Blood, Needles, and an Irritable Bowel

Sorry for the lack of updates lately on anything “meaningful”. I’ve been a bit busy and my gut is doing some really nonsensical things as well. I’ve been blessed with a really sensitive stomach and I can’t tell you how many times that I say, sometimes aloud, that I wish I could just sell my gastrointestinal track on eBay or something or trade it for something that actually works.

From when I was around 5 years old, I remember having a problem with my gut. I’d be sent to the school nurse so many times in the mornings because my stomach constantly got cramps. Their solution was just sitting on the toilet until I pooped. I that’s when I realized that I had a really big phobia with public toilets.

Then, all through my childhood and adolescence, I had the exact same problem. Most mornings, I’d have a big pain in the gut almost every single day. Fast forward to my adult life, and it still happens. Except now it gets really, really bad before job interviews or meetings in general. Hell, it happens even before I go to work, a lot. I take a lot of medicines just to keep it calmed down so I don’t have to live sitting on the toilet. I try not to take that much medication, but finally bit the bullet and talked to my doctor today who gave me a prescription for a medication for irritable bowel syndrome. Hopefully that will quash it when I need it. However, if it doesn’t work, I’m supposed to go back and try something else because I can’t live my life everyday with a stressed stomach. I’m pretty upset that I’ve gone this far without doing something about it.

I honestly think that I let stress get to me so that’s why it happens. Stress though, for me, is what most people take for granted. I can totally stress myself out over the most trivial things like what I’ll have for breakfast the next morning or the possibility of me being late to ANYTHING. It doesn’t matter what it is, even if there’s like a 0.03% chance of it happening.

Totally not me. I don’t wear a tie unless I’m forced to.

You can imagine what I am like before blood test results. Hell, you can imagine what I’m like after I get blood taken and have to WAIT for those results. It’s really irritating. (It’s even worse when the doctor’s office loses those blood test results, like what happened today.)

Good news is that my HIV check was clear. There was actually no reason for me to worry about that, but of course I stressed myself overthinking that. (Even with my first test when I had never had sex, I stressed over it. Of course, I told the doctor that I liked men so that automatically warranted an HIV check, even though I told him I liked men, but didn’t have sex. He did tell me thanks for telling him that. And I was like, yeah sure. I’ve always been totally honest and upfront with my doctors.)

The Mood Project

And so, over a day or two, my little project has progressed. It’s working but haven’t merged it yet. There are a few user interface things that I need to work on.

I’ve also decided that once I get it working with WordPress, I’m (hopefully) going to make it into a mental health tool.

It’s coming along. Obviously, it’s not called MoodOS. It was the first thing that popped into my head. That’s also not what it’s going to “be” either. Cut me some slack! 

As some of you may know, I’m very passionate about mental health. It’s always been hard for me to communicate certain things about myself to other people, especially about how I may be feeling. Honestly, I hide my overall mental health from people closest to me: my mother, my sister, my partner, and my closest friends. It’s not that I don’t trust them, but I just don’t want them to worry about me but at the same time, I don’t want to get myself backed down into a hole where it’s really hard to get out.

As I’ve explained before, one of the biggest reasons I’ve started this project is because I want to keep a close watch on my mood and my general well-being. I want to see whether I am improving, or if I need a little extra help from someone, whether it’s from a health professional or from someone close to me. I want to see visually how my ups and downs are going, because I couldn’t really tell you how I was feeling 2 months ago, let alone 2 weeks ago. I can barely remember how I was feeling 2 days ago!

I am quite stubborn. I got that from my father. I find it really hard to openly discuss things with people I know because I don’t want to worry them. I don’t want to bore them. I don’t want to seem like I’m overly dramatic. Though some people have assured me that I can speak to them when I need to, it’s super hard to make that first step.

Now, how does this all fall together? I think that it’s nice to have something, an app possibly, to record these moods and feelings and analyze them and make little suggestions like “It might be a good time to have a chat with someone.” There’s a list of people who you consider your closest friends and family that can be pushed a little intro message of some sort. Not a super serious message, but something to push for communication. Something that says “I’d really like to have a chat about what’s going on lately.” Of course, nothing would get sent without the OK to do it. It can suggest places to go to get more help, if it’s needed. Something informational. Something where you can just open up the communication lines with someone, no matter who it is.

Sure, it’s even hard to start that very first step even: to download an app or sign up for a service. I don’t expect to be able to reach everybody who I would love to reach, but it’s a start.

This is just the beginning though. I’m going to have a chat with a few health professionals in the next week to see if it’s feasible to do and if there is a real need. Of course, to be funded would be great, but I’m not expecting that right now.

I am still going to develop it and use it for myself because I really like the thought of me being totally open and honest. I’ve gotten the databases and a lot of code already done, and it’s running (except I need to make the widget match my site). The pic I’ve included here is just the very start of it. No, it’s not chatting. It looks like it, but it’s kinda grabbing from my chat styling.

Unnamed, self-controlled Twitter clone that may morph into a mental health tool. More research needs done! (Ignore the updates. They’re not real, of course. No new chickens here. Added trivia: I call my cockatiel a “chicken”.)

I thought since my packing orders from the last thing I was working on, this is a natural thing to do. I need to keep my IT stuff up to scratch.

That’s all for now. I’m fine, really.

My Ever-changing Mood, Documented

Emoji_u1f604.svgYesterday, a project I’m working on for my weblog, took up most of my time. I spent most of it uploading files and installing server software, only to realize that I didn’t even really need it. At least I got a bit of coding done.

So what is it? I don’t know if any of you remember it or not, but there was a big thing about people posting their mood on the internet, you know, whether they were sad, happy, confused, or other emotions like that. It was simply a face with a word next to it. I used a service called imood to change my mood.

You can post your own or see how the internet’s mood is in general. Right now it’s feeling The current mood of the Internet at www.imood.com. So that’s about it. I also had a friend who made his own little system like this a while back and it was pretty good too.

One of the things I didn’t like is that I could feel a certain way, but couldn’t really elaborate on it and as far as I knew, I didn’t have a history of how I am feeling. I kind of like statistics and how my mood fluctuates over time and show it as a graph or something like that. Some of it is done. I’m using emoticons from Emoji One.

I don’t know whether it’s necessary or not, but I’m building it for myself and I’ll be posting the result here. Additionally, if I do a good enough job, I’m going to try to make a WordPress plug-in. We will see how it goes.

And yes, I’m fully capable of doing it. This isn’t one of those things where I say something like “Surfing? Looks easy. I can do that.” I can actually do it. Since my audience here is quite small, I don’t really expect people to find out about it through here.

Again, this is another thing I’m going to make so I can control it, post whatever, and maintain it however I want. If other people see value in it, that’s a bonus.

It’s unnamed right now. I’ll have to think about that.

Early to Rise and Early To Bed

“Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy, but socially dead.” — Moral #5, Animaniacs

For some reason, it seems like I do so much better when I wake up early in the mornings. That has the unfortunate side effect of not being able to sleep late when I can. My parents were always going to sleep early and waking up very, very early. I actually used that to my advantage during the summer months when I didn’t have to go to school. I’d be awake by the time my mom woke up, and once I heard her car leave, I’d get up and watch cartoons or play games. To me, it always felt like I was getting a lot more out of my summer vacation that way. It had that slight side effect of wanting to go to bed early though, but that was fine. I learned pretty early that if you are noisy at night, my dad would wake me up even EARLIER and force me to stay up. That’s when I hated it.

I think I just hate/hated having someone else wake me up!

These days, J and I have really weird sleeping schedules. I try to go to sleep around 10:00 to 10:30 but since he doesn’t go to sleep sometimes until around 2:00 am, I end up going to sleep, but not getting enough rest, if that makes sense. Then all I hear is clicking of the keyboard on his phone, and I see the light from it and it takes all my willpower not to say “You do know that I have to wake up in 2 hours, right?” He’s always been that way. He likes sleeping late and waking up late. I like going to sleep earlier and waking up early. Even on my days off, I wake up a bit early. Not 4:00 am early, but about 2 or 3 hours later.

I don’t even attempt to wake him up before 10:00 am anymore. As for me, if I sleep after 10:00 am, I feel like I’ve wasted the entire day. Probably psychological, but hey, it’s kinda stuck with me over the years. I use it as an excuse to be lazy!

Facing a Fear Out of Desperation

Do you have those days where you’re afraid to move because you have a feeling that everything that can go wrong will go wrong? That’s the best explanation of my day so far.

I woke up this morning (at 4 am) with a bit of stomach pain so I was like well, what the heck, I can fix this. I took some medicine for stomach cramps, drank peppermint tea, and took peppermint oil capsules just so it would stop. It was still nagging by the time I left. So I walked to the train station, which takes me about 20 minutes, got on the train and sat down.

Stomach continued to give me trouble.

I got to the next station and told myself that it’s not too late to go back now. I could still make it back home without much effort. No, can’t do that because I have important stuff to do and it really wasn’t that bad. The train arrived to the next station and my gut was bothering me even more. Fabulous. I think I was starting to look pretty terrible because a lady kept looking at me. Finally, I got to the point where I couldn’t handle it anymore and…

…went to the restroom. The restroom on the train.

Anybody who knows me knows that I have a really big fear of public toilets. Like, I would rather explode than sit on a toilet. But it was either travel for the next hour smelling like shit (either way), or stink up the restroom. My mind was racing and I just had to put that aside because, yeah, it wasn’t going to wait.

I pretty much spent the whole morning on the toilet–on a public toilet. I still feel incredibly violated. Scarred for life. But most of all, I felt very dirty. I still feel dirty.

Because my immunisations and blood tests need a little bit of love, I thought I’d pass the doctor’s office and get a blood serology to see what exactly immunisations I need. She said – oh, we can do this today if you want. I was like, um, I’m a bit busy this morning. She suggested the afternoon. So, I said yes. Right now I am waiting for that.

So I haven’t really eaten much and I feel dehydrated still after drinking a bottle of water. I’m not really in a mood to be poked with needles, not that I ever am in the mood, but it has to be done. After this, I am going back home and I’m crawling into bed. J had a super early morning too (but I had to wake up earlier). Maybe I’ll have some company by the time I get back.

So that’s my shitty morning and I’m afraid to see what the rest of the day has planned for me. I really wish now that I didn’t live an hour and a half away from where I have to work and study. I’m just too tired to deal with it today.

Oh, and by the way, I not only stunk up one restroom, I stunk up two of them. That’s okay though because it was worth it.

Engage

If you haven’t looked at my “About Ben” page yet or in a long time, there’s something new on there. If you don’t want to go check it out, then that’s really fine. No problem because I’m going to have a little chat about that now. Basically, I’ve been holding a secret for a long time and I’m ready to write something about it here. (Of course, if you prefer the tl;dr approach, just read my profile page.)

The tl;dr version of it is that I am engaged and have been for over a year.

It happened while I was in the USA and it was on Valentine’s Day in the USA (so it was 15 Feb 2016 here). It was also 9 months after we started dating. To me, at the time, that was a bit quick and I was also quite scared at the prospect that I would be a married man eventually. I believe that once it happens, it’s final. I don’t want to be one of those people who gets married and then divorces four times over the course of my life if it’s not really that necessary. So it was a major thing and I had to think about it for a day or so. (We had talked about it from the beginning saying that it was something we both were looking for in a partner.)

Eventually, I said “yes” and we moved in together permanently. I met his family here in Australia and I met his mother when she came to Australia. They’re all really nice to me and from what I gather, they like me. J and I have some rough spots sometimes and I know he talks to them, but hopefully it’s not all bad.

Since same-sex marriage here isn’t legal yet, we talked about going to New Zealand to do it, where it is legal. Then I said “Hey, let’s go to Hawaii instead.” From there, I asked myself why I would go to the USA like that and not go closer to my hometown where my friends and family could go. So, I decided that’s what I would do. I planned to do that at the end of this year, but then started another course of study. Then, I settled at the end of next year, 2018.

To me, that’s kind of putting a bit of a buffer period between engagement and marriage, something I think, psychologically, I need. That would give my partner some time to run away screaming at some point if he wanted to. Indirectly, that applied to me too! It also gives me time to plan something nice when I go there. Also, I’d love for my family to be involved too.

I don’t expect and never expected something extravagant because I feel like that money can be put to better use. I’m not a huge fan of big weddings. My idea is just to do it, get it done, and then have fun with everybody afterwards. Obviously, I’m not interested in going into a church of any kind to do it because religion doesn’t play an important part of my life and I wouldn’t want anybody to catch the gay. I’m just kidding about that. There are religious people out there who are kind and who don’t self-destruct over two people of the same sex getting married.

I see those nice marriage ceremonies with people dressed up in traditional Indian clothes and I’d love to do that, but I will have my chance! Ha ha.

Yes, it was a very quick engagement which I think a lot of people didn’t understand. The way that I think about it is that if other people in other cultures can meet and be married in a month (then have totally happy lives together), then I think I can do this. I am happy with this guy. Sure, I bitch and complain about him sometimes and getting used to his culture is taking time, but all in all, I am happy and I’m happy being with him.

And so with that, my secret is out. Now, I just have to hope that Trump doesn’t fuck everybody over. Here’s hoping for the best! 🙂

No Longer Needed?

What I want to write about today is a perfect reason why I didn’t kill off my weblog, or why I have one in the first place.

I’m frustrated. I’m extremely frustrated.

code

It’s a long story, but I’m going to tell you the short version of it. For quite a while, I have been working on what’s considered as a major IT project, alone. I wasn’t being paid for the work I was doing because I said that I would keep 49% of the project since it was something that I believed would generate monthly income for me. I think that was pretty generous. I put a huge amount of time, energy, and money into getting it operational and a few times, the project had become stalled. I worked on it anyway because I wanted it to work. That’s fine. I didn’t mind that.

Time has passed and the project is being passed around and is probably going to be sold today. Unfortunately, it’s the concept itself and not the software. I was told over the weekend to stop working on it immediately. I went to a meeting with the feeling that I am just an extra person that no one knows what to do with anymore since the company wanted his own developers to write the software. I left pissed off. Then the other person working on it talked to someone else about selling the concept to someone else. I became even more pissed off about that.

I know that I am not a founder, so it’s really not up to me. He’s not a businessperson and I have offered to bring someone onboard who knows what he’s doing, but that didn’t work. Though I’ve done a lot of extensive work on this stuff and have been around since the beginning, I am not consulted on anything, and I’m not being consulted on IT matters anymore.

I’m just mad and will probably bring it up next time, but have to wait until after a meeting today (one that I am not going to).

Oh well, I’m just going to have to get over it, I guess. The uncertainty is exactly what has caused me to focus more on my previous career. It’s not sitting in front of a computer all the time at least. 🙂

Right? Right. It’s just going to take time for me to get rid of this rage. This is probably the first step in doing just that!

Hello, Again

Isn’t it frustrating when someone says they’re going away, but ends up not actually going away? Or maybe it’s a pleasant surprise?

Well there are a few reasons why I’m back:

I need to vent and I need to vent in a place where I am in control of the content. I know that I can post anything I want here (and really, I don’t have the problem of wanting to say things that are illegal). You see, I am the ultimate moderator of what gets published and kept here. I have no “boss”. I don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing and have someone report it. It’s free speech really, and thankfully my web host really likes free speech.

As I’ve said before, I use my weblog as a “free” type of therapy. By nature, I’m not outgoing and I don’t like to open up to people about the problems that  I have. For some reason, I see that as weak. I’ve really tried to change my mindset but it’s difficult. I don’t write for attention. Well, okay, a little bit of attention is fine, but I don’t expect a ton of sympathy for anything. I see it as maybe the things that I post will help people think about their own situation. That’s why I would post things about my mental state and things, so hopefully people will see it and say “You know what? I feel the same way. I’m not alone.” Mental health is something very close and important to me.

My domain registration was about to expire and I knew I wasn’t going to let it expire, so why have a domain name if I’m not going to use it, right? All of my usernames match this domain name. Why let them go to waste. I hope this makes sense. 😉

I feel a bit stupid because I said “Goodbye” only to come back a few days later. Apparently, I didn’t think things over very well. I do know that my partner told me a week or two again that he’s going to stop reading what I type here because the sweet stuff isn’t any good if I don’t act. He’s right about that. It was one of the reasons why I wanted to stop, so I can communicate with him a little more. Do you remember what I wrote up there about having a hard time to open up to people how I feel? Yeah, I thought by quitting this weblog, I might be able to talk to him more and share my feelings. For the last 20 years, people have been wanting me to do that and it hasn’t happened yet.

I didn’t say that I was leaving for attention or to mislead anybody. I really had intentions of stopping and just going to Twitter or something. I can’t limit my online chatter to 140 letters. I also really hate when people post 8 Twitter updates in a row.

So here I am again. No more threats. I promise. Maybe a few more breaks from posting though when I’m super busy. I’ve lived my life in blog form too long. It’s harder to say goodbye than I thought (or think) it is.