For the last several weeks I’ve been lost in a nasty depressive episode that is/has been incredibly difficult to navigate. Although I’m fighting hard to push past this episode I’ve yet to see any real improvement in my mood. Things haven’t gotten any worse but they’re also not getting any better.
However much I want to write blogs, emails and undertake activities as I was last year, my brain is not functioning as well as it was as a result of the illness I suffer from. I begin writing something and within seconds lose my train of thought, sometimes for hours/days at a time (e.g. this post has taken 6 days to write!). Even though I know this isn’t my fault – for this illness isn’t my fault – I still seem to spend an inordinate amount of time apologising for how I feel; and I’m tired of it.
The simple fact is I’m not in a great place. I know I haven’t been blogging much. I know I haven’t been responding to comments and emails. I know I’m doing all I can to fight through this and get myself into a functioning head space again. A fight I will keep undertaking until I succeed or drop dead from sheer exhaustion. As people (psychologists, family, counsellors, random strangers) keep telling me I shouldn’t be apologising for I feel, I’ve decided the time as come to listen to them.
As I wrote once before on this blog: “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” And trust me, this isn’t even me at my worst! :p
In an effort to start writing more regularly and pull myself out of this funk I have decided to undertake a 30 day blog challenge I found online. It’s worked in the past, so hopefully it will work again now.
Day One: Weird things you do when you’re alone
1. Pretend I’m The Doctor/Jack Bauer/Chuck/Walter Bishop/Insert (awesome) character here…
Who hasn’t done this when they’re alone? Granted, Walter Bishop is an odd choice, but we all have film and television characters we wish we could be. Sometimes (not all the time) when I’m watching the aforementioned television shows I will act-along with my best impersonation. My Chuck is bad. My Jack Bauer – given over ten years of practice – is pretty awesome. Everybody now…dammit!
2. Have tea-parties with hallucinations
I’ve written about this in the past. Granted I have no memory of the evening itself, but you have to admit, it’s a pretty fraking weird thing to do!
3. Shower whilst wearing shorts and a t-shirt
This is something else I have written about in the past. In case you missed it, I don’t shower whilst clothed purely out of choice, but as a result of the annoying and frustrating body image issues I’ve developed over the years courtesy of mental health, anxiety and abuse trauma.
4. Draw random pictures on my arms/legs in a red pen
This is something I started doing a few years ago in an effort to control my self-harm. Rather than taking to myself with a knife, I would draw lines on my body where normally I would cut. In time, these lines became patterns and then a little after that, intricate drawings. Although it doesn’t always work, it is still a primary weapon in my arsenal of self-harm distractions.
Some people air-guitar, some air-keyboard. Others spend their free time playing the air-drums or indulging in the delights of the air-cello. Me? I air-conduct film scores. Got a problem with that?
6. Cut sandwiches into random shapes
Some may consider this childish. Others may consider it the product of an insane mind. Me? I consider carving sandwiches into random shapes somewhat creative, albeit oddly so. I’m not just talking dinosaurs or farm animals. I’m talking sandwiches that look like the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a Canadian Maple Leaf, a hairbrush (with grated cheese for the ‘bristles’) or Federation Square.
I call it sandwich art.
7. Write naughty stories
Is this weird? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But this is something I’ve been doing since a teenager. If I’m bored, blocked (creatively) or just a little horny I take pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and knock out a naughty piece of fiction inspired by my kinky fantasies.
8. Write quizzes
I have been known, whilst bored, to write trivia quizzes. These quizzes then sit on my hard-drive/note-book for the rest of eternity never seeing the light of day (I currently have 194 of them!)
Sometimes they are themed around a particular topic, other times general knowledge or current affairs related. I’m not sure why I do this – although my long-held dream of becoming a trivia quiz host would probably have something to do with it.
9. Read aloud to myself
I have been known to read aloud to myself. I don’t know why I do this, for it’s much more ‘normal’ to read a book in one’s head or read aloud to someone else. Although there are occasions when I’m reading to my hallucinations (when they request it), most of the time I’m just reading aloud to myself.
10. Brainstorm possibilities for new LEGO games
Most gamers will be aware of the series of LEGO games that are available across multiple platforms. So far we’ve enjoyed LEGO Lord of the Rings, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Given my fetish for these games, sometimes I day-dream a wish list for future installments.
Surely LEGO Chronicles of Narnia and LEGO Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be available one day, for they would be beyond awesome! :p
But how about LEGO 24, LEGO Dexter, LEGO Goonies, LEGO Aliens/Predator, LEGO Fringe or LEGO The Walking Dead?
Or perhaps rather than drawing from film, Travellers Tales could draw their inspiration from literature and present us with LEGO Bronte (incorporating Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall), LEGO Austen (perhaps to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice?) or – for the more adult/kinkier minded gamer – LEGO Fifty Shades of Grey?
But I will say one thing. If they don’t release a LEGO Doctor Who to coincide with the show’s 50th anniversary this year, they are missing a Fried Gold opportunity!
I haven’t done this for a very long time but I used to spend a lot of alone time whittling. It was soothing, creative, relaxing and somewhat meditative. Granted, sometimes my horses looked more like otters and my otters more like artichokes, but there’s something altogether wonderful about taking a piece of wood and turning it into something else.
12. Cover myself in squeezy-cheese
Okay, so I only did this once (when I was drunk and wanted to know what it felt like) but twelve items in and I’m running out of ideas that won’t make me look completely and utterly insane.
13. This one is password protected as it’s a mite personal :p
Like I said, I’m running out of ‘mainstream’ ideas but this ‘non-mainstream’ one is perfectly valid. It’s also incredibly personal so needs to be password protected :p
Note: for anyone wondering why masturbation isn’t on this list, which is quite often an activity people enjoy when they’re alone…there is nothing weird about masturbation! It is a perfectly natural act that should be celebrated, embraced and enjoyed by all. After all, if we don’t know how to turn ourselves on, how can we expect other people to do it?
Tomorrow: How have I changed in the past two years?