Hurry up and relax: A peek into my brain

posted by Jeff | Saturday, April 1, 2023, 3:40 PM | comments: 0

Isn't it funny, funny "yikes," not funny "ha ha," how the pandemic seems to have messed with our sense of purpose, priorities and perceptions? And alliteration? Core to this for me has been a growing understanding to listen to my own mind and body about what it needs in the moment, and give weight to that instead of what I think I should be doing. This hits me most weekends, where by Friday night, I'm like, let's go, let's do all the things. But then by Saturday afternoon, I'm like, wait, you've been engaged with obligations of all sorts for the last few days, take a breath.

I think some of it also has to do with the bupropion and levothyroxine that I now take. In 2021 I started on the thyroid meds, which changed my energy levels for the better as it countered the hypothyroidism that I didn't know I had. Then early last year I started on the bupropion to treat what was subtle depression. Because I was listening to myself, I realized that depression doesn't necessarily mean that you're suicidal, but if you're not feeling joy and swimming in a bowl of malaise, yeah, that's depression. I was so turned off from the idea of any kind of drug affecting "me," in part because I saw the wild things that ADHD meds did to my kid. I just never accepted that when they worked, they really worked. I definitely like me on bupropion better than I liked me not on it.

Then I layer in the acknowledgement of having autism and ADHD. I've obviously had both my entire life, but the formal acknowledgment has given me the space to be even more honest and present about where my head is at. The two conditions are often so tied to each other that it's hard to separate them, but while ADHD can be treated, autism can not. There was a chance that the bupropion could help with ADHD, as it's an off-label use. As a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), that's what they often do. In my case, it doesn't seem to help with it much, if at all. I struggled this week to do some technical writing, though interruptions probably had more to do with it than ADHD. Either way, I don't get annoyed with myself the way that I used to for not being able to stick to it. It's a far cry from the self-loathing in college over not doing that American Literature paper.

What surprises me though is the desire to do ALL THE THINGS. I'm a maker, and more than ever, I understand now that it's what gets me out of bed. I mean, I've committed to making a movie, which is not easy, quick or something that involves one skill. I think it's going to be really fucking hard. I can lean on my photography and editing skills, that's easy enough, but I've had to learn how to do lighting all over again, color grading, sound mastering, and motion graphics with modern tools. Oh, and I have to find ways to be a better storyteller, without even knowing yet what the story is. Documentaries are weird like that.

Oh, and while that's underway, one day I'm going to rip out the cabinets in our butler pantry and put some actually useful shelves up. But not just shelves, shelves with embedded lighting. I'm not likely done with automated lighting either, so I know that I'll come back to that eventually, and set off the fire alarm with the fog machine again. There is always LEGO to build. There's another forum software version in my future, and I'm not sure if I want to wait for the usual annual version cadence or release it sooner. That OAuth-only identity feature is a pretty big deal. There's also a web-based app that I would like to build for fun that I've been talking about for a couple of years. And I can't wait to go to Europe, and I'm thinking about how to document that trip without a ton of gear or annoying the shit out of my family.

Now put yourself in my brain. All of that is racing through my head all of the time. I'm not exaggerating. It's exhausting. Sometimes it's hard to know which thing to do next, and I end up doing nothing. Recall that I'm also a person who likes to stop and do nothing at all, and I'm starting to think that's more of a reaction to all the things. That's my brain.


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