By Any Other Name
the tale of Willow

Willow
Date: 03:56AM | Sat, October 8th | 2011
Subject: The Spoon Theory: Anxiety Edition
Security: Public
Mood:contemplative contemplative
Tags:about me, health: emotional, health: mental, health: physical, spoon theory

Went to bed 'round three, thought at the least I'd take a nap; if not, sleep straight through till morning. Woke up, it was 6 o'clock, thought, huh, I can sleep for another two hours. Woke up again it was 12am. Realized the prior 6 o'clock had been 6pm; the evening. Well now, there was nothing for it but to try and sleep till morning.But I'm up now. No more sleep just yet. Still, twelve hours to recover from yesterday and I feel much, much better.

My thoughts on anxiety tolerance/endurance have evolved into, well, the spoon theory. I only have but so many 'spoons' worth of anxiety and stress I can deal with and then -> exhaustion. Utter exhaustion which makes accomplishing anything else a near moot point; and it makes thinking horribly difficult. That's my level. That is what I can handle. And whatever therapeutic tools I gain, help me handle what spoons I do have in the most efficient way possible; help me realize that there are spoons and limited spoons at that (or knives or ladles etc). Maybe I'll find a medical doctor willing to pay attention to how trauma has affected my physical/physiological reactions to stress. Maybe. Until then, there's nothing for it than to do my best with cognitive behavioral therapy and the odd vitamins and supplements that help a body physically recover from or better handle the flood of hormones and chemicals that come with stress.

And I have done better, am doing better. Once upon a time some things would knock me out for a week or more. This stuff, I needed the rest of the day to mentally unwind, and 12 hours sleep and possibly the rest of today - though I might be capable of leaving the house today. We'll see. A judgement call is different than being physically too wasted to do a thing, however. The ability to make a judgement call, to ponder if I really am feeling better other than knowing I flat out couldn't do a thing; that's improvement.

So I hold on to that. And the tangible aspects of people being different and illness and factors and circumstances, making people even more different from one another. I've mostly moved past thinking of physical things meaning I'm broken beyond repair. They just are and I deal with them; whether my body can overcome and heal eventually (gain more spoons) or not doesn't change the fact of my current needs. If I could try and think that way about anxiety and stress and panic...? My mental health would be starting from somewhere more functional, I believe.

ETA: Notes inspired by Ephemera
"... fun loop where my blood sugar is low enough to make me feel like I'm thinking in slow motion and my digestive system is registering it's sadness at the lack of food by making me feel faintly nauseous thus I don't want to eat anything and can't decide what to do about it... doesn't take much in the way of conscious decision making "

That's what my 3 ring binder was going to be, a foody manual of me. I need to make that a physical reality. The Kindle's had 2 opportunities this year already to be a life saver; no power, and then no PSU for the comp. It will NOT be wasted money it didn't work for a foodie manual of me, and I need a 3 ring binder, some paper and a sticker or 2.

Knowing oneself is half the battle. I can't keep forgetting or getting distracted and muzzy headed about simple facts of me; food to blood sugar, to how/why I handle panic, stress and anxiety, to my relationship with exhaustion, etc....

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Willow
Date: 07:20PM | Thu, November 12th | 2009
Subject: Pain, Shoulds & Assumptions
Security: Public
Tags:pain scale 6.5, spoon theory, therapy with dr. yoda

My sleeping for most of two days? Post update from someone on my flist announces we've been getting the tail end of hurricane weather. My sleep crashing for most of the day? Self protective.

I think I'm going to risk putting a weather add on to my firefox because remembering to check weather.com does NOT give me the same innate awareness of what's gong on outside. And even if I had windows in this room, I've lived with windows before and not been able to tell by casual glance outside, much more than cloudy skies (which in fall/winter is a semi permanent state).

Also, my 'shoulding' myself...

In the same 90 min phonecall with my mother she apologized for having gotten on my case for my entire life, about sitting up straight in chairs. I tend to lean forward a lot and half slouch. Turns out it's because I've always been trying to sit on my thighs and not on my butt (issues with coxccyx and sciatic nerve).

In terms of shoulding myself - the mental 8-track of 'Lazy, lazy, lazy, good for nothing, can't even sit up straight' hits so hard and so loud that the concept of pain; recognizing pain cannot be consciously heard. So apparently my unconscious takes over and knocks me out to sleep it down until things are better.

And here I thought I'd been catching those thoughts. I've apparently only been catching the sparkly easy to see ones. Not the ones carved into my psychic flesh.

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Willow
Date: 09:11PM | Fri, October 30th | 2009
Subject: Kerthump
Security: Public
Tags:introvert i am, lack of spoons, my family, spoon theory

So...

Figured out why I was so drained and depressed last night. My littlest brother's called me every night this week to chat and I could hear the house mess in the background behind him. That added to my dislike of the phone and not really being all that chatty on a daily basis (it's a spoon thing) likely led to low energy, drained feelings and emotions -> la la la depression.

Mentioned this to my mom to ask her to get him to email me. But she pointed out that he doesn't get much attention from his other siblings because they're teenagers and he's not. And despite my 'omfg' of last night concerning his animals, he got up on his own this morning, and fed them all and watered them all and cleaned the bird cage and took his dog out to do his business. And apparently told mom that I had put him on a schedule.

I definitely need to figure out now, how to balance my introvertedness and spoon juggling with positive effects of my presence on littlest brother who's all 'I haz a sister and she luuuuuubs me.'

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Willow
Date: 05:29PM | Tue, May 12th | 2009
Subject: New Experiences Are New
Security: Public
Tags:cat adventures, keeping house, spoon theory, willow's warren

I have a professionally cleaned apt. It smells slightly of chemicals. They moved and rearranged all my stuff. Their thoroughness is kind of disturbing that way.

It's odd to have things where they decided things should go and I'm using up energy putting things back in the best places for me (whether or not it makes sense to anyone else)

The cat is beyond terrified, having hidden in the bathroom which ended up being the room they went to clean first. I finally caught her and moved her to my bedroom, so she didn't die of cleaning fumes - and she promptly tugged open my closet door and is now hiding somewhere I can't reach her, as I've not the energy to move the clothing bins out of the way.

When she finally exits, I'm never letting her into my bedroom again. Ever.

And fuck, they even wiped down my desk with chemicals. My wrists are now getting itchy. I'm gonna have to buy cleaning products specifically for these folk to use if them coming in and cleaning is part of my continuing to stay here.

I admit to being grumpy. An immigrant group cleaning a home; that group used to consist of members of my family and now it's my home being cleaned. Which is unrelated to chemical sensitivity and skin itchies, but related to feeling weird and odd and going 'omg they moved all my stuff!'

--3 hour interlude--

Landlady came with the new litter box and new litter. I'm a little, tense/upset/something over the issue of the litter. Mostly because I'd like to keep using the one I had been which doesn't have sodium bentonite (which I've avoided for most of Tally's life) and this new litter which is supposedly great on scent, does likely use it (all it says is natural clay). But the scent of things has been affecting upstairs badly, so it's really not about me, it's about my landlady feeling comfortable in her home.

But, yeah, short of Tally absolutely refusing the new litter (which she won't if it's soft enough, that's her priority) there's nothing doing but to deal.

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Willow
Date: 10:54PM | Thu, May 7th | 2009
Subject: Spoons
Security: Public
Tags:#disability issues, #race issues: general, spoon theory

So apparently healthy/able bodied individuals have been using spoons to mean generic units of energy in regard their interaction in various racist battle fronts.

...

Yeah, I'm a little speechless, I'd have thought it was obvious once one looked at the written out Spoon Theory (PDF) that it was about ability to cope vs lack of ability to cope, all revolving around disability. But apparently not.

I am twitchy, however, at the complaint as it is laid out here, mainly because of this quote:



when queers were protesting prop 8 with "gay is the new black", i didn't like it. this was (white) queers co-opting the (straight) black experience.

the use of the spoons metaphor is (able-bodied) poc co-opting the (white) disabled experience.


What am I? Fucking INVISIBLE? Have I reached the level of DINOCORN now? Black lesbian and disabled doesn't exist? Cause I was not aware that The Spoon Theory was primarily a white disabled concept. My bad, I've been appropriating for years now in using it and will keep appropriating it cause excuse me but hello! Non white people can have mental and physical stuff going on too!


G'damn but there's some assumptions going on that the people using it, AREN'T disabled, because what? They're not white? No one could POSSIBLY have more than one oppression/social handicap to deal with?

Your WTF Rocketship Is Boarding. Get on it and get the hell off my planet.

ETA: Stoneself's pov =


a person defaults straight white male able-bodied cisgendered [privlege] [privilege] [privilege]

a gay man defaults white.
a poc defaults male.
a queer defaults cisgendered.
etcetcetc.


Right, I guess that explains how they see the world.

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Willow
Date: 08:55AM | Mon, July 28th | 2008
Subject: *sighs*
Security: Public
Mood:pouty pouty
Tags:about me, note to me, online: support network, sleep cycle, spoon theory

Up.

Note to self: When feeling out of sorts, the solution may not be going to cuddle the cat on the bed - unless you WANT to sleep through till morning.

--

It's possibly progress though. Fell asleep around 10pm and woke up near 8am. So it's getting closer and closer to what I call reasonable hours. It might have been affected by my moving of furniture about.

Note to Fickle: So sorry I passed out, hon. Seriously.

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Willow
Date: 06:47PM | Thu, July 3rd | 2008
Subject: Amazing Brain Slow...
Security: Public
Mood:crappy crappy
Tags:health: physical, spoon theory

Just figured out why she's so tired and exhausted and grumpy that she called her mother BACK and said it'd actually be a bad idea if they came to visit for the 4th - because she's just too tired and cranky to be good company and she was looking forward to some rest.

I've been a bit amazed I did that and a bit worried I felt like crap enough TO do that.

Remember when I lugged the groceries home and it made me feel so bad I felt like I would puke? And there was implied (actual) dry heaving? Wellllll not really a surprise!

Welcome to my life where being this exhausted and feeling this crappy can cause odd brain farts where the obvious is no longer obvious. Also it's been a long long time sinc I didn't pace myself. The whole time lugging that stuff home all I could think was "It needed doing so we're doing it. Left foot. Right foot."

Obvious now in hindsight that I was pushing myself beyond my limits. Way, way, beyond.

At least now I know I can adjust my expectations and also adjust what I plan to eat in the next few days. It's likely no wonder I was craving damn near anything omega 3 like WHOA. And my bananas are finally ripe.

So going back to bed now though.

Off Topic: [info]fickle I invited you to Dropbox.

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By Any Other Name
of Willow
January 2016