Tuesday, April 30, 2019

5 things I have gratitude for

  • Mum and dad
  • I have a family and friends
  • I have a job where I'm respected
  • I have a job that I feel matters
  • I live near places that serve lovely food

5 things I am reflecting on

  • I'm happy for my friends and their lives. without having to make it about myself. This is new
  • I need more time to relax. I have worked on this recently
  • Social time is important
  • I finally did the receipts tonight
  • I hit 4000kcal in my workout yesterday. I'm impressed at myself, but I did have to sacrifice a little bit of that stardust inside me. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Dear Diary,

There was a time maybe 7 years ago when I dreamed of having a full time job, a contract. It was so far out of reach that I couldn't grasp what such a life would be.

Cut to this week. I had a chat with my bosses this week who said to me. In true sentinel fashion (the Sentinel has a reputation for being incompetent with paperwork); we forgot to tell you that you have been promoted and we have decided to give you a pay rise.

"...In recognition of your stellar work, all of your colleagues and I are so happy with the amazing level of dedication you give to this company. We believe that you deserve this pay rise far beyond the union agreed amount".

I froze. My autism self had this deer in the headlights expression.

Is this really happening? I didn't actually think that. I was actually thinking: god today is so busy. Last week I discovered that my pay rise was far higher than originally planned. By Wedensday I'm already walking on those thoughts and I've changed my email handle and everything.

It feel so good looking at that new email handle. I have so many words in my job title:

In Conatus
Senior Editor's attache (data & visuals, creative and pop culture magazine)
0203 999 9999

It doesn't feel real.

It also feels like a recognition that my age is distinctly and increasingly an issue. Today at the gym I felt so slow, tired and inflexible, it upset me a bit and I was in a semi lucid state. I left the 2nd class early.

I felt like a failure because I couldn't hit 20,000 steps. I felt like a failure because I didn't hit 2000kcal in my workout.

Then I stepped back and thought: I did hit 16,000 steps which is a damn sight higher than most days in the week. I also thought: I did do 1800kcal on a school night. I normally only do the higher cal exercises during the weekend days when I don't have a job to attend to. It's harder to give my blood in a workout when I've already had a day of work.

There are these younger people in my classes. They are insufferably hopeful, they have all their future and brightness ahead of them and I'm jealous. I'm jealous just as I'm on the cusp of my bright days and perhaps my brighest days are sooner to come then theirs are, but my bright days are fewer than theirs as they have more of that precious commodity of time.

I got angry at my parents today. It's my mum's birthday. I think that's a really shitty thing for me to do. I kept saying to myself through th week: at least be nice to mum for her birthday. I fucking failed that.

I think I have a problem lately. I can't tell who my friends and who my enemies are. I treat my friends and family like my enemies and, well  my enemies are seemingly my friends and family.

I used to believe if I just wrote and wrote and wrote my soul through this blog and these words and this means of self expression, I'd find resolution in my fractured soul.

I find work helps. I find doing things, keeping a plan, organsing myself and keeping even mentally helps.

ABC PLEASE: those are the essentials.

Do you know what else helps me? Waking up early, going to bed late. Exercising lots. I was thinking about (sorry) that maslow triangle. About 80% of my attention is on the bottom parts of the triangle, but the real things that make life worthwhile are the things on the top.

I have set up a system, a tripartite schema which consists of set of values. They are named after Greco-Roman characters who I admire. Obviously, Aeneas is on the top.

In my last therapy session I said that I want to do more writing. In order to do more writing I need to do the reading. In order to do the reading I need a clean home and do all my chores. In order to do the housework and chores, I need an income. It all feeds into a consistent vision of the world.

Something that has been happening lately is that loud sounds and bright lights are distracting to me in a way that makes me less functional. I wonder if that's an autism thing. At the gym class today, the loud sounds did seem to suck away from my energy. Or perhaps that might be because I only had a veggie curry and rice for lunch at work today (no breakfast). Boy that curry was good.

I try to sleep with Spotify on and an audiobook on. That helps me keep even. I might spend the rest of the night doing that.

Before i do. I just want to say: congratulations on the promotion at work. I'm proud of you. You are now making 35 donkeys. About 9 years ago you weren't makign 3.5.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Things that happened this week:

  • Last Appt with psychologist
  • Angry confrontation
  • Attended funeral
  • Nice workplace banter
  • Discovered that I had a significant payrise
  • Bank holiday weekend
  • 3 extended (i.e 2+hour) workouts
  • (did not attend) invited to bbq
  • (yet to attend) invited to social meet up with uni friend
Not a bad week. The highlight is more my keeping fit and not the 35k salary that I now make. 

I was expecting 32
This last week in previous years

2010: My Brother's band had a debut album launch. 9 years later he's married with kid. No longer a rock musician, he's a musical therapist (kind of)
2011: Found out that my piano teacher died. That got me back into playing piano ... for a while
2013: Margaret Thatcher's funeral - I was working at the event
2014: My copy appeared on the Sunday Newspaper that I worked on. It was a very nice feeling. Not bad for a year after working as an events assistant. I didn't realise that this was a process of my life coming into its own
2016: Prince died. It was a significant event at work.
2017: Theresa May called for a snap election
2018: First day not wearing an overcoat. The first swallow of spring.
2019: Aunty' Marie's funeral. Also (I thought) my salary was going to go up to 32k. I then found my salary went up to 35k (need to confirm this)

Friday, April 19, 2019

Things I am thankful for

  • My salary going up as a result of union discussions from the start of this month
  • My salary going up even higher than the agreed percentage from the start of this month - I need to talk to someone at work about this.
  • My job title changed according to my payslip. But nobody told me it would. This gives me a sense of validation and a renewed sense of purpose for where I work. It almost feels like I'm doing something fun.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Dear Diary,

I did all my reading and logging and admin stuff.

There's probably more I could do if I really wanted to.

Here's the thing: I can't sleep.

I'm fluctuating between being angry and feeling a sense of loss, and being sad and also feeling a sense of loss.

My anger flash card says that anger is a substitute emotion. My anger flash card says that I should not direct anger at something that doesn't deserve it or merit it. People can be angry about some given object a, but direct it at object b.

Spinoza says to identify the object of your affect. In so doing, not to misdirect the wrong affect to the wrong object.

I wish I could go to sleep.

I think that maybe these are the demons I face. The demons I have that are keeping me awake.

Dear Diary,

This Tuesday passing I attended a funeral.

I am quite sad about it. I'm 32 and I feel the passing of time. I have been looking back without being able to look at the present or look at the future.

I left the funeral early and walked home. It was a long walk and raining. But I had thoughts and it helped to walk. I couldn't stay in the funeral for too long as it upset me so much.

The family were loving and kind. Aunty Marie was one of a kind. Aunty Marie left behind 6 of her wonderful daughters shome of whom in turn have kind daughters themselves.

It was a matrilineal family in that the father died young, as her father and mother died young. Aunty Marie's life was hard with early bereavements. It brings me to my knees how much love she had.

Her funeral was well attended. I hate saying this but I think other people in that group today would not have had such an attendance. The reason being is that Aunty Marie was the best of us.

I had a bit of a religious moment when at the mass. I connected with my culture, my heritage and myself through the Church service. I've been thinking about this for a while but I think I should go back to church more. I'll do it quietly. Not advertise it. My sense of faith is my own. Faith is something I'm beginning to respect. Aunty Marie had such a hard life but she still had much love. I believe this love came from her belief in salvation.

Separate to this week's funeral I have been also thinking about how broken I am .I'm convinced that Catholic Christianity is a religion for and of scoundrels. Scumbags, and people who need to and have changed their ways.

I might need to start praying again.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Dear Diary,

One thing I regularly do these days is read articles on self improvement and trends in positive psychology wherever I can find things.

One thing I am trying to exercise more is awareness of my feelings. Avoid avoidance and gratitude.

At work there was a very senior person who helped me out. I said thank you to him in person and I said thank you by email. I dont know whether he gets kudos much given he's always in shitty situations. It was hard for me to say thank you. Sometimes it is hard to receive thanks.

I'm trying to change myself from the inside
Dear Diary,

When I left work early I decided to get some food for the weekend. I bought a beef Brisket and cooked it very slowly. I also got some walnuts instead of crisps to snack upon.

I really like Lidl.

A friend of mine is having a birthday party in a couple of weeks. I'm really excited about it. Another mutual friend of ours (also invited) was excited about bringing some Picanha to the party. So, for context. I'm really into Picanha and gourmet beef these days. I don't eat much of it, but the more scare meat is, the more gourmet it is to me.

It's 2: 30 am or nearabouts.

Last saturday I got up early and did 3 gym classes. It was such elation I adored it. Sunday was my usual routine of 2 hours gym and two classes. I shot myself up with preworkout and that really fucking boosted my energy output.

I think things have been positive for me. I need to be more efficient with all my logging systems. I have however, just planned for the next 2 weeks very roughly. Which is nice.

Let's discuss the 'on this day' events of this week:

  • 2019 (this year) Invited to a fancy art event. I'm like an art industry person you know (I know - how the fuck did that happen)
  • 2018: I received a free leather notebook; my salary went up (it has since gone up another 2k); first time I went into a Butchers (see mention of Picanha above); I saw Thomas Gould, Krisjan Randalu and Stephan Braun perform at Kings place
  • 2017: I got some Nike Met Con 2 shoes (I don't even know which those are...are those my current ones or the ones before then?) I wrote that it is important because buying the Lunarglide before then made such a performance gain. It is true that the fancy expensive trainers I wear gives a performance gain. Note to self - buy more trainers
  • 2015: Met the ex to see an exhibition on Greek Beauty
  • 2014: First time trying Supermalt - got really into it for a while
  • 2013: I went to my friend's play: it was shit. he's a shit actor and he's still struggling to act. 
I wonder if I could sleep if I attempted it now.

Friday, April 12, 2019

The food writer Giles Coren once wrote: Never run for a bus after 30.

There are things that are important and there are things that you can let go of - I think that's the moral of that phrase.

Today (or Thursday) I went to work. I was only about 30 minutes late. I'm sometimes up to 3 hours late. Today I had an idea of the work I would do. I got it done and I've still yet to do the more thorny stuff of this month.

Around 5pm I decided that I will leave the office early to try and go to the gym. The intention was to do 2 gym classes. I did 2 gym classes, I burned 2000kcal and I did 20,000 steps. Chuffed isn't the right word, but I'm pleased with myself.

Something happened to upset/trigger me during class. 

One of my repeating tasks is to rework my CV. I'm not actively looking for a job, but being of the generation that suffered from the 2008 crash by perma unemployment, I decided to start writing about the roles I've had after Shambly Arena and before my current staff position.

I counted 13 different posts across the company, all of which I spent days, weeks or months at in various capacities in the space of 3 years. The next 3 years after that I eventually became a staffer, well I was an FTC first.

I'm working on trying to eat better. Eating is an emotional thing for me. I find comfort in food and I often eat to avoid feelings. I see now how people are so set in habitual and unquestioned eating. It is only after when they feel guilty that they question it.

I love working out, but I need to recover well. I can't work out like I could in my 20s, or like I should have in my 20s. But I am in my 30s now and I'll make the bloody most of it.

I have been playing The Sims 4 lately. Instead of doing life admin or working on the routine tasks, I have started playing in a fantasy version of my life.

One of the problems with my sim is that he won't go to bed, even when I tell him to.

Sounds familiar.

Monday, April 1, 2019


A - Accumulate positive experiences: I made someone feel uncomfortable today. Do I feel remorse? Maybe, I am dwelling on it a lot. It's not helpful to dwell. Do I regret or think I made a bad call? No, what I needed to say was important

B: Build mastery in activities that make you feel confident (see further letters)

C: Cope ahead: well I hope in the next few hours I have a plan for the week, and keeping my logs helps

P: Physical illness prevention: important to eat healthy. I need to eat more veggies, I have also identified that high sodium/salt is bad and not good for water retention and weight

L: Low vulnerability to disease: Nutrition again

E: Exercise regularly. I need to be ever vigilant about this. I trained today and I hit my walking target, but tomorrow is another day
A: Avoid mood altering drugs. I had a beer (just one Peroni) on Saturday. I had no other drinks available as I was in a garden with no other drinks and only some chicken to hand. I drank it down quick because I was thirsty.

S: Sleep healthy: need to do better on this

E: Eat healthy. Today Ih had an Admirals' pie. Probably not good for me but better than loads of crisps. At least the sodium wasn't too high.