Measuring Up

Not much has happened in the last few days.  We’re bracing for a snow storm to come in over the next couple days.  I’m still sleeping in my recliner as I’m still nursing my bad back.  Mentally I guess I have been okay even with fighting off the occasional bouts of boredom and anxiety.  I still feel kind of paranoid about people in general.  Since I have pretty good hearing, I can hear everything that goes on in the hallway outside of my apartment.  I don’t like unanticipated visitors as I have always been paranoid about that. I enjoy visiting people, but I can’t stand someone coming over unannounced when I am already self conscious about myself and my place.  My entire life I have had a fear that I don’t measure up in anything and that nothing I do will be good enough.  And since I’ve been fired from a few jobs in the past for things I didn’t know I was doing wrong and have lost friendships over people being annoyed with me being eccentric, many of my paranoias have been confirmed.  At least they are confirmed in my diseased mind but probably not in anyone else’s.  And since I don’t have the ability to read people very well, socializing has become a nightmare I would rather avoid.

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Isolation

Even though I feel quite a bit less depressed and more energetic since the meds change, I still have a fear of being out in public.  Anymore I do most of my shopping in the early mornings as I can avoid crowds then.  I used to shop in the overnight hours but anymore I’m afraid to be out of my apartment after 11pm.  I just no longer trust the people that are out and about in the overnight anymore.  It’s too bad as I have always been a night person.  So on the nights I can’t fall asleep at a reasonable hour, I just stay up and play computer games while I have a youtube audiobook on in the background.

This isolation even extends to family.  I haven’t been to my parents’ house since April.  I just no longer enjoy traveling.  The older I get, the more content I am to stay home and entertain my friends and family here.  I used to be one of those who would rather go to a friend’s house than have my friends come to my house.  It didn’t help any that my older brother always had his friends over and his friends and my friends didn’t get along.  I would rather host my parents at my place than drive to their house, and they live less than two hours away.

I found out that I would rather have guests at my house over last Christmas after I twisted my knee and couldn’t navigate stairs.  My parents came to my house and we celebrated Christmas here.  I haven’t been to a friend’s house in two years, instead preferring to talk to them over the phone or have them come to my place.  I also lost a few friends over the last couple years because I just can no longer really handle conflict and strife.  And there hasn’t been a shortage of either one lately.  I don’t thrive on conflict or bad vibes and I don’t understand people who do.  Never have.

My family reunion is this weekend.  As much as I would love to visit some of my relatives, I’m not going.  I can’t handle crowds of any kind any more.  Most of the time I’m content to be left alone with my thoughts anymore.  I don’t know if it’s the illness doing it or the illness augmenting the bad experiences I had with people in my younger years.  I just no longer want to be in a crowd.  I’m also content to socialize as little as possible.  Seems to me many people are just angry and negative all the time anymore.  As I practically live on the internet for much of my waking hours, I get an earful of negativity and snark on a daily basis.  If that’s all some people have to offer, then I want no part of it.  I’ll be content to just stay alone and do what I enjoy.  I would rather be lonely than made miserable by other people.  Anymore those seem to be my only options.

Being Alone With A Mental Illness

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It’s been months since I’ve had any kind of normal for any real length of time.  But I think I’m entering a phase of normal in what has been traditionally a tough time of year for me.  I am still diligent about what I eat and I still make an attempt to exercise daily.  I have started lifting arm weights a week ago.  I can feel my stamina from lifting weights begin to rebuild even after only a few sessions.  I feel pretty stable mentally for the most part.  And when I do feel flare ups coming on I make it a point to isolate and avoid people.  I would definitely hate to have a mental breakdown around someone who doesn’t understand mental illness.  In my apartment complex we had an individual who got belligerent with a fellow tenant and it got so seriously out of hand that the police became involved.  I have had my problems in the past and I still isolate and avoid people when I feel the mental illness coming on.  But fortunately the police have never needed to be involved with my problems.  Which is a good deal as I have an unhealthy paranoia about the police to begin with.  I just don’t trust them or any other authority figures.  I’ve had too many bad experiences and too much paranoia to trust anyone with any kind of power.  Makes life tough but I don’t any other kind of life being available to me.

I still don’t get out of the apartment complex much as I fear dealing with irritable and short tempered people.  We now have an overabundance of irritable and short tempered people living in my complex.  I have decided that I no longer want to deal with that kind of nonsense.  It’s no different than the kind of nonsense I dealt with in high school when I was dealing with my angsty peers who had a complete lack of empathy.  I don’t feel sorry for the people who live in my low income apartment.  Anyone who ever said there is virtue in poverty has never lived in HUD housing.  I face the same cross section of jerks and losers as every other social class.  The only difference is I can’t run away from these people.  No one knows how tough it is to be really smart but have a mental illness that prevents you from working.  It sucks.  I can’t even do the day rehab and group activities offered because most of it is at such a remedial level I feel like I’m back in grade school with those programs.  I can’t interact with normal people because of my mental illness and lack of a family.  And I can’t interact with mentally ill people because I am usually much smarter than most of the people the outreach programs for mentally ill people were designed for.  I am mentally ill but I am not stupid.  Stop treating me like I am stupid.  I would give anything to have someone I could interact with locally who had some kind of intelligence.  I am just tired of always having to discuss the weather  or politics because that is all most people can deal with.  I am tired of having no one to talk with.  I am tired of being always alone.  I am tired of being the only smart person I know.