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Scalyfreak

Scalyfreak harnesses the Gift of Anxiety

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Out of nowhere, it hurts. Just for a moment. Then it stops and all is well for several days, and then suddenly, it hurts again. Needles, pressure, right underneath the skin, gnawing and biting to get out. It burns, and it’s suffocating.

 

Scalyfreak stops, and focuses on breathing slowly until the pain fades away and breathing comes easy again. She waits several moments after the pain has faded, just to make sure it will stay gone this time, and then slowly starts walking again. These strange attacks of pain and suffocation have been happening for years, but never this often. Never this painfully. Never with so many tears, or with so much fury. And never this frequently, and that concerns her somewhat.

 

As she continues down her path, Scalyfreak thinks about this strange ailment that she is gradually realizing has plagued her for years. Surely there must be a cure somewhere? Something that can at least lessen the impact this strange illness is having… it would be very inconvenient, potentially fatal, to have an attack in the middle of battle. There must be a way to control this. To prevent the sudden and instant flares of excruciating pain.

 

Because she is thinking about it, Scalyfreak actually senses it coming this time. Just barely. Right before it hits, she feels it creep up on her and manages to stop and brace herself right before the pain returns with such a vengeance that she doubles over from the onslaught, and crumbles to the ground.

 

And the pain explodes.

 

gm0kF8Q.png

 

So apparently there is this thing called “anxiety”, and it’s a chronic thing that can’t really be cured, only managed.

 

Between a lot of reflection and introspection, and with some (significant) help from my therapist, I have come to realize that, for me at least, the anxiety is actually an overblown fight-or-flight response to something my brain thinks is dangerous, regardless of whether it actually is or not. The key to living with it, while living a happy and relaxed life, is to actually learn to live with it. To accept it, and learn how to take all the adrenaline and energy from a full-on reaction to a perceived threat, and turn it into something productive. This reminded me of something @Harriet said a while back, about the Gift of Adrenaline, and how it can be our greatest enemy if we allow it to take over, but also a great ally, if is is properly harnessed.

 

Harness the body: Go to the gym and lift things.

It’s impossible to overstate how much lifting heavy things makes everything easier. It also makes me stronger and more badass, which obviously is a good thing. At some point during this challenge I will make it to 100 lbs on at least one of my main barbell lifts, maybe more than one. Because this is a big milestone for me, I have decided that we deserve shiny things! This appeases Self-Indulgence, and also makes me happy.

 

Award for the first barbell lift to reach 100 lbs: Weight Plate Ear Rings

 

Award for the second barbell lift to reach 100 lbs: Matching necklace, engraved with, “Through Strength I Gain Power”

 

Neither of the above are goals, only rewards. Injuries happen and stress has a tendency to sabotage progress. That said, shiny rewards are good for motivation. :) 

 

Harness the Mind: Sleep must happen

I have struggled with sleep since long before I joined The Rebellion, and I have finally realized that one of the reasons for that I never really had a good reason for improving sleep other than “it’s good for me”. I did not have a Big Why.

 

Now I do.

 

More sleep will make the anxiety more docile and easier to work with. This is a goal worth pursuing, so I will pursue it. Now it has a purpose.

 

Harness the soul, so it can soar: Camp NaNoWriMo!

Writing stories about bartenders in an orbital space station makes me happy, so I’m going to devote time to it. And to other things, but this is what I’m writing down for right now.

 

Let’s harness the flame.

 

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I've noticed, if I can feel a panic attack coming on (cause those are so much fun) If I can make it to the gym before it kicks in I can use that energy to have an epic workout. Even if I just go in to the crappy gym at work I can come out sore and better.

 

8 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Let’s harness the flame.

season 1 starz GIF by American Gods

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YAAAAS! Anxiety is a Beserker Potion! We just need training to endure the ill effects and maximise the beneficial ones. 

Wishing you all the sleep, and all the success harnessing the "anxiety" (in quotes because it could be something else... like a magic potion or a blessing-curse from the fire spirits)

 

9 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Writing stories about bartenders in an orbital space station 

 

Oh, rad! Is it a long or short story? Are you going to publish it? 

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9 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Writing stories about bartenders in an orbital space station

 

3 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Oh, rad! Is it a long or short story? Are you going to publish it? 

Bartenders in space?

 

Quark Trek Star GIF - Quark TrekStar Ds9 GIFs

 

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2 minutes ago, Grumble said:

 

Bartenders in space?

 

Quark Trek Star GIF - Quark TrekStar Ds9 GIFs

 

 

Quark's bar on Deep Space 9 may or may not have been a bit of inspiration there...  ;)

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Forwent gym tonight in order to get adulting done. My vision insurance provider decided that my optometrist of nearly 15 years doesn't need to be in their network anymore, so I had to find another one. Then I had to do online registering and stuff so I can use my new prescription to order new contact lenses. Also, retirement savings things needed to happen, and online banking changes be made. Blergh.

 

So no gym tonight. I'm posting this here for accountability because this means gym tomorrow. And Wednesday evening is when the dumb gym-bro morons who bump into barbells go to the gym. I am deliberately not thinking about that at all, and choosing to focus on pleasant things, so it won't stress me out too much. And remembering that going to the gym is the only way to get closer to the plate earrings...!

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8 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

So no gym tonight. I'm posting this here for accountability because this means gym tomorrow. And Wednesday evening is when the dumb gym-bro morons who bump into barbells go to the gym. I am deliberately not thinking about that at all, and choosing to focus on pleasant things, so it won't stress me out too much. And remembering that going to the gym is the only way to get closer to the plate earrings...!


Uh, adulting instead of gym, not fun, sorry :(

You already have all the tools you need for coping with dumb gym bros. You are already prepared with innate awesomeness. So you do not need to do extra "preparation" by worrying. Sleep well and enjoy lifting tomorrow.

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3 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Sleep well and enjoy lifting tomorrow.

 

I fully intend to. Right after taking a very nice and relaxing, long, shower... :) 

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Accountability check-in: Went to the gym

 

I preemptively deflected stress over the bench press and clumsy morons by manipulating the space-time continuum rearranging my workouts so I did pull-up and OHP for the upper body today, instead of bench press and barbell row. I will do them on Friday instead. Felt extra good about my decision when the bro-horde descended and the rest of the gym had the dubious pleasure of watching all five of them flex for each other while taking turns on a bench.

 

I made progress on the assisted pull-up, which was fun and made me happy. 3x5 with 84 lbs assistance, compared to only two sets last time. :) 

 

Squats were cut short when the formerly injured knee decided to start aching in a very ominous way right at the injury site. All squatting immediately stopped, and I have wrapped the knee in ice for good measure. I did manage a couple of reps at 95 lbs, and aside from the knee pain they were going well, so the earrings are another step closer....

 

 

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10 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

manipulating the space-time continuum rearranging my workouts

You can't fool me. 

I'm on to your time traveling powers.

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3 hours ago, Grumble said:

You can't fool me. 

I'm on to your time traveling powers.

 

I surge towards the future at the breakneck speed of 3,600 seconds/hour.

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Harness the body: Go to the gym and lift things.

While I had to move one of my workouts, I haven't missed a single one so far this challenge. Last night's workout was really bad. I had no energy and ended up skipping sets, even after lowering the weight, and it was generally not fun. Took a break halfway through the barbell row sets and firmly reminded myself that I'm in the gym and lifting barbells for more reasons than simply building muscles, and that the mental benefits of the workout would be completely ruined if I sulked about this. No point in losing control of the chaos flames of anxiety just because my body is not on board with working out today.

 

So I finished the barbell row and went to do bench press, where I lowered the weight by about 15-20% from last workout, and experimented with changing the grip between wider and narrower to see what that did for muscle involvement. Learned cool stuff about how my shoulders and upper torso muscles work together , and ended up feeling pretty good about the workout after all. :) 

 

Harness the Mind: Sleep must happen

Sleep has happened. Still not in the amount of hours I would like to eventually get to, but an evening routine is emerging, and improvements to the bedroom environment have been made. Sleep quality remains high, though quantity is still lacking a bit.

 

Harness the soul, so it can soar: Camp NaNoWriMo!

So I remembered this morning that Camp NaNo does cabins and that I want to be in one where I have things in common with the other writers. So I have now tweaked my project settings, and updated my camp profile, and gone through the forums in search of a cabin that might be a good fit. I found one and asked for an invite... if it's filled up, I will keep searching. :) 

 

Progress is slow but so far steady... 

 

latest?cb=20130329100318

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Looking good. Triple points for working out (at a reasonable level) when tired.

Oh, I thought nanowrimo was something you did at home/on the internet. You can go camping and write? That sounds super cool! I hope your cabin is filled with people with the best stories. and nice manners. who don't snore. 

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Just now, Harriet said:


Oh, I thought nanowrimo was something you did at home/on the internet. You can go camping and write? That sounds super cool! I hope your cabin is filled with people with the best stories. and nice manners. who don't snore. 

 

A cabin is a private forum for a small group of writers, for moral support and for helping each other out when we get stuck. That's where I got the name for my space station last summer, I asked my cabin for suggestions.

 

Most of the writing is done at home/online, but NaNoWriMo has local groups, with region liaisons who organise events like a write-in in a local library or coffee shop, that people can go to for writing alongside others, if they want to. I'm sure @Gemma can tell you more about that if you're curious though... :) 

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7 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

 

A cabin is a private forum for a small group of writers, for moral support and for helping each other out when we get stuck. That's where I got the name for my space station last summer, I asked my cabin for suggestions.

 

Most of the writing is done at home/online, but NaNoWriMo has local groups, with region liaisons who organise events like a write-in in a local library or coffee shop, that people can go to for writing alongside others, if they want to. I'm sure @Gemma can tell you more about that if you're curious though... :) 


Ohhhh. I thought for a second you were going to go into the woods to write. That would have been romantic. But private forums sounds super helpful, too. 

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3 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I thought for a second you were going to go into the woods to write. That would have been romantic

 

Woods have bugs and mud and a complete lack of modern bathrooms. Yuck.

 

I'm not an outdoorsy type of person :P

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On 3/18/2019 at 11:48 PM, scalyfreak said:

Harness the body: Go to the gym and lift things.

It’s impossible to overstate how much lifting heavy things makes everything easier. It also makes me stronger and more badass, which obviously is a good thing. At some point during this challenge I will make it to 100 lbs on at least one of my main barbell lifts, maybe more than one. Because this is a big milestone for me, I have decided that we deserve shiny things! This appeases Self-Indulgence, and also makes me happy.

 

Award for the first barbell lift to reach 100 lbs: Weight Plate Ear Rings

 

Squatted 100 lbs through three work sets this evening. I am rewarding myself with the earrings. :) 

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