momijizukamori: Green icon with white text - 'I do believe in phosphorylation! I do!' with a string of DNA basepairs on the bottom (Default)
Same forewarning as my first post on the subject - general discussion of mental health/psych problems and meds/therapy, but nothing specifically triggering beyond that.

I managed to make an okay start of things in September and the beginning of October - my main tool was buying a pocket notebook I could carry with me and write things down in like daily to-do lists and shopping lists. This has definitely helped with the 'forgetting stuff' thing because when I remember something that I need to do later I can write it down right away, and everything's in one place so it's easy to reference when I go 'wait, where did I need to go again?' Also, [personal profile] purplecat introduced me to Workflowy and while online list-making usually doesn't help me much over the short term, it totally fits my LISTS OF LISTS OF LISTS project-planning style.

Now the lousy stuff - I haven't been able to get much of a push in motivation, and sometime mid-October I realized it had been starting to go rapidly downhill, which has only gotten worse in November. I've been managing to get through 'need to do' things like grocery shopping and laundry and getting my car inspected, but almost everything creative has gotten shuffled off into 'I'd like to do this thing but not enough to move from this spot on the sofa'. And my insomnia has managed to get even worse, to where I'm waking up at four am and then not falling asleep again for another three hours, and flipping between sleeping like seven hours a night and fourteen. And it's miserable and I hate it.

I think at this point the real solution is 'find a new therapist' which means tomorrow I need to force myself to... actually make phone calls and stuff. And somehow work out scheduling around having a seasonal job with UPS. Sigh.
momijizukamori: Green icon with white text - 'I do believe in phosphorylation! I do!' with a string of DNA basepairs on the bottom (Default)
Forewarning: some discussion of mental health stuff follows, though nothing particularly triggery. Basically, now that I've got the worst of my mental health problems under control, I'm squaring up against the smaller stuff. With the disadvantage that because lol HMOs I can't change meds or go to therapy right now so I have to pretend to be self-directed.

Any advice/input/feedback is seriously welcomed as I ponder how to handle these. Also I'm pretty sure this post was more coherent when I was writing it in my head in bed last night but they don't have a direct brain-to-text interface yet.

forgetfullness/detail execution - this comes up the most in my work and in coding as a problem (though the forgetfulness is a problem elsewhere, hello buying everything at the store except the one thing I came to get). I end up having to go over work over and over to fix the stupid mistakes I made earlier. Or if it's a sewing project, sitting and crying inside because I can't fix stupid mistakes without starting from scratch. It's not that I don't know the stuff I screw up, I'm just somehow too scatterbrained to catch it on the first go through

difficulty with starting things - NUMBER ONE PROBLEM. Unless it's something I'm either super-excited about or there's an immediate, clear consequence to not doing it, I go 'eh, later'. This is basically why I can manage to drag myself to work on time but skipped almost every class my senior year. It's also why I have about a billion half-finished projects that I was SUPER-EXCITED about when I started, but didn't finish in one go, and still want to finish but not enough to overcome the activation barrier necessary to actually do work on them.

feeling overwhelmed by backlog - ...the immediate consequence of the above. 'I sort of want to do this thing, but not enough to do it now, so I'll queue it up to do it later'. 'Later' perpetually remains 'later', the queue builds up, and then my anxiety kicks in because I have OMG! SO MUCH TO DO! and I freak out and go do something mindless all day because it's 'safe'.

insomnia/sleep problems - my body wants ten hours of sleep a night :( I also have trouble going back to sleep if I wake up in the middle of the night, which may or may not be a side effect of the Effexor. Before I was on meds this was usually anxiety-related, ie, endless loop of worry, but now it's just and endless loop of mental list making and blog post writing and 'oh, I should get around to doing [x] today'. Which screws up my already screwed up time management even further, means my energy levels (particularly mentally and emotionally) are all over the place, and fucks with scheduling.

inability to handle obstacles - something that comes up the most in coding - with most craft stuff I have enough knowledge to know the tools to go to when I hit a wall, but with coding? HELP IT'S NOT WORKING THIS IS TOO HARD I GIVE UP. Basic troubleshooting doesn't even start happening, I just shut down.

More solution brainstorming when I finish reading the ADD/ADHD self-help books I got out from the library (not actually attempting self-diagnosis, but whatever combination of problems my brain has seem to manifest mostly as ADHD-brainlike problems)

Mindware

Monday, 23 July 2012 01:11
momijizukamori: Grey tabby cat with paws on keyboard and mouse. The text reads 'code cat is on the job', lolcats-style (CODE CAT)
This kind of started with [tumblr.com profile] unfuckyourhabitat and discussions of how adding one small new habit to your routine makes it easier to add others, but it kind of solidified talking to [twitter.com profile] pjf at YAPC, who is a deeply fascinating individual - the discussion we had can kind of be summed up in his wonderful OSCON keynote, which is on youtube here. Basically, my life is kind of a mess. There are things I should do but don't want to do, and things I want to do that I don't end up doing, and basically my life-system is Not Working. This is for a number of reasons:

1) I'm a very poor self-motivator. This is probably at least partially because of depression, though I think a lot of people have problems self-motivating. Basically I obey Newton's First Law of physics, and this is why I didn't got to over half my classes in my last semester of university.

2) Related to (1) - I'm poor at commitment. And occasionally afraid of it, because I have a very high fear of failure (again, see depression plus anxiety), and if you don't commit, you can't fail. But I'm also fantastic at abandoning projects midway through because motivation dried up.

3) I have an awful case of what [personal profile] synecdochic calls 'goldfish brain' (this is one of several reasons the terrified goldfish is my spirit animal). Basically it's an exciting combination of distractability and short-term memory failure that leads me to do things like almost put the butter away in the cutlery drawer, lose everything I don't keep consistently in the same spot, and forget important things I need to do unless I do them right now.

So! It seemed best to make a list of what I want to do before I figure out ways in which to overcome 1-3 and actually do it.

Long-Term
-Get a job in my field
-Get PR status in Canada
-Own a house

Day-to-Day
-Keep the house clean
-Keep up with my RP commitments
-Cook a greater variety of lunches for work
-Not lose things all the time

Crafting
-Assorted planned knitting projects
-Assorted planned sewing projects
-Deal with the backlog of half-finished and abandoned projects
-Become reliable and skilled enough to make some extra income off my skills

CompSci
-Learn Perl
-Learn Python
-Get my cosplay website out of alpha

Languages
-Learn pronunciation for French, Mandarin, and Cantonese (No interest in the language, but I don't like sounding like an idiot in front of my friends)
-Brush up on my Spanish (I blame comic books)
-Learn Japanese
-Learn Welsh or Irish

This, then, leads to the 'how to do this' portion. The long-term goals are somewhat nebulous, and I need to refine the steps necessary to reach them before I can set that up on any sort of tracker. I've been using Astrid as a possible to-do manager, as it syncs web and my phone, and has a random reminders, which is good for someone who forgets things that need doing. I am, however, open to to-do list managers, as Astrid doesn't have an open API, so no hooking it into other things. So far, that's mostly been for day-to-day stuff/one-off tasks - I can add when I think of it, and come back to it later. The CS stuff - I think for Perl, working on DW bugs may be a good start. For my website, it's honestly just buckling down and writing the damned content. Languages - I have access to some online learning systems through the library, and Anki seems like a good way of reviewing.

The next problem - the big problem - is keeping to the commitments to do things, instead of 'eh, later'. Like the recycling in my trunk I've meant to take to the depot all week. 'I'll do it tomorrow.'. For that, I'm tentatively considering Beeminder. Putting money up for stake is kind of scary (see fear of commitment) but at the same time, money is one of the few things that is sufficiently motivating. Why I skipped classes but I don't skip work.

This, of course, is all very rough-draft right now, and input on what's worked for others is more than welcome.

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