Today is the first major snow storm of the season in my town. I’m enjoying staying at home, listening to the wind howl, and watching the snow fall. I’m glad I’m not traveling in this mess. It’s a good night to just stay home and stay bunkered down.
Even though I still spend most of my time at home, I get more visitors. My neighbors visit usually once a day. They were over here all afternoon on Sunday. After a few weeks of having more regular company, I’m less paranoid about people in general. I still spend most of my time at home, but it’s not as a defense mechanism. I usually stay home because I want to. And I have plenty of books to read and things to keep me occupied in my apartment. I am enjoying the longer nights. I usually go to bed about 9 or 10 pm and wake about 4 am anymore. I sometimes nap in the afternoons too.
I don’t have much planned for Thanksgiving. I’m spending it with my neighbors. My parents are coming to my place a few days later. I haven’t decided what I’m doing for Christmas. I guess I really don’t want to go anywhere, but I’m up for hosting a few family members. I just don’t like to travel much anymore. I imagine much of this is due to the illness. I am glad I got to travel in my younger years.
My illness has changed over the last few years. Some things really upset me now that didn’t used to. I am more prone to want to be left alone. I am less tolerant of being treated poorly by others. I have zero patience for gossip and drama. But I am more likely to seek help before things become crisis. I’m more honest with myself and others. I’m more accepting of my quirks and hangups. And I no longer feel I have to hide my mental illness. And I feel more hopeful overall. While I’m not delusional enough to believe I will get cured, I have learned how to adapt to the illness and plan accordingly. I guess I don’t know how I would adapt to life without a mental illness.
I don’t know what I would do if I ever was cured. It would probably mean I’d have to get off social security disability and find work again. Because of the illness, my work skills have deteriorated to almost nothing. Few jobs are available anymore that don’t require college degrees or moving to an urban area. I don’t want to go into debt to get a degree that will probably be obsolete before I pay it off. I certainly don’t want to get married at this point. I’m almost 40 years old. I don’t want kids at this point. I didn’t have kids or get married because I feared I would be a lousy father and husband. I just knew myself too well. I don’t really care about become rich. I certainly don’t want to become famous. I’ve seen too many high achievers get built up only to get torn down later. I always thought that it was stupid how we praise high achievers only to condemn them later for making mistakes and being human. I don’t want to be famous, at least not in my lifetime. Right now I’m content to be an independent scholar, write my blogs, write my journals, and have a few close friends and some family. I really don’t want much more than that.
Sometimes I don’t even really mind living in a large apartment complex, especially as long as I can stay out of sight and out of the way of drama. I don’t want to hear gossip anymore. I don’t care about who did or said what to whom anymore. The easiest way to make me happy is to not harass me and even just leave me alone unless you have good news. I’m happy to see my neighbors because they are almost always in good moods. I’m happy to see my cleaning lady every week because she doesn’t mind the conversation while she works. And I’m usually happy to chat with my friends and family, at least as long as they aren’t knit picking me.