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13 April 2005 @ 10:24 am
drink more water, eat more greens.  
The mellifluous poshcat (mellifluous: "filled with something that sweetens") suggested that I use "The Hard Stuff" for D&D (drinking & depression) related cut-tags. I'm shortening this to Hard Stuff, because that's really more what it's about. Stuff that's hard. *glares* And not penises. Not Hard Core Stuff. Shut up! You people are messing with my mind.

I actually could have called this "hard and kind of boring stuff" today.

I'm very tired today. Very. I was so worn out after last night's training session that I decided I needed to take a day off. I think I've been pushing myself. I told this to my trainer and she said, "A lot of the important progress happens when you're resting." This sounded good to me, but later I wished I'd asked her what this meant exactly. I don't see her again until Sunday. Must remember to have her clarify.

I went to bed at nine last night.

Everyone on my flist is talking about shows I don't watch. I feel completely out of step. I'm not interested in watching these shows, either, but I'm having that "I want to be fannish with everyone again" feeling that crops up when you're not living la vida loca of an active fan.

This probably isn't thrilling news for most of you, but I find time management much easier when I'm not even making the slightest effort to write--when I don't have that stressed, anxious feeling of constant failure for every minute of free time that I don't spend getting words down. I read a Benjamin Justice mystery recently, a later entry in the series, where he'd gone on Prozac and his writing had dried up. He felt stable, moodwise, but by the end of the book he decided to go off the medication to get his highs and lows and creative energies back. I don't have any conclusive thoughts on that at the moment.

When I say that time management is easier, a lot of what I'm saying is that it's much more satisfying to spend solid time working out, because I'm not irritably and impatiently thinking, "This is cutting into my precious free time! I want to be home, trying to write!" Never mind that I often didn't write anyway, but futzed around and watched TV, and when I did write, it could be unfulfilling.

I still have donation stories to write. This gnaws at a corner of my mind, I assure you.

I haven't done my taxes yet.

I've been kind of down the past few days. But not drinking. There's a part of me that thinks, "That's not fair. I'm not drinking but I feel like crap. I should feel better than this." Yeah. Because not drinking can solve world hunger and cure cancer, and make flowers bloom from my kitchen sink.

I'm rereading Eight Million Ways to Die, which is a significant book for me. It's pretty hardboiled noir in its way, but richer and more faceted than the title makes it sound. And it's a critical turning-point of a novel in the Scudder series. I don't know how much I'd spoil this for anyone, but early in the series he's a classic hard-drinking P.I., and over the course of time he starts the decline toward hitting bottom, and he reaches it in this book and finally turns things around, and for the rest of the series, he's sober and in AA.

I have a lot of uncertainty about the idea of "hitting bottom." This issue is addressed in a chapter of Drinking: A Love Story, which I still want to quote a lot from. The author says that it can often be just an internal thing, a turning point, and not necessarily a big dramatic event of hitting someone with your car or losing your job, etc. I wonder if I hit bottom last spring. If so, have I recognized that sufficiently? Do you have to see the shadow of your death to really sober up? Metaphorically and/or literally.

I need to think about my health more. I need to drink more water. One of my own favorite lines--that I've written--is from "A Long Time Looking":
It was a vague concern, like not eating enough greens, but now and then a more pressing urgency, a gripping and cumulative fear: If I don't start eating more greens soon, I will die.
That's my thought for the day.
kassrachel on April 13th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
I'm having that "I want to be fannish with everyone again" feeling that crops up when you're not living la vida loca of an active fan.

I am not posting about it, because I'm watching it sooooo slowly (and also, so long after everybody else already got on the bus and then got off it again) but I watched two more episodes of Firefly last night and it made me really happy. I love the way Joss handles team dynamics. The Serenity crew are like the Scooby gang, only different.

Anyway. It's a little bit odd to be feeling fannishly happy about a show that I know other people watched, but which everybody else has moved on from. Eh -- just wait. One of these days I'll finish Buffy S1, and then I can really be behind the fannish curve. *g*
Anna S.: seattleeliade on April 13th, 2005 05:32 pm (UTC)
Wait--are you only now watching Buffy? I didn't know that! :) That's so exciting! (If I'm reading you right. *g*)
kassrachel on April 13th, 2005 05:39 pm (UTC)
I've seen S6 and S7 (my first episode was OMWF), so everybody says I've missed the good parts, and I feel weirdly out-of-the-loop because as much as I loved the last two seasons, I have only anecdotal reportage for what happened in the early years. So I have high hopes of someday finishing my S1 dvds, and then eventually getting through seasons 2-5, by which point everyone else in the fannish world will surely have moved on at least a hundred times. *g*
grit kitty: huhgritkitty on April 13th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
Huh. I just finished watching season four. It's my first time ever watching Buffy, too. Just ice ages later than everyone else. And I feel bad; good, cool, smart, stylish people have pimped Buffy to me years ago (um, hi anna) -- why did I wait so long? Oh, that's right, because I fell so in love with Firefly. But it worked. Buffy = gooood.

Must buy season five NOW.
Trepkos: Spiketrepkos on April 13th, 2005 05:38 pm (UTC)
I'm jealous of anyone who's just starting to watch Buffy!
You have so much to look forward to!
laurashapiro on April 13th, 2005 06:07 pm (UTC)
Trust me when I say that nobody's "moved on" from Firefly. We are biding our time before the movie comes out, and licking our cancellation wounds. Believe me, if you want to talk/write about Firefly, you have an audience.
nestra on April 13th, 2005 06:10 pm (UTC)
Heh. Thanks for articulating what I was trying to figure out how to say.
Killa: spike - kathyhkillabeez on April 14th, 2005 11:45 am (UTC)
ngaio on April 13th, 2005 05:34 pm (UTC)
Important progress happens when you're resting I *think* because it gives your muscles a chance to repair themselves stronger. So, yeah, rest is good.

And, you know, hope you feel ... I can't think of the word dammit ... soon.

Well that was coherent wasn't it?!
WesleysGirl: Spike/Weswesleysgirl on April 13th, 2005 05:42 pm (UTC)

I don't comment a lot -- to you, but also to lots of other people -- and then I feel guilty for not commenting, and then I feel stupid for feeling guilty because it doesn't bother me when people don't comment to my posts (and I'd go crazy if everyone commented to every one of my posts and I wouldn't be able to comment back to everyone without losing my mind) and okay, kind of off topic there. The point was going to be that it kind of scares me when you post stuff that's so very nearly what I'm thinking and feeling, because you're like this shining star from where I'm standing. There are other fanfic writers that I want to be like when I grow up, but I'm actually friends with most of them now so the shiny patina of 'they're not like me' has worn off, revealing the places where their fur is shabby, the things that make them real.

I hope this doesn't sound unbelievably stupid.

Everyone on my flist is talking about shows I don't watch. I feel completely out of step. I'm not interested in watching these shows, either, but I'm having that "I want to be fannish with everyone again" feeling that crops up when you're not living la vida loca of an active fan.

Yup. Right there with you. I've even tried to watch a couple of the shows in question and gotten nowhere. No interest. Blah. Boring. I want to care, I just don't.

Never mind that I often didn't write anyway, but futzed around and watched TV, and when I did write, it could be unfulfilling.

And right there, too. "Writing time" has become, mostly, "refresh LJ and check other websites time," and I don't know how to get the drive back. It's mostly easier when co-writing (but not always.) *Sigh*

Trepkostrepkos on April 13th, 2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
If you work your muscles hard, they're supposed to take 2 days to break down and build back up again, slightly bigger/stronger/with more stamina.
Sometimes on the second day, you can actually feel the new muscle tissue growing - well, that's my fancy anyway!
There's a very good book on the ins and outs of muscles/weight training, by the founder of the Gold Gym, but I lent it to someone and I can't remember the name of it! Or the author! That's helpful isn't it?
I try and do a muscle exercise day alternating with a stamina day - eg. weights one day, then exercise bike (I think you do stairclimber for that or runnig machine - is that right?), then an ab. workout, then swimming, that sort of thing.
But you do need a day off now and then, unless you're training for the Olympics!
bleu_lavandebleu_lavande on April 13th, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC)
Author would be Ken Sprague.
Trepkos: Antstrepkos on April 13th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC)
That's 'im!
Circe: dom - cobra - anniesjcirce_tigana on April 13th, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC)
julia_herejulia_here on April 13th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC)
So with you on the fannish stuff; very little of what's on TV now is more rewarding than reading fanfiction and joking around with the S3 folks and, well, whatever else it is I do when I'm not watching TV. Writing, messing with my new camera, talking to my son about the hydrological cycle.

Julia, realizing it's time to go see if I have a clear shot of The Mountain so I can torture the ex-NW people with it
laurashapiro on April 13th, 2005 06:06 pm (UTC)
Mmm, greens. No, really. I sometimes wonder if the reason I've always been thin is that I really actually prefer vegetables to most other snacks, and that I really honestly do like water better than soft drinks.

My palate, she is insipid, perhaps. But still: broccoli rabe sautéed in good olive oil and garlic? Gimme more of that. And it's asparagus season! And pea season! It's easy to eat more greens when it's spring, I think.

As for the fannishly out of step thing, I can certainly relate. I spent more than a year in that place. Two things happened: Battlestar Galactica, and a weird thing where suddenly a bunch of people I know well are getting into Farscape (people getting into a show *after* me? you jest!). Perhaps none of which is helpful to you.

My gut feeling on feeling included in fandom is twofold: if you care about feeling included, you do have to put out some effort to at least explore what other people are into. But also, if you wait long enough, something will come around that excites you, and then if you look, you'll find people (maybe new people, maybe old friends) who are excited by it, too.

So, I guess patience is useful. Plus deciding how much energy it's really worth to you, and then investing that in, say, checking out House or Veronica Mars or whatever your flist is going on about.

Finally, don't think for a minute that your old friends don't care about Buffy or Stargate or The Sentinel or The X-Files anymore just because we have shiny new things to look at. Believe me, if you're writing or even just talking about these shows, your friends want to read and to hear. Because you have a nifty brain.
torchflambeau on April 13th, 2005 06:08 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I think we really want important moments in our lives to be signposted, to be important when they happen, and they aren't, always. Sometimes we'll look back a year or two later and see that yeah, that was it, that was when. And sometimes we'll just decide that was when and where and the time it changed, because we want narrative cohesion when we tell the stories of our lives. And that's not such a bad thing.

And sometimes I think all we have is days and other days. And that's not such a bad thing, either.

Also, *love*.
Ponyponygirl2000 on April 13th, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC)
When I took yoga regularly the instructors used to talk about the rest period at the end of each class as being the most important part - they said it was a time for our bodies to process everything that had happened in class and re-adjust. I'll admit I usually fell asleep, but there was something to it, lots of other sporty types talk about the importance of rest days and plateauing. I wonder if in a larger sense this could apply to life, maybe we all need times to just pause and pull back in order to understand what it is that is happening. Maybe that's what you're doing now.

In any case that line about the greens was fabulous, I would have been thrilled to have written such a thing.
in search of a clever byline: dandelion break10zlaine on April 13th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
I need to live in NYC with rusty_halo so I can eat at all these wonderful and healthy places with her all the time. Just me? Pizza. Grazing. Craptasticness.

If it's any consolation, I haven't done taxes, either--and I have self-employed stuff to add in with all that regular crap, including expenses, equipment, etc. (have I mentioned poorly kept records?) Bound and determined not to file an extension, I'm currently musing on exactly when I'll engage in the paperwork. I mean, right now? The thought of doing so sort of exists in my brain on the periphery--not really tangible--except, um, I have two days.

la la la
Kristinadesoto_hia873 on April 13th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
I read a Benjamin Justin mystery recently, a later entry in the series, where he'd gone on Prozac and his writing had dried up.

I was on Prozac years ago and, after the first couple of weeks, had only one side effect as far as I could tell (which was odd in and of itself as I am usually the Queen of Side Effects): I stopped listening to music. I didn't really notice until I came off of it and started again. Weird. The pharmacist didn't tell me about that one.
tovalentin on April 13th, 2005 07:42 pm (UTC)
I read a Benjamin Justin mystery recently, a later entry in the series, where he'd gone on Prozac and his writing had dried up. He felt stable, moodwise, but by the end of the book he decided to go off the medication to get his highs and lows and creative energies back.

This is the way medicating for depression and other disorders is often handled in drama, but it doesn't bear much resemblance to anecdotal reality. My writing was completely blocked for more than five years, until my untreated clinical depression took a nosedive into a major depression that forced me to get some help. I'm still working (with an excellent clinician) on finding exactly the right antidepressant, but I'm writing again.

If only italics could convey the wonder contained in that sentence. For the first time in years, a blank sheet of paper doesn't make me want to cry.

Well! TMI from one of your lurkers...
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on April 13th, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC)
Hesitated about posting here because I'm very new around here and butting in on such a topic feels a bit intrusive. But... I'm just out the good side of a long depressive period, and I know that sometimes someone objective telling you the blindingly obvious can be a help, especially when you've got to the stage of turning any given subject, however apparently positive, into a stick to beat yourself with. Hitting bottom might turn you around, or possibly crush you completely; it's no fun at all, and something to be avoided if possible.

So here goes. (Forgive me if it's unwanted or stamping on sore toes.):

You are not your writing. You are more than a fan. You weren't put on the earth to produce infinite quantities of fanfiction for an insatiable public. Your talent for engaging us is a wonderful gift, but that doesn't mean you should be a slave to it. We are leeches [vampires?] - never satisfied. You could post something perfect every day, and there would still be people bugging you for more. So: live life as it comes. Go to the gym. Eat cake. Take up a few of the thousand and one things people came up with for a singleton to do at weekends (for which many thanks, by the way, gave me some good ideas). If you need to write, you'll write.

Having written this, it sounds impossibly glib. Not meant as such. All the best, anyhow.
all right, so you're nonchalant: waiting for the light to changerunpunkrun on April 13th, 2005 11:31 pm (UTC)
When I went back to school (the first time) after a term off, I decide I would not spend any time writing fanfic. None. I would study, and sleep, and eat greens, and I would not write. The time I spent writing got sucked up into other, more important (or so I thought at the time), activities. If I hadn't been so stressed out about the rest of my life, I'm sure it would have been a relief not to have to worry about being creative. I squashed down every writing thought I had, and eventually they stopped coming. I didn't miss writing. I didn't feel guilty for not writing.

That was one of my worst ideas of all time. After that term, I started writing again, but it was hard, like astral projection, like trying to write with someone else's hand. It took me *four years* to get over that feeling.

Before, I never felt guilty about not writing, but now I have this fear that if I don't write, I might lose the ability to do so. I get grouchy and mean if I go more than a few days without working on something. It makes me feel desperately guilty and paranoid.

So, I understand that feeling. That urge to just shrug off the creative responsibility and just not worry about words. I'm also terrified of it.
ex_dovil323 on April 14th, 2005 10:29 am (UTC)
First of all: do your bloody taxes! Pay a homeless person half a sandwhich to do them, just get them out of the way. Because while you'll have lots of time for writing in debtors prison I don't know if they have internet access and then I wouldn't be able to read them. Why yes, life is all about me.

People who are tea-totallers have down days, life can suck, but there is kittens. Plus you're doing horrendously well and am quietly proud, in a typing it out kind of way.

I don't think you have to dwell on the hitting bottom thing, I don't think it really does have to be some kind of major revelation with orchestral music and a close up, I think there has to be a desire for change and then just getting on with it basically. Which it sounds like your doing any way. So go you, keep it up. :D

Drink green water. Do your taxes.
Alizarin_NYCalizarin_nyc on April 16th, 2005 03:03 am (UTC)
"I still have donation stories to write. This gnaws at a corner of my mind, I assure you."

I think you should (secretly) get a fanfiction ghostwriter. Why not? Your ideas, your outline, your final say -- someone just sits down and bangs out the story. And gives you all the credit. Sounds unethical, but I think it's a great idea and you have so many fans that would love to help out and do it.

I'm half serious! Sort of like getting an accountant to do your taxes...