Inertia Blues

Where we last left off, I was logging the minute details of my doctor’s visits for the mystery lump. I was frustrated. But I had a boyfriend, a whole new slew of medications whose relief I looked forward to, and in spite of being ill, a steady stream of jobs that I was grateful for.

Since then, I’ve managed to lose or run out of such luck, and it is probably most definitely all my own fault.

As of this morning, I am on my last reserve of Prozac. I missed my last Psych visit to teach some back-to-back writing classes last month and didn’t get round to booking an appointment. It annoys me. I wish I could just walk into Guardian once a month and pick up the prescription. Surely, that can be arranged. I just need to talk to my doctor right? But there’s something in the process of doing that (the exchange of phone calls, texts, emails, etc.) which exhausts me. And the same inertia has coloured most of my tasks since.

I’ve admitted to my psychologist that I have a severe problem with electronic communication. Since University days, I’ve hated to open my phone and read or send messages. It takes a lot of mental energy for me to do anything. With poetry, prose, journalling the anxiety is worth it because it will be read more than once. But emails and texts are one-shot impressions, you cannot revise. You can’t take back the smiley face you put in because you were anxious about sounding too severe or formal, only to realise how silly you come off. People who perpetually laugh at everything in text either (1.) have an enviable abundance of serotonin, or more likely (2.) have no store of happy chill, but desperately want to give off the impression, and don’t understand what you’re saying but don’t want to fight with you because shit that’s gonna be a whole lot more of emails.

Then there’s how I regularly have all these tabs open in my computer with old emails half-typed and abandoned for weeks because I couldn’t decide between “Best Regards” and “Warmest”. As if the person on the other side might actually appreciate that difference (they won’t, they just need you to say yes or no goddamnit).

My inefficiency leads to inefficiency of others, and I freeze, and I don’t get out of bed some days. My inability to just agree, my bias that to solve a problem quickly is not to solve it well – all these traits are romantic, heroic even, but not practical.

A friend with manic depression mentioned that he gives himself 3 days when he’s in this state. 3 days to allow himself acknowledgment of these feelings, to be kind to himself, and to recuperate. Then he gets right back on the horse and tries again. He’s 32 and in the same line of work as me. If I could shrink my recuperation period to 3 days that would be ideal. I hope I can discipline myself to this 3-Day-Rule by the time I’m in my 30s, for the sake of everyone around me.

Til then, watching all the BuJo youtube videos is both therapeutic and traumatic. I’m hoping something useful might actually stick instead of mounting feelings of sick pleasure as the days become weeks, months,… then yet another year.

P.S.: This is entry itself is hard. I started writing at 10 am. It’s 3.26 pm now, I haven’t eaten, and I wrote four completely different drafts and if I don’t stop now I’ll be late for my appointment with H, which is probably best to keep since I’ve not checked-in, in a while.

P.P.S: You can tell it’s really bad because that last post-script took 20 minutes to write and now I’ll be late. H if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. Otw in an uber now. I don’t think I have time to shower.

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A Mild/Medium

I’ve put off a lot of things. Including writing. Including writing here. Partially because the last three weeks I was getting somewhat better at prioritising what needed to be done. But then, a lot needed to get done. The To-do list never stopped.

I started a ‘To-Done’ list in my head to deal with the mounting To-Do. And I just stalled from there. I don’t feel compelled to ‘do’ to be ‘done’. I’m forcing myself to write this because it’ll be the first thing on my ‘To-Done’ list since… a week ago?

That’s not really fair. It’s more like four days. I know this because H has gotten me to record everything I do for every hour of the day (except between 4-8 am) for the past three weeks. It’s been rough and eventful, and I can see three trends which I need to accept.

1. I actually do get a lot more than I think done. But I give myself far too much to do. I set myself up to fail myself and others this way.

2. I have an obsessive-compulsivity for everything to be ‘just right’ in order to move forward. And because everything in this world is variable, I get weighed down and scared to do anything beyond the constants I can keep.

3. Because in the past few weeks, I have had substantial fluxes in life-depending categories (romantic relationships, the internet, health, employment), the only constants my body is able to do is smoking, keeping absolutely up-to-date with Instagram, and steadily reading/finishing Bitch by Elizabeth Wurtzel (written in 1998, but still so uncannily relevant).

Re: Relationships, I got tinder. For a brief time, I lived out my female stud fantasies. It truly is a wonderful piece of technology (if you’re a hetero woman, since 95% of it is all dudes of varying instinct and desire, which you can competently weed out with texting). Then I got back together with my partner of the last six(?) months. We met on OkCupid and he was the first person I’d ever met from the site, which made me think for the longest time that because we’d latched on to each other, that I hadn’t made an informed choice. I was also arguably insane at that point, dependent, and very close to being committed to a ward again for ‘exhaustion’. It’s always ‘exhaustion’ in Singapore, if you’re a nice, middle-class, educated, local. Even the boys with their slash marks at their necks. It’s never a suicide, because suicide here is illegal. Trust the state to control everything including your will to live. Anyway. This second go at things is perhaps the most functional thing I’ve managed this month. It helps that he is and has always been patient with me. He bought me a box of dates yesterday because I wasn’t eating well and said, Now you don’t need tinder anymore! (Lol. When bae tries to be funny)

Re: The Internet, was broken. But I fixed it. Arguably it put a sudden stop in my workflow. But it’s been fixed for a week now and I just can’t bring myself to answer my emails or get work done. I’ve also had emotional flares to do with upsetting content I’ve seen on my feeds including, but not limited to, shoddy journalism, misogynist and plain stoopid photos from colleagues, pictures of babies alongside stillborns in the run-up to Mother’s Day. This deserves a post on its own and so I won’t comment further.

Re: Health, I’ve developed a lump (lumps?) in my thyroid. It comes and goes. Swallowing gets painful. I had no idea as human beings we naturally need to swallow so much, all the time. At its worse, I’m afraid that it’ll swell up til I stop breathing and die in my sleep. I’ve been to three different doctors. All of them said it was viral, but gave me two courses of antibiotics which I’ve finished. The next step is A&E to do a scope, the last guy said. Also because it was 4 am and he was young, he told me, “I know this sucks. I’m sorry it’s gonna be a bitch to swallow all these pills.”

(I’m 29. It’s now become adorable when doctors in hoodies, fresh out of school, have that semi-getting-fresh bedside manner with you.)

Now that it’s showed up for the fourth time in two months, I’m thinking of just waiting for my appointment with my psychiatrist on Tuesday, since I see him in a hospital anyway. It’s possible that this is psychosomatic; that I’ve thought myself into so much rage and anger and sadness that my hormone-makers are overworked. In the meantime, I’ve been collecting all the spare Anarex in the house. My diet is now all liquid and pills, what I usually have to take notwithstanding. Knocking out pills like shots is itself depressing.

Re: Employment, I started another freelance job. But it’s more like a full-time job from home. I am very grateful. These people answer emails and pay on time, which is a joy in and of itself. But I hate myself for disappointing them with all the shit I let pile up that stops me from being #supereffective. Granted, the #lumpofevil has been a real doozy to get around. I’ve had to cancel some voiceover jobs over the last few weeks which is frustrating.

I don’t know if writing all of this down has been the cathartic exercise I’ve needed to reboot. But I sure hope so.

It is 10.59 pm on a Sunday and tomorrow – which is in another hour – is another day.