I tried CBD oil for the first time, Wednesday night. I have been doing much better with panic and have had few attacks in the last several months. Part of it is my learning to deal with actual emotions, learning to acknowledge them without letting them overwhelm me. The other issue was I reduced my weekly estrogen injection so that I’m not at the 2nd trimester pregnancy levels. I still have stress, from work or pandemic. This year you can pretty much name it, panic lurks in the many shadows of the year. I’ve been having trouble sleeping throughout the night. I will go to sleep fine, but then I am awake at 2am and then I lay there, unable to go back to sleep, then I get up right before the alarm is about to go off at 4:30am. I took the oil an hour before bed and was out within 10 minutes of laying down. I had vivid dreams, which is unusual for me now, one really good dream in particular. But I didn’t wake up until 4am, which is good for me. I also felt well rested which hasn’t happened in a long time. So, while I doubt I will use the oil each night, it’s good to know that it works either actively or as a placebo.
I had been keeping an eye on the Blue Ridge Pride Festival in the hopes that the pandemic would wane and we could safely attend the festival. This festival was my first time at anything to do with Pride, and it was my first time out in a crowd as myself. Sadly, they recently announced the cancelation of this event in September, but I understand the need to be safe and not cause needless suffering and death to attendees. They are still looking at alternatives to the festival. We are a people shaped by adversity, we don’t dwell on obstacles in our path, we treat these as rungs to a ladder upon which we can climb to surmount them. I am proud to be a part of such a community, to be one of those who raises their voice for justice and equality, but also in commiseration and joy.
My birthday is coming up on July 10th. I will be turning 50. I don’t even know how to feel about this. It seems like it should be a marked occasion. But, the pandemic has ensured that a party isn’t going to happen, I just have to accept that. I was never much of a birthday party person, but on my 50th birthday, it would have been nice to see a few people who I love and perhaps eat cake with them. Instead it will be Michelle, perhaps Rose and myself and we will eat cake for a week afterwards. I don’t feel fifty, I feel thirty-ish, perhaps that is a good thing? Though I feel like I missed much of my life, it passed by as I hid inside the mask, so perhaps I feel this way because I only truly started living when I came out. Or perhaps the weight of that secret being lifted gave me a second wind. I’m older than I was last year and I’m just thankful for the time I have.
Our Dungeons and Dragons games are going well. In Joe’s game, we are finding clues within the books of a library that was built into the still-living arm of a Primordial that is trapped in this plane. The books are kind of portals to the past, so as we interact, we can end up changing the past. Unamae is having a grand time, as usual, while it’s not entirely pleasant for Skye and Connie. At the moment, we are in a town which is in the path of an army, the town is bordered by a large river, currently only passable by a ten foot wide bridge. So we are trying to help them survive the army but devising ways to hold off an army with three of us and perhaps a small handful of villagers that have some militia training. The rest will make for the larger, walled city two or three days away. None of us know what the history is of this place, perhaps the town is destroyed and the people in it killed. Because if not for our intervention, they would never have known about the army approaching in order to have time to flee. So it’s interesting to be a part of a history that we don’t actually know.
In Theo’s game, we just lost a battle against gnolls and a mega-gnoll (not what it is). We were doing alright against the regular gnolls and hyenas but the mega-gnoll, well he had the hit points of a young dragon and did the damage of one with his three-headed flail. We all got trounced, being saved only by the mega-gnoll not caring enough to kill us and a survivor of the caravan they were initially attacking, keeping us alive. It was demoralizing and we were just out of sorts trying to deal. So we didn’t get much done after the fight, just moving so we could find our cart that we left in a somewhat safe spot but managed to disappear. After the game I did some soul searching and thought about how my character as a person would react to this. I came to this conclusion, she doesn’t want to find herself vulnerable in this way again and not able to defend herself. So, she is going to train with the three members of her party, each of them who have fighter-like classes, Zulae (fighter), Servant (Paladin/Barbarian), Arylin (Ranger) and multiclass as a Shadow Sorcerer/Fighter. It makes her a less effective sorcerer but this is about her as a person and not as a class, she is more than her class.
D&D has always been a big part of my life, but during this pandemic and with me living so far away from my friends, this is a lifeline for us all. It gives us something to look forward to each Saturday night.