Some fun stuff instead of question of the day.

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

I’ve found something today that I thought I could post on here so we can have some fun. Below are sentences that we can complete. I’ll do it here in this post, and you can do it in the comments, or in your own posts (don’t forget to pingback or leave the link in the comments so I can read it). Keep them as long or as short as you only wish. For your convenience, I’ll write the unfinished sentences alone first so that you can copy paste them without having to edit them and delete what I wrote. Here goes:

I am confident about…

I am insecure about…

I need to…

I want to…

I like to…

I recently bought…

I am thinking about…

I am anticipating…

I am procrastinating…

I am watching/listening to/cooking…

Mine:

I am confident about… nearly nothing, I guess. I’ve been thinking on this for a while now and I just can’t come up with one thing I would be like absolutely and unquestionably confident about. πŸ˜€

I am insecure about… almost everything, which I guess is pretty logical from what I wrote above.

I need to… find myself another faza. It’s really getting imperative! I haven’t written much about that lately but I’m still searching intensely. My latest finding has been Jack Hughes who is cool but too normal, not versatile enough, and has a bit peculiar way of singing which would be annoying for me long-term. Why do I have to find a faza for myself in the first place, rather than it just happening without my conscious effort, like always before? My brain is getting way too lazy. And it’s a vicious circle because lack of a faza and thus beneficial stimuli in the right amount only makes it more lazy. πŸ˜€ What do you do with a lazy brain?

I want to… stop cutting myself. I did last week again, and a couple of times, so this time I only managed to go without it a month or so I believe. And on the other hand I don’t want to stop cutting. Well but what I do want is I don’t want to do it in such an impulsive way. Or at least be able to not do it for longer periods of time, like once I managed not to cut for about half a year. In case you’re wondering why I did it, I was just feeling depressed and overloaded, also had a lot of anxiety for no obvious reason, it was my friend Jacek from Helsinki’s another death anniversary on July 29, and then later in the week it was my cousin’s 18th birthday party and I reeeally couldn’t deal with the socialising and all that comes with it. Quite ironically, I have some special memories with Jacek from Helsinki and my own 18th birthday party, which didn’t help. But it’s better now.

I like to… sleep with Misha.

I recently bought… my new Bang & Olufsen headphones, yaaaaaay!!! Seriously, this was a very spontaneous purchase, totally on the spur of a moment, completely unlike me, just because it was my Mum who found these headphones online on sale and she told me about them, I only briefly looked them up online to see if it could be something for me and it seemed like it could perhaps be but might just as well not be, but it was on Zalando Lounge so they were way cheaper than they would be otherwise and I could return them if I decided they’re not for me. I really needed some good headphones for my iPhone, I also need a good speaker(s), so I figured I might just as well try these with an opportunity like this. I had to wait ages for these headphones, about a month, and also I was rather sceptical whether it could really be something for me ’cause I’m sort of picky and have some very specific requirements. But they came on Monday – just before my parents went out on their camper van trip so Mum could pick them up for me – but they had to go and Sofi wasn’t home when they were leaving so I had to set them up and pair by myself. Which was not difficult but I had no accessible manual or anything and I didn’t really know how to do it. I figured how to turn them on and turn Bluetooth on after a while but they still weren’t visible for my iPhone because it turned out I had to get an app to set them up, so I was very apprehensive and wondered how accessible it’ll be with VoiceOver – the iPhone screenreader – and moreover how usable for me as a still more or less beginning iPhone user. It would probably be badly inaccessible if not the fact that VoiceOver can now guess what different buttons in an application do from how they look if they’re not labelled properly, and as far as I remember none or very few were labelled originally in that app and VoiceOver did a very good job at the guessing game. Then I didn’t remember what exactly model I had and I had to select the one I had from the list in the app to set it up, and some only differ between each other with one number so not very Bibiel-friendly. So I ended up having to call Mum and she had to check up what my model was. Then still iPhone couldn’t connect to the headphones for ages and I was getting really frustrated, but then finally I did something random and they did connect to each other. And once I had them paired, a very Bibiel-friendly manual showed up – both with audio and text, not some weird, hardly descriptive video like a lot of tutorials are – so I could figure out hhow to actually use the headphones without anyone’s help very easily. And once I learned it it was very rewarding because I’ve already grown to like the headphones a lot. I would never buy them for their original price, I seriously don’t think the sound is worth as much, but it’s definitely good for me and good for the price I paid for them. When I read reviews people complained that the active noise cancelling feature is meh because it doesn’t work as well as in other similar headphones but for me it’s just right. They’re my first noise cancelling headphones and, I don’t know, I have a terribly, horribly, freakishly loud desktop computer and when I turn the noise cancellation on and sit at the desk I can barely hear the hum nor anything else outside. Granted, I don’t need some really extreme noise cancellation, I am obviously blind and a control freak, I want to know what’s going on around me most of the time so that I don’t need to worry that someone is lurking behind me and I have no idea because I’m listening to music. On the other hand I do like the noise cancelling for situations when I don’t need to hear the world around me so that I have a good and immersive environment for daydreaming haha, and these headphones are just right for this purpose. Even yesterday I had a situation when Sofi was in my room, watching a video on her phone, and there was some really weird music that was setting my brain off a little bit, so I just quickly put my headphones on and turned my own music on with the noise cancelling, and I could no longer hear Sofi’s evil shit. They also have transparency mode which is good sometimes for such people like me (Sofi once said that they should invent cheekphones for me because with my computer headphones often when someone was in my room or something I would have the headphones more on my cheeks than ears so that I could hear my surroundings clearly without having to constantly put on and take off the headphones, yes, cheekphones could be a cool idea for some specific situations πŸ˜€ ), and integration with Siri which is useful at times, and the earpads are really comfy, though I haven’t used them for a longer stretch of time yet. They have gesture control which seems to work very poorly, or perhaps it’s me not doing the gestures the right way exactly, but thankfully you can also control them within the app or just simply from the phone. They also have a cable so I can plug them into my PlexTalk which does not have Bluetooth which is cool because my previous PlexTalk/computer headphones are falling apart. Oh wow, what a mini review I just wrote lol.

I am thinking about… Jocky, whom Sofi has just let inside and he’s devastating the house and barking his lungs out, and about Misha, who is thankfully cosily tucked inside my wardrobe – this is his recent hideout for when he’s a bit stressed as it seems, and he certainly is stressed now because Mum is away and he’s very attached to her.

I am anticipating… huh, nothing really. Can’t think of anything I’d be anticipating at the moment.

I am procrastinating… way more than I realise on a daily basis. I’ve only recently thought more about it. I really procrastinate a whole lot and it’s usually because of anxiety as it seems. But it’s not like impairing or anything so I can’t say I care very much, just a little alarming when you suddenly realise such things.

I am watching/listening to/cooking… listening to BBC Radio Cymru at the moment.

So, who wants to play along with me? πŸ™‚

Orla Gartland – “Why Am I Like This?”

Hiya people! πŸ™‚

Do you ever ask yourself this question, “Why am I like this?” Some people dn’t, but some people do, and if you are one of the latter, this song is likely going to be very relatable for you.

I really like Orla Gartland. She’s Irish. That alone could be a good enough reason for me to like her. πŸ˜€ Even though she doesn’t do Celtic music and is quite popular. But I also like her because she’s very talented and very natural (very rare thing with “normal” artists these days), and a bit crazy, plus has a lot of distance to herself. Her lyrics are also very genuine and distanced, and I think also easily relatable for people.

This song is definitely very relatable for me. ‘Cause, being an overthinker, socially anxious and having AVPD, I quite frequently ask myself this question. Not like I expect to ever get the answer or like it matters that much, it’s just rhetorical and mostly a way to express my frustration. Now since I’ve first heard this song, whenever I wonder about “why am I like this?” the song immediately pops up in my brain. πŸ˜€ I can also very strongly relate to the broader topics of the song – overthinking one’s mistakes and anxiety in general. – The overthinking and overintrospecting bit is one of the most frustrating pieces of my AVPD. But I also believe it’s quite a universal experience that people struggle with too much introspection, self-criticism and some shyness on top of that, so I guess it could be very relatable to a lot of people. This is definitely my favourite song by Orla.

I don’t mind songs about love, I do love many of them, but since I myself have never experienced romantic love, and the vast majority of song lyrics are about this, it’s quite rare for me to find a truly relatable song, and therefore I appreciate pieces like this even more.

I couldn’t decide which version I want to share with you – the original or the fully produced – so I’m sharing both, ‘cuz why not.

 

Bloggerz.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

I feel a little crappy with energy levels today and haven’t come up with or found a question of the day for you for today, just don’t feel like it, but I decided to answer some questions of Rory’s, aka

A Guy Called Bloke,

and if you would also like to do it, either on Rory’s blog or on your own, go ahead! πŸ™‚

Here are Rory’s questions:

How spontaneous are you?
If you mean emotional spontaneity, generally not at all. It also depends on a setting, like, my surroundings and who I am with, sometimes I may be a little bit more spontaneous than not at all but that’s really rare. I am more spontaneous in writing though, sometimes much more. If you mean spontaneity as in going with the flow and not planning your life, I think I must be somewhere in the middle. I do like my routines and sticking to what I know, I hate change, but I am not the type of person to rigidly plan my whole life or even a whole day ahead, I’m too disorganised for that kind of thing and it seems boring to me.

How flirtatious would you say you are and if that is not the word you would use then try the alternatives of β€˜teasing or playful’ either way – how much are you of this?
Flirtatious – not at all. Teasing – if I know someone well enough and/or it’s some relatively mild teasing than sometimes I can be if I know that they know that I’m just teasing them or being sarcastic and don’t mean to offend them or anything. Playful – yes, I do have that very playful part of me, the inner child or however you want to call it, I call her Bibiel, aka Bibielle or Bibielka but Bibiel is what she’s used to the most, and she is very playful, humourous and childish and she especially loves playing with Zofijka.

How serious are you as a person?
Apparently lots of people think I’m serious and I guess I do make such an impression, I’m not playful and humourous with just everyone, and also my mental health/social difficulties prevent me from truly expressing myself around people in person. Plus I have some qualities that, while don’t necessarily mean the same as being serious, are often sort of associated by an average person with seriousness, like I’m very analytical and overthinking, quite naturally depressive and usually not too talkative unless I know someone very well and feel at ease with them. I can be outwardly serious or very serious when need be, but because I have Bibiel, I can be never fully serious in my mind and I have frequent situations when I can barely hold back laughter in generally inappropriate situations because some minor, funny detail caught my attention or something grotesque about the whole situation or because I just remembered something similar that I think is funny. Sometimes I myself am worried about it that I can find things to laugh about even in the most serious/sad situations that shouldn’t really be laughed at, and while I never do it openly/ fully intentionally, I often feel a bit guilty when my inner Bibiel makes fun of absolutely everything. But usually it is a very helpful trait. Has helped me to get through life on numerous occasions. Also a lot of people don’t get my sense of humour which can sometimes be very immature and childish, while other times rather sarcastic and dry and when it’s the latter people often don’t know that I’m joking or saying something ironically and their impression is that I’m being very serious.

Do you think the older we become certain emotions are easier to handle – say as an example β€˜grief?’
I think it’s hugely personal. Of course there is that developmental psychology thing and it makes a lot of sense and is kind of obvious that we go through different stages of emotional development and growth as we age, but I think emotions are a very individual, as well as fairly intangible matter, and depend on so many factors for everyone, so you really can’t generalise in this case and measure it. Perhaps for someone who is as emotionally mature as their age would indicate, it’s true, but then emotionally mature people can at the same time still be very sensitive and I believe their grief would still be rather intense then.So it probably also depends on some other individual traits like resilience or such. I don’t know.

What is the most adventurous thing you have done to date?
I’m not really overly adventurous, but one thing that comes to my mind at the moment was when we wanted to run away from home with Olek, I think I was about 11 so he would be 9 at the time. Not for any particular reason, I think we had some minor tension with Mum but mostly just for the sake of it. It didn’t work out at all, I don’t really remember how it all ended up but we didn’t go very far at all. We weren’t prepared for that, plus it would be quite difficult to achieve for me as I was only getting around with Olek as my guide so that just wouldn’t do more long-term I guess when running away in any circumstances.:D

What’s the craziest or riskiest thing you have ever done and simply got away with it or gotten caught doing it?
It would have to be when I used Doses, I think, Doses are those binaural sounds I’ve told you guys about that are meant to have a similar effect on your brain as drugs or other psychoactive substances do or evoke some other strange sensations in your mind. I had gotten caught, so there were some external consequences for me and the other kids I persuaded into it, but I believe that I got away with it in a different way, because apparently, while those things are apparently not addictive as drugs are, they can still cause brain damage, and I don’t feel it had such an effect on me because this was a relatively short period when I was doing this. Also as a Christian I believe that it could have had far worse spiritual consequences for me than it did.

What do you think the future is of dating and other β€˜other’ now that social distancing has become part of your life? Will your life β€˜up close and personal’ with people now be different?
Dating apps and websites have been already popular for quite a while, so I think this time now might be good for them and more people might start to use them. Which I think is generally good, though it does have its associated downsides and risks, but so does dating face to face. Still, I think after some time passes, and the threat of contracting COVID will lessen, there will still be people who will prefer meeting up for dates because it feels more genuine to them. For some people meeting people in person is too important to just give up on it plus some believe that it’s a much more reliable/genuine way of finding a potential partner and that you can get to know each other better over a coffee when you look each other in the eye rather than online.And as for my life, hm, I’m not sure. I’ve never been one for meeting up with people. My contacts with my immediate family with whom I live are as normal. When I go out, my Mum is my guide so we can’t keep the distance. With other relatives whom we see more or less regularly we try not to get too close, no kissing, hand shaking or such but we’ve had people in our house and such. I don’t think we’re seriously going to keep it for a very long time and only keep our relationships with people from a distance, but it also depends on how things evolve. It’s a completely new situation for all of us so it’s hard to say.

How different do you really think you are to the next person – are you prim and proper, or straight laced and serious, wild and abandoned or rebellious and controversial?
I don’t think any of these particular adjectives fit me well really, haha. I am certainly not prim and proper, although I do have a strong sense of morality or so I think and a lot of so called traditional values are important to me, I’m not straight laced and serious either. Some people do say I’m wild, but rather in the sense of a hermit who is not used to people than someone who is very adventurous, impulsive and uninhibited, I have nothing against being wild. Some of my views or opinions are controversial but I’m not the type of person who has the kind of opinions she has just to provoke controversy, and I don’t think I’m controversial at all as a whole, neither am I rebellious the way most people see rebellion, though I am very quirky. I do think I’m very different, which is both great and difficult, I love it and hate it, but if I got a chance I don’t think I would change it. I like my unusual brain and that I like things that not everyone else likes, I like that my experiences are different than many people’s.I’m just Bibiel lol.

During this time of global concern how has your thinking changed with regards the planet, conservation, climate issues …..or has it not changed one little bit?
It hasn’t really changed at all. SInce the Earth is where I currently live, I’ve always tried to live in harmony with it, that was what my family had taught me, I believe it’s our responsibility both as simply its inhabitants and as human beings. The nature has been created to serve us but that does not mean we can act disrespectfully towards it and destroy it or flood the world with our rubbish just because we feel like it, quite the opposite. We are obliged to care for the Earth and protect every single life on it as much as we can. However I am not an ecology freak nor an alarmist and I believe that moderation is key. I don’t think I believe in climate change the way most media portray it and some things that people apparently do to take action against it seem downright illogical, if not counterproductive to me, or at least pointless. Climate IS changing, but it always has been.

What β€˜topical issues’ considered β€˜taboo’ by society are you deeply passionate with and about to the point of doing something about it?
Mental health and disability. Since I myself am both disabled as well as mentally ill, I try to raise awareness of those issues by blogging about what they mean to me, in my life. There’s no taboo around these things on my blog.I also like to support other mentally ill people if and how much I can, though I’m not sure how good I’m at it actually.

What’s more important and or is there a difference between β€˜Friendship and Companionship and if so what is that difference?
I don’t know about what’s more important, I believe companionship may be more fulfilling but since I’ve never experienced it I don’t really have an idea. I think the difference is that companionship is more intimate. I’d think that it’s something between friendship and romance, and at the same time something on the next level. The people are in love with each other, could be romantic but not necessarily, spend a lot of time with each other, are used to each other’s company, know each other very well for a long time, both the good qualities and flaws of one another. The image that comes to my mind when I think of companionship is a couple who has been together for many years, they’ve already gone through the phase of friendship, romance, and now are at a stage where they have been with each other for too long and have gone through too many different situations to be madly in love, perhaps they don’t even need sex anymore, but they feel very comfortable with each other. Whereas friendship can be when two people like each other very much, have a lot in common, either in terms of interests, or life in general, or how they think or what they like, and they like to talk to each other, can count on each other and support one another. But it’s not quite as intimate as companionship and people don’t know each other quite as well.

What is your passion with regards writing genres – 1] what is your chosen genre and 2] what is the genre you might like to write about but lack confidence to start?

I mostly just do journaling type posts on my blog. Misha’s posts are also usually diary-like, though some are fiction (The Human Life of Misha Hhrrru?). I used to write a lot of short stories just for myself and enjoy it, though I hardly ever enjoyed the final effects and usually deleted them straight away, but these days I write much less fiction. I wrote a few stories in English on my blog, separate from Misha’s series, and that was fun, I’d like to do it more often but I think I lack confidence in terms of writing fiction in English and writing fiction in general, and also I don’t really have that many ideas.

 

Question of the day (31st May).

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Do you like coffee? If so, black, or with cream? What kind of creamer?

My answer:

I’ve asked you coffee/drink related questions before, but since different people may see different questions, and those questions are always a bit different from each other, I thought that why not, and the question was partially inspired by my own adventure with coffee yesterday. I hadn’t had real, proper, black coffee in over half a year, and the night before the last I didn’t sleep very well due to migraine and generally “jet-lagged” brain, so I felt a little sluggish yesterday and when I saw Mum make coffee for herself I decided that, what the flip, why can everyone drink coffee but not me? I guess I can have it sometimes, right? It’s not the end of the world, especially that I wasn’t going anywhere, so even if my anxiety raised nothing overly bad would happen. So I did have my coffee and relished it thoroughly. But afterwards, it did get quite serious. I guess partially because I just didn’t drink proper, strong coffee for so long so my brain weaned off caffeine completely and was not prepared for such a dose out of the blue, but also now I suspect I really must have some sort of caffeine hypersensitivity. The strange thing is though that in my first years of drinking coffee I didn’t feel anything like that at all, or can’t recall at least, so it couldn’t have been this intense. I was actually very immune to any effects, or side effects, of coffee. I think when I started to notice that anxiety thing after drinking coffee must have been about a year ago or so, and then I also started to feel some light physical symptoms like that I would feel a bit queasy, have a slight diarrhoea or my muscles would get weak, or I’d be shaky or my sugar would go a bit low, but that wasn’t much of a problem, the high anxiety was the only reason why I stopped drinking coffee. But yesterday not only my anxiety sky-rocketed after coffee, where earlier in the morning I wasn’t almost at all anxious, but also I felt dreadful physically, it was a real nightmare of a day and I had only myself to blame for it. It’s strange though how intensely I seem to react to it. I don’t have anything like this after black tea, or even green tea, nor Pepsi or other such drinks, though energy drinks did make me a little edgy when I used to drink them but it’s not a big deal at all since I don’t like them anyway. Thankfully it’s all okay now, but hopefully now I’ll think twice before having a coffee.

Anyways, let’s get to the question. So yes, I do like coffee, I love coffee, and now I also hate coffee because it seems to hate me. I like strong black coffee, ideally with a teaspoon of sugar or honey but it’s not necessary, coffee without it is just as good. I also love iced coffee and then I like it with a bit more sugar and cream, but I don’t drink and never had drunk iced coffee often enough to be an expert in different creamer varieties and say which ones I like particularly better than others.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (23rd May).

Hey people! πŸ™‚

What’s the most bored you’ve ever been?

My answer:

I am generally not someone to get easily bored. There is that sort of saying that intelligent people don’t get bored. And, while I don’t think it’s very true and exact, it does make a good point. When you can rely on your brain to provide you entertainment rather than wait for the right external circumstances, you have it much easier and more interesting. But I believe that there are such situations that you really can’t not get bored in, regardless of your IQ. The imagination and your thoughts alone can be a good way to occupy yourself, but if it’s the only thing you are left with and are unable to do much more, that may not be sufficient for a longer period of time. The situations I usually get most bored in are in big gatherings of people, that is. Usually I feel a lot of anxiety when socialising, especially in large groups of people, but sometimes it happens that the anxiety lowers a bit with time and then boredom creeps in. This often happens to me at all sorts of bigger family gatherings where I don’t feel so awfully anxious that it would be the only thing that would be constantly on my mind. It does happen to me sometimes that I feel both highly anxious and very bored at the same time and that’s a very awful combination and feels strange in the brain, like, it’s hard to deal with it when you’re both over- and understimulated in different ways, right? πŸ˜€ I tend to feel bored in such big groups of people because I usually end up being the passive observer rather than the one actually participating in what’s happening. I do love observing people very much, analysing how they behave, trying to figure out what they are thinking about or feeling etc. But if I’m supposed to be around a lot of people for some longer time, you can’t do just it all the time. As it usually happens, most of the things they talk about aren’t overly interesting to me, assuming I have any actual clue about what/whom they are talking about, and having to sit in one place for hours just taking in a lot of meaningless nonsense isn’t one of my most favourite activities. Sometimes I go into my Brainworld and daydream or something but you have to be careful with such things in case you float too far away. πŸ˜€ I like my extended family and have mostly normal or good relationships with them apart from some exceptions who won’t even admit openly that they have a problem with me but rather let me know via someone else, but I don’t feel a strong sense of belonging with them, which I think is part of why things are the way they are. I often have no idea what they are talking about, or just am not interested/knowledgeable in the topic so I have little to say usually, even without the anxiety at play.

I can also get massively bored watching movies, mostly because I can’t focus on them for some reason, even when they are with audiodescription and interesting to me, I just have a weird problem with movies. πŸ˜€

But I think the time when I was most bored ever would have to be when I was 10 and recovering from the Achilles tendon surgery. The whole thing was quite scary, not because the surgery was scary or complicated or anything but because I think I wasn’t ready for what was coming next, no one has really told me. Or otherwise I don’t know what made it so scary, anyway I responded to it very badly. As I wrote on here earlier, after the surgery I had to have casts on both legs for 6 weeks and then physical therapy, the amount of which depends on a particular case and for me it was about a month I guess. My surgeon was slightly overzealous, because apparently my casts were waaay bigger than they needed to be, I had them from my thighs all the way down to my feet so that only my toes stuck out and I was unable to bend my knees so my legs always had to be stretched out (I guess that’s why now I always sit with my knees bent or even legs curled up whenever possible πŸ˜€ ). So basically I couldn’t walk at all and that was quite a surprise, I somehow didn’t think it would be like that. It sent me into a freakout because right before my surgery, I was put in the room with a much older girl about whom I’ve also heard that she had contracted Achilles tendons in her both legs and that she was after a few surgeries already and actually could barely move or do anything on her own. I only learned much much later from my Dad that she had an accident as a very small child and the Achilles tendons were just one small issue of the multiple ones she had and her mum had told him that that time she was there also to correct her tendons. But you know how kids can think, I was pretty sure that I was going to be a similar case to her for some reason and would have to be fed and all that. At the same time, it was a hectic time for my family, because Zofijka was only a few months old, and we’ve only just mmoved houses, and the house we were living in was still not fully arranged, my Mum was running around madly getting all sorts of stuff for it and taking care of Zofijka, and helping me with showering and such. I didn’t have the Internet yet, not even a computer, and since I didn’t have any other transport mode other than someone carrying me, I spent most of the time in my room. I was bored like shit and just as my muscles were stagnating, so was my brain, and I was awfully sensory deprived or something, which sent me spiraling down into ANxietyland, and I had all sorts of weird anxieties and other intense stuff like that. But in a way the boredom was even worse than the anxiety. I could read some of the modest selection of the books or kids magazines in Braille that I owned or borrowed from the library, if someone would get me something, as my bookshelves were quite some distance from my bed, and while I could get to the lower shelves on butt, I could not climb back up on to the bed with my ultra heavy legs. πŸ˜€ So I would usually ask someone to give me something to read, but most of the books and magazines I had were not signed in normal print so no one knew what it was, so I ended up reading the same things over and over again. I was in the integration school at the time so my class teacher visited me occasionally and did some school work with me, or sometimes my grandad came when he had time, as it was back when we lived in the country with all my Mum’s family, and sometimes Mum brought Zofijka to me. What helped me the most in those difficult times was Polish Radio Bis (BIS standing for Very Different Station) which was a public radio station mostly addressed to the youth that existed back then, which played a variety of music from genres like rock, alternative, reggae, folk, hip-hop, electronic etc. generally the quirkier the better, and had some educational and cultural programmes, including some that focused on teaching languages, and I was in love with Polish Radio Bis at the time, and even in the word bis used in whatever context. Radio BIS doesn’t exist any longer, but I still miss it and can’t get over it! πŸ˜€ And I still love the word bis. There is Polish Radio Programme 4 that has a very similar formula but, meh, it’s not the same at all. There are different people, different music, different programmes, even if some of the things stayed the same, and I don’t really like them half as much as I did BIS. Anyways, during my recovery from the surgery I even called Polish Radio BIS a couple times, but wasn’t on air, I just chatted to the people in there and wanted to tell them how much I like Radio BIS (read: how obsessed I was with it, but they didn’t seem to mind my obsession and some were very amused by it).

Generally though I had nothing to do all days, and all nights, too, as my sleep cycle was, quite naturally, ALL over the place. I remember very vividly how a couple days before my surgery I talked to my grandad about it and he told me something like that my legs will need to recover and they’ll be in stagnation. I didn’t know what stagnation was, so he explained to me that if I was left alone in a room where no one would come and it would be totally silent, I wouldn’t have any books, music, radio or any other contact with the world, this would be stagnation and I would fall into it easily in such circumstances. And so it was going to be the same with my legs. And then when I was after the surgery already I was thinking that, although I wasn’t completely cut off from the world, his example was so eerily accurate, since it weren’t just my feet that were stagnating, but my brain as well. The weirdest thing about all that is that the surgery actually didn’t work out, so it was rather pointless in the end. πŸ˜€

So yeah, the time I was most bored was probably that.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

What do you have this week that you didn’t have last week?

My answer:

The most striking difference between my last week and this week is that this week i have a broken SAPI5, instead of a functioning SAPI5. Well, it has broken last Saturday so technically last week, but only at the end of it and as I said, it’s the most striking difference between what I didn’t have/had last week and what I have this week. Plus I want to fill you in on what’s been recently going on in my life and need to rant a bit.

Do you know what SAPI5 is? Probably not, and that’s too bad, unless you have Mac OS or Linux, then you’re justified. But it’s too bad if you have Windows XP or later, because most likely, regardless of whether you use it or not, you do have something called SAPI5 on your computer. But even many technicians and IT people donn’t know what SAPI5, or SAPI in general, is, and that’s part of why it’s so frustrating when it breaks. I am not an expert in that either but I’ll try to explain it to you the way I understand it. SAPI is an interface developed by Microsoft that allows most modern speech synthesisers to speak in the system and all the apps on PC that use speech synthesis. Most people have SAPI5 on their computers as far as I know because most computers have at least one voice developed by Microsoft installed by default, and some people use apps that convert text to speech so that they can read books with speech synthesis, even though they aren’t blind or anything, so I guess SAPI doesn’t even really count as assistive technology though I may be wrong. How has it broken for me?

You may know that I’ve been fighting for a while now to regain some of my speech synthesisers that I really need and that I couldn’t, for this or that reason, get working on my new computer easily. I couldn’t activate my Swedish speech synthesiser, for example, because the company that used to produce it no longer exists, and it seems like now my activation key for that voice, and most of their voices, but strangely not all of them, doesn’t work. I do need some Swedish speech synthesis really badly though, so I decided to get some Swedish voices from another company, which in a way I thought could even be better, because that company is part Swedish and they have even some voices speaking with specific dialects, which can be useful for a learner. I’ve already been using speech synthesis in some other languages produced by that company, but to be able to use their Scandinavian voices, you have to upgrade to Nordic license, which is quite expensive but I felt like that was the best option for me so I went ahead with it. Finally, I got those Swedish voices, but then had some problem activating the licence so had to ask their support people to help remotely. They fixed my licence so that it worked right, but then when I was reinstalling their app containing all their voices that I own to get the access to the Swedish ones as well, I must have made some mistake along the way or something else went wrong, I’m not sure, anyway it wouldn’t start up properly after the reinstallation. I reinstalled it yet again and this time it did start up properly but there was some other error along the way, so again the support guy fixed that for me.

I was using my Swedish synths for just about a day, and was quite happy with them and really glad that finally that one thing is dealt with for good and I don’t have to read Swedish stuff with a Polish, or even worse, an English synth anymore. Then the next day – which was last Saturday – my antivirus went paranoid and detected some malware on my computer, which I think was very likely some false alarm because I’ve noticed a pattern to its paranoid behaviour earlier and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with any real threats. Anyway, it wanted to make a full scan, so I let it do its thing. After that, my computer rebooted and my screenreader spoke to me with a completely different synth than the one I had been using. Well, that happens sometimes, so I was only slightly surprised. I wanted to change it back to the one I was using prior to the scan, but, to my now huge surprise and dread, I only got a message “Couldn’t load SAPI5 synthesiser”. All those Swedish voices, and all the other voices from that company from whom I got the Swedish voices very recently, and a few other synths that I use on a regular basis use SAPI5, so now I don’t have access to them. Now I only have a couple Polish voices that aren’t on SAPI5.

Other than that, when I tried to open the app with those Swedish voices and others from that company, it would never start up, it looked like it was constantly loading, and when I finally gave up and close it, it exploded with strange error messages.

It could be that I got something wrong with that reinstallation, but I feel like if that was the case, it would crash much earlier, not after the scan. Therefore I think it’s my antivirus that is to blame. It is apparently the only third-party antivirus these days that is (somewhat) accessible for screen-readers, so that’s why I’m using this one, but I’ve heard that actually the built-in Windows Defender is quite good these days, and apparently also accessible, so I’m seriously considering a change in that respect.

I had experienced a SAPI crash once before, many years ago, and that was absolutely dreadful!!! The technician that frequently helped me with things back then was clueless. I called him and just told him that my SAPI was broken, but he was utterly confused and like “Ummm, and what is SAPI?????”. I do know some things about assistive technology and generally about tech stuff because naturally you sort of have to know more when you’re blind if you want to survive and not be completely cut out from the world, I’d say an average blind person has to know a bit more about tech things than an average sighted person. But I’m far from being techy, and I don’t think I have to be, so if I had to explain really well what is SAPI like in theory, how it works and all, I don’t think I’d be able to do it well, all I know about it I have already told you, it’s only from a user’s perspective, and it’s entirely possible I got something wrong. Unfortunately I’ve had a couple technicians that have helped me with this or that, whom I had to educate on what is a screenreader, how does it work, what does it not do etc. etc. And it’s not like they are stupid jerks who don’t want to learn or don’t care or anything like that. They were really interested in all that and always asked me tons of questions. They just never got a chance to learn about it. I know a fair bit from user’s perspective, though not as much as a lot of people I know, and the inner workings of those things in theory aren’t something I’m particularly knowledgeable in.

In the end, with that previous SAPI failure, I had to send my computer to a company I know quite well who distribute specialised equipment for the visually impaired, the same people who helped me to choose a computer for me and then set it up, and they do similar things and they kindly fixed SAPI for me back then, but the whole thing dragged on for over half a year as far as I remember.

So this time round I was absolutely gutted when that happened and still am, and not really sure what to do, I would really not like to risk trying to fix it myself, I have no idea how to do that. Straight away after that happened, I wrote the support guy from that speech synth company from which I got the Swedish synths, that was what my Mum advised me to do, although I doubted they would be up to helping me this time since the problem didn’t have directly to do with their product, or not only with it. I thought he’d at least write that “No, sorry, we can’t help you with that”, but so far he hasn’t even written back to me. Maybe he doesn’t know what is SAPI either? πŸ™ƒ I will wait a couple more days for his response, but if he won’t get back to me, i’ll have to try our current technician who usually helps our family with tech issues and test his knowledge about SAPI, and he’ll be able to learn something new, hopefully without devastating my computer further. If that won’t work, I’ll have to ship it to that visually impaired company on the other end of the country and let’s pray that my fan won’t break yet again in the process. πŸ˜€ Or that they can do it remotely. Though if I’m honest, for some reason i have a gut feeling that it’s not a good idea to ask them to do that, despite it were them who did it the last time. Maybe it’s because of all that bad luck with my computer when they were setting it up for me. Anyway, in the end I may not have a choice. I’ve always had a more or less mild tech issues phobia, but lately those things are scaring the shit out of me and if that won’t stop, I don’t see how it could improve.

So yeah, I’ve become the owner of a broken SAPI5 this week, such a positive news of the day for my readers. πŸ˜€

How about you? Do you have some more positive news, or have you also become in possession of something you really don’t like having? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

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

My answer:

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

How about you? πŸ™‚

Reasons why I’m learning English.

Nearly a month after starting up this blog, I wrote a post about all the

Reasons why I’m learning Welsh

and a year ago, I wrote a similar post concerning my

Swedish.

With each of them I felt like they got quite a bit of interest, so I’m going to continue it this year as well, and write about English. Let’s see how many reasons I can come up with

1.

Isn’t it obvious? English is obligatory in schools in most countries, I guess. Or at least in all countries in Europe. So, you could say I didn’t have much choice. πŸ˜€ Before I went to school though, I was already subjected to English thanks to my Godmother, whose English was on a pretty good level for a person growing up in the 80’s (communist period – learning Russian as a second language at school) and not needing English for professional purposes. I guess it’s more common for people about her age or older to learn English now even if you don’t need it for work, but I guess back then in early 2000’s there wasn’t as much pressure yet. I believe she started learning English around college and took private lessons and while she wasn’t and is not fluent, as I said, the degree to which she knew English could feel a bit unexpected, plus she’s very communicative by nature so such people don’t need a whole lot of vocabulary to be understood. Anyways, she taught me a lot of things before I went to school, and one of them was some very basic English vocabulary and a bit of fondness for English, which probably helped me more than I normally realise to remain positive about the language itself even when I started to see that English as a school subject is MEH, and pushed me to learn it anyway. So by the time I reached school, I remember I was actually euphoric when I heard on my first actual day of school that our next lesson is going to be English. I associated it with home and with fun things and I liked it as I said, so I was super happy that I would be able to learn it at school. Sadly, I didn’t have particularly much luck with good English teachers throughout my education. I’m not saying they weren’t competent or anything like that, probably some were more, and some were less, some were very nice, some were very unpleasant, some rather bland, but the great majority of them just didn’t do anything to me more than help me prepare for the necessary tests and exams. Of course I had to learn basics at school and I did, but after that, although I was learning English throughout my whole education, I feel like school didn’t give me much in that respect and I taught myself the most. Neither did school motivate me to learn English, in fact, my first English teacher wasn’t particularly likeable person and I don’t think she cared much if we liked her subject or not. I became disillusioned quite quickly and realised that, while English may be a cool language, the subject is just deadly boring. And my view on that became even stronger when I started to seriously learn on my own and became actively interested in learning English and not just ticking off exercises in the textbook. I don’t think it is solely that I just happened to have bad teachers. I think it’s the case with most people here, and that simply the way language learning and teaching is perceived in our country and the level of English education in our schools is terrible. Basically, unless someone has some extra English classes, or wants to learn on their own or something like that, most people go out of education being barely able to communicate. And since Polish language is way more complex than English, the problem cannot be with people”s brains. People get out of schools with the mentality that they are supposed to speak perfectly, with no grammar mistakes or otherwise someone will kill them, and if they can’t do that, they won’t speak at all, even if they do have enough vocabulary to speak decently. And English lessons are not interesting, or at least they are rarely as interesting and fun as language learning could be. My Sofi writes down tons of words and rules she doesn’t understand, and when someone in her class is thinking independently enough to ask the teacher for some explanation and say that they don’t understand something, the only thing she’ll say will typically be: “*sighs theatrically* Oh my, what do you still can’t understand? It’s easy. You have to practice more at home. How many more times am I going to have to explain it?”. Well, the majority of Sofi’s class go to extracurricular English at a language school. Those who do not, have very bad grades. And I assure you that Sofi’s school is not an exception. But OMG I could rant about education system and terrible attitudes of people towards language learning for ages. πŸ˜€ Anyway, I did get the basics of English at school and I’m grateful for that, but that’s all that any school or individual teacher did for my foreign language education. There also was that teacher who was having conversations with me for a year in preparation for my final exams, and admittedly he helped me to feel a bit more confident in speaking, and most certainly contributed to the fact that I got 100% from oral English,but not much else, although I hoped he would be able to teach me some new things. He was most keen on talking about himself though. πŸ˜€

2.

Because English is everywhere. That’s why I kind of feel for English natives. On one hand it’s so cool when you can go almost anywhere in the world, read almost anything you want and not have to make the effort of translating, understanding or learning another language. But on the other hand, people miss out on so much when they don’t learn a new language, and when everyone speaks your language, what motivation can you have to do that? So it’s a bit unfair on the English-speaking folks and only for their sake I wish we had some artificial or dead language to use internationally, rather than deprive a certain group of people – a large group of people – from the benefits of learning a language and developing their brains even more. Anyways, the rest of us does have to learn English if we want to have a somewhat broader perspective on the world. Internet is huge and you can read a lot in it, do a lot with it and learn a lot, but Polish-language part of the Internet seems so mini mini compared to English. I wouldn’t be able to do so many things that I do if I didn’t speak decent English. I wouldn’t be able to restore my synths, to give you a recent example, haha. My Mum tells me that about once a week “You’re so lucky that you speak English” or “I’d like to know half of your English”, so I am constantly reminded that I should be grateful for that, and that I was given enough determination to learn it myself, and, more than determination, just plain luck, because I don’t really feel like I made some huge effort with my English, from some point on it just came to me on its own, I guess via a lot of exposure. But perhaps not everyone can be that lucky, or not everyone can make use of it or realises it. Some people like my Mum constantly complain that they can’t speak English but when you actually confront them about it “So why won’t you try to learn it?” they will have tons of arguments, including that they are too old, too stupid, too busy, too lazy, don’t have a talent (there’s no such thing as talent for learning languages unless you want to have a native accent, you just have to find the right method for yourself and that can be tricky) to name a few.

3.

Because I plain like it. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I didn’t like English though. Would I still be so keen on learning it? My experiences with other languages show that not necessarily, because my effects at it seem to be strongly correlated with my feelings for it. I can’t quite imagine learning and being good at Esperanto for example, even if it was the international language. Of course I would learn it at school if need be, and would continue it if I really needed it, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be anything more than average. I was learning German at school (and I like German more than Esperanto, because I don’t like Esperanto at all) and, unless I put a lot of conscious effort into learning it, I was just having rather mediocre results, and forgot most of it very quickly after finishing my German education, even though I did have an ambitious plan to continue learning it on my own, but that just went out the window before it started properly.

But I do like English, and I do like the culture surrounding it, the diversity of its accents, which we don’t have in Polish, and – what I’ve mentioned in both Swedish and Welsh posts, I feel a kind of bond with the nations speaking my favourite languages. English is also the most boring of my languages because it’s so mainstream-y and it’s everywhere and it spoils the experience massively, but still, it’s so cool and so rich!

4.

Because it can serve as a bridge to the whole Celtic world for me. Of course English is used in Britain and all its Celtic regions, and as a Celtophile it’s very important to me. It helps me to develop my Celtic passions and discover more about all the Celtic stuff, the folklore, the languages, the people…

5.

Because it enables me to meet interesting people whom I wouldn’t be able to meet otherwise. As well as like-minded people. Actually, the most development of my English skills is largely due to all of my pen pals. With some of them I’d onnly written for a while, more or less short, but with some I have developed great connections and friendships and I am so thankful for that.

6.

Because it helps me with blogging, and generally expressing myself. I used to blog in Polish for years but it wasn’t quite as fun as it is now. I feel like I can be more candid about a lot of things on my English blog and that it was one of my better ideas in my whole life to start an English blog. It works both ways – my English learning makes my blogging better, and my blogging stimulates my English learning in an incredibly effective way. – As for expressing myself, since my English skills have improved so dramatically over the last few years due to a lot of exposure, penpalling and blogging, I also write my diary mostly in English. I’ve written frequently about that I find each language useful for different kind of writing, and that it also corresponds with different kinds of emotions for me. I will write about the specific emotions of English in a while, but first, I want to say more generally that I find it much easier nowadays to express myself emotionally in English. Where feelings are concerned, but also more specifically, any kind of mental health difficulties, especially more complex stuff, somehow it’s much easier to put it in English. I’ve come to the point where sometimes it’s easier for me to find words describing some things in English, rather than in Polish, and what I want to say sounds more clunky in Polish. πŸ˜€ The emotions that in my synaesthetic view correspond particularly strongly with English are especially love, pain, sarcasm, playfulness, sadness, emptiness, anxiety, comfort, passion, euphoria and loneliness.

7.

Because it has enabled me to build a more stable support network and become both more aware of my mental health struggles, as well as deal better with them. Again blogosphere and penpalling have helped me immensely with that. Previously, I couldn’t really say I felt free to talk to anyone about what I was experiencing. Partly because I didn’t really understand it myself but also because I simply either didn’t feel like I could trust them, or I knew they wouldn’t understand. Now, thanks to my English, I have found a lot of people who have similar experiences to me or even if they don’t, they are still very supportive and I want to support them as well, and I feel like I’ve made more meaningful connections with people even though they are just online. All this keeps me motivated to develop my English further, and actually makes it develop on its own because obviously the more you use a language, the more it develops.

8.

Because there’s lots of great music in English and I want to know what it’s about.

9.

Because then I can be helpful to my immediate family who are all practical monoglots and sometimes need to translate something from English. Especially my Dad who is a tanker driver, and it’s hard to be a tanker driver and often supply foreign ships with fuel and speak no English. I often don’t have the vocabulary that he needs anyway, but some vocabulary is better than none. At least I can help him how to describe the word he needs to use and then because they are oriented in the field, they understand quickly what he wants to say, unless their English is poor too. πŸ˜€

10.

Because there are so many cool accents. I’ve already said that, but it deserves a separate mention. I LOVE that feature of English that it’s so rich in dialects and accents! You can tell where someone’s from just by their accent, and here we can’t really do that, or at least not to such an extend as you! Polish language is much more universal. There are several major dialects that are commonly recognisable, but they aren’t many and not many people choose to speak them on a daily basis, and our dialects are mostly different because of specific words that we use in different regions, rather than accents as in pronunciation differences. That doesn’t mean there are none, but an average person who is not a language geek and has no interest in such things will not hear those subtle differences or at least certainly won’t be able to tell someone’s location by them, unless someone’s accent is really super strong and very commonly associated with a specific area which mainly concerns eastern accents that are influenced by languages like Russian or Belarussian or Ukrainian or perhaps Lithuanian. My grandma has roots in all of the above mentioned countries and despite living in the north for years people can usually hear her long and soft vowels and identify correctly and always ask if she’s from the east or something. But that’s a rare case. I consider myself a language geek and the only things I can recognise are those Eastern accents, some subtle things that are specific to Silesia or Lublin area, and some stuff specific to the highlands and that’s it pretty much. This is due to the fact that after WWII people were massively migrating from countryside to towns and moving around different regions, so the accent has unified a lot. I think it’s such a pity. That’s why for some people the whole concept of an accent is a bit out there and they don’t really know what it is in terms of English. For example my Dad asked me not long ago what that whole accent thing is in English, is it about word stress (because that’s what we call akcent in Polish), or that people have some speech deffects or what, hahaha. And for a long time I didn’t get that either. Like how can you hear that someone is from Sheffield or New York or Glasgow or wherever unless they tell you? πŸ˜€ I didn’t hear those differences for a long time either. Only at some point one of my earliest English online friends started to teach me about accents and then one day something clicked in my brain and I started to gradually hear them and now I think for a non native I’m pretty good at distinguishing at least the British ones and of course between which one is British, which Australian and which American, though I have a very hard time distinguishing American accents from each other or I can barely recognise English US from Canadian or New Zealand from Australian. With understanding it really depends on how out there someone’s accent is and how quickly they are speaking. I also like to think that my own accent is very good for a non native, and that’s what people have been telling me, both natives and non natives, though I’m sure I do have to have still at least a bit of Polish accent, not that I can hear it myself (I can’t, but you can’t be a good judge of your own accent I suppose), but because I don’t know many people who have just gotten rid of their accent, and also it is not something I am aiming to in itself, because I guess it would feel weird if people couldn’t tell at all that I’m Polish, as if I was a bit less Polish or something and I don’t want that, and I like to imitate different English accents though, while I can speak some kind of US English (or so I believe) I am much better and more comfortable at British and I have more clue about how to imitate different British accents than American ones, especially the of more or less general southern-ish/Rp and more or less general northern-ish. The only British accents that I know that I cannot imitate convincingly are Geordie and Scottish. But being able to fake different accents has come to me much later on and after a lot of immersion and listening, before than my accent was just kind of Ponglish. Now the only Ponglish I can make is the very extreme one, I believe I can’t speak sort of in-between any longer like I used to – with not overly strong but definitely audible Polish accent – it’s either hardcore Ponglish or normal English (with a possible little bit of Polish as I said), and the extreme Ponglish one I use either for making fun of some kind or with Poles who can’t understand my normal, English English otherwise like Sofi. πŸ˜€ Playing with accents is so fun.

11.

Because English is so rich in colourful phrases, idioms, sayings and words. I believe that must come from the very wide variety of influences on this language. Polish is a very rich language in this too, but English seems much more than any of the languages I’ve learnt and sometimes it overwhelms me how many brilliant and fascinating words I don’t know how to use yet. Every language has its words that are untranslatable, but English has just so many! Or maybe it’s just my impression? It’s so flexible and you can do so much with it. Swedish is also flexible and you can make a lot with it, but I guess not to such an extent. I really lack some of the English expressions in Polish these days, especially when talking to someone who speaks only Polish. πŸ˜€

12.

Because it lets me read more books, and because reading in English is fun. And because I want to read even more in English. I already read most of stuff on the Internet in English, but with books so far the majority of what I read is still Polish, even thoughh there are more and more English ones thrown into the mix.

13.

Because it lets me learn more about my music crushes/fazas. Even if they aren’t English natives. Usually, especially at the beginning of a faza, it’s easiest for me to find info on my crush in English.

14.

Because, apart from helping me to develop my already existing interests, it helps me to build new ones.

15.

Because I can learn other languages through it. Like I do with Welsh right now. It has its upsides and downsides, but if not my English skills, I wouldn’t be able to access Welsh resources that I can.

16.

Because it shares a lot of similarities with other languages. Swedish for example – when I first started it, I was told it’s just a blend of English and German. – It’s very simply put but it’s true to a large degree, and my English and Swedish definitely help each other. Also while English is a Germanic language and Welsh is Celtic, they influence each other so that helps to some extent as well. And I’m going to learn some more Germanic and Celtic languages in the future, so I am sure English is going to be helpful with those too. Both because I am most likely going to learn them through the medium of English, as well as because they share more or less similarities.

17.

To develop my brain. I’ve written on my brain paranoia and wanting to avoid cognitive issues especially in the Welsh post. It’s hugely important to me.

18.

So I can talk to Misha in English or to myself. If you want to read about my experiments with Misha and foreign languages, I recommend you reading the above mentioned posts. Of all the foreign languages, my English is the best, and so I can communicate with Misha the most easily, if I want to talk to him in a language other than Polish. I also think he responds to it the best except for Polish of course, but that could be due to many reasons, including my autosuggestion.

19.

Every language makes your perspective broader, and kind of adds you a new personality. This is just interesting to observe, but is also great in some self-development, or just self-discovery. It’s interesting to see your thinking pathways in Polish vs in English vs in Swedish, for example. It’s interesting to see in which moments and in what kind of situations my thinking switches from Polish to English or back to Polish or to Swedish, or when it’s a mix of all that plus Welsh. I definitely tend to think about more emotional stuff in English, the same as with writing. Recently I’ve even started automatically praying in English. πŸ˜€ The first time when that happened, I only realised that I’m praying in English a few minutes after I’ve started, and that was so hilarious. But obviously God is very multilingual so I let my soul and brain pray in whichever language it’s convenient as long as that doesn’t get in the way of prayer itself because for example I think more of how I should put things rather than focus on praying itself and on God. My dreams have been a linguistic mix for years now.

20.

Because it’s fun to have more than one language to swear in. Even though Welsh or Finnish is better for that than English, English is quite bland and cliche I don’t know why, and most people here know the basic words like fuck or shit so it doesn’t feel the same.

 

21.

Because it can help me with anxiety, as well as with depression, see the posts above for details.

22.

To be able to understand at least some slangs to whatever extent possible, as well as dialects and other such interesting language creations.

23.

To have access to English-language media, like radiostations, and actually understand what they are saying, and not just immerse myself in the language as I’d been doing for years.

24.

To challenge my social anxiety. See the posts above for details.

25.

Because it’s easy. So why not?

26.

Because people wouldn’t treat me seriously if I only were learning some endangered, minority languages. I wrote more on that in the Swedish post. But also, even if I spoke Swedish, I guess that still wouldn’t look as serious if I didn’t speak any English. πŸ˜€

27.

Because, just like with Swedish, I hope it will be also useful in a more practical way, occupational for example. Who knows.

Yay! I thought there will be less reasons for English because it’s so obvious but there are even more!

If you are a native speaker of English, what do you like it for, or why do you not like it? If you are an English learner, what are your reasons for learning it? πŸ™‚

 

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™‚

 

The sounds of animals. #SOCS

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

Stream Of Consciousness Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Help!”

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

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

 

If We Were Having Coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare

Hey all you lovely people!

The

Weekend Coffee Share

link-up at Eclectic Alli’s is still lasting, so I’m happy to join in this week!

Let’s have some coffee, or anything else you’d like to drink, and maybe a snack to go with it.

It’s my Mum’s birthday, as well as Olek’s, and I’d love to share some cake with you, because it was super yummy, but, sadly, just a little while ago, the rest of it that hadn’t still got eaten, died a tragical death – Mum broke the plate with it, so the remaining cake was full of small pieces of glass. I was lucky because I got to eat the last edible piece only minutes before the accident! πŸ˜€ But I have tea, orange juice, Pepsi, and there still is a cake from bakery, but, although I haven’t had it, I’m sure it isn’t as good at my Mum’s was. And of course you can bring a drink or food of your own and have it, and share with other people if you want, as always.

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

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that last week was quite eventful. Last Monday my family – that is my parents and Sofi – had a car accident. That was of course very shocking for everyone. Mum picked up Zofijka from her tennis class, as well as two of her friends, and they were going to head home when Dad called Mum to pick him up from work. She was reluctant to do that because that time around he was quite far away and she didn’t feel okay driving that far with all those kids and would prefer to drop at least Sofi’s friends to their homes, but there was no time. When they were on their way back home, there was a crossing in our town that Mum is always kind of apprehensive of, and while she was driving through it, they got hit by some young guy who was driving just crazily fast. I don’t know how it exactly looked like but anyway apparently it was only some immense, miraculous luck, that neither my Dad, nor one of Sofi’s friends, didn’t get killed or badly hurt. At the time, I was in my room, downloading some books, and having a yucky headache and was planning that as soon as I get done with it I’ll go to bed. As I thought that, my phone rang and I heard sobbing Sofi, who was standing outside and wanted me to let her in, because she didn’t have the key. Obviously that alarmed me immediately because I knew Mum has left to pick her up, and I asked her if there was something wrong, and she said yes, so I went downstairs quickly to let her in, and then I couldn’t believe what she was saying for quite some time. Mum had to stay there and wait for the police, but a couple who witnessed the whole thing helped her and her friends get back home. Apparently that young boy was just 18 and only had his driver’s licence for about half a year, and was jittery and really scared when that happened, and Sofi heard him saying that he’ll kill himself. I really hope he didn’t, or won’t. Mum’s car is a total wreck and we don’t know yet if it can be fixed at all. But thankfully nothing happened to anyone, other than shock, but we all managed to pick ourselves up after that pretty quickly. The first thing that I thought of when it finally sank in for me what Sofi was saying was that Mum must be devastated. She’s seen many accidents and whenever she sees anything like that, even less serious, she always cries, so I was sure she must be in quite a state emotionally. Turns out she was really brave this time and very cool-headed and didn’t cry at all, and was very surprised at that herself.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m just going through some sort of an occupational medicine saga. I had my OM check-up two weeks ago like every 2 years, and during it, it came up that on the decision of the institution which granted me disability benefits, it’s stated that I am “completely unfit for work”. That alarmed my OM doctor who said that, although he knows that I’ve been working for 4-5 years already and am able to do it despite my disability, it needs to be clarified, because someone might have a problem with that later on, for example if I change OM doctors or something, and I may not be allowed to work. So he referred me to the Occupational Medicine Centre to clear it and asked them to interpret that particular statement. From then on, I’ve been going back and forth between my OM doctor and the OM centre and it’s getting really unpleasant. In the meantime, me and my Mum asked the institution from which I get my disability benefits, which is called Social Insurances Association or something like this in Poland, and they told us that this statement “completely unfit for work” is something that a competent OM doctor should be familiar with and not make so much fuss around it, because they always write it when someone is on social benefits because of disability, and it means that you can only work in a position that’s adjusted to your needs. Of course it’s official jargon, and this statement is weird – an average person with not much knowledge in those matters wouldn’t think that “completely unfit for work” would mean anything else than “completely unfit for work”, but since this jargon is specific for the field, and he is an OM doctor, it seems very incompetent andΒ  no professional indeed that he doesn’t know such things and takes it literally. – My OM doctor is also a dermatologist, and it seems like he doesn’t really manage juggling those two specialisations at the same time, especially that one year when I visited him, he told me that he’s “probably the best dermatologist in the county”, so I suppose he focuses so much on being such a great dermatologist that he doesn’t have enough time on being a decent OM doctor and have the minimum knowledge. I came back to him after that, explaining to him what I’ve learnt, but he still insists on interpreting it just for him by someone from the OM Centre. It seems like, because he doesn’t know the rules and procedures and the basic terms used in his field of work, he is afraid to renew his decision that I can still work, because what if someone will say that I can’t and then he’ll have to bear the consequences. Instead of researching the topic himself or asking someone more knowledgeable, he wants me to do the job for him and interpret stuff that’s obvious for anyone who has some basic idea about how benefits work here. I’ll do that because as it seems right now I don’t have a better option, but then I think I’ll say goodbye to the best dermatologist in the county and find myself some other OM doctor. Sadly, this guy’s name is Jacek. I think he could be nice as a person, even if a bit too cocky, but even when your name is Jacek, it doesn’t immediately make you great at everything as it seems. πŸ˜€ Not that I didn’t know previously that Jaceks do have their weaknesses too, like all other people.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m fighting for and stressing over some of my speech synths that I’ve lost. I don’t know if I’ve told you that or not, but in that whole wave of tech issues and computer transition I’d had, I’ve lost ALL of my licences for those voices and the accompanying app. I won’t get into the details of how it happened, but to put it shortly, you get those speech synthesisers in the app on a USB stick, and that stick comes with 3 licences that enable you to install it locally. You can have one licence on one computer and of course you can remove it from it and transfer it back on to it as you wish. Except for when you have some unpredictable system crash that requires some major repairs and digging inside of it, drive replacement, etc. Then, even if you still have the same computer, the same system and haven’t removed the licence and uninstalled the app, your licence is still there but you are unable to use it, and neither can you remove it. And because usually we are not able to predict when our computers will crash, and also because I wasn’t aware of that, I gradually lost all of my licences because of some major changes on my computers and am stuck in a dead poind with them. So I had to contact the producer, they weren’t responding for a good few weeks so finally I decided to call them, which my Mum was persuading me to do for a long time and saying that I should do that in the first place. That cost me a lot as you can imagine if you know me at least a bit, but I was just like there’s no way I’m going to lose them permanently, I have to get them to do something. So I explained in Swenglish to the girl who answered my call (I called their Swedish quarters) what happened and what I want from them, but our communication was very poor because we couldn’t hear each other very well for some reason and besides she seemed quite clueless and the only thing she could do was to collect the info on the problem for me and she said she’d pass it on to other people and when they’ll know something, they’ll call me back. No one did for over a week, so I was thinking I’ll have to start flooding them with emails, but luckily before I started out with that, I got a response to my email. I now have 3 new licences from them that I can use, but to keep things interesting, I cannot, because for some reason a licence won’t transfer on to my computer. So the guy from that company will have to do something with it remotely. That makes me quite anxious and I’m not sure why. I mean the thing has been very stressful for me since the beginning but since that has become a real possibility I’m stressing about it much more. Am I such a privacy freak, or am I anxious of what the problem might be because it looks serious and that something will go wrong and because I have little experience with getting remote assistance, or am I scared of the interacting, probably a fair bit of it, that I’ll have to do with him, or what, no idea!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that, while my anxiety has been pretty high for a long time now and hasn’t come down to what I perceive my baseline level in months, and now has actually gotten higher recently because as you can see things have been chaotic, the good news is that my depressive symptoms, including anhedonia, have alleviated a bit, and I have more energy for things, yay! I still don’t have a faza which stinks like a skunk, and it’s still far from my “normal”, but it’s better, so let’s hope this will continue! It certainly makes life that bit easier, and makes you feel a bit less like you have to fake everything you’re supposed to feel all the time, or less shitty about yourself when you are not able to fake. Concerning fazas and continuing what I wrote about in

this post

, if I ever thought that Jack Vallier was going to be my next crush, now I know he definitely won’t! Sofi took him over from me! Despite she doesn’t like “guys with earrings”. πŸ˜€ Yesterday we were sitting in the kitchen – us and Mum – and she was listening to the music, and then she played one of Jack’s songs and said: “Mum, guess who it is, this guy who’s singing?”. Of course Mum didn’t know. “It’s Jack V… I don’t know, but he’s Jack, he was going to be Emi’s crush but he’s too normal for her. So I’m taking him over. He looks awful but I love his music so much”. 🀣 Then I heard her talking to Dad, asking him if it’s possible that she/we could go to London this summer, because she’s read somewhere that her crush is going to have a concert there. Of course Dad didn’t agree. I don’t mind Sofi taking Jack over because as I said I didn’t think I would be able to get a faza on someone so normal anyway, and he’s more Sofi’s style, I mean his music is, and I know that for her, crush is something different than for me and we both understand it differently. It probably won’t even last very long for her. However if I did have a faza on Jack that would be really unfortunate, because I can’t imagine sharing my faza objects with Sofi hahaha.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that me and Olek collectively bought Mum a new phone for her birthday, a Samsung Galaxy, though obviously I don’t remember which one exactly. It was Olek’s idea. I thought it was cool but also was a bit apprehensive of it, my Mum had always had LG phones and liked them, so I wasn’t sure if she’d like it. Of course she now has to get used to it, which always takes some time, but so far I guess she feels positive about it which I’m glad about.

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

 

The hiatus is over.

So, as I wrote in the last post and as some of you could notice from my activity on your blogs, my blogging hiatus seems to be over. It’s so great to be back to blogging and connect with you guys! πŸ™‚ I think I wrote you in my last post about all those strange issues with my new computer, which, again, turned out to be caused by the fan that was loose, so the computer couldn’t work properly. Interestingly, when I got it back last Friday, the fan was fallen off again, but this time I didn’t send it to that company again, but my Mum took it to a nearby servicing place. It seems to be fine now, although my trust for this thing has been broken very badly so, while it is a major and stressful change for me anyway, with all those complications along the way it will take me probably even longer to adapt to this new computer and feel confident with it. I have a lot to get used to, and I haven’t figured tons of things yet which is awfully stressful, and there are some that I might just never figure out and will simply have to deal with. I don’t have most of my speech synths – because some seem to have keys that don’t work any longer (including the Welsh and Swedish one which makes my language learning a bit more difficult), I also don’t have Jacek about which I was telling you earlier that I had had that speech synthesiser for years and out of all I’ve ever had Jacek was the best and most reliable Polish speech synthesiser and I simply had a sort of emotional bond with him so to say. After the last time I sent the computerΒ  to the company who helped me get it, I also lost (hopefully temporarily) most other of my voices, because they were doing multiple system repairs, restorations and what not and in all that chaos there have been some licence issues that I’m not able to sort out on my own and will just potentially have to buy them once again which is so totally unfair, especially that I’ll most likely also have to buy myself some other Swedish voice. I can do without Welsh, but definitely not without Swedish. Thus, since I lost all those other synths, I’m also left without a decent English synth which I can deal with but which stinks really badly! Also I have to figure out why my computer doesn’t seem to like virtually any headphones, and they just don’t work exactly properly on it, because while you have them plugged in the sound output can just change at random back to the speakers, or the sound goes somewhere into the space and you can’t hear it neither on the headphones, nor in the speakers. This stinks too, because while my speakers are quite gorgeous, at least for listening to music, I do appreciate my privacy and don’t always want everyone around to know what I’m doing, or even listening to, and sometimes do things which you just need to use headphones for. I hope it’s not some major issue but I probably will not be able to solve it on my own because I simply have no idea what’s the problem here, and, as you can imagine, it can be quite a bit of a problem when you use a screenreader and can’t control whether you are actually able to hear it or not. And oh gosh I do have to get used to all that humming in the background! It’s a trivial problem but it’s really annoying for someone like me who has music on at night while sleeping and so far had only had laptops before. Obviously desktop computers are much noisier. Or at least mine is. I only listen to the music quietly at night, so I can hear it slightly but can still fall asleep and not wake up because of it or something, and it alleviates my sensory anxiety stuff, but now, this way the humming is what I hear predominantly then. I’ve been wondering whether there are ways to quiet it down a bit but I’m quite clueless and I suppose if I won’t get used to it after a while, I’ll have to look for some other ways to have my music on at night, because in this case I’m not up for any compromises. So yeeeah plenty of change and I’ve only mentioned the major things! πŸ˜€ Actually for now the whole adjustment process makes it hard for me to see any upsides of the situation, even though there certainly are some. Like, my files don’t get randomly damaged any longer, yaaay! That’s a huge positive, isn’t it? I believe you can get used to everything, and people definitely get used to much worse things which have no positives about them, but I’m really quite curious how long it will take for me, and while my adjustment process is lasting it’s rather daunting.

I thought that since I’m already writing a post I’ll base it on some writing prompt, or a challenge or whatever. And I decided that I will answer the question of Carol Anne at

Therapy Bits

which she posed to her readers yesterday in her series Carol Anne Asks, especially that her question is very general and I haven’t posted in a LONG while. The question is:

How do you feel today? πŸ˜€

So, today I feel a bit better than in the last days and weeks, which have been tough for me because of all those tech issues and the whole computer transition thing, but also there has been quite a bit of socialising and general anxiety and stuff. Today I’m still an anxious, stressed, a bit anhedonic and overthinking mess but to a slightly lesser degree I’d like to believe. πŸ˜‰ I had a headache in the morning, but thankfully it was just very slight and didn’t develop into anything worse and it has vanished after a few hours which was great. I did some Welsh late in the afternoon, which I wasn’t able to do in a serious way for a good couple of months because of my laptop being glitchy and eating up or destroying my files including Welsh files, which felt kind of good but also more stressful than usual because, well, I had to get used to doing it without Gwyneth – my Welsh speech synth – and because I’m generally not doing too well right now which shows up in how well I absorb what I’m learning. I don’t know if I’ve told you about that ever before but my current dominant music crush, or faza as I call it in Polish – on Gwilym Bowen Rhys – is fading slowly but surely, and I am very worried because this has never happened with my crushes before, not before another one came into my life and dominated over the previous one. Now there doesn’t seem to be any other crush on the horizon to replace Gwilym onn the dominant position in my brain. As I’ve often said, crush is such a shallow word but for me a crush means more than it typically does to someone. My crushes/fazas inspire me, fascinate me, boost my mood, help me to develop in new directions, make me want to live, etc. etc.! They feel absolutely necessary for my mental wellbeing and self-development and make a huge difference, and I believe that a decent crush peak is actually one of the best natural medications for depression. So, this is worrying. All my crushes are still there, even when they fade slightly they are there, but they can’t have as much of an influence on me as a crush that is dominant. So I believe that explains why I’ve been feeling somewhat more mentally lousy and anhedonic in the last couple of months and it’s been slowly increasing, and when I feel better I frantically look for a potential new candidate for me to get a faza on, even though I know well that it never works like that when I want to have a faza on someone, I will, it just comes spontaneously. But maybe my brain needs some… inspiration, stimulation, or whatever. πŸ˜€ I would love my next crush to be called Jack! So, here’s my request to you lovely people, if there are any musicians, or even literary characters called Jack, or something similar that you know, that you think I might not know but might like, do let me know! If you have any idea, and by any chance that Jack will indeed become my next crush, you have MIMRA absolutely guaranteed! πŸ˜€ Seriously. Jacquelines and the like also count. Or if you know a Hamish…

So, yeah, that’s more or less how I’m feeling today.

I missed blogging awfully, so I’m glad I can finally get back to it, although I don’t know if I’ll manage to write daily for now, we’ll see. πŸ™‚

How are you feeling? Let me know in the comments, and go over to Carol Anne as well, or if you want to make a post of your own let me know so I can read it. πŸ™‚

Me and Misha are heading off to Sleepland. 😴

New year wishes, plus, you’ll just NEVER guess what happened today!

Hey guys! πŸ™‚
So, first off, I’d like to wish you a very very happy new year! If you make any resolutions, I hope you can keep them for the whole year and achieve what you want, and in any cse, I hope this year will be better for you than all the previous years, and will be peaceful. I’m sorry I haven’t posted a new year post earlier but things are rather hectic, I spent all day yesterday with my extended family and it wasn’t bad but felt a bit overwhelming for my brain, so today I was sleeping lots in order to recharge. Here in Poland we have an old saying that says what the first day of new year is like for you, will show what the whole year will be like. So how’s it been so far for you?
On a bit different note, you guys will just NEVER, EVER guess what happened to me today… but maybe you fancy to try anyway? πŸ˜€ … I was just a bit sarcastic. It’s very predictable. Any ideas, anyone?…
I hope that if there’s truth in that saying, it doesn’t extend to the second day of the new year. The truth is, my dear Readers, that it is very sadly not the end of my irregular blogging, and of the troubles with my brand new computer which is supposed to last for 10 years even, but so far I don’t see any evidence of it being likely. πŸ˜€ As you perhaps remember, there were problems since the beginning – first it got damaged during the delivery and was not usable anymore, so the delivery company has covered the costs for me and I got the same but new one. Then when the new one arrived to the company that has been helping me out with this (they’re a distributor of specialised equipment for the visually impaired and while a computer is technically not a specialised device, they have also done some repairs for me in the past when there was something niche going on that “normal” technicians were too clueless about, and I’ve been buying various other things like Braille-Sense or Plextalk through them, so I asked them for help with this too) it turned out that the motherboard was faulty and the guy who was completing and setting it all up for me had to get a new one. It all took over half a year and caused me a lot of anxiety and after finally the computer arrived to me, there were plenty of issues with configuration many of which I absolutely wouldn’t be able to overcome and figure out without Olek’s help, and even Olek resolved most of them rather accidentally and after a lot of digging blindly.
Then more recently as you know, just a couple days ago, when I felt like things were finally settling down and I was slowly getting used to the new computer and new system, and all the novelty and changes in general, there was that major system issue over CHristmas which again rendered the computer unusable, about which I wrote in some earlier post. Olek took it to his friend who is apparently quite knowledgeable in those things and he managed to restore the system to some mrevious point, like before it crashed, and all was well. Until today. Because today it crashed in just the same way. At first, various programmes were going crazy, there were some strange errors popping up in both browsers I use and in my email client – well maybe not particularly strange, they just stopped working and needed to be restarted or had very random problems with opening websites but the amounts of those errors were rather suspicious and reminded me of what was happening right before my system crashed on Christmas. My screen-reader went crazy too, as every once in a while it kept crashing with no apparent reason, and then restarting, or just completely stopped working at random times, even when it wasn’t practically working, when it was just running but I wasn’t using it, so I had to reset it. Or icons on the taskbar were randomly disappearing etc. Finally, after an hour or so of all that random crashing of different things, which made doing anything on the computer a bit of a pain, it started to feel alarmingly similar to the situation from just before that last system error that happened over Christmas. I remembered that then, the last thing I did before it stopped working completely was opening a website in Google Chrome. I just experimentally opened Chrome and – here we go – everything froze in a very spectacular way, and after a couple seconds the damn thing switched off and then was trying to restart endlessly but failing at it. It felt so ironic that my first reaction was that I started laughing, and so did Olek when I announced the news of the day to him, but it’s not funny if you want to know my opinion. It’s freaking exhausting. I did not expect Olek to fix it and he didn’t, I think I’m going to send the thing to that company who got it for me, maybe they will do something, we don’t even have an idea what’s the root problem, what’s happening there. I suppose I could give it to any technician because it’s not something to do directly with screen-readers or any typically blind related things (I guess, but I’m clueless), and this way would be faster as that company is on the other end of the country, but I guess since they got it for me, they may know better what’s up, and I want to have it fixed once and for good, I don’t even care now about how much time it’ll take, I just want to have a clear situation. We could probably do the same thing again – restore the system to a previous point – but that is only a temporary resolution and not something I’d be keen on doing every week at all. The last time it happened, my Mum sent the guy from that specialised equipment company a screenshot of what’s showing up when you start up the computer and I described to him what was happening before, and he said it could be some programme not installed correctly causing system issues, but I have no idea what it could be, and especially not this time as I wasn’t installing anything since that last crash as all the apps were already set up, unless such weird things can start happening a week or more after the installation which would be rather odd.
So now that you know what’s up you can also figure out that I’m writing from my Braille-Sense, which doesn’t allow you to do much but at least is more reliable, and that it also means my blogging will still be very irregular if any, for an indefinite time. It’s just after 7 PM but my sleep/wake rhythm is in some hypersomniac phase lately, which is cool in a way especially at times like these, and I’m feeling quite knackered by all that chaos so I think the best thing I can do now is have a shower and go to sleep. Sleep is the best.

Jinxed it! Another blogging/Internet hiatus.

Hi people! πŸ™‚
I’m really sorry to say that, but things are shitty again. Writing this from the Braille-Sense. I guess I was too quick in saying that my hiatus is over, it seems like it may take a while yet.
I really don’t know for sure what exactly happened or why but I must be some genius in destroying hard drives in no time I guess, maybe I could make some money with this unique ability, I suppose it’s the drive not working, well, Olek does, I have no freaking idea. Won’t be getting into details since that doesn’t matter here anyway and I’m fed up with tech stuff but my computer was perfectly fine in the morning, to completely stop working in like two hours time. Things started crashing big time and finally it just switched off and there’s no way you can get it going again for longer than 30 seconds. Olek was trying to help but couldn’t figure it out and I suppose it requires someone more knowledgeable. I’ve been really stressed out by all that computer chaos going on for over half a year and now I feel massively frustrated and like there is some major emotional overload pending, it’s extremely mentally exhausting.

I’m back! Merry Christmas! πŸ˜„

Hiya people, and pets, and everyone in between! πŸ™‚

Just a short note to let you know that my new computer has arrived on Friday and since then I was very busy setting it up (with tremendous help from Olek without which I’d be completely lost), and I’m still very slowly catching up on everything and even slower getting used to all the novelty and change, which is not always only positive, although it’s definitely much better to have a new computer than not to have any. It’s been causing me a lot of distress and anxiety, resulting in excessive nail biting thanks to which I’ve apparently got something called paronychia – an annoingly sore, swollen and throbbing finger – but it’s slowly and gradually getting better, I mean the anxiety. It will probably take some time before I’ll write some more concrete posts.

But most of all, me and Misha would like to wish all of you a very happy happy Christmas. I hope it will be a very wonderful and joyful time for you during which you can do lots of cool things, spend quality time with your family, or perhaps recharge and have time just for yourselves. I hope Christmas will fill your hearts with joy and hope and make you feel that your life is meaningful. πŸ™‚ Misha says he wishes you lots of delicious food and relaxation time and hopes it will be the cosiest Christmas ever for you. πŸ™‚

I also want to thank all those of you who read my blog and who were emailing me when I was away from the blogosphere, I appreciate it so very much and it’s been a huge help for me to get through that, you’re all really great friends! πŸ™‚ If I didn’t get back to someone it’s either because my Braille-Sense was freezing or didn’t display it.

Question of the day (22nd November).

What is your favourite Christmas song? Your least favourite?

My answer:

I have many favourites which make me await December every year so that I can listen to them, I don’t listen to them all year, only since the beginning of December to February 2nd when Christmas carols singing time ends over here, so I’m never bored with them. But I think my most favourite is “Christmas Secrets” by Enya, that I have previously shared. It’s really magical. Least favourite? I find most of the mainstream Christmas music that you hear in the shops, in the radio and such kind of infantile, annoying, superficial, boring and just meh. But… wait a minute… there was such a classic that I hate but I don’t remember/know the title, let me look it up… uhhh, yeah, “Merry Christmas Everybody” by Slade. The harmony of this song, something in its melody makes my brain feel uneasy, there just are such songs, sounds, sequences of sounds, melodies, and this song is one of them. It’s the chorus I have problems with the most when I happen to hear it. It’s such a strange feeling and even more strange to describe, it’s like what you’re hearing is one big dissonance in a way (not aesthetic usually or not necessarily, it’s a different kind of a dissonance) plus your mind vs that song/sound don’t get along. It can make me feel that some sounds and/or harmonies are aggressive, kind of evil in a way, and that it’s directed straight at me, directly, it just makes me feel uneasy emotionally and in a way physically and often anxious. I just wonder why the heck people don’t hear such things, I’m not even saying about that they don’t react like I do but they don’t even hear anything wrong, when I show people two songs that trigger sensory anxiety for me they don’t see anything in common in the sound or in their perception of the songs. It makes me feel crazy! It’s far from being among those the most triggering sounds I’ve come across in my life but it’s just unpleasant to hear. And “Gothic Christmas” by Within Temptation is horrible, but just because of what it’s like, not because of the harmonies and all those intricacies, I’m not sure which I hate more, I guess each deserves an award in its own category. πŸ˜€

A mid-week coffee and everything else share.

I wanted to do a Weekend Coffee Share post this past weekend (finally), but didn’t end up doing it, of course. I planned to do it on Sunday but had a terrible headache for pretty much all day and didn’t feel like writing anything overly complicated. And, actually, I’m not even sure what I’m going to write about because there’s not that very much going on, or I can’t write about everything that is publicly. So we’ll see where this coffee and tea and everything else share will take us. I hope you’ll join in.

Get yourself a mug or a glass of something delicious to drink, maybe a snack or a meal and let’s get started. I’m just going to drink water because that’s what I feel like drinking right now, and I’ve actually just had supper. But if water doesn’t feel sophisticated enough we can pretend it’s champagne because my water bottle is glass and, according to my Dad, looks very much like a champagne. πŸ˜€ You can have some of my Mum’s chicken and pasta casserole or bring something to the party yourself. πŸ™‚

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

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am getting more and more excited and thrilled about my project of My Inner Mishmash Readership Award. The official announcement of the winners is going to take place on November 26 (I would like it so anyway) the day when the awards will be sent out to people. I tell everyone that it’s the first year in a long time that I’m excited about Christmas time and can’t wait for it, hahaha. I’d like to make this award my yearly, Christmas tradition, unless the winners will be exactly the same every year. But it’s also quite stressful. I’m not preparing it on my own, my Mum helps me a whole lot obviously and I depend on other people too to prepare some things, so I’m quite stressed out and desperately praying that it’ll be all ready on time, and rushing my Mum all the time because we haven’t even got the half of it done yet. My Mum takes it very slowly with such things, and is often late, so I’m glad I’ve started it out in late September, and if it gets very hectic I might get to it even earlier next year, just in case. But anyway it’s gonna be lots of fun I think, and I hope my winners will feel appreciated and I’ll make them happy.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that our dog, Jocky, who is 1-and-something-year-old, has been fixed last week. He looks so poorly. It was necessary because there is an awful, old bitch in the neighbourhood who seems to appeal to all the dogs in the area and attracts them with an unbelievable strength. We didn’t want him to go there, and not letting him go was so awful because he would howl all nights and seemed so unhappy. Now he just seems miserable, and the whole experience of getting Jocky fixed was very unpleasant and unsettling for Zofijka, but I believe it’s all temporary.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I had a Zombie day on Wednesday. My horse riding instructor offered me that I could go riding that day but I said no, because it just didn’t seem right to ride on a Zombie day. I feel dizzy and floaty on a Zombie day and so my balance on horseback would be even worse, and that would only make me more anxious. Also, well, it requires a good deal of focus for me to ride and do all those exercises that I do, and to do them well, so I would just feel disappointed with myself, and obviously you never have enough energy after a sleepless night. I went riding only once during a Zombie day, and got a massive panic attack and couldn’t recover for ages, and I don’t normally get panic attack as my anxiety is more of a chronic and generalised kind. Anyway, I didn’t go and had a very lazy, hazy and crazy, lousy and drowsy day at home, but it was one of such things that no matter what I would do, I would regret it, so all day I was like “Oh no, why didn’t I go riding? What a pity I couldn’t go riding. Maybe I should go riding? Why did I miss my riding this week?”. Especially that, as you may remember from my post about Zombie days, I struggle a lot with decision making on such days. By the evening I was absolutely exhausted but, already in bed, I tuned in to BBC Radio Cymru and realised with a thrill that this was the day on which the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ceremony was about to happen, and my current music crush –
Gwilym Bowen Rhys – was one of the nominees for the Folk Singer of the Year Award. So I switched to BBC 2 and, instead of going to sleep as a proper Zombie should at 9 PM, if not much earlier, I listened to the ceremony, and enjoyed it a lot because there were other people too that were either nominated or won some awards, whom I knew and liked. A bit sadly, Gwilym didn’t win, but oh well, I think he has a chance to do so in the future if he’s been already nominated this year. The next day, my instructor said she could fit me in as well, but I decided not to go again, I just didn’t feel quite well mentally, just not in the mood whatsoever.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you that, thankfully, last week my instructor was flexible and could also fit me in on Friday, which I did accept and went riding, as I felt much less shitty. Still not very well but I thought I could manage it and I don’t like having too long breaks because then it’s just harder and I feel more anxious and unsettled beforehand, and it’s just a pity when I have to miss a whole week, and, because my instructor is very busy, it does happen a lot of the time. I was very anxious beforehand despite I still take my medication before riding to feel a bit more at ease. It took me a long time to relax, the more that we decided to go to the forest and ride there. I hadn’t been riding in the forest for about two years! And I had to sort of get used to it again. To the different ground and landforms and it just took me a while to feel more confident. I generally love to ride in the woods far more than just in the hall where you go round and round all the time but this time it was a bit more stressful than enjoyable. I just hope next time, whenever it’ll be, will be better. It was Rudy’s 20th birthday (60 or 60-something in human years) so he’s got lots of carrots afterwards. But before we finished, we came back to the hall for a while, and I did quite a few circles of both sitting trot and rising to the trot and some balance exercises, and riding sidesaddle – like ladies used to in the olden days. – We have no sidesaddle as such in the stud but I was just riding as if I was in a sidesaddle, in such a position. It is also a very good (and very scary) balance exercise. Previously I was able to do only one circle of it and was all dizzy afterwards, but this time I dared to do a few circles, though still with my instructor’s assistance. I am hoping I’ll soon get better at it and it’ll be less scary haha, and then maybe will also be able to try riding backwards again. I used to once but could only manage a few steps and it scared the shit out of my brain. πŸ˜€ But yeah, overall I enjoyed it a lot. Rudy’s hair is very thick now though, for the winter, so he was completely worn out and sweaty when we finished. I just have to remember to take my allergy meds before the riding, and not after, haha, so I can be more efficient and have my airways clear. My horse allergy is not strong but it really is a pain in the neck, especially if you forget your meds. πŸ˜€ I won’t be able to ride this week because my instructor is very busy.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I had an awful day on Sunday. I had lots of nightmares and woke up with my head throbbing like hell, and couldn’t get out of bed, so I didn’t until afternoon. A very lousy Bibiel I was! Zofijka fell down and got a mild concussion which scared her, but then she said that after all she doesn’t use her brain anyway, so she doesn’t care if some of it has spilled out. How honest! πŸ˜€ My headache went away in the evening but I was still anxious and just blah. My parents had their acquaintances come over in the evening and had a little but very loud dancing party, which really annoyed Zofijka, who was tired and her head was hurting after the fall, and all the noise didn’t let her fall asleep. Thankfully, her brain seems to feel better now.
What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Brain, what do you want from me?

I’m seriously starting to wonder what’s up with those flippin’ Sundays! I’m recently getting Zombie days exclusively on Sundays, and this month I’ve hit a record. Three Zombie days in a month, all Sundays, including this one. If you don’t know what a Zombie day is, it’s the day after a sleepless night. I call it this way at least. Mondays used to be most often my Zombie days back when I was at school, and I guess that was even worse. To not be able to sleep for the whole night and then having to start a week in the Zombie mode, grrrrr yuck!

Another thing that I’ve been wondering a lot today is what does my brain want. I never know that during a Zombie day. I never know what I want. A Zombie day probably means something slightly different for everyone. For me, it’s a weird, floaty, dream-like, hazy, unreal feeling in my brain and my whole body. I often catch myself wondering “Is all this even real?”. I often get deja vus when I’m a Zombie, and my sense of time is changed. It’s like there is almost no time passing if I don’t look at the clock. I’m often a bit hyper in the morning, and then go into apathetic and zoning out, but I won’t go take a nap because my sleep cycle needs to reset. Sometimes I even mix languages like today. I feel like I’m losing control, and I’m often very anxious, jittery and even very panicky, but I can’t take my med ’cause in such a state of mind it’ll make me fall asleep while walking, as was the case with my horse ŁoΕ›, instead of muffling the anxiety. I am cold and weak and obviously lack the energy, am dizzy, and towards the end of the day if I’m really worn out I sometimes get little creepy hallucinations that make me want to scream with fear but I’m too scared to do that. Is that even normal when you have just one Zombie day? I’m more creative and coming up with bizarre, completely out of the box, apparently illogical but very logical ideas and solutions and theories, and the cool part about them is that I still love them the next day and often listen to my Zombie brain and take what it came up with into account. Perhaps it works like for people who apparently get the solutions for their problems from dreams? I can be a bit impulsive so I try not to do important things or such that need a cooled down perspective on a Zombie day, and I can easily go from something even quite close to euphoria to the darkest depression and an emotional overload, and when something is not going right, I can easily slip into hopelessness, it just feels like things are always going to be this way.

But most of all, I don’t know what I want! It’s so frustrating. I mean, I often don’t know that anyway, but in my Zombie mode, that affects even the most basic things. I’m faint and starving, and badly nauseous at the same time and I don’t know what to do with that. I think for like 15 minutes, “Am I hungry?…”. I decide I am, and then I can barely eat anything. Do I want to write a post, or take a shower? Does it matter? Perhaps not, but I have to do one thing first. But first I’ll rather just sit for the next 15 minutes with my Brain in the Zombie zone.Do I critically need a nap, or can I stay awake until the evening? Yes, I give up, I need a nap! I lay on the bed, and although my mind is swirling between the real world and Dreamland, it can’t quite decide on any of those. Do I want to drink green tea or cocoa? Do I actually want to drink anything? Is it better to be around people and be scared of people or alone and scared of my own brain? How can I know all those overwhelming things if even my brain doesn’t care to decide? Zombie days are weird.

But at some point, there comes a moment when all the controls in your brain go bright red, and suddenly you realise: “YAY! It’s time for sleep! That’s what I want! Sleep, sleep, sleep and sleep!”.

And now I’ve come to that place. I know that what I want is to

wrap

uptightly in all the possible blankets in my room, wrap Misha up cosily and snugly in his bed, and float away into Dreamland. Switch off my brain finally, in desperate hope that when I’ll wake up, it will reset, change the layouts and show me different worlds, both the outer and inner one. Perhaps the Zombie day was what my brain needed. It has been cluttered with unimaginable for me amounts of worries and ruminations over the last week, and a Zombie way is quite a smart way to do a reset. Only, will it really work this time? I am desperately hopeful and deeply sceptical at the same time.

But I guess the time is flying by, my precious seconds of potential sleep are flying away, so, for now I’ll leave you to it, and hope that, whatever is the time where you are, the next time you’ll be sleeping, it will be a really healing, powerfully regenerative sleep.

Do you often get Zombie days? How do they feel like for you?

 

Question of the day (15th September).

When was the last time you did something you didn’t want to do?

My answer:

As far as I remember, it was when I had to go out last week with my Mum in search for a bra that would work for me for horse riding. Oh, okay, I haven’t told you I’ve restarted my horse riding last week! It was really great, and thank God for my anti-anxiety med, I figured out that, at least until I won’t settle with it a bit, I think it will be a good idea if I’ll help myself with it, because the anxiety I feel before that can be sometimes overpowering, and really badly affect my riding, not to mention my satisfaction of it. I thought I would need to remind myself a lot of things but once I was on horseback, everything felt very natural and automatic despite I hadn’t ridden for almost a whole year. But I needed a good bra, which, because of my not very typical figure –
as I am skinny and have relatively big breasts – I didn’t have anything that would be suitable for trotting or such. On the same day I also had to finally go to the hairdresser’s. I was glad to be done with all that, but I hate clothes shopping, and I hate when people are playing around with my hair for ages, so that cost me a lot of determination and patience. And it was such a gloomy day weatherwise. But yeah, I’m glad it’s all done and I don’t have to worry about the bra thing anymore.

How about you? πŸ™‚