Question of the day.

   What’s the worst part about puberty? 

   My answer: 

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

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

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

   What was the worst part for you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What is something that drastically improved your mental health? 

   My answer: 

   Well, I could focus on several different things, as there have been many things that I’ve found helpful for my mental health over the years, some to a significant extent. But the most important one I think, it’s not something but someone. It’s Misha. Misha has helped me so much. In a way, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to form such a very strong bond with anyone as I have with Misha. This has been a very interesting experience, and also a very healing one, to feel so very strongly about someone and at the same time not experience any sort of anxiety or insecurity around such relationship, unlike what has been the case with all kinds of my closer human relationships. Well, I am scared of Misha dying and I suppose that’s quite out of proportion, but that’s an unavoidable part and risk of all relationships really. Other than that, I feel very safe in my relationship with Misha, and I want him to feel the same. I also feel kind of less lonely with Misha. I’ve never really been one to complain about loneliness, I know how to cope with your typical loneliness and it’s not much of a problem for me. But the sort of loneliness that I experience and struggle with more strongly isn’t something that being around others can help with a lot, in fact often it feels even stronger when I’m around other people because it can sometimes be fuelled by stuff like feelings of inadequacy. It’s a strong, gnawing feeling that’s really difficult to get rid of in any way, something that comes from within rather than from being alone and feeling sad or frustrated or bored in this situation. And, well, Misha hasn’t magically freed me from this, but when I look back at the time when I didn’t have him, it’s really clear that having him has made some difference in this aspect. I find Misha’s presence especially comforting at night when I’m struggling with this. He doesn’t sleep with me every night, but he will usually come of his own accord if I really really need him. His presence is also very comforting for me in dealing with these lonely feelings when I can have him close by when there are a lot of people. Perhaps because Misha doesn’t like peopling very much either, so I know he feels similarly and this makes me feel less alone and like I have someone who gets me, and someone who is, like me, though for totally different reasons, perceived as different from the rest of the individuals socialising in a given situation, so that we are both outside. Misha is outside and different because he’s a cat, so he can’t speak human, understands things differently and all that jazz, for many people from extended family he’s even weird for a cat because he’s apparently very different from all the cats they know who purr nice and loud and aren’t scared of every slight movement or something being placed somewhere else than it usually is and come obediently when you call something like pussy or kitty kitty whereas you have to call Mish Mish for Misha because that’s what we’ve taught him, and even then he’ll come when he wants, though personally I suppose the latter is what most cats do. I am outside and different because I can’t do peopling like most people expect their fellow people to be able to do it, I am blind, which makes a huge difference for a lot of people in how they see you, plus it means I am outside of a large portion of their non-verbal communication and my perception of things is quite different, just as it is the case with Misha. I can’t always have Misha close to me while peopling, even when we’re peopling at our house, because Misha obviously doesn’t care about people’s rules and won’t necessarily want to be there with me, or if he does, it’s usually for a very short time, unless there’s yummy food and people provide him with the kind of attention that he likes. But he’ll often be close to me at the start of various family gatherings, so that I can often come into the room with Misha on my shoulder, hearing his purr. It’s funny, actually, because this is the only situation when he sits on my shoulder and many people find it impressive like my grandad thinks we must have some miraculous connection if I can go around carrying him on my shoulder like that. 😀 This way, people’s attention focuses on Misha, whereas I feel calmer having him close to me. Then after a while he’ll usually sneak out to the kitchen or go up on the radiator into his basket, and then when my brain battery is low and I go to my room, he’ll always follow me and we’ll recharge together, as he tends to find all the people noise and the unwanted kind of attention especially from children quite overwhelming and needs a lot of sleep.

   When I’m having a particularly hard time due to depression, Misha can sometimes be the only thing that will motivate me to get out of bed really. I don’t know how I did it before Misha! When I’m not overly depressed, I really enjoy waking up to Misha’s sweet “Hhrrru?” Which is how he greets people. I love talking to him first thing in the morning, giving him his food and cuddling him for a while if he’s up to it. It’s really the best start for the day you could imagine. Some people are surprised that I don’t mind and even want to sleep with him and then have to let him out of my room in the morning at such insane hours as 3 AM sometimes, hardly any later than 6 AM, my Mum says it’s like having a baby. Perhaps it is, but I really don’t mind getting up and letting him out, and unlike with a baby, I can go right back to bed if I want and sleep to my brain’s content or even longer, or I can let him out without actually waking up, just on autopilot. 

   But most of all I think Misha has helped me with anxiety. Especially the more panicky/acute types of anxiety like my typical sensory anxiety aka sound/silence anxiety. It is such a relief having Misha at home in this respect. It doesn’t solve the problem completely, though I really doubt there’s anything that can always do it with 100% effectivity but Misha helps to varying extent every single time. I think this type of anxiety that I have must work similarly to fear of the dark that many young children experience, which I base on that I believe that silence and darkness are similar phenomena in a way, and that Sofi, who still deals with fear of the dark a lot even though she’s a teenager, seems to have a lot of similar experiences around it, though that could also be of course due to that we’re sisters and experience some things similarly. Anyways, while in general I’d say Sofi’s fear is thankfully milder than mine because she only experiences it at night, not in all kinds of dark conditions, and nothing else triggers it other than darkness at night, there’s one thing in which I really feel for Sofi regarding her anxiety. Misha doesn’t help her at all. In fact sometimes he even adds to her discomfort because he can be so quiet and creep her out if he’s in her room and she can’t see him. And I think that really sucks. For me, there are times when Misha can make a world of difference and allow me to fall asleep at all or alleviate my anxiety enough that I don’t need my PRN anxiety medication. I feel a lot safer when I’m at home with Misha vs just on my own. Even when he’s not directly in the same room as myself can sometimes make a glimmer of difference, knowing that he still is somewhere in the house. Sometimes when some creepy sound or a sleep paralysis episode triggers this type of anxiety for me bad enough, I have trouble with such seemingly unrelated things like being in the bathroom, whether as in in the loo, or showering. It’s really difficult to explain the connectioon and the whole sensory anxiety thing in general, but when I’m in this particular freak out mode it’s like everything seems murkily scary to me, it’s a really weird experience to describe with lots of different dimensions to it I’d say. But in such situations, having Misha with me in the bathroom, laying on the radiator while I’m showering, can help a little, or in the latter stages of the freakout phase quite a lot. We have a radio in the bathroom but it never helps half as much as Misha does when the world goes all creepy. Speaking of sleep paralysis, Misha can help that too, though of course for that to be possible, he has to be in the room with me. He has frequently gotten me out of a beginning sleep paralysis dream in the morning by frantically crying, hhrrru?’ing and scratching the door to let him out. I always thought it’s just a coincidence that he frequently happens to do that right when I’m floating away, but then I had a nap a few times during the day with Misha in my room. I don’t like taking naps because they dysregulate myy sleep cycle even further than it normally is and because they’re more likely to start or end with sleep paralysis, so I only nap if I really have to or if it just happens involuntarily while I lay on the bed for a while with Misha and we both drift off. Well, and I have happened to drift off to sleep paralysis in the middle of the day with Misha either next to me or at my feet, and every single of those times I woke up feeling Misha tickling my foot with his paw, as he sometimes does playfully. Now I don’t know whether Misha has some extreme superpower of sensing sleep paralysis in humans which even fellow humans are typically unable to figure out and think you’re just sleeping heavily, or perhaps he simply saw me wriggling my toes, as people sometimes do in their sleep, and which I do in sleep paralysis if I am able to because I discovered that it can slow down the initial floating/drifting and alleviate this sensation which I really hate, and if I wriggle them to a specific side it lets me float in a specific direction rather than being aimlessly thrown around dreamland until I reach the one and only right destination, and sometimes even the right toe move at the right moment lets me wake up. Misha, like most cats I presume, likes things that move, and he likes to make out with people’s legs whenever he’s only allowed, which is never but he never loses hope and perhaps he just thought my toe wriggling was an invitation and the tickling was some sort of foreplay. Regardless though, I’m glad that as it seems Misha is able to wake me up from this at the right moment before everything starts for good. It’s just quite shitty that he rarely is there when this is happening. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   Have you ever experienced phone anxiety? How do you deal with it? 

   My answer: 

   For me, this is definitely something that i experience regularly, pretty much with any kind of phone call I have to make or answer. I’ve heard that apparently phone anxiety is so common because people don’t see the face of the person they’re talking to, which is quite ridiculous in my case given that I am blind, and in theory I should probably be more comfortable with phone calls because I hate people assuming what I’m thinking or feeling based on what they thhink my facial expression is, but I think in my case the phone anxiety is just an extension of my usual social anxiety or something like that. Except for some reason the phone anxiety is worse, because in most instances, I’d much rather talk to someone in person than on the phone. One of few exceptions is my Godmother, interacting withh whom I find quite challenging, but on the phone it’s slightly easier to keep some sort of script, or cut the conversation short when it’s going in a direction I don’t like. Also with people I’m close to, I usually don’t mind either way, though talking on the phone with my Dad can get pretty awkward, but not in a way that would be anxiety-provoking. 

   How do I deal? Well, I avoid making phone calls as much as I can. I never answer calls from people I don’t have a clue who they are, unless I’m expecting a call from someone I don’t know. If I have a choice to do something over phone vs online or in person, most of the time I choose the latter, unless there’s some specific situation where phone indeed has some advantage over the other option, like doing something online is not very accessible or reaching someone via phone is more likely to result in something happening faster thann when reaching them via email. And of course I have my Mum who is my spokesperson, and if I absolutely have to make or answer a phone call and absolutely cannot do it, then my Mum does it for me. When I do have to make or answer a phone call, I try not to dwell too much on it in advance, but I also never do it completely spontaneously, I always have to have some kind of script planned at least vaguely, and sometimes I even write notes in advance. 

   How about you? If you have experienced it, is it something you deal with consistently, or just in specific situations, or is it something you used to deal with but no longer do? 

Question of the day (27th October).

What do you wish was easier?

My answer:

All things round peopling/socialising. I seriously don’t know how most people are so efficient at it when it’s so damn difficult.

You? 🙂

Question of the day (15th August).

Do you think anything good will come from the pandemic?

My answer:

I strongly believe so, but a lot of it may be on an individual level rather than more generalised, and the good vs bad outcomes may vary a lot for different people. We can already hear people who see a lot of upsides in it regarding their personal life, or their internal life, development etc. and a lot of people who are seriously struggling with all this and barely managing to stay sane, and I think there are loads of factors involved into it, from whether someone and their family has actually had been personally affected by Covid and how severely, to how people deal with being alone, to how people’s financial situation might have changed over this period, to how their overall health is doing and whether they’re at a very high risk or perhaps have a lot of health anxiety… So whatever I’ll be saying here is definitely not meant to regard all people, just some good outcomes that either I have experienced directly, or that I frequently see happening for people around me.

I like how you can do a lot more stuff online ever since the pandemic has started. In a way I’m surprised though that it seriously needed as much as a pandemic for people to figure out that, for example, you can work online, even in a field where there’s no such tradition really, that you can do school from home (of course there are a lot of cons to it as well but I think a large portion of them is also due to how people have had to adjust to this remote learning in so much rush, without more far-sighted thinking really, at least it’s definitely the case here, and some aspects of it are slightly irrational), that you can do concerts online and lots of other things. I guess once the pandemic is truly over, whenever that may be, a lot of it will come to an end, but I hope that still there will be more things that we will be able to do online if we so choose, than it was before the pandemic. Some people do better working from home, and in larger cities it certainly must help with the traffic. My Dad, who is a tanker driver and delivers fuel across the country, has been saying that one aspect of Covid he really likes is more low-key traffic.

I think it has helped a lot of families to connect more with each other. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that they have discovered some new hobby that they like spending their time doing, that they’d never have time for discovering, let alone learning, otherwise. A lot of people around me say they have benefited from having more free time, either because they’ve got to do things they’d never had time for before, or because they could simply spend some time with themselves and tune into themselves better. Interestingly a lot of people seem to have been reading more books. Some people have learned to cope with aloneness a bit better. For example our Sofi. Being alone is still very far from her preferred state, and she’ll always much prefer when a lot is going on around her, with a lot of people, but I think it’s good when you’re able to accept and manage somehow when things aren’t like this.

It’s also cool that we now get to appreciate our own countries more when it comes to travelling and vacationing. Rather than going to some distant country, locking themselves in a hotel with tourists from your own country and sitting by the pool with a drink, people seem to explore their own countries more here in Europe.

I think for many people, due to the hardships that they have experienced during this time, the pandemic might have also contributed to increased resilience.

As for myself, I haven’t really been affected by Covid very much on a personal level. So far, I feel extremely lucky that it hasn’t affected a lot of my family members, and those who have been affected had mostly mild cases. My gran was an exception, as prior to Covid, which she got shortly before last Christmas, she also had pneumonia, and then before the pneumonia she had bronchitis, so she had already been sick for a long time before she caught Covid, and we were all prepared that, given her very recent infections and her age (she’s over 80) she would most likely die. Thanks to all the dedication of my cousin, who is a doctor, and my gran’s own fierce will to live, she made it through and is perfectly healthy now, so people say she’s indestructible. She really wasn’t sickly or anything before that bronchitis, so I guess her immune system must be very strong given her age. We also haven’t been affected financially, and, except Sofi, no one in my immediate family felt particularly deprived of human contact, probably because we’re already five people living here plus Misha & Jocky, and my Dad and Olek were still working so they got to hang out with people there. I, as you know, have been happy being able to reduce the outside peopling to almost non-existent, and I work at home regardless. Not having to deal with people as much means my social anxiety has reduced quite a noticeable bit, which is nice. And, like I already mentioned, it’s so cool having access to more things from home. For example, last year, when most of the world was in lockdown, I was able to take part in a few concerts of my favourite artists online, in which I certainly wouldn’t be able to take part otherwise, because here people don’t even know they exist so I’d have to travel to other countries, which is tricky even without Covid involved, and even if it wasn’t, being a hermit I would still definitely not be able to relish them quite as much as I could from the comfort of my lil hermitage, with Misha laying next to me, not being distracted by anything from immersing myself in music.

What good things do you see, if any? 🙂

Question of the day.

What’s your biggest fear?

My answer:

I have such an abundance of fears that it’s hard to say which one is biggest. Social anxiety’s definitely huge, but it depends on a lot of things and sometimes it’s less scary than others, or more manageable anyway, for no apparent reason. Then there’s this thing I call sensory anxiety, which I’ve generally gotten used to live with and it can also vary immensely in intensity, but it can be absolutely creepifying at times. My sensory anxiety is kind of connected with sleep paralysis, so that counts in here too. What’s particularly scary is this sleep paralysis/sensory anxiety “friend” of mine, known as “Ian” on this blog, about whom I wrote a short story on here, but I don’t tell his real name to anyone. He’s extremely scary and I always have a sick conviction at the back of my brain that he’s actually real and that some day I’ll get to experience his realness properly. As for actually recognised specific phobias, out of those that I’ve had emetophobia (fear of vomit) has always been the worst, though it’s not nearly as scary as it used to be for me in the past, most of the time anyway. Another thing that I have a fair bit of fear around is all things neurodegenerative, the possibility that I could end up having a neurodegenerative disease at some point, like Alzheimer’s (well, it doesn’t have to necessarily be a neurodegenerative disease, a TBI would be scary too but neurodegenerative diseases sound like something that’s particularly difficult to have any control over), and lose my brains as a result. My brains are like my fortress or something, so it would be a hopeless situation for me. And while usually it feels like vomit is scarier because it happens to more people and is more likely to happen, plus I’m also scared of it happening to anyone else, not just me, brain damage, of whatever nature, isn’t something that happens to everyone and it doesn’t seem like I’m at a particularly high risk in any way, as there hasn’t been anyone in my family as far as I know with this sort of thing. Yet on the other hand the brain damage stuff has way longer and nastier consequences. So I can’t say which one is scarier.

How about your fear? 🙂

Question of the day.

An extremely interesting question I have for you guys today…

What’s the longest time you have gone without pooping?

My answer:

Can’t say how long exactly, I guess it could be about a week or so. Generally I don’t have a lot of poo problems in normal life circumstances, which I’m extremely grateful for ’cause only when I do sometimes I see how uncomfortable they must be for people who deal with some major issues of this nature chronically or regularly. But what definitely sets them off for me is a lot of stress and change. I mean mostly change of location for some significant amount of time, more than just a couple of hours, especially if it’s just a temporary change but involves sleeping there etc. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with this, I guess in a way it makes sense because pooping is obviously a very private thing and it feels normal that you may not feel comfortable doing it everywhere even if it’s only on the subconscious level. My Mum is the same if not worse, but the reason why it’s worse for her is probably that she does actually have digestive issues and hates public toilets more than I do. Once I get used to that new place, I can poop normally again, but more often I just either have to help myself with something that works for constipation or wait until I can go home and then the problem solves itself. I have the same thing with social gatherings that are long and involve eating, and I guess that’s less common and definitely to do with my social anxiety. I generally am not a fan of eating out or eating with a lot of people like huge family meals, there are many reasons for that. I totally don’t get why people always need to eat during such gatherings, and if they really have to, why so much and almost all the time, and particularly as it seems when it’s mostly middle-aged people. 😀 Let’s say it’s someone’s birthday and they decided on such a stiff family party with sitting at the table, talking about nothing and LOTS of food, mostly cakes and the like. Or, more realistically, their family decided for them because they came uninvited but luckily the person in question was prepared for such a possibility. 😀 So, you’re sitting on your butt for two hours at least, continuously eating all those carbs, and, if you’re like me, feeling anxious/stressed/uncomfortable, or a bit tense at least. Perfect recipe for a shit problem. If it’s a bit more dynamic you can perhaps go out for a while or something, you can go to the loo but if you’re like me it won’t change anything ’cause it’s someone else’s loo. 😀 So this is one of many reasons why I generally eat very little in social situations, especially lengthy ones.

So yeah, I think on average the longest for me must have been around a week, when going somewhere for holidays or school trips or the like. After about a week I’m usually adjusted enough that things get better, or physiology takes the upper hand over my brain. 😀 Now I can also take the advantage of the fact that these days I always travel with my Mum and that she has been more aware of her own various digestive problems including constipation over the last couple years, which means she always takes a whole bag of things that help her when travelling or staying away from home, so we always have something helpful at hand.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day (15th June).

What makes you nervous no matter how many times you do it?

My answer:

There are loads of such things, but one that comes to my mind is definitely peopling in general. That is, sometimes I’m less nervous than other times, and there are times when I’m almost not anxious at all, but if we assume that the longer/more often you do something, the less nervous you become over time when doing it, here it just doesn’t apply. As for how much I’m nervous during a social interaction, I feel like a lot of the time it’s pretty random, which baffled me for a long time because I’d hear people with “normal” social anxiety always say how they’re always anxious or nervous with strangers, or in some specific kinds of situations, while for me there are times when I feel nervous talking to my own Mum, even though we generally have a very good relationship, or I can have trouble writing to someone online whom I like and know well, and there can be times when I can hold a fairly normal conversation with someone I barely know or even a total stranger, and even enjoy it, and the person mmight even end up commenting how very outgoing I am. 😀 I used to explain to them that I don’t, or even when I was a child my Mum would explain that it’s not like that, but now I no longer do as it’s not their business really, and they usually wouldn’t believe me anyway when I’d say that actually I’m normally very anxious around people and they’d say things like that everyone is a bit anxious sometimes, like my last therapist, for example, haha. The next day, my anxiety may work completely inversely, or I’ll be scared of all people equally. It used to really confuse me, well, still does in a way, but I used to think that because it’s not really like I have very clear social anxiety triggers beyond a few, I can’t have valid social anxiety and either it’s something else or I’m somehow making it up or whatever. I still haven’t fully figured out what may be the reasons behind such a weird, changing pattern, although I have some theories and think there may be multiple factors involved, but a lot has been cleared up for me when I learned that in fact I don’t have the classic social anxiety, but instead I have AVPD, in which the anxiety doesn’t have to necessarily be triggered by any specific situation, it’s just some general people phobia with some other, additional gimmicks to make things more interesting.

Another such thing for me is definitely horse riding. I haven’t done that in quite some time now, but I used to for many years, and despite that, I would always be more or less anxious beforehand, and as much as I absolutely love it, the anxiety could seriously get in the way or even spoil things completely sometimes. I’ve written here many times before how my fear started out mostly due to my balance problems and having obligatory hippotherapy at nursery, but then later on, after a few years’ break, my Mum got me back into it at our local stud where I grew to love it and also really bonded not just with my horse but also my instructor. I still experienced all the same issues that I did before, but since I learned that horse riding can be enjoyable and started doing it not just in a therapeutic but also more properly sporty way, I was able to overcome my fears enough that my love of riding and for my horse was stronger than the anxiety and most of the time I was able to motivate myself to do it, even if it took me some 15 minutes on horseback to relax and feel it properly. After those fifteen minutes I would usually start feeling way better, euphoric even. I always found it really annoying that it took me so long to get into it and that I was so shaky beforehand and for the first few minutes while riding, which also affected the way I rode since all my muscles were tense and of course my horse picked up on it too. My main horse was really phlegmatic and hardly moved by anything, which I found very reassuring, so he didn’t catch the anxiety from me like some horses do, but it was definitely an obstacle in our communication. So when I was put on the anti-anxiety medication I always took half of the pill before the riding to calm me down a bit. Sometimes it worked, sometimes I didn’t feel it at all. Then I guess at some point my brain started protesting louder and my anxiety became almost as strong as my love for riding and it was harder and harder to motivate myself to actually do it and I didn’t see much point if I was feeling horrid hours in advance. So that was one of the reasons why I stopped doing it, although I still don’t know yet if it’ll be permanently or not.

And yet another thing which very often makes me nervous is change. We all deal with changes in our lives a lot, but some of us I guess just never get used to it. Not all changes freak me out, but major or sudden ones or such that involve leaving behind something that I was emotionally connected to tend to be difficult. New things I have to get used to are also difficult, they may not always scare me but the stress related to getting used to the new thing can be rather exhausting, even if it’s sometimes exciting at the same time.

What is such a thing(s) for you? 🙂

Question of the day.

What was the last thing that made you feel misunderstood?

My answer:

Since I have that thing called AVPD, I feel misunderstood a lot of the time. I don’t really even like admitting that because to me it sounds kind of as if I were so entitled in a way and expecting people to understand me and/or considering myself so exceptional that no one can even begin to get me if they try and how I’m oh so devastated because no one understands me. It’s not really like that, because on the other hand, like I wrote in a post about being understood by people perhaps a month or so ago, I don’t think I even want everyone to understand me because it would be creepy. Still, when you have more of a relationship with someone and you feel like they don’t understand you on a lot of, often quite crucial to you, things, it’s quite an alienating experience. I felt quite strongly disconnected from my family during the Easter holidays, but what currently happens to be bothering me the most in the misunderstanding department is my earlier exchange with someone, and I just keep ruminating about how I surely must have said something that wasn’t what I meant exactly and how, because of that, our friendship is already ruined beyond repair before it even had a chance to start developing.

You? 🙂

Leah Nobel – “Talking To The Dog At The Party”.

Hey people! 🙂

Perhaps you remember when, a little while before Christmas, I shared with you a song called

Coffee Sunday NYT by Leah Nobel,

and wrote how I really liked her project “Running in Borrowed Shoes” which it was a part of. It made me instantly like her a lot, just that she came up with something like this. And yesterday, this song of hers that I’m going to share with you today, came up in my Release Radar on Spotify and I just had to share it because, well, it could as well have been the anthem of introverts or something like this, I believe. It’s just so true and relatable and to the point, I think many people could feel a connection to what she sings about here and I’m glad someone put it into words and into a song so well. I definitely can relate to it a whole lot, except I much prefer talking to the cat if it’s possible and if people have a cat. That makes it a lot easier. With dogs, while they are very nice and all, they somehow seem to always like me excessively and are all over me when they see me and that doesn’t really make the whole situation any less awkward, but a dog is certainly better than anything. It’s only a pity that few people in my family or who we associate with actually do have cats, and when they do, they’re typically the kind who can go in and out as they please, so you never know whenn they’ll be home. But yeah, an animal can always make a party a lot easier to go through. I also can so totally relate to the bit that I’d rather be a loner than lonely with all these people around. I feel loneliness much more intensely around people than when I’m actually alone.

If you’re an introvert, do you also find animals’ presence helpful at all sorts of parties and other things like that? 🙂

Some fun stuff instead of question of the day.

Hi guys! 🙂

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. 😀

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. 😀 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 😀 ), 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? 🙂

Orla Gartland – “Why Am I Like This?”

Hiya people! 🙂

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. 😀 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. 😀 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.

 

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

Would you rather have a very talkative guest that won’t let you get a word in, or a very quiet guest who doesn’t say much at all?

My answer:

It depends on a few things. How well I know that person and how I feel around them. Whether I’m with them alone or are there other people, like my family members, also present there, so they could keep the conversation going. Whether we have a lot of topics to chat about. How interesting they are to me. My first instinct though would rather be to choose a very talkative guest, because if anything, I’m better at listening than keeping a conversation, and I would feel awkward with someone who doesn’t have much to say, and they would probably feel so even more. With a talkative person, I wouldn’t have to worry about having to talk much, and just listen, or with some people simply pretending that you listen is enough because they don’t seem to care if you actually are listening or not, they’ll be chatting away regardless. One of my favourite quotes, from The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery says: “If you can sit in silence with a person for half an hour and yet be entirely comfortable, you and that person can be friends. If you cannot, friends you’ll never be and you need not waste time in trying”. I have very few people like that in my life, even among those I feel generally relatively comfortable around, but one of those with whom I really do like sitting in silence for long stretches of time and we understand each other without words is my grandad. So, I’d be happy to have a quiet guest who wouldn’t say a word for their whole visit, but only such with whom we would both feel comfortable this way, or one whom I would know really well so I could talk to them freely and also make them talk about things they like to talk about.

What would you choose? 🙂

Answering another of Carol Anne’s questions.

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

Therapy Bits

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

Are you open with others about your struggles?

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

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

 

Working On Us – rejection.

I haven’t participated in Working On Us by Beckie of

Beckie’s Mental Mess

for a while, so I thought I would this week. THe topic of this week’s mental health prompt is rejection.

1. Have you ever been rejected by family/friends because of your mental illness/disorder?

No. I think it’s mostly simply because I usually do not tell people about my mental illness or such things, or if I do it’s very briefly if necessary. I have experienced some negative or invalidating reactions, in particular from my Dad, which often felt very hurtful to me, but I wouldn’t call that rejection. Rather a lack of understanding and flexibility in thinking. My Mum is very supportive in all sorts of practical ways and I wouldn’t do without her, she is also more open-minded than my Dad, she tries to understand it but it’s often not easy for her as she’s never experienced things that I have, and often says hurtful things more or less unintentionally. I used to struggle much more with that but I’ve never thought that it could be their way of rejecting me. Other people are far more likely to reject me because of my blindness than mental illness.

2. Has anyone mistreated you to the point you felt like you were nothing?

Don’t know if it made me exactly feel “as if I were nothing” but I had experienced some emotional abuse at school, particularly from one of the boarding school staff, who was humiliating me in a veiled way and diminishing me and all I did, which caused me a lot of confusion and feelings of inadequacy, and made my self-esteem drop quite a bit, and it never was particularly high. It took me a lot of time, only as an adult, to figure all that out and make some sense of that situation, because for a long time I felt like it kind of wasn’t real and that I perhaps misunderstood her words or actions or something like that. There were also many other situations there where I felt like people were making me feel very shitty about myself but it wasn’t as bad and I think wouldn’t even affect me as much as it did if not my overall life situation – that I was miles away from my family and could never fully adapt there. – When I got older I frequently experienced quite spectacular reactions of people to my disability, like, I assume some people must be terribly afraid of catching optic nerve hypoplasia from me or something, I’ve had people treating me like I was a mass of air. That felt very unpleasant for sure and as if I was nothing to them, but I can’t say I cared very much or felt significantly hurt, it was frustrating and annoying, but more funny than seriously hurtful, it’s funny when people are so silly that they’re so scared of you that they can’t talk coherently when they see you. 😀 It’s paradoxical when people are scared of you and you’re a sociophobic.
3. Have you ever confronted the person/persons that have made you feel this way?

No. When it comes to that staff person, I was a child then, I didn’t really feel safe talking to her at all, let alone confronting her, also, I’m sure you guys know how it is with toxic people, emotional abuse and all that. I actually had no clear idea what was going on. I wouldn’t think it was abuse or that she was treating me wrong in any way. First because I was a child, even if fairly intelligent and enjoying observing and analysing people’s behaviours, and second because it’s all always so veiled and subtle, I wouldn’t know how to talk about it to her and not sound irrational or something. I think I would still have trouble in such a situation if it happened to me now, it’s just tricky. I tried talking to another staff member who was a really competent person and whom I quite liked, but she didn’t really get it, I honestly don’t think she believed it because that other woman was always so positive and everyone saw it, so how could she do such things? I only talked to her because my Mum told me to do so.

4. If the answer to #3 is “Yes”, was anything resolved?

When talking to that staff member didn’t help my Mum talked to her – that other staff member, not the one who was nasty to me – and things have changed a little for good, but not significantly.

5. Has rejection changed you in any way? ie… Self-Esteem, Depression, and/or changed your opinion the way you feel towards the human race as a whole?
Wellyes it did. I have avoidant personality disorder in which fear of being rejected is one of the features, and it often develops in people who have experienced it early in life. I had never thought about it this way, but some time ago my Mum wanted to talk about it and her theory is that when I went to that school (I was 5) I might have felt rejected by my family and confused about what was happening. I just never saw it this way, I always thought it was normal I must be there and that the problem is rather that I can’t adjust there and accept the situation. But perhaps when I was 5 I didn’t understand what it was all about, why I had to be away from home, and why people were coming and going, or taking me home for a few days and then leaving me there again. This theory makes sense to me now. But obviously I don’t blame my parents now or anything like that because I know they didn’t feel like they had a choice and their motive wasn’t that they wanted to get rid of me. But I think such an experience could successfully make me more sensitive to rejection. I wouldn’t say this is the strongest AVPD symptom in me, like that the primary reason why I avoid people, why I struggle with social situations, why I don’t do socialising is because I’m afraid of rejection. I don’t think that’s most important here, though at the same time it’s hard to say what is that core thing, I just think it’s a mixture of loads of things. I’ve heard about many people with this disorder struggling with this particular thing the most of all. For me, I’m not desperate for acceptance from everyone, I won’t typically tell you that I like something just so we would agree and be friends and would like me or I won’t tell you my opinion on something because yours may be different. I don’t go around in search of people who will accept me and if some relationship doesn’t go well or if I see that someone doesn’t really feel the connection I won’t desperately try to keep them. I do value my individuality even if at the same time I hate it because it makes me feel like such a flippin’ alien. I guess when I interact with people, they may see I’m anxious or depressed or such things, but I think I’m pretty good with hiding my AVPD related difficulties in daily life or in casual interactions with people, but perhaps that’s just what I think. I have no problem with, for example, people I know online for a little while when they suddenly stop writing back to me or something, unless there are some other things involved, but when it’s people I feel attached to that reject me or I feel that they reject me it’s crushing. For me, the fear of rejection manifests more in the way that I hate being clingy, for example, I just hate clinginess, both in myself and in other people. I don’t want to feel like a burden for people or someone needy, either emotionally or in any other way, yet I often strongly feel like I am. I often don’t let myself close enough to people I would like to be close with, and keep at least a bit of a distance, ’cause then they can’t reject me. Or if I have a possibility, first I do an in-depth observation and analysis of a person before I start talking to them. With people with whom I am more close with I always sort of have a radar on, which is in a way very yucky and a bit paranoid, I think I have this particular tendency from my Dad, but then again, I’ll do everything for them not to realise that. Often I’m just simply scared of closeness with people. I’ve realised some time ago that I often test people that I meet and that I feel we could be friends, or when I just feel very insecure, I do it often almost unconsciously, kind of automatically. I virtually only realised I’m doing it when I got diagnosed and was reading about it a lot, I had no clearer idea before that. It feels quite yucky too but you do have to protect your brain don’t you? You’ve got only one and when it’s already screwed up to begin with you have to be careful. I suppose they’re not aware of that testing thing, or maybe it’s just my wishful thinking. It feels rather gross when you think about yourself that you’re “testing people”, but that’s true, even if not always fully voluntary. If the test is negative, I have the possibility to retreat before they reject me, it makes me feel more in control of my own life and feelings. I’m often afraid though that I would become attached to someone so much that I won’t be able to notice it in case they would no longer accept me for whatever reason or never truly did, and then they would suddenly reject me without me even being able to prepare for it emotionally in advance and accept it.

6. Or, has rejection done the opposite and made your stronger and more resilient?
I don’t think so, but I do think my tolerance for it has increased over time.

Question of the day (10th September).

Hi guys! 🙂

Here’s another family related question I have for you.

Do you stay in touch with your extended family? If so, how?

My answer:

Not all of them, but my grandparents, most aunts and uncles and some cousins. Our family on both my parents’ sides likes to get together so we see each other at different occasions, like birthdays, name days or such. My social anxiety and other things often make it difficult for me to be around a lot of people for a long time, it’s overwhelming, and, I have to say it, it’s frequently also boring because I don’t really have the close connection between me and my close family, so there’s not much common ground between me and most of them, and sitting at the table for hours and listening to/trying to engage in conversations I don’t really feel a part of or don’t have any real interest in certainly is boring. Eating around many people makes me feel anxious too, and anxiety makes me not hungry at all so it’s stressful if you don’t want to offend someone and eat at least something. And talking to more than like 3 people at once is hard for me, let alone when there are groups of people scattered around the room and each of them talking about their own thing, so I usually feel way more alienated and lonely in such situations than I do when being on my own, and I hate hate hate feeling lonely while being around others, and usually I end up just listening to people and forcing myself to smile all the time. And that’s largely why I often avoid those family gatherings if it’s not necessary for me to be there and if I can avoid them. Also most of us live quite close to each other so we sometimes bump into each other on the street or on similar occasions.

How about you? 🙂

If We Were Having Coffee… or whatever else you fancy. #WeekendCoffeeShare

#WeekendCoffeeShare at Eclectic Alli’s.

Welcome to another coffee share, quite an early one, especially as for me, but I haven’t been too regular with posting lately and I might not be for a few more days so I thought we’d have another coffee share as some longer, catch-up post.

I’ve had my green tea already in the morning as I woke up early and needed it badly so I’m now having sparkling water with lemon, and very yummy Polish biscuits called Delicje – they are round sponge biscuits covered in chocolate with a jelly filling, mine are with orange jelly and as much as I love Delicje, the orange-flavoured ones are the only ones I find acceptable, OK, raspberry ones are OK, but just OK. – Help yourselves! I’ve also made a cake earlier today – a sponge cake with jelly and raspberries – (wow I’m kinda monotematic today with sponge, fruit and jelly, perhaps someone has an idea why? :D). It’s my name day on Sunday, hence I made it. And Mum made yummilicious croquettes (I don’t even know if that’s exactly the same thing in English, but oh well) with rice and mushrooms. I love them, and so does Olek, so if you’d like to sample, you need to hurry as he’ll soon be back from work and there will be nothing left. 😀 And I guess that’s all really yummy food (in my opinion) we have today, and you can bring something you have to our coffee share to make it more diverse than just sponge with jelly. 😀 Get yourself a comfortable place to chill and let’s start our chat, shall we? 🙂

If we were having coffee, or not coffee, I’d ask you how things have been going for you and what has happened in your life this week…?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m feeling like rubbish today. Not the most optimistic note to start a coffee share and a weekend in general but what can I do. I don’t even know why. I woke up feeling OK, like near the baseline, but things have started spiraling down since early afternoon. I can’t get to why that is really. I feel depressed, and even a bit anhedonic, which is not my usual definitely, even if I am badly depressed I can often still feel the pleasure from things I love to some degree but I just feel kind of apathetic and sort of disconnected and don’t care about things too much, I also feel lonely because I feel disconnected, and don’t know what’s going on with my brain. Not like it would change a lot if I knew, and like it matters to me at the moment very much, but it’s always nice to be able to have a clue at least about your brain. I’ve also been having extremely sad and emotional dreams for a couple days which I don’t get either. I mean, scary dreams – yes, – intense, in whatever way – definitely, – strange – all the time, – but I don’t normally have plain sad dreams in which I’d feel all emotional and vulnerable, and yesterday I actually woke up crying. Today I had a sad dream too but it wasn’t quite as unsettling and I mostly remember the emotions of it, not the plot, so I didn’t think much about it, but the phenomenon of such an abundance of sad dreams is interesting. I get emotional dreams like this sometimes around the periods of time that used to be difficult for me in the past but now it’s not the case. Sometimes I wish my brain could speak, or write, or something. I’m so used to bottling up stuff that now I often don’t understand what it’s trying to tell me, ’cause I suppose it must want something from me if there’s no straightforward explanation.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you we’ve had another hot week here, but thankfully today it’s very nicely fresh and chilly, apparently only for a while, Dad says we’ll have another hot day on Sunday. But it’s a relief for all the people I think that at least now it’s cooler.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that at the beginning of this week, my router died. I had to get a new one and installing it and configuring was quite a pain, and I had a whole long boring day and a half with no Internet and not much to do, but now things are back to normal.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Misha has a new hiding place, and this time, it’s a really good one, ’cause we still can’t figure out where it is, after over a week. He just disappears every day for a good few hours and then suddenly comes back out of nowhere. It’s amazing how after 3 years of living here, he still hasn’t ran out of ideas! 😀

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’m going to another meeting – like the one I went to earlier this month, in that sort of foundation or association that Zofijka’s friend’s mum works in – this time with a woman who used to live in Ireland, she’s Polish. That’s going to be very interesting for me for sure, since I love Ireland! I’m quite anxious again, even though I’ve already been there and it went well. It’s going to be on Monday.

If we were having coffee I’d also tell you that Zofijka’s friend’s mum was supposed to visit us yesterday, and then today, or on Sunday, but it seems like nothing will come out of it. While I’m happy for her to come over, I’m also secretly relieved that she won’t be coming today, as I’m definitely not in the mood for socialising whatsoever and wouldn’t be able to do it right the way I’m feeling now, just normal smalltalk feels so depressing and exhausting at the moment. As if I ever was good at smalltalk hahaha.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we’re most likely going to the beach on Sunday, which I’m quite glad about, the sea usually makes me feel very good and I feel a strong connection with it, and I love being by the sea. We have our very special beach that is quite far away from us, it’s situated in a village in Słowiński National Park, and it’s really clean and tranquil there, there are few beaches that are that quiet and clean. And we had a plan of going there, but because it’s apparently going to be rather hot, and the ride is long there, and then you have to walk 2 km through a nature reserve back and forth it would be quite tiring and time consuming compared to how much time we’d actually spend on the beach, so we probably won’t be going there and somewhere much closer and filled with people. 😀 In any case, I hope it’ll be cool and I’ll feel less depressed by then. Also as I said it’s my name day on Sunday so that’s going to be a nice way of spending it I hope.

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

 

Working On Us – Mental Health Prompt.

Beckie over at

Beckie’s Mental Mess

has a weekly series on her blog called Working On Us – Mental Health Prompt, and now is week #3 of it, and I thought I’d join in! Here’s the prompt for this week and my answers. If you haven’t participated yet, I encourage you to check out her blog and to do so. 🙂

 

Here are a few coping statements, do you agree or disagree?  Even if your answer is yes or no, please explain:

  1. This situation of sitting on a fully packed train either makes you feel uncomfortable or unpleasant, but I can accept it? – Yes, I can accept it if it’s just the crowd. It will make me feel a bit uncomfortable and anxious and I simply don’t like crowds too but as long as I don’t feel overwhelmed by other stimuli, am generally doing well and don’t have to interact with those people I will deal with it.
  2. Can I ride out the wave of anxiety, or do I feel like I need professional help now? -I suppose I could benefit from the right professional help, as some things can be very difficult for me to deal with and figure out on my own, I’d been in therapy for many years but had to change therapists a year ago and stopped working with a therapist with whom I worked for many years and whom I really trusted. Since then I had two therapists and didn’t have the best experience with either, I’ve also had some experience before I started to work with that therapist whom I trusted so much and it also wasn’t particularly positive. So I feel a bit conflicted here. Part of me wants to reach out and figure out things and get professional help, but part of me is scared of trying once again and feels very sceptical, and there are other things that complicate it slightly. So I’m trying my best to deal with it on my own, with the help of my family, friends and some medication which I take on an as needed basis most of the time.
        1. Do you practice coping skills? If so, what works best for you? – I do. The coping skill that is most important for me is being around my Russian blue cat Misha, cuddling with him and spending time with him, he really helps me. Listening to music always works for me. Distracting myself with a good book. Good quality sleep if I can get it. Comfort food. Writing is the easiest way for me to express myself, so it helps too. Talking to my Mum or reaching out to friends, I think I’m gradually getting better at it, reaching out for support used to be incredibly difficult for me and still oftentimes is, I’ve always felt pretty uncomfortable reaching out to people or telling them about my problems because everyone already has plenty ofthings going on for themselves so I didn’t want to bother them, and I used to strongly disagree that talking about your problems makes things better and easier as many people say and thought that it can actually make things worse, now I can see it does help sometimes although it’s still a challenge for me to talk to people. Doing something funny that makes me laugh helps too, or listening to sounds that soothe me.

If we were having coffee… or maybe not coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare

#WeekendCoffeeShare at Eclectic Ali’s.

Hi people! 🙂 Welcome to a rather late “Weekend” Coffee (or whatever else you want) Share! I would like to be inclusive of all possible drink preferences, especially since I’ve had to stop drinking coffee myself. So grab your favourite drink, and/or a snack, or a full meal if you want, or I can get something for you, and let’s have a little chat. I have lots of teas, herbal teas and green teas, and Yerba Mate, and other such, since I’ve been doing a lot of drink testing since I had to stop drinking coffee to see what would work for me now, for my low blood pressure I mean, and I’ve been trying lots of green teas. We have coffees too, and even Cappuccino. Or I can pour you some Pepsi, or water. Mum’s made very yummy split pea soup, and spaghetti, the spaghetti is good although all of us didn’t like the pasta this time because it was one of those very healthy ones but not quite as good as it was apparently healthy. 😀 I have some very good German chocolate, and Mum’s gonna bake a cake, but I don’t think it’ll be ready until we finish our coffee share so I’m afraid you’ll miss on it. 😀 In any case, I’m sure we can have plenty of yummy food and drinks. I’m not going to have anything big this time ’cause I’m full after eating the split pea soup so I’m just going to have some water with ice.Make yourself cosy and comfortable and let’s start our coffee/not coffee chat.

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

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we hadn’t had coffee together in ages, I guess my last coffee share was around Christmas plus was very exclusive as it was passworded. So I’m glad we’re having one now.

If we were having coffee, of course I would update you on my coffee alternatives hunting progress. 😀 I guess I’m already getting used to not having coffee every morning very well, OK I’m not overly neurotic about that and I did have two or three cups of coffee in all the time since I stopped drinking it regularly, and it was while I was at other people’s, and I was more anxious after it again, but it was manageable. I tried some green tea earlier already, if it could give me the same positive effect as coffee – get me going in the morning and lift my blood pressure and energise me – but without the side effect – more anxiety and jitteriness – but it didn’t work too well, I just didn’t feel it worked at all for me, in any way, good or bad. Plus I’m not a very big fan of green tea. I also tried Yerba Mate more recently but while I can tolerate green tea and drink it if I have to, I didn’t like Yerba Mate at all. So a couple days ago my Mum got hold of some other green tea, I don’t really get what’s the difference between them, which also doesn’t taste quite as good as coffee, but (I hope I won’t jinx it 😀 ) it seems to be working. Which is really good, because it’s summer, and the heat doesn’t give me much more energy and I’m even more dizzy than normally. So it’s too short to say anything specific, but it seems to be working so far. Let’s be hopeful it’ll continue.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that recently we’d had some pretty hot temps. Now it’s much cooler and nicer, but it was roasting for the whole last week except for the weekend, and neither me nor my brain liked it. It was generally a hard week for me, because I was having a period, and was very depressed, and had a migraine and a lot of anxiety and crazy overthinking, like really crazy, I’m always overthinking but that was really intense and hard to control. I also had a failed attempt at intermittent fasting, that my Mum’s doing all the time since about a month, and which as I wrote in one of my recent posts I thought would be a good idea for me for a while as a bit of a detox plus spiritually. But I guess the timing was completely wrong, because as I was already feeing crappy, IF made me feel even worse, in that because I wasn’t eating for a good part of the day and starting to eat late in the morning I was having even less energy. I may though, and probably will, come back to it at some other time when it’ll be more doable for me.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that there is someone in my surroundings who’s making me feel pretty uneasy. I won’t go into very many details right now, I might do another post on that that will be protected, didn’t want to protect this one just because of mentioning her, but I am only 99% sure I can write about it publicly with details and I don’t want to risk, even if the risk is very very small. She, or them, but it’s mainly her I’m getting sick of, lives close to us, and I may be overinterpreting, and that’s the subtle message I get from my Mum that I am overinterpreting and overreacting being so wary of her, but I feel very much like I’ve got a new clingy type(s) to my lifelong collection of clingies, despite I was so happy I’m finally free from all of them and only closely associating with people I really like, and I don’t even seem to have much choice here so far. That feels distressing and trapping for me and I currently don’t really know what I should do about it and it’s confusing.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that tomorrow I’m going to a meeting. I don’t even know exactly what it will be about, but it’s Zofijka’s friend’s mum who organises it as far as I am aware, it’s going to be at her work, and she invited my Mum, because our Mum and Zofijka’s friend’s mum are kinda friends or acquaintances at least, but the thing is there will be a woman from Canada, and they’ll be speaking English there, and I gues she didn’t know my Mum doesn’t speak English. But my Mum is crazy about the fact that I speak English and when she meets anyone who claims that they can speak English well, she wants us to talk to each other in English, which of course always fails since the mere fact that we both can speak English doesn’t really make for much in common. 😀 If it was Swedish, or Welsh, then I would understand, but English? duh, most of the world speaks English. It’s a bit funny. So of course although Mum didn’t want and couldn’t really go there on her own, she immediately said that to me, because I can speak English. 😀 I didn’t like the idea of mingling with random people I didn’t know anything about just because they can speak English, plus when I go on meetings or such, I’m usually very inactive, I feel rather disoriented when many people talk all at once and I generally feel easily disoriented at social gatherings, and didn’t even know what this one was about. But then I started thinking more rationally and thought that actually, there can’t be very many people there, I doubted there would be many people in my town who’d feel confident with their English enough to talk in it just because, so A smaller meeting wouldn’t be a bad thing, so I told Mum I could try it and she texted her that she’ll be going with me because she doesn’t speak English but I do. And then it turned out that Zofijka’s friend’s mum is really very nice, and I don’t even know her yet, but I think we’ll like each other. And then she wrote to my Mum that the meeting’s only going to be for women (so that narrows down the potential group of people coming even more haha), and that the starter topic is probably going to be education, so both my Mum and me have tons of very diverse experience in that matter. 😀 It actually looks to me like it’s going to be a very very small meeting, and I’m now looking forward to it very much because actually I haven’t talked much in English to anyone else than Misha or myself in about a year, when I had my English tutor for final exams, he didn’t actually teach me anything new which I felt a bit frustrated at the time but boy was he chatty! Because we chatted in English, and I think he was even more happy about it than I was (that he has someone to chat in English to), I guess that actually in the end that helped me quite a bit with my oral English exam, as I felt even more confident with it and had a lot of experience. I’m curious what it’s going to be like, although a bit anxious too, but not in an overwhelming way, so I guess my anti-anxiety medication will deal with that and as I often say, my linguophilia is usually stronger than anxiety.

Talking of linguophilias, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that just before I’ve started to write this post, I did some more Welsh again. It wasn’t as much as usual in my weekly Welsh marathons, but it was very interesting, and the results are fairly positive again, so I’m still hopeful there is some development, even if it often doesn’t seem so for me at all. So my inner Cymrophile is very happy. 😀

If we were having coffee, I would also tell you that next Sunday is my cousin’s Communion. I’m happy for her, but not at all for my own sake. I hate First Communions, they’re always so horribly long and boring and you don’t know what to do there, well, I don’t know for sure. The only upside to that is that at least it’s going to be in my grandparents’ house, not in some restaurant, which makes a tiny little bit of difference to me. This cousin is a daughter of my Godmother, with whom I haven’t been having the best relationship lately and seeing her almost always makes me feel like shit. I might be able to go only to the mass and skip the party if I’ll find someone understanding and able to give me a liftback home but am not too hopeful on that as it’s not very likely. My Mum is helping out with the food there, so if I was to leave with her I’d have to stay to the very end and longer. But I also wouldn’t like to not go there at all as that wouldn’t be cool.

OK, that’s all from me. Now, what would you tell me if we were having coffee? 🙂

 

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

I have a sort of linguistic question for you today.

If you have trouble understanding a person with a very thick accent, do you feel bad about it, and you apologise if you have to ask them to repeat things?

My answer:

First of all, in Polish we definitely don’t have such a variety of accents as you guys have in English. There are accents, dialects and stuff but the language is fairly universal and most peopleactually don’t even know the features of most of them unless they’re just into observing how different people speak. So, if someone speaks in Polish with an accent that I have some trouble understanding, and this person is Polish, I don’t really feel bad, I feel surprised and like “How come they talk like this their whole life?” or something. I listen to English every day, write in English and read English, but I’ve never been to an English-speaking country and I haven’t really had many conversations with English natives, so I don’t have much experience here. But yeah, I think I would feel bad. I’m normally not really a perfectionist, but I definitely am when it comes to languages, or some aspects of language learning, and I’d just feel bad about myself in a way I guess if I couldn’t figure out what someone’s saying to me. I also love accents, I love how rich English is with all the accents and dialects and everything, so I’d be frustrated if that were a significant barrier in communication for me and the person I’m talking with, even though I do know that there are still a fair bit of English accents that I don’t always understand even though I’m normally pretty good at figuring out accents or even mimicking them as for someone in whose language they almost don’t occur, Ithink. I’d also feel a bit bad for that person, I wouldn’t like them to feel that I am discriminating them in any way or something. And my social anxiety and generally anxiety in regard to communication would come up stronger probably. But I also love a language challenge so I would also appreciate a chance to learn something new and have a new experience as a result of such a communication barrier. When I was in Stockholm, I already knew earlier that people are pretty laid back in Sweden about accents and everyone talks with their own accent, it’s like there’s no actual standard version of Swedish unless you perhaps consider the Stockholm variant as such. But I was surprised how many different varieties of the same language I could hear. I also had a long conversation with a gem stones shop owner who was from Scania, I always have a bit of a trouble understanding people with a strong Scanian accent. It was difficult, and because of my anxiety a bit exhausting, but also very rewarding. The whole Stockholm trip was like that for me. And it was so interesting to hear all those different dialects, even though I think in English they are even richer and more diverse. SO how about you? 🙂