Rebirth of Spring and Readjusting Accordingly

Now that spring has started and the days are longer than the nights, I’m going to attempt to readjust my sleep schedule.  I’m in the second day of this so I think it will be kind of a bumpy ride for the next few days.  I just woke up and got out of the bath tub and it’s right at 3 am as I write this.  I went to bed around 12 am but decided to get up once I could no longer sleep.  Usually taking my medications earlier in the night helps me to fall asleep sooner.  I did fall asleep at midnight instead of the usual 6 am.  But of course I didn’t sleep the night through.  But I have always had problems sleeping an entire night even as a child.  So my mom gave me a reading light so I could read and stay quiet while everyone else in the house slept.  By the time I got to high school I didn’t have a traditional bed time, I just had to be up by 7 am every morning so I didn’t miss school.  But I am starting to adjust to sleeping at night rather than in the day.

Yesterday I spent much of the day with unexplainable aches and pains, namely in my back.  First time in weeks I had such problems.  But after a couple hot baths and a few advil pills I was back to normal.  I have also noticed I feel fewer aches and pains on days when I don’t eat sugar or lots of processed foods.  Usually if I stick to water, vegetables, and fresh cooked meat I can do quite alright.

I am so looking forward to the warm weather and long days of spring.  Baseball starts in a week so I’ll have games on in the background when I’m doing my evening activities.  My Rockies had a decent season last year and bigger things are expected this year.  I hope they don’t disappoint.

Now the weather is getting better, I usually keep my windows open during daylight hours.  Since I’m awake in the day light hours more than I was this winter, I had forgotten how much I enjoy the smell of fresh air and the feel of a light breeze.  There are a lot of trees on my property and in my hometown and they are starting to bud again.  I’m sure we will have at least one quick hitting April blizzard like we usually do.  But I am glad winter has passed.  It was a tough winter for me, at least in terms of socializing and moving around.  It was tough that I would sometimes go entire days without leaving my apartment.  Hopefully that nonsense is over.  I’m ready for warmer weather, flowers in the park, and the occasional sun burn.  No season is perfect but at least I won’t be seeing nothing but ice, snow, and gray sky for weeks on end anymore.

Being Home Alone With Mental Illness Gave Me Time To Ponder Life In General (Or Philosophy From The Sofa)

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Haven’t been writing much lately  but that is mainly because I haven’t had much to report.  I have been quite stable for weeks.  Haven’t had any real bouts of delusion or paranoia.  The excessive anger doesn’t come up very often.  The hallucinations have subsided for the most part.  The ones I do have are more annoying than fear or anger inducing.

I don’t leave my apartment as much as I would like, mainly from the holiday crowds all over the place.  It doesn’t help any that many people I know seem to be in perpetual foul moods all the time.  It seems the older I get, the less tolerance I have for irritable people.  At this point, there is no way I could go back into working in customer service.  I can no longer stomach rude and angry people, even if I get paid for it.  Money is poor compensation for having to deal with uncivilized behavior all the time.

Even though I spend most of my time alone and at home, I still keep occupied.  Been reading a lot of science journals online and watching science programs on youtube and curiosity stream.  It’s too bad that more people aren’t interested in science and tech.  Both fields are fascinating, especially the last few years with as fast as these fields have been advancing.  The sad thing is I wouldn’t know about any of these advances if I didn’t specifically make a point of seeking this information out.  The media, at least easily accessible media, really does a poor job informing people to the current state of science and technology.  As much as people use these things, I would think people would be interested in hearing about these things.  I get that people are naturally drawn to bad news, it’s how we are wired.  I must be weird in that I just got tired of hearing about bad news and tragedy all the time and started seeking out what was going right and well.  I get enough bad news and negativity just from being mentally ill, I just don’t need outside sources adding to this.

In other news, Christmas is only two weeks away.  I readily admit to being tough to shop for as I am a practicing minimalist.  I really don’t require that much to keep me occupied and entertained.  I’m sure my family doesn’t find it very thrilling that I ask for things like clothes and home decorations.  I like electronics, but there are only so many I need as my computers do most of what I need.  I don’t need music CDs as I get most of my music through youtube and spotify anymore.  I don’t need movie DVDs as I can get everything through amazon and netflix.  I have got to say, having a high speed wireless internet connection has really decluttered much of my life.  Besides spending money on food, I just don’t spend as much money on miscellaneous things anymore.  Maybe the Star Trek economy where money doesn’t really matter that much isn’t three hundred years away.  We could be witnessing the early stages of it already.

I may not make much money but I still live what I consider a fulfilled life.  I know that many people of my generation and younger lament that many of us don’t have as much money or material possessions as our parents’ generations, but with much of living being digitalized, do we really need the whole four bedroom house with the picket fence and two automobiles in the garage?  What my computer and smart phone can do would have been worth millions back in the 1970s.  I probably wouldn’t even own a car except for occasional road trips.  As it is, I may not have a lot (not by American standards anyway), but I don’t feel lacking or poor.  It was just a matter of realizing what’s really important and adjusting accordingly.  It’s a pity that it took for myself becoming mentally ill and losing a career to realize all of this.

Ongoing Readjustments

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I’ve now been working through medication changes for over three weeks.  I see my psych doctor again next week to see if there are any other adjustments that need to be made.  With the newer setup I am noticing changes that are requiring adjustments to the life I had carved out for myself over the previous two to three years.

I now don’t need as much sleep.  Most nights I can get by on six to seven hours and I’m more likely to sleep through an entire night.  I used to wake up at least once in the middle of the night every night.  Even before I became mentally ill I didn’t sleep all the way through a night.  While I am a little slower to get going in the morning I have no other problems with my morning routine.

I read much more again.  For over a year the books on my shelf were gathering dust simply because I wasn’t reading.  For me not to read means something isn’t right.  I haven’t ever needed encouragement to read.  Instead I had to be encouraged to put down the book and socialize.  But I ordered three books through amazon this month and read one of them already.  I have read parts of several other books too in the last few weeks.  For months before this current medication change I would do only audiobooks or educational programs on youtube.  But I’m getting to where I want to read again.  I even went to the library today for the first time in almost a year.  Kind of odd being a writer and not spending time in a library, but that was my reality for most of the last year.

I’m even watching more tv but playing fewer computer games.  Normally I wouldn’t celebrate watching tv.  But for months I found most tv mind numbing and stupid.  I found it so annoying I couldn’t stand to have it on even as background noise.  I still find most tv shows dumb but I don’t find them irritating.  I still haven’t brought myself to try to watch cable news.  But the press only presents bad news because that is what we as humans are drawn toward.  I think we pay more attention to bad news or threats because it is hard wired into our genes.  I don’t watch the news, haven’t for years.  If there is anything I really need to know I’m going to find out, cable news or not.  Besides almost no one I know under age 40 gets their news from traditional sources.

I’m to where I actually want to socialize again.  I am finding myself leaving my apartment more often during the day and for longer periods of time.  I have found a writers’ group that meets twice a month at my local library.  I’ll go check that out next week.  I’m even toying with the thoughts of getting involved in my old writers’ group and mental illness support group again.  I haven’t been involved in either one for two years so most of those contacts are rusty and dusty.  But I don’t suppose it would take too much to get back in.

I’m also on the lookout for writers’ conventions in my home state.  I used to belong to the Nebraska Writers’ Guild.  But I let that membership lapse about two years ago.  Looking back on things, it seems like most my socializing and extra activities fell apart around two to three years ago.  I had my last round of medications changes in early 2014.  The meds I went on then may have helped me lose weight but I lost a lot of social skills and mental stability.

I have not worked on a regular basis for a few years.  I’ve done jobs for the family and temporary work but nothing I had to regularly go in for awhile.  At this point in my life my confidence in my ability to do good work and navigate workplace politics is gone.  If I could navigate the workplace I would be open to going back to work fifteen to twenty hours a week.  It is definitely a blow to your pride and ego to know you did extremely well in school only to get mental illness that won’t allow you to hold even a minimum wage job.  I wouldn’t mind going back to work if I thought I could handle it mentally.  It does get boring at times not having a routine and not feeling connected to anything.  That is why I have zero patience for any one who complains about their job.  Not having a job is worse than having a bad one and not being able to support yourself is even worse.

I actually get bored not having anywhere to go and not having many friends nearby.  I didn’t used to get this way for months.  There would be days I was just content to not leave my apartment at all, especially in the winter.  But I actually want to socialize and be out among people again.  I might even have to go to the movies again just to be among large groups of people again.  I have almost forgotten what that was like.

Being more easily bored, wanting to socialize, wanting to join a writers’ group, reading a lot more, and even toying with the thought of finding a part time job are some of the changes I am trying to manage after three weeks of a medications change.  These are adjustments to my previous lifestyle and they are good adjustments to have to make.