Saw my parents a couple times over the last few days. It was good to have visitors for an extended time. I hardly get any visitors anymore. I guess I have hit the age where most of my friends are busy with their careers and families. Other than a few friends who are divorcees, I have only one close friend right who has never been married. Unfortunately he is quite busy with work and lives in another country.
I feel like I miss out on a great deal because I don’t have a family and can’t work. Most of my friends conversations revolve around work, spouses, and children. And sadly, many of my friends are also depressed and anxious. I guess with most of my friends being in their late 30s and early 40s, I imagine many are experiencing mid life crisis type things. That and pretty much everyone is more stressed now anyway. There are times I am quite stressed too even though I have no job or wife or kids. I spent most of this spring in a deep depression where I would go entire days without leaving my apartment. Some days I slept twelve to fifteen hours a day because sleep was the only time I didn’t feel anxious or depressed or irritable. I was isolating from neighbors and avoiding people because I was depressed and anxious and I was depressed and anxious because I was lonely all the time. And on it went in a vicious cycle.
I miss my friends and family. I miss having in depth and meandering conversations that cover many different topics. About the only person I have those with anymore are my mother. Everyone else seems to be hung up on work, debts, family, etc. They have become too busy earning a living that they forgot why they stay alive. Naturally I can’t talk to any of my friend about this. Because they are too stressed living paycheck to paycheck to engage in anything besides work and sleep it seems. And I have been having a great deal of paranoia lately that my friends really don’t like me that much.
This paranoia might spring from that most of my friends don’t reach out to me, at least not lately. Anytime I try to reach out to friends, I usually get no response. When I do get responses, they are usually short answers or complaints about how bad their lives are and how lucky I am. It’s really discouraging and sad. We tell people in distress to reach out for help all the time. Yet, what is the point of reaching out when most of time we are ignored or made fun of? And people wonder why, in spite of our prosperity and having all but conquered absolute poverty, we are unhappy and depressed. We are unhappy and depressed precisely because we don’t make efforts to connect to people or answer those who are lonely. We bought into the whole rugged individualism to where we believe we have to just bear it if we can’t solve our own problems. This is really heartless and stupid. In our age, we are far more interdependent than any of us as individuals or nations realize. And until we acknowledge this and adapt accordingly on an individual, civilizational, and species level, we will only see our issues of anxiety, depression, and loneliness become far worse. We are already seeing epidemic levels of stress related illnesses. If mental health problems got even a fraction of the attention that physical illnesses like cancer got, we would be well on our way to alleviating these problems. Yet, we as a society and individuals choose to make them worse in those around us and in ourselves.
Decided to spend a few days at my parents’ house. Getting some much needed rest and relaxation. Haven’t gotten in the conversations as much as I would like mainly because I have been sleeping so much. Even after two days of unwinding, I can tell things are starting to improve. I’m glad that I don’t have the temper I did even five years ago with this mental illness. Maybe some people do mellow and relax with age. I believe I have.
This trip to my parents’ place made me realize how much I miss travelling and visiting people. I haven’t travelled as much as I used to primarily because of chronic back pain. But since I’ve lost some weight and just forced myself to get more active, I think I’m somewhat more mobile now than I was over the winter. I still have to take it easier than I would like, but even that is starting to go away.
I have been so used to eating alone over the last several years I almost forgot what dinner conversation could be like. Have had a few of those with my parents since I came to their house. I forgot how much even a few minutes of face to face interaction could make me feel better. I am convinced it was and is the paranoia aspect of my illness that doesn’t allow me to interact with others as much as I should. I know I would be better grounded mentally and physically if I spent more time interacting with other people in person.
Getting some other things taken care of I had been neglecting for too long. I have put things off when I was alone because I didn’t have either the motivation to get things done or the help to get things done. One thing I still have to force myself to do is ask for help. I have always had hard times asking for help, as if it made me feel inadequate and weak. But I suppose as I age I’ll have to just ask for help more often.
It’s been a relaxing couple days out of the routine. I imagine I’ll spend another couple days here at least before I try to go back and face my usual routine again. But even the strongest people need to rest and relax once in awhile.
I haven’t been doing as well the last few days as I have been in previous months. I’m feeling excessively paranoid and just wanting to be alone all the time anymore. I don’t even enjoy talking on the phone. Other than a couple friends and a couple futurist groups, I have given up on socializing on facebook. Just seems to me that everyone wants to be irritable and riled up all the time anymore. And it makes me sick. Makes me wonder why bother being an optimist or trying to stay in a good mood. Everyone else it seems is in always in a lousy and angry mood, why should I be any different? I just don’t see any happiness or genuine joy in the world anymore. I’m just scared all the time anymore. I’m scared of my neighbors, I’m scared of my landlords, I’m scared of my family, and I’m scared of even friends and acquiantances anymore. It’s like empathy doesn’t exist anymore. I just want to stay home and sleep all the time anymore. And even in my dreams I am tormented. But at least my dreams aren’t real. My paranoias might not be reality either, but they just as well be as that is how powerful the human mind is. I’m just too tired and burned out to stay angry all the time anymore. That anger has given way to genuine fear and anxiety. I am tired of being full of fear all the time. I used to believe the future would be really cool if we could get past our short term issues. I no longer believe that. I think the dystopians were right and the future will be worse than even now. I’ve observed people in my own life since I was a child and rarely do people change for the better over the years. Most actually get more angry, greedy, irritable, and hateful as they age. At least, that’s the impression that I have gotten over the years. I’m tired of always being sad and depressed. I’m tired of seeing nothing but hate and anger in everyone I meet anymore. People like that just as well be back in the Stone Age. And maybe that’s where we are heading. I hope not. I guess I’m writing just to get things I’ve kept bottled up for weeks now. I’m scared if I had the traditional psych breakdown where I vent for a couple hours that I’ll get the cops called on me and I will definately then be evicted. I’ve always had the fear of being evicted from my apartment too. Had that for years. I doubt it would be any better if I owned my own property. I’m just paranoid to a disabling degree. But such is the nature of schizophrenia. And I still have no understanding of people who don’t believe that mental illness exists. But some people are just ignorant and lack any kind of empathy. If you have no empathy, than I won’t deal with you. The world needs empathy, compassion, and a willingness to forgive and let a few things slide more than ever. And I just don’t see this happening, at least not where I live.
Been going through changes the last several days. I finally broke my habit of staying up all night and then sleeping much of the day. Took a few months to break that habit. Now I’m usually up around 6 am and in bed by 10pm. And yet my routines don’t feel that different. I’ve been getting out of the apartment more and spending time outdoors. It helps that the weather has turned cooler.
Even though I leave my apartment several times a day, I still haven’t been outside of my hometown for several weeks. While I still have a little phobia about driving, I do drive more than I used to. It’s just that it’s all in town and stop and go driving. I really don’t have much choice but to overcome my fear of driving as my hometown doesn’t have good public transit. Fortunately I can everything I need within city limits. That’s one of the advantages of living in a college town that the farm village I grew up in never had. As it is, I have to buy fuel for my car only once a month anymore. Used to be I had to buy every week when I lived with my parents when I was in high school and college.
Didn’t go out for Halloween. I stayed home and watched a few supernatural thrillers and listened to the old ‘War of the Worlds’ radio broadcast on youtube. Spent most of my nights in October watching playoff baseball. So I guess I have to find a new way to spend my evenings.
Overall I feel pretty calm and content. I still have auditory hallucinations a couple times a day, usually hearing footsteps that aren’t there or my phone ringing when no one is calling. The real odd thing is that most of my hallucinations now come shortly after I wake up and before I get out of bed. I still get enough sleep. I think the consistent sleep helps keep me stable. I still avoid rude, obnoxious, and irritable people as much as I can. That definitely helps keep me stable even if it does hurt my social life.
At this point of my life, I have come to the conclusion that small talk and casual acquaintances are overrated. Most people simply don’t have deep and connecting conversations with very many people. I would rather bond to some family members and a few close friends as opposed to have lots of meaningless casual conversations with legions of fair weather friends. I love being an introvert. Most of my friends are deep thinking introverts. Being a people person is something that does not come natural to me. On top of that, I think it’s overrated. It doesn’t bother me that I sometimes spend entire days alone without talking to anyone at all. I rather enjoy my privacy and freedom to think and explore different ideas. I really don’t enjoy socializing that much. Most times, people won’t talk about anything beyond the weather, sports, or how much they hate their job. To me, it gets boring and mind numbing really quick. I wouldn’t be much fun at a cocktail party. Even though I’m not sure I could qualify, I think it’s too bad my hometown doesn’t have a MENSA chapter or some social group similar. I really crave intelligent conversation and mental exercise. Learning new things actually gives me joy and makes me feel good physically. Unfortunately I don’t get this much when socializing with most people. I have painfully found out that many smart people have lousy social lives. I am no exception.
Other than a few bad days and one really bad day, I have been doing quite well for months. I imagine part of this has to do with avoiding angry and rude people. Sure I may not have much of a social life, but at this point in my life I no longer want to deal with rude and irritable people. I suppose I have hit my limit and don’t want to deal with it anymore. This kind of scares me as I am fearful that limiting my socializing will make me jaded and mean spirited as I age. I have known irritable and mean older people my entire life. I promised myself a very long time ago I would not turn out to be an angry and bitter old man. Maybe the only way I can do this is to severely limit who I socialize with anymore. I don’t post anything to Facebook or twitter anymore besides these blog posts. I finally became burned out on all the negativity, drama, etc. I have enough problems in my mentally ill mind that I don’t need my friends and family adding to them. I don’t see many of my friends online anymore either. I suppose they became burned out too. I hope that all this negativity and anger isn’t a new normal.
I really don’t enjoy socializing with most people anymore. I don’t want to socialize with negative and rude people anymore. Yet that is what all I seem to see anymore, online and in my own community. I try to tell my friends and family about what is actually going right, but I get mostly dead silence from these people. The few that do respond usually tell me I’m a liar. Seems to me normal people love to be immersed in anger and negativity. I don’t understand people. Then again I never have. I suppose I never will. I’m just tired of all the anger and negativity. From now on I’ll keep my optimism to myself.
July has faded into August. In a few weeks school will be starting again in many places. Seems that school starts earlier every year. But now that we are into August it does seem like autumn isn’t too far away. Another four to six weeks of hot weather and we should be done for the year.
Since it has been hotter than usual and for longer stretches this summer, I have spent more time inside. Haven’t been getting as much exercise as I would like. So I have been eating less. I’m back to having usually only two meals a day. But I think I have lost a few pounds despite my lowered activity because I am eating less. Mentally I have been quite stable, especially for my summer standards. I think I’m doing well just by avoiding stressful situations and people. These certainly make my life more pleasant and quiet. I’m even getting fewer aches and pains too. Even though I don’t exercise as much as I would like, I still get out and walk around for a few minutes every day.
I really haven’t talked to anyone lately outside of family. But I can do alright alone for long periods of time. Loneliness doesn’t really bother me that much. Loneliness is easier than dealing with rude and stupid people all the time. I just enjoy my quiet and alone times.
I have so far made it through half of summer with no issues. Hopefully the second half can also go well. Once things cool off for good I am usually alright. I have usually done better in winters and springs than summers and early autumns.