Haven’t really been much of anywhere lately. I don’t really feel the need to go out and about as much as I have previously. I guess I’m waiting for some of the crowds from the holidays to go down. I’m pretty well content to stay home, chat with friends over the phone or social media, and read online articles to keep my mind sharp. I still don’t watch much tv. I do sometimes nap in the afternoons. I am usually awake by sunrise most days now. And I usually go to bed around nine or ten p.m. I haven’t pulled an all nighter in weeks. I guess my routines are changing with the change in seasons.
Another week has come and gone. Besides seeing my psych doctor I haven’t been out too much. But it looks like our cold spell is over and it’s supposed to more bearable for the next several days. Our snow and is ice is melted. So getting around town is easier now. I spent an entire week without driving because of the snow and ice early this month. I was starting to feel kind of confined and needing to get out. Even I have times I just need to leave my fortress.
Been chatting with friends over facebook more lately. Made some new friends in my techie groups and kept in contact with friends and family. For awhile I was getting discouraged that I wasn’t hearing from my friends and family as often as I would like. But then, I wasn’t posting on my personal site much besides promoting my blog. Socializing is much like investing; no deposits, no returns.
Haven’t been reading much besides online articles and blogs lately. The thing is I read as much, or even more, than I have in years past. But I don’t read much for hardback print books. The things I enjoy reading about now are science, tech, geopolitical, and medical news articles and essays. Haven’t even listened to long audio books for weeks.
Sleep patterns have changed too, this time for the better. Most nights I go to sleep around nine or ten pm and wake up for good at four or five am. I still get my handful of quiet hours, I just get them in the early morning rather than the middle of the night. Been this way for a few weeks now. And it seems it takes more to make me irritable and paranoid ever since my sleep patterns changed.
Still haven’t made any concrete plans for Christmas. I may go to my parents’ new house in Oklahoma. But weather can be so unpredictable and dangerous for travel this time of year in my part of the country. I guess I don’t have any gift wishes this year. The PlayStation 5 won’t come out until next year at the earliest. I would like a new gaming console as the one I have is several years old and showing it’s age. One of my nephews recently bought a VR headset after saving his chore and odd job money for months. Personally, I’m waiting a few years until the quality improves and the prices drop at least 50 percent from what they are now. One thing about information and computer tech, the first versions are usually expensive and clunky (think cell phones from the 1980s or televisions from the 1950s), and after a few revisions they become inexpensive and every one has them. My cell phone is a $99 Wal Mart special smart phone. Yet, as far as computing power goes, it’s far better than the $2000 desk top computer I got for college back in 1999. Too bad the costs for things like housing, automobiles, and education didn’t drop with time like computer tech.
As it is, I’m enjoying this holiday season. The college bowl games start tomorrow, so there will be games on almost every day until New Year’s. That’s what I’ll be doing for awhile.
Saw my psych doctor this morning. Today was one of those days I really didn’t want to leave my apartment, but I’m glad that I forced myself out. Been on my new routine for about three weeks. I’ve lost a few pounds since then. Been lazy about exercise for a long time, too long. But I guess I’ve been paranoid enough that I sometimes went entire days without leaving my apartment for a long time. Of course, my physical health suffered as did my social life. I’m beginning to pick up the pieces and start over.
Been staying close to home the last several days. Did get outside for a couple hours today just to replenish on sunshine even though it was barely above freezing. I am staying occupied even if I don’t leave my house much. Cleaned some in my apartment this weekend. I also cut my hair. I bought myself a hair trimmer for Christmas and wacked off my hair. I had let it grow shoulder length. With that length of hair and my full beard I was looking like an extra from Game of Thrones. Now I look like a military recruit at the start of Basic Training.
Been exercising at home lately. I got a stationary exercise bike from my dad before he moved out of state. I use that several times a week. My stamina is slowly coming back. And, unlike walking, it doesn’t really bother my lower back. My sleep patterns have changed too. Anymore I usually go to bed around 9 or 10pm usually to wake up at 5 or 6 am. Most of my awake time is spent in daylight hours now even though it is late autumn.
I still don’t know what I’m doing for Christmas. It depends largely on the weather. I would love to go see my parents’ new house and my brother’s family. I saw his kids over the summer but I haven’t seen him or my sister in law since Thanksgiving 2017. I guess if I can’t go see them in person I’ll have to dust off my Skype and talk to them that way. I am looking forward to the college football holiday bowl season. That has always been one of my favorite sports events over the years. I enjoy watching football and it gives me a chance to see teams I don’t see very often.
Been chatting with old friends more often lately. I guess now that the end of the year holidays are here, people are taking more time to reconnect to family and friends. Even though I don’t usually talk to many people in person, it’s not because I hate people. I usually don’t talk to people in person as much if I don’t have common interests. I have always thought it would be cool if there were entire communities of people with similar interests and passions living together, much like college dormitories or artists’ communes. But I guess good luck getting such set ups for science and history enthusiasts together without the considerations of money or jobs. Maybe in future centuries there will be such places. For now, I guess hobbies and interests groups on social media are the next best thing.
I have spent much of my life alone because I have rarely known people with my kind of interests and passions. College was fun in that I did meet many people with my interests. It was also a place where being eccentric and quirky wasn’t condemned but generally tolerated. I miss that about living in the adult world, not many people with my interests and generally little tolerance for being different than the norm, especially in work places and social settings.
I was never a conformist as a kid and I certainly refuse to be one now. Sure it has made me lonely over the years and on the receiving end of much harassment and abuse, especially in the work place. But I can’t stand the thought of being just another soulless empty suit in an office or another cog in an industrial wheel. Maybe disability was the best thing that could have happened to me in this regard. As much as I didn’t fit in during my teenage years, I fit in even worse in the workplace and adult dating scene. But I no longer regret either one. In fact, I am thankful for this.
I have to admit that I am grateful for social media outlets like facebook and even twitter. Made some new friends through these even if I will never meet these people in person. For the first few years of being active on social media, I felt some sadness in finding out that there were lots of people scattered all over the world who shared my passions, interests, and mental pursuits but none of them lived within driving distance of me. My closest friends to me now live in Omaha. Most of my really good confidants live out of state. And many of my newer friends live in other countries. It is bittersweet in knowing that I am not as abnormal or damaged as I feared in my younger years. Besides the few years I was in college, I have never fit in with the people I lived near. There’s nothing bad or good in that either way, it just is a fact. It has caused me much grief over the years knowing that I would never have the same interests or pursuits as most people nearing in my hometown or even my own family. I didn’t have many friends as a kid, but that forced me to develop my own interests and ways of keeping myself occupied. Had I been Mr. Popular in my teenage years, I may have never developed my mental muscles to the extent that I did. I certainly wouldn’t be as self reliant or resourceful or resilient. All of these attributes have helped me immensely in my life as a mentally ill man.
As an adult, I have been able to expand my social circles even though I don’t have a regular job. This is because of facebook and twitter. Sure I have had to deal with jerks and irritable people online. But at least online, I have the unfollow and block buttons. I don’t have such near God like powers in person. If I have nosy neighbors or annoying people I see everyday, I just have to deal with it and smile. If someone is giving me static online, I send them to the unfollow and block list. It’s my personal version of digital purgatory I suppose. Facebook has actually made me more social than I was as a child before internet. It has also shown me that I am not the only person out there who feels isolated and alone because he/she doesn’t conform to the norms of his location. And now that I have filtered out the garbage that can come through social media, it is a social bonanza for me that I have never experienced in the real world. It’s rather amazing.
I’m still adjusting to my parents living out of state. It’s been almost two weeks since they moved. They have a potential buyer for my childhood house. So almost all of my ties to the village I grew up in are gone. Almost all of my childhood friends moved out of state. My grandparents are dead. And I think all the old teachers I had are now retired. My twenty year high school reunion will be next summer. I don’t know if I’m going. I didn’t go the ten or fifteen year ones. I guess after years of fighting mental illness, my high school years seem like someone else’s life. Needless to say I didn’t accomplish most of my goals I made when I was a teenager. But I don’t know how you plan for a mental illness. I had to figure things out as I went. Spent several years wandering in the dark making tons of mistakes. At this point in life, I’m happy to be here and coherent. I could have easily wound up in prison or dead by this point. I guess I’m proud that I didn’t fall through the cracks in the system and become a statistic. Yes, much has changed since I left my childhood home.
Spent Thanksgiving weekend by myself. Other than going to get medications refilled I didn’t brave the stores on Black Friday. After I got my meds I spent the weekend watching college football and playing computer games. As my Nebraska Huskers finished with a losing record we won’t be going to any bowl game. But there’s always next season. I did buy a Christmas gift for myself online on Black Friday.
Saw my psych doctor a week ago. We made some adjustments to the medication. He and I both think I’m too content to spend most of my time alone or asleep. So we reduced one med and started a new one that not only helps with compulsive behavior, but is suppose to actually be kind of a stimulant. For the almost twenty years I’ve been taking anti psychotic meds, most of them made me drowsy. That’s why I always took them at bed time. I’m able to sleep longer stretches lately as I don’t have as bad back pain anymore. For weeks I was sleeping only three hours at a time and sleeping half of the night in my easy chair. But haven’t had the problem for a week now.
I also noticed that I tend to me more lethargic and sluggish on days I eat a lot of sugar or grain products. Considering how much I like spaghetti and pastas, this has forced me to change my cold weather eating routines. I now eat more potatoes and soup when I’m in the mood for something to warm me up that will stick with me for awhile. I have found that as I age I have to be more mindful about what I eat. Caffeine buzzes me longer than even five years ago. Breads and grains make me sluggish and sleepy. Too much spicy food upsets my stomach and makes me kind of irritable. And don’t get me started on most fast food. I used to eat fast food three to four times a week. But that changed about a year ago. I’ve eaten McDonald’s only twice in 2018 and KFC only once. And Taco Bell just irritates my stomach too much anymore. I’ve had to adapt my eating habits over the last few years. But I do cook most of my own meals now.