Life Goes By

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Halloween was my favourite holiday for a long time. Probably for the longest period of the time I’ve had favourite holidays.

Now I don’t think I do anymore; have a favourite. They all just kind of go by without me noticing. I mean, the ones that make a long weekend, I notice. But even then, it’s mostly in terms of what’s still open, store-wise, and occasionally seeing if I can do a thing or two for myself on one of my days off.

I experimented with giving myself additional long weekends from work this past summer, and pretty much failed completely at making them work in my favour. So even those aren’t as great as they used to be in that sense. Holidays that everyone gets are usually worse, somehow.

And even though it’s Halloween and not a day off kind of holiday, the fun seems to be gone from it, for me. I’m not even excited about cheap candy day tomorrow, because I can’t afford any even then.

However, did a pretty great interview with an actor from Star Trek that we’d never met before. He was very awesome, and friendly, and not at all difficult on the eyes! AND we scored new Star Trek mugs! What?! So much fun, and a nice break in an otherwise Monday-y morning!

I got to put my feet up for a bit yesterday. Not at all as much as I needed to, but still…it helped. Especially with Flynn, who is still sick today but seemed to be in a good mood yesterday, just because I was around more. I haven’t been home much lately, and it’s taken a toll on all of us, I think. Even Brody was bringing me his ball to play with last night, something he hasn’t done in months! It’s good to feel like my company is wanted and appreciated, and I try to make sure they know that I want and appreciate theirs, as well.

I even got a couple of important tasks done, though the laundry is piling up again, and I am not sure when I’ll have the chance to do that. But still, the things I did accomplish are good, and hopefully positive steps moving forward.

We’ll see. I’m going nowhere fast, but after Friday and Saturday were big enough that I haven’t had time to fully process them yet even now, I feel like I did still manage to get a bit of a break yesterday, and that’s the main thing, I guess. Sometimes even a little bit of something positive is better than nothing at all. Not enough to balance out the overwhelming-ness of everything else – not even close – but I’m halfway through today and still going, so that’s something.

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Antidepression Quandry

For the past several months, I’ve been actively trying to wean myself off of my antidepressants. It’s been going quite well, which is why I’ve been keeping it up. Slow and steady, as I am in no rush. I just feel like it’s time to get off them, and since I know from previous experience how difficult that can be, I figured I would take my time, and just aim for an eventuality. I don’t really want to be taking them for the rest of my life, if I can help it.

I’d forgotten how physically sick I would feel when I changed the consistency of taking them, so I went back to super steady, and made incremental changes as I went along. I keep forgetting when I last took one, so sometimes I still don’t feel great, even though my weaning period has been going on for a long time.

As far as depression goes, however, I’m still feeling pretty balanced. That, for me, has been the main thing to keep an eye on. Even when PMS-ing, though, I’m thus far able to differentiate between when I’m legit upset by something versus weeping unnecessarily hard over a commercial on television.

I mean, I have a new TV now, so everything looks splendid, but still…I can tell when I’m being hormonally over-sensitive, most of the time. So that’s good.

I’m wondering now, though, if I should start taking them regularly again, even just at the lowest dose. I find my ability to focus on one thing at a time is suffering a lot lately, and it occurred to me this morning that it might actually be due to taking myself off antidepressants. It was easier for me to direct my focus when I had something to take the edge off. Is it something I can learn to do for myself, if I keep working my way off of them? I actually don’t know. I’m not entirely sure I ever could. It’s fine on the surface – things still get done, and some of them even get done well. I write everything down now, anyway, because I have trouble remembering things since I started on these MS meds. So keeping track in alternate ways helps me, and is a habit I’ve developed anyway. But it’s frustrating on the inside. I feel almost overwhelmed sometimes, and more often now than I used to. Again, maybe I can learn to focus better, anyway.

But maybe not.

The other point in favour of going back on them more regularly is how, like…not exactly over-sensitive, but I’m having a lot more anxiety now, and as such I am getting much less sleep. I’m constantly thinking about things, and going over things in my mind. That on top of the usual MS fatigue I’ve been experiencing the past few years is making it harder for me to NOT break down and cry about even the smallest things.

Again, maybe in time I’ll learn how to quiet my mind naturally and get better rest. But maybe I won’t. Maybe I never really could. I’m not actually sure.

For now, I’m not really going to make any decisions. I just started thinking about it this morning, and since I’m definitely PMS-ing (bring me salt!) right now, I may as well wait until I at least have whichever faculties I usually have about me again, and go from there!

Monday TIFF-day

As expected, I am suffering somewhat today.

However, the show must go on. As must life! So with another busy day and late night ahead of me, and the beginnings of a cold that have been hanging around for over a week now, I’m having some spicy kimchi noodles from the convenience store on the corner. Hoping that’ll at least keep me warm until lunch time!

Also because tasty.

Even though I can’t afford to go to TIFF, and especially because it still feels strange to not be on vacation and heading to screenings, I think I should plan to book at least the front end off next year. The Mind Reels is not accredited press on an official level, but we’re still getting more than enough festival action coming our way, and I am broken and exhausted right now.

Luckily I still have paid sick days available. Self care time is upon me, I think.

Remember to sponsor and share our Patreon page (http://www.patreon.com/TheMindReels), as just $2 per month gets you on the Patron board, and gets us closer to our initial $100 goal than ever before!

I filmed as much as I could for Canada In A Day, so once I get feeling better and have a bit more energy, I’ll be able to start going through the footage and cutting it together. There’s unfortunately not very much of it – the day didn’t really go as planned – but there’s some. Hopefully I can at least create a mini-narrative of my day, such as it was, and then share it online once it’s been submitted. I think the cut-off is a month from today, so while I have time in theory, I don’t think I have much time i practice. My next few weeks are pretty busy, too. SOMETHING will get submitted, though! Some clip may even make it in! I filmed Brody a bit, and he’s irresistible!

Tonight is going to be a late night. Not sure how I’ll get through it, exactly, but at the same time, if it’s as much fun as last year, I think my billionth wind will kick in nicely! Just have to get there, is all! I haven’t really been to many TIFF parties – or any others, that I can recall – but I think the Canada one would be my favourite, anyway. It’s just got an unpretentious vibe to it. Plus, I know a lot of the people who will potentially be there, so once the initial red carpet formalities are out of the way, everyone just gets to hang together, which is nice. I even just like people-watching in an environment like that; when everyone is relaxed and having fun together. It’s just nice.

Plus, if there are chips and beer, I’m all good!

Anyway, it’ll be amazing, I’m sure. I wish I felt better so I could enjoy it more, but really, just being there will be worth it. Knowing me, I’ll forget how crappy I feel shortly after my arrival, anyway!

Life & Con Crud

Ah, there it is. The dull scratchy pain at the back of my throat; the vague tightening in my chest; the sense that my body is a little more broken than usual.

Con Crud is settling in.

Next weekend is starting to look like it’s going to be just as busy, too. I’m basically never going to sleep again!

Patreon page is up and running at http://www.patreon.com/TheMindReels

I’m trying to get as many people as possible to sponsor us for $2 per month, as $24 per year doesn’t seem like that much, yet would make a ridiculous difference for us if enough people signed up! We’ll see.

I’m also sitting on yet another amazing/geeky/artistic idea that I need to put out into the world before someone else does. The trouble, of course, is that I have none of the skills required to bring it about. I either need to learn to draw, or befriend an artist type who can help bring my seedling ideas to a more concrete fruition. Because damn – I should be pretty rich by now.

Anyway.

The fog brain is still going strong today. Definitely struggling. Hopefully I can get to bed – and sleep – at a ridiculously early hour tonight and feel somewhat refreshed by morning. I’ve got stuff to do!

Stupid Stress

So stressed today, guys!

Too much going on, so I’m feeling kind of frazzled, or something.

More input than output, so to speak.

My little guy, Jack Bear, was throwing up this morning – I think for the first time in his young life – which was comical at first, but became less so when I realized he couldn’t stop. He kept bringing up bile until there was nothing left inside him, then he went to lie down under the bed for a few minutes. When he came back out, he meowed a greeting to me, and went over to rub against Brody. The puppy makes him feel better. He purred when I pet him, and slow-blinked with me, and didn’t seem to have a fever or anything when I checked his ears, so hopefully whatever it was is now finished. I’m hopeful that he’ll be back to his usual self when I get home tonight, though also a tad afraid of what sort of vomit-fuelled destruction I might return home to! Poor baby boy.

Leaving work early today to go to my volunteer orientation. All manner of nervous about that, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ll decide after if it’s really something I want to commit to. No idea what time I’ll get home, and I have a billion dishes to wash, as well as the need to make something I can bring for lunch tomorrow. Though also possibly a movie date with the bestie…with popcorn for dinner being a powerful added incentive for that, to boot!

It’s ridiculous the amount of guilt I feel about leaving work early and doing something for myself. Yet my computer issues from yesterday continue, making it harder to do my job effectively, and the frustration building inside me is absurd. I was considering just not going to the orientation. And just not volunteering. I’m already nervous about it, and now I feel guilty about leaving early when so many things are going wrong. It’s silly. All so silly. I’m trying to maintain the mindset that tomorrow is another day, and to just go to the orientation and lose the guilt over it. Easier said than done, but I’m getting there.

Regardless, it’s just one more day of work before the long weekend is upon us, so at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Somehow the long weekend has filled up with things to do, too, though. That ought to make next week extra long, work-wise!

Tomorrow, the Mind Reels will be recording our first retro radio play! I’ve been stressed about that, too, because it was starting to look like we’d have to change the date again, but we’ve managed to get enough people together to pull it off, and now I am just plain stoked for it! You can watch the whole thing unfold on live video here: http://livestream.com/accounts/10837752/events/5652277

The plan is to stream it online from start to finish – divvying up the roles, doing a read-through or two of the script and figuring out how to do the various sound effects that will be required, then making the official recording, which will be posted up on the Smithee.TV iTunes page soon after. We’re hoping to do one play a month, with a variety of different cast members each time. I’m already thrilled with the three people we have joining us for this first one, and I can’t even imagine how much hilarious fun it’s going to be! I’ve already been casting each of the main roles in my head, and am eager to see what everyone else thinks when we get there tomorrow!

I’m going to end there so I can focus on getting a few more things done before I leave work for the day. I want to make things as easy as possible for myself tomorrow, because pretty much everyone I rely on for help will be off!

More soon!

Expect Less

Still grumpy today, so feel free to not read on.

Definitely nothing interesting or important to report. Just general misplaced anger, as usual.

Anxiety is making sure I don’t sleep much, too, of course, so I imagine that adds to my overall grumpy nature. Annoying.

I spent a good deal of the weekend thinking about cancelling…pretty much everything. Or some things. I still haven’t really decided. It’s frustrating to think about and frustrating not to at the same time. Definitely have some decisions to make, but none of them look to have positive outcomes, no matter what I decide. So that’s frustrating, as well.

The fairies are telling me to travel so I can learn and grow and meet someone significant or perhaps even move. I’m to ask them for financial help and planning assistance. I don’t know how to do that, but it’d be cool if I did. I also have zero idea where I would go. I mean, there are tons of places I want to check out, of course, but learning and growing and meeting and moving is a lot of pressure to put on a simple little trip. I don’t know that anything at the top of my list would have the potential to be particularly life altering, even if I was granted a way to make it happen. Of course, I’ve taken other trips that turned out to be much more than what I’d expected, so I guess there’s potential in pretty much anything.

In my experience, though, it usually happens when you least expect it, so trying to plan an epic trip without expecting it to be epic is the key.

My horoscope for the day is telling me to think about ways I can trim the mental and physical excess baggage from my life, so that I can better embrace the “less is more” philosophy. Not sure what I think about that. Maybe thinking is part of the excess baggage.

So many roadblocks lately. Every step I try to take is met with resistance; even what should have been small, simple ones. I don’t understand. I’m even trying to be more brief in my communications, yet get shut down just as quickly, if not more so. I don’t know. I really, really don’t.

The term “spotting” seems far more pleasant than anything that’s actually happening.

My neurologist this morning noticed my hair is longer than it was when we last saw one another. Cute! Now, of course, I won’t see him until December (barring any unforeseen issues in the meantime), which means it’s almost winter already.

I’ve also been told there’s a note on my health card file to contact the ministry. I suspect I’ll be separated from my red and white card very soon now.

I suddenly feel a bit feverish, or something. I am well overdue for my next cold, though, so can’t say as I’d be surprised to be sick again by the end of the day! Haha

I feel like I don’t get to hang out with my friends much anymore. But I also feel like I’m not always sure who they are – or what friendship is, I guess is more the issue. I know it’s always been fluid and, if not temporary, then at least not always constant. It always changes, like everything. I guess I just wanted something more…I don’t know what the word is. Something more something. I just didn’t realize it. Or maybe it’s just an effect of the grumpiness skewing things in that realm, too. Making me feel like I still don’t know how to friendship. Haha

It was once suggested, in high school, that I was having a nervous breakdown. I don’t buy it, though. I think it would be more of a thing.

A guy on the subway this morning had two plastic bags full of lettuce, and on one a tiny caterpillar was trying to work its way somewhere, but was having trouble navigating the outside of the bag. I watched it for the whole ride, thinking about how it was going to die soon, all alone and far from home. Also saw what looked like a raccoon hand on the sidewalk. Tough to be sure, given that it was so flat and all, but it was definitely someone’s hand. Or foot.

The things we leave behind.

I feel like everything is coming together even as it all falls apart, while remaining enough the same that it’s driving me nuts. Can’t sleep. But can definitely eat, and drink, so there’s that.

This blog is one of the things I’m thinking about cancelling, since I can’t even remember the point of writing it, anymore, and I’m pretty sure it’s not working the way I’d hoped, anyway. It’s more likely, though, that I’ll finish out the year (due to stubbornness), and then delete it all. Maybe I’ll even get super open and honest right near the end, and then destroy all evidence so that it can’t be held against me in the future.

Not sure what to do. About anything, it seems. Each step hits a wall, no matter which direction I go.

For now, all I can think to do is just sit in the silence and hope something shifts my way, but that feels really lazy. My horoscope does say to apply mental restraint on my actions, so at least that matches somewhat.

Still seems lazy and needy, though. And those are things I hate about myself. Do or not do. Just equals more walls, as far as I’m concerned.

So be it. Another day’s post done.

Ghomeshi Verdict

Well, turns out that, no matter what else I was thinking of talking about today, there is now only one subject that’s worth my voice. Yet I am so angered and ashamed and sitting here in frustrated, impotent disbelief that I can’t even think of words. So bear with me.

Back in 1988 (nearly 30 years ago now) powerful film called The Accused was released. Starring my love, Jodie Foster, it told the tale of a woman who had been publicly gang raped, and the struggle she went through in both the court of law, and the court of public opinion, to bring her attackers to justice. It was a very tough but very necessary watch.

Today, we’ve been shown that our justice system – and indeed much of our society as a whole – have not come nearly as far as we pretend we have in those 30 years. I want to say today’s verdict hurts my heart (which it does), and that I’d hoped for a different outcome but am not surprised by the actual one (because that’s also true). I also want to say again how angry and disheartened and frustrated I am by the result – because I do feel all of those things.

But mostly what I want to try and express is the very physical effect it’s having on my body now. I feel sick. I can’t focus on my work. I am shaking and every muscle in my body is tense like a wire pulled too tight. I am damn near crippled by it, and I don’t even know any of the people involved personally. Yet there are no words for the effect this verdict has had on me, and from what I can tell, that’s a large part of the problem in situations like this as a whole. There aren’t words to express it. There are just emotional, mental and physical reactions, all happening on the inside, out of sight (except for all the trouble I am having typing this…the amount of backspacing and correcting I have to do is obscene). In cases where there is physical evidence, it’s much easier to prove a point to an outsider. In cases where the loss of a loved one is involved, it’s easier for someone else to have some sort of sense of what that means, having also lost loved ones themselves, but to varying degrees.

But in cases of rape and sexual assault – you just can’t. If you’ve had no personal experience with it at all, you just can’t imagine. And to those who can imagine, there are no fucking words. None that come close to expressing their experience, nor the effect it has had on them forever. Forever, guys. It’s not something you get over, or forget, or have any control over. You can go years without thinking about it, and then something random happens and you’re right back there in it again, experiencing it all again, on the inside, just like you did the first time. It’s a wound that never truly heals. It’s cut that does not scar. It just breaks open again from time to time. For the rest of your life.

And whether it happened yesterday, or 30 years ago, some details you never forget. Everything that happened during the assault remains fresh as a daisy (whatever that means – never mind – it stays crystal fucking clear). Yet everything before and after is gone. A blur at best. Your body and mind don’t consider those details to be important, so they are let go, and 100% of your focus is on what happened to you. Maybe you have even thought before about what you would do should you ever find yourself in such a situation, but guess what? You almost never do what you think you’d do. You can’t plan a reaction to something like that. When it happens, some other subconscious part of you takes over. Self preservation – of your whole self, not just your body – takes over, and when all is said and done, the very first person to judge you is you. You go over it and over it in your head, and imagine other outcomes, and things you could have done or should have done – you envision every possible scenario, including whether or not someone else could have helped, or something you might have said instead that would give your attacker pause.

Because most of the time, it’s someone you know. Maybe even someone you love. Someone you trust. Someone you wojuldn’t have suspected was even capable of such a thing. Someone in a position of power or authority. An employer. A healer. Every single time, it’s someone who should have known better. And then when they treat you like nothing happened, like they did nothing wrong, and that you should know better than to think them capable of such a thing, that’s when the fun self-doubt game sets in! You can’t remember what led up to the assault, so maybe you did do something to encourage it. Maybe it was a huge misunderstanding. He did say he likes it rough (though to my mind, that means he likes rough stuff done to him, not the other way around), and you consented, so maybe you just were too embarrassingly naïve to understand what he meant. He’s just so logical and likeable and no one will believe you when you’re not even sure you believe yourself. So yeah, forget it…you misunderstood and blew everything way out of proportion. Give him another chance, and you’ll see how wrong you were about him. Or he’s your husband…for better or for worse, right? You promised him that. Or you’ve slept together before and this was maybe just a one time thing…just a mood, or whatever (though even a one time thing is one time too many…I tell myself and then don’t listen when it pertains to me). Or you work together and still have to see each other at a time. No sense in rocking the boat over a simple misunderstanding. Be nice. You weren’t raised to be rude, and you’d like to keep your job, so just forget it and move on already.

These women – “the complaintants” (dumbest name ever for what they actually are – heroes, champions, survivors, not-taking-any-bullshit-igans) – they stood up. They gave a voice to the only words they were able to find along the way. They spoke out, for themselves, and for everyone else who has suffered through a similar life-altering event. They said no, I will not let you do this to anyone else. Not one more.

Because one was one too many.

And their reward for taking that impossibly difficult step? To be put on trial themselves, instead. To be the most recent victims of an ancient system of “justice” that still favours the perpetrator. The accused didn’t even have to take the stand in his own defence. He didn’t even really say he didn’t do what he was accused of – he simply said it was consensual. Which…isn’t that speaking FOR the women? However. His actions were never really put on trial. The actions of the women were, instead. Oh, they didn’t tell the whole truth in their original statements? Maybe because they weren’t the ones on trial. Maybe because their actions before and after the assaults had zero to do with his actions during the assault.

Then, to add insult to injury (and more insult), the judge basically accuses the women of lying under oath, says we have to put a stop to women submitting false claims of assault (because apparently that happens all the time, even though the vast majority of such crimes go un-fucking-reported), and then throws out some statement about how his verdict isn’t the same as saying that the events didn’t happen, just that there’s reasonable doubt that they didn’t happen.

Um, Judge Super-Genius, sir? That’s actually exactly what you’re saying.

He’s not only dismissed the women’s claims as invalid, but he’s also sent a very clear message out to anyone else who suffers a similar fate and has dillusions about stepping forward to accuse their attacker. This verdict has basically silenced every other survivor – not just in this city, but everywhere. Canada’s women lie about being raped. And if the oh-so-polite Canadians can do it, then surely every other country’s women are liars, too.

Does anyone even know what a struggle it is to come to terms with the notion that what happened to you is assault? That it’s a crime? Just to get your own self to understand it is a huge inner battle, and you are your own worst critic. Guaranteed, every single thing said to those women during the trial has already been gone over by them themselves. They have already torn themselves apart and then pulled themselves back together enough to take the enormous step of speaking up. At the risk of not being believed, of not getting justice, of not getting some sort of closure.

And thanks Canadian Justice System! That’s exactly what’s happened today.

You know Ghomeshi is going to get laid again. And you know it’s only a matter of time before some woman gives him the benefit of the doubt and it happens again to someone else. Will that woman step forward? Or will she think about herself what so many others will think – that she was warned, and that she should have known better. That it would in fact be her own stupid fault.

To that woman – or women – whoever you are, and to the women who left the courthouse after the battle of their lives today, I will say right now that I believe you. I stand by you. And I will vent my impotent yet righteous rage online for all the world to see or not see because I believe you. I believe in you.

And it’s not your fault.