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is this real life, is it just fantasy [Aug. 6th, 2017|06:33 pm]
My work is meant to have four shift patterns: early, backshift, split shifts, and nights. For the last six weeks I have been working secret option number five: bizarre shifts, which is just a grab bag of random shifts, with no rhyme or reason to them. Maybe it was that, or maybe it's been the Scottish summer weather, unpleasant humidity interrupted by occasional torrential downpours, that resulted in my having a brain weasel attack the other week.

Someone showed me a picture they'd taken of me; it was of two large dogs trying to sit on my lap at the same time, and I looked at it and thought: that would be a cute photo if not for the giant troll woman in it, and then I thought: huh?? because I thought I'd dealt with my self loathing issues, except of course I haven't. I live in a house with no mirrors and don't let anyone take my photograph. That's pretty much the opposite of having dealt with it.

The really annoying thing is that intellectually I know I'm not actually a troll. I'm on the goofy looking side of normal looking. Interesting looking, if you like that kind of thing. And more importantly I'm kind, well intentioned, good with dogs, and generally hilarious. And yet. I see one picture of myself and I'm too depressed to leave the house for two days.

The second really annoying thing is that as much as this is in my head, it's also very much not only in my head. There's a fair amount of societal reinforcement that's gone on. The first time I remember being called fat happened round about the age that I was old enough to start remembering anything at all. Then there's the cat calling; I haven't been traditionally cat called since my student days, but what I always got more of was the version where guys would pretend to puke at the sight of me, which was as lovely as it sounds. And it comes from the same place as all other cat calling: that your appearance is there for public comment, regardless of how unwanted, unsolicited, cruel, or actually frighting.

Anyway, so that was a two day brain spiral that I could have lived without. And I'm fine now. As much as the internet is a warren of terrible mental health advice one of the things I've found legitimately useful is anthropomorphising my unhealthy thoughts as brain weasels. I'm much better now at going: disregard that thought, it wasn't real. Bad weasel! Go away!

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