It’s not something magical, it takes hard work

The 2nd of February 2018 we will celebrate 16 years as a couple and 10 of these years as husband and wife. We got married on the same day we became a couple to tie the two events together. The anniversary days have always been very important to me. I can’t exactly say why that is, but I always want to celebrate that very special day all those years ago that have led to so much happiness and positivity in my life through the years. Now, I don’t mean to say that we haven’t had our fair share of fights and disagreements, it’s been a long time after all, but once you pass a certain amount of time you start to understand how the other one thinks. This hopefully leads to better arguments and less feelings being trampled upon. But sometimes a friend says something down these lines to me:

“You and T seem to have such good communication with each other, you never seem to disagree. You also seem so know each other so well that it feels like you’re reading the other one’s thoughts. I wish I had the same with <insert partners name>”

Well, again.. 16 years, you are bound to learn something about the other in that amount of time. But the level of communication and understanding we got for each other haven’t come for free. We have worked hard on it and even if we have smoothed out the biggest and most common bumps, we still run into occasions where we disagree with each other. But knowing when’s a good time for your partner to bring stuff up is key. It’s also important to set a base ground so you respect each other’s feelings and emotional integrity. The biggest things I’ve learned in our marriage are:

  1. If I’m unhappy with something he have done, I don’t bring it up in public or even among friends. I make sure we’re in a calm and quiet place, preferably at home and well fed, so we can talk it through without being disturbed by people or have our feelings distorted by hunger. If we are out in public and something happens I signal T that I wish to talk to him afterwards. But I do so discreetly via eye contact or facial expression if that’s possible, neither of us have anything to gain from the other making a public spectacle.
  2. Something I’ve really worked with to change in myself is a thing he told me a long time ago. I would guess it’s 14-15 years ago so it was just in the beginning of our relationship. He simply said to me: “Say what you mean and mean what you say, I’m not a mind reader”. That really stuck with me. It took quite a while for me to incorporate it in my way of thinking (because I’ve been brought up expecting the guy to know everything without me saying anything), but it have helped us a lot since he does the same for me.
  3. Just because you had to tell your partner that you wish something from them (a hug, a fancy dinner, a game, a necklace) doesn’t make it less thoughtful. If you know for sure they don’t really care for that stuff themselves, isn’t the act of them doing it to make you happy something that you can cherish? For example: T never cared for marriage, but it meant a lot to me. So we agreed to get married and he went through the whole process just because it meant so much to me. In the end he said “It was a lengthy and troublesome process, but it was worth every step of it to see you so happy.”

Now, it might sound like I’m doing most of the work and maybe I am. But he have changed and added things to his behaviour that makes it easier for me to understand what he needs. And in the end, isn’t that what most of us are after? Feeling loved and respected by your partner, knowing you can trust them whatever the situation? That have always been my relationship goals.

Feeling happy

I love sleeping in when I can, some times though it’s more of a necessity then a choice. But the best feeling of all is when you really needed it and you had the opportunity to sleep a little extra. Sleeping 11 hours a night isn’t that good though, I know that. But since it have been a few hectic days I thought it was okay for this time.

Today I’ll try and relax as much as I can. But I feel a bit stressed though, since tomorrow is the first time that my very own Mage – The Ascension (a table top RPG) group is going to gather to create characters. When I say “my very own” I mean that I will be GM:ing for the group. I have GM:ed before, but mostly to smaller groups of one or two people. As it looks right now they’ll be five players. I wouldn’t have agreed to that size of a group unless I felt confident I could make it, I’ve played Mage several times myself and know the system well enough to be able to handle it, or so I think. But still, it’s something quite new to me and that’s always a bit nerve wrecking.

So today will be a day for reading, plotting and otherwise planning the very beginning of the story so I’m ready for questions and similar stuff tomorrow 🙂

Busy days

It’s been a hectic few days lately. Nothing big have happened really, it’s just been jam-packed with a bunch of smaller things. Yesterday though was a long and tiring day. I was supposed to help one of my students with her schoolwork but that was cancelled so I decided to clean the apartment instead. That took roughly three hours and once I was done I had just enough time to shower and eat before it was time for me to leave for my biannual lecture at the local hospital.

Twice per year I’m invited to the local psychiatry institution to talk about how it is to live with my diagnose in front of 30 or so people. It’s usually a very intimate occasion, I speak very openly about what problems I run into on a daily basis, how my mood violently swings without notice and how I work with it both on my own but also through psychotherapy.

So in total I do four appearances though a year, twice at the local University and twice at the local hospital, talking about my diagnose and how it affect me and my daily life. I usually focus on when things go wrong as that’s what most of both groups will benefit from learning about. At the University I speak in front of student nurses and at the hospital I talk to patients and their relatives such as partners, siblings, parents and even grandparents. It’s usually a very appreciated lecture and I like doing it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t tire me out..

#LevelWithACause for TakeThis

LWACTakeThis2

At the start of next Diablo 3 season many from my clan Rift will be raising money for the non-profit charity TakeThis.

TakeThis, Inc. seeks to inform our community about mental health issues, to provide education about mental disorders and mental illness prevention, and to reduce the stigma of mental illness. – Source

Since I too suffer from a mental disorder this event felt very close to my heart. Be sure to visit our charity homepage #LevelWithACause on the 9th and 10th of November to help us help others!

(Don’t Fear) The Unfollow

I recently came across an interesting article about not fearing unfollows. It’s from 2015, but it still had great value to me because I’ve stepped the exact mindset they describe a number of times. When I see that I’ve lost a follower or two I always feel discouraged and wonder what I did wrong, if I could have done something different, if I wasn’t funny or interesting enough to keep their interest or something along those lines. The big error I, and probably many others, do is to take it personally. There are only one occasion that I know of, for sure, that the person left because of something I did.

I’ve been reading a lot of articles since April when I began streaming and while many differ in their tips and opinions on best practises, the one thing everyone agrees on is being persistent and consistent. I somewhat knew about the consistent part even before I began but it have also become abundantly clear that being persistent is at least as important as being consistent. But it is hard, of course it is. When you’re on your fourth day without any interaction with chat and your viewer count seem to have frozen on 0 or 1, you start wondering if it something wrong with you personally as you refresh the page for the 27th time this stream (even though the stats on the dashboard refreshes itself automatically). But then there it is, the thing that breaks the dry spell and keeps you from giving up. Just like they say in the article, as long as you have your core audience with you, just keep doing what you do.

But then there’s that one individual that I’m both sad and puzzled about. The person was one of the first ones that followed me and soon also put me on auto-host. Their channel was always the bigger one but that didn’t seem to matter. But recently the person both unfollowed and stopped hosting me. We hadn’t spoken for a while but I didn’t think that was a problem. I guess I can send a whisper and ask why this is, but at the same time.. it doesn’t feel right. Instead I’m trying to be grateful for the time they chose to follow and host me, it helped me out a lot in the very beginning.

Something about blood and water..

Twice a month I go to the psychiatry department at the local hospital for my meetings with a special kind of nurse for conversational therapy (I have no idea what his profession is called in English, but he’s not a psychologist). This last session I had with the nurse, Anders, he told me that he’s going to retire in summer/autumn 2018. Now, his hair is grey and I’ve known he was closing in on retirement, but I never thought that I would still be with him once it was time. I took the news like I always do, passive but listening attentively. Once I was in the car on the way home I smiled a little at the fact that I was given the news a whole year in advance. But as it started to sink in I felt this sharp unwillingness and discomfort when I thought about getting to know another medical professional that would fill the same role as he have had for years now.

I really like Anders. He’s been with me since 2013, which in the grand scheme of things aren’t that long, but he was the first one I really opened up to and he’s been somewhat of a grandfather figure to me. I’ve told him most everything and he have supported me through some very big moments in my life such as my hysterectomy and learning to stand up to my mother.. and soon he’ll be gone from my life forever. I realize this is how it has to be, everyone ages and retires sooner or later, and he’s not really my grandfather.. but I don’t like it the least. I first smiled at how early I was presented with the news, but really it’s a very smart move. Through the years I’ve learned that I can handle almost anything as long as I’m given time to come to terms with it. Big life changes needs more time, smaller day to day things needs less time.

Right now though? I’m saddened, of course, but working with it as he himself once taught me. The sad feeling is something very selfish though, like all grieving processes are, soon he’ll be gone from my life but that doesn’t mean he’ll be gone. But I feel happiness for him too, he’s a great person with a big heart and I wish everyone could experience having such a person to turn to. He has taught me much but he deserves his golden years and I hope that it brings him everything he desires.. even if I’ll miss his terribly.

Early signs of the depression getting worse

Sometimes the depression just kicks you in your teeth and you are left wondering what the hell just ran you over because it usually doesn’t feel this bad. Today is such a day. I woke up when T’s alarm went off at 10.30 but I couldn’t for the life of me get up. It felt like someone had poured lead into my arms and legs during the night. T interpreted this as me just being groggy from my regular night meds and told me to keep sleeping before he got up. At 11.50 I awoke again and this time I forced myself out of bed, regardless of how stiff my limbs felt.

I’m usually very tired in the morning, mumbling and dragging my feet until I have gotten some breakfast. Most of the time it’s “only” because my night meds still is in effect but sometimes, like today, it’s because of something else. The day has been calm and uneventful, I haven’t needed to do anything or communicate with anyone so even if I never exited this state of mind, I wasn’t alerted that it was still really bad until it was time for us to get some food. I still had that sleepy, mumbling voice and was dragging my feet along the floor, not really having any energy to go about my business as usual.

For a few days I’ve noticed my appetite go that way as well. One of my early signs are changes in the food I prefer and like. When the depression is getting worse I always find meat and meat products something so disgusting I can’t eat it unless I force it down. Instead I get a taste for things that are yellow, white and preferably round. Liquids usually works well too. Think potatoes (yellow, round), cheeze balls (yellow, round), cheese (yellow, round), bananas (yellow, round if chopped), orange juice (yellow, liquid), yoghurt (white), milk (white), semolina pudding (white), apple sauce (yellow and liquid-ish). The last nail in the coffin was when I noticed that I gagged every time I put a meatball in my mouth and chewed. In the end I just had to force myself to eat the reminding meatballs and not only resort to the mashed potatoes.

But my mood have been heading that way for a while now, I’ve already noticed it. My sleep pattern have changed and I sleep 12 hours or more each day if I don’t force myself to get up when the alarm goes off in the morning. I had to cancel today’s stream, I could hardly speak up so T could head me properly without getting that underlip quiver and shaky voice. I really don’t want it to go this way, I really wish it wouldn’t. But I guess I soon will know if I will be able to handle a major depression with my desired trade..