Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: psych therapy

5Oct18: Long Day at the VA

Visual Field Test Machine

Lights flash in here to see how good my field of vision is.

I spent Friday up at the VA because I had two appointments up there, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The day up there started fairly early, because I got a ride from a friend who was kind enough to drive me ’cause I wasn’t sure just how transit was running.

After breakfast up there, I went to my therapy appt, the first one I had yesterday. This went pretty well. Over the course of it, I mentioned having an optometry appointment, and my therapist checked on her computer and told me it had been canceled by patient the day before. Though I tried calling, nobody answered, so I said I’d run up there as soon as I got out of my therapy appointment.

Which was what I did. Turns out, the original appointment was still available, so I reclaimed that slot and went to have lunch. Also got my flu shot. Got up to my optometry appointment about an hour early, but they got me in early too. I had to take a visual field test and have an exam to determine how I’m doing on my eye drops for the glaucoma. The pic at the top of this post is a view into the machine that does the vision field test.

Got my languages done while waiting for the train to take me home.

Came home, laid down for a while to recharge, then went out to a club with some friends. This was the first time I’ve done this in a long time, and my experiences before left much to be desired, so I was a bit nervous. When Lynn, Dan, and I arrived at the Sun Trapp, two other friends of mine greeted us from a nearby table. Unfortunately, Dan’s ID was expired by about a month, and there are hefty fines for bars that let people in with an expired ID, so Lynn had to drive him home. Since Garth and Louis were there, I went over and hung out with them while Lynn did that. It didn’t take Lynn very long, and shortly after he returned, Kit joined us. We had a good time, and I’m glad I went. It was worth all the anxiety I suffered.

Pathfinder and Schedule Changes

My Character is the white figure.

The False Crypt.

I made a conscious decision not to post yesterday. Last night, I was mentally weary from the day I’d had and couldn’t really organize my thoughts very well outside of random conversation. Writing a blog post that was supposed to make sense and not randomly hop form topic to topic was out of the question.

So, for Wednesday.

Around 09:00, I got up. In part because I simply couldn’t sleep any more, but mostly because I’d seen a call from Steve, who owned the mattress and box springs, come in. I had my phone off, so it didn’t ring, but I happened to glance at it when his call came in, and after that, I was anxious enough that I couldn’t sleep any longer.

I got up, called Steve and left a message when he didn’t answer, and called to tell Mom that he’d called. While she and I were on the phone, he called back, and Mom hung up. Long story short, Steve was happy not only to sell me his bed, but also to bring it over for me. He even took my old mattress. He was asking $25.00. Mom suggested I talk him down to $20.00. After all that help, I didn’t have the heart to talk him down and gave him the $30.00 I had on me for his trouble. He was very glad to get the money, as he’s moving to be near his kids in another state.

Then I had breakfast and headed up to the VA for my psych therapy appt. It was good, and didn’t jar me too much, so I went right to Oasis Games after that for my early evening of Magic: The Gathering with JJ and Cayden. Greg texted me that he wouldn’t be able to make it ’cause his contacts were causing him issues and he was having difficulty seeing as a result. Cayden and JJ arrived, and we played MTG, including our young friend in it until his mom came to drag him away to some church event. We realized he’d left a box with one of his desks behind, and I took the box up to the store’s primary sale point and texted Carma that I’d done so she texted back that she’d pick it up.

At one point over the course of the 2 hours we played MTG, I went to purchase a new cardboard card box and some perfect fit sleeves for my Feline Ferocity Commander deck and ran into a friend from Lynn’s D&D group, Daz. He’s been running a Pathfinder game with Phil, Dan, Dave, and Kit for a few weeks, and he invited me to join. I said I’d have to see about rearranging my schedule and went to talk to Cayden and JJ about gaming earlier. I didn’t get a chance to suggest the change to our Wednesday MTG games to Greg until later.

I arrived late to the Pathfinder game, and Daz interrupted it to create my character. He asked a bunch of questions about how I saw the character and made suggestions. I told him I wanted to challenge myself with playing a support character who doesn’t always get into the fray. He asked me, “If there was one thing your character could have, even from our modern world, what would it be?” And I said something like, “Well, something she could do research on” and that got us on a discussion about her Googling stuff. LOL That’s how I ended up with a Tengu Oracle.

After the Pathfinder game, I helped Daz clean up. He lives in my building, and we walked home together. On the way, we chatted about our lives and such, and he told me he lives in the same apartment I lived in the first time I moved into this building. When he heard I lived just around the corner one floor up, he asked if he could use my wifi and offered to pay. I waived his offer of payment and told him I’d get him my wifi’s name and password when we got home. When I did that, we ended up commencing an exchange of emails about Pathfinder, the adventure he’s leading us on, and my character.

I didn’t get to bed until after midnight, and I was very glad I’d made my bed after getting the new setup that morning.

So, for Thursday.

This is much simpler and shorter.

I got up after noon, contacted Kevin to pick me up, and hung out with him from the beginning of his shift until group started. I learned some nice things in group and made a big decision I’ve been stalling on for a while. More on that as I get to executing it. Kevin kindly drove me home. I had supper and just finished emailing Daz my character’s entire backstory after giving her a new first name (I didn’t like the placeholder name he gave her).

Not only that, over the course of the day, I finished rearrangement of our Wednesday gaming schedule, rescheduled 2 appointments for next month, and finished moving Saturday sessions with MLTGF and Greg to Tuesday afternoons.

And that’s it for the past two days!

Long Day Out

I left home by 10:00 this morning and was out all day. Went up to the VA for blood draw and a psych therapy appointment. Then to the Pride Center for my shift until 21:00. Worked on character sheets for D&D NPCs while I was there. Didn’t make much progress, but I did mostly finish one off. Now I have to type up spell cards. If I’m lucky, I’ll be getting some fresh black ink on Thurs and will be able to print ’em out. whee

Writing, Therapy, and MTG

Wednesday, I woke up really early. Got up before dawn. This enabled me to write a bit so I wasn’t too unhappy.

In what’s becoming a Wednesday habit every three weeks, I had a psych therapy appointment in the early-mid afternoon. Pretty much set up that I’m going to reexamine where I am on a gender perspective.

After that, I went to Oasis Games for Magic: The Gathering with Cayden and JJ.

Back home, I wrote some more.

So, all in all, a good day!

Making Myself Do This

There is a reason behind my silence here on the site when I’ve been active elsewhere online. I’ve been avoiding writing posts for the blog here. No real excuse, but I figured out the reason recently. When I realized how I was actively avoiding doing any writing at all—both fiction and for the site—I started examining my feelings on all of it. And I realized I’m afraid of success with my writing.

I think I’ve always carried this fear with me. Looking back, I can remember my early writing days, back in the 90’s. I wrote very few short stories, even though I was aware of markets for them at the time. At least a couple of magazines, and one regularly published anthology series I could have submitted to more than the one time I actually gathered the courage to do so. I got a rejection on that one story from the anthology . . . and didn’t send anything else out. Never bothered reworking the story to send out to any of the other markets I was aware of either. I don’t recall being upset about the rejection, but I never found the courage to send the story out again. Looking back at that time, I’ve realized that could-have-been-a-success frightened me a little. My writing career was almost real. And I shied away from doing anything more with my writing.

Since then, I’ve never really moved beyond that fear. I shelved my writing to go to Colorado and ended up in the Navy and didn’t begin writing again until I returned to North Carolina after my discharge, and I was there less than a year before ending up out here in Utah, living with a very kind couple who took me in when they realized I’d be homeless in Colorado if they didn’t. I’ve fiddled with my stories for years, on several different computers, taken my writing out to other places like coffee shops and the library, suffered through a year of hell writing a genre I grew to detest until I was so emotionally and spiritually broken by it that I had to shelve my writing again, started story after story, and began the building of over an alphabet’s worth of worlds.

And through it all, I made excuses for myself so I wouldn’t succeed at my writing. My biggest one was how I’d kill my career before the first book was even published by having a depressive episode when I was supposed to be working on edits. And then Indie Publishing came along. Suddenly, my old excuse was no longer viable. It put me on the spot. So, instead of writing, I stopped. Instead of developing a good writing habit to take the place of my habit of writing when inspired, I let writing fall by the wayside.

I made it my goal to get a paying job and started doing what I needed to in order to prepare myself for getting one. The past few months, since December, I’ve added hobbies to my repertoire to fill my copious amount of free time. I’ve expanded my social contacts as well at the same time. All because I’m afraid to succeed with writing.

This is something I need to deal with in therapy. I can’t figure out what about succeeding with writing frightens me on my own. But I have figured out some things I can do to combat it, and I’ll be asking my therapist for more advice. I’m making it my goal to post something here every Tuesday from now on, even if it’s just a bunch of nonsense—I just can’t let myself worry about how it’ll be accepted as I have been, as a way to talk myself out of writing posts. Another thing I’m doing is scheduling writing time every day as well; I will work on my writing every day. This may mean I actually make progress on my fiction, or I may write a blog post; it doesn’t matter. Something writing-related will get done, even if all I do is stare at the next chapter’s header or read notes and background info over and over. I will do something with my writing.

So this is the first post of my new writing habit. It was supposed to be written Sunday, but I was exhausted and zoney and had no mind on Sunday, so I’m writing it Monday. It will post at 06:00 Tuesday the 24th. Next week, something else will go up on Tuesday morning, even if it’s only a line of nonsense. I’m making myself do this, no matter what, because I can’t let myself not succeed with writing. Being a professional writer of fiction has been my dream for too long to give up on it now.

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