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Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 02:47 am
Please brainstorm with me.

What's been going on:

Here's the story so far. It's a few pages long, which I realize is considered a wall of text when you're reading on a screen. (In any other context that would be fairly short. Weird how our perceptions work.) Skim it or whatever you need. But context matters. If you're going to help, you should know where I'm coming from, what I've been through, what I've tried, etc.

The short version is that I've got chronic illness, I'm over the hill, and I'm stuck trying to figure out what to do with myself to make a meaningful life.

The following lists will probably be updated as more things come to mind, but here's the overview:

What I'm trying to do:

  • Find a way to be productive.
  • Find a way to make a positive difference in the world. Better, happier, fairer.
  • See if I can start a business that can at least help support me so I'm not reliant on my family's generosity for the rest of my life.

What I've Got Going For Me:

  • I can listen to people, sympathize with them, and try to be supportive. I have patience and a willingness to try to see different points of view.
  • I have enough money available to maybe start a small business.
  • I can often write clearly to express ideas even when I'm too exhausted to think.
  • I've got an above average knowledge and comprehension of science, politics, and various random subjects. I've got a pretty good memory for concepts I've learned, and I can usually explain them in ways that make sense to people.
  • I've got a loving family and good friends who try their best to be understanding and supportive.
  • My immune system kicks butt, and not just my own.
  • I can sew stuffed animals and pillows. (Though I spend more on materials than I could possibly sell them for.)
  • Puns just come naturally to me. My brain likes to make odd connections between random things.
  • I don't have a wheelbarrow here, but I could probably get one. It's worth listing among our assets. (I do not, however, have a flammable cloak.)

My Limitations:

  • I'm physically exhausted. Getting less than 9 hours of sleep in a night can mess me up for days. It's not uncommon for me to be so weary I can't sit up, can hardly draw breath, am really woozy, etc. On a good day, I can walk a mile or so. But I'll pay for it the next day. On a bad day, I can spend the entire day crashed on the couch, barely functional. I cannot, in general, predict when I'll have good or bad days. A string of bad days can last for months or longer.
  • Attempting to exert myself, mentally or physically, exhausts me frighteningly fast. That can include keeping up with realtime conversations, particularly via audio instead of text.
  • My nerves are hypersensitive. I'm constantly in pain. Bright lights, loud noises, high pitched noises, physical contact, etc. etc. are painful. More some days than others. But a friendly slap on the back can ache for several minutes. On rough days, I'm sensitive enough that people making small sounds halfway across the house, though a closed door, while I'm wearing high-end noise dampening ear protectors designed for the gun range, can still be overwhelming.
  • I've got a non-24 "free running" sleep schedule, meaning that I'm awake different hours from week to week. I generally average a 25 hour day, but it can be hard to predict more than a couple of weeks in advance (at best) what hours I'll be awake. Makes regular commitments very difficult.
  • Due to the exhaustion, it can be hard to focus mentally, and I can't maintain focus for long.
  • I'm somewhat dyslexic. (It runs in the family, but I can never remember on which side...) Possibly related is a difficulty translating information from one form to another. It makes coding and diagrams very difficult.
  • I've also got various other autoimmune disorders. Diabetes, hypothyroidism, alopecia totalis (i.e. no hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes).

What I'm Looking For:

  • Practical advice for what I can do.
  • Brainstorming for what kind of business I can start that would employ others in a way that makes a positive impact on the world and generates income for me.

What I'm Not Looking For:

  • "Buck up. Others have it worse." Irrelevant. Yes, you can always find someone who has it worse than you. That doesn't mean that your own struggles aren't real. I'm dealing with my life. My limits. My needs. I'm dealing mentally as best I can. But I need actual practical solutions. Being told to just cheer up and/or get over it is unhelpful.
  • "Have you tried this cure/treatment?" I've been at this for decades. I've worked with more doctors than I can count. We've done research. I've tried medications and treatment regimens. I've explored some "alternative" treatments. I know how to meditate. I'm doing the best I can for myself. Medical marijuana isn't for me and it's not a magical cure-all. If you've got some suggestion that's got actual clinical evidence, I'll consider it. But odds are I've already tried it or been advised by a medical professional that it doesn't apply to my individual case.
  • "Seek professional help." I've tried. Psychiatrists, psychologists, antidepressants, a hypnotherapist. It hasn't been helpful. And it's not what I'm looking for now. I need to address the root issue.
  • Unhelpful or negative comments. I'll ignore them. Spam and trolling will be deleted.

Anyone can comment. I'll respond as I can, if I have something to say. You do not have to have an account or log in to comment, but if you comment anonymously I would appreciate it if you would tell me who you are. If you're not comfortable doing that, I understand.

You can also sign in using OpenID. You should be able to use your WordPress, Blogspot, AOL, Yahoo, LiveJournal, or other participating account to sign in here. You just need your provider's OpenID URL and to be logged in at that provider. For more information, you can try OpenID Explained or the Wikipedia article. (Yeah, I know. You probably haven't used any of those services in years. But the option is there if you want.)

Alternatively, you can message me on Discord (WearsHats) or Twitter (@hataroni) or email me (hatman at dreamwidth dot org). I'd prefer to keep everything here in one place, especially since it allows people to review what others have said and bounce ideas around. But if public comments don't work for you, I'll take them where I can.

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