bop_radar: (Nodame wow)
Getting ready for [personal profile] freece's book launch of Captive Prince, and listening to her interview on Melbourne's JOY FM... So proud of my BFF! \o/
bop_radar: Boppy default (Default)
2012 was fucking dreadful. Not ALL of it. But much of it. I've never felt so disorientated, terrified or dissociated from myself and life as I did in 2012. I can't say that a lot of places but I want to say it somewhere. Acknowledging the dreadfulness doesn't mean I'm defeated though: I'm grateful right now to still be standing, still be off medication and still be moving forward with life somehow. Even when progress seems glacial.

I'm grateful for the compassion of my partner, my friends and family. I'm grateful for a lovely house to live in, a garden to sit in and find some moments of peace, and for my pets, who make it a home. I'm grateful for the therapists and other professionals who have helped me this year.

I'm grateful not to be suffering the physical effects of withdrawal any more. No matter what happens to me from here, I'm glad my body has a break from drugs right now. And from caffeine and alcohol too--I'm proud of myself for having given those up and don't miss them. I'm sick of feeling adrenalin flooding my body and anxiety attacks--so I am grateful for the naturopathic herbs that are helping me control that. I am grateful for a pen in my hand so I can write a journal at least.

I wish I didn't cry so much, I wish I had more energy and concentration. I wish I wasn't so fragile. But I'm also trying to practice some self-acceptance and if that's how things are right now, that's how they are. There is no day on which I don't feel relaxed and happy at some point. I am grateful for that.

My resolutions for the year are deliberately small and based on recovering my inner peace. I want to reconnect with things I enjoy--even if at first it feels terribly forced. With dancing, reading, TV (at the moment I can only really do comedies but we'll see), film, and animal stuff (seriously animal stories are my go-to calm down drug right now). I want to spend LESS time thinking about my mental state and big picture stuff and more time enjoying details, the small things. Trust myself, trust time, trust life a little more.

And I'd like to say to all those people who found 2012 to be hellish: you're not alone, and no, it's not always going to be like this. Even I know this! I may not always *feel* it, but I know it. :) So I'm grateful for a new year that brings new possibilities.
bop_radar: (The Fall Alex kiss Roy)
In the last months I suffered a breakdown (panic attacks) and relapse of my depression. At times I've been so disconnected I had no idea who I was and my thinking has been paranoic and distorted (but I don't recognise it as such at the time). However I have lucid times as well and still hope to be able to stay off medication.

So I haven't been in a place or time where I had a lot to give to other people (hence lack of posting here). But in my searching for ways to help myself and give myself hope that I can see this through, I've come across a couple of resources that might be of interest to others who suffer from depression, anxiety or other mood disorders:

optimismonline These guys have an app where you can track your symptoms and the various ways you look after yourself (sleep, exercise, supplements, etc). You can customise it with the techniques you are trying so you get an idea over time what is really making a difference. This seems really ideal to me in terms of self-monitoring, on or off medication.

curetogether This site gathers data from people who actually have various conditions who report on how useful they found various treatments. The results are compiled as here for depression:
http://curetogether.com/blog/2011/05/03/23-surprisingly-effective-treatments-for-depression-one-year-later/
VERY useful to bust the myth that medication alone is a solution. Obviously there is no one-size-fits-all solution to depression as it's such a blanket term that covers a lot of different things, but it's a great way of seeing that there are many ways to support ourselves (most of these can be combined, after all!). And which ones are fucking useless--alcohol and caffeine!! (And some fairly useless medications!)

smilingmind An Australian initiative to promote meditation, especially among young people. It's a very userfriendly, accessible introduction to meditation with the advantage that you can use it on your computer at work in short breaks. Meditation has been instrumental for me--when reducing my medication and now to recover. Absolutely everyone benefits from it--the key is to learn how very easy it really is!

my own list of most effective treatments so far )
bop_radar: (Clois catch)
So... you know how I posted a couple of months ago saying 'whee! I am off meds and all is AMAZING AND GREAT!'? Yeeaaaaaaaaaaah.... slightly premature, hence my long silence.

There followed a couple of weeks of excruciating pain and rising panic and anxiety. Without going into too much detail, I never want to live through that again. At least it will be a strong motivator never to go on that poison again.

Of course, I had (typically) attempted to do ALL THE THINGS in the month where I finally got to zero so crazy physical and emotional shit aside, I've also been rather busy. Edited several large projects for work plus my best friend's novels (soon-to-be ebooks). Had [profile] m_a_r_i_k_s visit (so much excitement!) and as well as hanging out and seeing some sights, helped her make a music video (zero experience on my part so it was one of the most insanely stressful but coolest things I've ever done). Crashed my car in the middle of said filming (thankfully no one injured but car nearly totalled). Learnt a few life lessons in the process.

Then there were a few weeks where I slept or lay on the sofa in a kind of comatose state of shock. I am just emerging...

Fannishly, I'm ... not fannish. Or at least it's at a 5-8 year low or something ... Better to be honest about that I think. Although, [profile] m_a_r_i_k_s and I watched The 10th Kingdom (looooove) and the third season of Farscape (ALL THE FEELINGS :((((((((((((((((() while she was here. However in terms of current fandoms I'm just not that engaged and unlikely to be so quickly.

But I do miss vidding and I am pleased to see the vids coming out of Vividcon right now...

I didn't log into my fandom email account for months so it was kind of TERRIFYING. O.O I forgot that one of the reasons I stopped doing so was that the vast deluge of comments I receive on 'I'm Not Yours' (especially in the wake of Lip Service Season 2) is very bad for my mental health. :( There were one or two gems (ah YouTube comments, never change in your whimsy and bad spelling...) but wading through offensive, ignorant, emotional or unthinking comments about a show and characters I'm still heartbroken over is not fun. I guess it was good to face it because it's been a hidden pain/fear.

On the positive side of things... I've now been off meds for a couple of months. Physically I feel great, emotionally I feel more resilient than ever before, even though I've had quite the number of emotional crises in that time. Not a single one of them made me consider reaching for medication. I feel great about that and especially grateful for the liberation from side effects which I'm starting to experience--notably my low blood pressure issues are markedly better, I shake less and I lost a couple of kilos without really noticing (ok that was probably partly due to the intense filming schedule but I'll take it!).

So that's me. How are you guys????

PS. I have strangely been missing Smallville lately. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE FINALE THIS HAS HAPPENED.

NO MEDS!!!

Jun. 13th, 2012 02:02 pm
bop_radar: (Nodame wow)
Very quick quick post to say big THANK YOU to all who sent love and energy and support to me last week. I am doing well--I took my last medication on Saturday, so this is my fourth day off it entirely. I have a great deal of support (I was at an incredible meditation course on the weekend and I had healing yesterday) but this time last week I wouldn't have guessed I'd be off it so soon, and it helped a lot to know that people were thinking of me and believed I could do it, so thank you!! :))

The journey isn't over as of course my body has to recover itself from this medication, but right now thanks to meditation I am doing fine. I was very hungry and had a small headache the first day. Now, apart from feeling very tired/heavy and a bit unfocused in my mind, I feel great. And of course very very happy. (Anyone who has tried to come off this poison will understand that this is incredibly MILD symptoms ... almost no withdrawal at all! Amazing!)

I will post more about it when I have more brain. ;)

Love and hugs to all!
bop_radar: Boppy default (Kara can't not)
OK, so I haven't been whining about this at all online, but I'm finally, finally getting to the end of my medication withdrawal and I could really use some thoughts/hugs/support (if anyone remembers me, LOL!).

Short version: I've been on antidepressants for over 10 years and am finally coming off them. I'm down to 25mg of Effexor (from 300mg once upon a time). It's taken over 6 months to get from 150 mg to 25. I'm on Day 3 of 25mg and it's not fun--pains, nausea, aches, chocolate cravings... :p (ok the last bit is not so bad except I think chocolate is not so great for nausea, right?). I am determined to get through it because i have HAD IT with doing this slowly... it just draws out the agony. I'm hoping I can get to zero in a couple of weeks.

Emotionally, I'm feeling strong but just FED UP with it. I have racing thoughts, anxiety (raised heart rate) and nightmares right now but based on previous experience, this is just a result of dropping the medication another step--not a permanent state.

I really wish I didn't have to work--I'd just quit it completely and crawl into bed and be sick for a couple of weeks and then be done. But I can still do this right? I'm planning to reduce to 12.5 next week and then ZERO the week after. That's fast compared to how I've done the other 'drops' but what the hell. I keep thinking 25mg is NOTHING. They don't ever prescribe less than 75mg here anyway... so it can't be actually doing much (other than giving my overly addicted body some fake sense of normalcy!).

Anyway, any kind of cheer at this time would be most welcome!

Stuff

Feb. 20th, 2012 02:27 pm
bop_radar: (Kalinda)
What's been going on for me in the last six or so months )

Vividcon... I rolled over my membership, so I can, in theory, attend this year (I'm registered) but financially it's going to be a streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch. I'm not ruling anything out yet though. It's cool to see everyone getting hyped for it anyway. :) And since I got over my Club Vivid anxiety last year (memo to self: always to just do it anyway, YOU ALWAYS FORGET, DUMBFACE!), I have signed up again for this year and am having a blast with my idea. I'm not completely convinced I'll actually have a vid by the due date but the journey is fun so far. :)

shows and stuff )

bonus anecdote: Bop re-enacts part of the BSG finale against her will )

Bad friend

Dec. 24th, 2011 09:05 pm
bop_radar: Boppy default (Boppy default)
I have been a very bad LJ/DW friend this year, thanks to a bad case of workaholicism, especially these last few months. While initially motivated by legitimate financial issues, I kind of have a problem: a tragic inability to turn down work even when I've got more than enough. It's led to me not having a day off in months, and being completely exhausted... working 40 hours weeks even when I'm really sick and so on. It doesn't help that the one question nearly everyone asks you when you're freelance is 'do you get enough work?'/'are you still getting work?' That hits my anxiety buttons STRAIGHT away--it's always easy to believe the next job will be your last, and too often I let anxiety and not my instincts decide whether I take a job or not. That's got to change. Even if it means taking longer to get out of debt or having to cut back on some things.

Anyway, today being my first day off, I logged into my fannish email inbox for the first time in a couple of months today... I haven't checked my friendslist in... god I don't even know... but it doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about any of you. I hope my friends here are well and that if you're celebrating a holiday, it is a restful and relaxing time for you and your family!!

While I can't ever hope to 'catch up' exactly, I do hope to have a little more time to myself, to watch some vids or maybe even do a little vidding myself, and to reconnect with people, over the next few months. Life's too short to keep torturing myself like this.

So anyway, sorry for sucking, hopefully I'll suck less in 2012, and best wishes to all!
bop_radar: (The Fall Roy)
My RL BFF, Cat, aka the author of Captive Prince is being interviewed at [profile] the_slash_pile.

It's always really interesting hearing her describe the writing process to others and seeing it viewed from the 'outside' so to speak--when I'm used to being on the 'inside' as beta and run the risk of taking the insights we mutually gain along the way for granted. I really enjoy having a close friend whose creative work is in a different medium (writing) to my own (vidding). It often allows us to compare and contrast the different creative processes necessary and has helped me think 'outside the box' in terms of not feeling trapped by the 'shoulds' of the vidding world...

Even if you're not a CP reader/fan, the interview may be of interest to you in terms of creative processes. For instance the fact that ideas don't just materialise--brainstorming takes work and various techniques for plotting.

Two things I have really learnt from Cat are:
- ideas take work, you can't just sit and wait for them to happen. For me this means getting on my timeline and clutching on to any little flickers of 'this might work' and actually trying them out to see if they do
- 'brainstorming' in whatever shape it takes can be integral to a work--for me, this means shuffling clips around randomly on the timeline and seeing what forms. I do this more and more these days. Associations form simply through juxtaposition and it's amazing how powerful these 'accidents' can be compared to my pre-planned logic-based ideas of 'oh XX totally goes with this bit in the music'.
- don't sweat the small stuff <--which I will eternally think of as Jonathan Kent's motto, but nonetheless is useful. Cat is incredibly good at knowing when to stop, when is 'enough', even when I occasionally go 'really? you don't want me to ... like... beta even harder here?!' And that is a GOOD THING. Setting and knowing one's own boundaries--even or especially where perfectionism is concerned--is really important.

I'm sure there are bazillions more things I have absorbed without realising, but those spring to mind.

And now the bad news for CP fans: I'm going to be out of the country for the next few weeks, so there won't be an update of Captive Prince until 20 April at earliest. I promise to beta as soon as my jet lag goes away on my return! But please hurl all rotten tomatoes/bricks and other objects of frustraaaation at me in the interim rather than Cat. :D TY!
bop_radar: (The Fall Alex kiss Roy)
So far 2011 has consisted of a lot of low-grade annoyances. Apart from killing my laptop, I have also lost my mobile phone and may have killed my coffee maker (eeeeek!). A big job fell through when I really need money for travel. And now my landlords are thinking about selling, which is a BITCH because it means months of inspections and then a potential (best case scenario) rent increase or (worst case scenario) move. There is no way in hell we'd ever find an equivalent place to live for the price/location, so my standard of living could take a sharp downturn. Naturally I feel all these things are TOTALLY MY FAULT and KARMIC REVENGE for being a shit person, so my self-loathing is in overdrive and I approach every day as a kind of mano e mano battle with this part of my self. *wields baseball bat at it*

I saw Black Swan, finally, the other day, and it was marvellous. thoughts beneath cut )

2011 also seems to involve a lot of asking for help... so in the spirit of that... I was given a sewing machine for Christmas (yes, I'm horribly spoilt), and I have been playing around with it. My last experience of a sewing machine was some horrible old clunky thing in textiles class, with which I managed to sew right through my finger (the needle broke off halfway through and poked out the other side). This contraption is a million times more marvellous and can perform such wonders as buttonholes and zips! \o/ I am greatly enjoying playing around and so far have achieved very simple pillow covers, a drawstring skirt and a wrap skirt, all reasonably ugly. I am giving myself six months to create something non-ugly. That seems reasonable, no? So I am very much in need of SEWING ADVICES!!!! Any tips for beginners with no natural talent?!

I have been scowering the net for help, with varying success. Two main problems so far:
a) the overabundance of fugly twee craft things that I would never in a million years make
b) so far I only know how to sew non-stretch fabrics (even though machine can sew stretch I am scared of it!) and it's hard to find even semi-attractive non-stretch fabric in the regular stores. This second one I've made progress with by shopping online or at a place near me where Project Runway get their supplies, but even so... I am also slightly hampered by my own shaky sense of style. I am sure if I had better taste and visual mind I'd be able to think up better creations! Any tips for developing these?
bop_radar: Boppy default (Abed perplexed)
Hope everyone had a safe and relaxing Christmas. Mine was... painful. I underestimated several things:
1. My (decreased!) eating stamina
2. The consequences of eating with a family who eat the whole Christmas meal in 2 hours as opposed to spreading eating it over the whole day (as my mother and I have been in the habit of doing for the last ten years or so)
3. The familial pressure that comes from having to taste everyone's 'specialty'. I distinctly remember staring at that last rum ball that was thrust in front of me with a 'this is my special recipe' blurb, and thinking 'I'm going to live to regret this...'

And oh, yes, I did. I don't think food has ever caused me quite so much physical pain without actually having food POISONING before. :-/ I spent from about 5pm onwards in bed, clutching my stomach and moaning.

Meanwhile, downstairs, my dog, left alone without dinner, decided to forage by breaking into the parcels of mince pies I'd made up for the neighbors... I came down to find the tattered remnants of tissue paper, but not a crumb of the pies left. I think it's karmically terribly unfair that he appears to have suffered NO ill effects whatsoever.

I opted for a quiet day today, as I have to go back to work sooner than most people (tomorrow) though I'm then off the following day for my birthday. Anyway, I was in a hiding-from-the-world mood so I've been mainlining Farscape. thoughts up 2.13, which will no doubt seem really weird to people that watched the show when it was airing and which no doubt also contain lots of unpopular opinions )
bop_radar: (Lee)
Just writing my way through some creative issues... may not be of interest to anyone but me. saying more with less )
bop_radar: Boppy default (Default)
Recently I've been noticing and trying to trying to deconstruct the many layers of fear I have wrapped around vidding. cut for boring introspective stuff )

LJ fail

Sep. 2nd, 2010 09:01 am
bop_radar: Boppy default (Default)
I wrote a post offering Dreamwidth codes and mentioning the whole Twitter/Facebook thing (summary: LOL timing, Bop, to mention your Twitter for the first time on the day LJ pisses everyone off with offering crossposting--not that it matters since my Twitter is fannish).

LJ ate the post.

There's a message in this for me somewhere. *squints at it*

Nope. Still too lazy to migrate myself probably. But more power to those of you angry enough to do so and anyone wanting codes should sing out.

ETA: I honestly don't care that deeply about this stuff but those little repost buttons? Annoy me on principle, even when they are greyed out. *frowns at them*
bop_radar: Boppy default (Default)
So, it turns out not only am I the last person to get on board with a trend in fandom ... this pattern extends to my entire life. Witness these two recent revelations:

1. Jeans are comfortable and flattering!
I bought my first ever pair of Levis in the US last month. Backstory: when I was 18 my jeans got cut open on the Tube in London by someone trying to (one presumes) pickpocket my wallet. It was, now I think back on it, quite traumatising. I'd never directly related this to not wearing jeans (when people would ask I had a whole rant about how they were plebby) but it seems not implausible that they may be related. :D Anyway, jeans trauma was overcome in San Francisco where I slunk around the Levis store until I was brave enough to try some on. SO COMFYS OMG. I actually now own a second pair picked up in NYC. I may never wear a skirt again. I always thought jeans would make me look fat. *eyes mirror* Not so much.

2. Twitter is fun!
I have had a Twitter account for eons and never really used it. When I got back from the States, however, I started using my Twitter account to feel a little less far, faraway from Vividcon buddies, and it turns out... it's FUN! I like it! :D I still maintain ADAMANTLY that it only makes sense in Twitter context and that posting one's tweets to LJ is epicly boring, but proof of my conversion exists here. I would invite you to follow me but I'm no faster on picking things up there than I am here.

Thank you to everyone who left sweet messages on my previous post. I am doing better. *g*
bop_radar: Boppy default (Default)
Mmmph. Wham. God it's been a while since I felt like this. Depression just came back with a thud this morning. I guess it was bound to happen at some point--I've been on a month-long high. When I think back on August I can't quite comprehend that all that happened this month.

I think a preventative day off work is called for. (Minus a couple of admin tasks--phonecalls, mail, etc, maybe. *has an inability to not do any work at all*)

Still in the process of formulating more thinky posts on Vividcon/vidding/community and maybe of finally getting to feedback VVC vids and spend some more time with them.

In the meantime, am I hallucinating or did I see something on my friendslist about a ficathon (or some kind of thon?) about girls saving guys? Can someone point me in that direction. I need some of that.
bop_radar: Boppy default (Default)
* You thought that was the last post, didn't you? HAHA YOU WERE WRONG.

This post is dedicated to [livejournal.com profile] jarrow who said WRITE, WRITE, WRITE and inspired me with his epic poetry con reports from 2007. I feel like every time I turned around at the con, he was there on my shoulder, like a kind of snarky guardian angel, prepared to give advice and (if necessary) give me shit about 'dissing' Vividcon/vidding fandom last year. The humour and honesty made me feel instantly welcome.

the pre-con jitters, in which Bop confesses her neuroses to a select few )

the first day shakes (in which you can marvel at Bop's naivety and mock her first-day-at-school-like nerves) )

The actual program begins, and blows Bop's mind )

in which Club Vivid results in rather spectacular bad behaviour on Bop's part )

Since this was kind of the turning point of the con for me, I'm going to leave the rest for another post. To be continued...
bop_radar: Boppy default (Default)
Yesterday I got home from a three-week holiday in the States to find my country had a hung parliament and my electorate was the first in Australia ever to elect a Greens MP. My feelings are currently as conflicted as all Australians, I suspect. It was quite hard news to process at the end of 31.5 hour trip home. (LAX is my new Heathrow! If I never fly through there again it will not be soon enough--though I did have a blast hating on it with my fellow Aussies stranded in the check-in queue for 2.5 hours.)

In happier news I have a new little baby cousin Aeryn, and tickets to both Adam Lambert and Shukwinder Singh (my favourite Bollywood singer) in October. \\\o///

I'm sure I'll feel even happier as soon as the room stops rotating around me. Ah, jetlag! :)
bop_radar: Boppy default (Default)
Wow. This feels so weird. Posting. I haven't done so for so long.

Basically, this is a long-overdue apology/disclaimer. I more or less vanished from LiveJournal for the last four-five months. I should have probably been upfront about that but at the time I wasn't really aware it was happening or how long it would last. The short story is that from being a place of enjoyable escapism originally, LiveJournal became a Very Unhappy Place for me (for reasons not worth going into). And while I do miss my friends here, I'm sorry, but there's not really a lot of point in LJ when it makes you miserable. (I hope you'll agree!) I guess you could call it an extremely localised depression.

In fact, 95 per cent of my depressive symptoms in the last months have centred on online life, weird though that may seem. While it's meant I vanished from here, probably disappointing and pissing off a bunch of people in the process (sorry!), it's actually had an overwhelmingly positive effect in the rest of my life, since work, home life, health, friends, etc have been depression-free zones!

some of the benefits of internet freedom! )

What does it mean going forward? I have no idea. I may still not be around for some time to come. I'd say expecting nothing from me would be a good idea. If I do come back, I probably will not be posting the way I used to. brief notes on status of current personal fandoms )

I'm still vidding, because vidding (the process not the fandom) is joyful. I may not show you the results though, I really don't know. I'm not very audience-oriented right now and haven't been bothered to update my BAM links though I did see that BAM went pfft.

One thing I feel I should do though is say that since I'm unlikely to be around, ANYONE is welcome to pick up the idea of 'vid chats' if they want to and run with them. This should hopefully be clear anyway--they were always free to be borrowed/adapted/done with as you will... but just in case anyone's hung back thinking I might be annoyed to be 'copied': no, man, I'd be delighted! I just probably won't be there. :) Apologies for dropping the ball--but please don't wait for or feel limited by my absence.

This may all seem very selfish. I'm sure it is. I have guilt and shame about it. I encourage you to defriend me. Really. No hurt feelings! Shoo! :) And I hope you are all as happy in your real lives, and by some lucky star in fandom too, as I am.

(Disabling comments because I'm not very interact-y these days. I assume anyone who really wants to talk to me will email or PM me, which you're still welcome to do.)

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