Unfortunately my cell phone malfunctioned and quit working a couple days ago. But thanks to email and social media, I was able to get in touch with my family and tell them what happened and see if I can get a replacement. After several messages back and forth, I am able to get a replacement sent to my house within a few days. I still have a bit of a fear of large crowds and driving, so that is why I am unable to get this done in person. But, I had back ups via email and social media to get in touch with people who can help me out in this problem. And the kicker is my family wasn’t at their house at the time. They were able to arrange all of this via their own phones while at a family reunion in a small Colorado town hundreds of miles from their home. Quite amazing what be accomplished, not only just by asking trusted family and friends, but when you tie support in with modern communication tech. Thanks dad, mom, and everyone else who made this possible. There is no why I can pay you back. So I have to “pay it forward” and help others out when they are in distress. In short, it pays to have a good support system, whether they are understanding family, close friends, counselors, social workers, home health aides, etc. We as humans were never meant to be everything to ourselves. That was true in the Stone Age and it’s even more true now in the early 21st century. I guess this could be marked up to a positive story about how good social media and communication tech can be when used properly. Thank you Mr. Zuckerberg 🙂
Been feeling decent overall the last few days. Still sleeping a lot but too much sleep is better than having breakdowns. Even though I don’t leave my apartment for long periods of time, I still make it a point to stay active. I have an exercise bike I ride a little bit every day. And I have done arm weights three times a week for two months. I’m starting to notice improvements even if they aren’t coming as fast as I would like. But my health didn’t fall apart right away so it’s foolish to think I can gain it back immediately. It’s going to be a long process and it’s one I’m glad I began.
Been listening to more music lately. I renewed my subscription to Spotify a few months ago and I use it a little every day. My PC got fixed a couple weeks ago. I now have my primary gaming computer/backup to my Mac again. As much as I enjoy my computers, I was feeling like I was naked in public while running my blogs and online interactions with no backups. My PC took only a few days to fix. But my depression and anxiety has been strong enough I couldn’t bring myself to go across town to get it fixed. I finally had to sweet talk my dad into taking the computer to the shop when he was in town a few weeks ago. And to get it picked up, I sweet talked my cleaning lady/personal assistant into picking it up. It is tough for me to ask for help and admit weaknesses.
For most of my life I was the one who helped others out and voluntarily ran errands for family and friends. I was kind of a taxi service for friends and family in high school and college. I don’t remember how many times I ran friends across town or took them to restaurants when they wanted a break from the campus mess hall. Many of my friends didn’t have cars when we were in high school and college. And now I’m the one who asks for rides and delivery service because of the changing nature of my mental illness as I age.
I am convince people’s psychology does change with age. Mine certainly has. I look to avoid arguments and conflicts more now in my late 30s than I did even five years ago. I really no longer feel shame for wanting to be alone for long periods of time. And I know sometimes I can step away from friends and family for several days and pick up where I left off. A compliant of my romantic interests was that I was often too clingy and always wanted to be around my romance interests. I understand why. I wasn’t being attentive, I was being smothering. No one was meant to be all things to anyone. There are things I can talk with around family I won’t discuss with even close friends and vice versa. It took me awhile to learn that I don’t have to ask any one person to be everything for me. Mental illness stunted my social development in some ways.
In other ways it forced me to grow faster than most people. And it certainly made me question my core beliefs and who I really was and what I really liked doing. I am convinced had I never become mentally ill I would have never developed my ability as a writer and story teller. I am probably better at communication with a mental illness than I would be without one. I probably would be at a job I can’t stand because I would be too stubborn to quit and find something else.
I doubt I would have as wide a variety of interests had I remained mentally well. I know I wouldn’t have spent so many years learning different subjects at the university of Youtube videos. I have spent a shameful amount of time watching educational videos, science lectures, TED talks, and audiobooks on youtube over the last six years. And the thing is, I could spend the rest of my life learning things and I wouldn’t feel like I learned enough and don’t need to learn anymore. The more I learn, the more I realize there is even more out there. Einstein once said to the effect that the universe is far more strange than we can imagine. I’m learning that truth more and more with each passing day.
Overall I’m doing quite well. Starting to settle into summer routines even though it feels like early spring outside. I still have my bad moments, but at least they aren’t bad days now. Even my flare ups aren’t as intense as they were in recent years. My flare ups now involve more depression and less anger now. But things are looking better with each passing day.
I admit to having been quite lax about taking care of my living quarters during the previous year or so. Mentally I was stable, but that was mainly because I didn’t leave my apartment much. I would stay home, read books, read online articles, watch science lectures and videos on youtube and curiosity stream, and ride my exercise bike a few times a week. Yet I wasn’t taking care of my place like I should have been. I used the excuse that I didn’t have guests very often and didn’t even really want guests. But, there are going to be times when people have to visit us even unannounced.
But now that I’m gaining an even stronger sense of stability with my schizophrenia, I’m taking steps to remedy these problems. I recently hired a cleaning person. She’s been to my place a few times. I think it’s going to work out well. I had gotten lazy about keeping on top of the place, especially after my back went bad several months ago. But I have lost some weight since the autumn and got some maintenance issues cleared up. I was lazy about clutter and while I could find anything I needed in my place, no one else could. In my occasionally paranoid state, I thought that by rarely leaving my apartment for any true length of time, I could make the problems manage themselves. Well, that wasn’t happening. Problems never take care of themselves.
I’m better able to stay on top of things because I asked for help. Breaking down and admitting when I need outside assistance is one of the toughest things for me to do. I imagine part of this is my natural paranoia (I was kind of paranoid even before I developed full schizophrenia), my illness itself, being still relatively young, and being a bachelor man. Some men are notorious about not asking for outside help until a crisis develops and I am definitely no exception.
My place is feeling more like a true home rather than a mad monk’s chamber in a medieval monastery. I received frames for the art work I had bought from an old friend for Christmas. Got those hanged on my walls. Now the place looks more cheerful and less dreary. I had forgotten how good wall decorations could make a place look. For the first several years out of college, I hung posters and pennants of my favorite rock stars, sports teams, and snarky but comical quotes on my walls. It looked like a frat house except no girly pics or deer antlers wearing hats and Mardi Gras beads. My first bachelor pads out of school had the antlers but my girlfriends probably wouldn’t have liked the girly pictures.
As far as decorations go, I have some nature artwork done by one of my old high school friends, a painting of an alien landscape inspired by science fiction literature done by an artist acquaintance (sadly lost contact with him when I withdrew from the local arts scene), and a world map with push pins in the countries where I had visitors to this blog from. The list of my countries I have not had visitors from is now quite short after almost six years of regular blogging. Even though the place is more decorated now than even this time a year ago, I’m still thinking about adding to my wall art collection. And yes, I am far beyond the age where things like stolen road signs, snarky posters, and alcohol advertisements are appealing.