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Could I...actually start being social? - Transitioning into liminal space [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Transitioning into liminal space

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Could I...actually start being social? [Feb. 7th, 2017|04:22 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
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[State of Being |hopefulhopeful]

Feeling so much better lately has made me want to leap into social stuff head first. I've been Googling to see what kind of events, activities, and social groups I would like to try to be part of, and thinking about starting to attend them. Particularly exciting are some explicitly LGBTQ-positive poly social event / play parties that encourage people to attend even if they don't want to play. I think that I'm getting to a place where I can begin to keep my own feelings and my own safety in mind in that kind of interaction with other people. I can imagine myself saying no to someone I don't know well about something I feel pressured by without it seeming entirely impossible; that's a nice step forward. I've found a couple of events that feel excitingly like the kind of thing I've wanted to be involved in for years:

  • A recurring weekly poly party at a local dungeon
  • One that happened a year ago, but gives me hope that there are safe, all-gender, sex-oriented socializing spaces out there that would make me feel welcome: this one seemed focused on safe spaces for self expression.

Great things!

That said, as much as I'm tired of and frustrated with waiting to be involved in this kind of community and event, I don't think this is a good time for it. And while I've been saying some version of that to myself for the better part of a decade, I feel for the first time that there is real potential for that to change in the immediate future. I have time, my brain is getting better, and eventually the primary reasons to delay will possibly be resolved. Those reasons are:

*I should probably work on my own brain for a while first. I've been fantastically better on the current medication regimen, but that's only been for a couple of weeks; it would be good to know that I am stable on a longer-term basis. I also haven't dealt with any major stressors that might throw me off, like taking really scary steps into a community I don't know, or actively seeking play and dating partners for the first time ever. Let's see how I weather some less turbulent waters before pointing the boat out into the open sea.

*Danae has just begun the process of getting therapy for some things that have been troubling her for more than a decade herself. Prior to a lot of really negative sexual and social experiences, she was very involved in the poly and kink communities where she lived. These days, because of those things, it's really hard for her to make connections with people and she's been really socially isolated. As I wrote before, I think that she and I are really in a good position to understand each other's experiences and fears and hold each other's hand through trying to open up worlds. But now, as she's just starting out and dealing with rehashing a lot of pain, may not be the time for her to do that. It's a scary, brave thing to start actively dealing with your own trauma and right now I want to focus on being there for her rather than start making significant life changes that would affect both of us.

*I do not have a job. Danae is financially supporting me, and while it's important to her that I'm able to spend money on things like visiting my parents or Posi, or CDs and things at thrift stores, I'm in a position where I do not have a lot of disposable income, and I have a significant obligation to help keep us living well on only her income (which, as a funded graduate student without another job, isn't huge).

There are lots of things I'm thinking about lately. Where's my brain at? Should I increase the Bupropion dose? I still haven't moved to the 2 tablets daily. I emailed the psychiatrist about it. I frequently get lethargic and unmotivated in the late afternoon or evening. I'm not depressed or anxious; just unmotivated. I want to chill on the couch with the dog or watch Danae play a game rather than do anything active. He suggested that maybe the Bupropian is wearing off and that I could take a second pill in the afternoon instead of two in the morning. I'm still considering that, and waiting to see how my brain and body continue to behave.

Do I want to look for a job? What would I do? How would that affect Danae, for whom I'm doing all the housework? Maybe a part-time job so I still have time for work around the house? Would that disrupt my mental stability? I think that the photographing babies job was a really bad idea for me; too much dealing with people. But if I could leverage my archives and library experience to get a part time job at a library (something Danae was thinking about for me back when I first moved back from New York), that could be near-perfect. Maybe. And would be good experience if I decide to go for an MLIS some day.

In the meantime, I'm thinking about going to a cuddle-party that happens in nearby Rogers Park. I've been to a cuddle party once before and really enjoyed the experience. I think that, with the reduced anxiety (particularly about meeting other people's expectations and not disappointing them), I would be able to say no if need be. Creating a safe space for people to say no is one of the goals of cuddle parties, even including an orientation wherein attendees practice saying no to each other.

So, there's that!

In other news, our housemate is talking about potentially moving in with his boyfriend out in a far suburb, so we may be looking for another awesome housemate. It was so hard to find someone we really meshed with; I hope it goes a little better next time, if this move actually occurs.

[User Picture]From: anais_pf
2017-02-08 05:54 pm (UTC)
The cuddle party sounds like a good start. I was going to suggest you two start really small and just invite friends over (or out) a bit more often, as a way of being more social without a lot of pressure. A part-time job sounds good, too. That way you can keep doing the housework and have a little money to spend if you decide to try dating others, in addition to helping support the household. Library work sounds good; so does something involving animals, maybe dog-walking or pet-sitting?
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[User Picture]From: stormdog
2017-02-11 02:53 am (UTC)
Small gatherings with friends would be nice. At the moment, there's only one person I see in person with any regularity, and it's next to impossible for some reason to get him out of his house and down to Evanston. I make the 45 minute drive to his place, but I can't remember the last time he was here despite invitations. And other than that, neither Danae nor I actually have any local friends with whom we spend time. We've both been so hermity over the past years....

She's decided to start going to a LARP, and I'm really happy for that. She did a lot of LARPing when she lived in Boston and has missed it. There are a few people she knows a little who are involved with that already. I feel really anxious about LARPing myself; acting I can do, but improv not so much. *grins* Plus I worry about not being able to keep track of who is who well enough to be an effective participant.

Hopefully it will end up broadening social circles outside the game too. A lot of the LARPers here were going to a convention that got snowed out, so instead they're having a board game and role-playing day tomorrow that we're going to.

I think dog walking might be perfect for me. I was considering it earlier, but never managed to get together and pursue it. I'm going to start looking into that.
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