35 Comments
Apr 21, 2023Liked by Monica Leonelle, Russell Nohelty

This is the last day of my current project. So a little anxiety about the fact that I don't yet know what I'm doing on Monday, but happy for a reduction in hours from my current 65-75 per week. Working on reskilling, which is both exciting and terrifying. Kind of scared of having a serious conversation with either of my partners, because I'm so out of spoons that I don't trust myself not to say something I would regret. But both relationships have building issues that need to be addressed sooner than later.

With next week's paycheck, I'll have saved up enough to pay for my son's top surgery, but a month after asking for it, his therapist still hasn't written his referral letter. Health wise, I'm the best I've been in a while, my sciatica has been in remission for about a month now, but my medically required and medically assisted weight loss has stalled out for the past three months, only halfway to my goal. So, yeah. "Very middle of the thermometer" feels very right

Expand full comment
author

yay! I'm glad you're new project is ending and double yay for your son's top surgery! That's two huge wins. I'll keep my fingers crossed the referral comes through.

Expand full comment
Apr 21, 2023Liked by Monica Leonelle, Russell Nohelty

I'm (surprisingly) pretty good, actually. Thankfully, we've had some very sunny weather these last two weeks and I can feel my seasonal affective disorder wearing off. I'm currently writing the third book in a series, a one-act play, and a graphic novel all at the same time. I'm juggling it all pretty well for now. Ask me again when it's time to launch my third Kickstarter in June. :P

Expand full comment
author

That's amazing. I'm so glad to hear that, especially given the subject of your work. We're coming out with a whole new framework next month we hope will help you with your next launch :)

Expand full comment

I'm looking forward to it! :)

Expand full comment
Apr 21, 2023Liked by Monica Leonelle, Russell Nohelty

Hey! Appreciate the question about how everybody’s doing. I think we need to be asking each other that more often, so thanks for setting the example. Overall, I think it’s fair to say I’m in a better place than I was four years ago, and sleeping more than I was one year ago (my daughter was born in February 2022).

Thanks for the shoutout to my piece in your thread today. It’s always a gamble to open that door around readership but the comments were so nourishing and that’s what counts!

Expand full comment
author

It is very hard to open that door. Luckily, it seems like there's a lot of that on Substack, and I've been very surprised to see so many amazing creators like you being so open about your journey. I'm glad you are on an upward trajectory over the past few years.

Expand full comment

I really resonated to the neutral thinking idea. I've spent a lot of time working on being able to look squarely at both the good times and the bad in my life with, "it is what it is," and move on, and the less time I waste looking at the past and what ifs...or worrying about the future, the more time I've had to do what I love, which is write. I do hope you start to feel better physically, because its hard to be even neutral when ill.

Expand full comment
author

It's so hard to be neutral when ill. However, I will take it any day over being negative while ill. To me I'm already at a win. Before, I was in reverse with my foot on the gas, so slamming the gas and having the engine spin is luxury. I hope you can continue having a positive journey in neutral thinking.

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023Liked by Monica Leonelle, Russell Nohelty

I'm enjoying a 4, and hoping for a burst of 5 if a couple grants come through.

Thanks for including me in your list, I'm glad you enjoyed the article. This is a good nudge, because my to-do list was to do a similar sort of recap for readers. I always appreciate a mix of topics.

Hang in there, the 1.5 is temporary.

Expand full comment
author

Yay! I'm glad you're doing well. I have to tell you, I was literally telling my wife last wife that I can't believe how much I care about roundabouts and invisible road design aesthetics now because of you. Your substack is so great for diving deep into something with enthusiasm.

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023Liked by Monica Leonelle, Russell Nohelty

I've always had issues with authority, and it's amazing how much built environment stuff is done because "that's the way we've always done it." I don't like that answer, even if I don't know what the better option is.

I'm happy to know you're now a street evangelist!

Expand full comment
author

I am! I think right before I found your post I watched a video on Youtube about how everything bad in the USA comes down to housing ordinances disallowing for mixed use spaces, which is a problem they don't have in Europe. In fairness I might have found that video because of your Substack, but since I listen to the Weeds on Vox and they spend a LOT of time talking about housing regulations, I'm now a convert.

Expand full comment

Road design? Sounds like I just found a new substack to read

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023Liked by Russell Nohelty

Today's my birthday and honestly fried. Most of it is dealing with substandard living conditions and a sister-in-law who is toxic and likes to create drama.

Expand full comment
author

I'm so sorry to hear you're dealing with such toxicity. Happy birthday though! I hope you get to have a nice day today and recover some spoons.

Expand full comment
Apr 22, 2023Liked by Russell Nohelty

I'm doing pretty good. I've had a hectic week but, without me realising it, I've been kinda neutral towards it. Some really annoying things happened but then some exciting things happened, too. So I'm just out here seesawing.

Expand full comment
author

That's lovely.

Expand full comment

I’d say I’m running at about a 7...feeling good about decisions made last year (left teaching/public Ed after 20 years to go full time as a creative) but tired from the grind. And yet happy in that fatigue. Good so read of so many others doing work with words on your thread.

Expand full comment
author

The grind is hard even in the best of times.

Expand full comment

I'm in that 1.5 range, but looking forward to a vacation is helping me head a little more towards 2.5 in attitude, with a hope for more. I was sick, then had an allergic reaction, and then... well, I was told to rest again. I'm beginning to think I don't know what "rest" really means. I'm not trying to whine or get pity here, just being honest. I pushed a bunch of posts back on the schedule and I'm spending some time holding certain things close to my chest, while letting others trickle out into the world. I'm actually thinking of doing an "always wait 48 hours before posting" rule because sometimes in my urge to get things out for my socials, I rush and that isn't always pretty or sensical. I gave myself a poetry challenge for April and honestly, that's been my favorite thing to work on, seconded by a series of writing sessions on a project I'm not sharing (yet).

Expand full comment

Oh... and I missed the tough post the other day... so, now that I've read that... I struggle with depression and anxiety. I already take meds for a thyroid condition so it's all counseling, and all those lists of things to do to help and I get why you don't want to hear them. There's a part of me that thinks that maybe I can see the beauty in melancholy, in a way that I don't know that I can describe to anyone that's healthy, but for some reason, this weird idea helps me. One of the other "not so fun" things about depression is that with my faith life, I sometimes get people who think "but you believe, so you should be cured." Um, nope. I believe, but still have depression. It's brain chemistry, body chemistry, part of the physical illness I carry in my body that has no full cure. Learning to accept that and love/like/be okay with who I am is a long learning process. Will I ever get to a "finish" point on that learning curve? Unlikely.

Expand full comment
author

I'm so sorry you are dealing with all of that. I listened to a podcast last month that was all about how we get rest wrong. Some people rest by unplugging, but other people rest by being busy, but just not on "work". I'm definitely the latter type of human who gets rest by having time to follow my passion.

Monica and I are putting the finishing touches on a new framework based on all the work we've done separately and together for the last decade next month which I hope will help people frame how they work best and how to best nurture their ecosystem.

Expand full comment
Apr 21, 2023Liked by Monica Leonelle, Russell Nohelty

****TRIGGER WARNING - Suicide comments****

***************************************************

This feels like I am doing nothing but complaining and feeling sorry for myself but I guess that's why you said if we feel brave.. I have an undiagnosed (after 14 years of tests) chronic, intractable pain illness. (Intractable: it's there 24/7, doesn't come and go) To go along with this, add in the expected depression, anxiety, PTSD, and now, ADHD (finally diagnosed last year. Wish they could have found this 46+ years ago). Meds work so-so.

Right now.. I am a 1, maybe a 2. Nothing special going on. Just the daily struggle against the pain, the brain demons, lack of spoons, and utter exhaustion from fighting against all of the above. I'm tired. used up. And if I was on my own (re: no wife), I don't know if I could keep fighting. Fortunately, I do have an amazing wife. Without her, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I wouldn't be here.

Many times over the last 14 years I was ready to give up and quit. Especially with the stress and worry about not being able to get my pain meds with the war on opioids. I know of three people who lost 50% or more of their daily pain med doses abruptly and took their own lives because their pain was greater than they could live with. I have been lucky so far.

The mental healthcare in this country is garbage. Healthcare in general in this country is garbage. Unless you are rich. We have "good" insurance and we still struggle with finding good doctors, being able to afford my meds. At one point, one of my meds cost $1500 a month, and that came out of pocket till we met the deductible, which usually took us about 3 months, even with all my doctor visits and treatments, and tests. And that was only one of my 14 prescription drugs.

Your previous post about Beige was great. It has given me something to think about and about trying for that mindset.

Thanks for listening.

Expand full comment
author

I'm so sorry you deal with all of that. One of the hardest part of chronic illnesses is that there are almost always comorbidities. In fact, once you have one condition, it seems like it's easier and easier to get others to pile on. I wish I had more advice, but just know you are seen, you acknowledged, and you are loved.

Expand full comment

Thank you Russell. For everything.

Expand full comment

I actually just wrote a blog a few days ago called "I'm not okay, and that's okay".

In two weeks time my 16 year old nephew committed suicide, my kids' ex-stepfather shot up his apartment complex and died after a ten hour standoff, my father was hospitalized with difficulty breathing, and I got the latest in a series of monster sinus infections.

So April has been a lousy month in a lousy year in a lousy decade.

Expand full comment
author

I'm so sorry. That is a very, very bad month. I don't know if you listen to Davie Hause, but it reminds me of this song. https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/davehause/snowglobe.html

Expand full comment

Oh, nice--that song is spot on!

Expand full comment
Apr 24, 2023Liked by Russell Nohelty

Struggling to stay positive recently even if good things are in progress. The world is on fire and going through the day to day motions seems pointless to the big picture at times.

I am shopping my first traditionally published book to small publishers, working my day job, trying to improve my health, continuing to write, and trying not to stress over things completely outside of my control.

Expand full comment
author

I'm so sorry to hear that. IDK if you read my post last week about neutral thinking and how it helped improve my mental health, but maybe it can help you, too. https://www.authorecosystem.com/p/everything-is-beige-here

Expand full comment
author

Trigger warnings do apply, as I talk about my suicidal ideation and depression.

Expand full comment

That link won't open but I'll look for it.

Expand full comment
author

sorry, I changed the subdomain last night. https://authorstack.substack.com/p/everything-is-beige-here

Expand full comment
deletedApr 26, 2023Liked by Russell Nohelty
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
author

I'm so sorry to hear that.

Expand full comment