Going To Long Term Care and Reflections on Life Since 2006

Tonight is my last night in swing bed. I move to my permanent place in long term care tomorrow. My parents and my cleaning lady are emptying out my apartment today. It is a bittersweet end of one chapter in my life and the start of another. At this point in my life, I can no longer manage both my physical and mental health problems all alone anymore. I gave it an honest shot for over eighteen years. I had lived in my previous apartment for sixteen years. Worked a variety of jobs, started my blog, made lots of new friends, had three grandparents, three uncles, and a favorite cousin die, had several really good friends die, lost most of my mobility, survived a car crash, went through two years of the covid pandemic without getting sick, saw my best friend from college get married and become a dad, and saw my three nephews and niece grow up. While I am sad that my physical health has fallen apart so fast, I am confident I am now where I need to be.

In my sixteen years in my previous apartment, I went to the mental health hospital twice. I applied for and got on social security disability insurance. I worked for four years as a janitor at the county courthouse. I started this blog and have continued it on a regular basis for nine years. I became a published writer by having several poems published in a couple literary magazines. I learned about the joys of home grocery delivery. I found out that youtube is a wealth of knowledge if one knows how to properly look. I learned more history, philosophy, economics, science, etc. in several years of binge watching youtube than I did in my formal education. I saw several cousins get married and become parents. I had DNA tests to determine what psych meds would be best for me with great success. I saw the rise of the smart phone. I saw the world completely transform during a pandemic. I went from a young to a middle aged man. I saw three college classmates die young. I saw my parents retire and move out of their house of over thirty five years to be closer to their grandkids. I saw private space flight become a normal thing. I saw the first Black man become president of the United States. I saw the first woman become vice president. I saw a new pope elected. I saw same sex marriages legalized. I saw the beginnings of legalized marijuana. I saw the Arab Spring. I saw Brexit. I saw the beginnings of driverless cars. I saw electric cars become mainstream. I saw people my age and younger become leaders in politics, science, and industry. I saw some people my age become grandparents. I saw the internet go from a luxury to a necessity. I saw China become a world power again. I saw a renewed appreciation for democracy, especially after the war in Ukraine started and several years of choaotic politics in USA and Europe. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the sixteen years I lived in my last apartment. Heck, I don’t even recognize the world of 2006 anymore. Hope I can get to live another sixteen years to see what changes happen then. Now that I’m in long term care and have around the clock medical care, my chances of seeing the next sixteen years are improving.

May 16 2022

Haven’t written lately. But, then I’ve been too discouraged to write. My diet has changed significantly due to price increases. I stay home all the time. Breaks my heart to see how insane most people have become these days. I believe mass psychosis is real. I see it every day. While I know things will never go back to the way they were pre covid, I can’t even relate to most people anymore. I swear the older I get, the less sense people make. Makes me glad to be an introvert. At this point I’m just surviving. Forget about thriving and self actualization.

My friends are also stressed. A friend of mine had much of their personal info and emails hacked into. Another friend and her husband are both working full time yet rely on food pantries. My dad might have to have stints put in by the end of summer. Another friend of mine found out his house has almost doubled in value since he and his wife bought it five years ago. Nothing makes sense anymore. I can handle life being unfair. Hell, I’ve heard that from my elders all the time since I was four years old. It’s a lot tougher when things no longer make sense. I’m now surprised when things work the way they are supposed to.

At least in my part of the world, we aren’t having problems with covid and lockdowns anymore. I feel for the people in China who have indefinate lockdowns and food shortages. Lockdowns of entire cities don’t make sense. We have vaccines that work. Survivors develop a sort of immuntity. My brother has had covid twice. He said the second time was alot easier than the first. And don’t even get me started on the war in Ukraine. We all have to suffer because of our leaders’ pride and ego it seems like.

Why I Love Being An Adult

Talked to my landlady this morning. Got my paperwork signed that will allow me to stay for at least another year. And she was actually apologetic about the wait on the paper work. First time in my entire life someone in a place of power actually apologized to me. When I was in my twenties and thirties, most bosses and landlords acted like they were doing me a favor by letting me work a job and not be homeless. It’s amazing how much things change once you have a little money and some gray in your beard. Things like this make me glad I’m no longer young. I’m starting to understand why some people say life beings at 40.

I admit I don’t miss my twenties and thirties. Sure I miss the physical health and ability to just do things with friends at the drop of a hat. But I certainly don’t miss the disrespect, slights, and elders complaining about me being one of those “damn kids.” Breaks my heart that I see people my age complaining about the young now. It’s like, they were complaining about us the same way back in the 1990s. We weren’t the “triggered snowflakes”, but we were “slackers.” Hell, kids today binge drink less, have less sex, and do fewer drugs than the kids back in the 90s did (at least according to statistics). Rates of violent crime were going down for decades, at least until covid hit. Makes me wonder what Gen Y and Gen Z will say about their kids twenty years from now. Maybe cyborgs and full immersion virtual reality will be the social media of the 2040s.

I do enjoy being middle age. Sure I miss the mobility, but I also enjoy the new found respect. I’m still not used to people in places of power taking me serious though. Most of the time I went to doctors in my twenties and thirties, most of my problems were blamed on my weight. One doctor blamed even my schizophrenia on my weight. I’m glad I fired him.

That’s another thing I glad I’m getting to finally experience in middle age. People like landlords, doctors, nurses, maintenance men, service workers, delivery guys, now act like their relationship with me is a two way street. When I was in my twenties, I was regarded as a nuissance at best by all of these. I still remember walking into stores in the mall as a teen and twenty something and getting followed around by the manager thinking I was going to steal something. Happened quite often. I still remember doctors and landlords treating me like I was an idiot and they were doing me a favor just by letting me into their offices. Now that I’m in my forties, it’s like we now have the two way relationship. I’m almost never regarded as an inconvinence or stupid. I never want to be young again. Screw that.

I also love how I can now say things that I know to be true and be considered wise and smart. When I was in my teens and twenties, I was just regarded as having an attitude problem especially when I was right. I was saying the same things at age 13 that I am at age 41. Yet now I am considered wise. I guess gray hair, chronic knee pain, and a little extra money make all the difference in the world. I just hope I never forget the struggles it took to get here. I hope I never pull the same crap on kids that was pulled on me.

Things I Learned In The Adult World I Wish I Learned In School

With graduation being only a few weeks away, I thought I’d compose a list of things that I learned as an adult that would have made my life easier had I learned them while in grade school and high school. Here goes:

How to invest in the stock market

How compounding interest works

How to have an argument without resorting to insults and violence

Sometimes being “just good friends” is better than a romantic relationship

How to spot biases in news stories and journal articles

How to really listen to people

How to convince people of the validity of my ideas (Hint: facts and statistics almost never work)

I wish I paid more attention in junior high home economics

I wish I paid more attention in shop class

No one is going to ask to see your grades unless you’re trying to get into grad school, law school, medical school, etc.

Things change

Take care of your knees

The only language some people understand is force

There are truly wealthy people who dress in Wal Mart clothing and drive Dodge Ram pickup trucks

There are lots of people living paycheck to paycheck who drive BMW and wear Louis Votton

If you are wrong, apologize and move on. Don’t keep bringing it up.

It is possible to pay too much attention to a love interest. What you call being attentive, they may call being clingy.

Adults don’t know everything. They are just better at bluffing.

Having a job isn’t as bad as your parents and 7th grade teacher told you it was

You probably aren’t being judged as much as you think. Most people are too busy with their own lives to notice.

Eye witness testimony isn’t always reliable.

Sometimes bad people really do get what they deserve.

Some of the most admired people are sometimes the worst human beings in private

You can have just as good a time with pizza and cheap malt liquor as you can champagne and caviar.

You can have an even better time at your nephew’s sixth birthday party then you can any frat party.

No, it doesn’t make sense that a wedding takes a year to plan but a funeral can be planned in less than a week. But it doesn’t matter. Roll with it

It is impossible to predict human stupidity

Most people don’t read books or even newspapers after leaving school

Most people can get through life hap hazardly. But it won’t be a life that makes a difference to even your friends, family, and coworkers

Some people are better off not marrying

Some people are better off not having kids

Some people are better off not working a traditional 40 hour a week job

First impressions do matter but aren’t always accurate

Being a liar and a hypocrite works only when most people aren’t liars and hypocrites.

And, most people aren’t liars and hypocrites.

I have more in common with the working class of rival nations and religions than I do my political leaders and business tycoons

Life is a competition and a game, but in the end it all goes back in the box.

Money in itself isn’t evil but can be easily abused.

Poverty in itself isn’t virtuous.

Long hours and obsessive commitment won’t insure riches. They are the bare minimum.

You can be rich in money but poor in free time.

The graveyards of the world are full of people who could never imagine the world without them.

There will always be people who fight against progress.

The past was a real lousy place for anyone who wasn’t rich or in the religious or cultural majority.

Progress isn’t guarenteed

Machines and robots will eventually take most jobs

Time speeds up with age

Why I Spend Most Of My Time Alone

It’s been two weeks since I left my apartment for something other than picking up deliveries. When I was out and about two weeks ago, I was reminded why I isolate so much. Had a conversation with a guy who went on and on about conspiracy theories. Dude wouldn’t shut up. So, to make it interesting, I played along and acted like I believed similar nonsense. It was both annoying and amusing at the same time. Another guy asked me why I spent so much time alone. I just told him I love to read and watch educational videos. And he was all like, “Why? You don’t get paid for it.” I wanted to say, but didn’t, “I don’t get paid to eat and sleep either but I still do both.” Some people are so willfully clueless it’s scary. And I also ran into the random lady who went on and on about religious rock music. I’ve heard some of the newer stuff. It’s not going to make me forget “Amazing Grace”, “Old Rugged Cross”, or “Battle Hymn of the Republic”.

After a day like that, I had enough of being among people. I do get lonely at times. I’ve been quite lonely the last several days. But I’d rather be lonely than irritated.

April 24 2022

Finally got some rain. It’s been drought here for a long time. Seems like we have range fires every day somewhere in the state anymore.

Spending most of my at home these days in spite the warmer weather. I am just content to not socialize. Mentally I am still stable. Feeling less paranoid these days. I still sleep a lot. Eat usually only twice a day. Some days I eat only once. I think I’m still losing weight

I try not to pay attention to the news. Between the war, the number of covid cases going back up, and how hateful politics still are, it’s more than I can bear. I get overload so easily anymore. Makes me worry about the future. I’m glad I don’t have kids or a career as messed up as things have gotten. I just don’t see things ever improving.

Inflation Sucks

Had maintenance in my apartment yesterday fixing some things. I think I’m finally caught up on maintenance issues. I haven’t left my apartment for a few days. Just not in much of a mood to socialize these days. Seems like most of my friends are the same way.

Had to cancel my netflix service. Rates are going up again. My internet connection rates went up the first of the year. Looks like they’ll be going up even more in a few months. I get sticker shock every time I go grocery shopping. I’ve started eating more inexpensive things like rice and canned meat. I rarely order from amazon anymore. Price increases have certainly affected my life.

Been feeling more irritable and anxious the last few days. I’m also getting chronic aches and pains again. Some days my knees are bad enough I can barely walk even in my own apartment. I sit with blankets over my legs all the time no matter how hot it gets outside.

Don’t hear much from my friends these days. I think they are stressed and anxious too. Most people seem to be these days. In cases like these, it’s good that I can spend days at a time alone and not really be bothered by it.

April 2 2022

Just got over a cold that had been hanging on for several days. Been having lots of aches and pains again, especially in the mornings. I’m sleeping probably 10 to 12 hours a day for the last several days.

I still rarely leave my apartment. But I do have my windows open most days. There are some renovations being done in my complex as I hear power tools being used even as I write this.

Did some rearranging in my living room. I can now move around easier. Less clutter too. With the days starting to warm up, it’s starting to feel like spring.

Back to reading audiobooks a couple hours per day. I’m currently reading Yuval Noah Harari, Ray Dalio, and George Friedman.

The aches and pains are back, especially in my knees and lower back. Haven’t had much of an appetite the last several days. Some days I eat only once per day. I put myself back on fluid restrictions as I’ve had some swelling lately, particulary in my feet.

Mentally, I feel stable even if I am afraid to leave my place. I’m also in too much pain to walk very far. That keeps me at home most of the time.

March 10 2022

Got several inches of snow over the last couple days. Been really cold too. Haven’t left my apartment in over a week except to accept grocery deliveries. I still talk to friends and family on a daily basis. I still sleep a lot but I usually sleep only a couple hours at a time. Been feeling more aches and pains again. I just want to stay home all the time anymore. Sometimes I don’t even want to eat. I try to avoid the news anymore, even online materials. Bought some extra groceries. Who knows how high prices are going to get. Gas is close to $4 a gallon in my hometown and we are below national average. I guess it’s a good time to be a hermit and away from most people.

I’m Ready For Some Good News

Been watching the news online on and off all week. Breaks my heart that we made it through a pandemic only to have a major war. While I managed to make it through the pandemic and am thousands of miles away from the war, the last several years have taken a toll on me. I’m more or less house bound anymore because of my mental illness and chronic pain. At this point, I don’t even want to leave my house unless absolutely necessary. I’m too discouraged and disheartened to interact with most people in person anymore. I still hear from my neighbor across the hall several times a week. Maintenance was in my apartment to replace my intercom a few days ago.

All of this discouragement and anxiety is taking a toll. I am afraid of most people anymore. I am afraid of having a mental breakdown in public. I am afraid people will pick fights just because I may not agree with them. I know only a handful of people (myself included) who haven’t gotten covid. Even my brother has had it at least twice. I’d rather not talk to a therapist about all of this. I just want to vent to friends and family. Therapists are neither. I don’t need therapy. I need the support of real family and friends. Therapists are a poor substitute for both.

I am, like most people, spending more of my budget on groceries. Prices on everything have gone up. I’ve had to change my eating habits to make the budget work. So glad I no longer have a car. I get sticker shock every time I go shopping. Can’t even remember the last time I bought ground beef, let alone steak.

I’m scared of socializing. I’m tired of being forced into pointless drama. I’m tired of everything going wrong all the time. I can understand why monks and scholars have voluntarily isolated themselves from the rest of the world for thousands of years. I more or less do just that, even if it is just my apartment. And I’m content and happy with it. What bothers me is that most people I know can’t understand why I’m happy to be alone all the time with my books and computers. I have never enjoyed social gatherings or workplace parties that much. I don’t even like watching sporting events anymore. They just lost their appeal for me. I wouldn’t even do fantasy league baseball if not for a few friends. And now the baseball season may be delayed because of a lockout. I swear nothing works like it’s supposed to anymore. I’m just ready for some good news again.