There are four things I need a certain amount of to function properly and don't always quite get:
4. Social Interaction
All these things I am normally capable of handling well. If I get just a little less of something than I need, I can recognize that and correct the situation. However, if I am getting a lot less than I need, I tend (1) not to realize it for a while and (2) to be unbalanced by the lack in ways that make it really hard to fix.
Food is not usually a big problem. I stay in the "just a little hungry" zone for a long time, I have a normal eating schedule, and even if I don't notice I've not eaten until I've gone past "hungry" into "eww, food doesn't sound good at all" I can always go grab a glass of water and a box of crackers or something similarly effortless and bland, which will hold me until I can gather the wits to actually cook something and get my tummy used to the thought of eating. Generally lack of food is only a problem if I've been sick, or sometimes if I've been really busy and have therefore been eating a lot of crackers and toast and cereal and not a lot of vegetables or protein.
Sleep is not usually a big problem, because the way I cease functioning when I'm short on sleep is to fall over and go splat, so this one, conveniently, fixes itself. It can be a problem if I have to get up at a particular time of day, and am chronically low enough on sleep that I'm too tired to exercise and therefore don't feel tired enough to fall asleep at the end of the day. But weekends generally fix that right up by letting me catch up on sleep.
Exercise has been a problem lately. I didn't realize I needed it until I got out of college and didn't have daily walking to/from/around campus along with fencing club for three hours once or twice a week. The problem with exercise is that it's really hard for me to recognize when it's what I need, and one of the symptoms of not getting enough (chronically) is that I really, really don't feel like exercising. If I have been getting enough, and I miss a day, then I feel super-energetic and get all bouncy, but if I don't get enough for several days in a row, then I become lethargic. In Pittsburgh, I had a nice after-work walk and jog routine going, but winter kinda smacked that down. Since settling in here, I've been trying to get a daily routine going that includes a bike ride, but I have not got to the point where it's a habit yet. I really really should go out soon, but it's raining. I know I need more exercise because "60 degrees but it's raining!" sounds like a good excuse, which it is not.
Social interaction is, I think, the source of most of the problem I'm having right now. It is a major issue in general, because I can't fix it by myself (like I can everything else), and the way missing it breaks me is extremely effective at stopping me from doing anything about it. Basically, I need a particular sort of energy built up from being with people I already know to be at all comfortable interacting with people I don't know. So if I'm not getting enough socialization with people I already know, I can't go out and find new people. Also, I find it sort of uncomfortable to ask people to do lots of things with me if they haven't invited me first, because I start to feel like I'm bothering them. This gets worse when I'm down because of insufficient interaction (very helpful reaction, yes), and it also gets really hard to think of things to talk about to send people e-mail or chat on the phone or anything.
I didn't think this was going to be a huge big problem before we moved here, because we do know people here. And I had a lovely social weekend (Saturday I went clothes shopping with leback [there's another post or six in Historical Shopping Trauma, but this was a triumphant trip and I did in fact find pants] while andres_s_p_b went off to find a larger comic book store; then we went to assorted strange computer surplus shops with brooksmoses, which was more interesting than I expected; then we had tasty Mexican food and enjoyable conversation with brooksmoses and suzanne. Sunday we went to pick up our last two boxes from Andres' uncle's house, and stayed for dinner and further nice chatting.), which under normal circumstances would have been great, but it's basically all I got all week and it does not seem to have been enough.
Thursday (Friday? My temporal memory, it is not so good) I was a mess because of insufficient social interaction, but was able to pull myself together enough to set up bits of the weekend and alert andres_s_p_b to the problem so he could set up other bits of the weekend, and I talked to my mom and my sibling, and that helped. (I told andres_s_p_b, when he was giving me a hug in the morning, that I needed about six more of those, from different people, to feel all the way better. I got one from Mom via ICQ, and one in e-mail. So that helped a little.)
Sunday (before dinner) I was a little stressball about something entirely different, and thought I'd worked out what all that was about. After dinner, when I had had time to stick words on things, andres_s_p_b and I had a good long productive talk, which is exactly half of what I need to do to get that particular source of stress to go away. I felt way better, and thought I'd fixed the dissolving-into-stressball problem entirely. Which, given today's emotional weather, turns out not to be the case.
I don't think this can possibly be all about the other half of Sunday's issue, because it's not something I ought to be apprehensive about, and while there is a certain amount of irrational terror floating around there's not that much. (Although I do have this issue with uncertainty, and god knows there's a lot of that involved.) And I don't think much of it can be about insufficient social contact, because that usually just makes me act like a hermit, not burst into tears. There are other unpleasant things going on:
1. Niobe has a lump, which we are going to have removed on Wednesday (and spay her while she's under). Logically, I shouldn't be very worried about this, because it's small and in a good spot and the vet's done lots of these, but I am still concerned.
2. Work has been really bad lately. As mentioned earlier, I really don't like uncertainty. I like to know what I'm doing, and be able to plan out the next few weeks. Within the last month and a half my group's been shifted to four different major projects, which has been really, really unhelpful to my general stability.
3. Although we're mostly unpacked, we are not all the way organized yet, so there's a lot of clutter and mess around, which I find stressful.
4. I have this fucked-up tooth which has gotten suddenly much worse, and am waiting for the dental insurance to get set up before I can figure out where to go to get it dealt with (and I hope it does get dealt with, because it's been like this but milder for years and none of the other dentists have been able to find anything wrong with it).
5. Something else I need to have a conversation with andres_s_p_b about, unrelated to the first thing.
6. Must set up housework and cleaning schedule.
7. The Bush administration.
8. Missing my Pittsburgh friends.
9. Assorted other moving issues.
10. Actually, a big chunk of it may be the social contact thing because although I had a nice social weekend, and I intellectually expect that that was because people like me and will also be willing to spend time with me in future, I do not in fact have any scheduled social anything coming up, and I don't have a regular pattern to fall back on, so (did I mention about the uncertainty?) I don't emotionally feel really confident about that.
Anyway, all of these things put together should only make me feel about as bad as I do right now, which is fairly bad but still lots better than earlier in the day. I feel really crummy, and I don't know why. Stupid emotions. If I knew what was wrong I could fix it, but most of the things I have identified I either need to wait out, or I need to talk to someone about, and talking to people gets really hard when I'm upset. So I need to fix something else first, and I don't know what I can fix because there's clearly something else going on that I am not identifying just yet.
So I am going to go for a bike ride, and that will probably help. And hopefully it will help enough that I can send some people e-mails more interesting than "I am miserable please talk to me," so that they will actually have something to talk about. And then there will be social contact, and that will of course be helpful, and then perhaps there can be more unpacking and organizing, and that will help, and then maybe I can get some of this work done that's taking 600 times as long as usual because I keep bursting into tears and forgetting how to use words in the middle of it.