This year so far.

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

year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How has this year been for you? πŸ™‚

 

If We Were Having Coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare.

The weekend is over, but Weekend Coffee Share at

Eclectic Alli’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What would YOU tell me if we were having coffee? πŸ™‚