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  1.  (10580.1)
    The Rules:

    The THREE ACT SPEAKEASY is here for you to vent, to express, and to learn. This is your chance to perform -- but you're also in the audience, guv, and are expected to behave as such. So your skits at the steely Whitechapel microphone will ALL and ALWAYS be divided into three sections:

    1: The Boo. The Get-It-Off-Your-Chest. The "I've-Had-A-Shit-Week-And-I-Need-To-Vent". Your chance to scream silently into the face of Internet apathy, and trepan your pressurized consciousness. Deposit your spleen here.

    2: The Huzzah. Wherein you tell us something which goes just a teensy way to mitigating the effects of the psychic turd you just laid on our heads. Perhaps it's a tiny hint of hope in an otherwise bleak situation. Perhaps it's an unrelated Thing Which Happened which made you smile rather than frown. Shit, maybe it's just a silly joke. Show us you can cope as well as carp.

    3: The Applause. You will choose one of your fellow whitechapellers, from this same thread. Doesn't have to be the person who posted before you - just someone whose story touched you. And you will offer them a word of advice, or comfort, or support, to help them with their own SECTION 1 Whinge. Doesn't have to be much. A sentence, a word, a bloody emoticon - whatever. Just a paltry donation to the art of Thinking Of Others. And try to avoid schmaltz, please, or the Urethral Maggots will feast anew. Circle of life, kids.

    Naturally, the first person to respond here is excused from Stage 3.

    Begin.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2012
     (10580.2)
    Boo: Horrible tooth pain. Insomnia. THE FEAR.

    Hoo-raw: Busy busy busy with writing projects. Earning my chops. All are healthy.

    I'm going to do the applause anyway, because you're all fucking heroes.
    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2012
     (10580.3)
    Boo: Really desperately trying to have a positive interaction with someone in this town besides my husband. I get so frustrated sitting here at home, day after day. My husband is running around with the DJ friend and a number of his friends to help the DJ move into his new place. I stay home with the kids...i'm terribly lonely lately. I'm trying to make new friends outside of who the DJ brings over. He seems to taint peoples opinion of me and the interactions I have with these people don't really make me feel any better.
    I found out that cute artist chick that kept telling me she wanted to come over and hang out and never did, has been hanging out with my dj and his friends (granted they share a best friend, so it was going to happen eventually...).
    I'm sure I'd feel better if I had a car so I could go out and meet people, but I'm still waiting for my tax return. I hired an accountant, and she just buggered off on us without filing. We waited two weeks pointlessly, expecting our check, and when we started getting concerned and called both the IRS and her, trying to find out what was up we found out they hadn't been filed at all. So we had to start over, and chris was too sick to go on the day of our appointment and I couldn't walk there...so we're still not even filed...so I've got at least another few weeks before I can get out of the house under my power. It's tearfully frustrating to see all these concerts and events going on all around me and I just have to sit here and HOPE that I can find a way to get a ride there and back. with only two or three people I can ask, usually the answer is no, and I've gotten tired of having to depend on someone else these days. I feel like such a burden, especially since lately the answer has been a whole lot of no.
    Arthritis is bad...so bad...stomach hurts...i've got plenty of smoke right now though so my nerves (besides the bouts of depression) are not too bad, and I'm eating...

    Huzzah!
    My old business partner put together a hugely successful toy and comic-con in Lexington last weekend and I had a blast and made a bunch of money (which is gone now..but bills got paid!). My husband got to meet Mike Grell and I got to say hello to a bunch of my artist and writer friends. I purchased a couple of really nice prints and got them signed, and really felt like my old self for a little while again. I was in lots of pain, but I ignored it for the most part. I bought a really cool extremely limited (15) print by my facebook friend, and hopefully participating Lexi-con artist Annie Erskine. I also picked up a neat little comic that was put out by Catnippery Productions and arted by Justin Stuart, one of the local, very talented artists out here in Lex.
    been painting...waiting i was commissioned to do a grim reaper so here's my chilled out Death, just biding his time. nowim working on a little red riding hood piece for my husband :) i'm already happy about how its developing :)

    Sympathy: @faux i'm there with you man, i have a giant wisdom tooth thats growing in sideways that i cant afford to get cutout yet.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2012
     (10580.4)
    Boo. I'm not pregnant and was secretly (very secretly) hoping that I was. I'm finding myself getting irrationally angry at pregnant women and I know it's rooted in some kind of deep seated almost subconscious level of jealousy. Which is lame of me but I can't seem to stop myself.
    At the same time I'm slightly afraid that what I really want isn't actually kids but rather some kind of direction in my life because I think I'm stagnating. I'm fine in my stupid job that I don't care about, but my life outside work is... well it's a bit boring. I'm used to having some kind of project going on the side but i really don't have one at the moment and I just feel aimless. I find myself totally puzzled, wondering what on earth regular people do with their spare time.

    Huzzah. I have a new graphics tablet which I can't really afford but is super awesome and twice the size of the old one. I want to hold it and stroke it forever. Also the weather here in London is unrelentingly lovely at the moment, making the city oddly cheerful.

    Sympathy @Pooka. I'm not in the same situation as you but I understand that feeling well. It's very difficult to get out and meet new people and even harder to find people that you connect with. Please believe me though when I say that even though we don't know each other, I am certain you are not a burden. If people don't respond to you reaching out to them, it's because they are so wrapped up in their own shit, not because they don't want to hang out with you. Keep trying. Don't give up. Stay positive and open to new people and things will happen, just probably not on the timetable that you wish they would.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJP C4rp3nter
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2012 edited
     (10580.5)
    The Dog-end of despair: 
    Bit of a wierd one, there's lots of good happening, and everything really should be pretty near as dammit perfect, but there just has to be something to fuck it all up. I've been off work this week, and was looking forward to it a lot, wanted to chill out and work on stuff, spend some time with my littlest daughter and get up early and go out exploring bits of the countryside  I  haven't seen yet. But one of my daughters brought home some kind of virus. It wiped her out for a couple of days, but then moved on to my partner. [edited to remove personal stuff from being indelibly on web after thread closes]. Elder daughter had it as well, and didn't take too kindly to it, littlest one is poorly too and was gutted she couldn't go to preschool. I  seem to have escaped.

    The Hooray and Up She Rises

    Have been avoiding emotional traincrashery by the medium of Extreme Gardening. Have done absolutely shedloads over the past four days, digging out new beds, clearing, tidying, planting, NUKING  THE FUCKING  SLUGS  FROM  ORBIT (I'm mightily let down by this whole theory of 'let the predators do their stuff', lord knows I've tried, but they don't, and it's no use if they come along after every last plant has been totalled by the slimy little bastards).

    I'm writing this now from a little table that I've moved onto the second patio at the side of the house. Slight change of emphasis, it'll have flowers and baskets on it this year instead of my efforts to recreate the Good Life. But it's nice. And I  managed to take Ruby out for a trip round Portsmouth Harbour, which both of us love doing - she just likes being on a boat, I  love looking at what's left of the Royal Navy. Was great to spend quality time with her, she's just a little darling.

    [edited to remove personal stuff from being indelibly on web after thread closes]

    The Light That Never Goes Out:

    @badbear:  I  can't claim to have any understanding of women's drivers to become pregnant, but from my experience they defy all rationality and often can't be controlled. Also, the jealousy - think that's normal, my partner's cut friends loose and deleted facebook due to it, think there are a lot of very strong emotions at play there. Pooka - the isolation thing sucks, can empathise. I  don't know a single person in this town, nearest friend is an hour's drive away... hope it gets better for you.
    • CommentAuthorchris g
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2012
     (10580.6)
    Boo: Funny'ish story about how I am broke all over again; I'd spent the last several months saving and avoiding any major spending to be able to have $1k tucked away in a pouch in the back of my drawer like so much Zelda rupees. Not for anything special, just as a cushion or for emergencies. Then one afternoon while I was helping my mom at her job and she came up to me all serious and said something about my cat. I was like "Shit, she ran away? WHAT?" and she showed me in her hand my pouch with my whole fortune in it, I wasn't shocked more like "aw fuck" inside my head. My sister was going to throw it away but found out money was inside and she had no idea who it belonged to and dropped it off to my mom. Turns out my nosy klepto cat was sticking hers paws in my stuff again and dragged the pouch out of my room. Anyway, my mom looked happy and gave me a little hug and asked to borrow it. I stayed a stoic statue about it since she looked happy and needed it more for bills and moar bills so yeah, *poof* I don't care. Thanks, kitty! >__<
    I now keep my room door shut while I'm out now.

    Also still super pissed on Avatar's behalf for getting their convention gear/merch stolen. I don't know who the bald dude working their table was, but he was working that whole island solo most of the time like a BAMF.

    Zah: Losing all that $ made me feel nice and grounded again now that I am back to simply scraping by every week. I'm can identify with Space Shark again and in ways that don't involve getting stupid drunk. We're both just loners trying to get by in the universe and not get fucking dead. Well, he dies every once in a while and gets better, I don't!

    Sawce: Everyone here is fucking tough as nails and makes me glad to see everyone still checking in here after all these gawdamn years =D
    •  
      CommentAuthorbrittanica
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2012 edited
     (10580.7)
    BOO: Haven't posted in an Open Mic in a couple weeks... In fact... the day after the last time I participated, I had a complete breakdown after forgetting the fella was working on homework and trying to talk to him, triggering the massive undercurrent of self-loathing that always seems to be there. There was screaming, for no goddamnned reason... I broke the dustpan I was using against the wall, and when I ran out of dustpan I used my fist (once; I was hysterical but not dumb enough to break my knuckles, thankfully)... The fella had to stop me by grabbing me and putting his hand over my mouth, and fucking hell was that frightening. He didn't hurt me, nor was he trying to but still... Later, my mom called and got to listen to me hyperventilate and babble about how I hate myself for a few minutes before insisting her and Dad drive up there.
    I've NEVER told them about the stuff that goes on in my head. I'm terrified of them, I don't know, being disappointed in me? Well, I still haven't really talked to them about what happened. They came up here and calmed me down and took the fella and I out for a picnic. I think they've put it out of their heads, aside from asking me how I am, even though Mom said she'd ask around w/ people she used to work w/ at a psychiatric clinic, see if she can't get me in to see someone. I need to. So badly. I think I just need someone to talk to and tell me what my head is doing to me.

    YAY: At least I had this week off of work. Didn't do much, especially after finally buying Minecraft. And after that breakdown, I haven't been too bad, emotionally. I have moments, but I'm dealing.

    APPLESAUSE: @chris- Ha, cats are jerks! At least you can still be a stone cold badass w/out being a thousandaire.
    @JP- I've been interested in Cognitive Therapy ever since a therapist I saw a couple times on an employer's dime (who was fairly rubbish; he kept bring up religion as something to help) and he gave me that book, Feeling Good. Actually following through's been a whole other thing... <_< Was the course a result of that phone service? I'd like to see if there's something similar in the US.
    @everyone else- Keep on keeping on. We're all here for each other, and I hope the thought helps you like it helps me.

    (edited to correct some terrible sentence structure)
    • CommentAuthorMrMonk
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2012
     (10580.8)
    DOWN The doctor weaned me off of psych meds around the end of November, and things were going well until about two weeks ago, when depression. hit. hard. It started with confusion and a short fuse, which drew comments at home and work, then a hammer hit and I was down for days. After a few more days ramping up the meds, I'm back at work and functioning, albeit at low efficiency and with only sporadic signs of self-motivation.

    It was my turn this week to have dinner with the big boss (well, the local big boss) and a few of the management. We went to a high end place, and, just as I feared, it was noisy. Under the best conditions, I have trouble distinguishing speech over background noise, and depression just makes it worse. After a while, the b.b. asks "Feeling left out?" and I had to tell him that I couldn't hear a word over the background noise. And I was ignored for the rest of the evening. Just one more thing to go wrong.

    The office has told everyone above staff level to get a Blackberry. Not offered to give us one: told us to get one. We are now all officially on call 24/7. And people do get called. One more bit of my life taken away.

    UP. For over three months, I met each day with a clear head and (usually) bright affect. It was good. I'll have to find a way to do this more often.

    PASS. @chris g - It looks to me like the money went where it would do the most good. How many opportunities do you have to make things easier for your mom?
    @brittanica - I am so sorry to hear about your trouble. It can be frightening to believe that you might have a mental illness. Are you open to learning from someone else's experience?

    If you feel you can, remind your mom about her offer to ask around and follow through.
    If you find that you do have a mental illness, face up to it. Don't be ashamed by it.
    Tell some family or friends that you can trust about your situation. Ask for their support.
    Get the right therapist.
    If you need government assistance, go after it.
    And once the dust settles, find a peer support group with people who've been through what you're going through and have made it to the other side. My first call was to a help line, and they got me started on finding other resources.
    Don't wait until you crash hard, and have to spend the next decade putting things right.
  2.  (10580.9)
    Yick: I'm spending more money than I'm making, The tiredness continues. I have ideas for projects, but in a weird way, it's a bad thing, because chances are, instead of getting them done, I'll worry about them and then hate myself for not doing them. Or finishing them. Which of course makes the depression harder to handle. Most of my problems are self-induced by my laziness/crazy.

    Yay?: I'm starting counseling/therapy again, and judging from the first session, he should be fairly decent. My birthday is coming up and I'm hosting a Fancy Dress Party (with Tea) for my birthday. I've invited the cute ginger guy, and posted it on facebook, and at least one person is coming so far (who isn't related to me). And I might actually manage to do one of the projects, and even finish it, which would be a step in the right direction.

    Applesauce:
    @Pooka: hugs! Loneliness, especially when you can't do much about it, really sucks. I hope you get your money to buy a car soon.
    @J-P Carpenter: The problems you and your partner are having are heartbreaking. Would your partner ever get counselling? I could be wrong, but there seems to be some really difficult things that are not being dealt with, which is causing more problems.
    @brittanica: Emotional breakdowns suck. I'm sorry to hear you had one. Please do pester your mom about getting that care you need. Because I want to see ya get better (and I'm sure I'm not the only one).
  3.  (10580.10)
    Arse custard: Trying to build a 27" iMac out of junked parts for the kids to use. Can't find where I put the proprietary Seagate HD temp sensor cable. I've obviously put it somewhere "safe". It'll show up after I've wasted $40+ and a week ordering a replacement. If I don't do that it'll probably never show up. I know, #firstworldproblems. By my own standards it's pretty amazingly minor. This leads to:

    w00t: For the first time in something like a decade I have very few problems. Been off the booze 6 weeks, losing weight, finally got treated for sleep apnea and no longer feel constantly angry and short of sleep. Getting work done. Having hopes, even starting to dream.

    The good oil: @brittanica - what MrMonk said in his spoiler-proofed paragraph and what trini just said is right on the money. I have to add - don't do what I did. Given my time over I'd have gotten treatment earlier and stuck to it better. There's always this thing in the back of your head if you hate yourself enough that maybe you're just weak and maybe you ought to do what everyone else does and just white-knuckle through the bad times. Well, that ain't what everyone else does because most of them aren't carrying this load. One thing that happens if you don't get help is that the stress hormone cortisol builds up in your system. It rewires your brain to make it progressively harder to sort yourself out and it alters your genes, creating yet more new problems. Please listen to these good people and seek the help out. Don't wait. It CAN get worse but it doesn't have to by any means.

    While I'm on the topic of my mental health, there's someone here who got her head bitten off by yours truly in private correspondence after I'd had a week of no sleep at all late last year. Under the circumstances it seems inappropriate either to contact her directly or to name her, but I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise, especially considering by the sound of her recent posts she's not having much fun at the moment. Ms, I retract my remarks and sincerely hope that things improve for you.
  4.  (10580.11)
    @Britannica - I had counselling with a therapist about 12 years back, and it was useful, I guess what it didn't do was equip me to help myself very well. I don't think the CBT stuff is for everyone, but for me it worked because it focused on practical actions that would affect mood and was quite analytical, ie I started by working out exactly what activities I'd withdrawn from, looking at negative thought patterns and trying to unpick and challenge them, and then reintroducing the things that I'd just stopped doing. It was through a series of fortnightly phone sessions with a counsellor, which suited me well as I didn't have to take time off work, I'd just slip into a meeting room for the call. Agree the hardest part is following through, but once you start seeing some impact that gets much easier; specifically I wanted to document the approach so the next time it happens I can just break out a text that tells me how I managed to climb out before. Hope you can find something close by.

    @Kay - well said about getting help - I didn't, for 10 years (partly as I didn't understand what was happening), and carried on until the tactics I was using to deal with it (booze, eh, driving round in circles for hours in the middle of the night at breakneck speed) were no longer compatible with a job and a relationship and something broke. There was no need to wait that long.

    @Trini - I don't know, she doesn't think that counselling will help her. It may come to that though. You're right though, there are some difficult things that aren't being dealt with well by both of us. Just have to keep on keeping on. I hear what you're saying too about having ideas and not managing to get them done, it's very easy to get into a death spiral about that - try not to beat yourself up about it, and maybe just write stuff down to pick up at a better time?
  5.  (10580.12)
    Boo:
    I've got a half-hour phone interview to do to get into community mental health. I've had the number a week or so now. I keep on staring at it, thinking of a half hour interview...on the phone...to strangers (I hate making phone calls), and then feeling all panicky and dizzy, and upset. I know I need to call the number. I know I can't do this fighting of depression on my own, and I need more professional help; but somehow making that phone call is the single most terrifying thing in my life right now. I know that fear isn't logical, but it's there, and I can't logic it out of existence, anymore than I can logic my worsening depression out of existence.

    Huzzah:
    I made a friend. He seems a nice guy and gave me his old andurino kit thingy. He's moving away. But it was pleasant to have -for a few days at least- someone I could go out and do nice things with. I also got a book on positive dog training, so that if I ever *do* save up enough for a psych service dog, that I can train it myself.

    Applesauce:
    Britt- Minecraft is insanely fun. =) I hope you enjoy it as much as I (and a lot of other folks here) have.
    Best of luck with the mind stuff. It's scary, but you can pull through.
    If you ever just want to talk or ask about what it's like going through mental health crud, go ahead. You aren't a failure, or disappointment. Sometimes people just need some more help with stuff than others.
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2012
     (10580.13)
    My mother goes in for her gallstone operation tomorrow. But rather than go through that boo/hurrah jazz, I shall focus on sending her thoughts of healing and recovery. I am a great believer in visualisation, manifestation and positive thinking. And it will help to counteract thoughts of worry and anxiety about how she's getting on.
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2012
     (10580.14)
    The Boo: The Budgie challenge has folded because of poor response. I am so disappointed.

    The Hurrah: I've just got news from the hospital that Mum's operation went routinely and she is in the recovery room now.
    • CommentAuthorMrMonk
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2012
     (10580.15)
    (1) At my mother's birthday party today, I noticed that my little sister is going gray. Sobering reminder of my own mortality.

    (2) Little sister is an extraordinary baker, and her daughter is following in her footsteps.

    (3) @dnewling - It's good to hear that your mother's surgery went well.
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2012
     (10580.16)
    @Mr Monk: Thank you.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2012
     (10580.17)
    The F-You, God: My wife's thyroid is such that it's fucking up her insulin, making her blood sugar spike like that of a diabetic. Complete overhaul of household diet, engage.

    The Good: Let me get back to you.

    The Apple Laws: @roo: phone calls suck, but new friends do not.
  6.  (10580.18)
    THE BAD: The boyfriend and I have been fighting viciously for the last 2 months or so. My hearing aids are becoming so old and outdated. They're becoming more difficult to get repaired. Most ENTs (Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors) in New York don't take my insurance, so every little repair that these buggers need is out of pocket. Oh yeah, and I make minimum wage. Ffffk.

    THE GOOD: The boyfriend and I have vowed to be nicer to each other and stop letting life's difficulties get in the way of a perfectly good relationship. I found ONE doctor who takes my insurance, and hopefully can discuss surgical options with him as a more permanent solution than hearing aids.

    THE HOORAY:
    @dnewling Glad your mother's surgery was a success.
    •  
      CommentAuthornelzbub
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2012
     (10580.19)
    boo(s)- my girlfriend really wants to become a tattoo artist and while I have encouraged her with her drawing, I have been quite against her just getting a gun and learning by practicing on herself or other willing friends.
    Recently she heard of a tattoo training course in town which offered three weeks of supervised training on synthetic flesh and then two "live" tattoos at the end of it, as well as all the necessary gear needed to start up. I had agreed to put up the money for it but was still a bit skeptical.
    At the last minute, I decided to get in touch with one of my oldest friends who happens to run one of Scotland's most successful tattoo studios and ask his advice. Now I realise I could probably have asked him sooner but I've always resisted getting an old friend involved in a professional type thing because it just kind of felt wrong.
    He replied very swiftly that these paid training courses are very much disapproved of in the industry and advised against doing it. He also asked to see her portfolio to see if he could advise in any way.
    My girl was very upset but could see the sense of not rushing into something that could harm her future prospects, so she got together her drawings from the past five years and sent them on.
    It was a nerve wracking thing for her to show her work in this manner and although my friend replied with some positive advice about drawing gear and styles to check out that would suit her, his message got cut off halfway through with no real plan for her to move forward with.
    This has caused her no end of stress as she has waited to hear more while not wanting to be nagging him. She has been letting her insecurities run away with her and its causing no end of tension at home.
    I feel that I've put all of us in an awkward position while trying to do the right thing.
    I can understand my friend is very busy with his own stuff and deals with hundreds of wannabe artists every month and I feel a dick for bothering him like this, especially since life has prevented us spending any time together recently and I miss him and his family like a phantom limb.
    At the same time I have to try and support my girl in at least having a shot at the thing she most wants to do- if only because I know how good it is to make a living doing something you truly love.

    bleeuuuuuurgh.

    On the subject of doing that which you love, it'll be a year this week since my perfect occupation came crashing to a halt with the arrival of the police at my door to put an end to my home farming project.
    I've had some pretty low moments since then but my recent coffeeshop project has been a real chance to turn things around again-until this week, when I have found out that it's possible that my record from last year may well have implications for me keeping my job.
    Not something that had previously been a problem- but in the current political climate many tactics are being employed against the coffeeshop industry which could form the subject of another huge rant on my part but I'll spare you the full-on weed bore.
    So I'm gonna have to be consulting lawyers this week. I'm hoping to get some free legal advice because the 500euros an hour I paid for my last lawyer isn't really possible right now as we've got to be saving up for an operation for our two yr old victorian bulldog whose elbows and shoulders are fucked up so bad that he's struggling to walk some days.

    When the shit flies it comes from all angles...

    And yet and yet,

    Huzzahs- spring has shown its face and I've enjoyed getting out in the back garden, feeling the sun on my back and building some raised beds as well as breaking down the compost bin and spreading some organic goodness into what I hope will be our veg larder later in the year.
    -The coffeeshop is going really well, with a great menu and we seem to have adopted a cat which is always nice, both for the customers and for helping keep the mice down.
    -We got to fly back to the UK for an old friend's wedding. Was a lovely weekend in a perfect setting with great people,food,weather, booze and other good things.

    somewhere it will all balance out.

    Some Applesauce-
    @ radical doubt- good you've found a doctor I hope that goes well. It drives me loopy when I hear of the problems folk have with the U.S. medical/insurance industry.
    @ dnewling- glad to hear your mother's op went well.
    @ rootfire- positive dog training book sounds interesting- any details?
    @Whitechapel- thanks for being here for me to pour my worries out, tis a sterling service to be sure.
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2012
     (10580.20)
    I've just had the word that Mum is coming home. Hooray!