Triage, Exhaustion and Loss.
Content Warning: Depression, mental illness, bad vibes. If that stuff affects you, look at this kitten instead. Please don’t mistake this for condescencion or sarcasm, I want you to have a good day.
I’m generally not doing too well these days. There’s a lot of ambient stress going on (a plague, a revolution (maybe), bureaucracy hold-ups). I’m going through some rough times, and have managed to run, or be run out of reserves.
Hillel Wayne wrote a wonderful, honest newsletter entry here. It helped me galvanize a similar loathing for software into writing tools for myself that actually make my life easier or more enjoyable. Most of it exists as drafts, some of it as rough usable prototypes.
The rough choices come once you’re down for the count, but life has to go on. You have to pick and choose your battles, and it often means letting opportunities that you endlessly wished for when you had more energy than you do now pass by. I find that the hard part of depression is not the living, existing part, or at least it isn’t anymore. The hard part is seeing the things you wished for to happen pass by while you watch them, unable to act.
I endlessly wished for a few uninterrupted months of time so I could read, write software, improve as a person. Instead I’ve spent the last half year or so dealing with and processing the parts I’ve had to put off for the better part of a decade. I’m a better, more well-rounded and more actualised person for it. I also, politely, feel like absolute shit. In a sense, I very much got what I wanted. I’m a better person for how I’ve spent the last half year. It just didn’t look how I thought it would.
Right now, I have to triage carefully, in what I take on, what I do, what I have to watch pass by. It’s incredibly frustrating, both at my own limitations, and that the answer isn’t simply “do more, better”. Sometimes, you absolutely have to be satisfied with the best you can do, which is what I believe to be doing. It just isn’t very satisfying.