I’m currently at my parents’ house for a couple days for the Thanksgiving holiday. My brother, his wife, and their four kids are here too. We have seven of us sleeping in the basement but at least I get my old bedroom. That way I can retreat and regroup if need be. But my brothers’ kids are well behaved and old enough they shouldn’t give me many problems.
This is the first time in months I have been back to my old childhood home. A lot has changed in this town since I moved out in 2005. For one, all of my old high school friends have moved away. The cousins that stayed have families of their own. Most of my old teachers have retired or moved to bigger schools. All my grandparents and a couple of my uncles have died. My old grade school was torn down. The retail store I worked in during the summers went out of business. In many ways this isn’t the same town I grew up in during the 80s and 90s. I haven’t been getting back to my parents’ place much the last several years as none of my old friends live around here anymore. In many ways, this is no longer my town. It doesn’t feel like home and it hasn’t for several years.
I bring up growing up and the changes my parents’ place have gone under because, with my mental illness, those years I grew up here seem like someone else’s life. I started having problems with depression and anxiety when I was seventeen. I was doing quite well in school and involved in many different activities. It seemed like I was on the fast track to a career and life of my dreams, at least that was until the depression and anxiety started. Twenty years later, my seventeen year old self wouldn’t even recognize the thirty seven year old man I am now. I imagine my seventeen year old self would have seen who I am today as a failure. Back then I knew nothing of mental illness and disability. Like many teenagers, I also didn’t have as much empathy as many adults who have had their ups and downs, wins and losses.
If nothing else, fighting this mental illness for twenty years has taught me how to have more empathy for people different than myself. It has taught me patience and how to accept things I can’t change. It has taught me that, contrary to popular belief, life isn’t about keeping up with other people. Life is mainly about competing with your self and being the best you that you are capable of being. He who dies with the most toys is just as dead as anyone else in the cemetery.
I haven’t been giving much time to reflecting on the past for the last few years. I have mainly been focused on the present and future possibilities. I normally have little use for nostalgic thoughts. But I’m sure having them now that I’m at my childhood home for the first time in months. I guess the nostalgia has shown me how much I lost because of this mental illness. Yet, in spite of the life that never was, I think I still have a great deal to stay alive for. I’m interested to see what the next twenty years in this life of mental illness will show me. I can only guess what changes will have come by the time 2037 rolls in.
Been getting out a little more the last few days in spite the cold. Saw my psych doctor on a cancelation appointment the other day. We made some adjustments in the psych medications. I added a third med. I also saw a general practice doctor yesterday. We decided to add a blood pressure medication. I’m not really surprised as high blood pressure runs in my family. So it looks like I’m getting out and about more and starting to get back on top of my health. I let a lot of that slide over the last several months when I was sleeping a lot and had no energy.
I haven’t been reading as much as I would like lately. I’ve also been kind of lazy about writing. Mentally I have felt quite stable. Haven’t had any real bouts of depression or anxiety for a long time. The delusions and hallucinations are at a minimum. I still don’t socialize much in person, but I just don’t isolate as much anymore either. I hope I can make more progress with the holidays coming up. It’s been too long since I last had real good socializing.
Had some workers do some roofing work at my apartment complex today. So I didn’t get to sleep as much during the day as I normally do. But it was a beautiful day for that kind of work. I’m glad it was done before first snow. Maybe today will help break me of sleeping in the day and being awake at night.
Still staying awake much of the night. This has to be effecting me more than I realize. I still get sleep, it’s just when I get it that’s different from everyone else. I hope this is a phase that will pass before long. Mentally I’m still stable. I don’t have many bad days or flare ups. I still don’t like venturing out on the streets and driving much. It’s kind of tough just wanting to stay home all the time. I didn’t use to be this way. I was always going somewhere as a kid. I preferred going to friends’ houses instead of having them come to mine. Now I have to force myself to leave my apartment every day. Don’t want to get too house bound.
I’m so glad I’m not having bad hallucinations with this current trend of fearing leaving my apartment. I sometimes hear footsteps that aren’t there in addition to the phone ringing when it’s not. At this point it’s more annoying then frightening. I’m glad I’m not dealing with all my past problems in addition to my new ones.
About the only real positive coming out of me staying home more is that I eat less fast food now. So I am eating healthier and cheaper too. I am glad I was taught how to cook when I was growing up. I guess I can find some positives in my current situation.
Started to restock my winter supplies and emergency food. I am now set to the point that I don’t have to venture out for several days if needed. Lately I have been content to stay close to the complex besides running errands. Mentally I have been stable even if I am staying awake most of the night and sleeping in the mornings. Maybe that is why I am so stable.
I have gotten to where in my illness that socializing makes me paranoid and irritable. I no longer enjoy socializing with my neighbors. I no longer enjoy driving, not even across town. I’m pretty much content to just keep to myself anymore. Anymore I am my own favorite company. I hope this is mainly paranoia and the illness, but I really can’t stand to be around most people anymore. I would rather socialize over the phone or online than in person anymore. With the holidays coming in a few weeks, I may be forced out of this isolation routine that has worked so well for me. I’m not looking forward to losing my routines. I am definitely not looking forward to the holidays. I really don’t feel like celebrating much of anything anymore. And I certainly no longer care to celebrate merely because the calendar and society as a whole tells me I have to. Maybe schizophrenia really does get worse with age in some aspects. I don’t have much for hallucinations or angry outbursts anymore. But I do still have paranoia, delusions, and just prefer to be left alone almost all the time. I hope it’s my illness messing with my mind, but I just can’t stand to socialize in person anymore. I definitely can no longer hold a job. I can barely venture out into my hometown without problems anymore. I can only hope this illness stops getting worse as I age. It has definitely screwed with every aspect of my life.
It’s been almost a week since my psych breakdown. I’ve pretty much put the pieces back together. I’m going to bed earlier and have given up all caffeine for the last few days. I do sleep a lot again and I do occasionally get minor headaches. I hope the headaches are more from stress than caffeine withdrawal.
I do get out of my apartment a little everyday. I bought groceries and gas over the weekend. Had been putting that off for too long. Since the weather has turned cool I have been eating a lot of higher carb things like spaghetti and rice. I always did better in colder weather than the heat of the summer. I always did enjoy hunkering under a blanket and reading for hours on end.
I’m still reading many science and tech sites. Some days I have to remind myself that things like this are being attempted in the here and now all over the world and that it’s not a sci fi tv series. I saw things like driverless cars, urban farming, and portable computers only in comic books as a kid in the 1980s. Even our natural disasters, we are able to predict major storms days in advanced and organize rescue and humanitarian aid within hours. As bad as these recent hurricanes, forest fires, and earthquakes have been, in past eras they could have been much worse. I don’t know if I’m being overly optimistic, but I have spent much of my early years being a pessimist. I gave pessimism up once I figured out that most of what I worried about was more manageable then I previously thought. Anxiety is often worse than the actual problem itself.
Overall I’m feeling pretty decent considering how rough last week turned out. Even though I leave my apartment everyday, I don’t socialize much in person. I try to avoid social media as I have found some of my friends and family I enjoy talking to are now avoiding it too. I have enough going on in my schizophrenia stressed mind to deal with anyone else’s problems. I have to take care of myself before I can help out anyone.
After several rougher than usual days, I’m starting back on the mend. Feeling depressed, anxious, and paranoid really drains me. I still don’t socialize much other than phone calls and blogging. I have recently gone entire days without leaving my apartment. And it saddens me. I am afraid to travel, so I don’t get to see many friends or family. I don’t even like driving across town to buy groceries and house supplies anymore. I’m just so afraid and paranoid much of the time anymore.
Maybe the problems I traditionally have in late summer finally caught up to me. I just usually want to just curl up under a heavy blanket and try to sleep much of the time. It’s usually hunger that causes me to get out of bed.
In spite my recent issues I attempt to stay optimistic. Granted I haven’t been real successful at this lately. I attempt to avoid angry and irritable people as much as possible. It would be better for me and everyone involved if I just wasn’t as sensitive to these kinds of things as I am. Yet, for better and worse, it is how I am wired mentally. Losing my sensitivity, compassion, and empathy would involve destroying who I am mentally. It would mean being someone I have never been. I just can’t do it. I now understand why I never succeeded in a workplace environment. I just have too much compassion and empathy.
It’s the middle of the night as I write this. Yet it feels like middle of the afternoon for me. My biologic clock is backwards compared to the rest of my neighbors. So I try to keep quiet at nights. I’m glad I don’t have any really loud hobbies.
Since my sense of time has been backwards for the last few weeks, I really haven’t been able to keep up much with news and friends. I haven’t even really been keeping up with the blog as much lately. But that is mainly because I haven’t had much to report lately. I’ve been feeling stable for months and besides being awake most of the night and sleeping until noon most days, I don’t have much to report. I haven’t gone this long without hallucinations or depression since I was in high school. I am still kind of anxious about driving, so I try to avoid high traffic times and areas. Unfortunately I still spend a lot of time indoors and not enough time outside. The weather will be turning cooler any day now as summer is all but over. I’m looking forward to cooler weather.
Mentally I am stable. Been stable for a real long time. Overall things are going alright. The only true complaint I have is that I’m up most of the night and sleep mainly when everyone else is awake. This would be a major problem if I still had a regular job or really had to be anywhere during the days. I’m going to try to get this reversed. I’ve been missing out on daylight hours for too long.