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Archive for the ‘Work Diary’ Category

What it means…

In A Walter Mitty Character, Autism Research Unit, Meta Gav, The Uglier House Gavzette, Uncategorized, Unforgiving Minutes, UoG Newsletter, Work Diary, Writing Diary on May 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

…to be diagnosed.

In short I don’t know. Peace of mind it isn’t. Not in itself. Not by a long way.

Regret and self-hatred haven’t been strangers the last few days. Those fifteen to twenty years that needn’t have happened as they did. Those relationships that needn’t have foundered. Those mistakes that might perhaps not have been made. Those mistakes that keep on being made now. The complexities that have gone on in those long days, months, and years building up into my personality. The fact that the direct difficulties of the disorders I have had to face unknown and unrecognised have become outweighed much of the time by second-order difficulties of social functioning, of past hurts. None of these things are easy to ignore, or to simply acknowledge as passing thoughts in the mind.

Still your face doesn’t fit. Still you don’t know what to say. Still you speak and make no sense.

Still the handful of people who make an effort to understand are few and far between, and the necessity of seeing on a daily basis the people who don’t get it, don’t want to get it, don’t need to care, goes on, making life some days like the necessity of walking those last drudging miles home with failing light, aching bones and muscles and blisters rubbing on every step.

Still people take a kind of unfamiliar pride in traducing you in any way possible, feeling better for it, feeling morally superior for it. Because people like you don’t understand the social niceties everyone has hard wired into them, and so you need to be put down for it until you learn.

Every day you trust less.

Mud can make you prisoner and the plains can bake you dry
Snow can burn your eyes, but only people make you cry

It’s the end of the beginning, with a long fight yet. A long walk ‘home’.

– Clatterbach

Víkendy bych zrušil

In Unforgiving Minutes, Work Diary, Writing Diary on March 31, 2010 at 10:19 pm

It’s not the weekend, admittedly, but these lats two days I’ve not been working, and it has been the toughest two days for a long time. Maybe only for a week, who knows, but tough. From one minute to the next unsettled, trying to get through the day doing one thing then the next, and not feeling right in any one of them. Wearing a stupid haircut again but not wanting to take time out to go and get it cut. Not in the mood to climb, or to run, in the nasty wet and then snowy weather, but not trusting myself to stick out writing and get something meaningful done either, nor able to relax into a DVD, or relax into anything for that matter.

It could be anything. Could be any number of things. I have to get back to Kedo still over the question of a holiday in Romania. Something we didn’t manage to do those years ago, years that have slipped by insidiously quickly in this very same confused anxiety of a mix of conflicting impulses. Holidays have led to so much stress with me every time I can remember. I had to drink myself to a sleep that didn’t come last time I went to Prague. And the run up to it, having to let down a friend to go to Slovakia instead of the Brecons or wherever he was going, I would myself up into a rediculous frenzy over that. I haven’t got back to Kedo over whether I can go to Romania in June. To do so I would have to broach the subject with my boss, tell him the dates and get the yay or nay. It’s always a simple matter like that that sticks in me somehow. Broaching Prague to my folks last time who were subsidizing my writing venture, breaking up the progress I was making on Scars and Tattoos, versus having a much needed break and getting out of my habit of reclusiveness I had fallen into.

With my brother too I have been planning a holiday. An active holiday. The first dates fell through. Can’t get the time off. And so it fell off my radar. Of course, in this time too, my mania for activities and climbing and kayaking and biking and all the things I should have been doing for the last ten years or so fell away. Writing and Czech were up there at the top again. More stress. More letting people down. More indecisiveness. More putting off decisions and conversations until it all came to a head, in my mind at least.

And then too, maybe with a few days of overcast weather and feeling out of sorts. Maybe with the one woman I know here going away and, as little as I spoke to her, being more able to speak to her about ADHD (which covers the Asperger’s I don’t talk about, though I have now quite calculatedly placed The Big Bang Theory downstairs in plain view), about depression and problems with relationships, I feel down, alone, and rejected by everyone around me, as if this is simply one more place I don’t fit in, not the first and certainly not the last in a life which will be lived from one to the next, constantly on the move, never setting down roots, and always burning bridges. And so slečna Barbora is back in the picture.

Ok, so she has been for some time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cigars and Shooting Stars

In CBT, Creative Writing Department, Department of Psychology, Food diary, Progress Review, Unforgiving Minutes, Work Diary, Writing Diary on December 15, 2009 at 12:59 am

Hard to believe that Thursday gone I told my CBT therapist that I had been feeling so good that if I were to continue feeling as good as I had been that week I would struggle to differentiate my own experience from that of anyone else. I had perhaps felt that way for a couple of days. It was something I had said to B_____ as we went walking up in the hills with our headtorches one foggy night last week. I had eaten pretty well for a while, taken a lot of probiotics, and felt, after reading Gut and Psychology Syndrome, that I was taking care of things.

I don’t know how it was I came to feel that way, only that it was as bizarre a reflection of my own microclimate that feeling that way for a couple of days, with less going on cluttering up my head than usual, led me to think that I was cured.

Friday was a tough night. I Met up with everybody from my old place of work after a break of six months or so. And I didn’t drink. Didn’t drink because I’m trying hard to keep off it, trying to stick to a meaningful anti-candida diet so I can calm down my head for good and get to the top of that hill I’ve been aiming for for months. Didn’t drink because every time I have drank, anything, over the last few months, I have seen so clearly how it only makes me angry and distracted, and irritable and lacking in concentration for the next few days. That was difficult in itself. I chatted for a while, and people were welcoming. But the group grew and grew drunk, and I struggled. By the time we moved upstairs I didn’t want to deal anymore with the complications of women coming on to me I wasn’t interested in, with the people I ended up sat next to who I had literally nothing to say to, with feeling like the dullest man in the world. I left feeling foolish and lost. People around me were having the time of their lives, struggling with the emotions they felt to people they were now not supposed to be feeling emotions for. I was making people feel uncomfortable.

I smoked that day, as I smoked the week before, in a similar position in the first leaving do for a friend of mine, one of two or three friends I have had for years and see on a reasonably regular basis. From that Friday, when I came back at what may have been little later than 12 midnight and stayed up until three with the clenched head I get after being around people and processing it all for hours at a stretch to tread water, I have fallen into a kind of ennui that sits best with the nocturnal hours. All day I find myself rudderless and anxious, and then, at ten, eleven, twelve, I make it up to the summerhouse to the typewriter with a hot water bottle.

I have rediscovered poetry, and written something maybe most days since that Friday, when I had to get something out, however rough it may have been. But the stories have been slow moving. I did finish Quiz Night last Monday, and had the idea for Sham almost immediately afterwards, but it’s moving slowly with this routine I’ve found for myself and almost wilfully exaggerated by being too self conscious about it all.

And as for my head being quiet! The last few days I have been a blacksmith – the result of opportunities that have been discussed and which provide me with a dilemma. I have made damascus steel knives, bracelets, forks and I don’t know what else. I have shown my work to various people and expressed all of the facets of a truly bellicose manner that befits my mood and the role of a blacksmith.

It struck me on Saturday that smoking does for me in much the same way as drinking and bad food. I know this. And yet I forget this, and so here we go round again.

But I’m tired. I came in an hour ago tired to the point of near collapse and have been wasting my time with this barely-coherent piece since.

Once again, I have got to get back to basics. It’s not easy.

Gluten free rolls

In Autism Research Unit, Department of Nutrition, Every Good Boy Deserves Football, Food diary, Progress Review, Work Diary, Writing Diary on September 29, 2009 at 10:43 am
Thawed roll

Thawed roll

Bread doesn’t always much agree with me, whether it’s gluten and yeast free or not. It’s nothing but carbs, I tend to eat it with butter, and I’m not sure about the bicarbonate of soda and the xantham gum in particular. I have found over and over that I have the problems of flatulance and a congested head with bread. But then, sometimes, it tastes good, and it’s not too difficult. Sometimes too you do need to treat yourself. And so I tried to get around this a little when I made my last batch, putting together an Irish soda bread from Special Diet Solutions by Carol Fenster, a book my dad bought from E-bay having read about it on doing some research for me, the kind of book that seems to have nothing but baking recipes, and then by freezing a number of roll-sized pieces of dough. Read the rest of this entry »

The Long Dark Weendend of the Soul #2

In Autism Research Unit, Department of Psychology, Unforgiving Minutes, Work Diary, Writing Diary on September 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm

The weekend blues continue today and I’m going to have to keep on trying to analyse this from time to time to put together the longest-yet work in progress that is the Haynes Manual to my head, an Aspergic head, an ADD head, a cyclothymic head, a romantic, apostate catholic overeducated small town dreamer’s head to boot, because it’s no one single thing.

This isn’t just a matter of routine, though that’s important.

I have been teetering towards depression for somme time now. And it could be one of many things, which I will look at briefly – I’m working with very low levels of motivation here:

  • I have briefly mentioned elsewhere that a childhood friend of mine died just over a week ago. We hadn’t seen each other a great deal for a long time. His awkwardness and obsessive tendencies reminded me of myself. Another Orlick to my Pip. That is, a shadow, a character who reminds me of what I dislike about myself. I have known many such people, and tend to have a love hate relationship with them, an intense ambivalence which swings this way and that; the kind of relationship many men have with their fathers. At the very funeral many of his aspergic traits came out so strongly. I used to say to myself that he spoke like somebody on a Teach Yourself English tape. Something of course, I do myself. We were together all the time as kids, and, intermittently, into my adult years. We were together the night before I was due to go to university. My Dad left a message on his phone early in the morning, which had been diverted to his boss’s phone: where was I, he demanded, I had a big day the next morning. We used to write stories together, make videos and I spent a large part of my childhood with him.
  • Women constantly play in my mind. Strangely, this stopped for a while when I was with my last ex, Marketa, the brunette of an abortive story Greetings to the New Brunette that I began to write on coming back from Prague, or on her going back after she came over for a disastrous trip that’ll be hilarious with a little distance, when I knew already it was a mistake. I say strange because I didn’t enjoy time with her at all and I still kick myself whenever I think about it. But I’m finding it hard I think at the moment knowing how difficult it will ever be to find a woman who can deal with a man as obsessive as I am, who wants constantly to work and who finds it so difficult to send time with others. I have become a recluse these last few months. Read the rest of this entry »

The long dark weekend of the soul

In Autism Research Unit, Progress Review, Unforgiving Minutes, Work Diary, Writing Diary on September 26, 2009 at 11:44 pm
What is it about weekends that I am doomed always to spend them in a state of high anxiety, flitting from one thing to another, unhappy in each of these pursuits?

Today is, or certainly could have been, a case in point. I got up a little late having gone to see a film last night (on my own, perhaps emboldenened by stuff asperger people like‘s #24 Dating Themselves, something I have commented on at the bottom of the post) watching Newsnight Review and then kicking around posting nonsense on The Booker Shortlist and letching over typewriters on E-Bay.

Everest Model 90

Everest Model 90

This is what happens when I have nothing to do with myself. Well, I’ve stocked up my E-bay watch list, and put in a few wanted ads here and there. Indeed, When I did, finally, get up this morning after getting to bed so late, and when I settled down onto the computer to write a few UoG posts, hoping indeed that this might become a sustaining routine for me over the next few weekends, Dad came back and told me he had been down the car boot sale looking for typewriters. Well, for typewriters and fishing rods for himself and a couple of other things, but basically, he wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the fact I have been obsessed with typewriters since one of my several new, plasticky portables broke on me when I was working up in the summerhouse about a month ago. Since then my routine has been punctured, and I’ve been working on my aesthetically, sonically beautiful Imperial Model 50 upstairs with and without earplugs to block out the noises of my mum and dad (quietly) going about their business.

Back when I first quit work and took to writing full time – supported by my ever-understand (ok, recently ever-understanding) parents, I was going up to the summerhouse every day to write. That short 30 second walk, and the ritual, often enough, of tucking myself into my sleeping bag was really important, and kept me going. I was up there often enough, from nine in the morning until ten at night. Ok, with sometimes long breaks in between. But I kept going. Read the rest of this entry »

Letter to writers of Typewriter website

In Department of Psychology, Letters, Unforgiving Minutes, Work Diary, Writing Diary on September 5, 2009 at 11:23 pm

royally endorsed typewriter

Dear Wim, and Guy,

I get up in the morning and having moved from the summerhouse working on a story yesterday because the carriage on my awful plastic modern Remington Envoy stopped advancing, carrying on on a 1932 Imperial 50, I had to get working on it before I lost my routine entirely. Read the rest of this entry »

Progress Review 2nd half July 09

In Progress Review, Work Diary, Writing Diary on July 30, 2009 at 10:25 pm

It’s been a fairly uncertain routine that I’ve had since getting back from Prague on the tenth. I’ve been out only once, really, to see a fella from work for a short while, and been out on my bike only once. Otherwise, I haven’t once started writing before 9 o’clock, which was my regular routine before going away, or at the very least, I was up in the Summerhouse by that time most days. Read the rest of this entry »

Writing/work diary 21/07/09

In Creative Writing Department, Department of Nutrition, Food diary, Work Diary, Writing Diary on July 21, 2009 at 10:58 pm

A long long day with very little achieved on the one hand and not such a bad shot of some things on the other, but certainly no writing. I’ve had a few nights now of terrible sleep is one reason why. I had been wondering what it could be. The reintroduction of 5HTP which had seemed to help me so much before when I had found that exact routine I had been looking for for so long. Eating late. A change of diet of sorts to a kind of Macrobiotics-influenced diet of beans and pulses with grains? And so on and so forth. But what I now think it is – my body being something like a temperamental machine in being influenced by so many different factors and always being off kilter in one aspect or another – is that due to the advice I got from a dietician a couple of months ago to drink less with food in order to not dilute the digestive acids, I have not always been drinking much or taking my vitamin B supplement in the morning. Neither have I been drinking so much. Especially since I ran out of my usual teas a few days ago. And so the slow release formula has kept a quantity of Vitamin B in my system to the degree that, as I have experienced many times in the past, but not for a long time because it was for so long an abiding maxim to take the vit B in the morning whatever else I do, I do not sleep. So, I have my hypothesis and my culprit. Didn’t stop me feeling like shite all day. And so I was on the computer for much of the day doing random bits and pieces. Reading up on President Mitterand on Wikipedia after catching some of the film the Last Mitterand on TV yesterday having come down after a second attempt to sleep that had followed reading the excellent L’Ascension Du Haute Mal in French, and before drinking a lot of cheap vodka and some Bacardi. Read the rest of this entry »

Writing Diary 20/07/09

In Creative Writing Department, Work Diary, Writing Diary on July 20, 2009 at 10:24 pm

An undisciplined day in some ways. I slept incredibly badly last night, spiked the whole time from either sugar (a couple of gluten free bars), die off from the reintroduction of pro biotics, or the reintroduction of 5HTP. I also ate a lot reasonably late, perhaps, with what probably was a fairly high GI soup – sweet potato, carrot and lentil.  Either way, I was spiked. Presumeably I slept, though it didn’t feel that way. It is this nasty, nasty state of mind where thoughts and consciousness remain alert even as physiological tiredness envelopes you, one fighting against the other, and the sensation of being on the rack. Read the rest of this entry »