Letter about limits and choices and about being depressed

24th of May 2020

To whoever reads this

I don’t think I have a point today. I’m just writing because it feels important to keep writing these letters. Or maybe important is the wrong word. I feel commited to writing them. And not writing them feels like defeat, like failure, like letting someone down (probably just myself).

At the moment I am hoping any writing is better than no writing. I’m not sure that is true, but I think I need to keep going even though I m not sure I matters.

Mostly nothing matters at the moment. Depression is back in full (more or less). I manage to hold myself up when someone asks something of me. But collapse the second I return home and there is no one demanding anything.

I think slot about having choices. I believe I have more of them than I usually think and feel. I believe I am not as trapped as I feel. And I can try to focus on what I can choose and not hold that over the times in my life I didn’t have the options I have now. A lot of the things that felt and feels out of my control is because of trauma and fear. And those things are real. I just don’t want to be controlled my my trauma or my fear anymore. And I am not sure how to do that. But I am trying. And for me a big part of that is reminding myself of all the options that are there, behind the trauma or on the other side of fear.

I want a nuances take on this. On choices and options and what we can control. And that is difficult. I feel like always slip into either there is no limits only the ones we believe or I am powerless and limited because of reasons. And I don’t think any of these are really true. The things that holds us back are real and true. But so much of it can be overcome if we are able to see the way through fear, trauma, or if we are able to build new ways. So often I have been surprised to realise there was always options I didn’t know about, because I had been conditioned to see the world and myself a certain way. And now I am fighting to free myself from the restraints that in the grand scheme of things doesn’t seem that significant or real. So I can keep finding more options and be more free.

But it’s not just that easy. It’s not as simple as I would have liked. So many barriers are more real than most people would like to admit. And often it can be hard do look at other people’s lives and understand the way they a limited by things we cannot see. But the limits are still a reality in their lives.

I don’t under my depression’s power over me. The way I crumple and all the good seeps out of the world when I need it most. But it is so real. And I have to admit that willpower and stubbornness will not overpower it. Not even with a world of patience.

I used to think that I could do anything. In part because I am so stubborn. It always felt like such a beautiful gift I had been given. And on top of that I am also incredibly patient. And I used to believe that combination could do anything. The stubbornness to keep going and keep fighting and the patience to wait for a result. Now I am beginning to understand there are things no amount of stubbornness will ever let me achieve.

Depression is one of those things that I cannot fight with stubbornness and patience alone. And I am sort of out of patience with it anyway.

I’ve been allowed to se my family more. Which is good. My niece has grown so much. She is 7 months old and I haven’t seen her in almost 4 of them. I got to help my brother in his garden. He gave (and the kids) his wife a greenhouse for mother’s Day and he had tried to make the garden very nice. He also started construction on a treehouse for his kids. It’s not much more than a platform right now, but it’s still amazing.

Last time I was there I spend some time on that platform. Wishing I had brought a book. The weather was nice that day. And my nephew was playing with the kids next door, my parents were having s conversation with my brother and sister-in-law and I got tired of just sitting there waiting for nothing to happen. So I chose to spend some time in treehouse.

I lay down and look up. The sky was so blue. And somewhere high above me a bird of prey was circling, gliding. I tried to figure out what kind of bird it was but failed. It was to far away.

The sun was so warm on my black pants. Almost unbearable. The wind was so soft. A I could hear birds and quite conversation. And for a while everything was ok. Not great or wonderful. But a calm quiet ok. There is no joy there, just a kind lifting of the pain. It’s the kind of ok that would be easy to overlook. The kind that saves your life when you are depressed, because it reminds you what it’s like to look at the world without the lense of depression colouring everything.

I had time there. But I wasn’t done drinking all the calm in before my mom called and asked me if I wanted to go home. I needed the ride. And as I got in the car something felt not right. And on the short (10-15 minute) car ride home all the calm and peace I felt in the unfinished treehouse slipped away. It crumpled and collapsed. And I felt I happen in real time. Something that usually happens over weeks and months. The calm and quiet “I’m ok” giving way to unbearable pain.

And then I was back at the apartment. The apartment that still feels new and amazing. I still really like living in it and am still so happy about all the great solutions I found to make it feel more like home. And it does feel a little like home. And yet, in this time where staying home is so important I find myself hating being there. I cannot stand sitting there having nothing to do and being alone for this much time. And there is nowhere to go and even if there were I really shouldn’t go anywhere. I just sit there and wonder what to do to make my life in any way meaningful, and fail and fail and fail. There is no meaning. I find myself avoiding the balcony, it became hard to take good care of myself. I don’t want to eat and my sleep has been bad for a few weeks now too. The apartment doesn’t feel like a place I relax and feel calm and home and recharge. It feels like the place I am forced to be where there is nothing to do (except stare into a screen and that just makes my mental health worth at the moment). And still I remember how privileged I am in this time. To have this great a home, to be able to see my family a little, to go or walks and get out a little here and there. And in that perspective I’m doing ok. My depression just doesn’t care about the reasons, it just found a new hold on me and isn’t letting go.

I didn’t tell my parents how bad I felt on the car ride back. They would listen or understand. And no one talks in that car. My parents never really talk. They exchange information. But no one in my family has real deep meaningful conversations.

If I am in the car with my mom (even if it’s for hours) and try to have a conversation shell shut it down. Not directly. But by not engaging. Giving short one word answer and seeming indifferent. If I don’t drop it after an attempt or two she will actually reach out and turn the radio up. The ultimate sign that talking isn’t tolerated. I find the action hilarious. It would be sad or hurtful in any other context I think. But with her in this situation, I find it funny. She can’t bear to have a conversation, to sit with something, to risk an emotion. So she flees from it by creating noice between us so we can’t hear each other. I want so desperately to connect. She is so desperately afraid of that connection. And it’s all summed up and communicated clearly in that one small action, turning up the radio.

I wrote last that I might write something about emotions at some point. Thinking of my mom and her inability to accept emotions makes me think that it might be worth doing at some point.

I felt like I said good things today. Maybe not great. Maybe not what anyone needed. But I felt like writing it wasnt waisted or stupid.

I hope wherever you are that you are ok. I hope you find good ways to take care of yourself. Thank you for your time.


Letter about intelligence, emotions and not being where I thought I would be

18th of May 2020

Dear reader

I’m very intelligent. I do not say this as anything fact. I have been told this for as long as I can remember. I learned the word intelligent when I was very young. I remember asking my mom what it meant because people used it about me all the time. I suppose I wanted to know what they were saying about me, and it wasn’t fair they used words I hadn’t learned yet. My mom told me it means clever and I asked her why people didn’t just say clever then. But I never got an answer.

I’ve always asked too many questions. Always wondered too much about how the world and people work. My parents gave me this collection of kids encyclopaedias when I was little. Each one had a different subject. The first one I got was about the weather. I was in kinder garden and was unafraid of thunder. So after my parents had read that particular book to me, the adults at the kindergarden realised I could calm the scared kids. So when ever there was thunder they bought me around to the scared children and I explained calmly and scientifically that thunder is just hot air and cold air colliding up in the sky and that creates a lot of energy.
My favourite of those books were the one about the dinosaurs. It’s the most worn or whenever I open it I still find little paper pieces I put inside to show my parents what pages to read next ( it was all of them, I wanted to know everything). I knew all the names and when they lived and was so fascinated by these extinct creatures. The only thing that managed to push this interest aside was when my dad (who after his accident when back to school) came home and started telling me about the universe and the stars and planets. I was seven at the time and in absolute awe of the solar system, the Milky Way and galaxies.

In school I loved math. It was the only subject the just made sense to me. I understood it immediately and I still find it fun. I know a lot of people has a very different experience with math, but for me it was the best. I wasn’t challenged enough and that I find very sad. I have a feeling of lost potential, because all the teaching was standardised and my teacher had to teach 20 kids who needed different approaches and different challenges. And I often think this is how we lose some kids and waste others.

Later in school I loved physics and chemistry. But I never got biology. It didn’t really make sense. I had a hard time with the starting premise for everything in biology, which seems to be that everything wants to be alive. And no one could tell me why. Physics and chemistry made so much more sense. They were more logical and simple and a lot more like math. I know that physics gets a lot less logical and simple if you learn more than I did at the levels I learned it on, and I wonder how I would have coped with that. And I wonder if I would have liked biology if someone had tried to teach me about it from a starting point of dinosaurs, evolution and skeletons, and not all the other stuff that never made any real sense to me and never caught my interest.

I promise I have a point to all this. I just have a few more things before I get to it.

At 14 a friend and I look the mensa IQ test online and had fun with analysing and talking about the questions. I wanted the real test someday so bad. But you couldn’t get it till you were 18 unless a special psychologist did it, and there wasn’t really a reason for that. I just wanted to know what my IQ was. So back then I wrote it on my 18th birthday wishlist for my parents. Who ignored it. My dad later told me he thought I would be sad if my IQ wasn’t high enough, but he never asked me how I felt or why. If he had I would have told him I just wanted to know. In part because being call intelligent and clever all the time got a little tiring. Especially when it was used by everyone around me to tell me I could do anything they wanted me to and that I was never allowed to have subjects that were difficult or didn’t make sense to my very logical mind. So I kind of just wanted to know if I was as clever as people told me and if I wasn’t I had the papers to prove it when I was tired of hearing it.

I realise now what a privileged it is to grow up being told you are intelligent till you get tired of hearing it. Just like I now understand that I was very very privileged to be told I was beautiful so much. Back then I just felt it was a useless thing to be told over and over again. What was I supposed to do with beautiful? How was beautiful going to help me accomplish anything? Intelligent was something I could use and do something with, and I think I feel this great big feeling of loss and wasted potential because it was such a big part of how I defined myself.
I was called nice a lot too. A lot. A little, pretty, blond girl who always did what she was told, always acted nicely and talked politely. I was a teachers dream. And the even the other kids at school (who I wasn’t friends with because I was too weird and didn’t understand the social rules) called me nice very often. It never felt like a compliment. It felt like another useless label I didn’t know what to do with. Treating other people with dignity and respect, listening to teachers who were just trying to do their job of helping us learn, those things seemed to me to be ordinary things we should all do. And here is was getting the word nice thrown at me like a gold star for good behaviour all the time. It didn’t make sense and somehow that word felt very limiting. I’m not sure why, but it did. Maybe again because it was a word that didn’t leave room for mistakes, being human or having feelings of my own.
But mostly people thought I was intelligent. And then I started to think so too.

I finally got the mensa test in my 20’s. It was a gift from a friend. We took the official test together. And I was sick and on antibiotics, so I was told I could reschedule if I wanted. But I felt well enough to take the test (I decided I could always redo it if it went bad). It was so fun. It was an amazing challenge and whatever the result would be I walked away having had a good experience. When the letter finally arrived I really didn’t care about the result. And yet there was a thrill of happiness to discover my IQ is high enough to join mensa (I haven’t had the money for it yet, but it’s something I hope to prioritise when I get a job).
I was so happy with the result. I was happy to have taken the test. I felt once again like I finally had words that described a part of me I had always had and always known, but didn’t understand or know how to get to know better till that moment. I wanted to talk about it and share my happiness and tell the world I finally understood myself better, but I didn’t. Because I kept worrying it would be wrong and that I was somehow being unkind or rude by saying that. I didn’t want to be those things so I didn’t.

I don’t walk around thinking other people are stupid. I know that IQ measures one kind of intelligence and that there are many other kinds as well (if the model I learned about is still relevant). I recognise that everyone has skills, perspectives and experiences that are very worthwhile and that differs greatly from my own. And that is amazing. I am often in awe of the skills I see people have that I know I don’t and that I would never be great at even if I put lots of effort into learning it. And maybe that appreciation of other abilities comes from being in a family I don’t have a lot in common with. My brother and I are as different as we can be. He would never pick up a book, but he is very good at talking to people. He is great at using his body, he likes exercise. I am the reader who doesn’t know how to talk to people and feel like a foreigner in my own body. My mom is the most practical human being I have ever met. The way she approaches the world and tasks is so strange to me, and I try to learn everything I can from her. She folds fitted sheets and can always pack all the groceries perfectly in one shopping bag no matter how much we have bought, seemingly making it bigger on the inside, like some kind of weird time lord technology, I can never replicate, simply by the way she organises it. These are the incredible abilities. Things I value and appreciate and don’t take for granted. I’ve always believed the world had need of different things and that is why we as people are so different and have s different abilities and outlooks on the world. These perspectives are needed.

And I promised there was a point and I’m getting to it now. I know it took a while.

I’ve always been this intelligent, logical, not very good at emotions person. I was always interested in science and math and things that made logical sense and had a right answer. And this week I have been thinking about how my life has taken me down a very different path. A path of emotional intelligence, of making sense of my own and other peoples feelings. A path of kindness and caring (in my friendships). In my work I am doing something linked to science, but it’s biology. How did I end up working with biology? And what happened to my beloved math and chemistry and physics? I’m doing no math at all. I’m actually hoping my future job will contain some communicating. I am talking to friends about their big emotions like depression and trauma and helping them figure out how to cope. And I’m getting good at the emotional intelligence needed to do that kind of thing. And I always work from a place of both kindness and logic. But I am still at a loss. When did this become the thing I used my logic to figure out? How did I end up here? Too many years in therapy? Not enough challenges in math? Too much trauma of my own?

I miss the more pure logic and science and math parts of me. I am confused about when my life became this labyrinth of emotions and making sense of them. Which I am doing very well. But I can’t remember choosing this path. I don’t even think I would have chosen it.

I’m on a good path. And I know there is no turning back. I’m not even sure turning back is what I want to do. I’m not really sure what I want to do. But I’m allowing myself room and time to be confused and a little sad that I am a very different person than I thought I wanted to be.

In case anyone is reading and wondering, I found a way for emotions to make sense. For real. I found a way to understand them and I realised they are not irrational, they are not crazy. They are in fact very logical and very useful. Sometimes they overreact and sometimes they misunderstand things and situations and sometimes they get the time, date, occasion wrong. But I think we all do that sometimes. And honestly emotions are really caring and kind and well-intentioned.´

Maybe I should write something about the function of emotions, but if any reader is curious I’m sure there are plenty of resources online to look up. Or just watch Disney’s Inside Out. It’s a great place to start and a very good movie.
The last thing for today. The thing that really made the emotion thing click for me is this: Emotions are a data set. They tell you something. Being in touch with your feelings gives you access to a lot more date. And making good decisions require a lot of information. And people who shut themselves off from their emotions shuts themselves off from a lot of important information. You don’t need to react to everything the emotions tell you. You don’t need to let them control everything. But having them as a dataset, ready and at hand, is so useful. And that to me is very different from burying them or denying them or being detach from them. I feel like I am more in contact with them than ever before. Because I have finally learned how to listen to what they tell me and let me tell you they are very smart. They can only react to the information they have, and sometimes they get stuff wrong. But that’s why listing to them is so important. You lose nothing by listening. And they usually aren’t mad at you for not doing what they want if they know you listened.
I don’t know if that approach will work for anyone but me. But for me it was a revelation to realise that this is a possibility. And my world feels so much bigger and better and more whole when I don’t shut myself off from my emotions (which never actually worked, they just got louder and more difficult and then they seemed scary instead of helpful).

I hope whoever you are out there that you are safe and healthy and taking good care of yourself and your emotions.  I hope you feel you are in a good path even if it’s not the one you thought you’d be on. Thank you for reading and thank you for your time.


Letter about depression slowly getting worse again

9th of May 2020

To whoever reads this

My depression is gaining a strong hold on me again. It was never anywhere near gone, but the last week it has been sneaking its way back. It was a slow thing. Almost unnoticeable. I do the work and fight to keep it a bay and yet here I am again. Not knowing why I should get out of bed, why I should cook dinner, why I should do anything. Which is the kind of thoughts that leads me down a path to thoughts like why should I be alive. And suddenly living looks like the worst idea ever. And taking care of myself feels like the opposite of what I should be doing.

And I keep doing the work. I get out of bed and cook dinner, I take a shower, I reach out to the people I can reach out to, I get out of the door and go for walks, I read, I read at the ruin. And none of I brings me any joy or meaning. I am a passenger in my own life, waiting for it to be over. Distracting myself, because being Here feels to painful and impossible.
And that is the problem. I do not want to be distracted. I refuse to be a passenger in my own life. I want to live this life I have been given, and be present in it. I want to do the things I can to make it worth living. But somehow I can’t seem to do that. I feel like getting Here is such a fight, and the moment I relax too much, the moment I lose concentration I snap right back to my baseline which happens to be depressed and in pain. And this is no way to live. At least for me. I would rather not live than live like this.
I feel like I am doing the work. I am doing the good things for myself, I am trying to take care of myself. But I keep failing to actually get better. Like real better.

Last year I read “Lost Connections” by Johann Hari. It confirmed everything I had been thinking about depression and helped me find words for the things I instinctively knew but had no words for. Johann Hari describes depression as being disconnected. And that is truly how I feel. Disconnected. He describes 7 different ways to be disconnected and I was surprised that almost all of them described some aspect of what I have been trying to tell the doctors for the last 1.5 decade.
I feel so disconnected. But there is only so much I can do to reconnect. I am doing the things I can, and maybe it just needs more time and more consistency. But I also feel like I need a helping hand. Feeling disconnected from other people means I need to find more people and communities. But I cannot do that on my own. I need other people to like me and want to invite me to be part of their lives, I need communities that have room for me and that is a good fit. Both of these things are partly out of my hands.
I feel disconnected from trauma, and I am doing what I can to face my traumas and relieve shame. But no one can do that entirely on their own,
I am disconnected for nature and luckily that is one I can do something about on my own. It takes work since I live in the middle of this town and have to walk or take the bus to places where I can be in nature, but I am planning to find ways to make it happen more and I have made it a bigger priority.
I am disconnected from meaningful work and a hopeful meaningful future. But for now those thing are out of my hands. In part because of the pandemic, but more because of my mental health situation (my doctor calls it a chronic illness and tried hard to help me cope with the fact that I’ll never be able to have a full time job or get the education I dreamed of). I’ll need a part time job and because of the autism I’ll need a few accommodations and some support. And I can’t just take any job, again because of the autism. And the hardest part of this one, is that when I tell people that not having a hopeful future with meaningful work is affecting my depression and making it worse I am told that is irrelevant and just to take medication.
But we can’t medicate hopelessness away. We can’t medicate me into being not autistic and being able to handle any job. And even if we could I wouldn’t agree to it.

I know my current situation is being made worse because of the pandemic. I can’t go to work and I can’t see my friends. And that has a big impact on my mental health. Like it has for so many (I’m not special or an exception in this). I think the thing that is hitting me extra hard is how much of this isn’t the pandemic but just my regular baseline. That I now can’t distract myself from with work.  And knowing there is no help. I won’t get better. Not because better isn’t a realistic thing that I could achieve. But because I don’t have the money to pay for treatment and support, and because the health care system here, doesn’t have any idea how to help autistic people. It’s not a physical illness and it’s not a mental illness so no one know what to do with me. And the support system that should kick in to help me instead is impossible to figure out and keeps referring me back to the health care system that keeps telling me they are not responsible for me.
Society and systems I live within are telling me there is no one to help me, that help is impossible, and somewhere under all that is a message about not being worth helping. And that hurts. Because I truly believe that I could get better if I could just get the right help. Not as in I would no longer be autistic. Not as in I would suddenly be able to take any job at full time. But as in I would no longer be in this pain and I would be able to live and take care of a job part time and build a life that has meaning and is full of both challenges and good time. Not just full of pain, depression and suicide thoughts.

I am trying really hard to be Here. On the balcony, at the ruin. But every time I try I find myself wanting to escape. But I still try again. I am not sure I am being kind to myself these days, but I am trying. My thoughts spiral into dark, angry, hurt places I don’t want to go. So I pull myself back and call someone and talk and distract my thoughts. And then I am disappointed in myself for letting those thoughts take over, and even more disappointed that I needed to talk to someone to get away from them, because I expect that I should be more independent and self reliant than that.

I wrote last week that I was doing better. I am not sure that was the truth. It doesn’t feel like a lie. And I don’t like that I can’t place it neatly in one of those two categories. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe things can be more complicated than that. Maybe it so subjective that truth or lie are the wrong categories. Maybe I don’t need to worry that someone calls me out on saying one thing last week and another this week. Maybe having weeks I am able to focus more on the good days and less on the bad, doesn’t erase that the bad is still there underneath. Maybe I am allowed to be thankful and focus in the good days when I can, without putting the disclaimer that I am still autistic, depressed and full of unresolved trauma that cause me pain. Maybe there are good reasons I feel the need to clarify and maybe those reasons are more important than whether saying last week was better, is a lie or not.

I am sad that this post got so depressing. But it fit’s how I feel these days. I just have to keep doing the work of keeping myself going. I am determined not to apologise for being depressed. Apologising is one of the things I am actively doing a lot less of. If I keep apologising for existing I am going to keep feeling like I am not allowed to exist. And that’s not helpful. So I am expressing that I am sad about the depression expressed in this letter. But I am not apologising for it.

Whoever is out there I hope you are doing well. I hope you are having better days and thoughts than me. If not know you are not alone. Thank you for sitting with me through this. I don’t even know if anyone is out there reading. But that’s ok. I imagine someone is keeping me company as I type and I wish whoever that might be well. Thank you for your time.


Letter about doing a little better and how much I love my balcony

1st of May 2020

To whoever reads this

I’m not sure saying that I am doing better is the truth. But I do have the feeling that my body and my mind has settled into this current, hopefully temporary normal. I am calmer about being alone. Going to the ruin last week reminded me that I am not as trapped as I feel. And I focus a lot on what I can control and the choices left to me in this time when I am stuck, unable to go to work and unable to see friends.
I feel as though the worst of my reaction to the new circumstances has left. I am so fortunate that my life is changed this little. But it still feels huge. And change is one of the things autistic people aren’t good at. I am not really an exception to this. I handle it well, but it still feels very overwhelming and sets off a lot of reactions that I have no control over. But I know them well enough now and can act accordingly.
I’ve been doing the work. Reaching out to people I can reach out to. Remind myself of the importance of staying home and not exposing myself to more risk than necessary. I try to keep busy. Fight the depression that still threatens to get worse all the time. It’s not gone. It’s there. Poisoning everything. But I fight it. And that is all I can do at this point.

I’m trying hard to sound hopeful. I am not. But I guess that is how I fight the depression at this time. I feel untruthful when I sound this hopeful. I don’t mean to lie. But I guess I am not sure how to name the things that would give a clear picture of how I am really doing.

About a month ago I think, I don’t really know the date, I had a lot of trouble sleeping. And I was doing a lot worse than I am not dealing with the loneliness and the isolation. And this night I gave up sleeping for a while and went to sit outside on my amazing balcony (that I still love so much). It was past midnight and there was so many stars above me. I love the night and the dark. And the night was cold, but not too cold. I sat out there for a long time and noticed lights in the windows across the courtyard. The building across from the one I live in is made of red bricks and has red balconies.

It’s the kind of building where every part of it is the same and when you look at if you know every apartment has the same floor plan. I don’t think I would like to live in a building like that. Whenever I visit that kind of apartment they always feel unkind, cold and like they are the opposite of a home. Not because of the people living their lives there, or the way they decorate. It’s the way these places are build to store people instead of build to give them warm cosy homes.
But there is something comforting about that building across the courtyard. I’m not sure what it is. I don’t want to live in it. I’ve never been inside it and I have no desire to go there. But there is something about it that feels nice. And not even because it reminds me how different my own home is. Maybe it just feels different and unique because the other buildings around the courtyard are different and unique, with different architecture and different feelings and uses. I’m sure I wouldn’t feel this way about it if had been surrounded by similar buildings.
Last summer I saw how every evening kids came out and played in the carpark that belongs to that building. And I could see people coming home from work and shopping trips or going to their cars to drive to somewhere else. That too made the place feel so alive.

But this night, I noticed all the lights. And it was so amazing to see how many other people were awake at night. I am night time person through and through. But most people around me aren’t. There was something nice in knowing that so many people chose to be up this night. I counted at least seven different apartments with lights on. At 2 am.

I’ve also noticed the light in those windows. None of it is cold white. It’s almost always yellow or orange. Sometimes there is some changing blue or purple lights, from a TV or a computer screen. But mostly it’s just this beautiful golden light. Reminding me that there is life all around me. That although so much is shut down, though I feel so alone and know no one in any of these buildings around me, there is still people, living ordinary lives doing ordinary things. Just there. Across the courtyard. In that golden light they cook dinner and eat and work from home, they watch TV and make phone calls, they are happy and sad and their lives go on.

I don’t know why but that night I felt so moved by that light. By sitting there alone with golden light telling me other people were also awake and alive and right here. I felt connected and so much less lonely, when I have in a long time. And one goal for this month is sitting out there every day for at least 30 minutes. That balcony is the best part of this apartment. And deciding to live here, where I can sit outside at night and still be home is one of the best things I have given to myself. When I sit there (and especially if I leave me phone inside) I feel so Here.
I don’t know why I am grateful for the golden light or for the red brick building that looks like the kind of building that has no personality and no room for humans being humans. Maybe it’s that contrast. Maybe it’s because it feels like it has personality and room for humans, in this setting in a way it could never have if there were only buildings like that around. Maybe it’s just nice to feel small and insignificant and knowing there is life right there, when I can no longer stand to only be able to reach other humans through a screen. All I know is that I am so grateful for those things. And my balcony is one of those places for me, that helps me be Here. And that is after all what I am trying to find.

I hope, whoever you are and wherever you are, dear reader, that you are safe and healthy. I hope you find ways to be Here. Thank you for being here, in these words with me. Thank you for your time.


Letter about the fragility of good things and how I’m being Here

26th of April 2020

To whoever is reading this

I’m not sure why I didn’t write last week. I wanted to. But the only thing I wanted to write was not for the internet. It was just for me, and maybe a close friend who would understand or just sit with me in this thing. It wasn’t a bad thing. Maybe that’s why I found it so hard to share. Sometimes it’s easier to write the painful stuff and not care who reads it. The good things feels so much more fragile. Like they could crumble away and disappear if the wrong person touched them by accident. Or like I could undo them just by mentioning them. Sometimes I think if don’t hold my breath and stay perfectly still till they have settled and learned to trust me, they might run away again. So when they show up I decide to be careful and slow and not just jump into sharing anything. I recently ret “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint Epuréxy and the chapter about the Prince needing to tame the Fox comes to mind now. Last weekend I had this thing that I was finally ready to write down and believe in, but I wasn’t ready to share it with something as big and scary as the internet. And I kept believing I would find something else to write about, but I just didn’t.

There is an old ruin on the edge of the town I live in. It’s small, there isn’t much left of it. A few walls. A few room with no roofs. A few stairs and doorways. It’s right next to the highway. And there is a constant noise from the traffic. But it still feels like magic and history and the kind of place that isn’t really real, but something out of a book. There are lots of trees around and you can hear the birds singing, and though they never truly drown out the sound of traffic, they do make you forget about it. On summer evenings the bats fly around, if you have sharp eyes or sharp ears you might catch a glimpse of them or hear them. A few years ago I went there all the time. I spent the summer reading Harry Potter there. I found a nice spot, where I could bring my bag and my book, and sat there reading. I brought snacks and sodas and once after my last final that summer I even brought sushi and ate dinner there.
You couldn’t ask for better atmosphere for reading good books, than an old ruin and I love that place. So this week, feeling like I had gotten stuck doing nothing again, I packed some lunch and a book and walked the half hour it takes to go there. I sat in the doorway on the first floor, where I almost always sit to read. It’s not the most comfortable ground to sit on, the stones aren’t very comfortable, but it’s the best place to sit and be alone even when there are people visiting the place. There is another doorway on the other side that is much more comfortable, and I move there, in the late afternoon when the sun no longer shines on my favourite spot and I get a little cold. I am much more out in the open in this other doorway, but the people visiting the place are always nice about the reading stranger. Sometimes they ignore me, other times they say quick hi and move on with their exploring.  This time there was some boys from the school across the road. They look very curiously at me for a while and then went back to playing. One of them said hi and asked for my name so I told him my name and asked for him. Another boy found the place I was sitting and came by to give me a dandelion he had plucked. I doesn’t take much for them to realise I am not scary or intruding. And my weird purple hair usually makes kids think I cool.

I read “Momo” by Michael Ende. A book everyone should read. Especially the people with no time for reading. It’s about this girl, Momo, living in an old abandoned amphitheatre (I almost changed location to the local amphitheatre and read it there, but the ruin felt better and just as appropriate), who is very very good at listening. When the locals stop visiting her and acts strange, she discovers these men in grey who are steeling peoples time. Not because they have the power to take it from people, but by convincing people they are wasting their time and that they need to save it. So the people hurry and hurry and stresses along with no time for any of the things that matter, because they think they need to save time in order to have time later. So Momo who isn’t fooled by the men in grey has to find a way to stop them and give the people their time back.
It’s a very beautiful story about time and how we spend it. We have 86400 second every day and we control how we spend it. We don’t gain another second by being in a hurry. And this book shows this better than anything else I have ever read. It feels more relevant than ever as our society is so much in a hurry to earn money and asking us to waste out attention.

Reading this book now was so important to me. And reading it at the ruin was a very good choice. I needed to get out of my apartment and I needed to get out in nature. I have been to stuck in my own head and in this one place for too long. That makes it hard to remember how important it is to stay in the present and do what I can do while I have the time for it. I get so focused on the future or the past. Mostly the future. I want to know what happens when the world isn’t shut down because of the pandemic. I want to know if I can come back to work. I want to go back to work. I want to travel and see my friends and do so much. And I feel so trapped. But I am not. The ruin is still there. My books are still on the shelves waiting for me to give them attention. I have internet access and therefore access to learn almost anything I want to. My balcony is a great place to sit when I want to go outside but doesn’t have the energy to go anywhere. And all the thing I want to do that is impossible right now, will still be there when the world open up again. And in the mean time I know I am learning a lot about the possibilities I had before and about the things I just took for granted. And I feel grateful that it seems most of the world is having similar experiences.

All this is to say that reading this book was such a good reminder of what I wanted to do with this blog. Be Here. Be present. And walking out to the ruin to read was being Here. Not just attempting to find Here, but actually being Here. For a long time now I have felt uncomfortable in front of the screen. No matter what screen and what I am doing with it. No game or movie or YouTube video, no social media or even writing takes me to the place I want to go. I personally find myself using it to escape and to distract myself. Something that brings me so far away from Here. I am thankful to live in a time when I have all this information at my fingertips. I am thankful that technology allows me to stay in contact with my friends and family during this time. But mostly I just want to turn it all off and find a way to live without it. Return to myself and my present and the world around me.

It’ll never be that easy. And maybe it doesn’t have to be. But listening to that call inside me and trying to do something about it feels like the right choice for me. And I can do that for myself and still be happy that all these options exists and know that they help people in a way they don’t help me. I’m just concluding that it doesn’t work for me. I hope it works for others.

Whoever is out there reading, take good care of yourself and the people around you. Thank you for your time.


Letter about being human and having needs

12th of April 2020

Dear reader

I’ve been thinking about unmet needs. A term I learned from “Lost Connections” by Johann Hari. The book talks about the kind of needs that humans have that aren’t physical but are no less real and important. And that way of talking about it was so helpful for me.
It has taken decades to accept that I am human and have needs. My body and its needs are something that I still have a hard time with.

For most of my childhood and teenage years my parents and other adults (mostly therapists) told me human being are social animals That we need other people. And I couldn’t imagine anything worse. I hated the idea that I was forced to be around other people because my biology demanded it. It made no sense. I didn’t like being around people. People were difficult and I never knew what they wanted or what to do with them. I couldn’t imagine wanting people in my life. On the other hand I couldn’t imagine wanting life. And the way I was told humans needed other humans, had nothing to do with anything that I could understand. It sounded like I was expected to be happy being put in any situation with just anyone and then that should somehow work. There was never any talk of being accepted by these other people, if there were it was how I wasn’t accepted because I did everything wrong and I was accused of doing everything wrong on purpose. There was no talk of having things in common or that peoples social needs could differ. Extrovert and introvert were words I didn’t learn till I was in my twenties. No one talked about humans being social animals in a way I could understand. And part of that was the language chosen. The other part was that I had no positive experiences having people around. So I couldn’t imagine what that would be like.
Now I am older, I am discovering new language and most importantly I have experiences with people I to some extend am compatible with. People with similar interests, with similar minds and worldviews, with similar kind of problems and diagnoses. And when I now read how humans evolved and became what we are in this planet, because we worked together and formed tribes, it makes sense that I feel this need for people around me. I understand that what I am missing is a tribe. Not just a random collections of people, but a group of people who are my people. A group of people who look out for each other and care for each other. And suddenly I see examples of this through in my life and understand why some people I know seem so much more secure and stable and adventures. They have a home base, they have people who have their back, they have support and their needs are being met. And I feel how fragile my life is when I don’t have that. How unsafe and unsecure life is when there is no one who can help you. And suddenly that thing I was told all my life, but never given proper examples of, makes so much sense.

And I had to go through a similar thing to understand why I miss touch. I read and read about being touch starved, to understand why I missed something I never wanted in the first place. Something I feel like I lived without for most of my life, until it was forced upon me, and suddenly I didn’t know how to live without it. I felt so broken and mistaken. Like the nice feeling of being hugged or held had somehow broken something in me. How am I supposed to be independent if I have this need I cannot fulfil for myself? And reading about what it means to be touch starved and how the brain makes certain chemicals when you have that kind of physical contact with someone, help me understand I wasn’t broken. I am human. I have human needs.

That gave me language and understanding that made it possible for me to embrace being human and having needs. I suddenly understood that I wasn’t supposed to be everything or find everything within myself. I didn’t have to be all I needed: And as much as I hate that it feels kind of nice to take that pressure of my own shoulders. I am allowed to have needs. I am allowed to need other people. And that is kind of beautiful. And a lot scary.

Being aromantic and asexual means I am not sure where to find people to help fulfil these needs. I cannot offer up the traditional romantic and sexual relationship in return for what I need. And even if I could I think the traditional idea of finding someone to be everything for you is faulty. I don’t believe that is the right way to do it. I think we all need more people in our lives. Because just like it’s unhelpful to place all our needs on our own shoulders it’s not fair to place them all on one other person.

So what I am struggling with is how do I find that kind of people. How do I build me tribe? Who will be there for me and who needs me to be there for them? My friends all have partners or kids or have a different kind of social need than I do. Which means there are other people who take priority and who fulfil their needs. And as much as I understand that, it stings a little that everyone else have someone, but I don’t.

I love the idea of chosen family. And that is what I hope to find in the future. But in the mean time I am trying to be kind to myself about all the unmet needs I have. I am trying not to blame myself for them and I am trying not to be a burden to the people I care about, to whom I am just one more person and who already give all they have to give in other places that are far more important than I am.

I try to embrace being human. With all the complicated thing that entails. I try to embrace the idea that I don’t have to fix everything myself. But also remind myself that I need to try until that day when I am not so lonely. I also try to rely as much on myself as I can. Because I believe that independence and self-reliance is important, and it has always been a goal for me.

Right now, during a pandemic, I feel how alone I am even more. But now is not the time to go out and look for new friendships. Even if I knew how to do that. Now is the time to be stronger in being on my own. It hurts that I am not needed or missed during this time. It hurt that I need other people more than anyone needs me. And being needed is another need I have discovered is very human and very universal. But I cannot make anyone else need me. I cannot make anyone else make me a priority. But I can stop making people who will never prioritise me a priority. I can chose to be kinder to myself. I can chose to have more patience and understanding for myself. Just like I try to always have with the people around me. I have been trying so hard to give others all the things I need. I need to stop that and try to give it to myself, even if I needed an external source for those things just once in a while. That external source doesn’t exist for now.

I wanted to write more about the needs I discovered and how reading about how human they are makes me feel less broken. But I feel empty of words now. And writing this makes me a little sad. Because I am still discovering and learning and my thoughts and mindset haven’t found the right balance with these ideas yet. And knowing I have to be there for myself, when I am learning that I can’t and that it is human to need someone else, is hard. My mind doesn’t like the contradiction. With this as with everything I am on a journey. Discovering and learning and finding new ways. And that takes time. I am grateful for knowing that my current state of mind isn’t my final state of mind. I know I am on my way somewhere and that allows me to rest here, because I know there are other new places to explore later. But this mindset, this place, this part of the journey is what demands my attention right now. And that is what Here is all about to me. Being better at being Here. Even when Here hurts, even when Here is full of contradictions, even when Here is alone and I would have loved to share it with someone. Of all the places my mind goes, of all the places my understanding are looking for, of all the places my curiosity and learning takes me, I know I am really looking for my way Here, to the present, to whatever moment I am in. And that is so hard, but often made easier by remembering that no matter what Here I am in now there’ll be another Here later, and searching for the other Here isn’t bringing it closer, it’s only robbing me of this Here, this now.

I hope this made sense. I hope there was something worth reading in this. I hope whoever is out there reading is doing well. Thank you for your time.


Letter about choices

5th of April 2020

Dear whoever is reading

I believe in choice. I truly believe a lot more than we think is within our control. That how we respond to things and how we think and talk about things are powerful. I believe we have so mane more options than we often realise. And when we feel backed into a corner it’s not because we are, but because we don’t know the options we have.
Which is a weird thing for me to believe in. I know better than most people that life throws things at us that are so far beyond anything we can control. I know how much can happen that throws us of course and how often that means there is not getting back on the track we were on; now it’s all about finding a new track, or building it. I’ve seen and felt this happen so many times.
And yet… I keep being surprised by the things I discover I can do. I have so many choices and what limits what I can do is often my perspective.

Sometimes life feels like a labyrinth. We walk abound unsure of where we are and what turns to choose. Because we don’t have perspective. We don’t know that we have choices. We so often think the only way we can go is forward. Going back or taking a few steps to the side doesn’t feel like something we can do, because put brains aren’t trained to see those things as possibilities.

I love people who see the possibilities that I never learned to see. I love people whose response to a problem is to think how can this work, instead of throwing in the towel. I love people who doesn’t limit themselves.

And a part of what is happening in my life right now is that I am realising just how few of those people I know. I feed of that energy that is ready to problems solve and that catches an idea or a dream and says “Yes! Let’s make this work”. People who will ask the questions that allows me to see that half the walls in the labyrinth aren’t really there, they are just in my mind.
What I meet a lot of instead is me throwing idea and dream out there and someone asking all the questions that boxes me in. The questions that point out the obstacles and instead of finding ways to deal with the obstacles.

I am one of those annoying people who when told about a problem will try to find a way around it. I will problem solve and give advice or ask questions to make you realise the solution might be right there anyway. And a lot of people don’t like that. A lot of people want to complain about problems they have no intention to solve, because what are they then supposed to complain about. And if I know my job is to listen and support I will do that. But if I am not given that kind of instructions I will problem solve. I want more problem solving people in my life. I want more people challenging my view of the world and the way I limit myself.

And all this is not to say that there aren’t real limits. There are real things that prevent most of us from doing things. Health and financial situation and a lot of other things. And those things are so hard, and I am not good at accepting them when I meet them in my own life. They hurt so much. And they are real and I don’t want to invalidate anyone’s struggle with those things.
But maybe it’s because I have problems like that in my own life and in the life of the people I love, that I believe so strongly in the choices that are fully within my capability. I get angry at all the choices that could be made to make life better, for ourselves or for our loved ones or for the world in general, and that aren’t made (and sometimes then complained about).
Because I do get it with the real limits. I get it with the stuff that is totally out of our control. And because I know those things and how it hurts to have any power, agency or choice striped away, I value the places where I do have control so much more. My life is in my hands. Even when I am struck by misfortune and bad health. I have the power to do something for others, even when I am in a bad place myself. And I have the choice to do those things are sit back watch it fall apart. It might fall apart anyway. But then I know it wasn’t my inaction that allowed it.

I am not sure I am making sense. I just know the words haven’t flowed this easily and I have not been this excited about writing in… years maybe.

This is what have been making the last few days really bad for me. I believe I have so many choices and options and that all I have to do is choose and prioritise the choices.
And yet…

Here I am. Stuck at home, alone, with all the time in the world. And I feel limited and sad and uninspired. I feel like there is nothing I want to do, nothing I dream of, nothing that stimulates me, nothing that sparks that fire of energy and inspiration and joy. Nothing. And I am so mad at myself. Because I used to want to write. And here I am with nothing but time and my computer, and suddenly I realise I am not sure I want to write. I have all this time and I do not feel like reading. I have the internet at my disposal, with YouTube videos about anything I might want to learn, and I cannot think of anything I want to learn. So I feel super disappointed in myself. Why do I have no ideas and no joy and no inspiration? Why don’t I care about anything? A part from that is the depression, a part of it might be that the people I have the most contact with are people who doesn’t understand my drive and my need for that energy and fire. How am I supposed to grow if I mostly talk to people who think growing is only something plants do? Who scoff at the idea that I want something more in life?

In those thoughts I am experiencing something else that is new and not good. I find myself judging these people. People I care about. People who live lives they have chosen and lives that might be very different from mine, but that are still very valid, honourable and respectable lives. I don’t walk around judging people. That is not who I am. And suddenly I find myself full of judgement and resentment because their lives look small and stagnant to me. And even if they are small or stagnant who am I to say that is worse or less than my desire for something more or something else. I have never measured myself against other people or the lives they live. And I don’t recognise this side of me that is angry at other people. They are not holding me back. They are just in a different place than me, they are living different lives than me, and they are making the choices that are right for them. And I want to go back to the me that think that is beautiful and wonderful and worthwhile.

A part of me does feel like I am being asked to make myself smaller all the time. Or not talk about the things I want out of life. One friend always responds to my dreams of growth and my drive, with his lack of dreams and his happiness with standing still and building bubbles that holds the world away. And I know he doesn’t mean to, but a part of me feels like he is telling me my dreams make him uncomfortable and that he doesn’t want this talk of growth because even the idea of it isn’t welcome. And suddenly a big part of me doesn’t feel welcome in the conversation. I wish he and other would just smile and say “yes!” and be happy and encouraging on my behalf. I feel like I have to make myself so small to fit into the lives of the people I care about and suddenly I don’t feel at home in my own skin and feel like I am having all the wrong people in my life.

I want to choose to be a better person than that. I do what i can to combat those thoughts when I have them, and not allowing them space inside me. And I am going to look for more choices I can make to not allow this negative view of other people become my new normal.

I need more of the people who will meet my drive and my dreams with encouragement. I am not sure where to find them. But that is what I want and need.
I also need to feel needed and wanted and like I make a difference. I don’t care if I only make a difference to a few people around me or if I change the world. I know I want to make a difference. And there is nothing like a pandemic to tell you that you are not needed. My work is shut down, so thought I often tell myself I do something worth doing, it’s not essential work that is needed for anything to function. That might be a little sad, but a good reality check. What really hurts is how no one needs me. Not a single person around me is feeling a loss at us not being able to see each other. I am not needed. And that is the kind of thought I don’t need to give space to. They feed my depression and that leads me down dark paths.

This feel like a good place to stop. Not because I am empty and no more words could be squeezed from my mind. But because I think I wrote the things that was on my mind and I am not sure where the words take me if I keep going.

I wish I had the energy to read this through and edit and all the other stuff I should do. But that is going to be the victory today. Wanting to do that. I know I won’t post if I have to do that. I’ll get stuck in not getting it done and this will just be a file on my computer that I don’t look at ever again. And that would make me sad. Because this is more the kind of thoughts I want to be writing about here. I do hope I made sense and I am so sorry if I didn’t.

I hope you are well and that the state of the world isn’t too hard to be in right now. Thank you for your attention and your time.


Letter about fears and feeling invisible

31st of March 2020

Dear reader

I was a little disappointed with myself that I had nothing to write this weekend. But I didn’t want to try to write dispite the nothing. I wanted to have something to share. And today I remembered this story that was on my mind last week. A story that felt worth writing.

I remembered it because my mom told me I am doing great. Like all my mental health problems were gone and everything is fine and there is nothing wrong. I am able to get out of bed every day, I get two meals a day that I make myself, I fight to keep myself active, I am not deeply suicidal. But it’s a struggle to do those things and somewhere underneath how I am coping, all the problems are there. Just waiting for me to drop my guard and let them take over again. I’m doing so great on the surface. I function. But something hurts inside of me and I want to rip it out, with roots and all. To make sure it doesn’t get to live inside me ever again. And people are telling me I just have to accept it, my mom especially wants me to just pretend it’s not there, the same way she hopes to pretend we are a close family. But I don’t want to pretend anything. I crave truth an authenticity. Even when it hurts. Because only then does happiness and joy and the good feelings feel true. Only when they are not a mask, asked to cover something painful, shameful or unwanted. And unlike my mom I have decided that all my feelings are wanted and welcome.

But it was the sting for hearing how well I am doing when it only feels like a thin layer on the surface that jugged my memory.

When I was a kid my parents signed me up for swimming lessons at the local pool. There were three pools. A baby pool, a longer pool, and a very deep pool. And as a kid learning how to swim you start in the baby pool. I was a slow learner. My body is not a place I know how to inhabit and I was uncomfortable in the water. So when after the first year the other kids my age moved to the bigger pools I had to stay behind for a while. A year I think. Or maybe just six month. I didn’t really mind. It wasn’t a social thing.

When I was finally told I had to move to another swim team at another pool I felt like I was supposed to feel proud and happy. But I didn’t like the prospect. Maybe it was the change. I was very ad at change. Still am sometimes. Or maybe I knew. I don’t remember if I knew. They moved me to the very deep pool. And I was so scared of the depth of the water. I have no reason why. It’s the only irrational fear I have. I don’t know if it’s a phobia. But the deep water terrified me. It was five meters deep. And looking down into that water made me so afraid. But I was supposed to go in the water and swim to the other side, and back, and again and again and again. And I did. Because I didn’t know I had a choice. I clung to the side of the pool whenever I reached it. I reluctantly let go and then made my way desperately to the other side, back to safety. If they let me swim next to the side of the pool I would stop and grap hold and I wasn’t supposed to. So often I wouldn’t get to swim there. And there would be no way to feel secure till I got to the other side.

Even now remembering this my body recalls the panic it felt and my mind refused to bring me a visual memory of the water.

One day after swimming my mom told me how much better I had gotten. How much faster. Especially with one of the swimming style that required my head to be in the water most of the time, and where I had learned to look at the bottom between strokes. And I can’t remember if I told her. I just remember the inconsistency between what she was telling me and what I was feeling. She told me I was doing well and she saw my progress. And somehow that was all anyone could see. The pure terror I felt at the water was invisible.

I feel so bad about this fear of mine. I prefer the ways I so often feel fearless. But deep waters still scare me. The times I’ve been back to the pools since, I stay as far away from the deep pool as possible. I have no intention of ever going in again. Deep water is also a returning thing I my nightmares. I don’t know why. I have no reason for this fear. And I hate that I have it. But maybe it’s good not to be fearless. Fear has its place. And it helps me have empathy for other people’s fears. I’m not afraid of heights or spiders or the dark. I am uncomfortable with some insects, especially worms, larva and snails, but I have examined that discomfort over and over and I keep concluding that it is disgust and not fear I feel. My mom has a deep fear of rats and mice. So I guess it might be normal to have something. But I do feel oddly ashamed that I am afraid of something for no reason. I did face my fear though, back then. I have decided that I do not need to do that again. Not at this point in my life. It is not a fear that prevents me from doing things, and I my nephew wants me to go to the pool someday I‘ll go with him and we’ll have other, less deep pools to play in. Because thought the water scares me, I am not as afraid in the shallow water.

I’ve been thinking this week about my mom not being able to see how I really feel. And my conclusion is that it’s not entirely her own fault. I’ve worked hard to hide it. To protect her. To protect myself. She isn’t always a safe person to share the truth with. I don’t want my pain to cause her pain too. And I know I cannot trust her to allow my feeling to exist and to their job. She will try to dismiss them and call them unnecessary. As if any feeling that isn’t happiness is unwanted and unwelcome. She has dismissed my feelings and thoughts so much I believed I had no right to them. And now she has no right to know about them. That is one of the ways I reclaim my right to myself and to what I feel.

But still. I wanted the truth of my feelings seen and heard and acknowledged. And I wonder if I’ve done that with everything in my life. Made getting to the other side look like progress and like I am doing well. How often do I feel like I am drowning, like I am unsafe, like I am in pain or scared or angry or something else, and the people around me see me doing fine. I do not mean for that to be what I show the world. But that is often what they see. And I hate that. I know it can be a good skill to have, but it doesn’t feel like skill I can turn on or off at will. It’s just what I am. I so often don’t feel seen or heard or taken serious because people cannot see how I truly feel. I’m not sure what to do about that, because I would prefer that my truth was a little less invisible.

This was difficult to write. Mostly because English isn’t my first language and there were so many words and phrases that were difficult to translate. I hope I did it right or at least made myself clear. I should probably edit this, read it through a few times. But I can’t do that today. I think if I ask that of myself I will end up not posting at all. And I wanted to post this.

I hope whoever is out there doesn’t feel invisible and that maybe my story of being afraid can make you feel a little validated with whatever fears you have. I am still learning to accept that I have this kind of fear and that that is okay.

Take good care of yourself, I always ask people to do that. But I know it’s a little more relevant right now. Thank you for your time.



22nd of March 2020

A and I was supposed to do this together. This blog was supposed to be a thing I did with someone. And I wanted it to be a bit more fun and a lot less chore. Although I had somewhat realistic expectations about that. I love the idea of it being letters we wrote to each other. And I love the title and everything about the idea of Here. I need more Here. I need more creativity. And this blog isn’t giving me that.

I wanted this to be something that made me write and a space to be creative. I wanted more posts like the one about Hogwarts Houses and labels. And what it is is me whining and being sad. It’s me writing about nothing in a way that brings no value to me or anyone reading it. And this is not what I want to spend my time on.

Maybe I need to give it time. Maybe three months is not long enough to see any progress. Maybe all the great ideas I had and wanted to write about will come back if I give it time. Maybe any writing is better than no writing. But right now this feels like a waste of everyone’s time. It’s a waste of my time. An extremely limited resource that I want to spend better. That is the overall goal of this year. Spend my time and attention better. And I am not happy with the way I spend it on this blog.

I want to find Here. I want to find ways to be more present and alive in the moments I’ve got. And I used to feel so Here and so connected to what I feel when I write. But I don’t feel like this space offers me that right now. That might be a stupid way of phrasing that. I don’t know how to make this space that. I am doing the thing. The space is just there, open and waiting for whatever I fill it with. I am the one who doesn’t know how to fill it in a meaningful way.

Maybe I am doing too much at once. Reading more, bullet journal, less social media and less games on my phone, looking for communities, spending less time chasing people with nothing to give, and spending more time with people with all the wrong things to give. And then writing something for this blog once a week. Maybe I am just trying to do too many things at once, and not giving this writing the time and attention it deserves.

Maybe I miss A and feel sad and hurt that she is pushing me away.
Am I allowed to tell her that? She is fighting with every fibre in her body, with every part of her mind, to survive and stay alive. And here I am trying to make it all about me and my hurt feelings. I miss her and care about her, but if that doesn’t translate into something useful for her, or at least not something that makes things worse, those feelings inside me are worthless. These feelings should not be an excuse to make her life harder. And I worry telling her will make her battle worse. But is it a lie of omission if I just let things be and don’t tell her I feel hurt? I send her good thoughts as often as I feel I can. About once a month at the moment. Unless she writes. I want to do the right thing, but am not sure what that is exactly.

Writing used to be so empowering and helpful. But every time I try to write a letter for this blog I feel the opposite. I feel like I have no words, no voice, no inspiration. I don’t even have the discipline to write in advance and edit and at least try to make it good. I don’t have the energy to plan and find topics I want to explore and share. I am just blank. There is no skill, and nothing left in me to try and learn the skills I hoped to get out of writing every week.

I know part of this the depression and the disconnection. And that is the things I am trying to fight. I just feel like I am losing that fight every time I try to write something.

I am not sure I’ll write next week. I’m not sure I want to keep this going. Actually I really want to make this into the thing I always thought it would be. But if I don’t feel like I can do that I don’t want to spend my time whining about my sadness and depression on the internet. Absolutely no judgement on the people who do and who get something out of that. It’s just not what I want to do.

Maybe I need to give it time. No I definitely need to give it time. I am just not sure if the time is supposed to be spend not writing or attempting to write another letter every week. I’ll write an update when I know what I decide or maybe I’ll just write on or maybe I’ll just stop writing. But definitely one of those three.

This is actually the first piece of write I have read before posting in a very long time. And it feels more honest than anything I’ve written in a long time. Not that any of the other things were dishonest, this just feels deeper and more genuine and true to who I am.

Short Letter with an update on my reading and I miss work

20th of March 2020

Dear reader. If there are any.

I don’t feel like writing anything today. But let’s see what happens.

I’ve always thought of myself as an introvert. I need alone time. I need calm and structure and a safe space to retreat to. I need to be able to choose when I socialise and especially have the option of not socialising. But in exploring how good it can be to have the right people around me, how stimulating good conversations can be and how those things help fight my depression, I’ve realised I need people around me a lot more than I ever imagined. I’m still an introvert. But I do like time spend with the right people. And for a long time I’ve been unable to get my social needs met. Because I don’t just miss people, I miss the energy I feel when I talk to the right kind of people. The people who ask me to think and engage and who are interested in deep conversations about deep topics. And I have very few people like that in my life. The ones I do are so important to me.

I am staying home from work of cause. Like most people around me. I thought I’d easily be ok not going to work. But to my surprise I find this isolation to be a little difficult. I didn’t realise just how much I was relying on work to create structure and get input. The commute was a lot and not great. But I always got the kind of input that helps me not sink too far into depression. I learn a lot. I get new experiences. I am allowed to ask lots of questions about a field I know next to nothing about. There Are so many new experiences since I never really know what I’ll work on from day to day, so even when I work on my own I am engaged and learning and being challenged. I am working with my hands and the results of my work are very clear and tangible. And even though my tasks are very varied and my hours flexible, the frames the workplace offers me exactly the kind of structure I need.

And now I am at home. Taking the situation serious, listening to all the advice and taking precautions. I am very aware of the risks. But also feeling isolated and missing work. I actually started of thinking I would be just fine and that it would be nice with some time home, getting things done here. But I am already finding it hard. I hadn’t realised just how much of my weekly input and interactions came from work, and that I now have to fight a bit harder to keep depression at bay.

And it’s excatly because I didn’t have enough contact to people who could fulfil this need for conversation, that I decided I needed to read more. Actually I just wanted to read more in general, but it’s the thing that made me commit to it.
This week I’m rereading “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It’s as good safe choice. I am a bit behind. Staying home and not having anything I absolutely have to do is not good for keeping me motivated and active.
Next week the plan is to reread “The Never Ending Story” by Michael Ende. A lot of rereading going on. But I needed some safe bets after some of the not so great books lately. Also I’ve wanted to reread this one for a while and a friend is going to read it too so we can talk about it. Looking forward to that.
Last weekend I read “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman and it was better than I had expected. I haven’t read any of his other books before, but all I had heard was that he is good and it didn’t disapoint. I just wasn’t sure what to expect of this one and didn’t want to set my expectations too high.

I am not sure I’ve got much more at the moment. But a few words did find their way out and I guess that counts as a letter. I am going to try again next week. But if my mind doesn’t get something interesting to work with I am not sure I’ll have anything to write.

Stay safe and take care of yourself and the people around you. I hope you find good ways to occupy yourself if you are also home in these days. As always thank you for your time. It’s a resource I have great respect for and I find it a great gift when someone offers me theirs.