thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2017-06-15 08:00 pm

I have a degree now.

This is the cheerier life update. 

I am graduating Friday week with an English Literature BA First Class Honours.

thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2017-06-15 07:44 pm

Inconvenient ongoing financial situation

So, for the last year, on and off, but more on than off, I have been in a fairly grim and difficult financial situation thanks to bureaucracy (which I can/will explain either via PM or in a locked entry, but I am wary of putting much details in an unlocked entry). As much of it has been taken care of as is humanly possible so far, but it makes this summer fairly difficult as my current sources of money are: 1) PIP, which I am very grateful for but is not a huge amount of income per month, 2) asking my parents for a loan when I absolutely run out, which is not ideal as I have spent a considerable chunk of my life trying to not be remotely financially entangled with them and it does not help with various dynamics (them still strongly disapproving of my transition etc eight years after it started) and 3) asking some close friends when stuff is dire.

Those are still my first port of call, but I am graduating next week and there are various expenses (clearing library fines, replacing a book because of BLOODY DYSPRAXIA interacting terribly with pain and depression) which I need to meet around that, as well as the fact that it would be great if I could avoid asking my parents for money for groceries and having my every financial transaction monitored by them.

So, I feel bad about doing this, and DO NOT donate unless you can afford it, but I thought I would put up a PayPal donation button and see that helps.

(I am looking at other things which can help, but I am in a weird double bind thanks to the bureaucracy thing where paid work isn't an option until they make a clear decision)

thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2017-05-25 06:28 pm

(no subject)

 I have literally one essay left on my degree, and that is making me feel a bit weird. (I think I am actually in a perfectly good position to start writing it, I just feel odd and afraid of starting writing because it is The Last Thing. And I do actually want it out of the way, I just need to avoid perfectionism regarding it and at least write a draft. This means the fact that I have opened a document and typed an introduction is good). 

Endings generally make me feel a bit weird, and it turns out I feel really weird about undergrad finishing, partially because the ending of school was not really there (I mean, I went in for 'last day before study leave stuff' but I'd had to drop out because of being hospitalised, so it is nice but strange to actually have end of degree stuff happen? (And also has involved a lot of having to remind myself that it is very, very unlikely that everything will go horribly wrong at near last minute again).

I am just about coming out of a really quite bad depressive episode which started at some point in  February and went on until a week or two ago. (it's not gone, I'm still depressed, I'm just out of REALLY BAD depression which is a relief) With that and pain stuff having been bad enough that I had to go to A and E in late March, I really should actually be quite pleased that 1) I have got everything in and done by the deadlines set 2) I have managed to consistently do some good and difficult work when really ill, and also turn up to things.

thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2017-02-15 07:13 pm

(no subject)

 There's a lot of stuff going on, and I am trying to sort through my own thoughts about it a tad. I turned 28 on Sunday, and I have spent much of the time since then wanting to have a nap, but I presume this is a normal 28 year old behaviour. I presented at an internal symposium at uni this time last week and it went really well. I have some generally good stuff going on study/career wise, and this is very good. 

I also still have depression, and get thrown by unexpected triggers, and then catastrophise these into Literally Everything Wrong with me so I am trying to make some notes of concrete things which are good.

I was on the phone to friend-I-talk-to-most-days, the other day, comparing notes on stuff, and he pointed out that while I still have a fair amount of emotional ups and downs 'they're not as bad as they were three years ago, in that, you used to regularly go from a three to a one, whereas now you go from say a six to a four, or a three, which still sucks, but is a lot better'. I thought about it a lot, (and then accidentally looked at some old emails from three years ago) and think that that is fairly true, and also a helpful way of looking at it.

Another concrete thing: 

I had a birthday party on Saturday, and I went to Intrusion last night, and both were lovely and also suffered slightly from the problem of 'a social thing with lots of people I know and like at it, and not managing to talk to all of them for long enough/at all'. And I finished supper tonight, and thought about how nice a problem that is to have, in the grand scheme of things, and that I am lucky it is sometimes a problem I have. So I wanted to note that. 
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2016-11-17 07:16 pm

It is worth noting

 That I have finally started: logging in for application forms for masters degrees, and also, confirmed all three of my references. 

(I plan to do my masters applications in the form of lots of small bursts of filling them in while otherwise feeling incredibly apprehensive) 
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2016-10-13 10:59 pm

(no subject)

I am back at university, and have got to all vital appointments and classes in the first three weeks. (My timetable this term is heavily concentrated, which means I have to try and absolutely always be on form on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but that most of the rest of the week is my own to structure. I think I like this? It sort of worked for me during my access course. But also, it means I will probably be quite stressed on Monday and Tuesday evenings and basically a zombie on Wednesdays evenings throughout the next three months. All this is bearable, and knowing it at the beginning of term is a good thing).

I am, lets face it, really quite anxious about third year but I am trying to mostly experience that as 1) it makes sense to care about a year which is very important to completing my degree 2) I am actually capable of rising to the challenge 3) it is not a final dreadful culmination of my worth, it is a set of tasks I have to complete in order to get to the next phase of my career and onto masters etc. Which I think is the right way to look at this.

(I started writing this on Thursday of Week One, and then failed to post it. Although I am still really pleased that I have managed decent attendance since then, especially as health and pain stuff have been sub-optimal. It is a Thursday, so while I have done some necessary things I have also been useless at work, as I predicted I would be on Thursdays, but I am pleased with how work is going so far and that is good).

thefairymelusine: (mantel quote)
2016-05-26 03:38 pm

Nearly at the end of the academic year update

Because I am now trying to be a Sensible Person, who prioritises both my health and my university coursework above most things, I have taken an extension on the last two pieces of coursework. (I took it a couple of weeks ago, I still have two weeks remaining until the actual set in stone deadline but I really want to get them finished.)

This means that the last two pieces of coursework are really dragging, because I've kinda lost the adrenalin rush of the end of the year, and also my joints have been hellish this week (probably for hormonal reasons) and I unexpectedly needed to sort out a big life admin thing in the beginning of this week as well as a broken phone. (The tail end of Mercury retrograde decided to go all in on being Mercury retrograde*). I want this stuff to be gone, and I want not to have to take major breaks because of the pain, and to worry about it less. I am actually managing work (and managed not to fall apart during stressful stuff earlier in the week) but if anyone has some spare motivation and energy could they loan it to me?

It is survivable. And in a few days I will actually be done with this year, and be able to work out how I'm managing the summer.

*I take astrology with a heavy pinch of salt, but there are times when, for  example, my phone has broken at the same time as a complicated admin thing I need to sort out happening and I am dissociating on a high street when the possible placebo effect of an explanation which is neutral is very helpful.
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2016-04-22 01:12 am

(no subject)

My dad rang when I was in the library earlier, and I texted to say I'd call back. He texted me to tell me that Prince had died.

Back when I wrote about Bowie, I wrote about the feeling of admiring someone but not being a fan, the sadness that comes from that cultural loss but not wanting to intrude.

My dad is a massive Prince fan. I am a Prince fan. I've been one since I was a kid. I got my dad and I tickets for the residency at the O2 when I was 18, as a birthday present for Dad, and it was the first grown up/expensive gift I gave. I stayed up late in my early teens to watch Purple Rain on telly, and i fell asleep so many times listening to that and Sign of the Times on tape.

I want to say how and why he mattered, but also can't. It mattered that he was short, and effeminate, and sang about sex but also God. It mattered that a few years ago my sister (who had epilepsy) and I (who have chronic pain) discovered that he had both those conditions and that was reason he had such a flamboyant and constructed stage persona. It mattered that he did weird, sometimes unwise but thoughtful things about his relationship with record labels.

Bye Purple One. We'll miss you.
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2016-04-10 01:54 pm

Friendships and age

I've been thinking about how, as I edge closer to thirty than twenty, even with my own relatively loose schedule it gets harder to see my friends. The category of "people I adore and to whom I am genuinely close, but see at best once every six, if not every 18 months" covers more people. As indeed does the category of "people I quite like but with whom I have just lost touch, not for important reasons but because we lose touch with people over time"

I've just had two weeks off university, during which I had to admit that I was *not* going to catch up with everyone I wanted to see, because I needed to spend quite a lot of time Doing Very Little plus trying to catch up on some work. I did actually manage an uncharacteristic level of Being Sociable- I went to a friend's birthday party. I hung out with my friends C and H who did a lot of looking after me when we were all in London in 2011-2015, and whom I do actually still see more than most other people, but hadn't seen without us all being terribly busy since the summer, really. I saw the one friend with whom I am in touch from school for dinner and drinks, and a friend whom I've known since 2009 and to whom I am very close, but managed to not see for 5 years because we were both in different sorts of appalling health from late 2011 to January.

I feel like this is one of the parts of adulthood for which I'm unprepared: it's not that I was excellent at having friends as a small human, I was very lonely and badly bullied and didn't really master the "person I talk to most days" level of friendship til my late teens (with a friend whom I'm seeing for coffee sometime next month, to whom I don't talk as much now because we're just busier, but who hasn't ceased to matter). But it is an odd thing to which to get used, and one of the things that I think is especially difficult to navigate when single, because I lack a default person or people with whom to make plans.

I've got five weeks left of term, if we include exams, and then I've got the summer and I'm a bit scared of it. It hit me when I got back the other week that I don't really have a social support network in London any more, other than parents, because people have moved away or are busy. And that is probably normal for a 27 year old living in his hometown who moved away for a bit, but it still feels a bit jarring.
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2016-04-06 01:13 am

(no subject)

Last update was ahead of the week in which I had All The Migraines and All The Panic Attacks. Have been off uni for a week and a bit, and am a bit behind on study but also Really Needed a few days definitely off. My body is really not being great atm, and I am jarringly switching between either Functional and Charming and Sociable and very clearly not very functional and quasi verbal.

I have been listening to the audiobook versions of the Peter Grant books- am halfway through Foxglove Summer, and I really like them. I know London is an incredibly overused setting in fiction, but it is seldom written really well. And Peter... feels real. His flaws and quirks feel like flaws and quirks a person would have.

I am writing this in the bath having finally purchased some weird expensive bath stuff which might help with joints. I currently object to my joints, a lot, but I am going to try and take painkillers in a way that means I can sleep in a bit. I had a stellar nap earlier- devoid of nightmares for once, and my dream was nice (clearly influenced by the books, as it was chatting to river spirits and eating a lot of ice cream). My subconscious is so often awful that I feel I should note the nicer times.
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2016-03-23 12:48 am

(no subject)

I am currently having a very, very bad evening dysphoria wise. I have not been able to bind all week because of a cold, and am trying to wait until it is fully cleared before I start binding again.

Have been *heavily* dissociating as well the last day and a bit, so I think that is a factor.

If people could post comforting things I'd appreciate it.
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2016-03-19 12:43 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

I have come down with my third debilitating cough/temperature/cold symptoms in SIX WEEKS? This is very silly. The good news is: it isn't bronchitis (given the type of cough my parents and disability mentor thought it might be bronchitis). Went to the GP yesterday and was told it might turn into bronchitis, but to wait and see. (The effects of 6 and a bit years of binding mean I am more likely to get chest infections)

It's still bad enough that I can't really bind, which is very annoying, and I'm still in a moderate depressive episode which is worsened by being ill. Have been worse at remembering taking my painkillers, too, and then hitting exhausted combinations of pain + depression + pain induced fatigue.

In good news: returned my forms to Charing Cross (recorded delivery) yesterday, so might actually get an appointment at some point in the next year, despite having to take many extensions my course is going okay, I have nice friends who have been nice and encouraging when I've been ill and low this week
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2016-02-23 09:57 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

I had a horrible cold a few weeks ago, which I thought this weekend was just about gone. (To the degree that last night I was eating a curry and feeling glad that I did not feel the need to order a super spicy one in order to get rid of the blocked feeling and that I could eat scratchy things without my throat feeling like sandpaper). Last night I packed stuff for my early lecture seminar, went to bed, fell into a half doze...

and then woke throughout the night every twenty-forty minutes with an awful hacking cough, to the degree that by the time it was near morning and the lecture/seminar I did not feel able to go. I have been dosing up on lemsip and trying to keep warm and rest, in the hope that it will go away soon.

I am a bit stressed because of 1) heavier than normal week of classes (a class was postponed owing to the tutor's illness a few weeks ago, so the catch up class is on Thursday) 2) DSA equipment training on Thursday and 3) a dude on my campus who has decided to theatrically blank me, after he tried to insist to me that misogyny did not exist when I was (I told him it was pretty misogynist to insist that *ALL* women/people with experience of being read as women merely 'claimed misogyny to escape rational criticism). And... I have no obligation to be polite to sexist/misogynist arseholes, and I have no desire to apologise, but I find the being theatrically blanked a bit wearing, especially as it is difficult to avoid being in the same spaces as him (the dining hall, the stairwell of the building in which I live, for example)

I have more to share I guess but today I am tired and my throat hurts and I keep coughing, so will keep it to this for the moment
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2016-02-12 02:12 pm
Entry tags:

In my 28th year...

Today is my birthday- I celebrated this morning by having some unexpected but routine blood tests, and am about to get back on a bus to uni, as I'm having a party this evening. I feel a bit odd about being 27- my dad turned 27 the year I was born, I feel I should be a proper grown up now. But also, I got here, and that took work.
thefairymelusine: (mantel quote)
2016-02-02 08:35 am

Am back at university

Killing time before my 9am lecture in a way which does not require me to talk to people. Grades from last term were really pretty good, but I am in the state of mind where I am focusing on the one module with a weak (ish) grade, and not the double module and the other module which both had good ones, which is silly because my results last term were better than any results I had got to date.

I am glad to be back- the lack of structure other than a one I had invented in late January was driving me a bit mad. However, I am low and odd and therefore I am reacting to Regular Contact with Other Humans, even ones I like, badly- I want to withdraw/push everyone away in a way which I will not do as it is not a good thing, but is tempting.

I need to find some way of getting passport photos later.
thefairymelusine: (Dark Knight)
2016-01-21 03:22 am


Anxiety and a pain flare have rendered me unable to sleep. This is irritating (I need to be up early-ish tomorrow morning in order to tidy my flat and meet a friend who is visiting at the station, and I'd like to be able to enjoy his visit without being super tired or having to take a nap at some point). I should probably listen to one of my stupidly new agey meditations to calm down and knit or read for a bit if that doesn't work.

(Note: there is a series of meditations I find incredibly useful, but am embarrassed about doing so, so justify my use of them by mentally categorising them as described above)
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2016-01-12 04:43 pm

R.I.P. David Bowie

Apparently I loved Labyrinth as a kid, according to my dad. It makes sense that I would, especially around the age of 7-9, and even give unreliability of memory it makes sense that I would have seen it, and that my dad would not be lying. Unfortunately trauma around school and parental illness ate quite a lot of that period of memories, so I couldn't remember it for a long time, and skipped it in my teens somehow, so I don't remember seeing it until I was 25. I went to an open air screening during the last couple of weeks of my access course and sobbed through most of it (in a good way). And he's a pretty integral part of it.

This a long preamble to my intro about how my main experience of Bowie is as an artist my cooler queer friends and acquaintances adored. I was listening to some of his work on Spotify yesterday, and had overwhelming memories of sitting on couches trying to impress people I fancied while listening to him. Which probably says something about the level of influence he had on aesthetics and the queer community, and were not unpleasant memories to have. Pointing out that I'm not a proper fan is mostly me wanting to observe that lots of people were, whereas I only had any albums because a cooler friend sold me his old computer.

There's a couple of his songs which mean a lot to me: Rebel Rebel from when I was 20, and moving away from home, and trying to figure out gender. A year or two ago I discovered Queen Bitch and it matters too, because of senses of failure and because of needing a shot of bitterness ("I could do better than that") to get through everything.

I didn't want to not mark it, is all. I will miss there being new Bowie songs which cooler friends play me, and appreciate what he did.
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2016-01-01 11:05 pm
Entry tags:

2015 in review

I rang in the new year pleasantly, at a small dinner party I was hosting at which just enough of the invitees turned up to justify me buying slightly fancier wine and artichokes than usual.

2015 was not a disastrous year- compared to some years it was pretty okay. I didn't have any catastrophic bad things happen directly to me, and I completed the stuff I wanted to an adequate degree (see: am still at uni, recent grades have been decent, etc). Most of my energy went on my degree and a couple of other boring, pretending to be a functional human goals (work experience, increasing my ability to cook, etc). I had some bad mental health stuff, but it did not knock me for six (for once I did the sensible thing of taking advantage of all my disability accommodations and telling anyone I was working with that I needed them). My chronic pain stuff has got worse, which is unpleasant, and I felt tired a lot. As mentioned elsewhere, I am fairly sure I went outside EVERY DAY, if not I managed the vast majority of days, and that is an achievement.

In short, 2015 was a year in which I coped. Much like the David Sedaris remark about how no one really wants to be described as benign, while there is nothing wrong with coping and I'm glad to do so, I'd rather not have it as the highest accolade for the year in question, but it probably is. 2015 was also dominated by an abnormally high number of my close friends having *terrible* years and this really doesn't earn it points. (Obviously, I did not experience this directly but it really affected my experience of the year overall, and if 2016 could leave my friends alone next year I would appreciate it.)

I had a break up about which I'm still a bit sad- the relationship was imperfect but pleasant, and I am annoyed by how much of the year I spent single. My new year's resolutions this year were a writing related one which I didn't fully manage but did partially manage, and 'no grand pyrotechnic fallings out' with close friends, which again, was only a partial success. (Does being friend-dumped count if you try and mostly handle it amicably?)

I think this sounds bitterer than I intended, and that is probably affected by two things: the fact that I'm in quite a bad pain flare after a (lovely) walk today, and the fact that I just watched whatever on earth the latest Sherlock episode was. I am actually fairly optimistic- I'm in my flat, with my Christmas tree, and I am going to eat some Viennetta in a minute before bed.

I hope this year is kind to you, and I hope that you know how much I enjoy this place. (Dreamwidth is meant here, not my flat, although obviously I like the latter)
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2015-12-23 07:31 pm

Good things list

Semester is over! I am so bloody glad it's over. The last few days of it were quite nice, I went to my friends' shared house Christmas dinner and to see Star Wars on Friday, and then my best friend at uni and I had our annual overly fancy Christmas dinner, and I managed to finish some work around that. Mum turned up late on Sunday morning and helped me finish packing. I've been at the ancestral for a few days, mostly hanging out with my sister and the cat and dog, and being very, very tired.t

1. I have bought festive gifts, and not either spent too much, or left stuff last minute.

2. Friend-I-talk-to-most-days is having a rough time, and therefore has often been out of communication, but yesterday I woke up to a text from him.

3. The days don't get any shorter now.

4. I may have worked out how to knit hats? I made a santa hat for one of my sister's ornaments, and am trying to translate this into person size hats.

5. I can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but I have an appointment for my chronic joint pain issues in the new year, and this is very good.

6. I am reading The Buried Giant, and while I have not yet finished it, so far it is pretty darn good.

7. I am decorating *my* Christmas tree this evening and while I am kind of sad to be doing it by myself this year, I am still pleased and feel weirdly grown up about having my own Christmas tree.

8. As I am home I can have a bath. I really missed baths. (I *can* shower but sensory and pain issues make it more difficult, especially on bad brain days)

9. I also have purple hair dye to top up my purple hair.

10. I got a sweet email from a friend at uni last year who dropped out after the summer, and that was nice because I'd been worrying about him and hadn't heard from him for a while.
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
2015-12-14 06:27 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

I have an exam tomorrow morning. It should go okay- I'm about to do a last burst of revision for it tonight, and then shower and watch a film and knit for a little while.

Good wishes, or thoughts or prayers (if that is your kind of thing) would be appreciated. I am nearly through this semester and while it's mostly been good academically I am SO. BLOODY. TIRED.