It's been a few weeks since my last post, which is still a lot better than I've done in the past. It's hard to put my thoughts into words at the moment, but I'll give it my best shot. This post includes mention of the death of a pet and thoughts of self-harm/suicidal ideation.

The last few years have been incredibly difficult for me. Not that I'm under the impression anyone has been having an easy time. For me, I think the root of the issue has been isolation. In some regards, it's a mess of my own making: moving onto a boat definitely made it hard to maintain friendships, and I cut off contact with my biological family after realizing I didn't want to invest unknown quantities of emotional energy and time into trying to improve relationships that had up to that point largely been a toxic influence on my life. Other factors were more ambiguous: because of the pandemic, most of the social activities I enjoy are a risk I can no longer justify; not to mention that my job hasn't really allowed me time for such activities, anyway. Ruvi, the best little betta, was there to help make it all more tolerable, but after a struggle with some tumors, I put him down in October before my move. There was so much going on, between work and the move, that I couldn't even really process it—I put his body in the freezer until I could find time to lay him to rest properly.

Everything came to a head during the last few weeks. Deadlines were looming. Winter was dark and cold, as winters tend to be. (Side note: I've learned that my apartment is particularly poorly insulated. It's no fun to wake up and be able to see your breath indoors.) At the worst times in my life, when I feel trapped or like things are hopeless, I experience suicidal ideation and urges to self-harm. It's been like this since I was in 5th or 6th grade. It landed me in the hospital once, when I was 21. Since then, I've made a lot of progress on myself. And I thought that I was finally done dealing with it, and that chapter of my life was closed for good. Not the case, though.

As I said, things have been a struggle. Self-destructive thoughts and tendencies have a way of creeping up, along with bad habits and ways of thinking. And when everyone else is struggling, the last thing you want to do is make people worry. It's sinister and isolating, and you don't want to admit that you've found yourself back in a dark, miserable place that you thought you'd left behind forever.

This time, I was able to ask for help. And when I did, it was met with support and understanding. Maybe it isn't the progress I'd hoped I'd made, but it is progress. I have a lot of work to do still, not just for my job, but in getting myself back to a healthier place. This weekend, I finally took care of Ruvi's body. He's been gone for a long time already, but I haven't had the space to process it. That probably holds true for a lot of things in my own life, large and small—all the things that get buried because there just doesn't seem to be room for them in the moment.

Not a particularly fun update, I know. It's an important step in the right direction, nonetheless. My priority for the rest of this year will be improving my work-life balance, something that's long, long overdue.

All the best, hope you're taking care of yourselves out there.

Progress and Setbacks