March 31, 2023

I feel a little better today. It's a bit gloomy outside and I feel a little of the same, but mostly just tired. I did go out with my husband for a few hours yesterday to get some food and just walk around a bit. My condition wasn't the best, so I couldn't do much, but I still had a good enough time. The cherry blossoms were pretty.

This week I've been trying to do art again. I used to draw when I was younger, but stopped almost entirely sometime in high school. I think I felt too insecure about my skill. So far I've drawn a little sketch of my DAO Warden and my cat :3 Also played around with watercolors a bit. They're fun and pretty, but I don't have the technical skill to do much with them. I used to crochet a lot, but it gives me trouble with my wrist if I crochet too much. I think creating something feels good though.

I'm also still playing Dragon Age: Inquisition! I'm working on the DLC now. I finished The Descent and am now working on Jaws of Hakkon. I am so upset that you can't talk to your companions like normal after finishing the main story. I want to go see my bf Cullen and kiss him and talk to him, but they won't let me. I've also picked up Rimworld again and gotten a bit obsessed. This is the way it goes. I don't touch the game for ages, then do nothing but play it for a week or two, repeat.

I always seem to get depressed this time of year, and I think I'm feeling that way a little again. It's crazy, but I struggle to call my experience in recent years "depression" because it's not as bad as the genuinely debilitating depression I've had in the past. I'm not in bed literally all day, I'm showering daily, doing all my personal care tasks, but things do slip. I feel tired and unmotivated, I'm not getting things done like I normally do, not taking time to cook food and just eating snacks or meal replacement shakes.

As I'm approaching 30 I've found myself really analyzing and trying to connect with my younger self. She would find me so boring now. She wondered if things would ever get better, and I don't know what to say. I'd say yes, but also no. Better things than she's ever imagined have happened, and worse things than she's ever imagined have happened. Overall I'd say I'm generally content with my life, just prone to spells of overthinking and feeling miserable.

March 28, 2023

At work yesterday I was working next to someone who had a baby last year. Halfway through the day I noticed on the wall a cute photo of this person's husband and baby. It was unexpectedly painful. I don't feel angry or bitter towards pregnant women or people with babies like I used to, now it's just an emptiness, longing.

Since we decided to stop treatment and stop actively trying to have kids, I've been making peace with it. These days, 9 times out of 10 I'm able to find the joy in a childless life. When the grief hits, it now feels somehow more unexpected, as if I thought I had moved on. Whatever moving on really means.

I tried so hard not to cry after seeing that photo, but thankfully I was alone in the office and no one saw my teary eyes. I know grief of any kind is never really gone, but grieving something that never existed feels harder to work with in some ways. How can I say goodbye to a person and a life I never really knew? I've seen a book commonly recommended in childless not by choice communities about finding a new path to a happy life when the life you planned doesn't pan out. I'm usually pretty averse to self-help books because they're generally useless, but maybe I'll try it.

I've found myself isolating again. Not responding to people, wanting to just hide. I have to admit that my social anxiety has become crippling. I constantly feel exposed, everyone knows something I don't know about how to live and how to interact with people. I know this sounds crazy, and I know there's no way it's true that everyone I encounter thinks I'm some kind of social reject, but I can't get over it.

I know people say that no one thinks about you as much as you think they do, but I don't know if I find that more or less reassuring. I want people to see me in a positive light, yet I want to hide. I want people to reach out to me, yet I find myself incapable of reciprocating. Everything I say feels wrong and I feel eyes burning on me, judging my social failures. I don't know how to break out at this point and if I'm honest I don't know if I want to. Of course I know simply forcing myself to socialize more will help, but I can't bear it.

It almost doesn't even feel worth it to try to work past it, because even at my very best I have a tiny pool of social energy. Most people find that unacceptable in a friend, so it makes me feel like I shouldn't bother. I have one friend other than my husband, and it's only because she understands when I just fall off the face of the earth for a while. Truthfully, I don't know if these feelings even come from a genuine desire to have more friends or if it's just because I feel inferior seeing other people socialize properly.

March 24, 2023

My disorganized list of ideas of things I want to work on for the site keeps growing. I love thinking of concepts, but struggle to implement them. I think lately, though, I have been allowing myself to relax a bit. Not every page needs to be beautifully designed, it's just not realistic for me. I struggle to find moments in which I meet the perfect alignment of a) having enough time to work, b) having a concept I want to work on, and c) having design inspiration for the page. Even though I keep my ever-growing list of ideas, I just can't work on it unless I'm in the "right" mood. And I can't make myself be in the right mood.

I've been thinking lately about how extreme and deeply entrenched in their political and social views a lot of people are these days. We groan at the concept of centrism, asking questions is an attack, the other side is eternally damned with no chance at redemption, and we are the truly enlightened. There is absolutely no room left for any shades of grey. We all want to think, "but MY side is different, we really are right!" but how do you know if you can't even engage with people who have different views? We're all so horrified by people who see things differently that we shut them out and refuse to hear what they have to say. What are we afraid of? Even if you are certain in your belief, doesn't opening a dialogue give you a chance to convince someone else of your truth?

We're all so sure that we're right, and yet so afraid of even speaking to someone who disagrees. We even create these completely wrong caricatures of "the enemy" to make ourselves feel better about essentially dehumanizing them. TERF, communist, fascist, racist, etc. are all essentially meaningless these days because people use them to describe people with wildly different views. We convince ourselves that people who disagree are wholly evil, violent, and want to kill "people like us". It's easy to live in that fear because there are so many people who want to whip you up into a frenzy. What does being afraid get you? It makes you an easy consumer to market to, at the very least.

If you always agree with your in-group and never allow any dissent, are you even being true to yourself and your own values? Do you even know what your own beliefs truly are? I've always personally been fairly far-left and grew up with a pretty conservative father, though he identifies more with the libertarian label these days. We had many heated arguments about political and social issues when I was in my teen years, but now we have really interesting and thought-provoking discussions. Even if neither of us walk away with our views changed, we do come away with a new perspective, and isn't that just as valuable?

No matter how stark our differences, I will never believe any human is irredeemable. I will never believe that all men are rapists incapable of kindness, I will never believe that all conservatives want to kill immigrants, I will never believe that all "TERFs" want to kill trans people, I will never believe that all leftists are communists hellbent on the destruction of the world, and so on and so on... But if you look on social media, people actually, unironically believe many of these things. This kind of othering is human nature, but aren't we all better off if we fight it? We have the brain power to realize: "there are people that think I'm a monster for my views, but I know I'm not a monster," so why don't we offer the same benefit of the doubt to others?

Scary things happen in the world every day. People do monstrous things every day. But if I don't believe people have the capacity for goodness, what does any of this mean? What is the point in being married to ideals if those ideals don't bring us any closer to living a happy and fulfilling life? I am not here, living on this Earth to be an icon or a martyr. I want to live a simple life doing things I enjoy. I want to feel and share kindness and love. Isn't that enough? Doesn't that mean something?

March 10, 2023

I'm home from work and here I am to write about Alistair again. I want you to visualize me right now as some kind of amalgamation of Mr. Burns eeeexcellent finger thing and the hhhehehe lizard. Also that twirling my hair, kicking my feet, giggling meme. I want you to see me that way because that's literally what I am right now.

I felt so fucking tired when I got home but I've been sitting here scrolling through Alistair fanart and I feel rejuvenated. Literally giddy right now. I mean, I also ate dinner and am drinking a mountain dew (it's the spark flavor and it's amazing), but like, I think it's mostly from looking at Alistair.

In Inquisition, I just got to the part where we meet Alistair (he's still a Warden in my world state) and ooooooh boy. He's so hot and I love him ♥ I got to ask him all about him and my warden and he loves her so much!!!!! I'm so, so happy that they're happy. When I played Inquisition the first time, I had the default world state so it was Stroud, who's literally Just Some Guy as far as I was concerned.

And also Cullen???? HELLO???? God I'm looking forward to doing his romance again. I just got to Skyhold so it's almost time. I swear I'm usually not like this, but something about these two just... I don't know. It's been so long, but I remember there being quite a bit of content for him too :3

I know my burst of energy here isn't going to hold me over all night. I usually crash big time after a work day... and I've been slacking on my hydration and electrolytes so I'm really setting myself up to fail. I had my regular follow up with my POTS specialist recently, and I feel like whenever I see her she makes me realize that my quality of life is worse than I seem to notice, which seems so odd for a Negative Nelly like me. Chronic illness is weird on the brain. A couple of years ago, I was pretty much completely bedridden and thought I must be dying, so anything less bad seems pretty good to me.

I don't usually like talking about my health much for a few different reasons. 1. people feel weird about it because they don't know what to say, 2. I worry people will think I'm looking for pity, and 3. a lot of people online weirdly seem to want to claim to have POTS even though they don't and so I just try to avoid talking about it altogether so I don't get lumped into that group. But if I can't talk about it on my own site, why am I even here? I'm trying really hard to fight my anxiety-related urges to self-censor for stupid reasons, but it's difficult for me.

March 7, 2023

I'm feeling so tired and unmotivated today. Also still readjusting to life with colored hair; before I dyed it a few weeks ago, it had been years since I'd done any fun (read: high-maintenance) colors. I'm trying to cut back down from two washes a week to one, but I have really thin, fine, loose-wavy hair that is difficult to work with. Wet sets work well for my hair, so I thought I'd try that after washing, but forgot that my hair is way shorter than it used to be, and I came out looking like an actual clown no matter how much I brushed it out. It's just too short. I wish I could just have a massive collection of wigs instead of worrying about styling hair, because I'm not good at it and I don't enjoy it anyway.

I finished DA2 the other day. Really enjoyed it, not quite as much as Origins, but people shit on it way more than is deserved. I'll write more about it on my game diary page when I feel like it. I was torn on who to romance, though. I know a ton of people with similar tastes who are crazy about Fenris, and an equal number who are crazy about Anders. So I was flirting with them both in Act 1 and the start of Act 2, then committed to Fenris. Then when he left after sex due to his past trauma, my Hawke tried to convince him to stay, but he refused so she was like, alright well, that sounds like a personal problem and it doesn't seem like you're up for a relationship right now, I'm not going to wait around. So she moved onto Anders after that.

I liked the romance scenes for Anders, but I just wish there was more. Some of his dialogue feels like it was written just to press my buttons (in a good way), because I'm sorry but I can't resist a crazy passionate yet deeply troubled man. In the end, my Hawke stood by Anders because she kind of agreed that what he did was necessary. Other means of change have been tried time and time again and nothing is getting better, so somebody has to make some big moves. I think I'm happy with that outcome for them.

I started DA:I yesterday and met Cullen and I'm sick with anticipation to make him love me again. I think I've mentioned before, but I played DA:I when it came out (like 9 years ago!) and I loved Cullen. Now that I've played the other games and have a deeper understanding, I think I'll love him even more. It's weird because irl I've never really dated blonds, but I often seem to end up with them in video games.

I just feel like sleeping for the rest of the day, but I have things to do. How do people simply motivate themselves? I've never understood that. I'm at the mercy of some part of my brain that decides when the time is "right" for a particular activity. This applies to fun things too! I'll often just lay around staring at a wall or scrolling online because I don't know what the exact specific activity my brain wants me to do is. I'll waste hours like that, I hate it. I wish I could take a nap but I'm incapable of it unless I'm really sick or something ;~;