Mid-week check-in

Clever Manka, · Categories: Check-In

Apparently it’s surprise new-content Toast day! Let’s alternately cheer and weep together!

This is the weekly post for those of us who are traversing together this hellscape called Personal Growth. Brag about this week’s accomplishments, ask for support, talk about what worked, what didn’t. Tell us how things are going for you.

111 Responses to “Mid-week check-in”

  1. jenavira says:

    I didn't even know how much I missed The Toast until I was reading the Link Roundup this morning. I almost cried.

    Therapy on Monday went well; I like the therapist, and she does cognitive-behavioral/psychodynamic therapy, which is the combo I've been looking for. Second appointment scheduled for next Monday. I might as well get all the therapy I can before my health insurance goes to shit.

    If you've got a Republican Senator, now is a great time to call and remind them that voting on legislation that doesn't actually exist yet is a gross violation of democratic norms, never mind that the legislation in question is going to kill a lot of people. It probably won't help, but you never know, it might be the final straw that triggers their conscience, rendering them unable to sleep for the rest of their lives, constantly woken at two in the morning by the ghosts of the better people they could have been. I'm sick of being the only one who gets that.

    • vladazhael says:

      My fondest hope at this point is to at least give my legislators heartburn.

    • Heathered says:

      What is psychodynaimc therapy? (You don't actually need to answer because I'm curious enough to look it up and hopefully stop saying it in a 70's porn voice). Glad you've found a good fit, and I hope it helps.

      • jenavira says:

        It's the whole "tell me about your mother" thing, which I've actually never had in therapy but the older I get the more I do think that, you know, the most important relationship in my life until I was about fifteen really does matter a lot to my personality.

  2. FriendOfDaja says:

    Ha, I was just about to post that Toast link! What a nice surprise gift for a Wednesday!

    I've asked here before, I think, but any tips/support for grown people dealing with their parents' divorce? My parents started the process last November (great timing, Mom and Dad…), and it's finalizing this month. I've had a long time now to get used to the idea, but little things are still throwing me for a loop, and then leaving me sad all day. Like, whenever I hear a song from the mix tape that my dad made for my mom when they were first dating. Or like today, when I thought about how I'm going to have to choose between parents for Christmas. It's just like, I have enough anxiety and stress dealing with my own day-to-day, and now I'm tearing up at my desk over things I can't change. Plus we've never been good as a family at talking about our feelings with each other, so we're mostly just pretending everything is fine.


    • Xolandra says:

      I have zero advice here, but remember that mourning need not only be restricted to deaths. This is probably going to feel weird and sad for a while, give yourself permission for that to be ok.

      Big hugs, should you want them.

      • Lynn says:

        One of the best pieces of advice anyone ever gave me was when my boss got fired for embezzlement and our temp (who lost her job because of his firing and yet was so lovely to me, who did not) told me "it's going to feel like someone died and it's okay to take your time and grieve what this job used to be." I've used that as a mantra for SO many horrible experiences in my adult life — it's okay to be sad for what used to be even if (imo especially if) you think it maybe wasn't as great under the surface as it seemed to you at the time.

    • vladazhael says:

      I do not have experience with divorcing parents, but for your first Christmas with them apart, I would highly recommend doing something else entirely. Be well out of town, possibly on another continent or an island in some warm sea. "Bought myself a vacation for Christmas, bye!"

      • jenavira says:

        That sounds like a great strategy. And honestly, it sounds like it might be good for everyone to take a break from trying to pretend everything's fine and maybe let the family relationships settle into a new normal before you try to do something as emotionally charged as Family Christmas Plans.

    • Heathered says:

      I remember my high school gf's parents divorcing when we were together, and how conflicted she felt about even being sad about it because of some abstract idea that you should age out of grieving certain losses? But it was fucking hard and worth grieving. I'm sorry this is happening, and hope you can be gentle with yourself (and I second finding a new place to be for the holidays if that's desirable and within reach).

    • CheddarBiscuit says:

      Oh, I have lots of experience with this topic! I was 17 when my parents split up, so not really an adult, but old enough to not experience it the way a child would. And my husband's parents divorced when he was in his early 20s. In addition to just accepting your feelings as they are and giving yourself time to process things, I'd highly recommend putting yourself first as the divorce plays out. I think for adult children there can be pressure to be supportive and "be there" for your parents, but it can definitely be healthy to distance yourself from all that when it's too much.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      My parents divorced over the course of me returning from college and heading out to grad school – it was simultaneously horribly difficult and an enormous relief. I was in my early 20s, and both parents talked to me, in ways they didn't with each other or with my brother.

      One friend said "it's their shit, let/make then deal with it" which was a life line. My mother got manic, thinking about testing things and etc (she was the main force in favor) and my dad got weirdly and touchingly affectionate, in ways he had never been before. He drove out to visit at grad school, he talked on the phone – it was an unexpected gift to have him seek out my company.

      If your holiday plans do let you do something unexpected and utterly uninvolved with your family, do that. If you have friends who take in strays and orphans for holidays, go be that stray or orphan, and have someone else's holiday. If you and a friend have always wanted to see Europe or the Caribbean in late December – do that thing, and let the first year of misery settle a little.

      If you have to return home for holidays, be aware that it will be really really hard, and give yourself time and space to miss what used to be there, at the same time you are thinking about how it might work in this new configuration. This could spark a moment where someone else in your family wants to attempt to talk about feelings with you, because during and after a divorce everything changes, and why not old habits as well? If you have sibs, now is a good chance to make common cause with them, and restate your existing relationship and how that can stay the same in the middle of your parents being weird.

      Eventually a new pattern of comfort will emerge, and it will be ok.

    • redheadfae says:

      Set your own boundaries first, even if that means telling them, "no talking to me about the other, remember you are BOTH my parents and I cannot be asked to take sides." I had to do this with my parents even though they got back together and I even left one Christmas day when their bickering got to the point of them asking me to take a side. They learned that I meant those boundaries, and I had to do it for my own sanity.

  3. CleverManka says:


    Still mostly typing one-handed, so might not reply to comments as much as I would like.

    Started brain meds yesterday (duloxetine/Cymbalta) and developed a terrible stomach ache in the afternoon. Not sure if it's related, but maybe I need to eat more substantially before taking it which is tough because my appetite is near-zip rn. I'm forcing down a spinach/two-egg omelette as I type.

    Dr. Sexy gave me the names of some therapists he thinks might be a good fit for me but the #1 person is out of the office until August 1 so might be a while before I get in to see her. He's also recommending to HR/our ADA office that I only work part-time for at least a while. Hopefully I'll be hearing from those offices soon since I'm supposed to return to the office August 7.

  4. Xolandra says:

    Hi all!

    New music? I went to this show last week and was super stoked to get the record: https://theheavymedicineband.bandcamp.com/

    I haven't listened to the studio stuff yet, so if this recording blows, please stop listening and maybe check out Mannequin Pussy instead? https://mannequinpussy.bandcamp.com/album/romanti

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Second music rec! For people on Spotify, look up the "International Toya Day" playlist, a friend's boyfriend made it for her birthday cook-out (yes, the steamed crabs were delicious). It's mostly 80s/90s hip hop, R&B, and rap, with some other surprises.

      • Xolandra says:

        Is it weird that this is the most tempted I have ever been to sign up for Spotify?

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          I resisted for a long time but I really love it now. I do my best to purchase albums when I find I keep listening to band/person I wish there was a way to buy a playlist so some cash would get kicked to the artist.

  5. Heathered says:

    I look at Twitter SO RARELY and the other day saw a pic of Nicole, Mallory, and Nikki, so this day of Toast is both surprising and kind of not! (In other news, I continue to feel incrementally better–it's 9 am and I have VACUUMED already–but by no means fully together or back to normal. Just nudging the ball forward day by day.)

    • jenavira says:

      VACUUMING IS A MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT, it requires prep work (picking things up off the floor), coordination (not vacuuming over yourself or the vacuum cord, the actual worst), and remembering that it's a thing that needs doing in the first place (my Achilles' heel).

      • Heathered says:

        To be fair, I vacuumed the little hot dog shape of unoccupied carpet and only moved things by crashing into them with the vacuum, but still: Less dust, or at least relocated dust.

    • redheadfae says:

      Yay for an accomplishment that has a beginning, middle and finish. That helps a lot.

  6. CleverManka says:

    Someone please tell me I'm not the only person who saw those pics of Mallory and the Nicoles on Twitter earlier this week and had an "oh no she's hot" reaction to Mallory's short hairdo.
    <img src="https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/380774/380774_900.gif"&gt;

  7. mowinda says:

    Sorry to only come on here to whine about myself every 3 weeks but needing a new roommate/signing a new lease is giving me a stomach ulcer. IT WILL BE OKAY. I WILL GET THROUGH THIS. At least browsing the other room for rent ads on Craigslist are making me feel better about my own place's stats.

    • jenavira says:

      You will get through this! Housing situations are the worst, but you will find an amazing roommate and everything will be fine. *toasthugs*

    • Heathered says:

      Are you moving to CA? I remember a job possibility out here but lost track of what happened with it. Looking for housing is a legit nightmare, but you will succeed.

      • mowinda says:

        I interviewed for a VA job in CA but haven't heard anything in a few weeks. From what I understand it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to go from applying to hired with them so I'm not taking that as a good or bad sign yet.

        • Heathered says:

          Fingers crossed for the best possible outcome and location. I had to deal with so much VA nonsense connected to my dad's care but I still see this and think, "A Virginia job in California? Well I'll be." I am my own grandpa.

          • mowinda says:

            Oh man, "I am my own grandpa" would be a great title for someone's inspirational story or perhaps a motivational poster

  8. Doc_Paradise says:

    It's been a hard week with a silver lining of "the personal work our household has been doing is paying off". More in a comment… content warning: talk of death

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Dr. TBD [placeholder name] went east last week to see his dying dad. That went well, but he was a few hours into driving home when he was called back. His dad isn't expected to last more than a few days or regain awareness. So Dr. TBD is back at his mom's place helping with things so she can spend time at hospice. His work on his own emotional and conflict management competency is paying off big time… but he's pretty worn down.

      I can't be there with him because going back to where I grew up gives me panic attacks. The Kudzu of Joy and I are doing what we can to help at a distance.

      I also found out Monday that I never got the second MMR immunization and don't have immunity to red measles. I fixed that immediately, but it broke me for the rest of the day. I watched the entire Matrix trilogy as cope. I'd like to be able to stop having to do forensic investigation on my own past. It is such a mixed blessing to trust my intuition and have it proven right on totally shitty things.

      In other news, the top of my head is now purple and green. With my white/grey hair it is almost a genderqueer/non-binary flag.

  9. Flitworth says:

    I had to take a mental health day. Still struggling with losing my mother and there is so much else going on around tiny human. I would like to get a job making alternative descriptions of NetFlix offerings. I've been watching Shetland, which is like Hinterland but in a different depressing part of the U.K.

    Shetland 2016
    Initially an avant-garde extended advertisement for whiskey and Scottish tourism, this police procedural née commercial garnered a cult following and was extended to an actual series.

    A series dedicated to how fucking depressing Wales is. It doesn't even have whiskey.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      This reminds me of Witch, Please reading the descriptions of the Harry Potter films before talking about them, thus proving that the descriptions don't really address the content At All.

    • beaucoup1314 says:

      Shetland sounds like something I would like.
      I'm 66 years old and my mother died in 1963 – the love lasts forever, the grief comes now and then after these years. Your grief is fresh and apparently your responsibilities are serious. Mental health day was likely a good choice.
      All good wishes to you.

    • Heathered says:

      I'm sorry you're trying to grieve while impossibly busy–definitely find pockets of time for the most careful self care possible.

    • redheadfae says:

      I lost my mum just over a year and a half ago. It's such a wrenching loss.
      Taking a day off sounds like the best thing to do for yourself.

      Those descriptions are golden. Well done.

  10. vladazhael says:

    Physical therapy sounds like it might work out? Maybe? I was a little disappointed that they more or less kicked the ball back into my court as far as the neck hump goes (e.g. improve your posture, work on it daily, some of this comes with age), but they did say they could *help* with it by getting me to loosen the hell up so that it's actually possible for me to improve my posture, because I am indeed a bit of an upper body mess, in the same way Thomas Edison was a bit of an asshole. Apparently there are 3 main upper spine triggers for headaches, for example, and I have all 3 plus some cranial issues. Actual exchange during the first session –

    Therapist, trying to crack something: Okay, you really need to try to relax for this.

    Me: Yeah, if ever there were a sentence that sums me up…

    But she did manage to do the thing and suddenly my neck could turn a lot further, so that's something. As of now I have two sessions a week scheduled for the next several weeks, and since they're all at 7am starting next week, I'm also trying to get in the habit of getting out of bed (way) earlier so those days can be non-torturous and maybe I can also do some yoga/stretching or whatever other homework they give me on the off days. I could really stand to improve my getting to work habits anyway, so this is an overall good for my adulting.

    • Xolandra says:

      SICK. This all sounds v promising to me.

      Pro-posture-Tip? I like to tie a scarf around my elbows. Not tight enough to restrict your movement, overmuch, but also not loose enough to fall off. Just taught enough that, when you roll your shoulders forward, the scarf tightens up and reminds you hey! don't do that thing!

      Fair warning: the first couple of days that i did this were some of the most painful days _of my life_. I hurt from my ass to my ears. But now my posture is much better, so

      • vladazhael says:

        I am intrigued by this scarf idea, and wondering how and when you managed to do this. Is there a way to make this work in public without it looking like I've come to work in some sort of horrifying 50 Shades cosplay?

        • Xolandra says:

          I did it at my 9-5 desk job, not giving any kinds of shits about what my colleagues thought, and my at-the-desk posture is what needed the most work, anyway. It is also quite restrictive in that it limits you to T-Rex arm range, so doing the dishes, for example, becomes tedious, as does literally any activity that requires you to extend your arm, which, turns out, is a lot of them.

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          Balancing things on my head (basket, as a lead up to sword, for belly dancing) helped my posture. Also, anything in yoga that opens the chest, when I'm really stressed my chest will crack. It happened once in a quiet moment in a dance class, and my teacher asked, "What the hell was that?".

    • littleinfinity says:

      Good luck on PT! How is the foam rolling going? Xolandra's scarf idea sounds great and I hope you do that at work, giving exactly zero point zero fucks.

      • vladazhael says:

        I'm trying it on and off and still sort of getting the hang of it, but I don't seem to have done it grievously wrong yet, so that's a pretty solid success for me.

  11. Lynn says:

    My insomnia has returned, which I think is probably the perfect storm of having forgotten how to fall asleep when I'm not perpetually exhausted, eating too much sugar before bed, and getting increasingly anxious about managing work this fall if I don't hire someone in the next two weeks. I do have a good candidate that I'm hoping will really be as good in person as she seemed on the phone but I'm trying not to count my chickens, etc. So that hasn't been fun, but it has forced me to put the brakes on a bit which I probably needed.

    I did start playing Yonder: the Cloud Chronicles which was described to me as "Stardew Valley plus the new Zelda" which it really kind of is except there is no monster fighting (or things to kill you), just wandering around a pretty world doing farming and crafting and fetch quests. It's pretty uncomplicated, but also takes enough of my brain power that it is an effective distraction from other anxieties.

    • jenavira says:

      …that sounds like the perfect game.

      • Lynn says:

        Right? I didn't even get all the way through one let's play video before I was on Steam buying it (even Stardew I had to observe for a few hours' worth of play before I committed). It is adorable.

  12. meat_lord says:

    I'm going to FL with Datefriend tomorrow 😀 We'll be there until Monday. I'm really excited, but also a little apprehensive–please cross your fingers that my brain will behave & not throw a shitfit, Mankanauts.

  13. Kazoogrrl says:

    Better weather and an AC unit in our first floor means I want to rage quit my life slightly less. On the other hand, all I want to do is lie on the couch and continue to binge this K-drama that is giving me all the feels, so it's a bit of a fallow period right now.

  14. Räven says:

    This week I am taking a master class in Taiwanese glove puppetry and you guys it is so fucken hard. My hands hurt so much and my attempts to make two puppets walk in the same direction were poor. I'm never going to get as far as the fighting with sticks.

    I really hate doing things I am bad at, so this is building all kinds of character I guess.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      You can do it! I'm a quitter of things I don't get right away, which is now the thing I'm trying to quit and learn to persevere instead.

      • Räven says:

        Yes! I am all about the fixed mindset not growth mindset tbh, even though I understand that nobody including the very, very patient teacher was born knowing how to work these dratted little dolls.

    • Lynn says:

      That sounds fascinating! I'd probably be bad at it, too, but it sounds like fun.

    • Heathered says:

      People here continue to have the most interesting interests of anyone anywhere. I hope you start to enjoy glove puppetting because that sounds amazing.

    • LaxMom says:

      okay, so we did stick and knife fighting at karate camp and I couldn't get my OWN arms to move at the right times, I can't imagine trying to make puppets do it!!!

    • Xolandra says:

      This is so. cool. You can do the thing!!!

  15. LaxMom says:

    I am typing almost one handed. I survived three days of karate camp and promptly lazed around Monday until noon, when I decided it was time to get dressed and while taking off my pj top so I could put on a bra I stuck my hand in the ceiling fan. it all hurts. all of it. urgent care doc sucked and can't see real ortho till tuesday. insert joke about how i'll never make it as a stripper here.

    TEENGIRL IS A BLACK BELT NOW and I'm still verklempt.

    came home, Teenboy was watching mgtow videos on youtube. ugh. Teenboy's counselor is on vacation for this week and next. I'm distressed.

    Just got back from helping the eldest and his girlfriend thrift for apartment furniture. they move in 3 weeks.

    Thhat's all my hand can stand so I'm amazed you got your Lammas post done, Manka.

    • Xolandra says:

      Um, maybe teenboy is looking for entertainment? Because I cackle preeeeeeeeeeeetty heartily at MGTOW posts.

      My fingers are crossed that this is truly the case. ♥

      Also HOLY SHIT TEENGIRL. Bad. Ass.

    • redheadfae says:

      Oh man, your poor hand. That sounds like my life.. punching myself in the face while pulling up my blankets, LOL.
      Teens sure do give you a rollercoaster ride of emotions. You are an amazing mom.

  16. Onymous says:

    Took a spill on my bicycle yesterday evening. Plenty of abrasion on my for arms and knee and a solid square inch out of my elbow and palm. Which wouldn't have been so bad but I had them covered in gauze all day during work to keep myself from bleeding on the merch (which is generally considered gauche) so it's just now finally dried up and getting around to scabbing.

    • LaxMom says:

      OW that's not fair! I'm so terrified of falling off my bike I have the old ladiest bike ever, and never go off the bike trail. I hope it heals up fast!

  17. redheadfae says:

    I am trying not to stress out with worry over hearing about my Short Term Disability. I may have to pay for my health insurance because I'm out of FMLA, which distresses me to no end, but i have to have it. Here's hoping the brain meds work out. My neuro wants to do another MRI because I'm dragging my toe/foot again. Bah!

    • LaxMom says:

      The MRI with contrast brain one? I hated that. The other MRIs for things like knees, etc were ok, but the brain scan one was unpleasant.
      I am sorry you are pushing your FMLA limit. I hate that there even is a limit. Fuck this shit. I hope you get some answers.

      • redheadfae says:

        Thank you so much! Still hanging in there, they approved me until Aug 11. It was supposed to be Sept 11, so more paperwork bs to be done. Yeh, FTS.

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