’m of a ‘normal’ weight now. On the upper half of normal even, if we speak BMI. BMI is utter bullshit, though, BMI is the least thing you should look at for health. It doesn’t count muscles vs fat ratio, it doesn’t care if parts of that fat is because you have an awesome rack (I don’t, by the way), it doesn’t do any of those things. It was construed in an attempt to figure out the ‘average man’, ranging from the average length of his arm to the age he would get married. BMI is arbitrary. But should someone ask, this is what being of ‘normal weight’, of the elusive 22 on that stupid scale, feels like. I’d rather be able to have dinner without having to lie down afterwards because eating sitting up takes all my strength, but hey.

I’m trying to decide if writing this is oversharing. If I’m right back where I started, if what I’m writing now is no different than the way too personal stuff that’s in all those posts I just set to private in an attempt to start over. Maybe I am. But this, my friends, is where I’ve been the last six months. Knowing that it’s unhealthy, that it isn’t good for me, that I’m letting down my HAES-friends, and everyone who reads that other blog of mine. Turning this over and over in my head, staring at the screen, trying not to write about it because I didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. To think I’m losing weight on purpose.

The worst part is probably that a small part of me, the one with the eating disorder, the one that thinks it’s an accomplishment to look like this, likes being below 70. I do my best to silence her, because it’s nothing but proof that eating disorders are forever, that the thoughts are forever burned into your brain, but sometimes it’s hard. Not always, but a lot of the time.

Fuck her, though. Fuck her, fuck the depression, fuck the anxiety and the doctor who says my bloodwork is fine and I’m healthy and shouldn’t feel this way. This is where I try. Try and fail, probably, but trying all the same. Today I fought the “but I’ll have to cook tomorrow if I eat it now” voice. I had both lunch and dinner. I did the dishes. I read a book. I went for a ridiculously short walk. Last week the streak of making things right lasted two days. Let’s make it three this week, shall we?

And please, please, please don’t see this as me advocating, condoning or otherwise saying yay to unhealthy weightloss or any weightloss whatsoever. I don’t. Dieting is evil. Most (healthy) ways to lose weight aren’t successful. Those that are, will probably not stick around. I still believe all those things. And maybe one day I’ll eat like I used to, and go for runs, and blog about how fucked up these skinny ideals are. Maybe I’ll be fat again, then. (Fat is a neutral word, people. I put no emphasis, positive or negative, on it.) Who the hell knows.

I’m going to hit ‘publish’ now. I hope I won’t regret it later.