The only writing I did last week was last Sunday's weekly post. I'll try
to do better; hopefully I won't be feeling as harried this week. I
did get in some music time -- last Sunday, and yesterday. And
some walking with Colleen and Kat, also on Sunday.
Quite a bit of back pain. It's been mostly ok in the morning, but tends
to get worse on the way home. Probably something to do with being tired,
but also possibly stress. Have I mentioned having trouble identifying my
mental state? It's called alexithymia.
The alexithymia also bleeds into problems identifying physical
state, because of course they're related. I have trouble distinguishing
the physical symptoms of anxiety and hunger, for example. Not to mention
distinguishing between wanting food, and needing food.
The latter barely registers, and certainly not as hunger, until I suddenly
start feeling the symptoms of low blood sugar. Which I have
learned to recognize. Or until Colleen notices that I'm starting to snap
Stress is, apparently, another of those states that I don't start noticing
until it's been going on too long. And then it bleeds into burnout and
depression. (And, no, depression doesn't register as sadness. At all.
It's best described as a combination of apathy and despair.) I think I'm
noticing a trend here.
I'm getting better at noticing. Look in the notes for an exclamation mark
in column 3 -- that means I've actually noticed an emotion while it was
happening. They're rare -- the only instance this last week was Sunday.
Speaking of stress, I'm oncall this week. With pages including 6am
Tuesday morning -- Prime Day -- and midnight last night. This morning.
Whatever. One thing I've noticed is that I don't have enough mental
bandwidth. I can't multitask. At all. Period. Things get lost track
If a page comes in, I completely lose track of whatever I was doing,
including dealing with another page, and it takes me a while to get my
context back. Which leads to things like having something like 10
different browser windows open in 8 workspaces, with multiple tabs in
each, many of which refer to the same tickets. Because context. And, of
course, re-investigating the same thing multiple times because I've
forgotten what I was doing an hour ago.
I'm getting a little better at going up to people I don't know and asking
for help. But, of course, I'm even worse at remembering names than I am
at multitasking, which leads to things like waking the wrong person up at
six in the morning. (And forgetting that I had an email in my inbox
telling me who the right person would have been. See
(Brief pause -- my desk is being catted on. The absolute best thing I've
done for my mental health in years was putting a cardboard box on
my desk, attaching it with a couple of screws, and lining it with a towel.)
Back to reaching out and talking to people. I don't think my reluctance
to do that has anything to do with what I afraid people will think of me.
So, this doesn't seem to have the characteristcs of social anxiety. No,
it has more to do with what I think of me, and in particular
feeling stupid and at a loss for what to do. Plus total lack of
self-confidence, which leads to (or somehow relates to) an unwillingness
to "disturb" people.
It's not just at work. Even at home, I take a closed door as a "do not
disturb" sign even when I'm pretty certain that the person on the other
side (usually N) would be happy to see me. It's hard enough when I know
they're expecting me, though I'm getting a little better about
In a slightly different direction, some links from ysabetwordsmith about emotional self-care (see Monday, below)
proved unexpectedly triggery and anxiety-provoking. So we're talking low
self-esteem here, maybe. (Maybe?! Let's get real here.)
It's been a long month this week.
( Notes & links, as usual )