If We Were Having Coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare. Sofi, AVPD mess and birthday season.

   Let’s have a coffee today, shall we? Or whatever else, if you’re unfortunate like me and can’t have coffee, or just don’t like coffee. We have a huge assortment of teas, and cocoa, both real and instant. Or if you’d prefer a cold drink, I can pour you a glass of refreshing kefir, or water, either sparkling or just regular tap water. Oh yeah, and my Mum has made broth. My Mum makes broth almost every day these days, because, well, if you’re a regular on here, you know my Mum is a health and lifestyle geek and right now she’s all about keto, and she says that broth is super healthy for the skin and such because it has collagen, and Sofi and I are supposed to get in more sodium for health reasons so this is a good way. Regardless of how healthy it is, it’s actually yummy, and I always have mine with parsley. Or you can have some noodles with it and get chicken soup. Sofi and I have got a huge box of candy for Christmas from Olek, and I’ll happily share some with y’all so you have some snack to go with your coffee/tea, and if you’d rather have the broth, you can also have some of my Mum’s keto salad with it, it has chicken, mushrooms, cheese and pineapple in it. Well, since it has pineapple I guess it would be more appropriate to call it low-carb, but who cares? Obviously you’re also more than welcome to bring your own drink and/or food, either just for yourself or to share if you want. As always, thanks to Natalie  who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share linky. 🙂 So, if everyone has something to drink and/or eat and is sitting comfortably, let’s catch up. 

   If we were having coffee, I’d ask each of you how you’ve been doing since my last coffee share, and in particular this week…? 

   If we were having coffee, I would share with you that this has been quite a mentally messy week for me. Well, not just this week really, but the last few weeks, with a few-days-long breaks in between the messy times. Very emotional and moodswingy, low-key paranoid, filled with rumination, cringe fits, self-loathing and other fun things. I call that AVPD flare-ups for short (if you’re new and don’t know, AVPD stands for avoidant personality disorder which is a condition that I have), even though technically personality disorders don’t have flare-ups, but I call it an AVPD flare-up when my symptoms get a lot worse than my baseline. Usually it happens to me after a lot of peopling, but lately it seems like even very small things throw me totally off kilter for days, sometimes I don’t even need any external event really. It’s been very emotionally exhausting and is very difficult to even put into words properly or express in any other way to other people, so the experience feels quite isolating because you can’t really talk to anyone about this no matter how understanding they may be, and on one hand you want to do it and share it with someone, but on the other you absolutely do not. All the more that communication pin general is also more difficult when I feel like that. But the weekend has been a bit better. Or else I probably wouldn’t be writing about this haha. We’ll see how long it lasts. 

   [For the next paragraph, tw for self-harm, not very graphic but at one point kind of Tmi and possibly a little gross  and mentioning methods of self-harm]

******

On a similarly glum note, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Sofi has also been struggling lately, and we’ve only learned about it this month… Since a couple of months, Sofi has been telling us that her cousin is going to therapy, and how Sofi would really really really like to go to therapy too. Mum tried asking her why, but Sofi would never give any specific answer, so she just figured that Sofi simply doesn’t know what she’s talking about and doesn’t understand what therapy is all about so thinks that it’s something fun. I agreed, but at the same time it popped into my mind that perhaps this is Sofi’s way of asking for help or something, perhaps she doesn’t want to talk about something to Mum, whom, after all, she sees every single day, so sometimes it’s really awkward to talk to your family about some difficult things. And I suggested that to Mum and told her that perhaps she could get Sofi into some free therapy via the National Health Fund that we have here, at least for starters, and if she doesn’t have a problem, she’ll get bored with it after one or two sessions and the topic will be over, but at least we’ll know that there’s nothing serious going on. Well, but it turned out not to be so easy to get free therapy for a teenager who doesn’t really have any obvious issues and just really wants to go to therapy, plus, despite my having been in therapy for years as a child, my Mum didn’t really know how to best go about it. So it took some time before she found a therapist for Sofi, and in the end she’s paying for it herself. Already during her first session, Sofi’s therapist called Mum, telling her that Sofi has got some uncontrollable crying fit and doesn’t really say much, and that she has admitted to cutting herself, which shocked Mum because Sofi generally used to be a very happy child, and Mum had no idea why she could be doing this. Later at night Mum came into my room and just completely out of the blue asked me if I could tell her why I’ve been self-harming. I didn’t know about Sofi yet, so obviously I immediately got suspicious and defensive, but then she told me that Sofi is doing it too, and she just wants to understand why people do such things, and that she feels that maybe she is to blame. I was just as shocked as Mum was, I couldn’t stop thinking about Sofi for the whole night. I didn’t really tell her why *I* have been self-harming (too complicated story, and I didn’t really feel up for that so suddenly) but just generally told her about various reasons why people, and especially kids, may do such things, and that it’s unlikely to have anything to do with her directly. I get why she has such feelings though, after all, it’s two of her three children that do this now, I’d probably also take it personally if I were a mother. The therapist advised for Sofi to be seen by a psychiatrist and continue therapy, but the soonest appointment my Mum could book with any child psychiatrist was in May. Since then, Mum would often talk to me about Sofi’s self-harm, which I wouldn’t have minded if not the fact that she sort of expected me to be like some sort of specialist on the matter, as if I were a therapist or something. Which would make sense if I were completely over it, but unfortunately, I’m probably not. I self-harm a lot less frequently now than I used to, but I still do. In fact, the shitty truth is that, about a week or so before Sofi’s disclosure, I got this paronychia thing (some sort of nail infection that you can get from zealous nail biting or picking, which I already had once a couple years ago) but this time round in my toe rather than a finger, which must have happened when I was picking at my nail at night while ruminating and picked almost my whole nail off. It wasn’t fully intentional and more like absent-minded or compulsive, but also not fully unintentional, but I let my Mum believe that it was just accidental. (It’s almost healed up now, in case anyone is worried or something) So I felt really weird with her asking me stuff like what she should do now. What could I know? 😀 Thankfully, after Sofi has shared some more, looking at it with cooler heads, we think that this could (hopefully) have been a one-off incident for Sofi. It seems that her former toxic friend has played some significant role in all this, probably multiplied by the general suckiness of puberty and the raging teenage hormones. Sofi has been rather grumpy and a little withdrawn from family life for a couple years now (though some degree of grumpiness and sulkiness is just part of her personality and has always been), but as far as I can tell as someone outside of her brain, she doesn’t seem very depressed, luckily. She hangs out with her friends a lot, spends long hours chatting to them and laughing on the phone, and seems to genuinely enjoy all the other things that she did previously and to have normal energy. She doesn’t really seem chronically sad or anything like that. I believe Sofi doesn’t know that I know about her cutting, or even if she does we don’t talk about it, but you regular people on here may know that we have this play with Sofi where we pretend that Misha can connect to either of us’ brain and speak through us, and I like to use that sometimes to get stuff out of Sofi because she is more inclined to talk about things that are difficult for some reason with Misha, rather than directly with me or with Mum, because with Misha it’s more fun and relaxed and Misha never draws any conclusions out loud. So one day, I, as Misha, tried to get an idea of what she generally thinks about life nowadays, is it good, is it bad, whatever, and that didn’t sound too depressing either, though of course I do realise that she could be hiding what she was actually thinking, but it doesn’t look like it’s the case, and Sofi was never good at hiding that sort of things as an extrovert. . I also had a gentle feel of her wrists when she was sleeping in my room one night and while they were pretty much covered in  cuts which were quite heartbreaking to see on someone like Sofi, they seemed to be rather superficial at first glance. I think it’s also a really positive sign that Sofi was so open about it with the therapist and told her about it right during the first session. I feel extremely sad for Sofi and I wish I could help her in some meaningful way, but now that both Mum and I have cooled off a bit after the initial news, we are very hopeful that with further therapy, this won’t repeat again. Honestly though, I feel like chopping her “friend” up into pieces and grilling and sacrificing to Misha. Oh wait, that’s probably a really bad idea, he could get intoxicated too! 

   [End of the potentially triggering bit]  

   ***** 

   If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, after barely over three months of usage, my Mum’s Apple Watch died! :O One day she went swimming in a swimming pool with it, which I personally thought was a risky business to begin with – I’m just generally ultra careful and would feel really weird putting any electronic device into water – but Mum said she had previously swum in a lake with it, and anyway Apple says you can swim with an Apple Watch, so why not. Her Apple Watch worked just fine when she went out of the pool, but by the time she got home, it was practically dead. She tried rinsing it, thinking some chlorine could have gotten into it, and then kept it in rice in case there was some water left in it, despite she obviously had the water lock on while swimming, but all those things didn’t help much. She managed to resurrect it for brief moments several times, but it was REALLY sluggish and its battery died within minutes of powering on when it was originally fully charged, and the Digital Crown apparently didn’t work properly as well. Mum was really pissed. Apple Watch is a luxury to begin with, hardly anyone who has it seriously needs it for anything, it’s just a whim, and same is for my Mum. So it’s all the more frustrating when such an unnecessary yet expensive whim object breaks after just a little bit of use, especially when Apple says that it’s okay to swim with it. So, as I needed to go to iSpot (Apple’s authorised service and reseller here in Poland) to get a new battery for my iPhone, we brought Mum’s poor, sick Apple Watch as well. My Mum was even more pissed when she learned out that Apple Watches are not fixable and that the warranty doesn’t cover water damage. The woman who was helping us with our devices was so kind that she didn’t write that Mum’s Apple Watch was actually swimming prior to its death when preparing it to be sent for servicing, so we had a very slight glimmer of hope that perhaps they won’t figure out that it had anything to do with water and will give her a new Apple Watch. Not that Mum needed one, or even seriously wanted at this point, but it would be fair. The whole week after that, my Mum was telling everyone who wanted to listen that Apple just sells lies or something like that. She got even more pissed when a couple people with Android watches were really surprised that this happened to her and told her that they can swim with theirs no problem. She thought an Apple Watch would be better than Android since she has an iPhone now and likes it, and if it’s so much more expensive than, say, a Garmin, it should be for a reason. But, well, surprise of surprises, a few days ago, Mum got a text saying that a brand new Apple Watch was waiting for her in iSpot. Some people are lucky, haha. I set it up for her all over again and now she’s happy and no longer curses Apple. 

   If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that birthday season is about to start in our family. Ughhhh! 😩 Tomorrow is Misha’s seventh birthday (so he’s going to be 44 in human years, HOW THE FLIP?!) Then on Wednesday it’s Bibiel’s birthday, which I should probably be happy about or something but I’m not sure what’s so cool about getting older, and I’m not really looking forward to peopling, which will probably be unavoidable because everyone will want to make me happy lol. And besides, I still haven’t figured out why it’s such an unbreakable tradition, but, oddly enough, my birthday usually messes up with my brain. Either I get period PRECISELY on that day and have disgusting PMS, or I get really overwhelmed with peopling and all the attention, or someone vomits and my emetophobia wakes up, or something awful happens, etc. etc. Then next week after that it’s my Dad’s name day, and he didn’t have any celebration for his birthday last year, so he’ll probably have a proper name day this year. And finally two weeks after Dad, Mum and Olek have their birthdays on the exact same day. This is going to be already during Lent, so there won’t be any major celebrations for sure, but the thing is, it’s my Mum’s 50th birthday. She always used to say that she’s not going to do a huge 50th birthday celebration like a lot of people in our family do, because it’s cringey and childish, but then at some point she started saying that she probably should, and more recently that maybe she’d even like, and started seriously looking into where she could organise it and talking a lot about it, how she’d like it to be a dancing party etc. except she won’t be doing it now, but on her name day in July. I’ll have to think about some super fancy cool and fun present for her in exchange for not having to be there. 😀 

   Oh, and lastly, if we were having coffee, I’d share about something that happened a little earlier than last week, but I thought it would be good to update you all on that. Well, so the big news is that I was fired from job! For the uninitiated, I used to work at my Dad’s, who works as a lorry/truck driver for a larger company and delivers fuel, but that larger company requires him to formally have his own business because it’s more lucrative for them this way. When I was eighteen, his accountant advised him to take advantage of it and hire me, because, since I am disabled, it wouldn’t cost him anything. Here in Poland it works (or rather used to work) so that when you employ a disabled person, the State Fund for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled pays you back the entire salary of such an employee and returns the cost of any adaptive equipment or other such things that make employing such person possible. So he wouldn’t suffer anything, and I would have some additional money alongside my regular disability benefits. I worked as an office worker, so basically helped him out with all the tech stuff that he needed to do as part of his job, which wasn’t much. Writing emails to his clients, printing stuff, tracking ships that he was supposed to tank etc. Except this year things have changed a bit and while my salary was still paid back to him, he also had to pay significant insurance premiums for  me, so it didn’t really pay off. So he officially fired me earlier this month. Most people (especially such as myself who aren’t really employable) would probably be really upset over this, but I knew that this was only going to be temporary, though honestly I did hope that it would last for a bit longer than it did. Still, I’m grateful for it anyways, as even working for those seven years that I did has helped me to save a fair bit, so that now that I don’t work, my financial situation will probably still be stable for a while. 

   Okay, I think that’s all from me. What would you tell me if we were having coffee? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   Simple question today, as we haven’t had any in a long time: 

   What did you do today or will do? 

   My answer: 

   Well, it’s half past noon here right now. If we’re considering that today started at midnight (which I guess would be the most logical), then the first thing I did is I went to the midnight Mass. Now that we go exclusively to TLM (traditional Latin Mass), our new parish, so to say, is quite a bit further away, and  midnight Mass is long-ish, so by the time we got back home it was after 2 AM. Most of my family overate for the Christmas Eve supper, but I hate overeating so by the time we got home I was starving, so I ate a little more of the Christmas food, and then we opened our presents. It’s fun opening Christmas presents at 2 AM. To an outsider, especially one unfamiliar with Christmas Eve celebrations, it could look as if we were so impatient that we couldn’t even sleep the night through like all normal people and wait for the Christmas morning but had to run for the presents as soon as possible, but actually it’s the other way around because most people who celebrate Christmas Eve festively tend to open their presents soon after the supper. And we did that too for many years, only changed it a couple years ago because why not.  Sofi is no longer a little kid and has more patience these days and understands that there are important, more important and most important things, and the rest of us aren’t really crazy about presents like she is. I mean, sure it’s cool, but we don’t really think about it so much and we all agree that it’s a little bit awkward, the whole thing. Without Sofi, perhaps we wouldn’t feel the need to do them at all? So it’s good that we have Sofi, as she brings a bit more spontaneity in here. 

   We all got Sofi new AirPods. Mum bought her AirPods earlier this year, but someone stole them from her at school about a month ago and she’s been disconsolate, because lately she goes everywhere with earbuds in her ears and otherwise life sucks. Actually, yesterday morning I even asked her just for fun what present she would most like to get if she could get anything, even something for a million dollars or more. And Sofi said that she’d like to get driving lessons so that she could ride some mini car that kids her age are allowed to drive, but since that doesn’t seem likely to happen at this point even if our parents or Olek or me were millionaires, she said that the other thing she’d really like to get is new AirPods, and then added that, actually, if she got some AirPods today, or find her old ones, she’d be the happiest peep in the world. And she really was happy when she got her AirPods. 

   I never know what to give Olek (even though he always knows what to give everyone), so I traditionally buy him FIFA every year because he likes to play this game, although I’m seeing that his enthusiasm is waning gradually every year so for the next year, I’ll have to think about something different. 

   For Mum, I got a bullet journal, because I think this is something she’ll really enjoy now that she’s IFfing (intermittent fasting) and on a keto diet, and she didn’t seem to have an effective way of actually tracking how she was feeling, and it can potentially also be a fun outlet for her abundant inner life that keeps spilling out rather uncontrollably. 

   Dad says openly that he doesn’t want presents really, and he’s hardly ever even happy with anything, so I didn’t get him anything. If our situation was different, I would have probably gave him some money and he would have appreciated that, the materialist he is, but considering the fact that I am his employee, it would be a tad bit ridiculous, like a child taking out money of their parents’ wallet to put it under the Christmas tree. 😀 

   And Misha got a water fountain. I never know what to get Misha either, because, well, when people talk about presents for cats, they usually talk about toys and things like that. And Misha isn’t really big on toys. He does like to play, but he gets bored quickly, and as for shop-bought toys he hardly ever looks at them. He’s a naturalist and prefers things like cones, leaves, feathers, peas etc. Oh yeah, and he likes marbles, but he must take that after me. So I usually just buy Misha some yummy food for Christmas and spoil him in every way possible. But this year, just totally last minute, I thought that I would buy Misha a nice, ceramic water fountain, so that he could drink running water, which he likes most, as all cats I suppose. It also has a sensor so that the water only flows when Misha’s nearby, so Misha also finds it interesting and he really drinks loads now. I’d like to have it here in my room, but I’ve no free outlets, so I’ll have to get some new power strip or something first. For now it’s standing in the kitchen. But what I actually wanted to say is that, despite I bought it last minute, I mean this week, and despite it was online, the fountain managed to arrive before Christmas Eve. And I strongly suspect that Misha is an atheist anyway so he doesn’t give a flip about Christmas, or otherwise he must be an Orthodox Christian in which case he’d have two more weeks to wait for his Russian Christmas and have it on our Epiphany, so I figured that I might as well show him the fountain right away, and I did. 

   As for myself, I got a beautiful, rough chunk of jasper from Mum. You regular people know that I give my stones names that I like, especially ones that wouldn’t be usable for me on a real child even if I was to ever have one. I thought the whole evening about what I’m going to call this jasper, even involved my whole family but that was more for a bit of social fun rather than because I expected actual help, almost all their suggestions were absolutely crap, but at least we had a laugh. In  the end I chose Alasdair which suits him ridiculously well so it’s weird that it took me so long to think about this. I also got a very delicate bracelet which is made of carnelians. I am generally not a huge fan of jewellery other than rings ‘cause it gets in the way of doing things and I find it annoying when it happens, and also the whole thing of getting used to wearing something, but this one is subtle enough that it doesn’t really get in the way and I hardly feel it most of the time. 

   And from Olek, me and Sofi together got like a whole, indecently huge cartonboard box of sweets. I mean seriously, if anyone wants some candy, come to us! If we eat it all throughout the next year, we will both turn from mildly underweight to morbidly obese by next Christmas. 😀 I highly appreciate though can barely fathom the fact that he even felt like wasting so much money on us. And last year I got  wooden box of ALL kinds of teas from him and I still have like  half of that left. 

   And then we went to sleep… well okay, at least to bed. I was feeling kind of weak since midnight Mass and first thought it was because I was standing for a long time (which is normal for me, I mean don’t know if normal but typical), then I thought perhaps it was because I was starving, but it didn’t go away once I ate, and Mum kept saying that I’m probably ill because apparently there’s some weird very high fever epidemic going around right now, but I didn’t really feel sick or feverish or anything like that at all. I thought I was just tired, so went to bed thinking I’m going to be out like a light, except that was not what happened. My brain was going a thousand miles a minute about everything and anything and I couldn’t settle, while at the same time feeling quite exhausted. And I didn’t get a wink of sleep ALL night long. In other words, I’m having a zombie day. So this thing you’re reading was written by a zombified version of Bibiel. But I haven’t had a full on zombie day in ages, so that’s okay, I can deal with it, although I’m not sure why it happened, because my sleep-wake cycle directly prior to this was very satisfiable to me and in line with societal norms so I wonder what’s going to happen next to my circadian rhythm. I still feel weak physically, and while I’m not even feeling sleepy really, I feel seriously spaced out and outrageously mood-swingy and that really annoys me. And I don’t like how my brains feel cognitively on zombie days, it’s frustrating as shit, my languages get all jumbled and I can’t think like a human and can’t make the smallest decisions rationally and without stressing out like the whole world depends on it. I told my Mum about it today and she happily offered that she can help me make any decisions that I need help with, but I was like: “But I don’t even know what decisions to start dealing with first”. 😀 It’s as trivial as: should I eat now or in half an hour? Do I first let Misha in or finish this sentence? Do I listen to this song or that now? I’m not normally like that, not to this extent for sure. Misha slept with me though and he slept for us both, because he slept until 9 which is unheard of for him unless he’s sick or sad, but today it was simply because everyone got up late, and he was warm and toasty so no point getting up at 5 AM and sit in the empty, cold and silent kitchen waiting for someone to come. 

   Hm, what else did I do…? I can’t think! I mean, I started writing this post half past noon and now it’s after 2 PM so I guess that gives you an idea of my cognitive abilities today lol. Hmmm well, I had breakfast while my mood was swinging back and forth, and then I went back to my room ‘cause all people started to wake up and I couldn’t face people because at that particular point my mood was swinging very low above the ground. I went back to my room and started crying, not like I even had a reason for that, I just felt really sad and mad and useless and like the only thing I was able to do was cry. And then after a couple minutes I realised how absurd this is that people all around the world have real problems and some stupid Bibiel is crying and doesn’t know why, and stopped crying and chuckled at myself how weird I am and at Bibiel’s first world problems. My parents went for a 10 km walk and Olek and Sofi watched a movie. 

   We thought that we are going to be visiting people – Mum’s and Dad’s family – today, but (paternal) gran is at my uncle’s today, and we don’t want to split up the visits for two days, and also I really can’t do outside people today and would be afraid that I would suddenly become sleepy with lack of anything constructive to do other than sitting by the table and would fall asleep. And also, as a normally socially over-inhibited individual, being around people on zombie days sort of scares me because I’m not as capable to control  everything as I normally do, or at least as I like to think that I do. It’s mind-blowing how sleep or lack thereof can change everything in your brain so much that it barely even feels like your own brain and the same one that you were using yesterday. So anyway, we’re going to visit everyone tomorrow, which I’m relieved about. 

   So no big peopling today, and no other big plans either. We’re just going to do whatever we feel like for the rest of the day. Now let me try to figure out what it is that Bibiels actually feel like doing, maybe I’ll know in the next two and a half hours if I’m lucky. 😀 

   So how about you? How’s your Christmas going? 🙂 

Charm of Finches – “Concentrate on Breathing”.

   Hey all you people! 🙂 

   Today, I want to share  a song with you from an Australian duo called Charm of Finches. They’re relatively new to me, but as soon as I heard about them, I knew I would like their music, because they’ve been compared to so many other artists that I enjoy, such as First Aid Kit, Tiny Ruins, Agnes Obel, Pentangle, Kate Bush and PJ Harvey. – It’s safe to say that I’ve become quite a fan, as evidenced by this post.

   Charm of Finches is made up of two sisters, Ivy and Mabel Windred-Wornes hailing from Melbourne. They create contemporary indie folk with  an ethereal, angelic sound, and harmonise when they sing. As a name nerd, I do have to add that their names really fit their music. 😀 They play violin, cello, guitar and piano, and are skilled songwriters, crafting songs based on their personal experiences.

   The song I’m sharing with you today is from their 2021 album “Wonderful Oblivion”. This particular song was inspired by the sisters’ experiences during the Covid-19 lockdown, when they were in isolation for an extended period of time. They tried  different ways of coping with  the difficult feelings that  many people faced during that time, and one of the things they turned to was meditation and concentrating on their breathing as a way to alleviate stress. That’s what this song is about. I think this soothing piece could potentially speak to a lot of my fellow angsty people. 

   As someone with chronic generalised anxiety, I can tell you that it’s not always  easy to concentrate on and regulate breathing when your brain is overwhelmed.  I used to think it’s ridiculous when  my Mum, who is famously mindful of her lifestyle and health, would say things like: “Just breathe”. But now, I do wholeheartedly agree that if you are able to do this, it can be incredibly helpful and the right breathing techniques can make a bigger difference than you might think. 

Question of the day.

   What’s something you do all the time and think is normal, but others don’t? 

   My answer: 

   I talk to myself all the time, and think it’s a very healthy way of processing things, a very normal way of making things stick around in your brain for longer, the only natural way of learning a foreign language when you’re a hermit, plus as my Mum says (jokingly of course, she’s not that conceited), it’s very interesting to talk to yourself because when you do you can be sure you’re talking with an intelligent person. And sometimes it just happens accidentally because, as I think I’ve written before, both my Mum and me have such rich inner lives that they spill out sometimes. My Mum’s is so rich, in fact (or her brain is so leaky) that she doesn’t even filter when/where something spills out and seems to have little control over it and people overhear her all the time. What’s funny about it is that she then has no idea that she said what she thought out loud and thinks people are telepaths that they know what she was just thinking. Or she says that when she’s out running or cycling, usually with headphones, she often sees people looking at her oddly. I’m more than sure that it’s because her brain is leaking as well, especially that she claims to indulge in a lot of thinking while «working out» as our Apple Watches would annoyingly phrase it. But she doesn’t even seem to care when someone hears it and is not interested in fixing the leakage, which is probably for the better because how the flip do you fix a leaky brain? I’ve no idea. My inner life might be spilling out just as much or even more, but thanks to years of practicing my bottling up skills, it very rarely does when I don’t want it, unless I’m just not aware that for example there are people close to me or I’m really really so engrossed in thought/tired that something leaks out but that’s very rare ‘cause I try to be ultra careful. And then there are also things that people normally consider the same thing as talking to yourself or at least it’s the same level of abnormal to them because they don’t do it. Like I talk a lot to Misha and apparently according to normal, grounded, practical people, like my Dad, for example, you’re not supposed to talk to a cat ‘cause (in case someone didn’t know) it can’t talk back to you. I’m not sure I understand the relationship between these two things though, sometimes it’s fun to talk to someone precisely because they can’t talk to you, imho, ‘cause they can’t tell you to shut the flip up when they’ve got too much of the good thing. Also I don’t even agree with it ‘cause Misha can definitely talk back to me, so what if we don’t really understand each other? We can pretend that we do. What’s more worrying is that Bibiel also tends to talk to people who aren’t really there… Like purgatory souls that I like and care about, or when I listen to something like a Youtube video or a podcast, or read something like an email or a blog post or an article, I talk to that other person. Sometimes I even talk to people who don’t exist at all like from my Brainworld ‘cause I like pretending that they do, or with others whom I don’t like, like Maggie or «Ian» or «Victoria» etc. , I mumble threats at them or something. Bibiel even talks to objects! 😨 Like I regularly talk back at my speech synths (but then don’t other people who use them?) or talk to my various devices when they misbehave or chat to my crystals when polishing them. But I guess the craziest part is that Bibiel laughs to herself a lot. I don’t even know how come Bibiel’s still out in the world with normal people and not locked up in some institution – oh, well, probably because Bibiel had already spent almost half of her life in an institution, lol. – 🤣 Oh, and I almost forgot that Bibielz also sing to themselves, like in the shower or something, or to Misha. I wonder is that odd too because a cat, or a shower all the more, can’t sing back to you? I’ll have to ask my Dad this vital question. 🤔

   Anyway, yeah, I totally don’t get why talking to yourself is seen as badly as it is by so many people. I guess it’s not as bad anymore as it used to be, but still lots of people seem to be either ashamed of doing it, or consider it something extremely weird or crazy when others do it. So even though it’s totally normal to me, it doesn’t seem to be normal at all to the society. 

   What’s such a thing to you? 🙂 

   

Question of the day.

   Today’s question of the day is courtesy of Meg

  Were you ever afraid of anything as a child that turned out to (probably) not exist? 

   My answer: 

   That’s an interesting question from my perspective, because I guess I could say yes and no. 😀 Let me find Misha before I continue though, I don’t want to get the creeps. 

   Okay, Misha’s here sleeping now. The biggest fear of my childhood, that is still very much a thing, were definitely all things that had something to do with my sensory anxiety. I feared a lot of different sounds, sequences of sounds etc. even some words or clusters of language sounds, that for one reason or another sounded kind of weird to me and didn’t agree with my brain. It could be even a very normal sound for the rest of the world, no horror soundtracks or anything like that required, but to me it would feel super scary and often in a very personally threatening, aggressive way. Like I said, it’s still a thing, although I was even more sensitive to that as a child. When I heard a sound like that, as a small child, I would often start screaming and shrieking, and sometimes would run away from it, or if it scared me totally shitless it happened to me a few times that I would just flop down on the floor right where I stood because the fear made me feel so weak and like someone turned my legs off simultaneously with that sound appearing. 😀 Later on when I started bottling up my feelings and all that I wouldn’t shriek anymore but hearing something creepy in that way typically made me freeze for a little moment, and still does, which is really annoying as you can’t remove yourself from it or anything. Then after I’d hear something like that, it would get stuck in my brain and be particularly intrusive whenever it would be silent around me or whenever I wouldn’t have much to do, like right before sleep or something like that. Simultaneously, my brain would also make up a sort of personification of that sound, like what they looked like more or less, were they a man or a woman, how scary they would be and in what way exactly etc. etc. etc. The most prominent one in my early childhood was a woman whom, for the purpose of this post, we’ll call «Victoria», who was the personification of all the radio jingles from one particular local radio station that doesn’t exist anymore but all their jingles were super scary to me and were all the worse that that  station had an interesting approach to them, playing them mid-songs and mid-everything, so they could pop up literally anytime. My Dad really liked that radio station, and although it wasn’t very easy to get hold of in our specific area, as it was geared more towards West Pomerania, my Dad put a can over the antenna in his car and this way he could receive it with only minimal disruption. I had a bit of an ambivalent relationship with that radio station, because while its jingles were super scary, as a child I was also very much into radio, which manifested itself, among other things, in that I got always super excited when I could get hold of a station that wasn’t normally or easily reachable in our area, and this was definitely the case with that one. As for «Victoria» though, she was a very tall, super strong and rather androgynous woman, who wore loads of clinking jewellery and was very brash and unpredictable and, unlike her equally prominent successor, was very intelligent and constantly found other, different ways of tormenting Bibiel. It feels like she’s always been there because I don’t remember a specific moment when she came to life or when I’d first heard that radio station, so I guess I must have been very young when my mind created her. She was super loud and aggressive. After that radio station morphed into a different one, I never heard that sound again until much later when we tried to do exposure therapy with my therapist, but she still stayed the dominant figure in the murky corner of my Brainworld for quite a while. Then when I was a pre-teen she was replaced by «Ian», which is also not his actual name but obviously I’m not gonna share that (writing this post is already making me feel way too jittery, thank God for Misha 😀 ), although she hasn’t disappeared completely to this day. And «Ian” is mostly a personification of a word, which unfortunately exists in multiple languages because it’s a short word so in each of those languages that I’m aware of it means something else entirely and it can even be a fragment of many other words. Out of all the languages that I know to some degree currently, only Swedish and Norwegian are completely free of «Ian», and English is full of him so it’s absolutely impossible to avoid him while listening to English or speaking English. I once wrote a story on here inspired by my sleep paralysis  which isn’t exactly what I experience but it’s very close and it features an «Ian» who is very much based on mine. Mine has red eyes, a bulky frame, a very deep voice and despite he’s not particularly clever, definitely not as much as Victoria, he can be even more scary and in a way I think it’s precisely because of that, ‘cause he only thinks on a very primitive level. He can be super quiet when he wants, which can be even more menacing than when he yells, and he has disgusting claws. Also I always feel that while «Victoria» was generally an unpleasant person and probably didn’t like anyone, «Ian» has some very particular kind of dislike for Bibiel, I wonder why he hates me so much more than the rest of humans. 

   And whenever I’d be alone or in a quiet space or something like that, I’d be afraid that, at some point, when I will least expect it, the sound that was only being stuck in my brain at a given point, will suddenly manifest itself in front of me in this personified form and do something real scary to me. I couldn’t say what, but I knew it would be super scary. So not only was that scary sound stuck in my brain and I was feeling scared because of that, but I also felt like things could get a lot more scary any second or minute when my fear will actually become the reality and I’ll hear this thing for real all over again and possibly other stuff will happen simultaneously, like, dunno, they’re going to kill me or something. Or I’d be scared that they’re actually already somewhere very close to me and lurking, especially «Ian», just waiting for the right moment to reveal themselves to me. 

   And, in a way, my fears were well-founded, because I got to see all them creepy peeps in my sleep paralysis dreams countless times, which feel as real as anything real. I have no problem with having regular-people nightmares, like, dunno, running away from someone «normal», falling, people dying and whatever other normal nightmares people have. I wake up from them and feel either relieved that it was just a dream, or even laugh at it because it was so vivid and creative and how come my brain creates such suspense-rich plots, even if they’re not pleasant while lasting. But when it’s sleep paralysis that features my actual creeps so realistically, I get really scared of it and it doesn’t go away as soon as I wake up. Especially that I experience a lot of false awakenings in sleep paralysis and I can think that «Phew, at least it’s over now!» And dream about how I told someone about my creepy dream and started my day as I normally would, and then realise that, oops, it’s not quite finished yet, part two is coming. So even though theoretically you always know it when you’ve woken up for good, you can’t help but feel a bit distrustful of your judgement after so many false awakenings in which you’d also thought that you’d woken up for real. So usually when I wake up it takes me a lot of time to recover both physically and mentally. Anyway, when «Victoria» was the dominant creepy character in my sleep paralysis episodes, they would usually start with me having a bath, and my Mum unceremoniously coming in and saying excitedly that I have to get out quickly because someone wants to see me. We both knew who it was, and Mum knew how much I hated «Victoria», but every time she was either oblivious to my protests, or like she felt for me but couldn’t do anything. Then my Mum disappeared and before I even got a chance to get out of the bath, everything would start to spin, with me often banging my head on the bathtub as a result, and I’d hear the dreaded jingle, and «Victoria» would storm in, and other creep peeps following and assisting her. They would put me on something that I can best describe as some sort of mini couch thing made of metal and padded with leather, and strapped me to it so that I laid on it on my back with  arms stretched out behind my head. This couch had wheels and they wheeled me super fast to wherever «Victoria’s» place and spun it a lot n the meantime and obviously in the meantime I heard a lot of creepy jingles. Once we’d get there, «Victoria» would yell into my ears super loud, tickle me under my armpits in a way that wasn’t funny at all but quite threatening, and showed me various mini dreams in which all sorts of scary things happened to my family or me or stuff like that. At some point though, I’d always be able to end the dream if I was quick enough to spot that moment, by making some sort of manoeuvre and saying some weird nonsensical word that I could never recall while awake except that it started with G, lol, all in the dream, not for real, and then everything vanished slowly. I’m not as fortunate with «Ian» though. With «Ian», aside from some details and stuff, I largely described the experience in the short story linked above, aside from stuff that is difficult to describe or that changes every time. «Ian» also visits me in sleep paralysis a lot more frequently than «Victoria» did. «Victoria» still visits me occasionally without «Ian», but when she does these days she’s a lot more malicious than she used to be before «Ian» and often even more malicious than «Ian». 

   So, yeah, I guess it’s hard to say in a way whether my childhood existed or not. You can say that they did, because obviously the sounds did exist, and my sleep paralysis experiences did exist, but their personifications and my perception of threat from the sounds were just imaginary. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What’s the best thing about being an introvert/ambivert/extrovert? 

   My answer: 

   I wrote about introversion/ambiversion/extraversion and the advantages from it that we get in the society in a bit more detail in the past, so you can read that post as well, and the comments under it. 

   I quite like being an introvert and I don’t understand how so many people, even introverts themselves or introvert-leaning ambiverts think about it as a problem, something that is only a burden in life or something abnormal that you have to at least try your best to change. I think if it reaches a burdensome/abnormal level, it isn’t the introversion that is the actual problem, but anxiety/shyness/other people-related issues. It really irks me when people look at introversion as something pathological or inferior in relation to extroversion, and it’s weird since I guess the distribution of introverts vs extroverts seems pretty equal, extroverts  just make a bit more of a screamy impression usually as a whole, even if not all of them are necessarily screamy as separate individuals. So, since I like my introversion, it’s hard to say what is the actual BEST thing about it. 

   But I guess it’s the fact that introverts can be more self-sufficient emotionally is the best thing in strictly practical terms. I guess it must be quite difficult, especially for people who are very strongly extroverted, when they don’t have people around for a longer period and can’t really control it and feel lousy mentally as a result. As an introvert, I don’t need other people to make me happy, to provide me with things to do or meaning to my life. Sure, people can have an enhancing (or diminishing just as well, depends on a situation and specific individuals) impact on those things and make things even more interesting sometimes, but I can manage without that as well, sometimes even better because I’ve already mentioned on here a lot how I often have this thing going on when I’m around people where I can feel all the more lonely and kind of disconnected the more people there are around me, and it’s an extremely tiring feeling, way more difficult for me to tolerate than the normal aloneness. I feel all the more appreciative of that self-sufficiency that Sofi is the opposite, and so I can easily observe how difficult it can be for a pure extrovert when they don’t have that external stimulation from other people or when it’s greatly reduced, as was the case for Sofi during the pandemic, for example. I feel also really grateful for it because I am not very independent in other areas of life, so if I was also very emotionally dependent on other people on top of everything else, life would probably be quite shitty for people around me as I would likely turn into a proper parasitic being. 😀 

   How about you? 🙂 

TToT (Misha, Traditional Latin Mass, pillows, etc.)

   I thought that today is a good day for writing a gratitude list. I always try to include things that I’m thankful for at least once a week  when writing in my personal diary, but I think I haven’t written a grateful blog post in quite a while and I feel like it today. I’m linking up with Ten Things of Thankful. 

  1.    The fact that I’m feeling well physically. My family – that is Sofi, Dad and Olek – have been mildly sick with something and while it isn’t serious, no fever or anything, it seems to be dragging on for quite a while, especially for Sofi. So far, I’ve been spared. Jack the Ripper is visiting me this week and I had two migraines, but overall I’m feeling well. 
  2.    Misha spending a lot of time with me, particularly at nights. Misha has recently taken a particular liking for my armchair and sleeps at night either there, or on my bed as usual. I always love it when Misha sleeps with me, his mere presence instantly creates such a pleasant, peaceful, Mishful atmosphere. But this week I’ve been particularly appreciative of it as I’ve had some yucky dreams and night time anxiety, and waking up in such Mishful atmosphere makes things so much easier. 
  3.    That I’ll probably soon be able to get a new cable for my scanner. I haven’t been scanning anything for a long time, because it’s such a huge hassle and difficult to do well on my own. But now that I’m attending Traditional Latin Mass, I sorely feel the lack of quality Catholic books in accessible formats, especially older ones, and feel almmost envious of my Mum who keeps buying herself all kinds of such books. They are very useful for prayer, reflection or even simple reading as a form of deepening your faith, and I always have to go looking for things like that on the Internet, which in the end means that what I find won’t necessarily be traditionalist at all. I have always struggled with focusing during prayer, and not having materials to help me out and help my mind go in the right direction makes it even more difficult sometimes. Even the missal that I have in epub is a lot shorter than the one my Mum has as a physical book, and I’m limited here anyway because I can’t just take my Braille-Sense with the missal with me to church like all the other people take their books because that would be super unpractical, I have to read it before the Mass at home. So my Mum has wanted to help me out and scan at least some of her huge collection of these “saintly books” as she collectively calls them for short, but then we couldn’t find the power cable for the scanner absolutely anywhere, and it appears to be such a niche cable that it can’t be replaced with just any average cable. So Mum phoned the company that distributes those scanners and asked if there’s any way of getting another cable or something, and they said that next time they’ll be ordering from the company that produces those scanners which is in the UK, they’ll order a cable for Bibielz as well. So Bibielz can’t wait for it and for all them saintly books. 
  4.    Speaking of TLM, I still feel so incredibly grateful to God every time I think about it, that we’ve been able to become part of the Catholic Tradition and attend this beautiful Mass and generally change our lives thanks to this. It will soon be a year since we “converted” as my Mum puts it and Mum and Sofi and me often reflect on how much things have changed for us since then, not even only spiritually but generally in how we think, and laugh at the difference sometimes. 

   My pillows. Yeah I always love my pillows, but today is a good day for being grateful for them because I have new pillowcases. Not for the regular, big pillows, but two smaller ones, one of which I put on top of my big pillow when I sleep and keep my PlexTalk  under it, and the other is for all kinds of unexpected needs and situations and for Misha when he wants to sleep in the bed rather than on it as he usually does. And then I also have three larger, additional pillows just in case, haha, but that’s not relevant here. Anyway, the pillowcases I had on the two, smaller pillows got badly torn as I had them for ages, and before I got some new pillowcases for these  pillows, for some time I slept without an additional pillow and that sucked because I’m totally not used to it – my Dad only sleeps on one, flat pillow and now I’m not surprised he has sleep apnea, I think it wouldn’t take long for me to develop it sleeping like that all the time – so then I got a different pillow, which was bulkier than the one I usually put on top of my regular pillow, so then in turn it felt way too high, and it muffled my PlexTalk quite effectively. So I was really happy and relieved when I finally got brand new pillowcases  and could sleep with my actual pillow. The right or wrong pillow can really make a huge change. 😀 

  1.    That I can be helpful for my Mum with her iPhone. I really like it when I can be helpful for people, and while my Mum likes her iPhone and says that it is indeed a lot more comfortable than any of her previous Android phones, she also needs a bit of help or a tip on how to do something with it quite regularly. Even if I don’t know how to do something, it looks like it’s easier to research it for me than for Mum. Perhaps because I always automatically do it in English and there’s more info on most topics in English online. Funnily enough, since last week, she’s been saying that perhaps she’d like to buy herself an Apple Watch, because it would make it easier for her to take calls when out and about and she hopes it would be better for measuring how many kilometres she runs and bikes. I think it’s funny at what pace we’re becoming the Apple family. 😀 I am very seriously planning to sway Dad to the Apple camp by the end of next year as well, just cus why not? Olek will be all alone with a Samsung. 😀 I know it’s beyond my abilities to convince Olek as his choice is fully conscious and informed, and because of that I wouldn’t even want to change it as it wouldn’t make too much sense. I already told Dad how Apple has CarPlay and that seems to have appealed to him as a lorry driver. 
  2.    doing relatively well mentally. July and August were awful for me with loads of what I call sensory anxiety for the purpose of this blog, which was going up and downn a lot and which was mostly caused by an unusual amount of sleep paralysis episodes that I had at that time and that they also were quite unusually intense and long, so that things felt quite out of control and I had a hard time functioning normally. Lately things have calmed down significantly and for long enough that I think I can say this month has been better, even despite horrid dreams and anxiety at night afterwards that I had earlier this week. 
  3.    Lots of yummy fruit. We still have raspberries in our garden! They haven’t been very sweet this year, but are still good, and it’s always nice to have home-grown raspberries rather than have to buy them from someone/somewhere else. We also have loads of pears, more than we can eat, in fact, so Mum is making some sort of mousse from themm or something. We also have a lot of apples (as befits the Apple family lol). And even blueberries, though these aren’t home-grown, Mum just bought a lot of them a while back to freeze. So we eat a lot of fruits and it’s really nice that we can do it. 
  4.    Chilly weather, which is chilly and cosy enough for me to be able to wear my fluffy overalls in the evenings again. For me that always means that autumn has properly started. 😀 
  5.    My language progress. It hasn’t felt like anything huge, but I’m always grateful even for a very little bit that my brain absorbs. Also what I feel particularly happy about, and what is particularly tangible for me, is that because of my Norwegian learning, I can feel my Swedish strengthening significantly as well. I was kind of worried it would be the oppposite and that I’d end up having a jumble of the two and would regret my silly out-of-the-blue affair with Norwegian. I’m so glad that it’s not the case, as well as that, for that matter, my relationship with Norwegian has definitely become a steady one by now, as we’ve been together for over a year now. 

   How about you, lovely people? What are you grateful for this week? How has it been for you overall? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What genuinely disgusts you? 

   My answer: 

   Well, while generally I’d say I’m not a super easily disgusted person, when things do disgust me, they disgust me quite strongly, and the main such thing, since I’m emetophobic, is vomit, so for me the answer is very easy really. That means the sound of someone vomiting, very graphic descriptions of vomit or vomiting, the feel of vomit (luckily I don’t have to deal with human vomit directly like that but Misha’s vomit is something I do come in contact with once in a while and it really grosses me out), as well as sounds very similar or kind of related to vomiting like choking or belching, and textures that remind me of vomit like semolina or most mashy foods really or a lot of drinks that have bits of something like fruit floating in them. Also to a much lesser degree now but also words for vomit in all the languages I know and any sort of synonyms or related words like puke. I no longer find them as disgusting as I. used to, but they still do seem weirdly graphic to me and when I have a particularly difficult time with the emetophobia they can feel quite triggery. I particularly hate the Swedish word for it and the English word throw up feels way too descriptive for my liking so I don’t even get why apparently people consider it better than vomit. 

   How about you? 

Question of the day.

   Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, what’s a nightmare situation for your respective personality type? 

   My answer: 

   Well for those who may be very new here I am an introvert, and based on my personal experience, the winner of The Introvert’s Nightmare Situation Contest would be First Communions! Except I don’t mean the actual First Holy Communion celebration at church when the child receives the Sacrament of Eucharist for the first time, as a Catholic, I think it is amazing, as long as the child has actually been prepared well and knows what it’s all about and so does their family, because these days this is so often not the case, as people focus on everything else except what’s actually important – whose child will be best dressed, or if all are to be dressed the same than what they should be wearing, how to take the hugest amounts of photos possible during the ceremony, which child should recite a poem, which Mum should thank the priest, which child should thank the mums, whom to invite, what presents should family members get a child, and the poor children are stressed out about loads of little details and excited about what presents they’ll get etc. etc. etc. – which is why I think children should receive Holy Communion individually rather than in large groups like based on grade or age, that Communion age should be younger for most children and the whole Communion party thing should take place the day before or after or whatever makes sense in a given situation but not on the day of the actual Communion. – But that’s a whole different pair of rain boots, as we say in Polish. 

   Communion parties are usually quite nightmarish though. They usually take place in some sort of a restaurant, because who wants to do that sort of thing at home and prepare all the food or even if they get catering who wants to play waiter and dishwasher all day. My Mum did that with Sofi and ended up with a badly strained leg. Such events are usually a lot more introvert-unfriendly when they take place in a restaurant vs at home, because usually the place isn’t very familiar to you or not at all, so you can’t just sneak out somewhere less peopled as you likely would in a family member’s or friend’s house, you can’t help out in the kitchen or something like that, or even lock yourself in a loo for very long. Taking a French leave may also be more tricky. There are no pets that you could talk to and focus on instead, like when I’m at people’s houses I usually play with their cats or dogs or something but at a restaurant there’s just nothing to do. You can probably go outside for a little while, but soon there’s going to be another course or dessert or something, and you just don’t have such freedom as you could during a similar celebration in a private house, where there may be some sort of a backyard, garden, lawn or whatever where you could de-people a bit. But generally you’re supposed to sit at the table and talk and either keep loading food into yourself or wait for the next delivery. The whole thing usually also takes a lot longer in a restaurant than it does at a house, but even at a house, for some odd reason it tends to take way longer than a birthday or stuff like that. There are usually  more people around you, as it may be some sort of collective party for more than one child, or there may be other guests at the place so even if you don’t interact with them, it may also contribute to the whole situation feeling overwhelming. Oh yeah and food. Well I don’t know if this is actually an introvert thing, probably not, but for me eating out is generally a problem for quite a few different reasons. Most importantly in this particular situation though, that I just don’t like to eat in social situations, and that I can’t get quite as much food into myself in one go as most other people seem to be able, so having a two-course lunch plus several different desserts plus snacks plus a huge dinner… I mean how do people even do this?! 😀 

   So yeah, if you’ve never been to a Communion, trust me, they’re pretty bad on brain batteries. I suppose wedding receptions must be even worse, but I haven’t been to one in a very long time so thankfully don’t have the experience really. Olek (who is also an introvert, though more functional than me and he claims that he just “doesn’t like people”, which I’d say is something different because while I’m very much an introvert I certainly wouldn’t say that I dislike people) has been to a wedding reception last weekend though , and, judging from how he slept pretty much til late afternoon after it, it must have been extremely rough. 🙃

   I just asked my Mum this question and thought I’d share her answer too. My Mum is kind of a curious case because I’d say she’s very much an extrovert, whereas she says she feels more like an ambivert and usually a more introvert-leaning one. So I guess she knows better what she is. ANyways, I asked her this and she said that for her as an ambivert, such a nightmare situation would be to be in a group of stranger people that she’s never met before, like the parents-teacher meeting that she’s going to go to tomorrow at Sofi’s school, and having to speak to them all, like introduce an idea that she has and thinks is good, and then if everyone was against her idea and she had to defend it publicly. Or, alternatively, if she had the idea but ended up not sharing it at all for fear of speaking publicly and her idea being criticised, and would then really regret it because, after all, she knows that it was a good idea. I think it’s interesting how there seems to be that sort of dichotomy or inner conflict when you’ve an ambivert. Because if I were in the same situation as an introvert, there would be no dilemma. I am just not going to share the idea, no matter how good it is, and I’m not even going to regret it, because I never share my ideas with stranger people, so I’ll just entertain myself watching them and chuckle internally at how weird they are that they haven’t come up with the same idea as me yet. Whereas here you have this weird push and pull in both directions, although of course it’s not all just a matter of ambiversion but also my Mum’s sensitivity to criticism. 

   How about your nightmare situation? 🙂 

Elin Grace – “Breathe”.

Hey people! 🙂 

   The song I have for you today is quite special, because it hasn’t been officially released yet, and I don’t think I’ve ever done that before on here that I’d share something ahead of its release. It’s also special because there’s so much for me to like about it, as it’s by a Welsh singer, all about mental health, and just sounds very good to me. 

   It comes from Elin Grace – a very interesting independent singer and songwriter – who is about to release her debut EP in two weeks’ time, and “Breathe” is the lead single from it, which will come out a week before the EP, on 16 September. 

   When I first heard it, it immediately sparked my attention, not just because Elin is Welsh, from Llandrindod Wells more exactly, and I’m sure that you all or at least the regular people on here know that I love Welsh music and try to follow what’s going on on the Welsh music scene, but also because this song struck me as very authentic and raw where the lyrics are concerned. And I really appreciate people who can make music that is genuine, that expresses their true, complex feelings or talks about difficult experiences in a candid or even raw way, because it lets me get to know them better, and I just am like this that whenever I listen to a song/album or read a book, I wonder who’s the person behind it and what they are like, so when someone is authentic like that it gives me more of a picture and lets me get to know them a little bit better. That’s also why I like to listen to music by people who write both their music and lyrics themselves, which is  the case with Elin. Besides, I’m sure it isn’t easy at all to let it all out like that and expose some very deep, vulnerable, fearful bit of oneself to the listener – so basically some totally random peep whom you don’t even know. – And for us as listeners, such songs have the potential to be highly relatable, despite paradoxically being very personal at the same time. And I have a feeling that Elin’s whole EP, not just this song, has such potential. 

   “Breathe” was written by Elin when she was eighteen, and it reflects her own struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. Mental health is a recurring topic on this EP, but tis particular song deals with it very explicitly, as we have the lyrical subject here who clearly is experiencing a panic attack, finding it difficult to breathe and trying to manage it by hiding in a chicken shed. As someone with mental illnesses and a mental health blogger, I like how Elin tackles this topic head on, describing it very vividly. While my own anxiety generally looks different from that of the lyrical subject’s, as it’s more of the lingering, always somewhere in the background variety rather than panicky and gripping you all of a sudden, the latter certainly sounds very familiar as well. 

   Musically, the inspiration was that cool keyboard riff we can hear in the second and last chorus that Elin came up with, which was the base for the whole melody. I like how, in a bit of a contrast to the angsty-themed lyrics, there is something oddly soothing and almost cosy to this song and Elin’s smooth yet strong vocals, and the song ends on a more peaceful note as well. Elin is a classically trained pianist who seems to enjoy and draw inspirations from many different genres, and  it shows in this song. 

   I am definitely looking forward to seeing Bee Without Wings come out and plan to spend some time with it once it does, so perhaps I’ll end up sharing something else from it at some point as well. It is also going to handle such topics as love, coming of age or self-esteem. 

   What I think is also worth mentioning is that Elin has previously supported another young Welsh indie folk singer – Mari Mathias – whom I also really like. She has also been compared to the great English singer Laura Marling whom I like as well, and she does indeed sound a bit similar. 

Question of the day (8th September).

   What are small problems you have daily? 

   My answer: 

   The first thing that comes to my mind is definitely peopling. I have all kinds of problems around peopling, big and small. But, to mention a small one, I always have a problem deciding if saying or doing something when interacting with someone is okay. I always overthink it massively and end up making the conclusion that either way it can potentially be seen as rude or something like that. Like today, I was thinking a lot about an interaction I’ve been having with someone, and had a bucket load of dilemmas. Should I ask them this question, or will they think it’s daft or intrusive? But if I don’t ask anything, it’ll seem like I’m generally uninterested and don’t care. How should I respond to this? Will this message even sound coherent to someone else than me? etc. etc. etc. All kinds of things. That’s why I say that online communication doesn’t always necessarily make it easier for me to talk to people. Especially if I write to someone new, I proofread a flipping three-line message ten times, and then sit in front of it for five minutes scared of sending it. Other times, I tell myself I think about it too much and no one does it and I should do whatever my gut feeling tells me, and only ruminate afterwards, and often regret something as well, because as much as I generally find my intuition to be very helpful, it isn’t necessarily so helpful when it comes to interactions with people, so if I go with my gut feeling I often end up either revealing myself more than I’d like or seeming very stiff. It’s not always what people will think of me type of dilemmas but also what’s appropriate more practically, like what people generally do in such and such situation, or finding a sort of balance when interacting with people so that you don’t do something too much or too little. So what I often do is I ask my Mum for advice and ask her all kinds of dumb questions. She isn’t always able to help, because she hasn’t always been in the same situations or because she just doesn’t get my perspective, but very often she can help at least a bit. When my  friend Jacek from Helsinki was still a part of this world and when we got a bit closer to each other, I would often also ask him, because he was an extreme extrovert and always knew what to do when peopling and was very successful at it, but at the same time he could understand my difficulties fairly well despite that, I would even ask him about in person peopling and whether something I did looked alright or not so much, or whether something wouldn’t draw too much attention etc. and he’d generally have more distance than my Mum so his input could be very valuable. I often also learn about such things from books and observing people. But while it is all helpful, I still deal with a lot of problems around peopling every single day. Many of them I’m so used to that I don’t even consciously think about them very often as problems, but I probably would if I, say, had a job that would involve me interacting with people a lot, and would require what they call soft skills these days. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Song of the day (7th September) – Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Hopeloos Blues” (Hopeless Blues).

   For yesterday, I planned to share with you this song by Cornelis that I really like. Or actually, I planned to share with y’all the Swedish version of it mostly because that’s what I know better and actually understand the lyrics and also like slightly more (not that I have anything against the Dutch version, it’s really good too), and then perhaps share the Dutch one as well more for comparison or something, but, surprise, surprise… the Swedish version doesn’t seem to be available to stream anywhere! :O I was totally unaware of this before I started preparing for this post, as I usually don’t listen to Cornelis online, because I have his discography and a lot of live recordings and just all kinds of stuff I could get anywhere on an SD card, and I was a bit shocked, because it’s from a fairly popular album of his – “Poem, Ballader och Lite BLues” (Poems, Ballads and a bit of Blues) – which is one of my favourite albums of his, by the way. The album technically exists on Spotify, but only some tracks are actually playable so they’re either deleted or have location restrictions perhaps, and there’s nothing on YouTube. Even good ol’ Songwhip didn’t seem to find anything, all it found was either covers of this song, or wasn’t available despite SongWhip was showing a link to it. So quite interesting. And I guess it wouldn’t really be okay if I just shared a link to my own audio file with it even if I took it down after some time. 

   But yeah, we still have the Dutch version! I’ve shared very little of Cornelis music in his native language, and he’s apparently a lot less known in the Netherlands than he is in Sweden, so that’s a good opportunity to share something Dutch by him. 

   As I said I really like this song because it’s so freakishly relatable. I think anyone who has depression, especiallly of the very long-term, chronic, lingering or constantly recurring variety that sticks to your brain like thick, crusty mucus (ewww Bibiel!), whether it’s dysthymia like for me or major depression or bipolar or anything like that, will be able to relate to it, and I guess particularly so if anhedonia is in the picture for someone as well, since this hopeless blues basically steals from you anything that has any kind of meaning or that you like. Another way in which it’s relatable for me is also that hopeless blues’ parasitic relationship with Cornelis/the lyrical subject reminds me in a lot of ways of my sleep paralysis and sensory anxiety “friend” whom I call “Ian”  on here, who is not a blues as such but also follows me everywhere and doesn’t  let me forget about himself for too long and can spoil anything fun. 

   Before I realised that there’s no Swedish version available that I could share with you, I already did a translation of it into English, and I don’t like my brainergy to go to waste so even though I’m not sharing the song in Swedish with you, I’ll still share the translation of it. The Dutch version isn’t very different from what I know, just some details are different that don’t really change the whole point. 

   

Hopeless blues
Has moved to where I live
He is lying under the bed, chewing on my shoes

It was late at night
I came from somewhere
It was late at night
I came from somewhere
And when I turned the light on
There was hopeless blues sitting in the corner
Hopeless blues
You are a parasite
Hopeless blues
You are a parasite
What are you doing here?
Why did you came here?

Every morning when I wake up
Hopeless blues lies in my kitchen
Every morning when I wake up
Hopeless blues lies in my kitchen
He drinks up my coffee
Nicks my last cig

He borrows my clothes
And he borrows my guitar as well
He borrows my clothes
And he borrows my guitar as well
He scares away all the ladies
Who come here and visit

My home is a desert
My life a parody
My home is a desert
My life a parody
I have been saddled with hopeless blues
I will never be free
Please, Ms. Therapist
I can’t take it anymore
Please, Ms. Therapist
I can’t take it anymore
May I ask hopeless blues
To move in with you?

Question of the day.

   Which song sounds normal to people, but for you, for some reason, it sounds creepy? 

   My answer: 

   No, I haven’t actually thought about asking you this question myself, I just found it online and it sounded like it well could have been me asking it, because I experience that with a lot of songs, and I wonder if other people have that too and with which songs. Even if the experience itself is totally different than it is for me, because for me it’s kind of “sensory” and I don’t know many people who have a similar thing going on with creepy sounds as me. Nevertheless, regardless of the way in which someone might experience such creeps and the reasons or origins of that, I’m simply curious. 

   While there sure are such songs that I find creepy because there’s something rather objective that’s off about them that some people notice or pay attention to and others just don’t, mostly when I think of songs, or any sounds really, as “creepy” I actually mean creepy as in my so-called “sensory/silence/sound anxiety” way. This means that they’re creepy for me in a way that I often can’t even describe properly, and I usually realise that they wouldn’t be creepy for most people, or really I guess anyone else at all. It’s just that when I hear them, I get like a sudden rush of adrenaline in my brain and everything feels just off and extremely scary and I feel overwhelmed and all the creepiness of that sound or cluster of sounds or song or whatever it might be is just aimed directly at me. It often feels like it’s just seething with aggression and something evil, and outwardly it may be just a very calm-sounding thing or totally neutral and unobtrusive for other people. It’s almost like there’s some special creepy message in there just for Bibiel, and someone has actually once suggested to me that, since I get these creeps a lot with all sorts of jingles or commercials or stuff like that and get that feeling of it being directed at me and being aggressive, I could be somehow weirdly sensitive to subliminal messaging. And it in a way made sense to me but not all of the things I’m creeped out by are these kinds of sounds, if I’m particularly jittery and hyper-alert or something even people talking in a specific intonation can set me off. Or, like, a few years back, to my horror, I discovered that there’s a language that, for some reason, I find kind of scary. I just totally cannot explain it and it’s absolutely crazy, and I assure you that it’s not like I have anything against that language or people who speak it or anything, it just makes me feel really weird when I hear it. This language is guaraní. I mean, how can a language as such have subliminal messaging in it? It would have to be hidden in phonemes and that just makes no sense at all. And why would it be guaraní, out of all the freaking languages in the world? 😀 I don’t know why I have this thing going on and part of me would really like to know, but I suppose it must actually be several different factors, because the whole thing that I call sensory anxiety are actually several different things that kind of overlap and influence each other. When I hear something creepy like that, it’ll be coming back to me in a rather intrusive way, like when it’s quiet or I am not focused on anything specific, or it’ll develop a scary personification who will visit me in my next sleep paralysis episode. And when I get creeped out by one thing, it takes me from a couple days to weeks to recover and sort of desensitise from it, and if I get sleep paralysis in the meantime it obviously makes things worse so then I need more time to desensitise, and during that time I’m often more prone to being creeped out by something else because it’s a bit like everything feels creepy and my senses are on high alert as if I was expecting something really awful to happen any minute, because in a way it’s true that I sort of am. And with some sounds I just never recover and there are such that I’ve been deadly scared of ever since I was a ridiculously young child, and some I haven’t even heard in ages but still it feels like I remember them very clearly. 

   So, rather than focusing on songs that are creepy to me in a way that I guess is more objective, I thought I’d tell you about a very innocent song that once creeped me out as a kid in that more subjective way. I’ve long recovered from that since and don’t even remember exactly what that song sounded  in the version I heard, and I think I’d actually almost forgotten about it but quite recently heard someone mentioning this song and the memory of me being creeped out by it came back to me quite clearly. Which makes it the perfect topic for this post, because I’ve actually been struggling with sensory anxiety  a lot on and off for over a month now because I’ve been getting sleep paralyses all the time lately, and wouldn’t like to make it worse myself by talking about any active or recent creeps, the more that I’m actually home alone so it would be literally asking for trouble. 😀 

   This song is… a nursery rhyme! An English nursery rhyme. Ten Green Bottles, more exactly. 😀 (Wonder what subliminal messaging is in there.) I was twelve when I first heard it, and it was shortly after I’d come back to the blind school, after having left it for an inclusion school for two years. It was obviously a difficult time for me emotionally because change and because school 😀 and then as soon as I more or less dealt with the emotional stuff, I remember the sensory anxiety hit me extremely hard and quite out of the blue, it was so hard it was actually difficult to function with it because I was constantly on tenterhooks and either overstimulated with the sounds around me or even simply a lot of stuff going on, or understimulated and flooded with stimuli from the inside, and it was just super annoying because it wouldn’t go away or lessen for ages no matter what I did, and I felt like I was going totally crazy. I think it was Teacher’s Day, so 14th October here, in any case we didn’t have any real lessons and at some point we were just sitting in our classroom and talking and there was some CD playing in the background that must have gone along with some English textbook or something I suppose. I’m pretty sure the CD wasn’t even what we were using for actual English learning because if it had Ten Green Bottles on it then it was quite a fair bit below 4th grade level. 😀 Someone had probably just put it on to make an impression that we were actually learning something. And I was sitting there mostly quietly and listening to what my classmates were talking about, feeling on high alert like always then, and then at some point that song started playing. It wasn’t any spectacular, massive creepout like some I’ve experienced that would make me freeze or anything, but it immediately struck me as really odd and creepy. I only remember that it was sung by a man, and that it was its arrangement that felt creepy for some reason. And then as I kept hearing it, it kept feeling creepier and creepier and I couldn’t get my attention off it, so that even the lyrics started to seem weird to me.  I guess usually in this song the bottles are “hanging on the wall” but I’m pretty sure that in that one they were “standing”, or else I misunderstood it, because I can vividly recall thinking that that must’ve been some weird wall if something can stand on it. Back then I would only understand the English word wall as in a wall in the house, between the rooms, rather than just any brick structure, and so I could hardly imagine anything standing on a wall. And there was the sound of the bottles breaking as they kept falling down to the floor, and I thought that was kind of creepy too that they keep falling like that, “accidentally”.

   Once I get creeped out by something, it’s really easy for my brain to find other creepy things, the more that I often start overthinking on it and how come it feels so creepy. Im pretty sure that if I was in a normal brainstate and not already creeped out by everything, this song wouldn’t really make any impression at all on me, it doesn’t really have a creepy melody or harmony or anything and the fact that I don’t even remember that arrangement anymore speaks for itself pretty much, but that’s how it is once such a chain of creeps starts. 

   Now you share your creeps, if you have any. 🙂 

Question of the day.

   How are you today? 

   My answer: 

   I’m definitely better than I was, say, even on Friday, but this whole week has been a bit crappy for me, mentally at least. I’ve been having loads of sensory anxiety stuff going on lately and feeling quite emotional for some unspecified reason, or perhaps actually for lots of different reasons, depending on from which angle you look at it, with self-harm urges on top of that, and now that all these things have quietened downn a little bit, mostly I’d say I’m just kind of blah. Usually Misha helps me a lot with the sensory anxiety, but now that the prozac is flushed out of his system for good, he’s become quite wired again as is typical at this time of the year, so he doesn’t really sleep in my room all that much or spend much time with me. 

   How about you? 🙂 

How do I feel about my age?

   Thought I’d do some journal prompt-based post again, ‘cause, well, why not? 😀 

   I chose a prompt from Hannah Braime’s book The Year of You, which is the following: 

   How do you feel about your age? 

   Well, I think I’ve written on here before about how I feel there’s a kind of dissonance or something between my emotional vs intellectual maturity. There are people who get such an impression of me that I’m an old soul, and it makes sense in a way because ever since I was a child I always tended to prefer to hang out with people at least slightly older than me, I always found that a lot more interesting. Actually, as a very young child, I very much preferred hanging out with adults than other children, and especially being in adults’ centre of attention, like show off my singing abilities and stuff. 😀 I didn’t really do how to relate to other children back then, I guess. There are people, including, as I often share on here, my own Mother, who come for advice or opinions to me and seem to treat what I say very seriously, which in a way is cool because at least I guess I can be helpful for people, and it’s quite an honour, but also kind of fun and weird because, well, I have very little actual life experience, if not for any other reason then at least because I’m just 25, and sometimes it feels like a lot of responsibility to try to help people with their life experiences when they are not something that I have ever experienced. I guess part of why people see me the way they do is that I have a keen interest in analysing the characters and behaviours of my fellow humans and seem to have a very useful ability to often draw fairly accurate conclusions, and it gives others the idea that if you can judge someone’s character more or less accurately, you must be a very wise person as a whole. I am also considered intelligent by those who know me well like my immediate family, and I guess a lot of people see (verbal) intelligence as synonymous with wisdom. 

   But while I may well be a good judge of character and like to have deep or intellectual convos with people, I don’t actually consider myself very emotionally mature. Most of the time I feel very childish and clueless about life and most things really, apart from all the niche stuff that I’m into, to the point that it actually often feels pretty ridiculous. And most people, even those who simultaneously think of me as an old soul, especially those who actually know me in person, also see me as very child-like, if not infantile at times, in a lot of ways. I look pretty child-like and often react to things in child-like ways or have a lot of child-like behaviours in general. All my regular readers know that I like, especially in Polish, to talk about myself as Bibiel, as in “Bibiel likes this” or “Bibiel did that”. I used to do that all the time as a kid and teen, I wrote on one of my blogs like that all the time, now I usually do it when I’m really excited about something or stuff like that, but also when it simply kind of feels more adequate than just say I or me. Sometimes Bibiel feels just the only right thing to say. As I’ve written before, people have had all sorts of reactions to that – some think it’s cute, others think it’s eccentric and creative, others yet think it’s annoying or just plain childish or kind of sick. – And some like my Dad actually call me Bibiel pretty much all the time and think it’s kind of funny and really weird at the same time (btw just when I’ve been writing this post he yelled Bibiel outside my window so loud  that I almost shitted myself, not to mention Misha 😀 😀 😀 at least I know from whom I inherited my immaturity). In English I generally say Bibiel less, I’m kind of worried that since I’m not a native people might sometimes have a problem understanding me even without my throwing neologisms and weird constructions in, but recently I’ve been saying Bibiel more especially on here ‘cause it feels more genuine to just say “I” all the time, especially that it’s used so much more in English than it’s Polish equivalent, ‘cause in Polish everyone knows that you’re talking about yourself from the verb form. And unlike in Polish, I’ve also started to say Bibiels or Bibielz in English, even though there’s obviously only one Bibiel – well okay there are apparently some people in Brazil called Bibiel because years after we made up this word with Sofi I learned that it’s a (masculine) name in Brazil though it’s pronounced differently, but Bibielz in this sense as me, there aren’t any more  Bibielz in this sense I suppose so that’s just why it’s so funny to say Bibielz and make it seem like the whole universe must be bursting with Bibielz and literally creaking and cracking and moaning under the weight of all the billions of Bibielz and then some more and then their offspring, even though it’s not. 🙃 Does that even make sense what I’m saying to non-Bibielz? 😀 Aside from just calling myself Bibiel simply because I like that, I imagine Bibiel to be like the more child-like, spontaneous and carefree and crazy, but at the same time more mentally healthy, part of me. One who has a horribly childish sense of humour and likes to laugh a lot and is almost constantly either excited or obsessed in a positive way with one thing or another and can’t stop talking when she gets a chance to start. And while being kind of older and kind of younger than you actually are at the same time  can be tricky, I would never like to get rid of Bibiel, because also at the same time Bibiel makes everything easier. 

   I guess while in a way so far I’ve never grown up properly, in another way, I sort of had to grow up faster than most kids my age when I went to boarding school when I was five. And my little theory is that part of why I’m still so childish now is because Bibiel wants to make up for all that time. And there’s Sofi around, oh yeah, and Misha, and Jocky (and then my Dad, if all else fails) so there’s always someone to play, laugh and goof around with. Thankfully, even now that Sofi is 15, she’s also still pretty child-like herself, although sometimes I already start to feel that she’s becoming more mature than myself. 😀 Am I concerned? A part of me thinks that I probably should be, but mostly I’m not really. Sometimes I wonder whether some part of why I feel a lot younger than I am most of the time could be due to AVPD, because it seems to be a common experience of people with this disorder, so I’m curious if there’s really some link and how it works. 

   When Misha joined our family, Sofi and me felt it was such a pity that he can’t actually talk and tell us what he thinks and just chat with us. I still think it’s a pity, but one day I came up with an idea that we could play that Misha can have a connection with either of us, a brain connection, something kind of like Bluetooth or Internet or phone connection or stuff like that. He can connect to either of us, whoever is willing, and use this person to communicate through them. So we started playing like that and Misha would connect either to me or to Sofi and we could talk with him like that and incorporate him in our plays even more. But Sofi, while she liked the idea, felt awkward when lending her brain to Misha, because when she talked to Misha it could sound to an outsider like she was having a dialogue with herself and part of it in a child-like voice ‘cause of course we imagine that Misha would be rather child-like if he could talk, he might be middle-aged by cat standards but he’s so small and has only lived for six years, after all. I had no such inhibitions since I talk to myself anyway, so since then Misha talks mostly via me. It’s a very useful psychological tool, because even now when Sofi’s fair bit older than when we started doing this, she’s still more willing to share some of her more personal or deeper thoughts or problems with Misha than with Mum or just me, and it’s kind of easier and more fun for both of us, when she hears something from Misha who often points things out to her indirectly or asks her funny questions to make her think herself, rather than Mum or me directly lecturing her. I often come to Sofi with Misha when she’s in bed so that she can have a chat with him or we three can play together. Sometimes we even have distance chats, that is when Misha isn’t physically present in the same room as we are, but that doesn’t usually feel quite as genuine. Now the only thing we need is for someone to find a way to phone pets whenever  humans are away from home so that we could check on them. Over time, Sofi herself came up with an idea that it would also be cool if Misha could do other things through us, and for that he sometimes connects to me, and sometimes to Sofi, so like he can try peep food through us, do crafty stuff (or plast plast, as we call it) through Sofi, and write emails to Sofi through me. I wonder how many people my age or older do stuff like that. 😀 

   When I was a child, I never actually even wanted to be an adult, it always seemed insanely scary to me and I didn’t like how lots of kids seemed to look forward to it ‘cause I totally didn’t share the enthusiasm. I think I’ve shared with you how once when I was in nursery/preschool and laying in bed, I had that weird dream or other sort of vision or whatever (because I didn’t feel like I was really sleeping when it happened so I’m not sure how to call it) of myself as an adult, it was absolutely ridiculous and back then a bit scary for me because it felt so realistic. I saw myself standing in the middle of a huge but very crammed, messy kitchen, something was frying and it seemed like I was in the midst of or about to prepare a meal or something like that, the whole place was super hot, and I was wearing some sort of huge, wide apron which made me feel like an old lady, and I was apparently an adult, though I totally didn’t feel like I was. The worst thing was that there were small children literally all around, clinging to me and wanting something from me, and I felt utterly confused and didn’t know what to do with all that. I suppose my idea of adulthood then – so as a 5-year-old – must have been based on my Mum – that you have a family and kids and make them meals and you have to have everything together even if you don’t (although my Mum actually does, and she doesn’t have a messy kitchen, nor does she wear aprons usually 😀 ) and I didn’t think like I could ever be able to do that. After that dream thing, whenever someone would ask me what I wanted to do when I grow up, for a long time I responded that I wouldn’t have a baby, because if women want to, they can have a baby, but if they don’t, they don’t have to. 😀 Adulting is still something that I find scary, so while I indeed don’t have children and don’t even make my own food beyond the most basic like sandwiches or cereal, my premonition was kind of correct. 

   Im very much a daydreamer and a bit of an escapist, and generally the idea of some major responsibility freaks me out. I’m terrible with stuff like money, for example, it feels very confusing and kind of abstractive to me. I generally don’t have a problem with abstract thinking, but thinking about stuff that has to do with counting, amounts of things etc. Takes a lot of brain CPU for me and I feel much better having someone assist me in making major purchase decisions, not because I cannot make my own decisions but to kind of make sense of things. Not to mention that I don’t do socialising. Socialising in general is pretty stressful for me as y’all probably know but sometimes an equally difficult thing is that I cannot make sense of social stuff, like when to do what, and need to ask my Mum for advice whether doing/saying, or not doing/saying something is appropriate, or what people usually do in such and such situation. I usually learn such things from books, stuff like body language for example, but I still don’t know loads of things. 

   I usually don’t think much about people’s ages unless it’s relevant for some reason, and so I normally don’t think a whole lot about mine either, but I usually totally donn’t feel my age. Usually I  feel a lot younger, especially when it’s my birthday I’m internally always like: “Really?! Am I this old already?! No way!” 😀 Or other times I feel like a total granny – cynical, weary of life, lacking brainergy after a migraine,   shaking my head at what kids do these days and what awful slang they use and what crap music they listen to and how people no longer do emails and can’t write properly but beatbox instead. 😀 Like, I remember once being part of a Polish forum for introverts, and they had a whole section with stuff like personality tests and such, including some sort of mental age test, and when I did that test (I must have been around 17 then) it said my mental age was 40. I wasn’t sure whether it was saying something more along the lines of: “Awww Bibiel, you’re so mature beyond your years, that’s amazing!” Or more like: “Your brain is rotting prematurely, do something!” 😀 

   But now that I’m 25, I do care a bit more about being this particular age, though for a very silly reason. 

   When I was in primary, I made up a really weird game together with one of my groupmates at  boarding school, that was supposed to predict your more or less distant future, or give you insight in whatever you wanted to know. When it was very quiet, so especially at night before falling asleep, you had to really focus and listen to your mind, until some random words, preferably a more or less coherent sentence, would pop into your mind, and that would be your prediction. Sometimes these ended up, at least for me, not to be sentences, but more complex imaginings, you know what sort of things can pop into your mind when you’re about to fall asleep, and I guess it’s all the stronger when you’re blind because when it’s quiet and your brain doesn’t get even auditory input, it likes to make things up. At least I am very prone to this. Sometimes the results we got from that were really hilarious, like my friend hear something like: “You’ll be bouncing on the waves of dynamite” and we were wondering whatever that might mean, or I once heard that I will be queen of Egypt, and then another time that my Dad will die by stoning in Sweden. It was all for fun and very hilarious. But one night, as I was falling asleep and trying to “predict” something, I ended up having an absolutely eerie half-dream or whatever it was. Inn it, I was aware that I was a lot older than I was at the time, I was climbing up the stairs of the old building of our boarding school (the building itself is pretty creepy for many newbies who come there, it’s pre-WWI, with a lot of corridors that go on and on, rooms within rooms that you can quite easily get lost in, and even some bathtubs with taps with black water running from them when you try to use them, and after all the groups were moved to the new building, that old building has become a lot quieter and one of its purposes was providing guest rooms for any family members staying for weekends, so for example my aunt whenever she visited me she was really creeped out by the place. For me it definitely wasn’t creepy because we were still living there when I had that dream so it was just normal and perhaps a bit atmospheric, but in this dream, it definitely added to the overall creepiness, and after having that dream I always got the creeps whenever walking those stairs. Then I opened what would normally be the door to our then-group, but as soon as I opened it, I heard an absolute cacophony of sounds, and the place I found myself in wasn’t anything like our group, it was like a small house within that huge building. That cacophony of sounds were all sorts of sounds that have given me sensory heebiejeebies in the past, and on top of them was certain evil British song with a Jamaican Patois chorus from 2005 which for some evil reason was topping the charts in Poland around that time and even still gives me the heebiejeebies whenever I hear it (probably because I never get to recover from it because Olek likes it and thinks it’s funny that I don’t and likes to tease me by playing it, at least I suppose in his mind it’s just supposed to be teasing, but the result is Bibiel z freezing 😀 ). It was my biggest sensory anxiety trigger at the time, so I got really scared. And as is often the case with my dreams, all these sensory anxiety triggers had like their personifications, and the one that personified that song came up to me and told me that they’ll be waiting for me here, and when I’ll be 25, I’ll die and I’ll come to them and we will spend the eternity together. Then it all disappeared, and that was the end of my playing the predictions game, because I was absolutely convinced that since I was expecting to have a prediction and ended up having this weird dream thing, then that was what I wanted – a prediction of what is going to happen to me. – Except that I would probably die some time before turning 25, of fear of what was going to happen to me. Over time, of course I started thinking that it must have been just a dream, things like that don’t come true, ‘cause how would it even be supposed to happen, is it like a form of hell or something? 😀 But still, for a long time I had that niggling feeling, what if, maybe it won’t happen exactly like in the dream, but what if something really creepy was to happen to me when I was 25? I’d never shared this with anyone, because for a long time it felt too scary and I couldn’t even articulate it I guess, and then it felt too silly. I only told my Mum about it shortly before my last birthday, when I was actually able to have more distance to it. And even though I no longer believe that this is what is going to happen to me and am able to laugh at this dream and that whole game thing, I guess the original impression was so strong that deep within my brain I still have a very small niggling feeling, what if something real creepy will happen to me soon? Other than that though, as I said, age is usually not a very important thing for me, whether it’s my age or someone else’s. 

   Now you tell me. How do you feel about your age? Do you care about such things? 🙂 

Is my glass half full or half empty? Or, Bibiel’s take on defensive pessimism.

   Let’s do another journal prompt-inspired post, shall we?! For today, I chose the following prompt from Hannah Braime’s collection of journal prompts called The Year of You: 

   Would you describe your glass as half full or half empty? 

   I figured that with so much toxic, overrated, farting sweet, bright red and just ewwww yuck positivity floating around the world, it won’t hurt if I share my perspective on the glass dilemma, which, based solely on how often people seem to misunderstand it, must be not a very common perspective to have. Besides, I already wrote about it briefly quite recently in this post, so why not expand it further. 

   Like I wrote in that post, people who know me a bit, even some who know me a lot like my Mum, often tend to think of me as an extreme, incurable, even “hopeless” pessimist. And that’s kind of true except it’s not, and not just because I am not hopeless. My brain is definitely  on the gloomy side, and I am indeed a fan of thoroughly thinking through all possible worst case scenarios of a situation, which sometimes ends up spinning into proper catastrophising. Also if I happen to be very anxious, especially for a prolonged time or over a lot of stuff at once or one thing that feels really difficult to deal with, it’s extremely easy for me to slip into ruminating and overthinking, which as far as I know are all classic pessimistic traits. Yet, I don’t think I’m a real, pure pessimist. Many people I know who declare to be or are seen as pessimists don’t seem to get anything good out of the mindset that they have. It only stresses them out, makes it difficult to enjoy the good things in life while they are lasting, and often is very toxic, creating a really unpleasant and tense atmosphere in their surroundings that affects other people around them. For me, ruminating and overthinking can naturally be very stressful too and I’d much rather not deal with them, depression is also really shitty, but I tend to consider these more like brain malfunctions, even if deeply ingrained ones and ones which have been with me for a large part of my life, rather than a  mindset, definitely not a fixed one anyway. Those brain malfunctions can surely affect my mindset, especially when I feel particularly mentally unwell and have very low mood, but they can’t fully replace it because they’re entirely different things. I hope that makes sense.

   My pessimism is not about constant complaining (not that I think there’s anything wrong with complaining as such, as long as there isn’t too much of it and something constructive comes out of it, like yourself feeling better after getting something off your chest), constant/excessive grumpiness, finding faults with everything/everyone or never being satisfied with the good things that you have or that happen to you. 

   So what is it? My pessimism is defensive, so aside from being a way of thinking, it’s also a coping strategy for me. I firmly believe that it’s a lot better to always prepare yourself for the absolute worst possible thing and keep your expectations rather low, rather than hope for the best. Hoping for the best might be easier during the waiting  for whatever is supposed to happen, but if something positive that you’ve been waiting for doesn’t end up happening, or isn’t nearly as good as you imagined, the crash down from so high up will most often be  a really unpleasant experience, and you’re ultimately left with nothing other than your disappointment, and possibly other difficult feelings, depending on a particular situation. Whereas if you don’t expect much, you can only go higher. You won’t end up dramatically and painfully crashing down from anywhere, but you can end up feeling very pleasantly surprised. And, as a defensive pessimist rather than a plain grumpy pessimist, if something does exceed my expectations, I try to appreciate it as much as I can, rather than be like: “Oh well, it’s just an exception from the rule, something will surely go wrong”. It may or may not be an exception from the rule, and something else may or may not go wrong very soon, but I try to be very appreciative and grateful for the things that do go well, and enjoy them nevertheless. In fact, perhaps a little paradoxically, despite being an anxious melancholic with dysthymia, I am also blessed with the ability of finding even small things in life enjoyable and pleasurable, and if my mood is somewhere around what I consider my baseline, I don’t have to try very hard to make myself feel these feelings or focus on it very much. 

   Similarly, when you’re awaiting something that you consider stressful or otherwise difficult, for example an exam like Sofi does tomorrow, I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to try to convince yourself for all means that everything will be fine. I think it’s worth considering things that might go wrong, so that when something does go wrong, you can handle it better emotionally at worst, because you’ve sort of already been through it in your brain, and prevent it from happening altogether at best. You sure can’t always think of every possible thing that could go wrong in a given situation and prepare yourself for everything, but still, going through a few different difficult scenarios in your brain before a situation takes place, even if the actual situation won’t look exactly like any of the things you imagined, can be helpful in handling things in my opinion. 

   I guess though that while this works for me, it doesn’t necessarily have to work for everyone. I guess if so many people promote positivity, positive affirmations and stuff, it must work for them. I only know that my approach works well for me. I’d tried being more optimistic, because everyone, and especially my Mum, says that when you think of good things, then good things happen to you, and when you think about bad things, then you get bad things. And I have no reason to believe that this is not the case for people who say so. But for me, most of the time it just doesn’t work this way. I can seriously count on my fingers all the times when my very positive thinking led to a very positive outcomes, not counting all the situations when I just had a very strong gut feeling bordering on certainty that everything will go well and didn’t feel like I needed to either think of worst case scenarios or force myself to optimism, because when I have very strong gut feelings like that, they’re usually right. Most of the time when I tried hard to think positively about something, the actual outcome made me feel really anxious and overwhelmed because I totally didn’t see that thing coming. Meanwhile, very often, if I think of all the possible awful outcomes of something, and think that one of them is probably more likely than a positive outcome, the thing ends up very positively for me. Not always, but very often. This is part of why I’ve always considered myself an almost ridiculously lucky person, ‘cause apparently I do everything to attract all the bad things yet so many good things happen to me and, more importantly, so many bad things that could happen to me, just don’t. 😀 Admittedly, I’m perhaps not as insanely, , incessantly, provocatively, in-your-face lucky as my optimistic Mum, but still extremely, miraculously lucky. So if my defensive pessimism gives me very similar results to those that optimists get from optimism, I really don’t feel like changing my  brain and re-learning optimism just because optimism is more well-seen by society. It’s also rather boring. 

   I’ve actually been using the term defensive pessimism to describe this before I even learned that there actually is such a term in psychology, which has been coined by Nancy Cantor. I guess mine is a bit different though because it seems like that official definition of defensive pessimism is a little more narrow, only viewing it as a cognitive strategy, whereas I’d say mine is a mix of that plus just a more general way of thinking that is quite stable, I guess like a personality trait, or an attitude or something…? Not sure how to describe it well. Anyway, when I read that defensive pessimists perform worse in experimental tasks when encouraged to use a more positive cognitive strategy, it made me think that perhaps that’s just how it’s supposed to be, not only with cognitive strategies but also the more stable attitudes – that is, whether you’re an optimist, realist, pessimist or whatever else there is, you should just follow your brain and think the way you’re made to think, or the way you’ve learnt to think, in order to make things go well for you and be successful, rather than twist your brain wires at uncomfortable angles to tweak your thinking to what most people consider best and risk electrocuting yourself in the meantime. – What do you think? 

   Interestingly, I guess I haven’t always been a defensive pessimist. Similarly to how I wasn’t always quite as introverted as I am now. I’m pretty sure that the little Bibiel, like below age 8 or so, must’ve been an optimist, and the defensive pessimism thing has developed later on as I was gaining  new life experiences. When I wrote a post about defensive pessimism on one of my old Polish blogs as a teenager (which I remember I called “A Recipe for Luck” 😀 ) I said in there that I thought the main reason for why I ended up being a defensive pessimist was that I often experienced disappointment when expecting to go home from school, or my Mum to visit me in there during a weekend, which often ended up being cancelled or delayed multiple times for all sorts of reasons, which was an absolute catastrophe for me every single time, and that this way of coping became even more strengthened during my recovery from the Achilles tendons surgery, about which everyone kept reassuring me that it will  be okay, and which I also really wanted to believe, but didn’t really have much of an idea at all what to expect, and the whole recovery thing was a lot more difficult than I expected and I was totally unprepared mentally to handle that sort of thing. Even though I remember writing all that with a lot of certainty, I’m not sure it’s truly the direct cause of my defensive pessimism, and I don’t think it matters very much what exactly had caused it, but it sure is possible. My Mum is a bit impulsive and she would often get my hopes up telling me that she’d take me home next weekend, so then that was what kept me going all week long, until when it was almost Friday I’d learn that it won’t be happening just yet.  And so I guess over time my brain could have learned that the more frantically and desperately it’s hoping for something positive to be true, the more likely it is that it will be the opposite. If I didn’t expect to go home next weekend and lived as if it wasn’t supposed to happen, it was a lot easier to deal with such disappointments when they came, because they weren’t really actual disappointments anymore, and when I was able to go home, in a way it felt even better because I wasn’t really expecting it so it had a bit of a surprise factor to it. Generally I’ve never liked surprises very much ‘cause they’re really awkward, but a surprise weekend at home or visit from Mum was always more than cool. By the time I had the surgery I guess I was already quite an experienced  pessimist, and ruminator for sure, but it could have indeed been the ultimate thing that has cemented it into my brain for good. Regardless whatever it was that made me a defensive pessimist, in the end I can say I actually feel grateful for that, because it works for me, so why not. 

   So to answer the prompt question, is my glass half full or half empty, I’ll say the same thing that I said in the post linked above, that Bibielz expect an empty glass, and when Bibielz get a glass that’s half full, Bibielz go “Yayyyyyy! There’s water in it!” This is such a cool feeling, when you don’t expect to be able to find a single metaphorical drop of water to drink all day long, and then someone gives you a whopping HALF a glass. Who cares if it’s half empty or half full? There’s actually something in it, that’s what matters! And you relish every single metaphorical drop of it, because you don’t know when the next time will be that you’ll be granted such a luxury, and it tastes a lot better than if you were expecting it to begin with, because then it would be just normal water and you’d likely take it for granted. And it’s even better when you get half a glass of metaphorical kefir… 😉 

   Now, you tell me about your glass. 🙂 Oh yeah, and what is it actually filled with? 😀 Also if you have a mental illness, I’m curious if/how it affects the way you see your glass. 

Question of the day.

   What are some things you do to cope with stress that aren’t really productive, but not really unhealthy either? 

   My answer: 

   I guess one such thing that comes to my mind and that fulfills these criteria is sleep. If I feel really stressed, or depressed, for that matter, or anything shitty like that, and can sleep, I will usually happily jump at the chance to shut my brain down even for a little while. Sleep is one of the best methods of escapism, imo, but it sure isn’t particularly productive. Unless you happen to have a dream that gives you a solution to whatever is stressing you out, or the stress is only a matter of time and when you sleep some time through, you’ll wake up in a better, less stressful world. I’ve heard that too much sleep can be similarly unhealthy as too little sleep (I’m actually really curious why, because with too little sleep it’s obvious, but I’d like to know what exactly goes wrong when you sleep too much and why) but I suppose that compared to various other maladaptive ways in which people, including myself, try to cope with stress, oversleeping is probably relatively harmless. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   Which part of the stereotypical teenager experience did you not relate to? 

   My answer: 

   Probably more than what I did relate to, and more than what I can think of right now. I guess most people think of teenagers as being rebellious, loud, having an attitude (this is such a weird, vague-sounding expression, everyone has some sort of attitude) and stuff like that. I wouldn’t say I was those things. I never really felt the need to rebel in some ostentatious way. Well, I guess you may say that I sort of did in my late teens when I turned away from Christianity and pretended mostly for my own sake that I was an atheist or agnostic, then later tried playing with Wicca, because my school was Catholic and I wanted to reject everything to do with it. I also identified and liked to present myself as a Goth, and I think there was also a sort of rebellious element to it because it doesn’t really get along very well with Christian values. I would also do stuff like I-dosing (using such binaural beats which work sort of like drugs and simulate various mental states) or lucid dreaming, which was primarily a way of escapism for me, but in a way I think a sort of rebellion as well. But while I really regret all of that now and have not only got a chance from God to re-convert but also found my place in the traditional Catholic community and now attend exclusively traditional Latin Mass, which is kind of funny when I think of it more, I don’t think people around me perceived me as particularly rebellious in a typical teenager way. 

   I definitely wasn’t impulsive or into risk. I certainly was emotional like a proper teenager, but I was a huge fan of bottling things up and apparently very good at it so I came across as the opposite of that to many people.

   I’ve always felt that most fictional teenagers – and most of the real ones that I knew while being a teenager myself, for that matter – seem to have a lot of friends, or at the very least one best friend that they share stuff with and are really close to each other. This is also not really an experience I had. As I wrote on here before, I think I was liked at school and unlike your stereotypical friendless teenager I didn’t have any enemies either and was never bullied or anything like that. I got along well with most people and had some common ground with a handful, I even called some of them friends, but wasn’t particularly close with anyone. The girls I particularly enjoyed hanging out with were already a very tightly-knit circle of friends to each other, and while I think they liked me and my company and we had a lot of common ground, they clearly didn’t see me as part of that circle and were most happy to spend time without additional people, as they had their insider things that they liked to do together and that they weren’t keen on introducing to anyone else, so I spent most of the time alone. I mostly didn’t mind that, though I often felt that life would be a lot easier in a lot of ways for me at school if I had someone that I could be closer with and with whom we could be best friends for each other, and while I wasn’t desperate for a friendship, the lack thereof contributed to my already strong feelings of inadequacy. There were also two girls that I met online about whom I really liked to think as my best friends, we met in a blind online network that was a thing back then. We had a lot of fun times and one of them introduced me to my first two faza people which she also had fazas on. But we only talked online, and I only had access to the Internet when I was at home, which was only either when there was some school break, or on an occasional weekend, or when I was sick or something so not too often, which doesn’t help with maintaining a relationship. Later on, when I was still deep in my teens, I met my now late friend Jacek from Helsinki which was quite a close yet also very turbulent friendship, but I don’t think it fits in with your stereotypical teenage friendships because I didn’t meet him at school, except on a forum for translators where I shared my Vreeswijk’s translations. 

   As regulars ón here know, I didn’t fall in love, date, or have sex either. Still, for some reason, some girls really liked to come to me for relationship advice. It sometimes felt a little awkward being practically the only one not going out with someone, except for those girls who had some mild intellectual deficits, but I didn’t really have any desire to that just because that was what everyone else was doing, and, more importantly, there was just absolutely no one sufficiently interesting that I could go out with, and just the mere idea felt slightly intimidating. 

   I didn’t go to parties. Well, I did, if I had to, but these were mostly stuff like school balls/proms or people’s birthday parties also held at school, and obviously parties within my family. No teen house parties, discos or clubbing or whatever else people might do. I never had any desire to do that sort of thing either. I hated even the school balls and always dreaded them and did whatever I could to avoid them. 

   I didn’t have much of an interest in make-up, doing my nails and stuff like that. Which I suppose is the typical teenage girl thing because it is very much Sofi’s thing and Sofi is, for the most, very typical of her age group. It just seemed like a lot of hassle to deal with being blind, and I had very little motivation. I became more interested in it once I became a Goth, but it was still rather half-hearted. 

   I was lucky enough that I almost didn’t have acne. I did get some occasional  pimple, especially before Jack the Ripper’s visits whenn he started coming, but for the most part I don’t seem to have a particularly oily skin. My Mum says that it also could be because I usually didn’t pop the pimples unless the more gross-looking or painful ones in more visible locations. 

   I didn’t try to desperately follow my peers in what I did or was interested in. Sometimes like I’ve already said it contributed to me feeling more inadequate, but even so I wasn’t interested in fitting in more. On the other hand though, I also liked not being into everything that happened to be trendy at the moment either worldwide or in my immediate surroundings and having my own taste in things and thinking a bit more independently rather than blending in with the crowd for all costs. Sure, there were things that the majority did that I did as well, it wasn’t like I would reject something just because everyone else did it so I wanted to be different for all means. I just took what I liked from what they did. 

   I didn’t look up to my peers more than my parents and I didn’t have any major generational issues with my parents. If I did, they never led to any huge conflicts or arguments or anything like that. A huge part of that was definitely the fact that I spent most of the time in the boarding school and I really didn’t like it and didn’t want it to have any influence on me, I also missed my Mum a lot so she was the strongest authority figure for me. But also my Mum is a very flexible-minded person so it’s easy to get along with her and make a compromise if needed even if we have different ideas about something, she’s also very loyal so even if my siblings or I did something wrong at school or anywhere else outside of home or were in trouble or something, she would always be on our side rather than, say, the teacher’s or whoever was accusing us, while at the same time acknowledging that what we did was wrong and not being happy about it, but she just thinks that if you’re a parent, you should be in your child’s corner so that they’re not alone even if they did something bad or stupid. She was also always very interested in our lives and we knew we could talkk to her about anything freely if we wanted, unlike what seems to be the case with many teenagers and their parents. In fact, as a teenager, often when I was witnessing a class- or groupmate having some trouble I’d be surprised when they didn’t think of talking about it with their parents first so that they could help, but instead tried to unsuccessfully deal with it on their own or talked to the staff who were often rather biased, or other kids who could often comiserate but not necessarily always help in a real way. I also didn’t understand regular teenagers living with their parents on a daily basis how they could be often so rude to their parents or argue with them all the time or almost not talk with them at all. So whenever I needed some advice, had some questions of vital importance, or decided to let a little bit of that bottled up stuff out, I would most often call my Mum. And I think I must have achieved some school record in calling my family , as from what I could observe, no one did it as often as I did, which was often multiple times during the day. 

   I guess it’s also a common stereotype among people that teenagers really want to become adults so that they can finally do what they want. Well, I didn’t. I always dreaded adulthood, even at preschool age, which I’m pretty sure I’ve already written about here how I had some sort of dream or vision or whatever that was of myself being an adult surrounded by little kids and having totally no idea what I’m supposed to do. If anything, when I was a teenager, I often felt a very strong sense of a sort of emotional/mental weariness, probably due to depression, and I sometimes thought how cool it would be to be a baby again and not have much of an idea about anything. That probably says something about my emotional maturity. 😀 I also often felt really confused when facing various life responsibilities. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What’s the worst part about puberty? 

   My answer: 

   Neither of these things are directly related to puberty, and they’re problems that I still experience, but I think they fully developed for me when I was around puberty. I think for me that would have to either be the neverending social pressure that I felt, or my constant emotional swings, which were probably all the worse that I kept bottling everything up. Regarding social pressure, I’m talking about all the socialising that you’re expected to do at school, in my case also at the boarding school ‘cause obviously after you go back from school you’re still surrounded by people pretty much all the time, in particular your peers, and you’re expected to act at least more or less like them. Also you’re supposed to make friends with people, which I didn’t really know how exactly it works. I guess I was mostly liked by people in my class and boarding school group and I liked most people as well and got on well with them, I also called a few of them friends if I got along with them better than with the rest, but these were never particularly close or deep friendships. Generally all those people that I considered friends, they were of course friendly with me and all, we’d talk a lot, even have our insider language or stuff like that, but they actually had a wider friends circle that they mostly spent their time with, and I wasn’t really part of that and they clearly didn’t want more people in that circle or at least not full-time, so I was alone most of the time. I generally didn’t mind as I really like being alone and not having to deal with people, I didn’t necessarily feel like I needed someone to be happy or anything like that, I was also used to it by then, but sometimes I did wish I had one proper friend and wondered what that would feel like and whether it would make my life at the boarding school any easier, because people who said they liked it there usually said so because they had friends there and they missed them while being at home on school breaks, which to me was unthinkable. I also had a strong feeling that it really made me stick out in the eyes of our group staff or teachers, and my Mum sometimes said that she was worried about me and that she’d like me to have a “real” friend there. While I could deal with the casual interactions with my peers, anything even slightly beyond that, and especially if involving more than three people at once, felt really straining for my brain, I was never sure what I was actually supposed to do or say and felt totally out of place and really stressed out. Just thinking about it in depth now makes me feel mentally weary and like phew, I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore, I’ve no clue how I did for so long and it’s little wonder that I ended up being a freak. 😀 

   Where swings are concerned, like I said I think that was something more due to my way of handling emotions and feelings rather than being so extremely hormonal. I remember it was really challenging for me that when I was an adolescent, I could feel quite a lot of really intense emotions in a very short time. The intensity could be quite crushing. On one hand, these were interesting experiences, but on the other, it was difficult to live with, especially if you’re determined to keep everything inside like I was, and I didn’t really have much in terms of a space where I could let some of that out safely and privately. I did keep a diary, but our days at the boarding school were busy, and I was rarely completely alone, so if I wrote in it, it was usually at night, which came at a high cost for my already messed up circadian rhythm and daily functioning, but I felt it was necessary for my sanity to have some time just for myself and I treasured every such minute. 

   Like I said, I still experience both of these things, I still struggle with that kind of peopling and I’m still very moodswingy if a lot is going oon for me, so I don’t really think these challenges were directly to do with puberty, but I don’t think that any of the typical puberty issues was really a significant issue for me. 

   What was the worst part for you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   You meet your thirteen-year-old self, but you can only tell them three words. What do you say and why? 

   My answer: 

   “Wait for Misha!” I think Misha is one of the best things that have happened to me in my life and I’d like to give my thirteen-year-old self something to look forward to in life. I was really depressed at that time (well when wasn’t i? 😀 ) I guess not in a suicidal way or anything like that anymore but I just felt really fed up with life and hated existing, and perhaps if I knew at that point that I’m gonna meet Misha in a couple years it would give me a little bit of motivation to keep going. If I told her “Wait for Misha” she still obviously wouldn’t know who that Misha is actually supposed to be and why wait for him, but I guess that would only make things feel more exciting. 

   How about you? 🙂