I’ve been kind of overwhelmed/anxious/fucked up lately. I have maybe enough money to live on for four more months (and I’d rather not live on it – I’d prefer to maintain some emergency savings if I can!). I have two booths in stores that need tending to if I want them to keep bringing in money. I have social media stuff I should be doing to boost my sales. I have an online store that’s been making me absolutely no money, but that’s probably because I haven’t done anything with it in ages. I have a local store selling some of my stuff on consignment that needs more stock. I just got an art show at a local retail-store-that-likes-having-art-on-their-walls and I have to prepare for that. Some of the best Christmas craft fairs have their entry deadlines right around now, and last December I probably made more money with my art than in the previous eleven months combined, so I need to get on this. And of course the biggest thing is, I need to try to get enough modelling jobs to support me. Or maybe I need to give up on that as a pipe dream and start hardcore searching out another office job. I don’t know I don’t know I feel like my fucking brain is tearing in half ARRRRGH.
At times like this, I wish I had someone who would figure out my priorities for me, tell me what to do, and stand over me while I do it. But I don’t have that, and probably nobody would do it for free, anyway.
Except, just maybe, The Pedant.
The Pedant definitely seemed to relish taking control of my apartment-cleaning before, and I didn’t even ask for that. And he has a fundamentally unflappable personality; I can’t imagine him panicking over anything, ever. I mean I literally cannot imagine what that would look like. I wanna just pull him over me like a fuckin’ blanket. I want to beg him to come over and rescue me from the mess of my life, the mess in my apartment, the mess inside my head. I hate that I want this, since I am ostensibly a grown-up, but yeah.
So I texted him earlier:
Bah, I wish you were free. I’m having a rough few days and you would almost certainly be able to help. And for once that’s not a sexual innuendo.
…o.O How bad did things get that it’s not?
Heh. Does he know me, or what?
I responded telling him that I’m having big-time anxiety paralysis, and it’s being exacerbated by the fact that my home internet keeps going down and my phone inexplicably refuses to load web pages (did I not mention that before? Ah, I didn’t. So yeah…I need the internet for most of the shit I have to do, and it’s fucked up. I called my provider’s helpline and there’s a recording that cable internet service for my entire city is fucked up and they’re trying to fix it. I didn’t bother staying on the line to talk to a live person. There didn’t seem to be a point).
The Pedant texted back telling me to reset my phone by taking the battery out and putting it back in again, and explained to me the proper method of restarting a modem and router to (hopefully) goose the internet back to life again. And he said he’d be on the bus going to work soon and would call me then. An hour went by and I assumed he’d forgotten about me, but nope, I guess “soon” just means different things to him than it does to me. Or else he was leaving later than he meant to. But he did call, and it did help…mostly.
The bad stuff: the call had a lot of background noise on his end so I feel like I missed half of what The Pedant was saying. And also at one point I totally lost it and started bawling, which I hate doing in front of people; he didn’t acknowledge that I was crying or react to it in any perceptible way, but I’m quite sure he was aware of it. I’d actually had a bit of a shame-cry while I was texting him, too, which released a lot of tension and somewhat unlocked my paralysis, and then my internet came back up long enough for me to apply to a really good holiday craft show – so when I answered the phone for The Pedant, my voice sounded borderline cheerful and The Pedant said something along the lines that things couldn’t be that bad because I sounded okay, and that kinda pissed me off (though I didn’t say anything). When I tried to explain that the thought of looking for work is making me freeze up, I guess he assumed I was only talking about my hatred of using the phone/dealing with people/etc., because he said “You know what’s worse? Being homeless.” I know that, and it’s a big reason why I’m freaking out and fucked up.
But that last thing is perversely comforting to me: The Pedant doesn’t really understand anxiety and he has huge gaps in his social etiquette, so I feel like when he tells me stuff, it’s the truth. He’s not lying to me; he’s probably not aware that this is a thing some people do to make others feel better. He’s not coddling me; I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know how. So the good parts of our conversation were real.
The good stuff: he told me his new work schedule is going to be two days on/two days off, which is less daunting to me than the usual five-day workweek. He said he’ll be working nights, so his sleep schedule will alter to nocturnal and he doesn’t intend to fuck with that on his days off, but we can still have pretty frequent evenings out at the very least. I told him that my sleep schedule is pretty nocturnal, too (at least for the time being) and even if we don’t entirely overlap in that regard, I’m totally good for him to come over and go to sleep before or after I do. We agreed that we could still make things work even though he has a job now.
More good: I explained that I left voicemail for a few art contacts and haven’t heard back so now I have to call them again and I dread it because they might hate me for pestering them; The Pedant said that in his experience (and he’s worked in call centres), when someone doesn’t return a call it’s simply because they forgot. He said I’m not gonna get people saying “WHY ARE YOU BOTHERING ME AGAIN CAN’T YOU TAKE A HINT” – at worst it’ll probably be “Wait, who are you, again?” which I can totally live with. This is what I mean about The Pedant and his Aspie bluntness and general cluelessness – if someone else said that to me about the phone call process, I might think they were just saying that to make me feel better. With The Pedant I believe him.
The Pedant told me to make a “script” for my job-seeking phone calls (I’d made one for when I get hold of a live person, but hadn’t thought to make one for leaving voicemail). He reminded me that in most voicemail systems, you can actually hit the # key to hear the message you just left, and if it sucks there’s an option to rerecord it (I’d rather stab myself in the eye than listen to my own voice like that, but that’s a whole other topic). He said that if I’m fucking around getting nothing done because I’m panicking over all the things I should be doing, that I should stop fighting the laziness; instead I should steer into the laziness and have a nap. (Which is actually something I know is good for me and have been trying to do, but when there’s a bunch of shit I need to get done, I have a hard time giving myself “permission” to ignore it and sleep. It helps to hear someone else give me that permission.) He told me to buy some melatonin, try to stay off the computer late at night, and that he has some MP3s of ambient noise designed for sleeping to that he’ll give me.
Also, I went off on a brief tangent about possibly going on red meat again (I eschewed mammals by choice maybe a decade ago, but have since discovered a bunch of food sensitivities that have drastically narrowed what I can eat…I’d like to have a bit more variety in my protein). The Pedant, who regularly mocks vegans and vegetarians for their life choices, was glad to assure me that I’m not a bad person if I choose to eat cows again. And when I worried that red meat might freak my body out after all this time and make me puke (I’ve heard stories of this happening to others…) he said he doubted that would happen, since I’ve still been eating chicken and fish – he said when someone’s totally veggie, their stomach can stop making flesh-digesting enzymes (which is the reason for the puking if they start trying to eat meat again), but probably the enzymes for chicken and fish are the same kind I’d need for beef so I’m all set. And he said he’d take me out for pho sometime because pho is mostly rice noodles but has a little bit of meat in it, so I could get used to it gradually.
tl;dr: The Pedant talked me off the ledge (for now…) and I love him so much for it that my chest kinda hurts.