About alifeofmentalillness

I write about my experiences with mental illness and life in general. I am also currently under going 'lifestyle changes' (I hate the term 'dieting' as it's sounds so temporary) and have lost 70 pounds since spring 2014. I've put my poetry and novel writing on lower priority since I started losing weight and blogging more seriously.

Last Days of Summer 2022

Summer will be coming to an end in a few days. The leaves are starting to turn yellow. The days are still hot but cooler weather is supposed to hit by the middle of next week. I’m glad that summer is almost over. It’s always been a rough time for my mental health problems. I’m looking forward to Okotberfest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, chilly nights, pumpkin spice in dang near everything, and the whole bit. Fall is one of my favorite times of year. Fall is living proof that change can be beautiful and good.

I’m still losing weight. A wheel chair has been ordered for me. Should be here any day now. Now that I am regaining my mobility and am losing weight, I’m starting to formulate a strategy on how I can get into position to where I can have my own apartment once more. I have made a lot of progress over the summer. I’ve lost over 30 pounds since Memorial Day. My blood pressure has stabilized. I lost enough weight that the doctor had to take me off a couple of my meds because my blood pressure was getting too low. Once I get my own wheelchair, I’ll be a lot more mobile than I am now. I am currently using a wheel chair I’m borrowing from the nursing home. The public transit buses in Kearney are wheel chair accessible, so maybe I could go back to Kearney once I’ve lost some more weight.

One of the reasons I opted to go to a nursing home was I couldn’t get to my doctors’ appointments anymore. I couldn’t walk long distances and I get sensory overload so much I can’t drive safely anymore. But, since some public buses are wheelchair accessible, I might be able to live on my own again and just take the bus everywhere. Hell, I might even be well enough to move out on my own within several months.

Maybe I should have bought my own wheelchair rather than give up my apartment in the first place. But hindsight is always perfect. I really didn’t think I was ever going to get better. It’s amazing how losing weight, regular doctors’ appointments, and getting my blood pressure under control changed everything.

Nearing The End of Summer

Summer is almost over and I’m glad for it. This has always been the roughest time of year for me. I’m looking forward to chilly nights, changing leaves, pumpkin spice in everything, and fall sports. School started a couple weeks ago so it’s feeling more like fall.

My Saturday plans during the fall usually involved staying home and watching football. Today will be no exception. I might even go down to the community tv room and watch the games. I feel like things are starting to come back to life with the change of seasons.

For most of my adult life, I lived in college towns. Those towns were really quiet during the summer, but really came back to life once students returned for fall semester. This is the first time in eighteen years I won’t be in a college town for the fall. It’s bittersweet. I’m where I know I need to be to get healthier. But I do miss the activities of college towns, whether it’s concerts at the local dive bars, ball games on the weekends, cultural events on campus, or just running into college students during my overnight trips to Wal Mart or the 24 hour grocery store in town. I miss those activities already.

My blood pressure is back to normal and I’m losing an average of 8 to 10 pounds per month since I moved here. I’ve lost over 100 pounds in the last 2 and a half years. Eventually I would love to get back to my old college weight. I can walk short distances again, even if it is slow. Most of the pain in my knees is gone. I haven’t had pain in my feet in weeks. I’m starting to need less sleep. Last night slept from 11pm to 6:30 am. My sleep patterns are starting to improve. I used to need 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night.

Overall I’m feeling much better than I felt this spring. I’m glad to be back on the right track.

August 27 2022 Updates

My knee pain is starting to clear up. I’m on a couple medications for it. Seems like it’s taking effect. I get out of my apartment at least a couple times a day anymore. It was just getting too discouraging to spend all my time at home.

My blood pressure has been stable for weeks now. I think I’m still losing weight. Some of my smaller clothes are starting to fit again. Tried on a couple of my hoodies a few days ago and they fit perfect now. Weather will start cooling off in a couple weeks so I have those ready.

Haven’t heard much from friends lately. Everyone is busy with work, family, chores, etc. Found out my friend in Denver is promoting her arts and crafts again. Won’t be too long before Christmas. I’ve bought a couple of her knitted hats in the past.

I just feel chilly most of the time lately. I imagine the blood pressure medications have changed my circulation. Rarely do I ever sit down without a blanket over my legs and feet. My joints feel worse when they are cold. My knees also ache whenever the weather changes drastically. We had a hail storm a week and a half ago. My knees were really acting up that day.

Still listening to audiobooks. Decided I’m going through Asimov’s Foundation series. I’m halfway through the first book so far. I like to listen to it while I play Civilization: Beyond Earth. That game is about setting up colonies on another planet. It’s certainly a science fiction game.

I’m thinking about hooking up my Play Station soon. I imagine as the days are getting shorter and start getting cooler, I’ll want to spend more time at home and less socializing. I still get around really well in a wheel chair. I usually make a few laps in the hallways every morning just to keep my arm strength up. Just because my knees went bad doesn’t mean my arms have to.

Haven’t seen my family since early July. I did get a good visit from an old college friend about a month ago. He bought me some updates to my Civilization game. Been playing that a great deal since. Having activities, even if it’s computer games, help the time pass on long days.

I’m looking forward to the fall. Fall is my second favorite season behind spring. I love the longer nights, the cooler nights, the changing leaves, the harvest, and the variety of sports during the fall.

I Don’t Need To Socialize and Go Out More. Maybe You Could Stand To Shut Up and Stand Still

I have valued my quiet time and solitude my entire life. So much so that I was often labeled anti social when I was growing up. Crowds do not interest me or make me feel better. In fact, I hate crowds. They just drain the life out of me. I love solitude because it gives me a chance to recharge and analyze. The quiet doesn’t bother me. In fact, I thrive in quiet environments. It’s one of the reasons I choose to live in small towns. I think much of our problems in the ealry 21st century come from the fact that we as a civilization no longer value silence and moments of stillness. A lot of mistakes could be avoided if we as individuals and nations just took a few moments to evaluate the long term consequences of our actions and words.

I have never sought to be the center of attention. I actually hate being watched by people. So much so it’s why I chose to live alone once I got out of college. Nothing bugs me more than people looking over my shoulder or listening in on my phone conversations. I cannot have a conversation on the phone and with someone in the room at the same time. It annoyed me to no end as a kid when I would be on the phone and have my parents or brother trying to tell me what to say. I didn’t dare complain about it because it would have made a major argument with my family while I was trying to have said phone conversation. I literally do not have the ability to carry on two conversations at the same time. It’s physically impossible for me.

I also suck at multitasking. The closest thing to multitasking I can do is play computer games and listen to audiobooks at the same time. I never could talk on the phone, cook supper, clean up messes, and smack my older brother at the same time. I have to focus on only one task at a time. I can easily focus on one task for hours at a time. The limit I have on how long I can focus on one task is how long I can sit down without getting knee pain or muscle cramps. The barrier to me is physical and not mental.

I wasn’t bother by the lockdowns of the pandemic as much as most people. In fact, I rather enjoyed the forced quiet and solitude. I loved having an acceptable reason to stay home, read, binge watch youtube videos, and spend the day in sweat pants and hoodies. Most people have this dumb idea that because I spend my time alone and in quiet that I am bored or missing out on life. No I’m not. I have worked jobs before. I have gone to parties. I have gone to ballgames. I have gone bar hopping in my younger years. I have gone to concerts. I have been to weddings and funerals. I pretty much know how these things are going to turn out. I got paid for the trouble I put up with at work (more than I can say about the troubles I put up with at school). I’m going to end up in a corner with a couple of close friends trying to have an intelligent conversation over the noise of way to loud music and some drunk spilling his drink on my nice leather coat. In ballgames, half of the teams lose and half of the teams win. When I went bar hopping, I usually kept quiet because of too loud music and way too obnoxious drunks. As far as weddings go, half of marriages end in divorce but half of funerals don’t end in resurrections. I mean, after a few go arounds, the spoilers are already out of the bag. Not so with spending time alone, reading books, watching educational videos, or having deep conversations with friends and family.

In short, I don’t think I need to learn to come out of my social shell. I think that more people could stand to learn how to shut up, examine themselves, and just stand still for a few moments. Silence ain’t gonna bite you. Neither will solitude.

August 18 2022

I’m now taking some meds for my knees. My knees have been hurting for months. I still sleep about twelve hours a day. I’ve just wanted to sleep all the time most days. I think I’m still losing weight. Overall my days have been kind of boring. I still have a roommate, but we don’t talk much. I’m still getting used to having a roommate. I have lived alone since 2004 until this summer. I really don’t like having a roommate as I enjoy having my own space and privacy. Most nights I’m asleep before sunset. I just want to sleep most of the time.

Updates August 3 2022

I’ve now lived in my current place for two months. Updates are in order. My blood pressure is now normal and stabilized. I’m doing physical therapy twice a week trying to get some mobility back. I’m continuing to lose weight, usually a couple pounds per week. I’m eating smaller, but better balanced meals. The nursing and help staff are amazing here. My mobility is still limited to wheel chairs and walkers. I occasionally still get pains in my feet and knees. Usually some tylenol will clear those pains.

The variety of meals here is good. Seems that everything is home made quality. I think we have about 40 residents in my complex, most are senior citizens. I’m still adjusting to having a roommate for the first time in eighteen years. I had just got so used to living alone that having a roommate is probably the biggest adjustment I had to make. I sleep in an adjustable hospital bed. It’s so much easier on my knees and back than traditional beds. I’ve lost enough weight that I can sleep on my sides for part of the night. I’m currently at my lowest weight since late 2017.

Even though I’m at my lowest weight in almost five years, my mobility hasn’t come back as much as I hoped. I can still get around really well with a wheel chair. But I don’t own my own personal wheel chair as I borrow one from the complex. I met with a wheel chair salesman last week and talked to him for a good forty five minutes trying to get me outfitted with a custom made chair. Right now I’m waiting on social security to approve the purchase. I imagine supply chain problems are still an issue on some things.

Had a couple amazon deliveries to my new residence. Had to buy some new shorts as I was running out of pants that properly fit. It’s nice living where I don’t have to worry about doing laundry or cooking my meals anymore. I also enjoy having 24 hour access to health care and not having to worry about filling my prescriptions anymore.

July 24 2022

My blood pressure has returned to normal. My feet no longer hurt. My knees are getting better with each passing day. I got a new adjustable bed. I think that has helped my knees as much as anything. I had a Zoom appointment with my psych doctor. I’m continuing to lose weight at a fast pace. I’m now at my lowest weight in five years. I’m still mostly wheel chair bound. I’m starting to walk short distances with a walker.

My mental health has improved too. I was in a dark spot for quite a while earlier this summer. I’m still sad about having to give up my apartment and my independence. But it was for the best. I know have around the clock access to medical treatment. I don’t have to cook for myself anymore. I think the smaller, and more balanced, meals are helping me lose weight. I’ve lost enough weight I was taken off two blood pressure medications. I’m still afraid to walk without a cane or walker. I’m still a fall risk.

I still play lots of computer games. My roommate and I usually leave each other alone as we have different interests. I’m still getting used to having a roommate after living alone for almost eighteen years. While I mourn the loss of my freedom, independence, and privacy, I know I made the right decision to give up my apartment and move to long term care.

Making My Peace With My Decline

I’ve been living in long term care for over a month now. Updates are in order. My feet no longer hurt. Now it’s both of my knees. I can barely stand up because of the pain, let alone walk. My knees hurt so bad I can’t even lay on my back in bed because of the pain. I’m back to sleeping in my recliner most of the time.

My high blood pressure issues have been solved. Now low blood pressure is a problem. I can barely stand up or go to the bathroom without feeling like I’m going to pass out. I also have the problem that I’m forced to do physical therapy even though I can barely stand up without passing out. I try to explain my problems to the nurses. No one is listening. I can’t get anyone to listen to my problems. Supposedly a doctor ordered me to do physical therapy even though that was NEVER brought up the only time I’ve met with a doctor since I’ve moved to long term care.

I couldn’t manage my blood pressure issues and mental health at the same time anymore. Home health coming to check in on me a couple times a week was only temporary. I live alone and I can no longer drive. So I couldn’t get to any of my doctors’ appointments. My blood pressure meds couldn’t be renewed via Zoom calls. That’s why I opted for long term care. I can’t drive so I can’t get to my medical appointments. My mobility is severely limited to where I’m wheel chair bound now. Even though I’m in long term care, my problems are still not being listened to. I am by far the youngest person in my facility.

After years of loss, fighting mental illness, no one taking my complaints serious, decline of physical health, loss of friends, loss of career, and the general overall decline of the state of the world, I have made my peace with my mental and physical decline. I’ve even made my peace with death. I’m tired of fighting losing battles. I’m tired of trying to put a positive spin on everything. No, my mental health will never get better. No, I can’t fight mental illness and physical decline at the same time anymore. I am tired of being ignored. I’m tired of being blown off. I am tired of being told I’m lucky. I am tired of being told to man up and stop complaining all the damn time. I’ve made my peace with death. I’ve made my peace that most of my dreams will never be fulfilled. I’ve made my peace with declining health. I’ve made my peace with the world never being a good place. I don’t know why no one else can.

June 22 2022

Been in my current place for two weeks now. Had a roommate move in after a few days. We now have our own wheel chairs, so I’m getting out more often. Spent some time outside today in the flower garden at the entrance. I still can’t walk very well. I can do well enough to get into the wheel chair and get to the bathroom. My food intake is a lot less than it was previously. That alone means I’m probably losing weight. I think covid is making a bit of a comeback as I’ve been tested twice just in the last week.

The food is alright. Most of it seems homemade and we have quite a variety. I’m not doing physical therapy. With as shot as my legs are, I probably won’t make much progress in terms of walking until and unless I lose a lot more weight.

Most nights I sleep alright. Didn’t sleep well last night. My roommate accidently left his tv on overnight. Listened to more infomercials than I cared to.

Currently in my wheel chair. I’m going to try to stay in my wheel chair until bed time. Most nights I’m asleep by 10pm and up for good around 6am. I have meds twice a day, usually with breakfast and supper.

I played some cards earlier in my stay here. I shower twice a week and shave twice a week too. I think my beard days are behind me. Mentally have been pretty stable, more so than when I was living alone. I play lots of computer games and listen to lots of audio books in my free time. Since I don’t have to go to physical therapy, I have more free time than I’m used to. I haven’t eaten restaurant food or had soda pop in over a month. I certainly could go for a double cheeseburger and a Coke sometime soon.

I won’t be having visitors until around the Fourth of July holiday. I hope they bring some treats. Since I moved into long term care, I’ve been eating more balanced meals, more vegetables, and some more sweets. My roommate’s wife brings him candy bars and diet soda occasionally. I don’t have anyone within an hour’s drive to come visit me. I think the nearest Pizza Hut to my facility is a twenty minute drive. I definately live in a small town again. So small it’s eerie quiet and dark at night.

June 16 2022

I think I’m getting adjusted to the new place and routines. Had my best sleep last night. Had to wake up only once in the night to use the bathroom. Breakfast was good and filling with pancakes and sausage. I still spend much of the day in my recliner and wrapped in blankets in spite of the heat of summer. I’ve become real sensitive to cold ever since my blood pressure has come under control. My feet still hurt. I play lots of computer games to pass the time. My roommate has a good sense of humor. Used to be an auto mechanic and is probably in his 60s.