Exploration — The Abyss of Exhaustion

Again I find myself lamenting this ungodly bright white background to type my thoughts on. Give me greys, dark and light, so that it is not a strain on my already weak eyes.

This is one of many entries I start after sorting through some sounds to throw on in the background, some minutes after partaking of some substance. Today it is mixing of two things that ought not be mixed. I am not unfamiliar — I have had alcohol while taking antidepressants (and stopped drinking due to preferring not to have the antidepressants be thrown off for a few days), I have taken diphenhydramine alongside my anxiety medication, I have sat in utter darkness away from the burning ball of plasma while taking 50k whatever units of Vit D (and paired the D with reptile lights, for fun) — but this particular combination strikes me as off. The anxiety meds and a rather small sliver of an edible with a mystery amount of THC:CBD. In part, sitting here staring at this disgusting background is a matter of seeing how poorly these things interact with each other when they set in.

A side thought, it would almost be preferable to not have unlocked the “I know where the keys are” skill and staring instead at my keyboard. Even with its glorious backlighting (now set to Halloween tones, after an additional month of cycling through the rainbow as I needed aggressive Pride in my life), it is still far easier on the eyes.

Let’s find a picture not related to anything to throw up here.

It’s Fallout 76 again. Deal with it.

Sleep has been difficult for at least the past two weeks. A visit with family arguably ‘started’ it, although it likely existed before then given…everything. Some talk of upcoming surgery and the anxiety to go along with it, and even prior to that, the visit itself was put off a few weeks due to the reason leading up to that necessary surgery. I am still right in that putting off the visit after a family member received a blood transfusion would be ideal.

We’ll come back to sleep, this is the essence of disassociated writing.

With uterine issues running through the family I am left to wonder what my particular issue will be, when it will be, and what options there are to do about it. While I feel secure in my state as far as my choice is concerned, it is still factual that many folks have been unable to receive what they need, or want, based on the feelings of someone else. I can ultimately understand choosing a temporary option — an IUD — instead of a hysterectomy as one is a far less invasive procedure (I’m not versed enough in the matter to speak about how barbaric even an IUD placement is because fuck women and their pain I guess, but I have feelings about it), but often the reasoning is garbage. You may change your mind! I asked about babies when I was 5, Mom told me, I decided then I was disinterested in the process. It’s been 26 years and my thought hasn’t changed, especially when the singular dream I had about being pregnant involved such horrific depression that suicide seemed an ideal choice in the dream. What if some man wants to use your body as an incubator and he gets you to change your mind! absolutely not. What if you sue me because you changed your mind? hahaha.

No.

I do not have a complete history of the uterine issues on the paternal side of my family, short of one relative having a tilted uterus that purportedly caused a miscarriage (grain of salt). I do have a better history of the issues on my maternal side, with “pencil-like growths” (fibroids probably?) resulting in a hysterectomy, then endometriosis, then…fibroids. This was very recent, and the recipient of the surgery did not want to lose her uterus. I do not understand her attachment to it, but I respect and empathize with how awful it is to lose a part of oneself that you do not want to. Regardless, the organ resulted in such significant blood loss that a transfusion was required. The option was removal.

They pull that stuff out vaginally nowadays. Pretty cool. Pretty horrifying, but there’s something metal about surgically birthing one’s uterus. Little pokey thing, swoop with the knife, scoop of the organs, stitch. Sign me up.

Kate Bush’s Running Up that Hill hit popularity thanks to Stranger Things, and although I do not Things Strangerly, it has felt an appropriate title for a lot of situations. Interestingly, this was one too. I would gladly have swapped places and had my insides pulled out. Another digression from the digression of a digression, but the 2012 “remix” of the song is certainly something to write about. Taking every element that worked of the original, add in some more mature vocals, some additional sounds, frissons at the break… yes. Excellent. It also played at me on my Pandora station while I was most of the way to the destination for the visit…a far cry from what the station is composed of, but not unwelcome.

Some changes of sensation and pain make me wonder about something like endo myself. I’m uncertain as to how to proceed with concerns about it, but not beyond awkwardly asking. We are changing continuously and this year I have made the effort to say “fuck it” and just be awkward. Would rather make a moment a little off by asking than be left to wonder.

The sleep was off going into the visit, and I was exceptionally tired for a 300 mile round trip. It was wholly worth it, although I have not recovered. It has been two weeks.

I have mentioned my ideal hours of sleep are 4–9am, and there is a secondary portion later in the day where the quality of sleep is okay, although somewhat inadequate — not sure on the hours exactly. I have not been in a place where either of these is getting hit, and I have been exhausted. Waking up at 1am, unable to go back to sleep, after getting to sleep originally around 7pm was what led me to today, and my choices. I could have opted to face the terrible heat and the crowds of folks spreading monkeycovidpox for some caffeine, but an intense pressure in my chest suggested this was stupid, so I instead opted for the unintelligent combination of depressants. I asked my family to make sure I am alive in the morning, and that is about it.

The hours of sleep have varied, from a couple broken sections amounting to greater than 8 hours to many days amounting to less. This leads to the chest tightness. There is a greater fear within me than I let on about the pain.

Caffeine only goes so far, and brings with it other issues, such as the ‘sudden’ onset of hypoglycemic symptoms. The shift is likely more easily noticed than ‘sudden’ suggests, but I seem to miss it. Certain kinds of caffeinated drinks make the shift happen faster, so to find myself shaking and confused, somewhat dissociated from myself after drinking only coffee today (with milk) was…unexpected. Alarming. It led to the idea of obtaining more caffeine to stay up later and picking up snacks that would not help, but due to my heart very clearly telling me to knock that shit off, the idea was dashed.

This would look a moderate amount of ‘better’ if taken on PC instead of Xbox.

I second guess myself a lot. Imposter syndrome is no stranger, and paranoid thinking comes in line with depression. It has been interesting to let that particular path become overgrown with bushes and rewire my thinking, but there is enough there to still tread my way down it. I try not to. It is more likely to happen during my self-diagnosed PMDD though.

Halloween is coming up. Months away still, but as we get into August and I carry my “fuck it” thinking, it is extremely easy to just slip into some comfort with something I enjoy. There is some degree of capitalism at play here too that makes it feel somewhat more socially acceptable to go that way, although I am not really partaking in it. …sans some Petsmart acquisitions — some pumpkin aquarium ornament that fluoresces under “blue LED” (also blacklight, which is what my delightful flashlight is — also also, tonsil stones glow orange under black light), and a couple dog toys that will be repurposed since the family dog seems to not care about toys unless she can slowly pick their decorations off. Relatable.

As I appreciate Halloween, and Autumn, I feel particularly giving. Thus it is the true gifty season, and I plan to rock up to my next regular appointment with gifts in tow.

This is a fine line to walk, apparently, with at least one curmudgeon suggesting that accepting any gifts from patients is a terrible thing to do. And then there is some absurd monetary value? And the normal folks’ ideas of what an acceptable gift is versus what I feel like handing over. I realize I am the wrong one, but I persist. They are gifts, and as gifts there are no stipulations to them. Take this thing because I appreciate you/what you’ve done. One of those things that easily becomes a psych 101 conversation because “is anything truly selfless?” Boring. Dull. Move past it. No one cares and you’re being pretentious.

I cannot even tell if the edible has kicked in as ‘munchies’ are also likely to show up with the anxiety meds. Regardless, I will take a break that you will not notice as I obtain something to eat.

The visit involved a transfer of items and loooove and some snacks. Cretors popcorn, good stuff. Forgot I had it. Cheese and caramel. Caramel popcorn is a hard one to wrap my head around as it sticks in my memory as truly awful cheap garbage. While this is quite nice, I never really can overwrite that memory. May have been Cracker Jacks.

Mulling about ideas for gifts I found myself wondering what is, is not appropriate (do I care), then down to finer details like…the imagery of plague doctors has reoccurred (with reason) as of late. It can be very tongue-in-cheek, or cute, but is appreciated with a sense of irony. Not all share in that humor, and perhaps it would carry terrible optics to offer a cute/macabre plague doctor to a physician, especially given the history of plague doctors.

I will eat all eight servings in this bag, I cannot stop.

I am ultimately overthinking it, but also maybe not. It would be wise to have something else on hand. Wiser yet to stop throwing things at people because I appreciate them. But let’s not get that wise.

Another item in the works for some time seems…well, a visible tattoo is a visible tattoo, I do not think it’s particularly odd to say “that is the eye of (someone) so I made you a (someone).” I do not know if it is Horus or Ra, but that problem can be solved by simply omitting the crown. Or making both crowns and applying one to the sculpture’s head at the last minute after confirming with super glue. That would certainly be disastrous.

These thoughts plagued my mind though. So much searching for answers on the finest detail of question. The answer itself would be found more accurately through a moderately awkward moment of simply asking the recipient if it is an okay thing to do from time to time — or during gifty season, whether that be my Autumn or the typical Winter (here in the Northern Hemisphere, I guess).

Then it became a matter of how to do these things. I do have a Horus bust sculpted digitally. The detail was never finished as getting it printed seemed a cost I couldn’t quite manage amidst other things. There is also nothing stopping me from using materials I already have to actually sculpt something similar, albeit more dynamic, by hand, so that is the route I have started (again). There will be some problem-solving along the way, but nothing impossible to figure out. I like puzzles.

I also like pylons.

Puzzling also led to picking up an enclosure secondhand. It made sense as the visit to the nearest pet store served up what I wanted on a plate of gold, as if I had not spent literally half that to buy their original singular stock of the first enclosure of the same type. It was not discounted, there is no reason for the enclosure to be above $150 unless it is a kit, and it is not. $230 is an absurd cost. Although this particular enclosure I was looking at is still spatially inadequate for a grown crested gecko, I have a few who would be perfectly fine in one. I have two perfectly fine in theirs, in fact, although the one has been bothering me for a slight rebuild with more hiding spaces. He will get them. Instead, my friend had sent me a link to a marketplace find for a 12x12x18" PVC foamboard enclosure. $60. Ended up picking it up that same night, and planned out how to build it for the fellow who may end up calling it a permanent home. He is a bit scared of the world, so the opaque walls and size may be just fine for him in the long run. Another of my geckos in an older enclosure from that same company — the size is ‘irregular’ now, but has a similar volume to the 12x18, which is just over 11 gallons — is also extremely anxious and afraid of the world, and he has had notable improvements to his color and weight after being placed in his. It is designed so that I never see him, and I rarely do. Sometimes I check to find some part of him that indicates life, and occasionally he graces me with his appearance by the door, perhaps letting me know to leave him alone as he is alive. I wholly believe that the right gecko in this secondhand pick would do extremely well.

And I have the right gecko for it.

Planning out the build for an enclosure can be fun, but also frustrating at times. It is often best to just rest on the thought and return to the work when the pieces all fit together mentally. This one wasn’t a significant puzzler, as the idea was to replicate and expand upon his space already. I did find myself at odds to one ledge however — in his current space it is a “habba hut” that I dropped and it split in two, both pieces siliconed to the wall in a shelf format. He loves, loves, this shelving and will lay in all positions on it. Not wanting to take that away from him, I grabbed the other habba hut from about the same time I picked up the first, cleaned it up, stuck it to the wall…then realized it wasn’t enough. While the curve of it, not having been broken in two, was a bit steeper and better to curl up in, it wouldn’t offer the same features he loves in what he has. I picked up a “creature cave,” with intentions of splitting it and replicating what he has, just with a greater space to grow onto.

Habba Hut and Creature Cave are both made by Zoo Med, and the sizing of the Habba Huts overlaps with the Creature Cave. While Habba Huts specify that they are made of fir, and Creature Caves do not, it is likely the only real difference between the two is the label. It is possible they use a slightly cheaper pine for the cave, but it is impossible to personally tell. The softness of the wood is identical, the pine sap between the bark and wood was the same. The cave certainly had some knots in it, whereas I have not seen that with Habba Huts, but size could be a factor too. I will have to look more closely next time I am around these things.

I soaked the cave for a day, then split the bark from it. While it can be sanded or chipped off dry, the itty bittiest of splinters are inevitable and wildly unpleasant. Wet makes removal of the bark far easier. Then it was a matter of finding where I intended on splitting the piece and working a bit into it with a handsaw. Then I dropped it, picked it up, and took a moment to process that it broke in a much more ideal spot, exactly how I’d hoped it would have prior to me cutting it. The sawed bit still needed to be removed, so now there are three pieces.

During this I also tore down some of the work I had done in the enclosure. I regard silicone as a semi-permanent option for builds as it can be removed, but will hold up on its own. Removal was laughably easy, and I appreciated it. The new pieces were just put in earlier today, after time of sanding them down nicely and putting some beeswax on parts I didn’t want to see get grody fast. That and the one knot that protruded from the outside of one piece being composed primarily of resin-turned-sap, making it impossible to fully remove without taking the whole knot out. It has additionally been covered in silicone, but as it is on the “bottom” of the piece how it is as a shelf now, this is just additional protection rather than anything truly necessary. Reinforcement of these pieces will come next as they are deep enough that extended pressure on them may pull them down. It otherwise looks very much like the shelving he currently has, and I hope he enjoys them. Then we just need another pathway to some corkbark ledges on the back.

It certainly feels like the build is in a much better place than it was while I waffled over the unbroken habba hut.

I would have liked to go to the nearest exotics shop to at the very least pick up some corkbark that isn’t massively overpriced so I can keep working on enclosures, but today simply isn’t the day for it. They are closed tomorrow, and close during the week before I would be able to get out there from requirements at home. We will see. And there will be more projects to get to following this one. It feels as if it will never be done, but perhaps that is good too.

At this point I am feeling secure that I will not die in my sleep from the combination of things that ought not be combined. And I think I have run the course of topics I am thinking about (although truthfully discussion of geckos could go on forever). There was a thought of making an additional list that this entry would start, but I have forgotten what I wanted to call it. Ah well.

Stay well.

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Sheep Moth

Someone told me I was a good writer, so now I’m proving…something. Tend to one’s own flame, and do not extinguish the flames of others.