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- Major depressive downturn over the winter. As usual, I was well into it before I realized it was happening. So that sucked. In good news, my medical support team (primary care + psych meds shrink) is very good, so I wasn't adrift alone and had the resources to deal with it appropriately.

♥ My deeply beloved goddog Indy Anna Jane came to the end of her long and happy life, and is no longer with us. There's a vast empty place in the world and I'll be grieving for her for a long time, but I have the comfort of knowing that she had a wonderful and ridiculously long (for her breed) life and the best sort of peaceful death. Like my friend D says, you want them to have all the good days and none of the bad ones, and that's the great grace of having animal family members. You can spare them the bad days.

+ Came out (still coming out?) of the depressive downturn largely thanks to a HUGE revelation. I have lived with major depressive disorder pretty much as long as I can remember. First major episode at age 12, and I can recall less severe ones as far back as six or seven. The symptoms -- the problems it causes me, the ways it disables me -- have always existed as multiple aspects of a single disease, always occurring simultaneously, peaking and ebbing in synch, as if they were inseparable. For the first time ever, this has changed.

Perhaps the most damaging aspect of depression for me has always been what I've called 'paralysis of will.' )

So far my focus has mostly been on physical activity. )

One obvious cause of pain is weight. )

+ In support of all the above, I have joined the FitBit brigade, and am now wearing a FitBit Surge pretty much 'round the clock and benefiting from the surprisingly potent motivational boost of hitting daily goals and racking up the stats. And the pretty graphs! I'm a sucker for the pretty graphs. Any of y'all doing it? Want to do the FitBit Friends thing, or whatever they call it? You can connect to me through my gmail which is LCBergstrom (at). Or comment or send me an e-mail or a PM with your info an we'll hook up.

Goals going forward: Re-engage fannishly. Comment more. Converse. And I think I'm ready to re-commence podficcing. I need to finish the Sid Project, which is about half done. And I have some dS/C6D things I really want to do, a couple of which are WIPs. I very much want to do the dS/C6D Big Bang this year -- given the above, I think this could finally be the year that I actually complete it -- but I'm leery of signing up. I've failed so many times and I feel like I've let everyone down once (or twice, or three times) too often. I love the community aspect of participating in the BB, but these are all the people I've repeatedly let down. Maybe I'll just record whatever I record, whenever I get to things, and post as they get completed without trying to tie them to any formal event. *waffling*
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posted by [personal profile] malnpudl at 05:44pm on 25/02/2016
If you're having trouble communicating with someone on LJ, it may be due to a new problem with Xcolibur, an old LJ theme (is that the right word?) that's been officially unsupported for some years but until now has remained functional. Some of us, myself very much included, are clinging to it for all we're worth.

The problem:

1) Xcolibur users are unable to see comments. Most seem unable to see comments on any LJ post. I can't see comments on posts made by Xcolibur users, whether my own or someone else's, but I can see comments on non-Xcolibur user posts.

2) The Profile page menu sub-headers are missing and inactive (i.e., if you mouse over the empty line where they should be, nothing happens).

There are several Support requests opened within the last ~12 hour, all by Xcolibur users.

I'm putting this up both as a PSA and as a way for people to converse with me about this problem, if they like, since that is not possible on LJ at present.
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posted by [personal profile] malnpudl at 03:58pm on 18/01/2016
1) I am not dead, nor vanished into an alternate reality, frozen in stasis, or wormhole-transported to another destination. On the whole, this pleases me... though admittedly the latter is kind of intriguing.

2) I'm continuing to adjust to last fall's medication changes and on the whole am mostly very pleased with those, too.

3) However, SAD is still a thing, it turns out, and I forgot all about using my light therapy. Major depressive downturn during the dark months (though significantly better than most years thanks to Pristiq et al). Oops. Must restart.

4) Communication still challenging. Improving very slowly. But improving. No, really. Honest. Less worse, anyway.

5) I'm continuing to unfuck my habitat in extremely satisfying ways. This project will last me a long, long time, since I'm dealing with stuff that's been accumulating, ignored, for decades. (I'm not a hoarder; I love getting rid of stuff. I just didn't have the oomph or the spoons* for a very, very long time.)

6) Last fall's neck/shoulder injury took an eternity to get better but it looks like it's definitively cleared up and mostly forgotten altogether. Finally.

7) I have started learning to make jewelry -- not to sell or anything, just for fun. Stringing beads, wire work, and a bit of chainmaille (this thanks to the influence of my Favorite Cousin [ profile] cosmo_dk). WAY FUN, partly because of the huge learning curve (brain work feels really good) and partly because pretty rocks make me giddy with delight. Including lots of really cheap ones. OMG JASPER. Seriously. Yay, affordablity. Glass and metal are cool and pretty, too, but I'm really all about the rocks. (Plastic turns out to be a total turn-off, even when called something else, like resin. Oh, well.)

8) Late last November, my beloved goddog Indy Anna Jane turned THIRTEEN. This is older than God for a Rottweiler. She's stone deaf and gimpy, and was recently diagnosed with a "mass" in her spleen that may or may not be cancer (and we're not going to do anything about it, so no point finding out), but she's still comfortable and cheerful and enjoying life, so we're cherishing her and delighting in her until she's ready to leave us. The loss, when it comes, will be sad, but not crushing. She's had her full measure of life and a whole lot more, so it'll be the best sort of end.

9) This gives me a huge case of the happies: Zinnias blooming in space! Botany! And gardening! And science! And space exploration! The only thing that could make this more perfect for me is if a dog were involved. Now I want to read something where a character is named Zinnia in honor of this event.

10) This year was the first time [community profile] purimgifts opened to podfic, and I really wanted to team up with a writer to make something... but the sign-up period coincided with an endless series of VERY LOUD STORMS and I wasn't at all sure I could commit to recording something in time for the deadline. Oh, well; maybe next year. (I'm not Jewish, but I've always had an interest in and a certain degree of attraction to Judaism, and I also like stories that explore characters' relationship to their own religion/religious upbringing... maybe especially because I don't seem capable of faith or otherwise wired for religion myself.)

11) At the end of this month I will once again accompany Suz, my local bestie, to the Bay Area for one of her periodic medical specialist check-ups followed by two whole days surrounded by 3000 dogs at the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show (spectating, not competing). Actually, that is something of a religious pilgrimage for me, come to think of it. In a sense. And we might get to spend half a day at Annie's Annuals, which is Mecca, so as pilgrimages go, it could be a double-header.

12) Like pretty much everyone in fandom, I was grief-stricken at the loss of Alan Rickman. I'm going to be sad about that for a long time. Does anyone know where/how a person might find a way to see Truly, Madly, Deeply? *wistful*

In conclusion: Ray Kowalski. (Are we still saying that? I miss saying that.)

* Re spoons: I've started seeing the occasional non-disabled or non-chronically-ill person (as they define themselves) using this expression in reference to themselves when they're merely tired or stressed or have a cold or whatever. That pushes my buttons in a big way. This analogy, this term, refers to something huge and devastating, and it's incredibly important. I don't like seeing it diluted. Actually, I deeply resent seeing it diluted until it's meaningless. /rant
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posted by [personal profile] malnpudl at 03:36am on 14/12/2015
I'm in need of a super-fast beta for my due South Seekrit Santa podfic. It's trigger-free mostly gennish with a bit of F/K, about 15 minutes long. It's been thoroughly edited, so hopefully it won't need more than a quick proof-listen.

Any volunteers will be showered with gratitude, adoration, and very possibly bribes. I'm down to the wire here! The deadline is coming up in a matter of hours (midnight Chicago time).

Many thanks in advance.

(If you volunteer and I don't take you up on it... read absolutely nothing into it. No, really. Nothing at all. No seekrits here. Not a one. *innocent face*)

ETA: Doneski!
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posted by [personal profile] malnpudl at 04:19pm on 30/10/2015
Thanks for all the lovely comments on my last post. I am doing really well with tangible stuff -- including major, happy progress on unfucking my habitat in all kinds of very satisfying ways -- and I'm slowly dipping my toes back into online social interaction, which is also a very happy thing if still a bit rusty. You're all wonderful, and so is your support. It means a lot. ♥you♥

As for the subject line: My various joint problems have made it clear that I can no longer wear bras that pull on over my head; it has to be front closure from here on out. Pain makes the rules; so it goes.

So I have five very-gently-to-barely-used Original Un-Bras from Decent Exposures (who are awesome people who make awesome products including by far the least uncomfortable bras I've ever found) that I can no longer wear and would like to give to anyone who'd like to adopt them. They are size 44B Racer Back style in a 90% cotton/10% Lycra blend (what they call their "medium support" fabric). The colors are Sage (green), Periwinkle, Royal Blue, Burgundy, and Black.

I'd like to send all of them to one person, if possible, and if you're in the US, I'll cover postage (USPS) since it won't come to much. If you're overseas, I'll ask that you reimburse me for shipping.

Comments screened. First "gimme!" gets 'em (by time-stamp since this is cross-posted).

ETA: Taken. :-)
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posted by [personal profile] malnpudl at 04:52pm on 21/07/2015
This is a duplicate of my post on [community profile] fucking_meds. Please feel free to reply wherever you like, or to e-mail or PM me if you'd like greater privacy for this discussion.

Seeking anecdotal reports, with hope of... hope. )
malnpudl: image of a microphone with text "storyteller" (storyteller by tebtosca)
posted by [personal profile] malnpudl at 09:29pm on 07/05/2015
I live and breathe! With marginally less mucus! Yay? Ish! Or something.

Or to put it another way: I got enough of a break from allergy season (making the transition from tree sex to grass orgies) that I was able to record my podfic of the cool story that [profile] gray_cardinal wrote for our shared [community profile] intoabar assignment. It was grand fun, and I am delighted that we teamed up.

Chance Meetings: an MCUxCastle crossover in which Pepper Potts meets Alexis Castle

Further proof of life to follow after a couple of days (of sleep, if all goes as I hope).
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posted by [personal profile] malnpudl at 10:21pm on 10/04/2015
Health update )

BFF update )

Fannish update )

TL;DR: Doing a lot better. Still a lot of ground to cover on that front. Life is a lot less worse than it's been in rather a long time. Progress is good, and feels good.
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posted by [personal profile] malnpudl at 07:45pm on 24/03/2015
I ended up asking for (and getting) a dosage increase on my antidepressant, so I'm in the midst of a few days of slow-brain grogginess and frequent nappage while my system adjusts. Various projects were delayed a bit, but all will resume shortly, as will my active engagement with life, the universe, and everything.

In the mean time, I'm continuing through the Vorkosiverse audiobooks and still finding it extremely rewarding, losing nothing of their appeal and gaining much richness on my second pass. I'm getting a deeper understanding of Miles, but still finding various supporting characters engaging me most deeply.

How you know you're reading a Bujold novel:

1) "Peculation"
2) "Precis"
3) "Decant" (used metaphorically)
4) "Gallop" (used of humans, not horses)

A quote from Komarr that resonated just as powerfully for me this time as when I first read it:

"So at the dawn of puberty she'd learned no one would defend her, she could not defend herself, and the only way to survive was to pretend to be dead."

Holy crap, does that hit home. Thus my lifelong pattern of going completely immobile in response to perceived threat of any kind (physical, emotional, or otherwise). As coping strategies go, this is almost never a good choice.