so it's January 25, and I think this morning I can finally say that I've recovered from the winter holidays. I thought it was going much faster maybe 10 days ago, but that was just an episode of elevated mood & energy, and I had to go thru the crash & retrenchment afterwards. but I think I'm good now.

so, 3.5 weeks? not bad. last year was worse. every year for at least the last 7 has been worse.

anyway I'm excited to be able to use my mind on projects more consistently again!

anyway all this stuff I'm figuring out about myself does make me worry about my ability to withstand communal living, but I suppose a zen center is an excellent place to start practicing once I'm ready. (it's been a while since I mentioned that. it's on the back burner lately, much to my detriment I'm sure, but not forgotten. hard to explain.)

(+) mh 

anyway I feel better after writing all this, because it's a step in the process of crystallizing what I've learned. I needed to write it somewhere, here's as good a place as any.

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mh, neurodivergence+trauma, "high functioning" realities 

((I also want to point out, I know we all say this but relatively speaking, my home growing up was abusive at times and far more toward the end, but most people I've met in life who were abused growing up had it plenty worse than me. part of this equation is that I am very sensitive. and so my childhood was frequently ominous and a couple times pretty awful and that was sufficient to permanently alter my everyday conscious experience.))

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mh, neurodivergence+trauma, "high functioning" realities 

((some of this is clearly trauma stuff, tl;dr I grew up in an abusive household where neither of my parents had highly keen senses, and they tended to leave me alone unless we crossed paths, so maintaining situational awareness granted a huge tactical advantage, and now you can start to see why I have to fight myself every step of the way to turn it off when certain conditions, even benign non-threatening ones, are true in the environment))

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mh, neurodivergence, "high functioning" realities 

(also, it's interesting that it's neurodivergent & anxiety/depression axis people who tend to not trigger my helpless catlike vigilance when living with me. my sample size is pretty small and there's clearly a lot more to it, such as being able to peaceably resolve conflict, but it does seem to be a factor.)

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mh, "high functioning" realities 

anyway the other point is, you can kind of be getting thru life one way or another, maybe with some problems or maybe not, but then your situation changes and suddenly some unknown vulnerability is cutting you off at the knees.

if I am around continuous random activity for too long, I cease being able to use my mind for certain types of complex thought. for almost my entire life until 2016 I lived alone or with people who rarely or never caused this condition.

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mh, "high functioning" realities 

like, I can sit here and describe it to you all day long, and honestly given enough time I *will* pick my way out of the trap - or my environment will change and it'll stop being a problem.

but finally understanding a good deal of it does not translate to simply walking out free. not even close. after all, the freeze response and the helpless maintenance of situational awareness would not be problematic compulsive behaviors if they weren't compulsive.

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mh, "high functioning" realities 

some of this comes down to small differences like: I grew up in a family where we told people in the house approximately what we were doing & approximately when.

apparently large numbers of neurotypicals in my country don't do this. I had no idea. anyway when my life exploded and I ended up living with some, this difference combined with previously-mentioned traits into a terribly effective killswitch on my ability to do anything complex with other people nearby.

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mh 

the silver lining: after *years* being partly incapacitated, I've finally been able to boil key concepts about down to 1 powerpoint slide, which I hope might make future encounters with shrinks etc actually worthwhile.

"i freeze when overstimulated."

"auditory hypervigilance is something I cannot turn off."

"due to my background, I have a strong compulsion to maintain situational awareness."

"due to my cognitive style, I am likely to wait when expectations or priorities are unclear."

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(-) mh 

it's the worst when I'm really depleted and am expecting some alone time and then the expectation is shattered, it's a sensation like being desperately thirsty and having a huge jug of water snatched away and then all you can feel are the sensations of thirst and of rage.

when that happens I tend to freeze up worse and experience worse symptoms, because there's a feedback element to this loop I get stuck in. definitely behavioral stuff involved. it's not all biology (sensitive hearing).

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(-) mh 

words cannot adequately express how absolutely sick to death I am of people being near me right now

I'm not quite at the redline, but I'm at the point where basically any random noise they're making is like petting a cat backwards with a hand covered in mayonnaise. I'm so sick of it. this was supposed to be my weekend to recover.

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I really need to get the better of my intense compulsion to freeze & wait when other people are engaged in random activity nearby and are not communicating any sort of plan or information about what they are doing. It's absolutely debilitating.

the question of whether any of the people who pointedly saw themselves out of my life when I was struggling ever get a seat at the table again is one of boundaries & self-respect.

therapists, psychedelics mention 

honestly as far as bang for buck in good advice, I don't think any subsequent therapist has bested the positive impact of when my shrink at age 16 told me not to trip in crowds

I'm realizing that rumination is something my mind does under certain types of stress, that it's in some way involved with restoring order, and that the subject of the looping thoughts can be 100% unrelated to the current sources of stress.

it is a weird form of coping, I don't understand really yet.

Small actions, even on tasks you'd rather avoid, make them easier to accomplish.

the addition of kittens to the household nearly 4 months ago has been such a bonus for my well-being.

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