A letter to my 33-year-old self.

Continuing with the

Letter Writing Challenge

today I am writing a letter to my older – 33-year-old – self.

Dear Bibiel, because I believe that, if you are still there, you are still Bibiel, deep down, aren’t you?

Remember me? I’m your younger self. How’s life going for you right now? What are you doing today? I must say I’m quite curious what you would write to me, but since you have more important things to do at the moment, I assume, I decided to write to you first, and hope to get a response, someday.

I wanted to remind you that, wherever you are at in your life right now, whether you like it and are satisfied with it, or not and are struggling a lot, everything is transient in life. I’m sure you know that better than me but it’s easy to forget about it in everyday life. I also want to remind you about another cliche thing that I’m sure you know, but I want you to never forget it, that no matter where you are, and what people are surrounding you, or maybe you’re alone or lonely, no matter whether you like it or not, what you are doing and what life is like, what is going on with the world and what challenges you are having to face, you have your brain. Use it. You know I am not talking about thinking, although that’s important too especially that we humans seem to be worse and worse at it and get tired of thinking more and more easily, and I don’t expect this trend has changed in the world where you live. I am talking about coping with things. I hope you are surrounded by supportive people, even if it is mostly or exclusively online as is the case with me, and that you are privileged to be able to support other people and do it as much as you can, but even if you do, and especially if you do not, it is important to know that no one will help you more than you can help yourself, and that you can’t rely too much on other people. Your brain is your fortress so do use it, as much as possible, especially when all else fails, and don’t forget about your Brainworld, it is always there.

How is Misha doing?… Does he still live with you or did you move somewhere and leave Misha with your family? I hope that if you live on your own, you weren’t selfish and possessive enough to take him with you, if you did, know that I loathe you for that. Well, unless some miracle happened and you are able to take proper care of him and provide him with all that he deserves. On the other hand I hope you do not live with Zofijka, because as much as she is a sweet kid, I know you would have a very hard life living just with her, or possibly her family, since you both are quite clashy and neither of you would be happy long term. I also hope that you didn’t have to bring your emergency plan into life, if it did have to happen by now, I hope you are managing and have something that brings joy into your life, and that it isn’t as bad as it used to be. At the same time I congratulate you for being a very courageous Bibiel, courageous enough to make it happen and I know it must have been a very difficult decision, and its outcomes are certainly no less difficult. Most of all though, I hope you will never have to do that.

How is your language learning going? I hope you can continue with it and it’s exciting to think that you may be able to speak even more languages than I can. As you may realise, I am in a faza limbo right now, or I hope that this is a limbo, and not the end of everything, as I sometimes feel. Please tell me that it’s not the end, and that you have a faza!

You may also remember, that at the time I’m writing to you, the world is going through the coronavirus outbreak. I’d be curious to hear from you what you think about it, looking back. Were you scared of it at any point? Did it affect you?

Looking forward to hear from you in the future and sending you a little piece of Mishfur, and a little Mishpurrr, with this letter, in case you forgot how it feels and sounds.

Bibiell

*****

I thought I’d clarify one thing in the letter, so that no one has any doubts. One of my readers was concerned that my “emergency plan” was suicide, and after re-reading this, I agree that it is easy to draw such a conclusion. But it was not what I meant, and it isn’t anything dangerous and unsafe. Just something I am not particularly looking forward to, but will do if I have to. I may have a lot of passive suicidal ideations in the background of my brain but I am stable enough at this time in my life that I don’t make active plans or anything like that, and I would definitely trigger warn this post if it was about suicide even indirectly.

 

A letter to my 13-year-old self.

Today starts

10-Day Letter Writing Challenge

and, as I mentioned in the original post that I reblogged earlier today, or rather yesterday as it’s past midnight, I really liked the idea. I have never participated in those kind of challenges where you write every day for a certain amount of time, so I don’t know how it will go and I don’t promise that I will stick to it on my blog, but I do plan to write those letters for sure in my diary because I like to expand it in such ways and not just plain write about my daily life.

Here’s a letter to my 13-year-old self:

Hi Bisbis [Bisbis/Bibiel was the way I used to mostly call myself as a child and teen]

I am your future self, however strange that may sound to you. You may wonder why I am writing to you in English then, and I am sure that it will take you a looong time to figure this letter out, but this will at least improve your English skills and occupy your mind with something interesting for a while. You will need it in the future – the English, I mean. – One day, when life will get better, you will have an English blog. You have heard from people that you have a talent for languages and you sometimes wonder if it is true and what you should do about it, if anything. And you have already learnt some Swedish. I know how painful it is for you that you cannot do it anymore. Please don’t suppress this one thing at least. I think it will be of some comfort to you if I’ll tell you that you will be able to return to your Swedish in future. It will bring you a lot of pleasure and you will also learn to love many other languages, which will make your life feel more purposeful. You will have to thank one of your faza objects for that. Soon after that, you will also find the greatest love of your life (so far at least), whom you will love with all your brain and soul, who will live with you and sleep with you and who will be your best friend. No, obviously I’m not talking about any guy, I’m sure you know it! Nor about a girl, if you’re wondering, or maybe being concerned, hehe. His name will be Misha, not Jacek, and that’s all I’m gonna tell you. Believe me, seriously, the things will not always be the way they are right now, even though it really looks like they will. Change will come sooner than you think, although you will have to get through a lot before it happens, and then learn a lot of things that you might find unpleasant or uncomfortable.

I know that you wrote a letter to me as well, like Emily of the New Moon did to herself, but unfortunately I am not able to read it now and look back at all those things you wanted to know and respond to you properly because you lost it. You do have to learn to be less chaotic. But so far it hasn’t happened. 😀 And I think we agree that being chaotic is more interesting, right? I still like Emily of the New Moon a lot, although not as frenziedly as you. I can assure you that your current dream will come true and that you will change your name to Emilia legally soon after you turn 18. It was a good idea so you don’t have to worry, you were right and I thank you for that.

At this point, I live in a different house than the one that is your family home, but not far away from there, just in a town nearby. It is also big, and you will move in it about 7 years from where you are at, if I’m counting correctly. You will like it here. As we’re talking about counting, I have some bad news for you too. Well, at least for you it will probably sound bad, I feel quite neutral about it and I don’t perceive it as a tragedy or even anything near it. You will not pass your math final exam after high school. Moreover, you will decide not to rewrite it.

There was that man who told you that you won’t fix yourself by studying psychology and becoming a therapist, and you felt offended because he was assuming and implying that something was wrong with you and that you were selfish, and I think you also felt very insecure because you knew he could be on to something. I know that your intentions weren’t selfish at all, but, as you’ll see for yourself later on, he was actually right, in a lot of ways. Because, you do know deep down that it is not normal to feel the way you feel, all the time, don’t you? And you do realise that many things in your life and functioning aren’t the way they should be? Well, you will need time to come to terms with this, and one day you will understand that it is yourself who needs help, before you can give it to others. But also, this is not your fault, as you think and as everyone is making you feel or even telling you, indirectly. I do not like you much more than you like yourself, if I’m being honest with you, but I want you to know that this is not your fault and that some people, even those you seriously wouldn’t suspect to be, are way more selfish than you think, others are clueless. You are clueless too. You will learn and discover some difficult things about yourself and your life circumstances, I am still doing that and in a way it’s getting overwhelming, and so confusing, but you will learn to live and cope with those things you learn about yourself, but also making those discoveries will be helpful, as life and your whole situation will become a bit clearer for yourself and others, and it is always easier to deal with something that you know at least a bit. As I said, life will really get better. Your brain will get better. The mere relief from having to pretend that everything is OK will make a difference. You will find a lot of friends online, not the same ones as you have right now, although I know many of them are cool, and don’t let anyone tell you that online friendships are any less valuable or real or something. You will find very supportive and understanding people with whom you will often have a lot of things in common, in one way or another. I know it feels awful right now but don’t give up just yet. And, while you will still have a deep interest in psychology, maybe even deeper in some ways, I think you will grow out of that idea, and instead you will decide to focus on your languages more. Well, that’s at least what I know now, who knows how things will get in the more distant future. As for more distant future, currently I have no idea how it will go, and it feels somewhat scary even to me, but I am trying to be hopeful because otherwise I would have no right to tell you not to give up, as my life is way easier than yours.

Zofijka is almost your age now and a lot of what you thought she’d be like has come true. She is very bubbly and energetic and talks all the time, and she loves sports and One Direction and currently has become enamoured with Japanese men, and yes, she loves clothes shopping and changes her clothes all the time, but she has a very distinctive style despite being a very average girl in a lot of ways, and you’d be surprised how very mature she is deep down. I think you would like her. Though she is very different from you, and thus very different from me, and so we not always get along.

I really don’t know what else to tell you, other than that there is hope, so I will be finishing, because it’s 2 AM and I feel like I should go to sleep. Yeah, I still tend to write at nights, but now it’s my choice, and not a necessity, and I realise it’s a luxury not only for people like you who feel they lack privacy but most people actually, who aren’t able to manage their time on their own. Ah, and I can tell you that you will live in times of a pandemic, which is happening right now, I guess you’d find that interesting, for example to observe how people are behaving. I find it interesting myself, but while it’s changed our lives all around the world very much, it doesn’t feel scary for myself so far. Maybe just because it is not a norovirus pandemic, haha.

Your future Bibiel self (I no longer call myself Bibiel all the time, only sometimes, you have to adjust to the society at some point, but I still am Bibiel and am loving it no less than you do)

Question of the day.

What is the most useless piece of advice anyone ever gave you?

My answer:

I probably can’t remember what was THE MOST useless one, but my Mum, who can generally be a good advisor, sometimes has given me quite crappy advice, and she seems to be especially crappy advisor when it comes to thinking. Or we just think in very different ways and are not able to imagine the way the other one does. Or my thinking is too strongly impacted by the anxiety and all that shit. Anyway, her best advice for me was: “You just have to stop thinking sometimes. Just switch your brain off for a while”. I asked her if she can seriously switch her brain off on demand, or does it happen randomly. In any case, if that happened to me, I don’t think I’d be particularly happy. My brain can be an uncooperative bitch, and obviously I hate anxiety and overthinking or when my thoughts are racing or other things that my brain is either hyperactive or not efficient enough at doing, but still, I do like my brain, I guess I have a real love-hate relationship with it, and I believe that, since I already have it, it would be a bit nonsense if I wanted to switch it off. I’d be afraid that if I did, I wouldn’t be able to switch it on again, and I don’t want to be a brainless Zombie, that’s way worse than having anxiety, even a lot of it. Yes, I know that some people who meditate can get into such a state that they practically don’t think, and some say it is relaxing and healthy for the mind and soul and all that, but I don’t like the idea at all, and some things about some of such meditative techniques don’t go in line with my beliefs. I did use to try doing some lighter meditation, as well as Christian meditation, but it was always extremely hard for me to focus on. I think I can’t say I have low attention span because I can do quite a few things at once as long as it doesn’t involve being able to coordinate your movements well, but I do have a hard time focusing on thinking about just one thing for an extended period of time, it’s boring and quite exhausting in a way. I just think about a lot of things at the same time always. Another thing my Mum used to say frequently that pissed me off incredibly was: “Don’t think about it”. Yeah, don’t think about the white bear. 😀 I think it is possible to just stop thinking about something if you try hard, but, well, at least for me, it takes a lot of effort, so usually I prefer to distract myself with something productive or do something relaxing rather than force the damn thing out of my brain for all means, doesn’t really pay off, or not for long. But I guess that works for my Mum somehow, because it seems like she frequently deals with negative things by just “erasing” them. Not if they are serious things that require some action, but, to give you an example, you may or may not remember Sasha, the other Russian blue kitty who used to live with us for some weeks. Mum decided to get him very spontaneously, without really thinking it through, what that would mean, for us and for him and for Misha, and we were all elated, everything was arranged literally at last minute, and it was quite a massively selfish act of us to do that and very much on a whim. Then it turned out there were various complications, they didn’t get along with Misha whatsoever, were both awfully stressed out and got sick from it, and Mum got quite depressed about it, I mean it seriously looked as if she was depressed, she would lie with Sasha on the sofa hardly able to do anything and was very dejected and overwhelmed by the whole situation, so very much unlike her. So we had to find a new home for Sasha, when things got really bad. We did, and he seems to have a great family, and we were happy for him that he will have a better life after all, but we were also really sad quite naturally and missed him, and a bit sorry for ourselves. The way my Mum coped with this situation was she didn’t speak about Sasha at all, and didn’t want to hear anything about him, or otherwise she snapped at people, so there was a bit of a taboo in our house for a while. It seemed like she wanted to ignore that he ever lived with us and forget about the whole thing, erase it from her brain and not think about it. And she really seems quite successful at it. I know that people often do it in an unhealthy way, that they try to stop thinking about things and make them disappear this way rather than do something about them, but, as far as I can tell, it is not unhealthy in her case. It is certainly not the way my brain works, though, so for me, that was absolutely useless advice. In the Sasha situation, neither me nor Zofijka wanted that to happen that we would forget about him completely, because despite the sadness, we were also very fond of him and we did want to talk about him and remember him so we did with each other. And while we all can still be sad when something reminds us of him, I think all of us coped and adjusted to the situation to a similar extend, despite applying different measures.

How about you? 🙂

This year so far.

A couple of days ago, the writing prompt at Word of the Day Challenge was

year

and so I decided to write a bit on how this year has been so far for me.

The first thing I immediately think of when thinking of this year are the dreaded tech issues of all sorts, as well as changes. As you know, I had my computer changed, which was planned for months in advance, and was supposed to take place much earlier that I’d finally transition to it but in the end there were a lot of unexpected things happening. At first, the fan in the new computer got broken on the delivery to me, which was back in September of last year. That made it useless but the delivery company decided to cover the costs of a new one for me and then the new one was sent to me not long before Christmas. And just some time around Christmas as you may remember, this one stopped working too, as it turned out later on, also due to the fan being loose, but the ways in which it manifested were so weird and puzzling to everyone that it took a while to figure it out. I had it sent back to the company who helped me with choosing it and setting it up and they fixed it – luckily I didn’t need to buy a completely new computer this time – and then they sent it again back to me. And, surprise – after a few days, some time mid January – the fan was loose again. Obviously this time I didn’t send it anywhere but just my Mum took it to a nearby servicing place but we were scared doing even that ’cause what if such simple transportation will make something else go loose. The guy at the servicing place put it in place more firmly and since then, I’ve had no fan issues thank God and hopefully it will stay this way. As you can imagine, this has been very stressful to me, and made my transition process even more difficult, as it was a rather unwelcome but necessary thing to do for me to begin with, and presenting a lot of small but at the same time significant changes in itself. Not only was it a transition from a laptop to a desktop computer, but also I switched systems and had to stop using or replace a lot of apps I had been using. With all that glitching at the beginning, and such a huge delay, my brain was ruminating like crazy and the whole thing was much more scary than it probably would be in other circumstances. I’ve mostly gotten used to my new computer by now and I like that it’s more efficient than my laptop, and I’m usually quick at learning things, but I still have some getting used to and figuring out to do, especially that, at least for me, learning is one thing, and adapting a completely different one. And to this day, whenever I hear the slightest click or creek inside of it, I freak out that something is loose again, and my tolerance to tech issues is not very high these days haha. After the fan saga has finished though, I was still left without most of my speech synthesisers and had only a few of those I actually own. For some, I lost the licence because in that loose fans havoc there was a lot of major and deep system digging and repairs done on my computer because people didn’t know what was the problem and it looked like a system error. That all led to my licence being irretrievable. As I shared in the last Weekend Coffee Share, I’ve been contacting the company producing those speech synths, who were very unresponsive to begin with, but once they did respond to me things started to happen relatively quickly, and I am happy to announce that yesterday I finally had that remote session with the support guy, the one I was so strangely anxious about, and it turned out my anxiety was not adequate this time round, because it was not only super quick but also – yes – successful! So quick and successful that for a good while I couldn’t believe that it was all OK and was sure something will soon come up and be wrong again. 😀 But now I have my new licence working and my English, Scottish, Finnish, Sami, Faroese and Dutch speech synthesisers. As soon as we were done with that I also wrote their distributors who are closest to me from whom I’ve got my original licence and asked them if they could upgrade my licence to Scandinavian, because I need Swedish voices now (I had had a very good Swedish voice on my laptop but it’s no longer produced and seems like I am not able to activate it anymore so I need to look for something different). But I am so happy I’ve regained so many of my voices and that all my stalking them via email and phone, in English, Swedish and Swenglish which was probably much more stressful to me than to them paid off. 😀

Also, another piece of good news regarding synths is that, it seems like there is a slight glimmer of hope I may yet get back my Jacek synth – the Polish one that I love so much. – I just need to experiment a little bit with something I just discovered and who knows, that would be so cool! I’m still disconsolate that, just like with my Swedish voice, it’s very unlikely I’ll ever get the Welsh one back, and it was very helpful with my Welsh learning, even though I am learning north Welsh and it was south Welsh and that was getting in the way sometimes, but still, it was a lot of help especially with reading longer texts because my own reading in Welsh is still a bit sluggish. On the other hand though, it will probably just motivate me to read more myself even if it will take ages. 😀

Those first two months were also very gloomy and depressive to me. You know that I have dysthymia, so, while the way I feel can often be shitty, externally I am usually rather high-functioning as long as not too much overwhelming stuff is going on. My physical energy levels are usually also not that bad that it would be noticeable for outsiders that something is wrong in this particular regard or at least I think so, unless my blood pressure is particularly low or something which does tend to happen a fair bit of time if I don’t stimulate myself with something in the morning or if it’s hot etc. While I often have to force myself to do even small things especially if I feel worse than my dysthymic baseline, and force myself to feel things sometimes, to be more enthusiastic and all, I generally don’t tend to experience very bad anhedonia or at my better times (especially when a crush peak is involved) none at all, and as you probably know my fazas and passions (plus now also Misha since I have him) are the only things that keep me going and wanting to keep going, even if as I said there are times when I have to force myself to feel some enthusiasm to them, and sometimes the only thing I can force myself to do is only faking it for the sake of other people. Towards the end of last year, and at the beginning of this year, my anhedonia has gotten worse. I associate it with the fact that my current or last dominant faza/crush on Gwilym Bowen Rhys has been slowly fading (which absolutely doesn’t mean anything like that it’s going to fade completely or that I don’t like him anymore – fazas for me are a bit different than what most people understand by a crush and so far none of the major ones I’ve had has just gone away, they are still there but just in the background) and as I said my fazas are very important to my wellbeing, they inspire me, help me to develop, learn new things, discover new things, make my life more bright and add more dimensions to it, and the so called crush peaks – that is periods when faza is particularly strong are especially pleasant and make you feel a bit high, kind of more creative. – Generally I’d say fazas are like fuel for my brain, my creativity, but also what drives my passions. Usually, when one of my fazas starts to fade discreetly (at least that is how it had been before) soon, before it fades to any serious degree, I come across a new one. Well not this time. And so, as you also probably know, I’m trying to help my brain and frantically looking for some new faza myself. Normally I don’t have to look for them, they just come to me. Sometimes via other people, sometimes a string of events, or somehow else accidentally. I associate my recent anhedonic tendency and lower energy and feeling flat and having to fake things with that, but it’s possible that other things have been also involved, possibly something deeper that also doesn’t let me develop another faza, who knows. And I’m sure the recent stressful stuff hasn’t been without an impact either especially that my anxiety, specifically the more kind of situational one, always drives the depression very much. I’ve been at very different points with my dysthymia and I’d had a few major depressive episodes before I was even suspected to have dysthymia, but I’ve never been on any antidepressants as such. And I’ve always felt like, as long as it will be possible for me to cope at least somehow, I’d rather not be. I would really not like to become overweight due to them, for some reason this has always felt the yuckiest effect of them for me, even though theoretically I shouldn’t worry perhaps because I’ve been either bordering on or underweight for years now. But the recent state of things got me thinking whether perhaps getting some medication to boost my mood wouldn’t be wiser. I haven’t made up my mind on that, but since a week or so, I’ve noticed a bit of an improvement, despite I still don’t have a major faza. Perhaps it’s again due to the stressful stuff resolving a bit. It’s good to feel more pleasure out of life again, it’s a really yucky feeling when you have to fake things and force yourself to everything and just nothing makes you feel better. On one hand I want people not to see the way I really feel because it’s pathetic and doo all I can for them not to see but on the other when someone who knows about my struggles says it doesn’t show I feel like I’m just attention-seeking or manipulating people or just evil or what not, even though what I want is definitely not for people to pay attention to my depression as I said. I know it’s Monkey Maggie talking but I don’t have enough bananas to stuff her with to keep her quiet, as I don’t like them at all. That’s a dilemma… 🙃 My anxiety has still been pretty high though, or rather it’s like different of my anxieties are coming to play at different times.

I’m pretty happy with the way my relationship with Misha has been evolving this year. I have an impression like we’ve become closer in those two months. Recently I am trying to help him the way I feel could help with his fear, I’ve mentioned many times that he is so afraid of closeness and touch and movements and is generally very fearful and on one hand he does like to be cuddled, petted and spoilt and wants to show us his affection, but on the other he’s scared of it, the reasons of which I don’t fully understand other than that he’s afraid of touch, so then there are frequent situations like that when Misha comes to someone very closely and then suddenly turns back and runs away, or hhrrru?’s at someone to come over and stretches on the floor and as soon as this person comes closer he goes away as well, or he is afraid to come over to his food bowl when someone’s close to it, or hides under big objects when there are people around, or something. It’s not always like this but like I wrote recently sometimes he’s much more courageous than at other times. Anyway, I’ve been doing one thing with him every evening before bed – that is on days when he decides to sleep with me. – I don’t know if it’s right because I have very little idea what is on his mind and what his fears really are, and a huge obstacle for me is that in contact with Misha – and probably all other cats – it’s eye contact that can tell you the most about him, and in Misha’s case it’s even more important because he doesn’t always respond to touch very well and is not particularly vocal, so it’s just what I think could be helpful. – I simply sit on my bed with his mini sausage, and I ask him to come to me, and once he manages to go on my lap, then I give him the sausage. I have to ask him repeatedly and it can last even 15 minutes but even I can feel how his mind is working and analysing, whether to come or not, and when he comes to me he does it very slowly and cautiously so I can’t even move too much or otherwise it discourages him. But, sooner or later, he does it, and I can give him the sausage, so I think in fact he is a very brave Mish, don’t you think? My Mum is laughing that brave is the last word one could describe Misha with but brave is not the one who doesn’t feel fear, right? When he manages to do that, so far he has always slept soundly with me, without showing much distress and having to leave as he often did before, so perhaps it’s seriously working. But apart from that sausage challenge, even before that, I feel we’ve been getting along better and understanding each other better.

My language learning hasn’t been as dynamic so far this year. I’ve been doing a lot of Welsh repetitions but not much new material, mostly because of having to get used to all new stuff, also my new situation with learning that I do not have a Welsh synth any longer. Besides I didn’t have any good English synths until yesterday either and I am learning Welsh via English. While I can read things like blogs or emails or websites etc. in English with a Polish synth with no problem and I’m used to it and sometimes it’s even better, in language learning, it’s not such a good option, not for me anyway. Also the most plain reason was that simply my motivation hasn’t been great lately due to feeling blah and I was just being lazy. I am hoping to get more consistent with it now that I do have English synths.

Okay, I guess that would be all about my beginning of this year, I can’t think of any other major stuff going on that would be worth mentioning.

How has this year been for you? 🙂

 

The sounds of animals. #SOCS

It’s Monday but I thought it would be fun to join in with

Stream Of Consciousness Saturday

today anyway. Last Saturday, Linda’s prompt for us was to write about the sounds that animals make and how we experience them.

Well, quite obviously I think, the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking of the sounds of animals in general, are feline sounds, more exactly the sounds that Misha makes. I find them soooooo soothing and relaxing. It’s pure bliss to me to be very close to Misha so that I can hear all the sounds of his. I generally love to hear cats purring (who doesn’t?), it’s a cute sound, but Misha’s purr is special. Not only because Misha is mine and I love Misha, but also because Misha’s purr is very quiet. An average cat will start purring before you even stroke him, and so loudly that sometimes even people on the other side of the room or even next door can hear it. Cats are very generous in that respect. Well, not Misha. His purrs are for VIP’s only, and even more often, he purrs just for himself. As you probably know if you’ve been around here for a while and read some of my posts about Misha or Misha’s posts, Misha is very fearful, rather solitary and not particularly vocal. It’s not like he’s selfish, like a lot of people think. He does want closeness, and cuddles and all that, but, first, it has to be on his conditions – when and where and how long he wants – and second, he is also afraid of touch and sudden movement and often it is very difficult for him to overcome this fear, though there are better days and worse, I’m not entirely sure what exactly it depends on, but probably just like with us humans – sometimes we’re cheerful, sometimes we’re sad, sometimes we’re anxious, sometimes we want to be alone, and sometimes with others, and sometimes we want to have fun and play. – Anyway, all those traits of Misha probably contribute to the fact that his purrs are usually very, very quiet. Like, most of the time you’d have to literally put your ear very near him to hear it, so usually you are more likely to feel his purr and the vibrations in his throat, rather than hear it. My Mum claims that Misha must have something wrong with his throat or larynx because it is not normal, and I’ve always thought it’s just the way he is and has nothing to do with his larynx. However, recently I’ve been thinking more about it because I’ve noticed that Misha frequently chokes a bit when eating. Not very badly, just a little bit. I suppose it’s not something new but just something that I hadn’t noticed previously. So that could be either through some larynx issues indeed, or perhaps because Misha tends to eat very quickly and a bit as if he supposed that someone is going to take the food away from him any time suddenly or do something scary so that he’ll have to run away immediately. Really sometimes you could think he’s got some bad trauma like a lot of shelter cats do.

We humans often think that when a cat purrs, it must be happy and content. Well, I’m no expert at felines, though I have observed Misha and read a lot about cats and their behaviour, and specifically purring, and it seems to be a myth. I think I’ve written on that previously, but I’ll say that here too. Cats can also purr when feeling anxious, or in pain, to soothe themselves in a variety of situations, and probably in several other instances which I don’t remember. The anxious bit is certainly true for Misha! I’ve often heard, or felt, that he purrs when he’s afraid or just tense and nervous. As I said, he frequently purrs just for himself, for example in his bed, before falling asleep, when no one is petting him or paying particularly much attention to him. I always find it so cute, it’s like a child would sing himself to sleep. I think it soothes him.

Apart from purring, cats of course make a lot of other noises. Misha hasn’t spoilt us with a particularly wide range of them, but he’s definitely capable of it, just chooses not to do it very frequently. He can be just as expressive with all the “hhrrru’s?” and meows he makes as we can be with our languages and tones of voice, which makes him an excellent manipulator! Some of his sounds alone will break your heart and fill you with overwhelming sadness, others will make you annoyed and irritated at him even though he didn’t do anything other than meow or hhrrru? because it sounds like he’s screaming at you, others will make you feel lighter and happier and like it’s going to be a very beautiful day, and some will make you rush for Mish ice-cream and sausages urgently on autopilot. There are also such that will let you know that poo is on its way (when Misha is for example closed somewhere and can’t go to the loo) or that he’s going to vomit (this is probably the only Mish sound I really dislike, or that sun is shining so beautifully that Mishka would like to go out just for a little while, or that the fun has gone one step too far and Misha has transformed into a real predator.

When Misha sleeps in my room and doesn’t feel too anxious, I love to sit or lay very close to him, and listen to his purr, breath, heartbeat and his tummy gurgles. It’s better than any kind of music or relaxing sounds we could ever create! Especially Misha’s breath is something I love, and, again, it’s not always easy to hear well even when you’re relatively close. A lot of the time, especially when he isn’t purring, his breath is very similar to that of a baby.

Another Mish sound I truly love is the sound of little Mish paws on a carpet when he’s running or walking quickly, it’s a very quiet sound but so delightful.

There are sounds that cats make though that I am not a big fan of, especially when it comes to wild cats. When I was a small child and lived in the country, we had lots of wild cats on our backyard. Some got used to people and were very cuddly, others not, but they were both fighting and copulating frequently at nights, and I hated hearing that. It was scary! Especially when I was very small and had no idea what those sounds were! Just imagine it – everyone’s asleep, you’re in bed and suddenly you hear moaning and howling and lots of other creepy sounds, as if some haunted or long condemned individuals were wandering around out there. – 😀 My sensory anxiety always gets way more nasty when I don’t know the source of a sound, which I guess is not particularly strange as we’re always more likely to be scared of unknown stimuli especially when our brains are going to see them as a danger anyway. Now that I know what sounds cats make sometimes, they no longer provoke my sensory anxiety even if they are a little creepy sometimes. Here we also have a lot of wild cats, though Jocky keeps them at a distance most of the time. When we didn’t have Jocky though, there were loads of them and they made lots of noise as well, but that sounded more like extremely distressed babies crying or shrieking. 😀

We also had a fox farm in the neighbourhood for a while which was awful. My Mum has extremely sensitive sense of smell – she says she could work as a police dog 😀 – and it was always particularly unpleasant for her when the stinky smell of foxes would fill the air after the rain for example. What I hated the most though, were the sounds they were making sometimes. Before we moved here, I had no idea what sounds, if any, foxes could make, and the first time I heard that was very unpleasant. Not only because their barking is really unpleasant I think rather objectively, but also because… if any of you had read my short story about sleep paralysis called

“Help!”

, then perhaps you remember the guy called Ian, who was the main character’s sleep abuser. Well, for some reason, my “Ian” sometimes makes eerily similar sounds, and has had since I know him, that is since pretty much forever, dunno, maybe he has some fox relatives or whatever. So you can imagine that it scared me out of my pants.

Which animals sounds do you like or find soothing? Are there any that you particularly dislike? 🙂

 

Answering another of Carol Anne’s questions.

So I decided I’ll answer another of the questions that Carol Anne of

Therapy Bits

asks her readers in her series called Carol Anne Asks. The question she asked us yesterday was:

Are you open with others about your struggles?

So, for me, it really depends what kind of struggles. It’s definitely very difficult for me to express my feelings especially those that I don’t really feel comfortable with, and it’s also always been hard for me to reach out for support, plus my social anxiety oftentimes makes things difficult when interacting with people, also AVPD comes into play for sure here, and makes me feel either like it’s not really fair to burden people, or like it’s not safe to be vulnerable and possibly coming across as pathetic which is something I always want to avoid, or like no one will be able to help or even get it anyway because AVPD makes you feel like an alien of course, but at least my ability to express the uncomfortable feelings and reach out for support have improved somewhat over the years, and it all impacts how open I am with people, so it’s better than it used to be. I also have a wider support network these days which also helps tremendously with any kind of struggles I might have and being open about them. It also really depends on how close I am with the people that I’m around and what environment I’m in because obvioously we’re all more open with some people and less with others for all sorts of reasons. Generally the person with whom I’m most open about my struggles is my Mum, who helps me a lot and I know I can always rely on her for some good advice or more practical help or just some insight. I haven’t been as open with her lately as I normally am or as I used to be because she’s having some yucky problems of her own so it’s more the other way around right now haha, which I don’t mind because I’m happy to help her if I can as well, and I wouldn’t like to make her worry about too much these days. I could never be fully open about my mental health struggles with Mum though. She’s great with practical help, and, as I’ve said many times I don’t know what I would do without her, but when it comes to my brain or generally things like anxiety or depression or whatever like that she doesn’t really get it. It’s not that she’s narrow-minded and struggles with empathy like my Dad kind of does, but I guess it just feels a bit too abstractive to her because she’s never really experienced such things, and I don’t blame her for that she can’t get it. Trying to talk about those things had led to some misunderstandings between us which weren’t pleasant for either side so it’s best to avoid it if possible. Also, we often share our small, daily life struggles with Sofi very openly, although of course Sofi is much younger than me so I have to be rather selective of what and how I tell her. I’m most open about most of my struggles online, because I struggle less with talking about them online, whether they’re really small or bigger, short or long term. Not all of them, especially if they involve other people closely who perhaps wouldn’t like me writing about that, or if I find something kind of difficult to put into words, or if I just think it’s better not to talk about something overly, but I do share a lot of them and I find this very helpful to get it out of my brain and not only in my personal diary but also for example on my blog or in conversation with someone.

How is it for you? Let me know here, or respond to Carol Anne’s post if you wish. 🙂

 

If We Were Having Coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare.

The weekend is over, but Weekend Coffee Share at

Eclectic Alli’s

is still open so I thought I’d take part and have a coffee with you guys.

As you know, I don’t really drink coffee now since quite a few months as I discovered it doesn’t agree with my brain, except for some very special occasions, but you can have it, or you can help yourself to some tea, I have a lot of different teas, as well as orange juice, Pepsi, milk, water, or you can take your own drink with you and share it with others as well if you want. For those who – like me – love coffee but don’t drink it, I can offer you some Kopiko candy – Kopiko are Indonesian coffee-flavoured sweets that actually contain caffeine, but not enough to send your brain to Freakland, unless you eat really many, and they do taste like coffee, unlike so many -flavoured things which are not particularly convincing. I also have some chocolate that I can share with you guys (oh, and we have hot chocolate and cocoa as well if you wish), and also I have hazelnuts in chocolate. My Mum is really awesome, because Christmas is over but she made Christmas pierogi for us again. Well, after all Christmas period is actually still lasting until Sunday. Anyway, if you’d like to try them, feel free to do so. I hope everyone is sitting comfortably and has something yummy to drink, and eat if you want. I’ve just had a glass of orange juice and now I’m sucking a Kopiko.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask all of you how you are doing…? 🙂

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it’s been quite a tough week for me. I am struggling with a lot of anxiety lately, and my anhedonia has been increasing slowly but steadily since a few months and these days it’s more noticeable for me. It feels strange because, while I’ve been familiar with feeling depressed and struggling with depression and depressive thoughts since forever, I don’t have as much experience with anhedonia. I’m kind of scared that it’ll stay with me, and I’m pretty sure it will if I don’t find myself a faza/crush very soon. Probably the whole transition process to my new computer and having to get used to it doesn’t help as changes hardly help me to feel better. I’m hoping it’s temporary. I’ve also had quite a bit of socialising to do this week.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that there was a bit of a party in our house on Monday. My uncle and his family came. I think I like him the most out of my Mum’s siblings because he’s quite laid back and often looks sort of different at things than the majority of mediocre people, and is funny, although he’s also very noisy and drawing lots of attention to himself, and goodness they all were making soo much noise that I managed to spend only a little while with them and then me and Misha escaped to my room! 😀 They were all partying until like 2 AM, which is longer than my family usually does, haha, especially that there were children too.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that we were visiting all my grandparents last Tuesday, because it was Grandma’s Day, and on Wednesday Grandad’s Day. We couldn’t really break it down somehow because on Grandad’s Day, we were having other plans. So there was a lot of riding around and sitting behind the tables and socialising and eating and that, and I wasn’t really doing well as my blood pressure was very low and my mood definitely not up to socialising, but I was trying my best. Sofi was in an even worse situation, because she had a headache all day long after not a very good night’s sleep and the party, and you know how awful it is to have a headache while having to travel or visit other people, I really felt for her.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we had a priest’s visit on Wednesday. I don’t think it’s a thing in Catholic parishes in other countries but here it definitely is. It’s like, during the whole period after Christmas, that is until February 2nd, priests visit all houses in their parishes to consecrate them and pray with people, also talk a little bit, get to know the family a little etc. It’s a very short visit, maybe 15 minutes, but, in our case, usually the waiting for it is sooooo long and daunting. They usually start on the neighbouring street to us, go through it, and then along our street but from the opposite end towards where we live. So the visits start, say, at 4 PM, but ours take place at 8 PM or so. And there’s no communication between the houses really and you have to be prepared because you don’t really know how long it will take this time. This year was a pleasant surprise though, because we were one of the first who were visited on our street, so we didn’t have to sit in the living room the whole afternoon and get bored and frustrated. It went very quickly and we were free. Although such events usually stress me a bit, it’s usually quite awkward if I’m honest, no one really knows what to talk about, so it’s good that we have Zofijka.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I got another computer related scare on Friday. My antivirus informed me that I got some malware and that apparently it was a Trojan, which freaked me out mostly because I’d never had a major infection of a computer before, but also because as I said I’m still not fully used to it. Also I was very suspicious because this computer is still very new, and I had no idea how I could get it, because I haven’t really got to using anything else on it other than the apps I’ve always been using for ages, and same about websites. My antivirus “cured” the thing and then I made a full scan and now there seem to be no dangers, and I haven’t seen any weird behaviours of my computer or any issues that coould be down to a virus or stuff, so I believe it’s okay, and Olek actually says it probably was a false alarm and my antivirus must be just very hypervigilant, although I have no idea if that’s really possible. Anyway, it certainly didn’t help my anxiety as you can imagine.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that yesterday was my grandpa’s 16th death anniversary, and because of that, on Saturday we went to the Mass for him and after that, we had another family gathering, that was for some reason even more difficult for me to go through although I’m not sure why. Perhaps just because I don’t get along with my gran and the whole Dad’s side of family, or perhaps because of all the anxiety bubbling in my brain. Anyway, it was very difficult for me and there was a lot of food. I always find it more or less difficult to eat among many people or people I don’t know, but on the other hand I feel like it’s awful not to ever do it because someone may just feel offended or something, and it’s awkward when everyone else is eating. But this time round it was really difficult for me to eat anything at all. I caught up on that though when we got back home and I devoured a whole packet of crisps right away. It’s funny how much stress can impact you. For me it’s always like this. When I feel very stressed, I virtually can’t eat, but then when it passes away, I become ravenously hungry. 😀

I think that would be all from me for now in this coffee share. It’s not much, because I wrote a sort of smaller update post not long ago, and also because apart from some chaos in my brain and what I’ve already told you about, right now not much is happening.

Oh, Misha’s birthday is coming on Thursday! Hope things will be looking a bit better by then, although on the other hand I don’t suppose they will.

What would YOU tell me if we were having coffee? 🙂