January 17 2022

Been having more frequent flare ups lately. Usually happens several times a day. So I spend most of my time alone. My flare ups involve lots of irritability and paranoia. I also have flashbacks to past incidents.

To remedy these new flareups, I sleep more. I probably sleep twelve hours a day now. Most nights I fall asleep around 9pm and wake up around 9am. I avoid people most of the time now. I rarely leave my apartment for anything anymore.

I sleep in my recliner most nights now. It’s a lot easier on my knees and lower back. I now understand why my dad slept in his recliner for years.

Still listening to audiobooks every day. I still have some sense of routine even with the increased flare ups. Sleep seems to be the best therapy for bad flare ups.

The Pains of Socializing While Mentally Ill

I don’t leave my apartment complex very often these days. Sure it is painful to be constantly lonely. But the pain of being around arrogant, angry, and rude people is even worse. I’m actually scared of socializing with people I don’t know. I literally do not have the ability to read people. Never have. I don’t know how to pick up on social cues, don’t know when people are angry with me without them yelling at me, don’t know when people are happy with me unless they specifically say so, and I certainly have no ability to pick up on things like power dynamics. It makes socializing with most people almost impossible. The pandemic and deepening divisions within society over the last several years have made it even worse.

I haven’t had a day without paranoia for several years. I get paranoid when I hear footsteps in the hallway. I get paranoid having to interact with my neighbors and landlady. I get paranoid even hearing people call my name. For the vast majority of my life, the only time people wanted to see me was to condemn me or point out what I was doing wrong. Most of this was quite nasty. I don’t enjoy socializing. It’s a nightmare for me.

Naturally I hate talking about my problems. First of all, seems like no one cares. Second, nothing ever changes when I do complain. I’ve had maintenance issues in my apartment that have taken over five years to solve. They got solved only when my family got involved. I don’t understand that. Why is it my complaints are ignored but when multiple people, namely my family, get involved, suddenly it’s like things start getting done. Even my doctors have never listened to me. It’s why I don’t go to doctors unless it’s an emergency. It’s just a waste of time if they aren’t going to listen to you and nothing ever changes.

I feel the same way about politics. I can’t understand why people are so rabid about their political beliefs when politicians are notorious for not getting things done or making effective change. The politicians themselves don’t decrease my quality of life, it’s the people who have a religious like fervor for their political beliefs that do. Sadly, that is most of my family and many of my friends. I’ve lost most of my friends over the last several years because of how serious they took politics. They care about it more then they care about their own children it seems.

I am tired of constantly feeling lonely. I don’t isolate because I am anti social, even though even my own parents accused me of this all the time while growing up. I am not anti social, I just have different interests than most people. Always have. Always will. I can’t even watch a football game anymore without hearing friends and family complain about the players, the coaches, the officiating, the strategy, etc. Most of this complaining comes from people who haven’t played even junior high sports. I don’t know anything about quantum physics or engineering, but I am not going to criticize those who spend their entire careers to such fields. My brother is an electrical engineer by trade. He has probably forgotten more about computers and electronics than I could learn in five lifetimes. I refuse to comment on his work. Yet people, who’s only experience with competition was playing dodgeball in grade school PE, feel they have a God given duty to complain about star athletes and coaches. Is it because we as a species value physical strength more than we do wisdom and knowledge? Probably.

As far as feeling lonely, it’s not because I hate people. When I find someone with similar interests, I can talk to them for hours. But if all people want to do is talk about how much they hate their jobs, how disrespectful the kids are, or the weather, I’ll be looking to end the conversation within a few minutes.

End of Holidays and Sticker Shock

Another holiday season has come and gone. And we are now in full winter. Supposed to get some snow in my town tomorrow night. Makes me glad I have enough supplies I don’t have to go out.

This was kind of a let down holiday season. I spent Christmas alone as I told my parents I didn’t think it was safe for them to travel several hundred miles when the pandemic was picking back up. The case numbers have skyrocketed in my country. So I stay close to home most days. I haven’t seen my family since Thanksgiving. I can hardly wait for this pandemic to burn out.

I drop in on a couple neighbors at least once a day. Found I have a new neighbor a couple doors from me. She seems nice. Seems like we’re getting more and more younger people in here all the time. I was the youngest when I moved in 15 years ago. There are plenty of residents older than me but only a handful who have been here longer than I.

Found out my internet bill went up this month. Cancelled my cable several months ago because of price increases. Cancelled Netflix too. I watch mostly youtube and Amazon Prime. I get most of my news reading free online journals and newspapers. I definately suffered some sticker shock the last time I bought groceries. I’m looking for ways to cut expenses. I can’t really increase my income without social security disability cutting back on benefits. I definately do not want to lose Medicaid right now. I’m sure my three week stay in the hospital would have cost a fortune if not for Medicaid.

I keep myself occupied by reading books, watching educational videos on youtube, and reading online journals. Currently working on a Ray Dalio book. I’m not sure what my next project will be.

December 27 2021

Another Christmas has come and gone. I spent this one alone as I was afraid of having my elderly parents travel several hundred miles to see me on Christmas. First time in my life I spent Christmas alone. My cleaning lady was kind enough to drop off two plates of traditional Christmas dinner. She does this for all of her clients who are shut ins. I stayed home, listened to Christmas music while playing computer games, and watched the old movie ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.’ It could have been worse. I friend of mine and her spouse spent Christmas sick with the flu while their neighbors suffered from covid.

This month has been warmer and drier than usual this year. We’ve had snow only twice in the last eight weeks. So it’s been drier too. Supposed to get cold this weekend. New Year’s Eve has always been one of my favorite holidays. Something about the old ending and the new beginning has always appealed to me. I used to go to local concerts on New Year’s Eve. I always made a point of leaving well before midnight to avoid drunk drivers.

Still lifting weights three times per week. I’m starting to sleep less too. Most nights I go to bed around 9:30 pm and wake up at 5am. I got a new cpap machine so I’m good to go on that for at least several years. I’m still losing weight as my clothes are looser and my endurance is increasing with each passing week.

I still talk to friends, neighbors, and family at least once a day. Even though I spend most of my time at home, I’m not lonely. I drop in on my neighbor across the hall once a day on average.

Been lazy about reading the last several days. I guess it comes and goes in cycles. I’ll probably start back up by the end of the year. I still have the Audible account. I probably won’t give that up anytime soon.

Been more paranoid than usual the last several days. Probably from the lack of sleep. My illness seems to get worse when my sleep patterns change. Sleep has always been good therapy for me.

December 16 2021

My homestate had some really weird weather yesterday. Several towns had tornado warnings, some places got snow, and we had hurricane force winds almost all day. A part of my town lost power. I got mostly high winds, a little rain, and a little snow. I was able to avoid most of the issues. There were also a few range fires in my state and even dust storms before the rain arrived. The airport in Lincoln, Nebraska reported wind gusts of over 100 mph.

I managed to weather the storm all right. I have several flash lights, several blankets, battery powered radios, and several days worth of water in case of emergencies. Didn’t have to break into any of that, at least not this time. I always keep a flash light on my desk and my night stand.

Really weird weather for mid December.

December 2 2021

Been having quite a bit of maintenance work done in my apartment this week. Most of it was routine things that were put off due to the pandemic. I might be getting new appliances too this winter. Both my refrigerator and stove are over thirty years old. I need a new microwave too.

I rearrainged in my apartment. Moved most of my furniture to different parts of the living room. Better use of my floor space I guess. It’s easier to walk around in my apartment now.

With all of the additional guests and inspections we’ve had lately, I’m ready for things to quiet down again. Can’t remember the last time I spent an entire day alone. I enjoy those days once in awhile.

Been mentally stable for weeks now. Had an appointment with a psych doctor right before Thanksgiving. I don’t see him again until late January.

Been into audiobooks lately with my Audible account. Currently listening to some Ray Dalio and Yuval Noah Harrari. I’ll usually have an audiobook going while I’m playing computer games.

Have been fighting a cold for over a week now. I guess it is that time of year again. It’s more of an annoyance than anything right now.

November 25 2021

Today is Thanksgiving here in the USA. I hosted my parents over the weekend as my parents were in state to attend a funeral. I spent today alone but my house keeper was kind enough to bring me a couple plates of traditional Thanksgiving fare. Called my parents, were were at my brother’s house. Got to talk to all four of my brother’s kids. They are doing well.

Still not sleeping as consistently as I would like. I usually get my best sleep between 5am and 8am. Decided I’m cutting out caffeine for awhile to see what happens. I’ve already been a week without coffee. I’m on day two of no diet soda pop.

Covid cases are on the rise again in my state. At least one person in my complex has had it within the last two weeks. I’m staying close to home for the most part. Getting cold enough now I don’t want to spend much time outdoors. Only a matter of time before the snow really arrives. Been drier than usual this autumn.

Changes in Sleep Patterns

I haven’t been sleeping much lately. Yet it doesn’t seem to be effecting my mental health much. I usually go to sleep around 11pm, wake at 3am, stay up for a few hours, and then sleep from 6am to 9am. Far cry from the 12 hours a day I was sleeping just a month ago.

We’re having apartment inspections this week. I’m not really worried but I will be glad to have them done. I usually stay close to home. It’s starting to get kind of boring. But I’m still slightly afraid to socialize. Seems like many people are just irritable and on edge most of the time anymore.

Saw my home health nurse on Friday afternoon. I usually see her once a week. I have a Zoom call with my doctor in two weeks. The blood pressure is still borderline high. So I’ll be on these meds for the rest of my life. Perhaps the blood pressure meds have the side effect of making me want to sleep less.

Been kind of restless lately, especially in the middle of the night. Lying in bed while my mind races in the middle of the night is a new normal for me. I used to fall asleep real easily. Not anymore. Having weird dreams too. They aren’t scary, they’re just odd and make no sense.

November 3 2021

We are well into fall right now. My town had it first’s snow of the season two days ago. I’ve adjusted to my new medication routine. I still occasionally get spikes in blood pressure. I still occasionally have moments of depression and anxiety. Been able to avoid paranoia since I got out of the hospital.

My best friend had covid in October. Had to miss some time from work. She’s recovered now. She said it was one of the worst sicknesses she ever had. I’m due for a booster shot sometime around Christmas.

Had an appointment with my general practice doctor via Zoom last week. The public transit in my town isn’t very easily accessible. So Zoom appointments, grocery delivery, and Amazon Prime are godsends for people like me.

I no longer sleep twelve hours a day. I’m now around 8 hours or so. Most nights I’m up in the middle of the night for a couple hours. I still get stiff and sore, especially in the mornings. That first get out bed and walk to the bathroom is always the worst. After I stood up a couple times, I’m usually pretty good to go. The stiffness comes back if I sit for more than a couple hours at a time.