Currently going through a prolonged period of stability. My levels of depression and anxiety have been quite low lately. When I do have such issues, they don’t last long and aren’t very bad. I haven’t had a breakdown of any kind in months. Haven’t been hospitalized for almost five years now. I was having feelings of depression and paranoia earlier this year but I wasn’t overly concerned about it as I wasn’t having the anger or aggression issues that traditionally went with it. Sure I would go days without leaving my apartment, but I wasn’t excessively angry or looking for arguments. So I wasn’t as worried as I should have been. Not wanting to socialize for long stretches of time isn’t normal for me. Sure I have had stretches when I wanted to be left alone for several hours or a day at most. But I was going sometimes entire weeks when I’d leave my apartment only two or three times the entire week.
Naturally some of my neighbors became concerned. I may have never been Mr. Popular but I made it a point to be polite and thoughtful to everyone I met. Yet as I wasn’t even socializing, nor did I want to, that wasn’t normal for me. I have never been one to just bunker down for days. I had gotten to that point, particularly during the winter. It wasn’t my traditional problem with mental illness, but it was a different one.
People do tend to change some with age. I imagine mental illness issues are probably not much different. Aspects of my personality and habits have altered over the years. I’m not as hot tempered as I was even five years ago. I laugh more often now than I did in my twenties. I enjoy the little things of life more. Overall, I’m happier now in my late 30s than I was in my late 20s. And this is despite my physical health not being as good as it was ten years ago or my being more social than I am now. I think I have gotten happier and more calm with age. And I quite enjoy it.
It’s been pretty quiet and uneventful the last few days. I’ve been on my new medication routine for almost a month now. I think things are working out quite well. I’ve been getting out of my apartment and socializing in person more, so I haven’t been online as much for the last week or so. I’m now usually going to bed by midnight and waking up by 8 am. I’m apparently back to normal hours. I think the weather being cooler than usual the last two weeks has helped. It hasn’t been an unbareably hot July in my town this year. I can tell the days are getting dark sooner. Won’t be too long and school will be starting again. Haven’t been watching as much baseball this summer. I guess I got hooked on World Cup soccer this year.
I think I’m starting to lose weight again. Changed my diet and started lifting weights three weeks ago. I eat mostly high protein foods, keep carbs to a minimum, and have cut out most sugar. I even need less sleep too.
Summers are usually a tough time of year for me. But I have been able to avoid real problems this summer so far. I guess we have about another five to six weeks of warm weather before things start cooling off. And the foliage will start turning as well. Summer is winding down. I can hardly wait for cooler weather and longer nights.
Have had my new furniture for a week. And I must say my apartment is now feeling more like a home again instead of a hide out. I’m also a month into my new medication routine. I’m now back to regular sleep patterns again as I usually wake up around 7 am now. I don’t stay up all night like I used to, even after a few cups of coffee. Mentally I feel more than stable, I actually feel calm and at peace. Haven’t felt peace like this for an extended time in years. And I think I’m starting to lose weight again. I have more energy, I recover quicker from aches and pains, and my clothing is starting to fit looser.
I haven’t had much to report for the last few days as my days have been uneventful. Fortunately it hasn’t been so hot the last several days, so I’ve been getting outside more often and for longer stretches. Typically late July is our hottest time of year. But people are already talking about school starting again and fall football practice starts in a week or two. I’m avoiding the mall and box stores so as to not fight the back to school shopping crowds.
It’s been a quiet June and July for me. That’s not normally the case as summers are usually tough times for me. No doubt I’m on a good luck streak right now. And I plan to ride it as long as I can.
Picked up some new furniture this weekend. My mother and father let me have one of their couches and office chairs and I have a heavy duty recliner being delivered to my apartment this afternoon from a local furniture store. I feel like I have an actual home again. For the last few weeks I didn’t have much in the way of furniture besides a couple dining room chairs and my bed. It was extremely odd eating my lunches and dinners sitting on my bed. I had moved my computer desk to my bedroom so I could do my work from my bed. I’m glad I got a couch and office chair as it makes my apartment feel more like a permanent residence. And now that I can write from an office chair or couch, I feel like I’m doing more professional work on my blog and even my computer gaming.
Watched the World Cup finals over the weekend. I kind of wanted Croatia to win as they were big underdogs. But I wasn’t going to say much as I have readers from both Croatia and France. But I think that Killian Mbassa (spelling?) from France is going to be as big a star as David Beckham and Cristian Ronaldo by the time he’s through. And he’s only nineteen. When I was that age I was a geeky farm kid starting college. But, living in USA, I am probably a “Johnny Come Lately” when it comes to understanding soccer and appreciating how tough a game it really is. When I was in college, my attitude was that I respected the soccer players for being in great physical shape. But I thought it was “a lot of running for so little scoring.” USA didn’t even have a professional soccer league until I think the 1990s. So yes, we are behind most of the world in that regard. I started following mainly because I have a niece and a nephew who love playing soccer. When my parents were medical missionaries in Panama, most of the kids down there were kicking around soccer balls in the same way kids in USA play basketball all day. But I did enjoy this year’s World Cup almost as much as I do the Olympics. And I’m happy to see that USA will be one of the host countries, along with Mexico and Canada, in 2026. But World Cup served as my sports fix at least until college football and baseball’s push for the playoffs start in September. Hard to believe that September is only six weeks away. Where has the time gone?
I have new furniture and we’re now almost halfway through summer. And overall I’m feeling alright. I don’t even feel depressed or paranoid very much anymore. I feel quite hopeful about my life and society as a whole for the first time in months. I enjoy this feeling. I wish I could bottle some of it and save it for the “rainy days” that will eventually come back. But for now, I’ll ride the happy streak I’m on for all it’s worth. They don’t come along every day.
Since the weather has been so hot the last several days, I’ve been running most of my errands at night. Picked up some new medication that supposed to help with binge eating problems. I am a binge eater. I’ll go hours without eating and then gorge all at once when the hunger pains take over. And that’s probably worse than snacking throughout the day. Been on this new med for a few days and I think it’s starting to work. I have eaten much less than normal and I even need less sleep too.
I still stay awake until dawn and usually sleep until noon, at least unless I have doctors’ appointments. I’ve also been socializing more often. Made friends with a new neighbor last night. I went to take my trash out, sat down as she was coming out for a smoke, and the next thing I knew I had talked to her for over an hour. I guess I didn’t realize how many new people moved into my complex this year alone. I really haven’t been socializing because, until recently, I was too depressed and paranoid to. I was happy to spend much of my days attending Youtube University and learning for my own personal vanity. It’s amazing what one can learn in several months of intense study. And I was able to pick up the social skills like I always had them. It also helps that a few of our problem residents have moved out over the last several months. Until recently I was too wrapped up in my own depression and paranoia to notice.
I socialize more on facebook too with old friends and extended family. I had pretty much dropped off facebook for a year or so because of all the arguing and fighting during the last election cycle. Hopefully these bad experiences have cooled many peoples’ passions and made us more tactful as a species. But I definitely make it a point to avoid politics, child rearing, and money as these can divide friends and family even in good times. I think I’m not the only one who wants to make social media fun again.
Even though I haven’t been socializing much in person lately, I still make a point of calling friends and family often. I visited my parents in person a couple times already this summer. I saw my nephews and niece on my birthday last month. I call home at least twice a week. And I try to contact old college friends a couple times a month. Even though the last time I saw some of my college friends was three years ago, I still pick up with them like I never left off. And I’m getting better about dropping in on friends on facebook more often. I had been avoiding socializing over facebook for a year or two because of how contentious things could get even among friends. But I think people are starting to adapt and use more caution and tactfulness when online now. But two or three years ago, it was practically a nasty free for all that I wanted little to do with. I wound up unfollowing most of my friends and family (and unwisely ended a few friendships too) just because I was tired of all the divisions and fighting.
Originally facebook was a godsend for someone like me who wanted to stay in contact with people but wasn’t exactly sure how to do it. I readily admit I don’t have great social skills. I never really have. But I do get lonely at times, even when I don’t show it. Sometimes the best thing a person can do with someone who struggles with mental illness and socializing is to make the first move and just ask us how are things going. I am convinced that much of the stress of modern living is due to us not having as strong as personal social bonds as even our grandparents had. Life may have been shorter and more physically demanding during the Depression, the World Wars, and definitely during the frontier days, but they were made bearable because people had living and breathing friends they could count on for things as mundane as playing a game of cards or having dinner together after a long day in the fields. I think if we ever rediscovered the joy of having nearby friends in our neighborhoods and communities, we would see fewer cases of suicide, violent crimes, and drug addictions. I am convinced that much of these happen because some people don’t have that sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves.
Even though I haven’t been to church services regularly or been part of civic organizations for a few years, I understand why things like church, local sports teams, neighborhood associations, and civic clubs like the Elks Lodge or the Masonic Lodge are popular among those who participate; they give a sense of belonging and community. I guess I get my sense of community from shared interests in a few of the science groups I’m part of via facebook and through my blog. I used to be a member of a local writers’ guild. It’s too bad that group kind of faded away after a few of our members moved away. A sense of community is important for people. We are by nature social animals, have been long before recored history. Even the most introverted humans are more social than many animals in the wild.
Another Independence Day has come and gone. We are now into the middle of summer. From now until usually mid September has traditionally been a tough time of year for me. I have usually been moodier and more short tempered during the heat of summer. I am usually good for one psychotic break down during the summer, usually in August or September. I have had breakdowns in October before too. But the two times I went to a mental health hospital were both in September. So as far as the calendar goes, I am beginning to trek into traditionally troublesome times.
I have been avoiding people, at least in person, for the last few days. I have been doing so well for so long that I don’t really want anything upsetting this winning streak I’m on. I don’t sleep as much as I used to, but I usually stay up all night until sunrise and sleep until noon most days anymore. That way I still get some sunlight during the day and get to enjoy the quite and solitude of night as well. Been spending most of my days reading articles online, watching science videos on youtube, talking to friends and family on the phone, and messing with computers. I don’t have much of for a social life, but that is by design. I can’t stand most small talk. I find talking about the weather, politics, and other people draining, boring, and even physically painful. I can’t stand talking about mundane and stupid crap I can do nothing about. Makes me glad I’m an introvert who learned how to keep himself occupied a long time ago.
Looks like I’ll keep this routine up for the next several weeks. I don’t want to go anywhere and I don’t want to interact with anyone, especially if all they do is complain and moan yet not do anything about their problems. I’m through listening to petty complaints. I have enough issues of my own.
It’s almost Independence Day in my country. And of course people are shooting off fireworks and making plans for cookouts already. I don’t have any real plans besides grill some bratwurst on my electric grill and watch fireworks from my apartment window. As it has been quite hot and humid the last several days, I have avoided going outside unless necessary. Of course I’m not getting much sunlight by staying indoors most of the time.
I’m a week into my new medications plan. I found out the hard way if I take them all at once like I have traditionally done, then I will want to do nothing but sleep for the next twelve hours. After a couple nights of that, I found out I had to break my medications into at minimum twice a day. So I usually take some of my medications when I eat breakfast and I take the ones that help me sleep at night before bed. After a week on these new meds I have found my self eating less than usual. And I have recently had an odd craving for cheese and milk. Maybe I haven’t been getting enough calcium the last several months. I’m also looking out for more non meat sources of proteins like beans. I now actually want to eat certain fruits like strawberries and blueberries. Too bad they are kind of pricey. It’s also too bad that most inexpensive foods aren’t very healthy. That could explain why so many poor people, at least the poor in the USA, are overweight.
As far as blood pressure goes, I knew for years it was only a matter of time before I ended up on blood pressure pills as that runs in my family. My father has taken blood pressure medications for years and he’s now in his early 70s. He also hasn’t had any heart attack or stroke problems. Hopefully I can make it to my 70s inspite mental illness and being overweight.
I’ve noticed a few changes already in this new treatment. It takes more to make me irritated. I’m less paranoid. I actually want to leave my apartment and interact with my fellow tennants. I’m better able to stay on top of household chores. I eat less than normal. I feel less tense. I have fewer unexplained aches and pains. About the only true drawbacks I noticed so far are that I want to sleep more if I’m not careful about when I take my meds and I have to use the rest room more often. I don’t know if that’s the meds or the fact I drink more water. I easily drink almost a gallon a water every day. But there are worse things than water to be consuming. For a few years I’ve been having nerve problems in my thigh that sometimes felt like burning electrical shocks. But those problems have all but gone away by now.
I still have to get some new furniture for my apartment. Most of the things I had were quite old and had to be replaced. I’m thinking of sweet talking my parents into letting me have one of their sofas. I also think I need a heavy duty recliner that I could sleep in if my back ever started hurting again. My living room is looking kind of bare with only a couple kitchen table chairs and my tv and a “coffee table” decorated to look like an old style travel trunk with all the stickers of places and resorts from around the world. That was my mother’s idea. I’m glad she talked me into putting those stickers on.
Overall things are going well. I’m gradually being cured of wanting to sleep all the time. And I’m also slowly being cured of my desire for sugared soda pop. Anymore if I want caffeine, I’ll have coffee or tea. I can hardly wait to see what the next few weeks bring.