Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nothing in this blog post will be news.

Fuck, you know, I've tried to fucking "sculpt" an opening paragraph three times now. This isn't going to be a technically skilled piece of writing. It isn't going to have a structure that means anything to anyone but me.

Last night was not so much a breaking point as a an unexpected bubble making it to the surface. The tearstorm came out of nowhere. A conversation about devops suddenly careened into empathy and then I found myself sobbing into my hands and blubbering all over J. Which, being someone with depressive issues, isn't actually that out of character, but I hadn't spotted it coming. In fact I'd had a good day, was feeling fine. I thought I was.

Originally I'd been working 11 till 4. My own confidence growing and some crunch time at work led to an extension of my hours and my joining the 9-5 crowd for a week. Only one week. Not counting Wednesday. That's all I lasted. On Wednesday I slept until 3pm. On the weekend I did the same. Right now I'm using a mouse only with my left hand, because the increased hours simply resulted in me doing myself an injury. With a computer mouse. To my right intercostal. Which affects everything I do, including breathing.

It's a pattern established over six years. Change my work routine and set up, and something inside me will break. When I was a House Elf I had tendonitis from scrubbing the fucking showers in the bed & breakfast. At FOI I had to go part-time. Before that at my data-entry role, my body...broke. And I had to just leave and get another job. Actually that's what I did with FOI as well: I left the country, became a House Elf, and failed differently. Six years of failing, and being in pain for trying.

This time I'm in a completely new organisation, and it feels like having a fresh audience. In front of which I am failing. Again.

How can I plan for my future when I can't even control my capabilities in the present? I'm coasting along on the goodwill of others, and that's what my future requires, and it isn't something that can be taken for granted.

I'm just so tired of this. A positive frame of mind doesn't even come into it. I'm happy if I can keep my mind quiet, because it takes so little for all my frustrations and anguish to stir and stampede. It all just feeds my depression until I just look at the massive beast it has become and shrug.

There's no way out but through.

ETA: I think it's especially sharp-edged this time as my current work environment is amazing. A small comfortable office in which everyone actually does their job and gives a shit, and few people actually complain. I want to live up to that. And I all my aches and pains mean I have to make decisions which ensure that I can't. I don't want to be dead weight.

Today I also discovered that typing, not just using the mouse, aggravates my injury. This cuts into my editing work. Nowhere is safe. 

Monday, July 07, 2014


A dear friend of mine recently brought two articles to my attention. The first I read, Women with Fibromyalgia Have A Real Pathology Among Nerve Endings to Blood Vessels in the Skin, (pdf) is a concise description of an actual, recognisable, testable THING relating to fibromyalgia. The first. Ever. It's also the first time I've read something discussing the symptoms of fibromyalgia and had it gel with my own experiences. It explains my awful tenderness, which seems to be the longest lasting of my symptoms. When I think back to where I was living when my pain levels were at their worst - a one-bedroom flat with no insulation, no heating and windows that didn't seal - I can't help but wonder if perhaps there is not only some correlation, but causation.

A moderate climate would go a long way toward explaining my current state of wellbeing. 'Wellbeing', that is, not merely 'being'. Although I've deteriorated somewhat since it has become too cold to swim regularly (I took a dip not two days ago and fuck me I won't be doing that again), I have not done so nearly as much as I'd anticipated. I still feel pretty good. My energy levels are mostly in the green.

Definitely something to keep in mind next time we move.

The second article is What is Wrong With Me? (pdf), and it is written by someone with a chronic condition, for people with chronic conditions. It's a story we are all familiar with. Some peculiar flex in my guts forced me to stop reading when O'Rourke stated the years it took to get a diagnosis, which is a statistical average. She goes on to acknowledge the particular conflict a person with a chronic condition must contain within their being, in that we must advocate for our illnesses while at the same time be resistant to conflagrating these same illnesses. She acknowledges the resistance to a shifting baseline.

It was something I needed to read. It's probably something I'll need to read time and again. I encourage all who have any chronic condition to read this article. 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Captured on the 373 on longline

It's not necessarily summer, but the season is at home on this remote shore. We've made the trek from the distant road side, through the lazy sand dunes with half-buried grasses and rushes bowing before and eternal breeze. There is no path, and our feet sink into the fine dry sand with every set, our balance already compromised by blue eskies and beach chairs and umbrellas. There are no trees for miles so we must bring our own shelter.

It is not a vigorous beach, nor an overly safe one. The waves, a deep jade in the shallows falling into a brittle blue darkness limning the horizon, wash the beach with amiable indifference. Marring the wet sand is a chaotic mess of gull prints, the gulls themselves long gone.

The light is timeless. The concept of night has no place in the noon world. We dig in, alone for hours in all directions, the clinkhiss of open beers sounding before the chairs have been set up. Someone has brought along good speakers, and we dance as we toss picnic blankets and towels down, fumbling for oil-drenched olives in jars with too narrow a mouth and tearing apart fresh crusty loaves to slather with rich chunky dips and chutneys. We are so free here, there aren't even planes in the sky to remind us of the rest of the world.

Our picnic is a feast and we graze heartily. Some of us play beach cricket, badly. Some of us swim out past the break of the waves and paddle quietly, rolling with the fluid surface and seeing no shadows in the water. We wander distant among the dunes, unconcerned about losing each other, finding tiny treasures hidden in the tussocks. Beneath our umbrellas - a bouquet of enormous flowers discarded on the shore for us to hide in - we doze, cradled and nuzzled by the warm, loving air, our dreams lined with salt.

Later, when the long afternoon has tilted gently and drunkenly into an equally prolonged evening, with a sunset shy about the colours it paints with, we fall silent, eyes to that featureless horizon, and wait.

It begins with a flash of light which does not diminish, but grows with a sense of intent, small yet determined, just on the curve of the Earth. It's bright, brighter than any of us, and ponderously slow, it begins to lift from the ground. Watching it struggle, we are aware of gravity as we have never been before, and strain with the rocket to break free, to rise, rise, rise leaving a wake of smoke and lighting up the ocean for miles. Now the sound has finally reached us, a grumble and moan that feel completely unrelated to the miracle before us. This rising star paints the cloud underbelly with a light golden glow before punching through, filling the belly itself with an internal fire, quickly extinguished as the rocket leaves our sky and our world and never once looks back.

It is the first of many. It will be a long night.