Maybe I should just give up trying to aim for the start of the month and just go with the flow? My monthly updates happen mid-month. That’s just the way my life goes 😀 Time for a mid-year monthly update as I tell you all about how I was getting by and geeking by in June 2021!
At the start of the month, I was feeling pretty crappy, to be honest. I’d just had a rough week where I’d had my second covid vaccine and had to deal with people for the first time in ages, and came up against some invisible accessibility barriers. The whole experience triggered my anxiety and I just froze. I should have asked for help and I couldn’t, and I ended up in an immense amount of pain because there was no support already in place. When I finally got to the nurse after 15-20 minutes of queuing and she asked how I was doing, I very bluntly said “I feel like utter crap, to be honest”.
Thankfully I lucked out and got a really nice one (that was two for two) and she listened to me, chatted with me and let me sit with her until the pain eased enough that I could get up again. She was amazing. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop me from having flashbacks later that night and crying myself to sleep because shame hit me hard. I knew I should and could have asked for a chair. That’s what I would have told anyone else in that situation, but I couldn’t. I froze. I had literally just walked into my first vaccine with one person in front of me and an empty room. I had not been prepared in any way for forty-odd people, especially people who did NOT know how to social distance. I watched as a couple in front of me were walking up the back of an old woman the entire time, edging closer and closer. When a supervisor finally came out and told everyone to spread out they walked back straight into me. When I asked them to watch where they were going the woman turned around with this quirky look on her face that told me she was amused as she said “Oh sorry!”
I socially distanced as soon as I got there and the guy behind me followed suit. It was like watching sheep, everyone followed by my example. When I used the hand sanitiser, they did. The girl sitting at the sanitiser who is supposed to ensure people used it was hungover as hell and thanked ME for using it. Five minutes later some guy flirted with her by telling her she had an easy job. I bit my tongue and rolled my eyes; she wasn’t even doing her job.
I’m not sure I would have gotten over how that day and an event that followed shortly after it, would have made me feel if I had not been told by someone that when they went for their vaccine at the same hub that the issues I had were addressed. When there is a heatwave people always remember to hand out water; what they don’t ever think about is CHAIRS. She told me that the staff were ensuring people had water and chairs if they were waiting. I don’t know if my talking to the nurse made a difference or not, or a tweet I sent to our local MSP was noticed (I never got a reply) but it doesn’t matter. Someone actually DID SOMETHING for a change. It didn’t make what I went through ok, but it gave me the tools to work through it.
Things got better as the month went on. I was feeling well enough to push myself a bit and gently start to test my boundaries. I was able to do some things that months ago I wasn’t able to even consider doing! You can find out more about what I got up to later in this post 😉
June was not a very busy month in terms of blog content, it was however, a lot more streamlined. Instead of trying to rush out content I started to properly plan things and that’s because I also started working on my creative writing again. I’ll tell you more about that next month, for now here’s June’s posts:
- Random Thoughts on a Tuesday: June 1st 2021
- Highlights from the Del Rey UK 2021 Virtual Showcase! #delreyshowcase
- Why I’m ditching the toxic community of World of Warcraft for more inclusive MMORPGs
- What happened to….? A blog content update
As you can see from the name of one of June’s posts I stopped playing World of Warcraft. I did mention this in my last monthly update as well so I’m not going to go over it again. There were only a few weeks left in June at that point and I actually managed to time my quitting well; right at the start of another Steam Gaming festival!
Due to horrible pain for the last few weeks I’ve fallen behind with posts (hence the delay with this update, again) and so I’ve not got a review of the demos I played up yet. I played demos for three games; The Inheritance of Crimson Manor, Adam The Storyteller and Swords of Legends Online. The last of these is an MMORPG that blew me away and is going to need its own extensive review which will probably be me rambling about how gorgeous it is.
After the games festival, I returned to Bioshock Infinite and on the 29th of June 2021, I finally finished it!
It’s been sitting in my Steam library since December 2013 and I’ve finally finished it. It’s also the first video game I’ve finished in quite a while. I had somehow managed to avoid spoilers until this playthrough so I knew Booker’s identity thanks to memes on Steam, but I had no idea how the game ended. OMG. I was speechless.
Actual TV shows have finally arrived in the UK!
I started watching:
- The Rookie Season 3
- S.W.A.T Season 4
- MacGyver Season 5
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 22
- Supergirl Season 6
- NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 – I was honestly relieved to be glad of the two cast members that left at the end of this season. One of them was barely there and their character had changed dramatically, they were like an annoying housefly buzzing around. The other one just could not make up their damn mind about anything, and literally had to be told “sorry but you’ve actually been doing the job you’re avoiding for 6 months now”. I really love Fatima and Roundtree and they have such great chemistry together.
- NCIS Season 18 – I was not as upset at seeing this character go as I probably should be? I liked her but I think the way she left and left things made me really dislike her. At that point, I was like “please just go…” and also Katrina Law! I really like her character and how genuine she is (the scene with the stapler was brilliant) that I’m just super excited for her. The way the episode ended made me laugh so much, but apparently, people were freaking out or something? Did they not realise what was happening? Eighteen seasons and they still don’t realise that Gibbs’ is 20 steps ahead of everyone.
- Lucifer Season 5– Oh my goodness. Where to start?! MUSICAL EPISODE. I laughed until I cried.
I had a full plate of reviews in June so I didn’t get much personal reading done, but I didn’t mind because I had some fabulous books to review! Some of my favourite books of the year so far have been from this month.
I spent most of June doing the same as the previous months, spending my life inside and away from people but now I was beginning to think about life with people in it again. Way back before the pandemic even happened I had signed up for group therapy as a way to put myself out there, to start being social again without throwing myself in the deep end. My therapist had explained that the groups they ran were a step in between, a way for people with anxiety to adjust and find their way – to me it sounded perfect.
Then all hell broke loose and instead of meeting people face to face it ended up on Zoom. I admit I was a little disappointed; how could I move forward when I was still stuck IN my house? But it’s worked! And as the months went on my confidence began to build and when the opportunity presented itself to apply for a press pass for a book festival that I have been longing to go to for years I only slightly hesitated – and that was because I’m not a “proper” book blog. It wasn’t anxiety or lack of confidence holding me back!
The Cymera Book festival is Scotland’s Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing and it’s only an hour and 30 ish minutes away from me in Edinburgh! Considering I’ve gone halfway across the UK for a convention for a couple of years now that’s lovely and close 😀 This year it was held online which made it even easier for me to attend. From the safety and comfort of my living room, I was able to attend the convention I’ve been dreaming about since I found out about Cymera a few years ago… and it did not disappoint.
I immediately felt at home chatting away in the chat with the panellists and staff, and the panels themselves were amazing. I’m not going to say anymore because my write up (which has unfortunately been delayed by horrible pain levels the last few weeks) will be coming shortly and I’ll dish all the details then. What I did want to share today is that I went one step further… I went along to meet up for the Genre Writing Groups Get Together featuring the Edinburgh Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, Edinburgh Genre Writers, and Glasgow Science Fiction Writer’s Circle (GSFWC), which was terribly scary for someone with anxiety and I am so glad I did! They were a wonderful group of people and I was actually almost in tears as one of the members of GSFWC introduced their group, describing how welcoming it was to diversity. When she mentioned spoons I knew I’d found a place to belong.
I’ve been a member of their discords ever since and it’s been great. I’ve not applied for the waiting list for GSFWC yet because until I’m able to start going out and build myself up physically I don’t know if I’m going to be able to manage to travel into Glasgow for their meetings. I’d love to, but I don’t want to take up space that is limited until I know for sure what I can manage.
And yes, this does mean that I have officially started writing again. I’ve had a couple of ideas for novels bumbling around in my head and I’d been writing down scraps of ideas for months. After being told at Cymera to get writing I did just that and that very night I knocked out the start of my new novel. I’m now at 2061 words and I’m planning to apply for a mentorship program for breakthrough disabled writers as well. I’d planned to write before ME/CFS came along and derailed all my plans, and it’s a slow process; some weeks I can’t write anything at all. But there are other disabled writers doing it, even people with ME/CFS so there is no reason why I can’t manage it too! I am lucky to have a fantastic support network to keep me going through my dark times. All I need to do is have that little bit of confidence and belief in myself…
Thanks for joining me for another monthly update! I’m not going to make any promises about the timing of the next one. What I am going to say is that if you’re not already following me on Twitter then you should because I have some big announcements coming this month!
What did you get up to in June?
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Image Credits: Covid vaccine sticker photo is from Unsplash.