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.

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.

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.

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.