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the last-decade/this-decade meme in which I try to reconstruct a rough timeline for the last ten years and pretty much fail

Then: January 2000

1. Age: almost 38
2. Romantic Status: monk
3. Occupation: PhD student. I may have taught in 2000 but I really don't remember. mostly I was scraping by doing independent study because I couldn't think or write worth a damn.
4. Fun night out: buying a 6-pack of beer and drinking it in my room while posting on usenet? or would it have been getting into the little piece of shit Honda and driving to Seattle with two big dogs and a bird? it all runs together.
5. My BFFs: ok I'm going to look this fucking acronym up. I think I know what it means but.. OK I think I was probably too old to be declaring BFF! but lisagail of course. then Catherine and was zyrc still in town? again: too much to straighten out.
6. I spent way too much time: arguing with the voices in my head.
7. I spent not enough time: I spent as much time as I possibly could on pleasant things but often those were short-circuited by the voices in my head, so I spent not enough time not arguing with the voices in my head.
8. I wanted to be when I grew up: a professor or a librarian. I still could go get an Information Science degree but I have other things to do.
9. Biggest concern: getting the voices to shut up so I could do some work and look at the sky and enjoy the way trees smelled and stuff.
10. What my biggest concern should have been: are my meds right?
11. Where did I live: San Francisco in the same apartment as now. different room.
12. Dumbest thing I did that year: 2000? I haven't the slightest idea. possibly not ante-ing up for a legal name change. it would have made some things easier than this common law stuff.
13. If I could go back now and talk to myself I would say: they will shut up eventually. well, mostly. they get much quieter, let's say.

Now: January 2010

1. Age: almost 48
2. Romantic Status: monk considering maybe possibly seeing people who might be attractive in some way. but probably not.
3. Occupation: part-time editor; full-time seeker of disability benefits
4. Fun night out: 4am climb up Twin Peaks to watch the sun rise
5. My BFFs: still too old for that but you all know who you are anyway.
6. I spend way too much time: freaking out.
7. I spend not enough time: writing or pulling what is already written together because it seems like my last great hope.
8. I want to be when I grow up: housed
9. Biggest concern: rent
10. What my biggest concern should be: what to write next. fuck the monetary system.
11. Where do I live: same apartment as before, bigger room
12. Dumbest thing I have done this year: expect to get paid for my last two weeks of teaching.
13. What I think I would say to myself in 10 years: you're not getting any younger, dude.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2010 03:28 am (UTC)
It seems like overall, mostly, things are better now, or more mellow or something? a little more hopeful?
Jan. 9th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)
voices much quieter. that's actually a huge improvement. that I was able to finish my dissertation in 2007 was a tremendous thing.

only, I had a sneaking feeling that I wouldn't do so well on the "outside"--but the voices are still quieter, which makes certain things less difficult than they would be otherwise.
Jan. 9th, 2010 05:04 am (UTC)
Don't get an Information Science degree! Biggest waste of time ever (I dropped out after one year).

When you say "that wasn't as much fun...", do you mean answering the questions, or do you mean the last ten years?
Jan. 9th, 2010 05:18 am (UTC)
now that you mention it, I suppose the last ten years were not as fun as I had expected either. they certainly weren't what I was planning on, except for the grad school part. which was supposed to be finished by 2002 but eh who's counting.

no I won't go get the Information Science degree. if I did anything along those lines I'd try another interdisciplinary program and throw archaeology and medieval studies in there. or something like that. maybe also ancient greek. too much to learn! not enough time!
Jan. 9th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
I know what you mean about not enough time. I want to get six more undergrad degrees now that I finally understand how to be a proper undergrad. One of the problems with that, aside from the many other obvious ones, is undergrads.
Jan. 11th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
I hadn't really thought of going back to undergrad but I am at an elementary level with some of these "new" interests. tests suck but on the other hand writing a five-page paper would only take about an hour. grad school is both alluring and insufferable for the same reasons: grad students, in particular.
Jan. 9th, 2010 06:24 am (UTC)
if you've described this before i must have missed it, but when you refer to voices do you experience them in the same way as if you were to hear another person talking to you? feel free to not answer, of course.

and, hehe, i don't think i've ever been able to drink a whole 6-pack all to myself. 4 beers and i'm totally wasted. 5 and i'm puking for sure.
Jan. 9th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
they're not auditory hallucinations insofar as they do not seem to be coming from outside myself and I don't "hear" them with my ears. it's more like introjected voices that take over my imagination so I "hear" them in my inner dialog, but they don't seem like "me"--I cannot control what they say and usually whatever they say is pretty much the opposite of what I really think/believe.

as for the alcohol, part of it was probably due to body mass gain, but testosterone increased my tolerance dramatically. I didn't really drink much from about 97-2000, but when I started drinking again I could immediately hold a six-pack or more, over the course of several hours. I was astonished. I never was able to drink more than 4 or 5 drinks before transitioning, even if it was a long night.

I don't do that anymore, though. it wasn't really productive, as you might imagine. :)
Jan. 10th, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
that sounds pretty distressing. man, i'm glad they're not as loud as they used to be. most people have enough trouble controlling their own inner voice, nevermind also having to deal with conflicting ones. you've mentioned before that you meditate sometimes-- does that ever shut them out?

yep, hehe, drinking is rarely productive. i don't even find that my social inhibitions are lowered when i drink, so for me it's not even useful for that. :P
Jan. 11th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
meditation is a weird balance for me. it can be very useful if I am mildly anxious, but it is not always helpful for me to sit and watch my mind do its thing if its thing is to tell me awful stuff about the world and myself. on the one hand, mindfulness does provide a sort of comforting distance--you can look at your thoughts as "just" thoughts, immaterial and without power--but sometimes these voices won't obediently become inconsequential upon being labeled as mere this or that. instead they'll get louder and more insistent, and I am not always able to figure out how best to defuse them at that point, other than with klonopin therapy.

which can consequently make meditation an exercise in observing interesting hypnagogic phenomena--a whole other topic. :)

drinking lowered my social inhibitions when I was very young, but I seem to prefer drinking alone now. so I don't.
Jan. 9th, 2010 10:20 am (UTC)
I should do a ten year thingey, but I'm afraid of what would come out. On the other hand, there were so many good things that -- I should not feel that way. But, it is all too obvious to me, where the shortcomings are. We just keep trying, right? ; )
Jan. 11th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
yeah I think, at least for me, there was a point in early adulthood where everything seemed to be moving forward, and now things just move without much regard to progress or regress or anything vaguely purposeful in any direction, except to the extent that I can exert my will on things. which is limited, but what that tells me is to take small steps when I can. what else can we do?
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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