Tag Archives: Ramble

The “NaNoWriMo-Is-Beating-Me” Update

NaNoWriMo has been kicking my butt. While I was able to plow through for the first couple of days, I hit a serious road block early on: I don’t know where I want the story to go.

It should be stated the story I chose to work on for the month was one I had been previously working on but I decided to re-write it because I wasn’t entirely sold on the manuscript I had already written. Unfortunately, this change has caused me to realize that I’m not happy with how the story has gone. It used to be a lot more fun than this and somewhere through all of the words and descriptions, character development and world building, scene transitions and dialogue, I got lost. So, I feel like I’m writing aimlessly which, in turn, feels rather pointless.

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I understand that NaNoWriMo is all about having a complete novel at the “at least 50k” mark but I’m one of those writer’s who would rather spend the time figuring out what I want and how I want it instead of needless writing unnecessary things just to reach a word goal. This is because that means I’ll just have so many thousands of more words to go through and take out when it comes to the final editing process.

What I really need to do is sit down somewhere where I will have no distractions and figure out what I want for this story. How I want it to change from the previous manuscript, why I want it to change from that, and where to start it.

Also, I seriously miss having Microsoft Word. I finally made myself buy a new Macbook Pro because the one I was using was a 1st Generation MB Pro and it wasn’t letting me use programs properly for my homework/schoolwork. Seriously, this Apple Pages application is such a pain!

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That being said, I think that’s enough for tonight. I’m going to post this and continue to sit outside with my parents in front of the fire we have going. It’s funny, because it’s about 47F outside but the fire is keeping us so warm that it’s pretty pleasant. The Christmas music is a nice touch, too, haha!

Look for my words again soon (because NaNoWriMo is ending in 9 days!)

– Soleil

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Focus, Focus…Procrastination.

The thing about NaNoWriMo is that I know that I’m supposed to write. The problem is that I keep thinking of ideas for my Wholock fanfic comic instead of for my story I’m trying to write. So, I feel like this every time I sit down to make myself work on my book:

Blarg! Since it’s only the end of the first week, I’m hoping to have a great catch-up day where I am inspired with a bunch of ideas for my book not my comic and do a lot of typing! Because, currently, my ETC (estimated time of completion) on the NaNoWriMo website says I’ll finish my 50,000 word total by December 15th. That’s 15 days after the 30 day deadline!

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

It’s always been an awkward topic for me. My anxiety problem, I mean. When I meet people and they want to hang out somewhere I’m unfamiliar with or that’s out of my comfort zone for driving and I have to tell them I can’t go because of my anxiety, they always give me this funny look. Like I’m a weirdo or something. Of course, they’re always quick to give me a sympathetic smile and an “Oh, that’s alright, we’ll do something else sometime.” Most of them never ask to hang out with me again, but the rare few (who I consider to be real friends because of their actions) do.

I’m bringing this topic up again (read my first post about my anxiety here) despite my awkwardness for it, because today I started a new therapy. It’s called EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, therapy. It originally started out as treatment specifically for patients and people who have suffered from trauma (things like bad car accidents or PTSD for soldiers and civilians alike), but because of its effectiveness, it’s becoming a broader treatment for things like anxiety and depression, too. In a way, however it is that it works precisely, it helps you to reprocess memories that may have been processed by the emotional side of your brain rather than the rational side during long-term memory processing.

I LOVE this photo! XD

Here’s a bit of a blurb from the EMDR Institute‘s website: “[It’s a form of] psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

It’s an interesting concept to say the least. “There has been so much research on EMDR that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense. Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, you can easily see how EMDR would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. Over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy. Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.” -EMDR Inst.

All that fancy lingo and information aside, I definitely have to say that my experience with my first treatment today was far from what I expected. To be honest, I don’t know how it works really, only that I ended up sobbing like a little kid about 10 minutes in and going over memories I didn’t even know still bothered me. Somehow, though, I think they’re all related.

Adverse effects? Sure! Every treatment has them. My counselor made a point to tell me at the end of our session today that because EMDR helps memories and emotions that rouse my anxiety and subconsciously affect me so that I end up doing OCD habits, that I may continue to feel “distress during the day, more distressing and unresolved memories could emerge as the processing of incidents and materials may continue, and other dreams, memories, feelings, etc., may emerge.” –EMDR Inst. (but basically she said the same thing. I just like how they wrote it, that’s why I quoted them again. Haha!)

I’m not really sure why I’m writing this and I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable admitting it to you and the rest of the world, but I do feel like I should document this treatment process. I feel like it might not only help me, but can also be used as a learning and teaching experience for you (my readers) and (I hope) give hope to those who suffer from forms of distress-caused anxiety and OCD like me.

Other than that (sobbing for an entire hour pretty much in the middle of the day with my counselor, I mean) my day was pretty swell!

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

The Time-Consuming Thing That Is NaNoWriMo!

It’s NaNoWriMo! Let the literary war begin!

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The whole goal of this event is to complete a novel of at least 50,000 words by the end of November. Yes, it is quite crazy to write an entire book in 30 days, but that’s part of the fun!

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So, if I don’t post much this month, I’ll just apologize for that now. Spare time will be spent writing. Extra spare time between the spare time I spend writing will be dedicated to eating and sleeping so I can continue to power through this. Meanwhile, this will be my motivation for the month:

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Haha, a Whovian at hearts no matter what the challenge! Allons-y and Geronimo!

So, look for my words…eventually, haha!

-Soleil

What It Feels Like To Be Me

I have found the past two weeks of my life have been difficult. Why is that? I know why but I hate to admit the reason. Admitting it feels like I’m giving up, like I’m a failure, and that hurts.

When I was in sixth grade, my Memere was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer. She underwent chemo-therapy and surgery to remove it and then she was fine. But it came back. By the time I was in high school, it had returned at least three times. The summer I finished my Junior year and was waiting to begin my Senior year in the fall, the cancer had been back and had spread to her brain. She had surgery again that August to take out what they could in her brain, but they couldn’t take it all. From that date on, I watched her deteriorate before my eyes.

My mother and I went to my Memere and Pepere’s house every day to help take care of her. These were my mother’s parents and my mom wanted to be there to help not only Memere, but to give Pepere time to himself, too. By the time I started school, she decided to stop with all of her chemo-therapy and radiation treatments. As I watched her get worse, I began to have panic attacks in school. Suddenly, while in classes, I would feel like I couldn’t breathe and I’d ask to go to the nurse’s office, and she would let me call my mom, begging her to come and get me so we couldn’t go and see Memere until she could talk to me enough to calm me down and finish out my school day. By Christmas she was in a wheelchair, weighed as much as I did at that time, and had trouble swallowing her medicine and food. One week later, she couldn’t even get out of bed, then she had trouble understanding, and by the second week of January, she was gone.

I remember so clearly, the Friday before she passed away. My high school was gearing up for our annual Relay for Life event and we had a meeting for the whole school in the auditorium. It was a sort of review meeting, to go over what we had done last year and to see videos, and to explain to the Freshmen and new students of that year what Relay for Life was and why we did it. I stood up when one of the teacher’s giving a speech asked who had family members and friends close to them with cancer and then sat back down and when that same teacher started to talk about her own experience, well, I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I was sitting in the very last row of the auditorium, in the very middle. With friends on either side, I suddenly felt so trapped. I knew I wasn’t going to make it if I tried to squeeze past all of them to get out to the aisle, so I got up on my seat and jumped over it to the floor behind me. I ran out the doors. In the foyer outside, one of the substitute teachers was waiting for the meeting to be over, I guess I must have looked terrible because she asked me what was wrong and the next thing I knew I was sobbing in her arms telling her all of the horrible things I’d been living through for six years and how it’d just gotten so much worse in the past six months and that I didn’t know what to do anymore. How I just wanted to go home and see my Memere. How she was dying and there was nothing I could do about it.

To be honest, I’m not sure where I would have run to if she hadn’t caught me and expressed her concern. I probably would have ended up crying alone in the bathroom, stuck in my own misery until someone found me.

And then, my worst fear came true. I told my substitute teacher on Friday that my Memere was dying and that Sunday she passed away. That was probably the worst day of my life so far. I cried so much. I still do. It’s hard, losing someone you love. I’m not sure that you ever really do get over it. You keep loving them even though their gone, and that is okay. But I felt so lost after that. I became so tired of forcing myself to smile and pretending to be alright. When we went on our Senior Trip to Walt Disney World in Florida five months later, that was the first time I actually smiled and laughed and it wasn’t forced. I meant it.

And life seemed to get better after that. I graduated and was sad about it, but it was okay. I started college and for my second semester I went to work at Walt Disney World in Florida as a part of their Disney College Program. I made a new friend and he became my best friend. But when I came home, I don’t know why, but my panic attacks came back. Slowly at first, so I just thought that the OCD habits I was picking up were normal. But when I went back to do a second DCP the following year and the habits became excessive and the panic attacks became so frequent that I was calling my mother and crying to her every day, begging her to come home even though I had a month of my program left to complete, I knew something was wrong.

But I finished my program and my dad and younger brother picked me up and brought me back home. And I was okay again. The panic attacks subsided and the OCD dwindled to being barely noticeable. And then it was back again, so much worse than before. This time the OCD controlled me. I couldn’t do anything without doing it as a habit of so many counted steps, so many taps of my fingers, so many buttoning of the same button, or zippering of the same zipper, over and over and over again until I felt as though I was insane. And I often did question my sanity during this time. I swore I was going mental, that I’d have to be handled with extreme medical treatment. I was terrified!

And the panic attacks became paralyzing. I couldn’t speak or move or even think when I had one. Just the same flash of fear that I was going to die consumed me until suddenly my mother or brother came to my rescue, pulling me out of my stuck state, forcing me to interact with them, to talk to them, to explain what was wrong and what I was feeling.

By Christmas, after roughly eight months of going through this uncontrollable torture, of jeopardizing my job and school attendance because I couldn’t get out of the house in time because I was doing habits, of not going at all because I was having a breakdown, I told my parents I wanted to see a doctor. I ended up with a psychologist. He met me every week and spoke with me, gave me things to do to try and control my anxiety and OCD. And he recommended medication. But I’m stubborn. Medication was my largest concern of the whole thing. It was my worst nightmare coming true. I needed medical help and that was the last thing I wanted. Because, accepting medication as the answer meant that I wasn’t normal. That I couldn’t cope like every other normal human being could. That I was different and was going to be different for a very long time. In my eyes, it meant defeat, that I had let these anxieties and OCD habits take over my life, and I had lost.

It took a year for my psychologist and parents to convince me to even try taking medication. I was prescribed an SSRI (or a Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor), which helps to regulate the serotonin levels in your brain. And when I did, I felt sick for weeks. I didn’t go to school and I failed all of my classes from lack of attendance alone. I literally spent days dragging myself out of bed only to curl up in a ball on the couch and watch things to keep me happy and not focused on myself. Mostly, it was the Disney Channel.

And then, suddenly, I began to feel “normal” again. After taking the medicine for an entire year, I actually felt like my old, “normal” self again. Two years after taking it and I felt completely alright and expressed to my doctor that I wanted to ween off of the medication to see how I did without it now that I felt cured. They agreed and the process began. Originally up to 20mg of the SSRI, I dropped to a 10mg for 30 days and then 5mg for the following 30 days.

And now we’re back at present time. Precisely two weeks ago, I stopped taking my SSRI. Since then I have had two panic attacks. Both have been cope-able. The first was more tolerable than the one I had today. And it was today I realized that without the medication, they’re just going to get worse again. I can’t be a normal person without the medication. I can’t feel like a normal person taking the medication.

I feel so defeated.

I see my counselor about all of this tomorrow. I will start taking my SSRI medication again so that I can be myself, but what frustrates me the most is that I wasn’t like this when I was younger. My panic attacks didn’t begin until my Senior year of high school. My OCD didn’t start showing up with the panic attacks until two years after that. So why can’t I just be normal like when I was younger? The answer: I can’t. I will most likely be on this medication for the rest of my life and that’s disappointing. But if that means I can feel like my old self again with the help of the medication, then I have to learn to live with it.

That’s my update. Sorry it’s so long and deep and boring.

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

Back to the Future Cosplay!

Well, the day of the future has come and passed: October 21st, 2015. Why is this date significant? It’s the day that the movie series “Back to the Future” went to from the 1980s. According to the movie, we’d have hover-boards, flying cars and air highways, controllable weather, clear ties, identity scans, sleep-inducing generators, self-adjusting clothes and shoes, holograms at movie theaters, TVs with multiple channel options, video calling. In reality, we have two of these things and it’s a bit disappointing. (That would be the TV with multiple channels at once and the video calling, by the way).

Anyway, in honor of the “day of the future” I dressed up as Marty McFly. However, I dressed up as past Marty, not future Marty. I did what I could with what I had on hand, haha!

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Anyway, a few people on campus recognized me as my cosplay of Marty McFly and even made the connection of why I was dressed like him that day. I appreciated that!

That’s it for now. Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

Updatey Update! =D

Hey!

I don’t know why, but for the past two weeks, my little bell notification at the upper righthand screen wasn’t working! I would click on the bell when it had an orange dot and it would just take forever to load and never show me anything. So, if any of you liked one of my posts, or commented, or started to follow me in this time frame, I had no idea and I am sorry! I never want you guys to feel like I’m ignoring you. I love you guys! You’re the bestest of the best! So, I just wanted to give you all a friendly heads up.

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In other news, school is going fantastically! Well…not really. I’ve had to drop to courses already due to some personal stuff that’s been going on and that leaves me with two left: Public Speaking and Astronomy. With the school semester almost half over (about 7 more weeks to go, everyone!) I’m really hoping I can at least keep these two. I really, really, want to graduate and get school done and over with!

Did I ever mention that I’m 25 and STILL in school? Ugh, I hate it. It’s such a bummer. I’m tired of being in school (but don’t get me wrong, I LOVE school and learning!), it’s just that I’m so tired of being the last of my friends to still have to be in school. Paying out of pocket so as to procure less university debt in the long wrong is such a pain when you’re the oldest person in almost all of your classes. Plus, being in school hinders me in a work sense, too, because I have to co-ordinate my work schedule around my school classes. That in itself is a pain, too.

Anyway, speaking of work, I’m about to start now, so I should get going. Let’s chat later!

Look for my words again soon!

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-Soleil