There have been some developments coming about over the last several weeks, so some updates are in order. My parents are seriously thinking about moving out of state to be closer to their grandkids. And I have decided that, barring any static from Social Security, I’m going to be moving with them should they decide to go through with this.
Naturally I don’t have much of an idea of where to start with the whole deal. I imagine I’m going to need to contact my local Social Security office and let them know I might be moving out of state. I don’t know how long this kind of change over is going to take. And there is the prospect of my having to find a place near my parents. So far as far as we can tell, all of the low income places have waiting lists. It is possible I might be couch surfing with my parents or my brother for several months until something comes open.
I have no idea how I’m going to transfer my medicaid out of state. I might even be able to qualify for more programs because I’ll be in an urban area. My home state of Nebraska doesn’t usually give much of extra benefits and we do have one of the lowest costs of living in the country.
In short, it is quite possible that there are going to be some major changes in the coming weeks and months. I’ll keep everyone posted.
I readily admit I get frustrated when the people I am around on a regular basis do and say stupid things and then keep repeating these mistakes over the course of months and years. I know I shouldn’t be angry with people just because they aren’t smart. Some people are just dumb and they are never going to become Mensa material no matter what you do for them. That is probably the hardest fact of life that I have ever had to accept. I can handle people not having empathy. I can handle people being greedy. But for some odd reason I have had a very tough time coming to the acceptance that some people are just dumb, have always been dumb, and are never going to be interested in the intellectual things like science, technology, history, philosophy, literature, etc. that I am.
Being smart has always come easy to me. I can’t remember ever not knowing how to read because I pretty much taught myself how to read. I can’t remember ever having to be forced to read because I read so voraciously on my own. I still do. I actually had to be forced to put down my books and go outside with the neighborhood kids against my will. I suppose my parents were afraid that I would be one of these really smart people who had lousy social skills. Well, that happened anyway. Yet I don’t mind having below average social skills. Most of the stuff average people like to talk about, like politics, sports, the weather, farming, work, celebrities, etc., I find quite boring. As much as I enjoy baseball, I wouldn’t have much of a stake in the games if I didn’t have a fantasy league team. As much as I enjoyed the violence of football when I played as a teenager, I wouldn’t watch any games if it didn’t give me anything to talk about with the average person. I don’t personally follow politics much except if politicians make noise about cutting science programs. Cutting science programs will hurt nations long term. Much of what was the computer and information revolutions came about because of the space programs in the 60s and 70s. I am not really happy with my current crop of politicians who are cutting science funding and just want to pull up the draw bridge and isolate from the rest of the world. Who would have thought twenty years ago China and India would be leading the world in developing and implementing nonpolluting technology? When my parents were children, their parents used to tell them “there’s starving kids in China who would love to eat what you complain about.” I wonder if Chinese and Indian parents tell their kids “keep studying and going to school, there’s dumb people in America.”
I never had a tolerance for ignorance. And it’s especially tough having a mental illness and living in low income housing when I am not surrounded by many smart people. I do most of my socializing online anymore because I can at least superficially connect with people who share my interests. For years I have struggled searching for people with the same intellectual pursuits I have. My therapists and I have struggled finding ways for me to find social activities for someone with my interests. I finally came to the painful realization that I am not going to meet many people I can relate to, at least not in traditional senses. Some of my best friends I interact with mainly online. The internet is my social life now. I’m glad I live in an era when it’s available as much as it is. Had I lived in the dark ages, I probably would have had to join a monastery. Even then I’d probably be burned at the stake as a heretic. I am happy that science is really advancing. And it doesn’t bother me as much as it normally would that many of these advances are now not happening in my own country. I really don’t care if it’s an American, a Chinese person, an African, etc. who comes up with the next huge breakthrough. We all share the same planet so we just as well learn to work and think beyond national boundaries. I hope that the anti intellectualism I see so prevalent in my time and place is merely a passing fad. And even if it isn’t, there are plenty of places where intelligence is valued and science will progress. The future is already happening, it’s just not evenly distributed.
I’m now a week into the changed medications routines. I’m starting to notice a difference already. I’m starting to wake up earlier. I’m sleeping less. I don’t want to sleep as much. I’m starting to get a little more active. I’m starting to have fewer aches and pains. I’m more stable mentally. I just don’t have the ups and downs like I used to. I recover quicker from down times. I’m beginning to get more active. And I’m socializing more.
I managed to slog through another winter. Spring is going on now. We’ve had rain every day for almost the last week. Things are really greening up now. It still gets kind of chilly at night. But I’m not running my heat during the days. I’m still not as active as I would care to be as I still have flare ups of pain every now and then. But even that is not as bad as it was a week ago.
I am hopeful that things are returning to normal again. I haven’t had a sense of normal for a long time until a few weeks ago. But things are looking better with each passing day.
Spring started a few days ago. We’re starting to get more rain and the weather is warming up. Saw my first lightning of the season yesterday. My fantasy baseball league had it’s draft last night. Since we’re spread out all over the country now we have to have our league hosted by yahoo. It’s been an annual tradition for me for the last ten years. I’ve never won my league as I’m pretty average compared to the eleven other guys in our league. It’s a diversion for me and an excuse to pay attention to games I wouldn’t normally watch. The first baseball games start the first Monday in April. Winter is over.
I saw my psych doctor earlier this week. According to his scale I gained a pound since my last appointment six weeks earlier. Hopefully I have stopped the losing streak in terms of gaining weight. Unfortunately I have gained a lot of weight since my car accident a year and a half ago. For a long time I was afraid to drive and didn’t go anywhere except to buy groceries and run errands. I can tell the lack of socializing has hurt me. I know I’m less patient with people then I used to be. I am not as spontaneous as I used to be either.
I complained to my psych doctor about my lethargy and lack of motivation. We increased the doses of some of my medications. He also suggested I buy some probiotic pills. He had read a lot of literature stating that people with mental illness problems often have gut health issues too. He said that gut health and mental health can affect each other. After a few days on the probiotic pills, I’m noticing I am having some more energy. I am also not sleeping as much even after only a few days. I am also having fewer unexplained aches and pains. I hope this only continues to improve. My only true complaint about the probiotic pills is they are pricey. But I am starting to feel better and more energetic overall.
As stable as I usually am during the winter, I am glad that winter is over. The weather is starting to warm up and I’m not just wanting to stay home and hide out all the time. I am feeling a sense of hopefulness for the first time in months. I really think things are starting to settle down. I haven’t had much settled for me for a long time. This sense of normalcy is a welcome relief.
I’m still sleeping more than I would like. But I really think I often sleep just out of boredom or lack of stimulation. In some ways I feel like a zoo animal where I have my basic needs met yet I feel something fundamental is missing. I speak of course of social interactions.
As much as I enjoy being an adult, one of the things I miss about high school and college is being around intellectually stimulating peers and taking challenging classes. Now that I’ve been in the ‘real world’ for thirteen years, I now realize just how rare and special those interesting class discussions and all night conversations really were. It saddens me that I’ll never have that back. I didn’t lose that from lack of trying to keep social networks up. I lost many of my friends from moving out of state, starting careers, starting families, etc. It’s painful not to have intelligent conversations. I crave intellectual and mental stimulation every day. I can’t go through a day without reading a book or online journal. Learning is my drug of choice. It gives me a jolt that no drug, woman, booze, or money could possibly give me.
Now that I am an adult starting to get a little gray in my beard, I am painfully realizing just how rare intelligent people and good conversations are. Few people in my low income housing complex talk about anything besides how they don’t enough money from disability and gossip about fellow residents. And it gets quite boring really quick. After about five minutes of hearing such drivel I’m ready to go back home and watch youtube. It’s absolutely frustrating not having interesting people to talk to. I am not hard wired to just sit on a park bench, smoke cigarettes, and complain about how bad the world sucks.
Intelligence has been both a blessing and a curse for me. Being smart has allowed me to keep writing a blog inspite of a severe mental illness. It has also helped me stay out of money problems. I have friends who make much more than I do but their finances are worse than mine because they couldn’t stay out debt or just bought junk they don’t need to impress jerks they don’t like. But intelligence has also murdered my social life. For some odd reason, most people I have met over the course of my life (especially since I left college) just hate intelligence. And it’s frustrating. I wonder if a hatred of intellectual things is just a rural thing, an American thing, or if it’s just cross cultural and smart people are just condemned to have lousy social lives while benefiting an ungrateful humanity with their accomplishments. Mental illness is lonely enough. Being intelligent with a mental illness is a double curse.
I visited with my nephews and niece a few days ago. I got to see my parents too for the first time since Christmas. I had a good time with the kids. They are ages 12, 10, 8, and 5. They are old enough they don’t get into a lot of trouble and can be quite entertaining. Seeing those kids grow up and develop interests and personalities of their own is bittersweet. I am happy that my brother and his wife were able to have several kids, are able to take care of them, and raise them to be respectable and well behaved kids. But it does make me realize some of what I have lost and will never be able to experience on my own because of my schizophrenia.
I have written a lot in the past about alternating between being sad, angry, and depressed about the career and life opportunities I lost in the name of mental illness. I have written much less about being sad and depressed about never being able to marry or have kids. Outside of my best female friend, I really have little experience with dating. I was turned down every time I ever asked a girl out on a date in high school and most of the time when I was in college. By the time I was halfway through college I gave up on the idea of ever marrying because it just seemed like a lost cause and wasted effort. I never could figure out why I did so poorly with women. But I haven’t really cared for years as I know that ship set sail a real long time ago and that I just as well make the best of being single and lonely for life.
For many years I was making the best of it. After seeing some of my classmates go through rough divorces or slog through unhappy marriages, I was grateful I never did marry. But after seeing my brother’s kids mature through the years and come into their own, I am beginning to realize that if children are raised well, they can be the greatest things that ever happened to you.
It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realized just how lonely I am most of the time. I really don’t talk to that many people in person any more. I almost never socialize outside of close family and friends. I still sleep ten to twelve hours a day. I think that is a subconscious way of dealing with the loneliness. I really am lonely most of the time. Have been for the last couple years since three of my older friends in my apartment complex died within six months of each other.
As much as I hated the office politics of a job, at least I was able to find a few moments of joyful interactions everyday with other people. As much as I didn’t like the social aspects of high school, I still had my friends and some friendly acquaintances. I don’t have any of that anymore. I can understand how some people, men especially, lose a lot of joy in their lives and much of their identity when they retire or get laid off from a job. I would consider going back to work except that mentally I’m too unstable and too discouraged to work a traditional job. Besides much of what I could do in a traditional job will probably get automated within the next several years anyway. Perhaps that is why I devote so much time to this blog. It gives me identity and it could be my legacy since I’ll never be able to get married or have kids. Things have often been lonely and discouraging the last couple years. Being mentally ill is a death sentence to anyone’s social life.
Spent the last couple days cleaning my apartment and car. I didn’t drive much this winter except to buy groceries and pick up fast food, so it was just a matter of throwing out some trash in my car. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of clutter in my apartment. I still have a couple more days of decluttering. But since the weather is supposed to warm up by the end of the week, I think I can get a great deal done.
My nephews and niece are visiting my parents for a few days over spring break. I saw them yesterday and took them to a Mexican restaurant. Had a good chat with the kids and my parents. I hadn’t seen any family in person since Christmas. It was a good change to my routine.
While I still sleep kind of late most mornings, I have found myself sleeping less the last several days. Now that spring is on the way and the weather is starting to warm, I am getting more sunlight. I feel better because of the better weather. I definitely no longer feel the need to just stay inside for entire days.
Mentally I have been quite stable for weeks. I think it helps that I am getting plenty of sleep, eating more healthy, and avoiding stressful people and situations. I hope I can keep this kind of stability up.
Been experimenting with my diet for the last few days. I haven’t eaten meat for several days and I’m also avoiding wheat and gluten. My stomach is more settled and I feel like I have a little more energy than a week ago. I have fewer aches and pains too.
I still have some cleaning to do in my apartment. I had gotten a little lazy about keeping the place up over the winter. Even though I usually feel mentally stable in the winter, I am also quite a bit lazier too.
I have an appointment with my psych doctor next week. The medications I have been on for the last year seem to be working well. I don’t see any changes in those coming. I guess that I have weathered another winter and will be looking forward to warmer weather within the next couple weeks.