October 19th, 2010

My Concentration is Returning

I know what I need to do today. I need to respond to a couple commission-related emails and get back to people about what I want, but I'm so used to writing an entry first thing in the afternoon, if not before I go to bed, that it feels weird to go directly to something else. But it's kind of odd to think about that in the first place. Surely I shouldn't have to post an entry every single day, but I like to and feel an obligation to myself to do so even on days where I can't think of anything specific to write about, but after the past couple days I wonder if this is one of the things that's preventing me from changing. You could argue for "Yes", by saying that for as long as I write about my day in here I'm not telling friends about it and not making any progress toward changing who I am, but at the same time, until I have a fair list of people to talk to, at least one at any given point throughout the day, I don't think I could stop. Which makes it a dependency, in a way, but this is a journal. It's something that should be written in on a regular basis. Mind you there is one thing to change about it, being that I shouldn't be so reluctant to write about certain topics (there are some I still flat-out won't discuss with anybody [as I said over on Dreamwidth, sexual things, for example]), but I want to change that.

So in such light, quite possibly the most important thing I'll be doing today is reading one of the stories Feathertail wrote that freaked me out in the first place. There are only two parts to it, so it shouldn't take that long to read, and as much as I'd like to wait until Dan Skunk is back online (he's the one I added to my MSN / Pidgin list) so I can say "I'm doing this, but I don't know how it'll work out, so I just want to know you're here so we can talk if need be", that won't work. I don't want to be completely dependent on other people to help me with these things, and at this point just having read it will be an accomplishment. I'll never be able to move on from this specific incident until I do so, and I also have a second story in the works (with a different author) which will deal with the past several years of my life - the "new" me hanging out with friends and still letting his emotions get the better of him, to being alone for a while and the problems that came up with that (minor problems taking longer to get over because I couldn't talk about them with anybody), to something really bad happening (representing this past weekend), and from there realizing that attitude and lifestyle really wasn't maintainable, and wanting / needing to change it. At first I thought there would be nothing to write a story about, and was worried I'd sent the author money / discussed things with them unnecessarily, but over the past couple days I've found more and more reasons to believe I do have the makings of a decent continuation. And I say "believe" only because I still have to hear back from them about this form they sent and whether I'm expected to fill out everything on it, or if I'm able to say "This has to happen, and these people might be involved, but I'd like you to come up with how." I don't think it's an unreasonable point of view, as surely being specific down to the very last detail would mean I could just as easily write the story myself. Mind you, I'd be going into over-thinking things if I got any more specific, but that's generally where it stands.

Unfortunately, one particular part of the above touches on the significant downside to the past couple days. I've spent an awful lot of money all at once - $200 on commissions (5 pictures and the aforementioned story), ~$40 on a leopard-spotted blanket that was on eBay which I thought looked cool, and another $40 sent off to try and make up for the mistake I made on Friday night / Saturday morning. Which isn't bad, per se, because I shouldn't be down to less than $900 yet, but I almost certainly won't be buying an external drive this week. Maybe, maybe, when holiday pay for Thanksgiving is added in, but I still have a game or something or other to buy for Adam, Manoah to compensate for letting Trevor take my shift on Sunday (which could be as inexpensive as a treat from Tim Hortons though), Mom to give gas money to, $50 to load onto my Visa to pay for the internet (which at least gets me $10 from both Adam and Naomi in return), and I think that might be it. Even with those though, I think I might go to 7-11 tonight. If not read that story and then get out of the house for a while to take a walk and go there afterward, but I just don't know yet. One of the other things I want to change now is not effectively living out of my room, which I plan to start with simply by finding something to do downstairs every other day or so for now (making bread, playing Super Mario Galaxy 2, possibly even Okami, Tales of Symphonia, or Tales of the Abyss again, going for a walk, etc.), because that is a large part of my problem. If I didn't spend entire days at a time staring at my laptop I wouldn't run into half of these things that bother me so much (and even then, when I did I'd have other things to do to get them off my mind), but instead of a radical one-day-and-everything-is-different change, which I don't think I could take, I'll start with something easy like every other day or so. Until I'm able to work out a balance of the two.

So in the meantime for today, I have some things to start copying over to my external drive (another season of Doctor Who and the first two seasons of Top Chef - it may not be as "nice" as Iron Chef America, but I do like these cooking shows <3), and a story to read. And I still haven't eaten breakfast yet, but in my defense it feels like I've only just started the day, and there's still plenty of time. Of course, I still have emails to compose and dishes to wash, but all in all that gives me quite enough to do~

That Wasn't So Bad

From what I gathered, the synopsis of the story is like this. The main character of the story, Joshua, has been changed into a fox by his friend. I can't remember her name, but he doesn't take it very well, and runs her out of the apartment. Once she's gone, his mind is overwhelmed with feelings of how horrible he is now, planted there from church, and drives him to the point of thinking he should just kill himself (which is what shook me up). Fortunately for him, just as he's getting "down to business" another friend calls for reasons I can't remember, and they're followed up by another friend who's trying to get to Joshua's place, but needs directions. Thing is, even when that friend gets there, Joshua doesn't want to let him in. He's transformed (in the story - "an anthro"), and apparently this specific religion is widespread enough that everybody's aware if its views and stigma it encourages. Everybody is aware that "anthros" are bad, and a slight against God and all that, so those people (or animals) try to keep themselves hidden. Which doesn't explain why at one point Joshua was thinking to himself about how he was a fox now and could change back and forth at will - why wouldn't he just change back into a human to answer the door, or is that something that would require his first friend's help to achieve? In any case, he refuses to open the door, and his friend, in an odd display of persistence, goes around the house (or apartment) to check all the windows, and finds one that's open.

Meanwhile, Joshua is on his way out the door. Or possibly other window, but he's trying to get away, and along the way smells food or something that catches his attention, and from there, somehow finds his way over to another house (or it may be the same one the food smell was coming from), where he can hear somebody talking. Either to themselves, or to a group of people, but this person is talking about how they feel about themselves. How they realize their life is a mess - apparently they were born female, became male by methods unmentioned, and from there, became an anthro as well, which Joshua notices as he gets closer to the window. But then this person (going by the name of Lawrence) wraps up his speech, and starts going through the cupboard for knives. He finds one and leaves the house, getting into his vehicle and either not going anywhere or driving for a bit then stopping off on the side of the road. Either way, he stops, says a prayer, and points the knife at his chest while saying something like "I'm sorry, God". Then Joshua starts scratching and "yipping" at the window to get his attention, and it works. Lawrence stops what he's doing, and the next thing I can remember after that, is introducing himself to Joshua, from where Lawrence's friends thank Joshua for intervening. Then there's also another bit after that about how one of Lawrence's friends did roughly the same thing before - ended their life, and how their preacher explained that people who died that way didn't go to hell, but instead would find God waiting to comfort them in the afterlife.

Which, all in all, is still kind of dark and deserves something more than a "Reader discretion advised" warning, but isn't even close to what I was thinking it was. Based on the preview, I thought that story would essentially be what I went and am still going through in real life, except with somebody else as the main character, and I couldn't handle that thought. Not only did it really, really push against my desire to be unique (which I am trying to tone down too), but it was much too unstable. With my thoughts about that / those topics, I know exactly what I'm thinking, and as such am mostly comfortable with thinking about it, but to see somebody else talking about the same things was, at the moment, unbearable. I didn't know how far they'd take it, or exactly how they felt, so my only response was to panic and screw everything up. Mind you, I've been working to get "everything" back to normal lately, and it mostly is, but my entire reason for overreacting was based on an assumption, and I only wish I had Pidgin installed and somebody to talk to about it then, but didn't, and the past weekend happened. Like, it's different. It is completely different. I would never do what Joshua and Lawrence were thinking of just because somebody else told me I should feel a certain way if I transformed. In my story, transforming is a good thing. Or at least an okay thing. In other peoples' stories, it might be something they're disgusted with, but that's where the distinction between mine and theirs comes in. And also, yes, I did glaze over alot of it. I read some parts in their entirety, and skipped others because they didn't seem important, but all in all I think I have a fair understanding of it now. Enough at least to realize my fear and worry was unfounded.

My only concern with this though (wanting to change) is that one of the reasons I want to is that I like the feeling. I like how it feels to do something new, but surely I'll become used to it after a certain point, and what happens then? Maybe that's what the some days on, some days off approach will fix. And if I do get too comfortable, I can always ask myself why. But not yet though, so instead I will switch over to working on the outline for my next story commission, or go downstairs to wash the dishes. Still more than enough to do, so it's good that I have all night~

I Always Need More Space

Bother this. My Seagate drive (the one with all the TV shows and movies I've downloaded) has less than 45GB of free space, and once I move these other shows over (Top Chef and The Outer Limits) will be closer to 35GB. It was inevitable, sure, but it seems like there's less and less space every time I look at it.

But for right now, I am writing in here again not to talk about that, but to mull over some potential concern that came to mind while I was washing dishes. Among the other things I did on Saturday / Sunday to keep myself busy, I went looking around Wikipedia to see what page would describe me best that time. One of the results that seemed to fit was Bipolar Disorder, but I didn't want to consider it, because it seemed much too serious. I would have to scrape and claw forever to gather enough reasons to believe that I had (or have) a genuine mood disorder, so while some of the symptoms may have matched, I didn't give it much thought. Until earlier tonight, when the "manic" and "hypomanic episode" headings on that page came back to mind. If there's anything to describe my state of mind the past couple days, that'd be it. I haven't been able to think straight, and I could barely wash dishes because of all the thoughts running through my head. Things like being worried that Feathertail doesn't / didn't understand what I was trying to tell him about how I felt, and how I'd both like to explain my exact thought process from beginning to end, but also how I couldn't do that because if anything it'd just screw everything up again, for one. I want to tell somebody "This is exactly how I felt". I want somebody to really understand why I freaked out, and exactly what the words "freaked out" mean in this context, but at the same time I don't because I want / need to stop worrying so much about how other people see me as well. I don't want to become the type of person who constantly moans "Nobody understands how I feel!" True as that statement may be, unless I were to be specifically asked, I have no reason to force that on other people.

The other thoughts were more minor, such as "What if this is really just a (hypo)manic episode, and it's just a matter of time until I go back to how I used to be?" I like feeling this way. I like the thought that I'm in control of my life being first and foremost on my mind at all times. I like this feeling of actually working to change, but I don't like the idea that it's only a matter of time until I either become used to it or go back to generally being / feeling "blah". I don't want to feel that way, but fear it's going to happen eventually, regardless of what I do, and that would mean I'm no longer in control. On the other side though, constantly feeling good and energetic as I have been since yesterday evening could eventually become too much of a good thing. Maybe feeling "blah" is normal, and I need to work on improving how I think and feel and what I do during those times. I can already feel myself coming down from writing this too. The world is starting to seem more normal, and I think this is how I felt last week before everything started, but I still want that euphoric, excited feeling back. It isn't gone for good though, so I think all it'll take is giving myself a reason to feel that way.

Consider having posted three different entries today. That's unusual for me. Last time I did something remotely close was back when Cola and I were just getting to know each other, and something came up for him. I remember posting six entries that day, at least one of which was private, and even though three is only half of that, it just goes to show the ability to feel that way and do those things isn't completely gone. But speaking of LiveJournal though, I don't think I mentioned this before, and have decided to make a change on here as well. It's one I've been thinking about for a little while, but at any rate, I need to stop writing entries in hopes that if I say a certain thing or write a certain way, somebody will leave a comment (and / or pawprint, because I still like that way of saying it enough to have incorporated it into this theme as well). When I first created this journal it was a place where I could get anything and everything off my chest, or off my mind, or otherwise talk about whatever I wanted to. Without worrying about length, or offending somebody with what I wrote (with exceptions made for things I felt bad about writing, but couldn't think of any other way to deal with), or wondering what would happen if somebody I knew in real life found and took an active interest in this. How many times have I mentioned Josh's name in here, and he still doesn't know about it. Or Naomi. She was and possibly still is aware of its existence, but as yet nothing has come from that (aside from her responding to what I said a while ago about thinking she'd stolen one of my tails). I need to do away with this self-consciousness and unfounded worry. Which I hope I've accomplished. That doesn't mean protected and private entries still won't have their uses (see this entry, or consider the words "Christmas gift ideas"), but I'd like to stop writing them just because I'm afraid of what somebody else might say if they saw it.

At any rate, I have may things to still do tonight. I have washed the dishes, but not written / sent any emails, and on top of that I have to think about options for Mom's birthday, since it's next Wednesday. Apparently Dad plans on "treating her like royalty" on Saturday, but would still like to see us get a cake and pizza or something for supper on Wednesday together. Maybe I could just make another one of the cakes I'm known for lately, but my first thought was actually going to Sobeys or Real Canadian Superstore and getting one that looked fancy and nice. I don't want to get stuck paying for everything again though, so I'll discuss it with Adam either later tonight or tomorrow, and maybe see what Naomi thinks when I see her next as well. But for now, I have emails to write~