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I got a web gig with the usual duct taped prior setup and ambiguous priorities and I have managed to not screw it up thus far and, despite a withering degree of symptoms lately, keep my friend/boss happy. This is confidence inspiring.

The timing is also good, I need like a thousand bucks asap because I only have 3 weeks left where I'm living. I thought it was more like 5. Nope. Actually thinking of begging for $ to fund an extra month of meds just so I can stop worrying about that.

if you're a trans woman or trans feminine non-binary person there's a long-term study recruiting right now on trans feminine health and it compensates $250 spread out in 6 month intervals of $50. Https://

For real though, I don't get why anyone working in science in the 21st century would be anything other than anticapitalist. Or critical of it at the very least. It does nothing but make our lives difficult.

We're all constantly grovelling for funds. Important articles are hidden behind paywalls. We need to pay to get stuff published. And I'm so tired of hearing things like "yes we'd love to hire you, but we don't have any funding right now."

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I had a guest over yesterday and didn't turn my homebrew circadian lighting back on after. I live in a windowless room and stayed busy therein, and by 5pm it felt like 9pm and I was reacting to the clock with disbelief. I subsequently woke up 5 hours early (which for me means midnight) wondering why I couldn't sleep.

This photoperiod dependency is no joke. Before I figured out the lighting component of my sleep management, I fit the criteria for because I was not getting sufficient light.

Balance is like a gyroscope. It's not something to be achieved, but a constant evolution. Adjust as needed.

Yesterday I finally emailed the monastery about residency after 7 months of torturous avoidance. I did so from my therapist's office.

Lately I was very close to the tipping point of doing so, but too fragged by stress and the fatigue of surviving the dystopian hellscape, etc.

She provided the final tiny push that allowed me to send the message, in combination with my final acceptance of a "just start the conversation, you don't need to send a persuasive essay sculpted in jade & gold" strategy.

(Another thing which added depth to my understanding of this is that I'm quite certain that my father and sister also share this low-guilt phenotype, and they turned out ... considerably less prosocial, shall we say? My sister also has near-nonexistent empathy, and meets many of the criteria for antisocial personality disorder. I'm very lucky to have turned out the way I did.)

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(Possibly interesting aside from the prior thread: I came to realize that it's possible to be a good person with naturally low empathy, even though the idea Does Not Compute for me as a high-empathy type, because I realized that I have naturally low guilt. Then I spent some time wondering how I managed to end up a good person who acts in prosocial ways. Well, who knows, but turns out it's entirely possible to be good even when being bad doesn't make you *feel* bad like it does most people.)

Cutting these people off isn't personal.

I have to throw some babies out with the bathwater for my own well-being.

So it goes.

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All this is essentially due to accident of biology and personal history. I understand so much more of what's driving it after two years of torturous rumination.

Actually, it's the good people with low empathy who are the most dangerous, because they act - without malice - in ways which trigger me like nothing else.

This response has been stable since at least my mid teens. It leads to symptoms which strongly resemble OCD, and can initiate major depressive episodes. My depressions last *years.*

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But good or not, prosocial or not, allowing myself any emotional involvement with low-empathy people is the mental health equivalent of inviting somebody to bury landmines in my garden and do a real good job of not marking the spot.

This could change - I can see ways to work on my own shit so I can become more resilient - but that process will take years, and honestly, it may not be my first priority in self-development. It may be more effective to identify such people early and disconnect.

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For example, The Problem which has hijacked 90% of my brainpower on and off for two years or so can be boiled down thus:

Emotional involvement with people who have naturally low empathy is extremely dangerous to me.

Now that might seem like sort of a "duh" realization, but usually once you've boiled about something for thousands of hours, you get more than just the one crystal.

For instance, it's absolutely possible to have low empathy but be a good person. They're not all thuggish brutes.

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There's a silver lining to helpless rumination, at least once you learn to accept it when it won't stop. Then you can start trying to direct it a bit, and pluck any insights which may come.

Usually if something has gotten me riled up enough to think about it 27 hours a day for 3 months, there's something important to be learned.

These days, I find that rumination often amounts to an iterative distillation of The Problem down to a highly concentrated essence from which insight can crystallize.

Please, please, please make it a habit of yours to say as specific as possible what you want to talk about, when you request a call or meeting (e.g. at work).

It reduces so much stress for people, especially ones with mental illnesses (of which you might not know).

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* 3 days in a row I've meditated

* 2 days since I smoked weed, which is easier now that my ADHD meds are more optimal & I understand my task avoidance better (I was often using it to break avoidance before, then the habit took on a life of its own)

* some ppl made clear they care about me after I found the strength to admit I needed it (sometimes obliquely, but still)

* still gotta get organized and get my routines back, but good forward motion continues happening even during the dark times

If you think you may have / , or are trying to explain your symptoms to someone, this 28 minute video will probably answer a LOT of questions. Strong recommend.

I think I'm at a turning point in this multi-week bullshit episode actually

and if that's truly so, well.... it was made possible by my friends who stepped up and helped me out / let me know they care

I wonder if, now that I understand much better why it has been so intensely difficult for me to meditate during this month of hell, whether it will become easier going forward or not.

Personal update, I've had a really bad month, but my (real) friends plucked some of my bad days out just before they went down the shitter, including yesterday.

I don't have nearly the social connections I need yet, but I'm glad for the ones I do have, bc I'd be completely up shit's creek and headed for hardcore homelessness without their caring. Material assistance, too, but I'm really dependent on people wanting me around and caring about me to keep going, and some have really stepped up.

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