I have my birthday coming up in a few days. My birthday doesn’t mean as much to me anymore as it did when I was in my youth and early adulthood. I’ve made my peace with the fact that I’m not going to get younger or stronger as I age. I accept that things on my body are going to start wearing out. I’ve even accepted that I may become forgetful and not have as rapid mental recall as I did in my younger years. But this mental illness has become easier to manage than it was even five years ago. Even my current problems aren’t overbearing like they were years ago. Now they are irritable occurences that I just deal with until they pass by. I really think my mental illness is easier to deal with now in my late 30s than it was when I was in the prime of my health.
I don’t worry about getting older. I actually welcome it. I’m not really that nostalgic about the past and I really don’t have that many regrets about my past. I avoided all the major mistakes and learned from the minor ones. I’m not tied down as much as many people I know. I know people from my classes in high school and college who have gone through divorces, stuck in dead end jobs, paying off massive debts, in unhappy marriages, have addiction problems, and generally not having a very good time in their thirties. My only true problem is I can stand to lose about 100 pounds. I’ve already lost at least 25 pounds since New Year’s. All I really did was give up fast food, give up most sugar, give up most bread, and drink only water and coffee. Even my chronic back pain is gone. I do occasionally allow myself thin crust pizza, but I go heavy on vegetable toppings when I do.
As cool as my college years were, in spite of the schizophrenia, in some ways my late 30s are even more amazing. I stay in contact with my college friends via facebook and instagram. I have all the music I spent a small fortune on in my teens and twenties for free on youtube and spotify. And I even listen to some of the newer material that comes out too, not just what I grew up with. When I was a teenager I promised myself that regardless of how my life or career turned out, I would never allow myself to become a bitter old man. That’s why I don’t complain about the “lousy kids” or pine for the “good old days.” I do have a few regrets, but the big one (not having much of a relationship with my brother), even that can be reversed once he and I start to put the effort into it. We may not talk much, but that isn’t because we hate each other. We just have totally different lives and day to day experiences.
I may not have dated many women, but I did have some roller coaster ride romances I don’t regret. I asked out all the women I had crushes on in my life, got turned down by most of them, but I’m not wondering ‘what if’ about the one I let get away. Just because I asked was a victory in some regards. I’m glad for the dates I had, even the really lousy ones. I don’t regret being stood up by women, or being rejected, or watching one woman I liked date one of my close friends. And I don’t regret being unmarried at this point in my life. I definately don’t regret not paying alimony or child support. If, at some point down the road, I do meet my forever instead of my usual until whenever types, I’ll consider it an added bonus. But I am not worried about being an old man and alone. By the time I get to be an old man, I may have a robotic assistant that does everything that a professional care giver would anyway. I’ve lived 38 years at this point and experienced some cool things. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Been kind of a quiet last few days. That’s why I haven’t written much; just no real news to report. I still sleep most mornings after being awake most nights. Last night was the first time in months I was asleep before midnight. It was strange to be waking up at sunrise instead of going to bed then. Even though my schedules are all backward compared to the rest of the world, I’m still feeling quite stable. I’m sure my friends and family are concerned about my backwards bio clock, but I have more or less been quite stable for months because of it. Even though my social life has taken a beating because of my schedule, I really don’t want to change it up too much because it has worked for so long.
I usually spend my overnight hours attending YouTube university and messing with computer games. I like playing strategy games as opposed to shooters or action games. I guess I like brain building activities even in leisure time. As far as youtube goes, the topics I watch on change every so often. For awhile I was researching near future tech we could be seeing in the next few years. Then I researched early civilizations like Sumeria. Now I’m currently interested in the old Chinese Silk Road. Unfortunately, I didn’t study that part of the world’s history much during my formal education. But then there is only so much time in school that most things I had to learn on my own out of necessity and my own curiousity. But just because I’m on disability doesn’t mean I have gotten lazy. Too many people have the idea that all disabled people spend their social security money on booze and drugs. For most of us, this simply isn’t true. Sure some people do stupid things with their money, but so do many people regardless their working status.
I usually spend my evenings alone and working on my computers and building my brains. But I enjoy learning. It is actually fun for me. I feel sad that intelligence is no longer valued among most people I know. But that is just the way things are. One good thing about the internet is that it is easier to find like minded people than in ages past. Most of my friends I interact with online. Many I haven’t met in real life and probably never will. But that’s going to be the new normal.
Been more stable than usual for the last couple weeks. Besides the fact I usually stay up all night, go to bed at sunrise, sleep until early afternoon, and then wake up for good, I don’t have much unusual going on right now. Perhaps one of the reasons I have stabilized lately is that I have a routine that works for me. I usually don’t alter it unless necessary. I had to be up early a few days ago so maintenance could do some work in my place. Spent a few hours out of my place and socializing with fellow tenants like old times. Even though I haven’t socialized much over the last several months, I picked up like I never left off. I was lucky in that I ran into a few of the more interesting tenants and we were able to do more than talk about the weather or complain about other people. Mundane chit chat really drains me real fast. That’s why I don’t do well at large social gatherings or Christmas parties.
Been reestablishing a couple of the friendships I had lost contact with over the last few years. There are more I’d like to get back going. One of my best friends from childhood I’d love to get back in contact with but I haven’t seen him in almost twelve years. It’s a sad deal because we were almost like family to each other in junior high and high school. Very interesting man. But we just lost contact over the years. I lost contact with most of my old high school friends besides one or two of them. In 2019, my twenty year reunion is coming. I’m probably not going as most of the friends I had as a teenager aren’t the type that go to reunions. And part of me is afraid to go back after fighting mental illness for my entire adult life and falling apart the way that I have. One of the reasons I’m not very nostalgic about my youth, or the past in general, is that high school, at least for me, was the toughest four years of my life. I can’t imagine how tough they would have been had I not had the interesting and stimulating friends that I did.
I had some great times in college. It was far more fun and stimulating than I experienced anywhere before or since. It was one of those experiences that, as much as I enjoyed it, I didn’t realize how rare it would be compared to the rest of my life. I think I’m starting to understand why most people don’t like their jobs and think adulthood sucks. I might be in the same camp had I not had a mental illness destroy any shot I ever had at a decent career. I never could adapt to office politics or the thought that mediocrity in the workplace and life in general was acceptable. I certainly couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that being good at a job meant that I was a threat to my coworkers and bosses. Workplaces really are like living Dilbert cartoons. I don’t know what it’s like in other nations, but Dilbert and The Peter Principle aptly describe my experiences in the American workplace.
Even though I’m fighting a mental illness and don’t have much money, I’m pretty happy overall for the most part. Not having a career made me realize that we really don’t need a lot of money if just having a happy existence is your main goal. For years I have heard people say things like “you never hear a dying man say he wishes he worked more or had more possessions”. And then these same people would work themselves into poor health, excessive stress, and destroy their personal relationships and families pursuing possessions and excessive working. I think this is stupid. Learn from the mistakes of the dying generations already. Stop parroting their thoughts and then doing the exact opposite. I guess I had to lose a career and my prestige to find my sanity and peace.
Been feeling quite lonely for the last few days. I’m actually craving attention from other people, especially from people with similar interests and in my age bracket. Haven’t heard from any of my old high school or college friends in weeks. Seems like many of my friends got busy with family and careers and forgot about their old friends. As far as I can tell, I am one of the only single friends in my circle of friends. Some of my friends have even gone through divorces by now. I almost never hear from my brother. But he has four kids and a serious career, so I guess we have nothing in common. And to make things even worse, we weren’t close at all growing up. We were just completely different people with nothing in common except that we had the same parents. Not having a relationship with my brother is one of the few true regrets I have about my current life that I could have done different.
Having a serious mental illness taught me that there is more to life than having a career. Unfortunately, too many people don’t realize this until they are retired and most of their life is behind them. This is probably why so many people feel depressed and useless once their careers are over, especially older men. Like most boys, I was constantly asked what I wanted to do when I grew up. I usually answered something in the sciences. But the mental illness came creeping in just right before I could cash in on my brains and use them in a career. Thank God I found a small niche online as a mental health blogger/philosopher. I don’t even want to think what would have happened had I been born in my grandparents’ generation and not had this outlet. It also makes me wonder how many mentally ill geniuses were lost over the centuries because they had no outlets to use their smarts.
I wanted to be a scientist when I was a child. As it turned out I became a writer with interests in science. I developed lots of interests and hobbies over the years, but never became profecient enough to turn these interests into careers. For awhile as a child I flew model airplanes with my dad. I did quite a bit of fishing and survival training when I was in Boy Scouts. I made model cars for awhile. I collected coins and baseball cards for a few years. Still have all of my baseball cards from my youth. I taught myself some basic computer coding. That probably could have turned into a job, at least until computers can regularly code themselves. Who knows, maybe in the future the majority of people won’t have regular jobs simply because machines and programs can do them better and make many things cheaper.
While I wouldn’t mind a future like this, I do understand why some people are apprehensive about what could be coming in the next couple decades. For generations, people have identified with the work they did to live. Everybody was interested in work and a person who didn’t need or want a regular job was an outcast. I have been an outcast in this regard for the last several years in that I don’t have a regular job, and really don’t need one as I can live just on my disability pension. I no longer feel the need for a lot of money. What I want at this point is to do work that makes a difference to people, the kind of work that “puts a dent in the universe” as the late Steve Jobs used to say.
While I am not delusional enough to believe I’m sure to get famous just from blogging, I do want to make a positive difference in the lives of the people who happen to read these postings. I suppose that since my basic needs are met by my disability pension, I can now move onto meaningful work and self actualization on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Self actualized and I make poverty level (for American standard) salary, only in the early 21st century. The closet I can think that anyone else in history was to this while living at low wages is probably medieval monks and scholars. No need to be entertained with lots of money when my own mind can keep me company.
This is a for fun post about things that I don’t like that most people would like or find odd about me. So here goes:
Things I Don’t Like but should
Dystopian science fiction books and movies
Most superhero movies
Most musical theatre
Chocolate covered cherries and strawberries
Game of Thrones discussions
The Walking Dead
Most horror movies
Black Friday shopping
Most things with pumpkin or pumpkin flavoring
Paying for bottled water
Watching most basketball games (I prefer baseball, football, and soccer)
Lying to people to make them feel good
Complaining about how much I hate working
People who won’t do anything to solve problems they complain about
Most coffee lattes
Most fiction novels
Trolling people online
Unexpected guests at my home
These are just a few of the things I don’t like but probably should. I should do more for fun posts 🙂
Going on a detour for this post. I haven’t done one of these ‘just for fun’ posts in a long time. This one is going to be about things that I like that many people would find surprising and would tell me that I shouldn’t like. So here goes:
McDonald’s Big Macs
Staying up all night and sleeping in the daylight hours
Turn based strategy games over first person shooter games
Non fiction science books
Spending time alone and in deep thought
Doing most of my shopping online
Poking good natured fun at hard core conspiracy theorists
Heavy metal music
Documentary movies (namely science themed)
The comedy of Bill Hicks more than George Carlin
Comedy themed news shows like The Daily Show and Corbert Report
Lady Gaga’s music
Free audiobooks on youtube
Muting political debates and making up my own dialog
Mystery Science Theatre 3000
Well done Anime movies
Reading in the bathtub
These are just a few of the things I like but probably shouldn’t. But I should do more for fun type posts anyway 🙂
I’m currently at my parents’ house for the next couple days. There was some maintenance work that needed to be done at my apartment. But as long as I have my computer and even average internet service, I can get everything I need done.
Been sleeping more than I would like again. Not sure what to make of that. I’ve also been more frustrated and short tempered and depressed than usual for the last couple weeks. Normally spring is my favorite time of year. So I’m not sure what’s going on. Still getting more active and being more careful about what I eat. Since I am at my parents’ house, I’ve been doing more socializing in person than my usual.
Being back in a small town for the first time in months, I had forgotten how quiet things could be. I had gotten used to hearing people in my hallways and knocking on doors for most of the day. I was also hearing ambulance and fire sirens a few times a day too as I lived on a busy street. And I forgot how dark it gets at night in rural areas. It’s almost eerily dark. Yet it was something I had taken for granted while growing up.
I plan on spending another couple days here. I really hadn’t had much peace and quiet in my life for the last few weeks. I’m ready for things to settle down again. Dare I say, I actually miss winter now. I don’t miss the cold and snow, but I do miss the quiet days and down time. I usually do pretty good writing in the winter months.
My back still flares up from time to time. The worst part is that I can’t stand for more than ten minutes without real bad back pain. I’m afraid I may have to go back to a chiropractor. I’ve already had a couple rounds of treatments since my car accident. But I’m getting more and more afraid that this back pain might be chronic even as I lose weight. It’s really sad as I used to walk thirty minutes a day, five days per week before my car accident. I know now that wreck messed me up more than I cared to admit. Hopefully as I lose more weight, the back pain can subside.
As it is, I’m taking it easy for the next couple days as things are getting straightened out back home. And I am enjoying the first true downtime in the last few weeks.
Been kind of depressed and irritable for the last several days. Haven’t been sleeping well either. About the only thing going really well for me is my renewed diet. I am eating less than I normally do and getting more activity. I get my activity in the afternoons even though I’m in the habit of sleeping until noon again.
I also no longer want to socialize. And this time I don’t feel guilty for it. I am tired of people who are in foul and angry moods trying to drag me down into their own mindlessness and petty vendettas. Unfortunately, anymore, if it weren’t for negativity and fighting, there would be few conversations and certainly no social media. I hate how I just can’t have a civilized conversation with even people I partly agree with anymore. And good luck trying to talk to anyone who doesn’t view the world the same way you do. I’m beginning to think that many people have mental health problems just because of the way we treat each other and the stress of modern living. Granted, a person doesn’t have to be chronic like those of us on disability to have problems. I have had a mental illness for almost twenty years now. And only recently are people starting to talk about the effects of stress, anxiety, and chronic mental illnesses. For the first several years of my diagnosis I didn’t talk about my mental health to anybody. And I think I lost several good friendships because my friends didn’t understand that my depression and anger were nothing personal, they were manifestations of the sickness.
For the first several years of my illness I just didn’t talk about it, not even to friends or employers. Back in those days mental illness was shrouded in more mystery and ridicule than even now. I have no idea how many times I was told to ‘suck it up’ or ‘man up’ in those early years. ‘Man up’. Now there is a stupid phrase I can’t figure out. What does it even mean? Is there really only one type of manliness? And why is it the only type of virtues in a man we appreciate are those that involve the John Wayne frontier mentality that violence is the only way to solve all problems? I think this is stupid, very stupid. A mentality like that will make our species extinct. And quite honestly, I enjoy living too much to sit idle while this type of barbarian behavior is honored and encouraged. I would rather not go back to the Stone Age. I hated all the ‘Mad Max’ movies and I definately don’t want to experience them in real life.
Another thing, we don’t females to ‘woman up’ and we don’t tell senior citizens to ‘young down’ nor do we tell terminally ill people to ‘hurry up and die.’ It’s little things that normal people just take for granted that I don’t understand and that I often see the dumbness and hypocracy in. But most people seem pretty cool with dumb things and hypocracy anyway, at least when it comes from sources they like. Unfortunately I never understood this line of thinking. It’s probably why I have problems socializing with the public at large. And of course having a chronic mental illness that people are still ignorant about doesn’t help either.
In closing, as a thought experiment, I was wondering what would happen if someone (or a group of individuals) just went about their daily lives being as rude and condescending to physical people as we are to people in our online interactions. I would love to see some psychiatrist conduct this experiment. I think the results would be either very interesting or very disturbing.
Been changing up my routines now the weather is staying warm. Went outside a few times today. First time was something as simple as taking my trash out and then spending an extra ten minutes outdoors. Then this late afternoon I spent almost an hour outdoors. When I do spend time outside lately, it’s usually for about a half hour at a time in the middle of the afternoon. I have been doing that for the last week or so.
I also decided to get serious about my diet again. Today was the first day of tracking what I eat. By that I mean I wrote down everything I ate today. Ate only two meals today just because I got tired of writing everything down. I know now that the only surefire way to lose weight in my case is to write down everything I eat. I lost seventy pounds in less than a year doing that a few years ago. I quit tracking after my car accident, got depressed, and started eating a lot. Gained back the weight I lost. I want to lose weight because there are still things I’d love to do in my life. I already have a strong mind, I just as well get the body to go with it. I imagine with my build being what it is, I will never be able to run marathons. I’m naturally barrel chested and stocky with short limbs. But I could easily walk four to five miles a day when I was in college. I want to lose weight largely because I think that is the only way my back is ever going to completely heal. I’m tired of dealing with back pain. I’ve lost weight before. It’s a matter of doing it again.
I also hired a house cleaning service. They are currently scheduled to come to my apartment every two weeks. They’ll be here tomorrow afternoon. My place is looking better than it was even a few weeks ago. One of the things that caused me such depression, I think, was living in a cluttered house. I was depressed because the house was cluttered and the house stayed cluttered because I was too depressed to do anything about it. Mental illness can be such a vicious cycle that it tough to pull out of. But I think I am pulling out of my winter depression and anxiousness. I am so glad I haven’t had the anger and anxiety that I’ve had in years past.
Spent the last couple days out of my hometown while visiting family. It was pleasant to unplug and unwind while enjoying the company of my parents. Didn’t get much done on this trip other than unwind and touch base with family. I was needing at least a couple days of different surroundings. I visited my family at the acreage. It was good to be back around nature and less rush. While I am a self admitted city slicker even though I grew up in a rural area, it was still fun to be outside again for a couple hours at a time without being paranoid of being watched by nosy neighbors.
I sometimes get paranoid around even individual people nearby, especially when I want to be alone. When I was in college, I used to take my trash to a dumpster on the other side of town because I was afraid that people where going through my trash. I used to be afraid that neighbors and even family were listening in on my conversations. But the real paranoia I am working against now is that I fear that I am losing favor with my neighbors and fellow tenants in my complex. I may not be the greatest tenant in my complex, but I still try hard to be friendly with people and just avoid arguments as much as possible. Fortunately in my over ten years at my current address, I have had real arguments with only three tenants that I can think of right off hand. Fortunately those cleared up really quick and the problems were resolved shortly afterwards.
Paranoia is indeed strange. I know in the reasonable part of my mind that my paranoias aren’t real and that I’m essentially worrying over nothing that can’t be easily resolved. But, the irrational part of my mind keeps replaying these paranoid thoughts on an endless loop. Drowning out the paranoid thinking process with positive news that is actually happening helps. Positive thoughts help, especially if they can be shown to be true. That’s why I spend a lot of time researching science advances and medical news. Yet, even then, occasionally the paranoia gets the better of my reasonable side. The problems I had over the last few days, fortunately, tend to get more rare and even less intense than even a few years ago. I was happy that I was able to go through this last round of problems without yelling and acting out. I’ve notice the breakdowns I do have anymore don’t seem to be as intense. I hope I have gotten better with letting off a little at a time rather than holding it in for a major meltdown.
I was more depressed and weary than angry and irritated these last few days. I guess that depression and weariness are becoming stronger than irritation and anger at this stage in my life. I’m glad that it takes more to anger me than in years past. I no longer avoid driving because of fears of going into road rage; I avoid driving now partly because I find it kind of boring and I don’t like being on the lookout for people who just aren’t paying as much attention to the road as they should. It doesn’t make me angry, but it does make me think ‘how bad do I really want to go out tonight when I can still contact friends from home.’ I used to love to travel. But I don’t enjoy the travel as much now. I enjoy the company of friends and family more now.