Welcome to my monthly progress post that (usually) happens on the 13th, which marks the start of a new fiscal month here on Livid Lightning (but not this month). Get it? XIII is my favourite number… because I like Final Fantasy XIII a lot? Jeez… tough crowd.
True story: The Final Fantasy games have taught me roman numerals. That’s how I know 20 is XX (I’m right, right??). Not sure how useful that knowledge is in today’s world, but oh well. Anyway, here’s the late edition of my blog’s fiscal month update! Happy 4/20 to all my stoner friends out there too, by the way. Not my jam, to be honest, but if it makes you happy, blaze it responsibly, eh!
Thank you so much for all the support on my meltdown post. I’m sorry it took so long to find the words to respond to everyone. Things are going better now, for sure. Some time away from mainstream social media was hard, but necessary to focus on real world Ellen’s drama. The stupidest of things were triggering my feelz there for a while there. Sigh. I’ll babble in more detail in the ‘Life & Other Things’ section of this post about how things are going now. It feels good to vent about stuff.
In other blogging news, I’m not planning on going anywhere without a fight first, but I don’t have any solid plans for new posts at this time. I’ll try to pump out the #MaybeInMarch results post at some point before the calendar rolls over to May (already… yikes). Other than that, your guess is as good as mine for my upcoming content! 🙂
I would also like to extend a super huge thank you to my 3 new Patrons:
You guys are amazing! I’ll find a way to thank you all properly once I get my internet self fully back together again.
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Things Written Here
Things Written Elsewhere
- AmbiGaming Article: Year Walk’s Bizarre Terror – Some babblings of mine about the ancient Swedish ritual that this quirky little horror game is based on.
XIII Random Cool Things Written By Other Bloggers
Alas, I don’t have the time or energy to obsessively read blogs like I did in the past. But here’s a random sampling of cool posts I was able to read lately. Keep being awesome, everyone!
I) The 2019 Normal Happenings Blogging Awards! – Wow! What an award show post. Matt went all out with this one! And so much better than those overrated Grammy, Emmy, Academy award show thingys, in my opinion. And I’m not just saying that because I got a few sweet blog badges from the event… honest.
II) An Inspirational Bolt of Lightning(Ellen) – Ouch! So sorry to hear about the Evil Wizard, Esq.’s delinquent technology that cost him all of the save datas… seriously, yikes. I’m glad my defeatist backlog stance helped ease the frustration. Thanks for the shout-out and for not burning down my village!
III) Hamsters: Celebrating The Odd History of These Adorable Idiots – D’aww! I had hamsters when I was a kid and they are pretty badass (their lifespans are sadly too short). Professional Moron wrote one heck of a post about the little guys. I guess I relate to them more than I thought: “It’s really important to stress that hamsters value time alone, as if you keep two adults in a cage together they’ll invariably fight each other to the death.”
IV) Paradigm: an unlikely hero – I don’t remember ever hearing about this game until this epic post by Kim of Later Levels! With all my life drama going on right now, this sounds like the fun gaming experience I need. I was totally sold after I read the protagonist has a “self-depreciating” sense of humour.
V) Announcing The Second Fabulousening: Blogovision 2019! (WE WANT YOU TO TAKE PART!) – WHOA!! This community collaboration brought to you by Chris and Pix (that has a nice ring to it, eh) sounds badass. Definitely check it out. Not sure if I can get my brain to work for this, but I’ll try to come with something before the May 10th deadline.
VI) Monday Memories: Ace Up My Sleeve – ZOMG! I had no idea the awesome Kris P. over at Double Jump was an ace too. I loved reading her post talking about how representation is so freaking important. Very relatable! Ace puns are indeed the best.
VII) The Broken Rose: Chapter 14 – Lies of Omission – Always happy to see when the Shameful Narcissist posts a new chapter of any of her awesome fanfiction works. You can really feel how special Aeris and Sephiroth are to her in this one! Take heed of the content warnings, though.
VIII) REVIEW – Phanteks Halos Digital RGB Frame – I’m not publicly going into more detail about this yet, but RGB LEDs have been a huge part of my real life lately *mysterious*. Anyway, I always enjoy Killer Robotics’ tech reviews! This one is a great read with pretty pictures of the lighting in action.
IX) The Console Wars reignited – Ugh. Console Wars crap is one of my biggest pet peeves, and a huge reason why I avoid mainstream/toxic gaming sites these days. Who cares which console is “best”? Play what you love and don’t judge others. Jeez. Strange Girl Gaming’s article on the issue was well done!
X) From Book Blogger To Book Writer – Woot! I love success stories of aspiring writers who become published authors. Congrats to Tessa and her book, Tales of Lunis Aquaria, which has been added to my TBR list.
XI) A Requiem for the Fallen – Aether wrote a heartwarming post about the sad loss of many great bloggers in this wonderful community lately. I consider blogger buddies real friends so it’s hard when someone I’ve connected with decides to throw in the towel. Real life responsibilities must always come first.
XII) Do You Miss Video Game Instruction Manuals? – The Green Dude brought back the special memories with this one! I hate how modern games don’t have manuals (sometimes not even physical editions). I don’t really care about the game-playing instructions aspect of them, you know? Seeing all the neat game art was my favourite part of flipping through those lil’ manuals, eh.
XIII) Metacognition: Looking at the Future – I’m still in serious denial about Athena saying goodbye to blogging for a bit, so her latest post about the future of gaming was an awesome read! There’s always hope for the future.
Games Completed So Far in 2019: 4
Games Newly Finished
Games Actively Played
Well, I didn’t finish Fallout 4 in March like I had planned (no surprise there). BUT after having the game since launch day, I’m proud to say I’ve completed a playthrough and seen the credits roll. Woot! I’m going for the Platinum trophy now so that wasn’t good enough for me to call this game done. I’ve collected all the bobbleheads, done all the Railroad & Institute quests, and the most annoyingly glitchy trophy ever: get a large settlement to 100% Happiness (that was a serious pain, let me tell you).
All that’s left is for me to get to level 50 on my current file (49 now and running Minutemen quests with my dude Preston), and then reload a save file to finish the Brotherhood of Steel quest line. So freaking close….
Games On the In-Progress Back Burner
I’ll get back to these great games… eventually.
- Chrono Trigger
- The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt
- The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
- Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty
- Dark Souls
Must… get… 16th Platinum trophy from Fallout 4.
Daisy, Piranha Plant, King K. Rool, Ken, and Young Link Amiibo
Amazon Japan thankfully came through for me! I was worried when Piranha Plant and K. Rool didn’t show up last month, but they were thankfully shipped out with the latest batch. Amazon Japan freaking rocks! They are cheaper and have faster shipping than stores here in Canada, believe it or not.
New Swag Plans
Keeping myself in check! I’m planning a big trip in reality in July (my first time outside of Canada) so I’m only wasting my monies on Amiibo until then.
Books Read in 2019: 6 (+2)
Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath
Loved this book! Learning about the brave, badass, and deplorable females forgotten to mainstream history was awesome.
The Tell-Tale Brain by V.S. Ramachandran
This book was… wow. Blew my mind, man. The author is a neuroscientist who uses disorders he’s encountered to hypothesize how different aspects of our brains work. We really are just walking piles of biological circuits.
Uh… I’ve gotten so many good recommendations lately. I’ll just pick a book at random when the reading mood strikes me again.
Movies Watched in 2019: 3 (+0)
TV Shows Watched in 2019: 1 (+0)
Watching Stuff Plans
I’m going to try really hard to watch the new-ish Wonder Woman movie (finally). Other than that I’m so not into watching stuff these days. I cancelled my Netflix until BoJack Horseman Season 6 comes out.
Life & Other Things
Please note: This section contains overly personal details about medical drama and a look into my mental health struggles and experiences in therapy. Feel free to skip this if you don’t want to read about it! I keep these things locked up in reality so it’s nice to open up on the internet.
Medical Anxiety Levels Stabilized… For Now
Yeah…. so as a follow-up to my meltdown post, the appointment with my eye doctor left me with absolutely no freaking answers, and more scary “what ifs” for my chaotic mind to run away with. Basically, the visual anomaly in my left eye is stable and unexplained. My eye doctor says we still don’t know a ton about how the brain and eyes work together, so there’s that, but at least there’s nothing obvious causing it at the moment. It could be because a nerve in my left eye is twisted a bit weird (which was discovered during a test that day), or it could be from the brain lesions that were found last year.
I’m going to be brought back every 6 months to have my vision problem checked on (and I made sure I made the next appointment before I left… I’m NOT falling through any more Nova Scotia medical system cracks, thank you). Now I’ve got brain lesions and a vision problem that are being monitored. Fun times… The good news is that if something starts to show up, it should be caught early and treatment will be more effective. The bad news is I get to drive myself crazy with anxiety and constant worry about when/if things will get worse, or if MS symptoms will eventually show up.
This is probably going to sound really dark (trigger warning?), but the thought is actually quite comforting to me during all this: No matter what the hell happens to me in this life, I’m going to die someday. What happens between now and the end is kind of irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, no? I’m going to work on becoming a better person and living my life to the fullest. And to fully upgrade to Ellen Version 3.0, I gotta get to a place where I truly enjoy my life again.
The Wonders of Therapy
Yes! Thank the Maker, I am getting regular professional help by a trained (and awesome) therapist these days. I didn’t realize how freaking amazing that support feels, either. I’ve been struggling with mood swings and social dysfunction for my entire life (this whole MS/vision scare is just the latest bump on my deserted dirt road, trust me). Clinging onto video games, the internet world, and Lightning Farron can only be coping mechanisms for so long, apparently. My toxic thought patterns need to seriously change if I ever want to break out of this self-destruction cycle for good.
Did I mention my therapist was awesome? Truth be told, before my first session I was expecting someone stone-cold clinician to throw some pills at me to make my sad feelz go away (a reason I was reluctant to seek help for so long). But in reality, my experiences in therapy have been wonderful and confidence-boosting. My therapist is working with me, not against me. Just having her caring 3rd party, and impartial, perspective on the personal issues that have been driving me crazy lately is just… amazing. She doesn’t even hide her notes from me! She writes them on a big white board so we can work together to figure me out. I’ve been to 3 sessions so far, and I seriously can’t wait for the next one in mid May.
It’s looking like I possibly have Borderline Personality Disorder, which could be the root cause of my depression, anxiety, and social issues. We decided together that this thing called Dialetical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is the best way to go for a treatment plan. This type of therapy is designed to give me new skills to cope with my chaotic emotions and (hopefully) eliminate my, um, tendency to utterly destroy personal relationships with the rare humans I love and click with. I’ve lost so, so many great friends over the years.
My homework before our next session is to capture the thoughts that trigger me and map them out on paper. Then we will discuss them. A good example of a toxic thought pattern I frequently get stuck in is “I’m a burden”. This almost always occurs whenever a friend is nice enough to invite me to hang out with them. This thought triggers sad, angry, lonely, hopeless emotions, which in turn makes me behave like an ass (going silent or rudely abandoning the social situation are my usual actions). To my friend, it seems like I’m being cold (i.e., a bitch) and/or not interested in hanging out with them so they won’t invite me again (then I feel abandoned which is a whole other toxic thought process of mine).
When a destructive thought creeps up, my therapist advised me to think about whether it’s a solid fact or just a thought. Would my friend have invited me out in the first place if they thought I was a burden? Most likely not! “I’m a burden”, therefore, is not a fact. This realization helps keep my triggered feelings from becoming overwhelming enough to spill over into bad behaviors. A simple yet effective technique I’m learning how to wield now!
Yep. These toxic thoughts (Distorted Automatic Thoughts are the technical name for these, by the way) have no logical basis (most of the time) and have been ingrained in my brain from bad past experiences (like a childhood filled with being bullied so much I felt like less than nothing for most of my young adult life.. ahem). It’s going to take some serious mental effort to change my ways. My therapist has told me she can see I’m trying hard, plus my super self-awareness is a serious asset to me. I can definitely do this. I will be a better person! I’m just going to need a ton of coffee and lots of alone time while I deal with the tidal wave of old feelings I need to get over. So tired…
Personal babbling done! If anyone out there reading this is struggling with mental health issues, see a good therapist if you can. It might not seem like something that will help, but trust me, it will likely be the best thing that ever happened to you. You are amazing and we all deserve to live happy lives on this chaotic rock that’s hurtling through space. If we focus on the bad things all the time, we completely forget to be thankful for all the good things we are blessed to have.
There you have it! My monthly progress post thingy. What’s anyone reading this up to these days? Comments section is down below if you want to share your thoughts on things!
⚡Thanks for reading!⚡
If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!