Thursday, September 26, 2013

Red is still red

Thanks to going nuts I have a new found lease on life. I've accepted my body—in all its sordid hairy glory—and that my service to date has been exceptional. Go energised me!

In my last mental health check up I rated a zero on the depression score. Zero. As in no depression. Yes, I am still on a fuck-load of medication and yes I still have anxiety and stress pain, but I am not sad. I am merely wounded and getting better. 

Colours are brighter for me now, red almost hurting in intensity.

So if I get worried I am falling into the sads I check to make sure red is still red and it is!

Wellness for the win.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Our dishwasher rode the car until the tank was empty

With thanks to Seinfeld

Our dishwasher—which came with the house—had been leaking a bit of late but it was when the kitchen flooded for a third or so time that we found the culprit; for the door seal had worn and let water floweth free. 

We called in a plumber. He took one look and declared it dead; "They don't make that seal any more," he said. 

That's pretty impressive. Our Vulcan dishwasher rode its journey all the way out to beyond the ability of plumbers to fix it for lack of parts. Apart from that worn seal it was in otherwise working order. 

Besides, equipment dying in the pursuit of good purpose is an honourable exit (1). If only silicon heaven really existed.

An aside about me
I am sore—with nasty sharp fibro-pains flaring now and then like gas flare at a dystopian oil rig. As much as I tried not to I thought a bit about oldwork and it caused unpleasantness to fall upon my doughty form.

But apart from that I had a pleasant walk to the shops, an excellent appointment with a specialist with my specialist and an awesome walk back. And it was and is a beautiful day.

Wellness for the win.

(1) UPDATE: I do not have a strong grip—thanks genetics!—and washing dishes is awkward and painful for me. Not to mention unpleasant. I hate washing dishes. Hate it. Hate. And cannot! But also hate. So a dishwasher is a Mikey must have!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Where Mikey slips but does not fall

I've had a near mental health fall this week as my return to work continues apace. Oldwork sent an email to home and to work to finalise my journey with them, a last gasping breath of what they could do to me. They were supposed to never contact me again but, well, they did.

theWife stepped in to resolve it away from our email. 

The correspondence was designed to wound, and the fact that design was there was not unexpected. They were, after-all, appalling managers; up hill and down fucking dale. 

My old ladies flared and I got a bit tense. But I did not cry—nor have I cried—when it came. I still went out that night to play D&D, a game set in Westgate using a mod set of 3.5. I went to new-work the next day and the next day after that.

Their ability to hurt me has diminished and never again do I have to go back. 

I lived a life of pain and self pity. Sad because I didn't have the right body nor fit the right idea of what a man should be. But now, thanks to that crisis, my abrupt departure, that is all shed; their fuckwittery set me free. 

Wellness for the win. 

Then where Mikey has an aside about the new government
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been sworn in, along with his ignorant sausage-fest of a cabinet; a parliament of half-witted barn owls. Because I've learned I only have a certain amount of mental fortitude I've cast a curtain of semi-opaque lead across the result and the almost immediate assailing of common sense by the Abbott government's halting various progressive schemes the ALP had rolling. Including the sacking of Dr Tim Flannery by Greg Hunt, a man who once wrote a thesis about the need to use a market-driven taxation mechanism on polluters to get them pollute less.

Probs wept. The technocrat in me can't but help smugly stand back and say 'I told you so' when all this shit goes down, such as what will afflict the Murdoch-led sheeple who gave us this result.

Eleven years of Howard gave us a meaner country. It splintered the tradesmen class into jostling independent contractors and used the plight of those in need for its political purpose, making us meaner as a result.

And that mentality, and that fuckwittery has now steamed back into government. 

Probs save us all. 

UPDATE: My right upper arm has ached since Wednesday and a purple stress rash has sprouted. But here I am, having ridden an exercise bike for over 40 minutes and walked to the shops and back despite it. Yes, okay, I get that walking is not arm-related but the point is I still did things despite feeling yucky. Yay, me!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Post Sector 7G blues

With thanks to The Simpons!

The work of yesterday, having to actively set block settings on the instant message system for people from oldwork that caused me pain, has caused me pain. Yes, the dreaded post oldwork touch but 24 hours later manifest blues; nasty shards of fibro pain crackling through my shoulders.

The shards come, and they hurt on arrival, but not at the same power or as often as before. I try not to reflexively say "ouch!" when they burst, because it's unsettling to hear someone shout "ouch!"or "eek" or "fitznards" at random intervals. Though sometimes I even sound like a Baldur's Gate character struck in combat and after the flash that thought makes me smile.

In the last ten minutes of the work hour—or at twenty-past the hour if I get in around the half hour—I will stop what I am doing, get up and leave the office. Actually go outside, perhaps with my recovered Sony Mp3 player and listen to a song I like, and walk about, sometimes briskly sometimes the amble. After the song I head back in. If I can ingrain this habit then I will never fall back into working too hard for long periods without a break—sedentary seating for hours at a time can shorten your lifespan by years. I have nothing to prove, and the burden of my old role is on others. The new work I am doing has deadlines but without the same juddering intensity. I am but a helper monkey, a Mojo.

I work in a nice office with nice people doing nice but achievable work. I don't know what happens next but I know I will never again let work dominate me so. I don't have the fear going forward because I leave a rainbow in my wake. 

Great; now I sound like a character from fucking Strawberry Shortcake.

Mmm ... cake.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Along I trot

My work return is progressing well, though there have been bumps. Oldwork still haven't taken over accounts from my old role and thus I get a reminder each day when I manually switch off access.

In my time away my workplace got a new tool, an instant message system. However because oldwork people's names blared the moment my work window opened I told the program not to load. Alas my scattered compadres use it as a vital tool to not only communicate but to track whereabouts and I had a call from my supervisor who asked me to opt back in. I explained my oldwork anxiety problem, in that when you have anxiety you get anxious about getting anxious and an oldwork slap each morning was not what I wanted to receive, and that's why I turned it off.

But ... the world moved on in my time away and that's how my workplace manages workflow. I had to get the program re-added and then work out how to block people (1). By mid-morning those of oldwork were blocked and I could press on.

One of my new colleagues shared a tale of her work horror—a manager who not only belittled and bullied but her took delight in doing so. It was nice of her to talk about it, and to share she knows what it is to have that sick fear as you head to work when the people above you make your office life horrid.

There's so many of that bad manager type in management. And it's because the recruitment process favours self-assured people who can confidently state their self-belief in doing a job but have no actual skill or ability to actually perform their role or look after people. Their self-assurance brings ruin to those beneath because their own needs are paramount. Not the organisation's needs, nor their staff's needs; their needs. 

It's sickening. 

So the constant reminders of oldwork do not help but I was able to get back up. They linger as ghosts of past pain but it's pain that is past. 

And even if my old ladies kick up—like they did this morning with not-great guts and light fibro twinges—they're nowhere near as elderly or feminine as they once were; less occurrences of pain, less pain when they occur.

Wellness for the win.  

(1) To find out how to block them I used ... the help function! Go the help function. 

Monday, September 09, 2013

The election

So it is done and dusted and the Prime Minister will now be Tony Abbott. In addition to him a whole host of science denialists and rusted-on right wingers. 

Probs wept. 

It may be the still doubled medication I am on Vs depression and pain but I was remarkably Zen about the election. It was a foregone conclusion and the result came out as expected. Because while the ALP may have governed well—they helped steer us through the financial world-wide meltdown on 2008—egos got in the way and people don't like seeing families fight. 

I suppose it's what happens in a place filled to the brim with ego. Kim Beazley I think was the one who said there wasn't a man or woman there who didn't think they had the potential to be Prime Minister; they all had a field marshal's baton in their knapsack. Kevin Rudd had a pretty big ego—and in his defence he was also a personally capable person—as does every single other parliamentarian. 

I am, of course, saddened by the result. And maddened that a wizened cross between a prune and an immortal scrotum has the power to chuckle evily because his lapdogs in the press accordingly lapped and dogged as per expectation, practically screeching their desire for the result that we received. Congratulations, actual real-life super villain, you did it again. And if your mum's any guide to your longevity then I hazard you're here for another 30 years yet. 

So there you have it. Prime Minister Tony Abbott. As he was preened to be from his teenage years and on, a future Prime Minister at the family dinner table, all convinced one day that Tony would make it there. And fuck me, they were right. 

Well, I detest the man. I hate his flaunting of his genetically blessed super body, I hate his ideology, his mindset and his peculiar method of speech. But he won the ultimate race, to be a Prime Minister. So credit where credit due. 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Holy fuck.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Headline awesomely not in synch with columnist's headshot



I voted

The line at the local school was long, allowing how-to-vote-card profferers multiple attempts at seducing you with their papery wares. I kept my headphones on and eyes downcast as I listed to The Who on my recovered Mp3 player. 

I checked that my drawing a cartoon or writing a message on the ballot wouldn't invalidate it then strut forth to the voting booth. Within five minutes I was out the door and at the charity fundraiser barbecue to get a steak sandwich. 

I sat on a copper's log and ate my sandwich, the distant trill of voters in the air intermixed with bird song. As I ate, and greedily supped from my can of Diet Coke, I pondered just how lucky we have it. Just how lucky we have it when it comes to the vote. We do not suffer threats. We are not disenfranchised. We do not suffer chicanery to suppress our desire to vote.

Meanwhile, as we vote, half a world away Syria is experiencing their own government transition process. Here it's a steak sandwich; there it's Sarin.

How fucking lucky we have it.

And probs bless all the bastards down at the Australian Electoral Commission. You protect my vote and you let me have a say. 

I have an array of comfort foods to endure the election coverage with. Some of them have "traces" of dairy. 

Oh well, at least I know I won't end up like I did the night of the Mark Latham election; 3 am outside, drunk and naked, my white fat flesh limed by the security light which lit me up to the rest of the street as I fumbled with the wheelie bin lid so I could deposit a plastic bag filled with my own sick.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Did someone say mattress to Mr Lambert twice?!

With thanks to Monty Python

I've had two cry-cry days. The first was being on the boil after spending newwork time reading about performance management and suddenly worrying I was wrong and oldwork were right; that they were right to bully me and threaten me with performance management in the initial stages of my collapse then time away. So it got to me and I ended up having an hysterical cry in the shed. 

I had another one this afternoon when work announced it was going to take away all the leave I'd accrued and it wasn't going to let me have some other leave as well—the time I owed got sucked out of my long service leave. 

I know it's a bureaucratic process and I know it's an impersonal one. And I know they probably have charts that say when X happens they get Y leave and I cracked that. I know that all intellectually and I know it logically. But the hurt animal in me, the wounded part of me is still bitter at being cruelled out of the workplace through bullying and lazy incompetence ended up having to "pay for it" with my long service getting tapped. 

But as theWife pointed out the fact I got all the time I have is a sort of testament from my broader organisation that they value me. That the poisonous response to the incident report that oldwork gave probably wasn't even read in context of that and that I shouldn't worry. And that we're going forward, not looking back. 

I know that all in the logical part. But, like I said, the animal brain is wounded. There's still a lot of hurt and anger over what happened to me and to my colleagues and then to the broader organisation when everything rapidly turned to shit in a surprisingly short amount of time following a change of management. 

So the yesterday cry added to today's was a horror. I got angry and had to walk it off, following a walking trail of the neighbourhood I haunted back when I walked instead of rode an exercise bike. I felt this searing anger and bitterness all as I knew I had to let it go in order to be healed. That to hold onto oldwork sads was self-defeating. 

I've been back just over 10 days and, like with yesterday, I know there will be dark spots. It's just that I had two of those days in a row. 

But next time I am in the office I am sure I will be better than I was before and I can steam onward, into the setting sun instead of worrying about a wake in the past. 

So I will try; onward and upward. 

UPDATE: We didn't realise the letter wasn't in sync with my leave records on the system. In the end I came out with almost all my leave intact. I was worried I'd have to go through and appeals or compensation process but it seems I no longer have to. I was away five months and almost all my leave before my collapse has been accepted. Which means in essence that my broader organisation deems me of worth as opposed to oldwork with their petty lies and arse-covery. 

Oldwork made me get a special fat chair; a chair designed for my bigger frame all because of their "concerns for me". They still have yet to send it on to me. If it ever turns up I'm checking the struts for prawns.