Polycule: How to Win a Fangirl’s Heart

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• 3000 words • 12 min •

Sandoval’s voice was rough, and had that well-worn quality of professors everywhere who speak clearly, often, but drink too much coffee. He had a strong vocabulary and used words in text and conversation that I secretly had to look up later.

He smelled like guy soap and Sweetarts, and was the kind of chubby and barrel-chested that made me want to snuggle up on him and take a nap.

This one’s going to be a long one – and a bit of an emotional ride. Buckle up, kids.

[Content Warnings: discussions of mental illness as the friends/family of someone who is mentally ill, emotional abuse, gaslighting. Pretty intense on those last two. Take care of yourself.]

His first message to me online was long, charming, and silly. He told me later he’d read and re-read my profile dozens of times before sending it, because he wanted to get it right.

Everything’s Hard When You Hate Yourself: Productivity while Depressed

I have a chronic form of depression called dysthymia. It’s described as…

hate yourself

I have a chronic form of depression called dysthymia. It’s described as a long-term, milder form of depression (as opposed to a “Major depression” which is intense and can last from 4 months to 2 years). However, tell someone with dysthymia that their condition is “mild” and you’re likely to get a hearty “FUCK YOU.” The difference between chronic and major depression is the difference between having a hole shot through your hand with a gun, or slowly bored through you with a rusty spoon. Yes. It’s so much milder.

Dysthymia cannot be cured. You learn to treat it, to manage it, but you don’t have hope of someday getting back to “normal.” A dull, low-grade ache of depression is my normal, and accepting that is a big part of learning to live with it.

So, when it comes to approaching things like productivity, writing, starting a business, etc. most of the helpful blogs and books are very discouraging. “Just do it! Just get your butt in the chair and work hard!” seems to be a recurring theme. “Plan your goals, schedule your time, and put forth effort.”

So what do I do when there are days – sometimes even weeks – when I cannot “just work hard,” when getting out of bed and feeding myself is about the most I’m going to get done that day, when that looming schedule of things I Have to Do causes so much guilt, shame, fear, and self-hatred that it does more harm than good?

I ranted about this on twitter recently and was recommended two good articles (here and here) which were a great starting point for me, but it took a lot more introspection and planning before I found something that worked for me. And I’m going to share with you in case someone might also benefit from this.

There’s 7 main parts to this: accept the situation, set (flexible) goals, try things out, keep detailed records, get to know yourself, forgive your failures, revise your plans, and celebrate your successes.