Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: fatigue

Making new muscles

I am tired. My body is sore, and I’m having to be careful about working out too hard. Even though I do not espouse the ideal of giving 110%, I can become consumed by a pasison. And, I do get obsessive from time to time. That’s how I was pulled into anorexia (which included exercising seven hours a day the first time I had anorexia), and it’s why I stay with a partner past the point of when I should have left.

It’s partly an obsessive nature, and it’s partly because I was raised to always think of other people I was recently talking with a friend about being empathetic. I used to think it was something I was born with–which was true to a certain extent. But it was also because I was told over and over again that my worth was in my ability to be an emotional dumping ground for others. Specifically my mother and then later, my hypothetical husband.

Because of that, I can now read people very easily. I would say I can read people 95% of the time. The 5% of people who get past me, well, that usually turned out really badly for me.

I don’t do anything by halves. I either went all in or I didn’t do it at all. Things like the Taiji Solo Form are outside my norm. I am not passionate about it, but I have come to appreciate it. It’s the basis for everything else we do in Taiji. And, I  hated it for so long. I could not stand it when I first started Taiji fourteen years ago. It was the first time I stuck to something I hated so much. Why? Because I knew there was something in it. I knew that if I could push through the disdain, there would be something else there.

What I did not know was how long it would take and how much I would rebel against it. I’ve told this story many times, but I added two other classes a week because I could not make myself to practice at home. I would tell myself sternly to do it, and my body would shut that shit down. I know it sounds like I’m making excuses. It’s my own body. How could it not do what I wanted it to do?

It would not do it, though. So I added another class a week. Then another. Then I forced myself to do five minutes of stretches a day. That’s right. It wasn’t even the Taiji, but the stretches we did in the first half hour of class. I don’t quite remember how I started practicing at home. Probably when my teacher pushed me to hold a sword, and I fell in love with it. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was pratciting the Sword Form at home that got me into a daily practice.

I still hated the Solo Long Form. I did not practice that at all. I only did the stretches and the Sword Form. I used to say to my teacher that I was really lucky she didn’t my shit personally. I was the most recalcitarnt, questioning student she’s ever had. But I stuck with it. And I slowly started expanding my daily practice routine.

Five minutes. That was how much I practiced a day for the first few years I was studying. And not even Taiji–but just stretches. Now, I’m up to an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half a day. Half an hour of stretches/warm-ups. I do one section of the Taiji Solo Form a day. Then, the rest is weapons.

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The way forward is obscure

I’m depressed. I have to come out and say it because I’ve been downplaying it for over a year. Maybe two? I remember when it hit me, and I thought, “I’ll just wait it out. It won’t be that long.” My days of crippling chronic depression were behind me, or so I thought. I haven’t felt anything as mind-crushing as the depression I felt in my twenties, but that’s a pretty low bar to clear. I was passively suicidal in that I wasn’t trying to kill myself, but I wasn’t trying to prevent it, either. I would drive without my seat belt on short trips just to tempt fate, for example. It was a bad period of my life, and I tend to compare any current depression to that one to gauge how bad it is. That’s good on one hand because it reminds me of how bad it has been in the past and hasn’t been since. It’s bad on the other because then it’s easy for me to dismiss whatever I’m feeling now because it’s not like it used to be.

Side note: I have so many things I need to do that I have been putting off. Have a dead tooth taken care of. Find a new doctor because my old one left the network. Find a therapist because I know that I’m struggling. The downside of depression is that it makes reasonable tasks seem insurmountable.

Side note to the side note: I’m not doing well physically, either. I got a raging cold Christmas Eve, and I’ve been more sick than not since then. I had a week and a half of being relatively healthy, and then three or four days ago, I got slammed with a host of issues. The first being me sleeping eight or nine hours a night. I normally sleep six to seven hours a night, and one way I know I’m getting sick is when I hit eight or more hours. I’ve also had random chills, and I do not get cold. The only time I get chills is when I’m sick. The last three days (including today), I’ve woken up with a burgeoning migraine, and I’ve slammed two generic migraine Excedrin tablets the last two days, but I recently read that you can build up a tolerance to the meds and should not use more than ten doses (2 caplets in a 24-hour period) in a month, so I’m trying to ration them out. Today was not quite as bad as yesterday, so I did not take the Excedrin. I’m regretting it right now, though.

Side note III: Comorbidity is a thing, and I’m pretty sure my physical and mental health issues are interacting. Or rather, they’re making each other worse. One part of my depression is castigating myself for not doing whatever it is I need to do. My family is very industrious, and it’s hard for me to not see how I’m failing, even if I physically can’t do more than I am. I remember the last time I was in Taiwan, everyone wanted to walk to the top of a mountain. I knew I wasn’t going to make it, but I kept pushing on. I got hot and sweaty, and my heart started pounding. I didn’t want to say anything, and I suffered for longer than I should have. I was nearly in tears by the time I said I had to stop, and I felt so ashamed. And, I knew my parents put it down to me being fat (which they wrote to me about later in excruciating detail), but it wasn’t. Yes, I was fat. I still am. But even when I was at my fittest and walking four and a half miles a day, I still felt like shit while doing it, and I always ran out of breath going uphill.

Side note IV: I have the lungs of an eighty-year old. My last doctor told me that, and it was a relief to hear. I’ve always had a problem with breathing–I mean, I breathe, therefore, I am–and it was good to know that it wasn’t just my imagination. I’ve gotten better with the aid of taiji, but I’m still short of breath more often than not.

I have to push myself to do anything other than my normal day routine. Even then, I have to push a bit. I don’t want to do anything but just sit and stare blankly at the ceiling. There is little joy to be had in Whoville, and I pretty much just want to let everything go. Again, I’m not suicidal, though I have flashes of it, but I’m tired of trying to live.

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Election Fatigue: Is It Over Already?

The first debate was tonight, and I made myself ghost on social media as it was happening because I just. don’t. care. Mind you, it’s not that I don’t care about the election or the fact that the Orange Cheeto might be president, something that continues to bamboozle my little brain, but I’m tired of all the angst, and  I’m tired of how fucking long this has been going on. We should be like France and only allow the official election to last for a few weeks and ads are free. Our election has been going on for over a year, and we still have a month and a half to go. I’ve cut way back on politics since the last election, and I’m glad I made that decision. Any time I listen to Trump, my brain becomes discombobulated trying to translate what he’s saying. Yes, I know he’s nominally speaking English, but the way he orders his words makes no sense to me. I cannot believe that he’s one of the two people in the running to be the leader of our country. I also can’t believe that there are people who want someone with no political experience at all to be our fucking president. I know that there are problems with having lifelong politicians, but I don’t think the answer is vote for someone who doesn’t have ANY experience.

In addition, it didn’t seem like there was any way for Clinton to win this debate. She would be considered too shrill, too cold, too condescending, too WHAT THE FUCK EVER. Have you SEEN her opponent? He’s lucky if he can walk and tie his shoes at the same time. He can’t speak in complete, coherent sentences, and the only person he loves is himself. He has no policies of which to speak, and he–oh, hell. If I were to list all the reasons he’s not fit to be president, I would have to type until my fingers fall off. Suffice to say, he’s emblematic of everything that is wrong with America. Loud, bombastic, know-nothing, jingoistic, ugly American. I’m not saying that’s all America is, but there is a sizable portion of our country that is like that. Waving foam fingers in the air as they chant, “We’re number one! We’re number one!” When in reality, we’re not number one in much of anything, except maybe consumerism. Don’t take this as me hating America; I don’t. I don’t love it, either, but that’s a post for another day. I just hate how some Americans think we’re better than everyone else, especially when we’re lagging behind in many quality of life measurements.

On social media, I posted that I wanted Clinton to come out to this song:

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