It’s Okay to Not Be Okay – an Update from FJ

Its Okay to Not Be Okay - Why Im taking a Month Off

It’s okay to not be okay is a phrase that has long been part of how chronically-ill people relate to each other. However, it’s only been in the last year or so that it has gained prominance. Even the Scottish First Minister used this phrase during one of her COVID-19 updates. So in this post, I’m going to be talking about what’s going on with me and my family and why I need to accept this phrase for myself. I will attempt to be as brief as I can be.


FJ’s Family Situation

Where Are We Now?

So, here in Scotland, we have slightly stricter (or delayed) lock-down easing going on. However, nearly two weeks ago the rules allowed us to move back home, after three months at the in-laws. So we are at home. My wife is still on furlough (being paid but not being asked to work) and NJ is here most of the time.

From this week they’re gradually reintroducing NJ to the idea of being at her grandparents during office hours. This could take 4+ weeks to finish but needs to be done for when wifey might be off furlough.

What This Means

  1. I have more housework to do in my daily routine than at the in-laws, so more physical exertion.
  2. NJ is awake the same length of time as wifey and is hyperactive. So she’s always on the go and nearly always making noise. That makes concentration highly unlikely.
  3. Whatever I do can be interrupted at any moment.

My Health

This Year So Far

  1. My Mum passed away after her battle with Alzheimers (Read: In There Somewhere).
  2. My father-in-law collapsed, leading to him being banned from driving for six months. This meant wifey’s had to do more driving than was the case previously.
  3. I ended up in hospital for a few days after a random seizure.
  4. We went into lock-down at the in-laws when COVID-19 hit the UK hard.
  5. My cat had to be put to sleep (apparently he had a cancer as well as loads of other stuff wrong).
  6. We’ve moved all our stuff back home again.

I don’t list this for sympathy – just stating facts to give context to the rest.

I’m Not Okay

I was struggling while at the in-laws but, with the extra childcare and my own space, I had time to process it. Now, I don’t really.

Since moving back, my energy has seriously crashed. I’m sleeping way more than normal and not feeling less tired. My pain levels and other Fibromyalgia symptoms yo-yo like crazy and my depression is surfacing more than before.

Although it’s okay to not be okay, I am not exactly at peace with all this.

What This Means

  1. I’ve struggled to play a game for more than a couple of hours a day. Yesterday I managed 3 hours or so, but it’s taken nearly two weeks to get to that point.
  2. I can’t play a game that requires a lot of concentration or skill. Coupled with NJ being here, any aspect of gaming that could involve cutscenes or long quests/missions, is out at the moment.
  3. I need to prioritise gaming for gaming’s sake, to enjoy it and to rest.
  4. I don’t have the concentration span, or energy, for detailed guide writing.

What’s Happening, Then?

The above is, realistically, a simple summary. I feel like any energy and adrenaline I did have has been drained from me. I don’t feel “me” a lot of the time.

So, I have had to come to the conclusion: I am taking a month off ‘traditional’ blogging. I’ll explain that through what I am, and am not, going to be doing.

What I’m Not Doing

  • New gaming guides, except anything under “what I may do”.
  • No long-form posts
  • No new LOTRO deeds/maps (except, see below).

What I May Do

“May” is an important word here. I don’t have the strength to push myself, so I won’t try. If/when I feel like doing something, it will be within these limits:

  1. Updating LOTRO Festival Guides
  2. There is one LOTRO deed guide needed to finish up the Bree-land Deeds. That requires little except to pull it together.
  3. Hopefully both SWTOR FanFiction and LOTRO FanFiction
  4. My own Fantasy Writing. I may publish standalone chapters like Happier Times, but my main focus is Book 1 at this point.

One sole exception to this will depend on when LOTRO announce the new Aragorn and Arwen event. As LOTRO festivals are not about combat I will still try to put that guide together. That said, in my current state, it may take me a week or more to do it properly.

How/What I Play

My family situation plus my health have a direct impact on what I can play and when.

SWTOR

Master Oteg from the Taral V Flashpoint in SWTOR
Until NJ is properly into a routine of the working days being at her grandparents, my SWTOR time will have to be slowly reintroduced too.

Some parts of SWTOR require a certain time allocation and I can’t suddenly drop what I’m doing (because of Level Sync). This means SWTOR time will need to be either during the day when NJ is at the grandparents, or late at night. And pain impacts my ability to play this too.

But I will try to “rehab” myself back in, maybe on my SWTOR F2P account.

LOTRO

Glinmaethor does a spot of hunting at Dawn
My LOTRO approach is nearly “normal” – because I’m overlevelled on my main character, I can continue exploring ‘new’ content.

However, my dualboxing / duoquesting will likely not happen for a while because of low energy and playing a few characters makes me restless.

The main issue here is energy – two hours in a day doesn’t get you far. And when I’m down, I don’t want to spoil my exploration of a new region with the black cloud over my head. I want to enjoy it, which conversely means, playing it less than I would normally.

FFXIV

My FFXIV Miqo'te in a lush Forest under a blue sky
In the same vein as SWTOR, I’m only getting into Final Fantasy XIV late at night, if I want to progress the main story.

It also has cutscenes and quests requiring certain time allocations. So it is treated much the same as SWTOR. The only difference is I have some reputations to work on and crafting to level. And, as with LOTRO, you can overlevel in FFXIV , which makes these things interruptible.


TL;DR I’m Not Okay but I’m Slowly Improving

As I said, I’m really not okay. We’ve been home nearly two weeks and I barely feel like I’m over the move. So I’m just pausing my normal stuff. My main focuses will be drawing and creative writing. My fantasy book 1 is nearly in a completed draft, so I will also try to get that finished during this time. But I will only do what I feel like doing each day.

I am slowly recovering my focus, but even writing this for an hour has made me feel shattered. I need more rest time than before. So I’m taking a month of normal stuff and may well be less active on Twitter – I don’t have the energy to keep up at the level I’m used to.

Thank you for your amazing support – and your understanding. And if it looks like I’m going back on my plan, feel free to reprimand me and remind me: it’s okay to not be okay.


All my content will always be freely available. However, if you'd like to support myself and my family, please consider buying us a virtual coffee. Either way, thank you for visiting, I appreciate it!

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Fibro Jedi

A 30-something Shadow Jedi, married and have a small daughter. By that I mean "young", not just "short". I have a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia andI play LOTRO, SWTOR and FFXIV and blog about two of them. Social Media has connected me with so many people and some of those have become amazing friends too! As a hobby I am relearning drawing, which you can see on my DeviantArt profile.