Struggles with Food

Content warning: vomiting, possible disordered eating

It’s been a while, but here we are again.

I’m vomiting most days, or at least coming very close. The last time this happened was when I had my first job in mental health. My boss terrified me, and most days were filled with tremendous fear and distress. I remember very clearly deciding to treat myself to an expensive veggie burger to try and relax and enjoy my lunchbreak, but I threw it up immediately and felt so sad about the wasted money. Were those daily vomits due to stress, or just because I ate breakfast before my stomach was ready? Because coffee didn’t suit me? Because maybe I had some kind of food allergy?

Just a few weeks ago, I was reflecting on that time and laughing about even with the obvious symptoms I couldn’t even tell I was anxious. And now the gods have punished me for my hubris, because once again I find myself in the same circumstances and I have no fucking idea why.

The first time I spewed I figured it was anxiety since it was directly after a huge tea ceremony event that I’d been stressing about for months. And then the following week I started my new job, so it made sense that I was stressed and not digesting things well in fight/flight mode. But then again, I was getting up earlier than usual to catch the bus, so maybe it was because I was forcing myself to eat before I was ready? Or maybe my soy milk had gone off because coffee tasted weird? Or maybe I had some kind of tummy bug?

I went to the doctor, and she agreed that it was likely anxiety. She gave me some medication that dissolves on my tongue, so I don’t need to worry about swallowing a pill and trying to keep it down long enough to be digested. She instructed me to see her in a week if it still wasn’t better, just on the off chance it wasn’t psychosomatic.

Well, it’s been over a week. The medication helps a lot, but on one occasion I couldn’t stop vomiting even after I took it. I’m usually nauseated in the morning, but I’ve vomited at lunch and dinner too, and sometimes even before breakfast or hours after I’ve had dinner. Even when my body tells me I’m hungry and craving a particular food, I’ll have a nibble of it and then immediately throw up. Or I’ll be feeling fine, but I’ll have a tickle in my throat so I’ll cough to clear it, and then I can’t stop coughing and suddenly I’m vomiting. There’s no sense to it, and it’s made me resentful of food, and distrusting of my body’s signals.

It’s taken me a few days to realise, but I don’t always eat when I’m hungry. For example, when I feel heartburn and acidity in my stomach, my usual treatment is to put food in it to reduce the acidity. So I’ve been mistaking “burning” for “hunger”. Likewise when I feel ill, sometimes I think sugar will help. Or when I feel weak, I need carbohydrates. And none of those are the actual tummy rumbling hunger that tells me my stomach is empty and wants to be filled.

And those feelings are still super hard to tell apart. As I write this, I think I have a tiny rumble of hunger somewhere deep down, but I also feel the clenching of my stomach that would probably be eased with food, and the general sense of weakness that comes from not eating. But then I’ll get a wave of nausea and it makes me not trust any of them.

I’m so reluctant to put food in my body when it’s just going to hurt me. But I know I have to keep eating otherwise I’ll die. So I carefully balance the risk. When I get hungry, I eat as much as I want while trying to avoid becoming so full that I want to puke again. When it gets to a mealtime and I feel obliged to eat out of habit, if I’m not feeling hungry I just don’t eat. I might snack on a square of chocolate or something, but if I had to guess I’d say I’m probably eating half as much as I used to a month ago. I’ve lost about 2kg in two weeks I think – I don’t normally measure, but now that it’s a health issue I’m trying to use the scales at the gym.

Overall this sucks and I hate it. I cannot wait to talk to my doctor tomorrow.

My Review of Lords Mobile

So I fell into this game hard. Bloody YouTube ads got me when they showed a trailer of thousands of soldiers throwing themselves fruitlessly at castle walls while defenders rained down arrows and stones on their assailants. Having been beaten back, the defenders charged out from beyond their walls and killed the remaining attackers. Defeating a larger force with superior tactics and skills is one of my weaknesses, so I downloaded the game to try it myself. (Incidentally the trailer was slightly misleading, but not so much that I quit in outrage. There was just enough truth to it that I stuck around, and that was my first mistake.)

As is often the case, there was a lot to take in. With about a dozen buttons on the UI (many of which had sub-menus and tabs), I didn’t really know what I was doing. Playing for a few days helped me figure it all out, but I also did a fair bit of googling to help me get my head around it. To save you the trouble, the basic premise is this: collect resources, construct (and level up) buildings, perform research for more efficient resource gathering/combat, build defences for your castle, and train soldiers for your army.

Your army is used for combat, utilising a rock-paper-scissors mechanic: infantry beats archers, archers beat cavalry, cavalry beats infantry. (Tactially that’s bullshit by the way, it should definitely go the other way around, but it is what it is.) In terms of who to attack, you have two choices: the environment (called Darknests on the map), or other players (for the off chance they have so many resources they can’t store them all. Or if you’re just the type to attack a stranger for the joy of it).

I wasn’t much for attacking others, provoked or otherwise. I found it terribly disheartening to wake up and see everything on fire, and spending all of my remaining resources healing my wounded soldiers before they could eventually resume normal gathering activities. It is a pain I not wish to inflict on anyone else. I quickly learned to shelter my troops overnight instead of sending them out gathering, so that at least they wouldn’t end up in the infirmary.

Unfortunately, PvP is a cornerstone of the game. Joining a guild is quite compulsory (you need about a dozen guildmates to take down even the weakest Darknest), and the average age of my guildmates seemed to be about 16. I was not particularly enjoying the conversation with my peers, and we had pretty different values due to the difference in our life stages. Furthermore, my more bellicose guildmates would often invite conflict to all of us: someone would attack a member of another guild (or vice versa), and then there will be retaliation, and then war would be declared, and everyone from my guild would attack everyone from their guild for several hours until one side had too few soldiers to continue fighting and they’d surrender. (And often the attacker wouldn’t capitulate and would continue razing villages to the ground.) It was a violent system that the game quite encouraged. This was especially obvious with the design of Wonders on the map (which boosted the stats of whichever guild possessed them, and awarded special titles and rights to that guild leader), and having events where guilds and kingdoms were rewarded for battling. I eventually realised that the game is designed so that eventually PvP is the endgoal, and building up one’s turf, heroes, and level is just a means to that end.

But I didn’t know this when I joined – I was just chasing that sweet feeling of watching NPC’s throw themselves fruitlessly against my walls. The first few hours of gameplay were dizzyingly generous, and at low levels there were almost zero wait-times. There were so many things to do, and so many resources to do them with. But as I eased into the intermediate levels (Castle Level 10 out of 25, or Player Level 25/60) the waits become longer. An hour here, three hours there, eight hours for the big upgrades… But by that time the hooks were in, and would happily organise my construction so the long ones would happen overnight, and I could fully maximise my productivity.

And that’s where things began to get out of hand for me. At almost every hour of the day, I’d log in to make sure I was taking every action possible. I rarely let more than a few minutes slide without making sure I was building/researching/training soldiers/collecting resources/doing admin, guild and VIP quests/using stamina to play hero levels/using energy to hunt monsters/collecting the treasure chests that are awarded every few minutes. There were so many things to wait for, I’d find myself just staring at my phone watching a counter click slowly towards zero so I could take the next action. (I probably spent over an hour in total staring at the screen without actually clicking anything, just watching the timer count down). Whenever I woke up at night, I’d roll over, grab my phone, and assign tasks to everyone so that I was “making the most of my time”, and this would wake me up so much that I would rarely get back to sleep.

According to my phone, I played it for an average of three hours a day over the past few weeks. That’s around 42 hours. I’m horrified by how much else I could have done in that time. But to be fair, it was super fun at first, and it only become drearisome as I had to invest more and more time for the same level of enjoyment. It’s classic addiction, and as the drip-feed of serotonin slowed down, I was willing to do more and more for my next hit. So that was terrifying.

I quit my guild and uninstalled the game this afternoon. Annoyingly, the devs don’t technically delete accounts, but I spent half an hour on the livechat giving them huge amounts of information (When did I download the game? Did I buy anything? What was the date and receipt number?) before being told they’d investigate my case and get back to me within three days. It really does seem like they’re making it hard for people to undo their progress, making it inconvenient to commit to quitting. I imagine for many addicts, knowing they can reinstall the app any time and jump back into it will be a difficult struggle.

I loved this game, but it was ruining my life so my scoring is complicated.
If you’d asked me during the first week, I would have given it 8/10.
If you’d asked me during the second week, I’d have given it 4/10.
If there were to be a third week, I’m sure I would have scored it 2/10 or lower.

Maybe for people with less addictive personalities than me would find it more satisfying, but in the end I’m grateful to have realised early that it was playing me more than I was playing it. Would not recommend.

My strengths

For the first time in about a year, I suddenly realised that I needed 10 hours of Continuing Professional Development that was centred around connecting with the social work community. Panicked, I hit up the website of the peak body and found that they were still doing networking nights for people working in private practice, so I signed up for the meeting in June.

It was such a pleasure to attend. I loved hearing my colleagues in the sector talk about not putting people in boxes, and what a privilege it was to share their journeys for a short time, and the magic of helping someone connect the dots and see themselves clearly for the first time. As they spoke, there was one colleague in particular who gave me a great sense of hope and joy, that people were coming to him and that he was able to help them at a time when they could potentially be quite vulnerable.

I made some comments on how much I enjoyed hearing him speak, and he messaged me privately to thank me. We chatted briefly, and I said “I call it like I see it.” He answered “You see it ’cause you have it.” And it was a lesson I haven’t picked up in a while. I love the idea that the things I value in others are also the things that I value in myself (and therefore have probably worked to cultivate).

So, in a reflective exercise, here’s what I liked about my colleague (and therefore myself). He was:

  • Measured
  • Kind
  • Eloquent
  • Sensitive
  • Respectful
  • Gentle
  • Thoughtful
  • Intelligent
  • Good at healing
  • Broken, and finding strength in it

Natural Names

In tea ceremony, poetic names (called gomei) are given to some of the utensils. I have a great love of nomenclature, and dare I say a knack for clever titles, so it’s one of my favourite parts of the ceremony when the guests asks to admire the utensils and I tell them what I have named my chashaku for that ceremony.

My understanding is quite basic, but there are many things that make for a good gomei. Ideally they reference the seasons (for instance, by alluding to the time of year when hawks start to leave the nest, or when a certain flower starts to bloom), as well as evoke feelings and sensations. A sophisticated gomei might reference classical literature, such as a line from a poem or essay. A witty gomei might also be a play on words, using double-meanings to say something clever, even humorous. I think this article by Soya-sensei from Issoan Tea does a wonderful job of explaining it.

I’m quite sad that I will probably never fully appreciate the subtleties of gomei that are in Japanese. My grasp of the language is so poor I wouldn’t even be able to have a conversation with a toddler, so it’s well beyond me to understand the names without them being translated (imperfectly) for me. This is not even considering how I cannot appreciate the many readings of kanji and references to literature and philosophy that I have never read. My clumsiness with Japanese frustrates me, and I’m disheartened at the thought of the years it would take me to learn enough to start to express myself adequately. Still, I am grateful that it’s acceptable for me to use English for now.

Most of my gomei tend towards the clever side – I’ll make a reference to the state of the world, and my hope that everyone will do their best to be okay. For instance, I called one chashaku “Silver Lining”, describing not only the heavy cumulus that afternoon, but the ability to see the light in times of personal darkness. (I followed it up the following week with the name “Rainbow Gold”, which I quite enjoyed.)

Sensei has asked that our gomei reflect the current seasons, and this will lead us to a greater enrichment of the world. I can’t say I know the names of many flowers, or the months when various birds take to the skies, but since beginning my studies of tea ceremony five years ago I’ve certainly noticed some changes. I’m embarrassed to confess that I hadn’t realised until a few weeks ago that light changes angle depending on the seasons. I’ve learned that some plants are perennial (year-long) and some are seasonal (only lasting a short time). While writing this blog-post, I cracked open my window so I could better listen to the sound of rain hitting the ground, covered in fallen autumn leaves.

I have never paid much attention to the world outside of my own mind, but I have more in these past five years than ever before. As I learn more about tea ceremony, through my classes but also through the occasional reading I do, I am learning that the Zen priests of old were onto something, and appreciating the miraculous cycles of nature is a profound pleasure in this life.

The Second Best Seasoning

“Tea tastes better with company.”

It was a sudden realisation, as I sipped the matcha while looking at my laptop screen. The faces of my teacher and the other students were obscured by their own tea bowls, and I was astonished at how delicious the tea was. I’d had the same tea a few days earlier, and it had tasted completely different. Had it changed flavours because it had time to get to room temperature? Maybe. But I think more likely that there is a big difference between hurriedly whisking a bowl of matcha for the caffeine, and making time to appreciate a meditative ceremony with friends.

Gold Star

I’ve seen a few posts on social media that have been talking about “keeping busy” and “avoiding boredom”, and it puzzles me. I forget that other people’s experiences can be different to my own.

When I was 12, I realised that I was almost never bored – I had an infinite number of skills to practice, things to research, passions to explore. Even if I was strapped into an airplane seat for 10 hours with nothing to read or watch, I’d practice meditation, or run through mental exercises, or visualise kata in as much detail as I could manage. I used to arrogantly think that it was a sign of my intelligence – that I could always find stimulation, no matter the circumstances. But I think it’s just another part of my funky, perhaps broken brain.

I’m perplexed when I hear about people trying to “keep their minds busy” whilst all this is happening, because I’ve never been busier. As I have mentioned elsewhere, there aren’t enough hours in the day for all the things I want to do. And staying home has streamlined me in a way like never before – without having to visit people, or run errands outside of a weekly shopping trip, I’m getting so much done. I’ve never done more exercise, and reading, and playing, and researching, and watching, and working. And it feels wonderful. The only trouble I’m having is that, now that my workspace is in my homespace, it can sometimes be hard to tear myself away from it and do something less “productive”.

Because that’s what it’s really about. Ever since childhood, I’ve had a burning need to be “productive”. My definition of productive is pretty loose – working, cleaning, googling an idle curiosity I once had, opening (but not necessarily playing) a game that rewards me for logging in every day, watching something new rather than rewatching something I’ve already seen… As long as it’s not “wasting time”, or “unproductive”, it feels important and worthwhile. And my list of “worthwhile” things to do really is infinite – I could spend every waking hour nurturing my physical, mental, and spiritual health without ever taking a step out of the door and actually living my life.

And so I find myself caught in a spiral. Every time I have a sense of achievement, I’m flooded with pleasure. I get a little rush of dopamine that reminds me of getting a gold star sticker next to my name in childhood. And fam, I can’t get enough of that shit. I’ll chase that high all day long. And that’s a problem when it becomes more important to me than my relationships.

I’m working on it. My psychologist and I have talked about it for years, but never quite like this I’m speaking to her tonight, and I think it’ll be a good chance to hash it out and see what comes up.

A Boxer’s Review of Fitness Boxing (2019, Nintendo Switch)

Okay technically I’m not an actual boxer, but I have trained in martial arts for most of my life. I’ve been teaching self-defence, karate, and Chinese internal arts for years now, and though my technique is not up to par with my friends who have studied pugilism professionally (e.g. despite my best efforts, I’m apparently still telegraphing with some kind of miniscule change in posture or tempo), it’s fair to say that I am an accomplished and efficient fighter.

Well thanks Lyn, now that you think so maybe I'll try teaching some time.

So during this strange time of physical distancing, I was looking for a new way of getting some exercise while my dojo is closed over the next few months. Enter Fitness Boxing.

When Wii Fit (and Wii Fit U) came out, I played them pretty obsessively. I did the fitness tests every day for years, spending hundreds of hours logging exercises and activities (not to mention the Wii Fit Meter I wore at all times). Between $300 for Ring Fit Adventure, and the free demo of Fitness Boxing, it was an easy choice. After playing for about two hours across two days, I took the leap and paid the comparatively reasonable $70 to download the full version (though none of my progress carried over), and I’m still figuring out how I feel about it.

In terms of technical advice, I was surprised to find the game was mostly spot on. The trainers gave excellent instruction in terms of common mistakes and efficient ways to throw punches, and at first this was so well-timed that I thought the game was actually picking up every movement of my hands. However, the more I played, the more I realised they were just spouting advice almost randomly, regardless of what I was actually doing. While initially I appreciated the reminders to keep my guard up or to keep my elbows at 90 degrees, eventually I started getting annoyed by the instruction. Switching to the Japanese voices made this much more bearable (“Ichi, ni, ichi, ni, mae, ushiro, mae, ushiro!“), and I had a lot more patience for them after that.

Regarding tracking, there were a few times where the joycons didn’t register any movement at all (particularly for ducks and steps – I’ll provide a guide at the bottom for this review for what motions the game will register as correct). Worse, they often turned themselves off mid-punch, which lead to some frustrating combo breakers in an otherwise perfect level. At its worst, I found myself checking whether they’d disconnected maybe a dozen times per exercise because they failed to register a punch, or gave the little “I’m shutting down now” vibration. Furthermore the game seemed to only really register the fact that the joycons made a quick movement, and didn’t actually track things like direction or curvature. This meant that as long as the timing was correct, it logged every technique as “Perfect!” no matter what kind of punch I threw.

One of the smaller problems I have with the idea of boxing for fitness is the rhythm element of the game. Not to brag, but I’m great at rhythm games – for context, I placed first at a Guitar Hero tournament, and won an iPod from a rigged game of Stacker at Timezone. So the idea of bouncing back and forth in time to the music sounded fun, but not sensible martial training. In combat, it’s important for a fighter to be able to establish and then break rhythm at will. In contrast, throwing every punch on the beat felt plain wrong to me. This was especially heinous when the move was just twisting your hips to “wind up” for a punch – talk about telegraphing!

But what really annoyed me is that this forward-back bounce is established at the start of every exercise and stance change, yet the trainers don’t always follow it. I did my head in trying to figure out intelligent ways of punching while shifting my weight backwards – e.g. I’d throw the straight as I lunged my back foot away, or perform a slip while leaning back to do an uppercut. These are more complicated interpretations of the techniques that are wholly inappropriate for beginners, and which I was only able to do thanks to decades of practicing different ways of moving. Eventually I realised that the trainers have their weight forward for every punch no matter how long the combination, but they never explicitly mentioned that in the instructions so it took me many hours to figure out (even though I was looking for an answer!).

Returning to our technical analysis of the drills, one of the biggest problems I had from a practical fighting perspective is that the exercises seemed to frequently choose unintelligible times for particular techniques. Quick boxing lesson: jabs and straights are “long-range” attacks, and hooks and uppercuts are “short-range” attacks. Sometimes the game would start a combination by using a short-range uppercut, which is a disastrously strategy for closing the gap to an opponent. Worse still, sometimes it would require me to use the reverse hand while moving backwards. This is utter madness for a retreat – to use your farthest weapon to hit someone who is rushing towards you. Furthermore, the trainer would mix short and long-range techniques together in the same combination, but without the requisite shuffles forward and back to close/create distance. This meant that half of the strikes would be either too close or too far to land cleanly if I weren’t just punching the air. (I often compensated for this by adding my own leg movements so I could get some worthwhile training in, because while there were very few exercises that included stepping or shuffling as part of the drill, they were rare and only came quite late in the piece.)

Having said that, the game does get better as you unlock the intermediate and advance lessons (which you frustratingly can’t access until you’ve beaten all the previous levels). To be fair they’re all quite basic, but after so many atrocities my bar is very low. For instance, one of the good combinations went thus:
Starting in orthodox (left foot forward): Jab, pause, jab, duck left, left uppercut, pause, jab, straight, duck right, right uppercut.

One thing I do like about the game is that, unlike most boxing, it switches stance halfway through each exercise. Balancing out the body and becoming equally proficient with both hands is a wonderful practice for health and utility.

It’s also worth commenting that there are only 20 songs, and I while you can “randomize” which ones are used during the Daily Workout, you can’t actually select them. In fact, despite completing all the exercises more than once, I still haven’t heard the 20th song because the randomiser is weird. With the demo only giving me access to three of them, I got sick of them pretty quickly.

So after all this criticism, why do I like the game? Because it’s still stonking great fun. I don’t need someone to teach me how to box – if I wanted to exercise, I could do a boxing routine by myself. But the thing is, I find it really hard to motivate myself when I’m exercising alone, and having something to focus on and inspire me brings out the best in me. What I love about Fitness Boxing is that it gamifies the experience, keeping me hooked and distracting me from fatigue and discomfort by focussing on the fun. Having a cute trainer certainly helps too, though there is something distinctly creepy about the way they pose and giggle when you pick different outfits for them. (Patriarchy and the gratifaction of the male gaze is gross.)

Furthermore, it scratches that “just one more” completionist itch in me, or at least it did for a while. At first I played every day to get that sweet, sweet Daily Workout stamp. After a few weeks though, it became less and less interesting (I guess as I unlocked all the moves, and the best ones like the slips and weaves were rarely utilised). So would I recommend this? Yes. For the first time in many years, I looked forward to exercising at home despite the hot weather, and that┬áis why I think it was worth the $70.


Now, a guide if you’re having trouble with the game registering your movements!
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Jabs, straights, hooks, uppercuts (face and body): As I’ve said, all the punches are just about making a sudden movement in any direction, so if those aren’t registering it might a joycon issue. Try disconnecting and reconnecting and seeing if that helps.
Ducks, duck left/right, duck and weave: Hold the joycons vertically (L and R button pointing to the ceiling), then move them down toward the ground sharply. This is of course disastrously bad practice – you literally drop your guard as you duck – but it’s the only reliable way that I found to register the movement.
Shuffle forwards/back: Tilt the joycons 45 degrees back (so the L + R buttons are pointing at your face). Jerk them away from your face for a shuffle forwards, or towards your face for a shuffle back.
Blocks and leans: Same as above: tilt the joycons 45 degrees and move them sharply towards you. (For the blocks, you can make an “answering the phone” motion and cover your ear with the joycon, which is a common block in boxing.)

The Dregs

This week I had my first fully-booked day as a counsellor. My former-colleagues standard day was six, sometimes seven appointments, but I made the brave decision to set my own availability and max it out at five (in accordance with recommendations I once read for psychologists). I scheduled half hour breaks between appointments, and an additional hour for lunch to give me time to process, write notes, do research, and have adequate time to prepare for each appointment. And even amidst all the extra time I allowed myself, I found it utterly exhausting.

The first appointment of the day went really well. I mean, I was sleepy and not my sharpest, but I did great work being in a deep space with my clients, holding them as they confronted scary truths and recognised harm in their lives. If I started the day at 100% energy/compassion/patience, I probably went down to 70% over that hour.

During my half hour break to write notes/prepare for the next appointment, I probably started it at 80%. It was another deep and engaging session where I got right into the guts of some long-held beliefs and helped a person reflect on and relate differently to them. I probably went down to 20% at the end of the session.

I was pretty anti-social during my time for lunch. I couldn’t even really bring myself to talk to Beth as we sat at the table together, so desperate was I to recover some energy for myself and my next clients. Some food and Animal Crossing later, I went back in with about 60% energy for my next client.

It kept going down until I finished with about 10% at the end of the day. And when it came time to exercise, and cooking dinner, and spending time with Beth, I felt pretty close to tapped out. I was so cranky and impatient and ungenerous – it was so unfair that Beth got the dregs of my strength, and I had even less than that for myself. And when some of my friends messaged me about their struggles, I really had to consciously stop myself from snapping at them as I supported them in their experiences, gently guiding them through the murk of their feelings and struggles. I had the thought “I’m giving you free counselling right now”, and it was an unpleasant and nasty thought to have, and I wish that I hadn’t been so worn down when they spoke with me. It turns out I am not the boundless well of compassion I like to think I am, and I need to prioritise my own self-care more often if I want to be my best self with loved ones.

Just thoughts.

Flex

I once learned from those I trusted that the only way through fear was through it.
That if I always did what I’d always done, I’d always get what I’d always got. And that if nothing changes, nothing changes.

Lately I’ve been holding a lot of fear, and I’ve frequently wrestled with feeling overwhelmed. When I’m holding a lot of stress and fear, there are many things that I avoid thinking about. I don’t reply to messages, I don’t book things in advance, I don’t think about responsibilities for the future, and above all, I certainly don’t think about work.

Today I had some articles to read. A training video to watch. Maybe some clients to call or text about their appointments. Faxes to send. Research to do. Too many things, too much fear. I did what I usually do – I ran. I did a dozen chores that seemed crucial to my ongoing safety. I played a bunch of games, that seemed both urgent and important. And when the stress became unbearable, I slumped exhausted into my study chair and began working.

Nobody every talks about how tiring it is not thinking about something scary. Fear is an exhausting thing to hold.

Talking to my counsellor for a phone session tonight, I am reminded that “leaning into fear” is a muscle, and mine has become quite weak. Or maybe the fear that I am confronting is particularly strong. But I don’t want to do this dance anymore – the running, the avoidance, the procrastination, and then the explosion of stress that pushes me to act. I’ve been doing it pretty much my whole life, and it sucks.

So here’s my resolution: I am going to do the scary things. And when I want to run and avoid them, I’ll tear them apart with my teeth like a rabid dog, because fuck that shit. I am more than strong enough to handle fear of this proportion, and I will not allow myself to forget it again.

To make it more concrete, I’ll put it like this. Tomorrow whenever there is a chore or game that appeals to me, before I do it, I will ask myself if I am doing it to avoid a feeling, or to experience a feeling. And if it’s the former, I will not allow myself to do it until I’ve done the thing I’m avoiding first.