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RisenPhoenix

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So I'm cutting out coffee for a couple days.  At least until the weekend.  My anxiety has been on Red Alert since last week, and it's not getting much better, so it's a small switch to tea for me.  Granted, today I'm giving a Rather Important Talk to a big segment of the company, so once that's done, hopefully I can relax easier.  Also after a blow up with my boss yesterday morning, he more or less left me alone to my devices, and let me do what I wanted.  I was annoyed considering he was coming in at the 11th hour with *massive* alterations and additions from giving no guidance before then that would extend an already long talk, and was not really paying attention when I kept saying "I have content, not presentation finished."  And then got more annoyed given he kept stepping on the narrative I had lined up.  Which then made me MORE annoyed that the last...4 or 5 talks he has deferred to me to fix HIS narratives and stories.

 

Thankfully, he did leave me alone.  And I was able to use the rage productively in the "I'm getting this shit done" manner.  And based on his minor edits last night that I saw this morning, he mostly agreed with what I had (or at least accepted that the showboating of Look How Smart I Am can be dialed back).  But once this talk is done, I am signing off from work until 9am tomorrow morning.

 

By which I mean I'm going to try baking some bread.  Also I'm bought a very expensive LEGO X-wing set that I fully intend to dive into a bit while the bread bakes.  I'm also going to order out for dinner since I missed Taco Tuesday / Cinco De Mayo / Blatant US Stealing of a Minor Holiday Belonging to Another Country.  Mainly I'm doing a whole bunch of weird selfcare, is what I'm saying.  And thrilled about it.

 

Considering everything, I'm feeling shockingly human this morning.  I even woke up for NP, which did a nightmare workout of Burpee-(pushups, squats, lunges, sit ups, planks, tricep dips) TABATA.  Then a wallsit burner.  I do think the fact I bought the lego set and I ended my night by doing that for a couple hours helped enormously.  That said, if I like this as a hands-on hobby.... man, that's an expensive hands on hobby.  I'll have to figure that out somehow.

 

Anyway, time for a meeting.  Yippie.  Need more tea.

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Ah, the wonder of coffee and the high price it extracts. I support you in your choice as I drink my herbal tea.

 

Good for you on standing up to your boss! I am sure everyone will love your presentation. You totally deserve the break after that.

 

Yay for having a new fun thing to do!

I'm still feeling the pull of "I can do this fun thing when I finish this project" to get me through work and chores. I am not making any comments on the price of legos considering how I was faunching over silk blends for spinning yesterday.

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Holy crap guys. 
 

Well, talk went well  At least that’s what people tell me. It was a lot of data, lots of complex things, and somehow I seem to have fooled people into thinking I know what’s going on. Victory!

 

Post-work celebrations included playing a bunch of video games, ordering a massive burrito and baking an amazingly tasty, no yeast bread. This one in fact. I highly recommend it right now because it came out amazing. It could use a bit more sweetness I think, and also some layers could be added to the white flour base, but it came out an amazing consistency and density, and it delicious when slathered with butter. For what amounts to homemade white bread, it’s great and tomorrow I plan on making french toast with it. Slices have already been cut so they’ll be a little stale tomorrow and soak up the custard. But I’m so stupidly excited about this bread right now it’s kind of ridiculous. 
 

I embrace that. It’s been a long week and a half...

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Congrats on the talk going well and the bread. I just realized I'm living vicariously through you as you yell at your boss for being stupid. Independent of that I'm really proud of you for sticking up for yourself.

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Yay for your talk going well and professional recognition by your colleagues!

 

That bread looks great. I'm glad you found something tasty and easy. I'm considering all the non-bread pastries I could make to use the 2 Pounds of yeast that Dumbledore bought last week. ;) 

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17 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Congrats on the talk going well and the bread. I just realized I'm living vicariously through you as you yell at your boss for being stupid. Independent of that I'm really proud of you for sticking up for yourself.

 

I swear, the way I deal with my boss is so atypical to how I normally deal with people it's insane.  There was a joke going on in our team slack channel that he was going to turn in notice (he'll have to be dragged out of the company), and that his oldest report would take over.  He said that would mean she has to manage and deal with me.  Her reply was that I need no managing and that I'm great, and it was approved by multiple people in the group chat.  (And it is true that my boss really doesn't have much managing he *has* to do with me - just point me in a direction with semi-clear goals.)

 

It does also help that my boss either truly takes nothing personally, or has the memory of a goldfish.  Haven't quite teased out which, yet.

 

3 hours ago, Mistr said:

Yay for your talk going well and professional recognition by your colleagues!

 

That bread looks great. I'm glad you found something tasty and easy. I'm considering all the non-bread pastries I could make to use the 2 Pounds of yeast that Dumbledore bought last week. ;) 

 

I still have my doubts they were speaking praises, but at least it's over and hopefully my anxiety will slowly dwindle.  A my former coworker that I directly worked with got a report back, and her commentary was that everyone loves me and I'll  run the place one day.  Ha. (We also talked about how we liked our boss, but being under her did hamper our exposure.  Contrasted with my current boss, who I fear will overexpose me.  I never get a middle ground....). Now I have a few days of rest, and next week should be straightforward since my boss is mostly away AND I took the Friday off.  And then also the Monday.

 

And the bread is super tasty!  Definitely, upon further tasting, more a delivery for stuff.  It's great for just butter, probably awesome for sandwiches, and was okay as french toast that I made this morning.  I think it could use some tweaks to get a really solid depth of flavor to make it good on its own with no condiments, but still, I am very pleased with the bread.  Next step it attempting the yeast-based bread.  That'll probably be this weekend's attempt just to see what happens.


Images of bread behind the spoiler for those curious:

Spoiler

 

95730480_10100446934262427_3525744936823

 

96159619_10100447028234107_2738130900620

 

 

------------------

 

So I've been pretty meh all day today as a result of the talk burning me out the last couple of days.  It was made a bit worse by the task staring me in the face was....mind numbingly dull and seemingly redundant.  So I ended up asking the group, got no response, and then decided to chuck it aside for now.  It also meant I had no real task besides read a text book.  It went as well as you're expecting.

 

That said, I did find these guys today and now I have a new band to follow and also an entire new genre of music to listen to: Mongolian Metal.  It's awesome:

 

 

Everything about it is amazing and wonderful.

 

I ended up doing a large amount of self care this morning in the sense of I pretty much slept forever and a day (outside of accidentally somehow setting my 0545 alarm by mistake last night....), and then read with coffee (I know, I know) for a while.  Really today has been lax with anything.

 

Later tonight I have yoga with people, which will be nice, and also continue the lax/chill vibes up until the instructor makes me do a squat hold.  Which has been her jam lately, and she will then proceed to tease me when I inevitably fall on my butt.  But overall the class is the more chill than anything, though, and specifically meant to tackle us all being on computers all day.  It's pretty great, and then also filled with nerdy commentary.

 

On some other NF-ish-related topics, I've been looking at how I want to deal with food moving forward the next couple of weeks.  I'm thinking of giving Intermittent Fasting another attempt, especially since it looks like I'm going to be joining the baking-crazy that has swept everything and trying to count calories in that sense will be a headache for most things.  In the past I've given it a shot, and what always comes up is the fact that it just doesn't play well with either my lab work OR aikido (lab = eat when you have time, not a certain hour, aikido = don't eat at least an hour before getting flipped upside down).  Well, since I don't have those on my plate right now (technically - lab work might start up again, but I'd be a morning shift of 0700-1300), it seems like a good time to give it a shot.  So if I do that, log the really obviously bad things roughly, I think I can get away with not eating the entire house.

 

Anyway, gotta go.  Just found out that Task isn't actually postponed and I was named for it in a space I didn't even know existed.

 

Super.

 

FML.

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Your bread looks just like the photos in the recipe! :D

 

I love the Mongolian metal. Thank you for sharing it.

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Quick update, because I somehow fell into suddenly attending a huge industry conference that's going on (virtually) this week despite that not being the original plan.  Mostly via sneakiness.  But hey, I'll take it I guess?  Totally ruined my plans for an easy week with minimal boss around, though.

 

Brain is still being kind of dumb, despite no overly obvious things being triggers.  This is quite annoying.  But whatever. I guess.  At least I'm out of the crushing chest pains manifestation? *shrug* Those haven't been around in a while, nice to see that my body is enjoys having them pop up.  Now I'm just at closed-throat manifestation.  Downward progress!

 

I do have Friday - Monday off, so that'll be nice.  My plan this week was essentially sleep, no alarms, easy work.  Well, the conference kind of borks that (unless things get fixed and I suddenly can't continue attending), but I can still sleep a bit I think.  Going easy physically this week sounds like a nice plan, outside of some walks and yoga.  The Intermittent Fasting is going SO MUCH BETTER than I expected, though.  It is so much easier to do this when you can eat whenever and you don't have to plan around getting flipped upside down.  Friday I'll have to do a weigh in to see how my weight looks.  Mainly just to see if I'm stable after all this feating-fasting, and also because a LOT of calories are coming from Carbs these days.  Then this weekend I'm supposed to go visit a friend and go on a hike with him, so those carbs will come in handy.

 

Lesse, otherwise, besides work and working out and attempts at more baking and cooking (totally failed at my yeast-based bread this weekend, by the way), I've just been reading (finally reading The Martian) and playing games (just beat Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 2) and also building a massive, expensive LEGO X-Wing.  Toying with the idea of trying to grow some things, but that would mean a trip to Home Depot to grab stuff.  But I had some sprouting onions that I could plant for chives, and also I eat enough peppers that I figured I'd try giving that a shot.  Little bit of a late start I think, and I'd be going in blind, but why not.  Just looking to burn some time.  If I can eat because of it, so much the better.

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Now is actually a little early to put peppers in the ground at our latitude. Onions are more cold-tolerant and can go in now. The snow last weekend was a warning from Mother Nature that we are still in mid-spring, global warning is hitting other places this time around.

 

What happened with your bread? My technical support soul wants to help fix whatever it is. Just ignore me if you want it to rest in peace. :P

 

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Today's IF plan has been made a million times more difficult, because of an anxiety spike that makes me want to eat everything.  I unfurled the wagons I've curled up the last couple of weeks and reached out to people.  More or less immediately I was overwhelmed by questions and/or Why Everything Is Terrible And We Should All Rage. 

 

Welp.  So anxiety spikes, and I circle the wagons again because clearly people can't be trusted to listen to me when I say back the fuck off.

 

I want to hermit in a cabin on a mountain, independent of all this fuckery, but now even more so for it.

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Take care of yourself, man. Remember, IF is not magic, and if you gotta take a break to take care of yourself, so be it.

 

Hope you feel better. Take all the time you need to get there.

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Feeling moderately better after yesterday's morning fuckery.  Shockingly, just refusing to talk to humans since extroversion was the cause has made things better.  I'm reminded that I actually have a very small circle of humans I want to regularly deal with, and outside of that pretty much everyone else can go fuck off.  Humorously that includes the Ex, since she and I texted briefly yesterday with minimal issues (oh yea, that was a saga that did not help last week with my anxiety woes).  Also the fact that now I can not spend 9 hours staring at my computer screen trying to take notes is helpful.  I had not intended to go to this conference, but I did try to make the most out of my sneaky entry.  Learned a lot of interesting things (and some not-really interesting things), some competitive intelligence, and also there was a nice talk about COVID and how it works on a molecular level (as far as we know).  But since I had planned a few days off before all this conference stuff happened, I am sticking to it.  I'm burned out (even if I'm still damn good at functioning), so I need a rest, even if it's just an extended weekend.  I definitely will need something longer soon, but also next week and the following are 4 day work weeks.  So I should be fine in the short term.  Also the not-setting alarm thing this week and take it physically easier I think has been helpful.  I probably won't be able to continue that trend moving forward, as work is now going to try and send us back into the lab for experiments, and we work in split shifts.  I'm the 7am-1pm shift, so I'm back to very early mornings on the regular (at least for lab-based days, which I might not have many of, honestly).

 

Last night as part of the Fuck Everything And Chill plans included post-conference yoga with my usual crew.  It was the same flow we did yesterday during work hours, so I and my coworker (who were both there) got spotlighted a lot to help the others who missed it have a guide while our instructor talked us through it.  I was okay with this on multiple levels, and the flow is actually really relaxing and stretchy, so I got two mobility workouts in a row.  Nice and chill.

 

Also part of last night's chill, I finished my nifty, expensive, massive LEGO X-wing last night.  Took 9 days from getting it to finish.  Maybe 15-20 hours total time spent putting it together?  Very fun to do, but also some very expensive time.  I'll need to figure out some cheaper versions moving forward.  I'd love to build this fan-made Normandy SR-2 from Mass Effect, but it would be almost double what I spent on the X-wing.  So much for finding a cheap hands on hobby.  I tried wood burning, but the wood I had was too knotty, so it didn't burn evenly.  I should give that another try, or maybe give carving another shot now that I have a better outdoor space where I won't care about wood shavings getting everywhere.  Also debated knitting, but I'm still meh about that thought.

 

Foodwise, yesterday I mostly kept my IF window.  Probably was really more like 14.5-9.5.  I ate a little earlier than usual but as a snack, then my major meal was around when I would normally break.  I actually had to extend the back portion of the window because I had some food between breakfast and dinner, but I wasn't that hungry.  So by the time I started warming up dinner I was nearing the end of the original window.

 

Adding to the food AND creative pile of last night, I made a second loaf of the soda bread from before.  It again looks amazing, though I didn't bake it quite as long so it's less brown.  But the side effect also helped it retain more moisture and is less dry.  I had to make a few more alterations (some almond milk used + evaporated milk, only used maple syrup, a little more liquid over all), but otherwise it is exactly as tasty as before.  I don't have any butter left (used that to make some cookies Wednesday night), but I do have a fantastic white fig jam that tasted amazing on the slightly warm bread.  Half the loaf I (grudgingly) gifted to my downstairs neighbor, as she and I are currently living a rotating bake exchange.  She made an amazing spicy chia banana bread and gave me a chunk of the loaf.  I had been trying some other recipes (See: Wedneday's cookies, previous weekend's bread) that I had anticipated going well and sharing but... they all fell flat.  She had mentioned she loved the soda bread, it seemed reliable (since it was a recipe that let me use grams rather than cups and therefore I love it like a proper scientist should), and I wanted some myself.  And lo, a new loaf was made, and it was Good.  I'm going to have to get a second loaf pan to make a double batch at some point because it is really good and I don't want to keep cutting half a loaf away.

 

So the plans for the four-day weekend?  Mostly chill.  I'm breaking quarantine a bit to visit a friend in CT to see his house and hike.  I'd worry, but we've both been away from humans for multiple weeks, live alone, and are healthy in our 30s.  Not ideal, but it sounded like he could use some human faces.  I'm continuing to learn I'm weird about being totally fine with the current situation.  So I'll go hang out with him this afternoon and tomorrow, with a hike planned for tomorrow at some point (I'll inevitably wear the ruck). Drive back Sunday late morning, and just chill at home.  Monday will probably be annoying chores, but still no work, so who cares.

 

Oh, and speaking of chill, I ended up breaking down and buying Animal Crossing on the Switch.  It's cute.  It's chill.  As things move forward in the gameplay I'm sure I'll start finding it more time consuming as I get lost in it.  Still debating on if I want humans to visit my island.  I rather like the hermiting idea for now.  I even moved people as far away from me as I could in the game.  A statement that shocked no one ever.

 

Anyway.  That's the update.  Time to go chill a bit and pack till my friend gives me the greenlight to head to him, since it's a two hour drive.

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Update while I’m packing for my friend’s place. 
 

I just put on a whole bunch of NF gear that I stored away because I gained too much weight to wear it. 
 

Not only does it now fit, it potentially looks better than it did when I wore it last. 
 

I’m having like, multiple levels of body positivity that I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before. And actually some pride for the progress. Which I definitely haven’t ever had before. 
 

That is all. 

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Yay for finding that your clothes fit again!

 

I'm glad you are taking a long weekend and getting to visit a friend. Work burnout was a problem before all this hit, and the extra stress hasn't helped anyone. A change of scenery sounds lovely.

 

Have you considered building models? Depending on the kind you get you could include some woodcarving, or you could assemble things and make cool stuff. There are metal models, wooden models, plastic models and probably more. Like anything you can spend as much as you want, but I think the initial cost is lower for many of these.

 

I hear your struggle with IF and baking. Dumbledore made another loaf of bread yesterday. I can completely ignore the store bread we used to buy for sandwiches. Homemade bread is much harder to resist. I'm making a resolution not to buy cookies or candy I like at the store because we just eat them if they are in the house. We are better at rationing home-made cookies by baking just a few at a time. 

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On 5/14/2020 at 10:04 AM, RisenPhoenix said:

Today's IF plan has been made a million times more difficult, because of an anxiety spike that makes me want to eat everything. 

 

I've definitely had collisions between IF and brain weasels before. Some days, you just need the regular nutrients coming in, I guess.  I don't have a good answer to it, but I usually listen to the brain.

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I had fully intended to update this Sunday when I got home from my travels, or at least Monday.  That clearly did not happen.

 

Friday night I got to my friend's place around 3?  Took a bit longer than I had expected, given how long he said it had taken him to get home from his visits.  Clearly my friend is a speed demon.  But in any case, got to his place and got the grand tour of his new condo.  Nice place that's perfect for him, and he turned the largest bedroom into his art studio.  It all looks great.  Friday night we really did nothing but watch the Extended Edition Return of the King and order Chinese food, and it was glorious.  Saturday morning I woke up at my usual time (0730ish).  My friend drinks neither coffee or tea, has no mugs, and no kettle.  Knowing this, I packed some good, instant coffee and a mug.  I hoped he had a reasonable pan, because his cooking skills are.... not.  They just are not.  He hasn't really ever leveled up past the "just graduated college" fare of food.  His lack of kitchen tools and staples makes me cringe a bit, even if I understand WHY he's that way.  But maybe they'll get better in the future (since currently he's in the "My metabolism doesn't let me eat everything any more, how do I fix that?" and I've yelled "Diet" enough over the last decade that it might sink in).

 

Anyway, I digress.  I managed to find myself a pot to boil water, made coffee, and read for a while with said coffee in the morning. I got tired of reading at some point, and played Animal Crossing a bit (I admit right now I'm a smidge obsessed, which I knew would happen given my love of Terraria and Stardew Valley).  After a while my friend finally woke up, and we went for a hike near his place.  Turns out his neck of the woods is loaded up with lots of trails.  Great for him, in terms of illustration work and reference shots.  Fun for me, since it now means summer trips to visit will almost inevitably have hikes built in.  Also Saturday his parents were visiting, since it was his birthday that week.  Not the calculus I had really made in terms of exposure (and I get to be a bit more paranoid since his parents are older - 20-something years older than my folks), but all of us were mostly quarantined at home anyway.  That said, his parents explicitly hold him I wasn't allowed to leave until they saw me, since it's been a while since I've seen them (maybe December?) and they missed me.  The upside to this was also they bought us steak for lunch.  Stuck around for a few hours chatting in his kitchen, and then headed their way home.  Saturday night I stayed over again, and we watched the Special Features of Fellowship of the Ring.  From the sounds of it, our Extended Edition plans will have now just morphed to "Watch Special Features with dinner."  I'm down.

 

Sunday morning was much the same as Saturday.  Coffee.  Reading.  Animal Crossing.  Left my friend's place, and headed home.  Made a pitstop in Worcester to grab beer from my cousin's brewery for support, and also swung by her place to see her and her husband outside while they did yard work.  I caught up with them, and more importantly played with the fur niece and nephew.  The male dog typically cowers when I've shown up, but apparently he is so starved for people other than his humans now that he was all over me for attention.  I gladly gave it and helped wear them out.  Got home much later on Sunday than I had planned, partially because I decided to go grocery shopping as well.  But that allowed me to just collapse Sunday night and not have to worry about anything on Monday.

 

Thus, Sunday night and Monday I mostly just read and played Animal Crossing.  Monday morning I made a third loaf of the amazing soda bread, which is now all mine.  Since it's less dry than the first loaf, it now makes amazing toast with bread.  And since I used maple syrup instead of honey for the sugar source when it's toasted with butter the hint of maple and oats just comes through amazingly.  I am still super pleased with this recipe, given I randomly picked it.  Still need to try making a yeast-based bread that doesn't mess up though.  Maybe this weekend's adventure will be that.

 

Yesterday was my first day back after the short-but-long vacation.  I was exhausted by 7:30PM, so Im guessing that my brain wasn't fully ready to return.  Also my entire morning was spent in meetings and calls where I had to be very active, so that ate a lot of mental power.  Some minor job anxiety kept my anxiety levels somewhat raised, but not terribly so I suppose.  Only in the "minorly closed throat" sensation of my anxiety manifestations, which is a downgrade from the last several weeks of "crushed chest" manifestations.  A few interpersonal things made it flare up, but I'm working on the "Put oxygen mask on self first" mentality.  Also the idea that phones and communication works in a two way manner, and I am not responsible for saving everyone.  (Yea yea, progress or something.  Just if my subconscious could get on board with the conscious mind that would be super, since that's probably driving most of this low level of anxiety.)  So wagon circling is still in effect, really, just in a different manner than all out "Fuck all y'all."

 

In non-mental-but-still mental things, I did NP this morning.  I took essentially a week and a half off from workouts.  Mostly because I needed sleep.  I was a little nervous about starting to wake up early again, but my body seemed to do fine.  I do need to start thinking about getting up that early always now, given my company wants people to start getting back in the lab and my shift is from 0700-1300.  So if I do need to go in, I need to get moving early.  I should probably set my alarm to continuously go off at the time I'd get up for NP (About 0545) every day.  That'll be a next week problem, I think.

 

The other side to this is how much IF might suck being up this early.  I think I'll be fine, but also still a bit paranoid.  Today I am slightly cheating - my tea was over steeped twice this morning, so I added a dash of milk.  Eh, close enough.  Still barely any calories in the grand scheme of things, and next cups won't have that.  Otherwise I managed to un-screw my very screwed up schedule from the weekend and got back on track relatively easily.

 

All in all, things seem to be going fine.  Really glad I have a 4 day work week, though.  And honestly even my boss is letting me be light this week, which is nice.  So I'm just trying to do a lighter week than normal to keep myself a smidge sane.  Then the three day weekend will help decompress even more.  Maybe I'll try to take an adventure and hike somewhere totally weird for me.  That sounds nice.

 

 

On 5/15/2020 at 11:47 AM, Mistr said:

Have you considered building models? Depending on the kind you get you could include some woodcarving, or you could assemble things and make cool stuff. There are metal models, wooden models, plastic models and probably more. Like anything you can spend as much as you want, but I think the initial cost is lower for many of these.

 

I hear your struggle with IF and baking. Dumbledore made another loaf of bread yesterday. I can completely ignore the store bread we used to buy for sandwiches. Homemade bread is much harder to resist. I'm making a resolution not to buy cookies or candy I like at the store because we just eat them if they are in the house. We are better at rationing home-made cookies by baking just a few at a time. 

 

I should look into models.  I tried metal models a while back and they were a bit too... tiny and finicky.  Maybe it was the brand or something, but it wasn't thrilled.  But maybe I should revisit those thoughts for building.

 

I love all bread.  I think the only reason I've kept it down to not eating it all immediately is the fact I want to use it for an entire week or so.  And since I have to BAKE the home made stuff, it's a bit more precious so I can rationalize rationing it more.  But yea, candy in my house needs to be tucked away, out of sight.  My parents have an aptly named "Cupboard of Sin" that is filled with all the junk food.  I have a "Shelf of Sin" in the back corner in my pantry.  As long as I mostly don't see it, things are fine.

 

Mostly.

 

On 5/15/2020 at 8:00 PM, sarakingdom said:

 

I've definitely had collisions between IF and brain weasels before. Some days, you just need the regular nutrients coming in, I guess.  I don't have a good answer to it, but I usually listen to the brain.

 

Yea, I've long known that I'm an anxiety/stress eater.  But what was SO striking for me was the fact that my anxiety spiked and IMMEDIATELY my stomach yelled for food.  Just instant.  So it was an interesting data point.  But yea, mostly listened to my brain on what it wanted, even if it was junk that day.

 

On 5/15/2020 at 9:33 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I"m happy for you that your NF gear fits better, and really gratified to see how well you are setting boundaries for yourself with peopling and work.

 

I am so freakishly pleased with how the gear fits.  And also I'm still really shit at boundaries.  And still also really shit at communicating them.  Like, slowly putting things in place on multiple levels on a logical level, but that subconscious one is a jackass. But small progress is still progress.  Should really start looking for a therapist, though....

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