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.” You can deal with it through things like therapy and CBD products which do help but don’t get rid of it. I read a lot into CBD on sites like https://www.neotericnutra.com/blog to see if there’s anything new that could help. But alas, 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.