Sunday: relax, read fanfic
Monday: bake or batch cook (to be replaced by jobhunting after I have done the schedule a week and am okay with the idea of the schedule) (cooking tends to happen on its own, I do get sufficient satisfaction from it to compel myself to do it without a scheduled day)
Friday: alternate between mending day and cleaning the bathroom top to bottom
Saturday: Knitting for me (there was a knitting for other people item on Friday, but knitting for other people tends to happen without the schedule because those have holiday deadlines mostly, and this list is for items that I want to do but I'm not getting done)
So I looked at the list today to see what I was going to be doing and trying to figure out writing freaked me out and I wanted to switch the days around to do quilting today or something. I think it's okay to alter the schedule for like, workflow reasons? Like I am considering making Saturday the relaxing day and putting a doing something item on Sunday because Saturday my roommates are home from work and I am likely to hang out with them and not do Things, versus on Sunday they are at work and some of these items I feel more comfortable doing without other people around. However I don't think it's okay to change the schedule because on a particular day I don't want to do to thing that's on schedule because if I give into that I will just constantly move the things that I don't want to do into the future and they won't get done and it will thus defeat the purpose of the entire concept.
So even though it's not what I originally meant by writing (I was thinking narrative fiction, probably fanfiction, maybe eventually in the future pro writing, scripts for things I want to produce, when that concept terrifies me less) I decided that writing this entry that's all meta about writing would be my stab at writing for the day. Yay success.
Part of the reason writing narrative fiction caused me to freak out was that I can't pick which story to write. And then part of it is I have notes for different stories, disorganized, stashed in years' worth chat logs, and occasionally I start the project of sorting through chat logs for all the stories or a specific story but it's such a gargantuan project and it doesn't feel like actually writing, prose is not produced. I think it's okay to write a story out of order (although I've never really done so) so I'm going to try to give myself permission to, if I find a scene notated in a chat log that grabs me, translate it into the narrative prose on the spot without finishing the gargantuan project of sorting all the chat logs because I can't finish that project first and then start writing, even though I feel like that's the right order to do things, because doing that just puts off writing indefinitely.
The other thing I want to do today is pick a limited set of all the stories I'm interested in writing, with and eye to limiting how many years of chat logs I need to sort through to get my data. My most recent plotbunny-generating fandoms are Teen Wolf and Cherryh's Foreigner series, and my participation in Teen Wolf extends back a sufficient number of years that I'm not willing to put all of my plotbunnies for that show on this limited list, there's too many, there's too much volume of chat log to go through.
So the stories I'm willing to look at and work on are:
–Wolf wife, a sort of fairytale deconstruction I was working on at the end of last year/beginning of this year which I actually wrote a few thousand words of narrative prose for and planned out to the actual ending. That's only about two months of logs to look through and the existing readable prose might encourage me to write more.
–Bren-daja, an AU of the Foreigner series in which the protagonist is female instead of male, featuring menstruation in science fiction, cross cultural discussions of queerness with aliens, and chocolate smuggling. I don't believe I wrote any narrative prose on this but it's a plotbunny I had this year so all the chat logs should be like January through May, and I think I outlined it all the way to the conclusion as well.
–The Yes Story, a magical allegory on consent and also one manifestation of an archetype of a story I have had plotbunnies for across multiple fandoms, and also a wallow in whumping and hurt/comfort for when I have depressive moments and need something external to be sad about (this happened last month when I was having my downswing, I started thinking about this story and poked chat logs, and had the funny realization that it was much less distressing to focus on the terribleness of Stiles under a curse than to feel like everything in my life was terrible. Especially when I had crying for no reason days. Crying over a story feels much less broken than crying for no reason because depression. So I don't want to focus on this story all the time but I sort of want it to be there when I need it, and to be on this list of stuff I can poke.) These logs go back to April 2013 so that's a longer chunk of data and will be intermixed with other stories like Magic Rituals that I might also get distracted by, but at least this one is also outlined beginning to end. (It actually came into the world fairly fully formed, the first scene I thought very much about was the end when Stiles and Lydia are burning the body and breaking the curse. I was driving from LA to Phoenix and that scene playing in my head was sort of an odd companion, yet still better than when I let my brain wander down dark depressive holes, which it can do when I'm on a long drive alone at night--I need to keep a better collection of audiobooks and radio plays and maybe podcasts for that drive, they're the best distraction from the inside of my own brain.)
So i have this idea for food managing. I know that kind of stuff can be triggering for people so I'm dropping it behind a cut, but if it's relevant to you: i'm not dieting, this is more about not being wasteful of food I have/saving money by not ordering delivery as much/my intermittent depression-related lack of cope for food prep. But in general this is a pro-food, pro-eating good things project. ( Read more... )
In other news, I am perceiving my depression as both palpable and separate from my sense of self.
ETA: is ennui? I think this might be ennui.
(It feels so weird to be in a depressive funk and not be a million miles behind on everything. Also to be in a depressive funk and also be mellow and at peace with myself instead of hating either myself or everyone else in the universe.)
And I drank. I drank enough to get giggly, and it was pleasant, and I am somewhat concerned because... because I took DARE twice when I was a kid so I'm still shaking off some brainwashing and because my grandmother says my grandfather was an alcoholic and because it seems unlikely that a depressant would be a good treatment for depression and because drinking doesn't to much for my productivity, just my mood, and on a temporary basis.
But this is how I know how to take care of myself, worked out haphazard-experimentally over years: eat something to make my brain function; eat something that, being delicious, brings me joy; let myself be alone when I need to hide but ignore the impulses to sabotage all human relationships; spend time with my friends, even if we are just being antisocial together; dye the streak in my hair new colors, for joy and redefinition and self-esteem; occasionally get dressed up in platform boots and a push-up bra and relish being tall and busty; and drink, to the point of silliness, with friends I trust.
Anyway, as you do in such circumstances, I went hunting for comfort fic. I selected the "Cuddling and Snuggling" tag on AO3, figuring this would have possibilities. I also on some level thought it would be safe. And I was wrong.
ETA: given my journal title, I should have seen this coming.
Three song lyrics that meant the world to me:
I was made to believe there's something wrong with me, from Cold War by Janelle Monae
This was the line that made me want to write this entry. I wish I'd heard this years ago. I wish I'd heard it years before she even wrote it. I wish I'd heard it in high school. I don't know if I would have understood it, if I would have had the objectivity to get it, but this was something I struggled with, as a queer girl growing up: the sense that there was something wrong with the way I was, that didn't actually come from something being wrong with me but from something being wrong with society, that society was telling me you don't fit, you're a broken cog but it wasn't true, it was society being a broken machine. It's hard to see it the first time but it's so liberating when you do. If I could send this song back in time a dozen years to tiny me, I would.
I'm Not Okay (I Promise) by My Chemical Romance
Okay, don't laugh at me, you folks.
I first heard this song--saw the music video, actually--during Lost Year II, The Flunk Out of Every Institution in the State Remix. We'll call it the Geographically Challenged Year. It was bad, but not quite as bad as my Lost Year, and part of the reason was this song.
I have chronic clinical depression. The Lost Year was the year I just went under to it, the Geographically Challenged Year was the year that I could admit--to myself, if no one else--that something was wrong. I burned some bridges figuring that out, but. It was better. A little.
You see, clinical depression is, 95% of the time, invisible to other people. You're tired or you're cranky or in a bad mood or whatever, you should just buck up and get over it. (You can't get over it, it goes on and on.) And it's so ingrained in our culture that the answer to "How are you?" is "I'm fine" at the best or "I'm okay" at the worst. If you say "I'm awesome!" people look at you kind of pityingly, like "I'm so sorry your company is asshats, at least they don't also make you wear flare?" If you say "I'm terrible," you really had better be bleeding to death, and even then, the temptation is to brush it off as "Just a flesh wound." And if anyone has any reason to suspect you're not really okay, that you're just giving the socially acceptable response, the thing to do is in fact to promise, to assure them that you're okay. Even more for women, I think, there's a negative stereotype of a the woman who complains, what a nag, what a hag she is, and no one wants to be that, right?
So for ages and ages I told everyone including myself that I was okay, when I wasn't, because I didn't know how to say anything else. It seems like such a small thing that this song deconstructs but I don't think any more sweeping statement would have had the same impact--if they had said "I'm depressed, my life sucks," well, that would have been the sort of sentiment you can get away with in emo music, right? But "I'm not okay, I promise," takes the thing you're supposed to say, with all its trappings, and says, "That is a social fiction. That is a lie."
Seven years later I can admit to myself when I'm not okay, and sometimes even to other people.
Sometimes even music cannot substitute for tears, from The Cool, Cool River by Paul Simon
This is off The Rhythm of the Saints, which may be one of my favorite albums of all time. What this line encapsulates for me is how the creative process comes out of deep emotions--for him, it's music; for me, it's fiction or film. You don't know how many times I've been jarred to realize that I'm putting myself down on paper at the safe distance of a character in a story. Sometimes it's enough, sometimes you can work through your issues at that distance and write something that's interesting to other people and we call that being inspired. And sometimes it's not enough, sometimes putting things at the safe distance of fuel for the creation engine is putting them too far away, sometimes the only way you can actually process is to own it in yourself. Sometimes even music cannot substitute for tears.
My phone is full of numbers of people from the internet who I haven't called in ages and therefore feel weird about calling ever again because hi, my brain is made of frosted fruitcake. Wanna raise a hand if you are pro phone conversations with depressed Juls?
I give up on getting any fucking thing done today. I'm gonna go flop in the guest room on the fiendishly clever ikea sofa bed and watch another season of The Nanny.
I have not finished clipping for festivids.
I have not started writing for yuletide.
I have a lot of scenes of the (oh god) four semi-nano stories in my head, but very little is filtering down to the keyboard.
There is a kitten. Her name is Mia.
So: I have lethargy of spirit and of body, I have insomnia, I have depression. Right now it's just a weight I carry, not a wall I hit. I go to work and eat and anything I do beyond that in any given day counts as a bonus. I maintain.
I think I am doing better. I got up early, went to class, though I didn't make anything up, and I wrote--I can't get any of the Glee crap out of my head, which is too bad as I am starting to annoy my nearest and dearest retelling them bits, but I wrote down some of Amita in space (on a hunch; the empty page was staring at me and wouldn't take ink for the stories of in-many-ways-normative white dudes, so I started writing Amita and got like, four pages down and only stopped for time). It's been a while since I wrote, this is good. Also I made a cheesecake and used up four of our multitude of apples (two more for the topping when I get around to it).
And that was my day. I am back to putting "going to class" in my list of accomplishments, which sucks, but I hadn't been doing it and I did it, which is good.
And: quiz due by 2:30 on Friday. Very doable.
ETA: I am also fucking brilliant. Add vidding to the list of things I would do tomorrow if I were blowing off reality and staying home.