Week of 29 June, 2020

  • My anxiety has been making it incredibly hard for me to function normally. In the past few weeks I’ve either been a giant ball of nerves, or walking around like a zombie because of mental exhaustion.
  • It has been impossible for me to maintain focus for long enough to type coherent sentences, which is why I’ve skipped writing weeknotes for the last two weeks.
  • The good news is that I’m finally speaking to a therapist!
  • Yay!
  • On the recommendation of my therapist, I’m also speaking to a psychiatrist. They’ve put me on an SSRI for a few months. Turns out I’ve had Generalized Anxiety Disorder for pretty much my whole life, which explains a lot of things.
  • To keep better track of my moods and medication, I’ve started keeping a Bullet Journal. I’d already been using a method that was pretty close to what BuJo prescribes, but BuJo gives my notes a little more structure.
  • As my anxiety has worsened, my ability to read fiction has deteriorated. I can understand the stories just fine, but I’ve completely lost the ability to visualize things in my head. I need to take my mind’s eye to an optometrist. I’m hoping things will improve as the SSRI and therapy start to work their magic. In the meantime, I’m welcoming suggestions for non-fiction books that (a) are comforting, and (b) can be parsed and understood by this drug addled brain of mine.
  • I’m staying away from everything political for the moment. I hope one day I can be politically engaged without damaging my mental health, but for now I need to take care of myself.
  • I’ve bought myself an adult coloring book. While it doesn’t help me feel more relaxed, it does keep the anxiety spirals in check. Whenever I’m feeling agitated, I can go and color for a while until I calm down. It also keeps me away from screens, which is always a win in my book.
  • SAWAYAMA is a 10/10 album. It’s currently tied with how i’m feeling now as my second favorite album of the year, with the top spot taken by RTJ4.

Week of 4 May, 2020

  • It’s been a bad, not good, very terrible week. Anxiety has been through the roof, and many evenings have been spent crying on the couch. At times like these exercise really helps me, except …
  • … the heat in Bangalore is getting unbearable, making it hard to do any kind of physical activity. The air conditioning has been broken for a while, so I’m keeping myself cool using a dinky little cooler that only works if you sit directly in front of it. How many baths a day are too many?
  • Turning off social media felt great for a while, but a few days ago I started feeling an intense isolation from everything that was happening in the world. For now, I’ve gone back to looking at some social media some of the time. I guess if you’ve been Very Online for more than half your adult life, simply cutting the wire does more harm than good.
  • My mind is reeling from all the new ideas in The Dispossessed. The writing is dry and the characters feel like placeholders, but it’s the what if of the whole thing that’s keeping me turning the pages.
  • I’d forgotten how wholesome Parks and Recreation was, though the presence of Aziz Ansari and Louis C.K. sours the experience a bit.

Week of 27 April, 2020

  • Started a new contract on Monday. It’s been fun, but I’m spending far too much time dealing with layout issues. I thought we were done fighting with CSS in 2020, but that’s clearly not the case.
  • Ramda is pretty damn amazing. So is Tailwind. Working with these libraries over the past week has been a total blast.
  • Quitting social media and the news has made my anxiety a lot better. It has given my brain the space and energy to think about things beyond COVID-19 and Modi’s violent politics. While I’m still reading the news on weekends, I don’t plan on engaging with it on weekdays. I believe this arrangement will let me keep my sanity while also staying informed about what’s going on in the world.
  • Social media is basically cigarettes for your brain. It’s as addictive as them, and does as much damage to your brain as cigarettes do to your lungs.
  • The new Roomba is making me feel like I’m living in the future. I mean, I can tell him to clean the kitchen from my phone and he just wakes up and does it?!!
  • I’ve been working my way slowly through Amrita Pritam’s ਮਿੱਟੀ ਦੀ ਜ਼ਾਤ (Mitti Di Zaat, roughly The Caste of the Soil). My Punjabi vocabulary is tiny so it’s tough going, but the language hits me in a place that English can’t quite reach.

Week of 20 April, 2020

  • Anxiety was bad this week. I was up until 3AM on Tuesday night because I couldn’t turn off my brain, no matter how much I tried. I don’t know what triggered it, but getting off social media and news websites seems to have fixed it.
  • I’ve started spending a bit of time each morning reading short stories in Punjabi. I no longer struggle with the grammar or the script — I’ve already been reading the news in Punjabi for a few months — but a lot of the words are new to me. Having to constantly look up words slows me down, but I’m building a lot of vocabulary very fast.
  • I’ve given in and ordered a Roomba for the house.
  • Our girl kitten turned out to be a boy kitten, which explains the constant fights. The older cat doesn’t like this new roommate at all.
  • Not much progress with Crafting Interpreters this week, but I did add a way to convert an AST into a Graphviz diagram. Very proud of this one.