I think I’m finally breaking out the depression and anxiety fuel irritability that I have been fighting for almost two weeks. Got some good sleep the last few days, granted at odd times. I still sleep eight hours a day, but I usually sleep from 8pm to midnight, rattle around for a few hours in the middle of the night, then sleep from 4 am to 8am. Even though I have an odd sleep pattern anymore, everything isn’t going completely bad. I started lifting arm weights in my home about two weeks ago. The first couple sessions were tough as I hadn’t lifted regularly for over a year. But I think it’s beginning to come back. Picked up some multi vitamins, fish oil pills, etc. the last time I bought groceries. I have to think some of my lethargy, aches and pains, etc. were made worse by an unbalanced diet. For most of the winter I ate lots of lean meats, some soups, yogurts, canned vegetables, rice, and occasional baked potatoes. I wasn’t getting much for fresh fruits or vegetables this winter. So I been eating more fresh fruits and vegetables lately. I’m beginning to notice a positive difference. I don’t have as many unexplainable aches and pains and I feel mentally sharper and less scattered overall. My favorite fruit is probably red grapes. My favorite vegetable has to be tie between green peas and carrots.
I still don’t travel outside of my hometown due to the flood problems. Many places are still cleaning up and still in danger of even more flooding. I won’t be surprised if food prices start going up later this year. It’s been pretty rough for a lot of people but I have been spared much of it so far.
Been rainy and cool the last few days. Haven’t really gone anywhere over the Labor Day weekend. Pretty much slept in, listened to podcasts, and talked to family a little. I think my bouts of irritability and paranoia have passed. Was having some problems with those for a couple weeks. I find that sleeping more and avoiding rude people helps me. So does eating healthier. I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost but I am down one full shirt size since the middle of June. And I’m not doing much besides eating more protein, severely limiting carbs and sugars, and lifting weights three times per week.
Overall I think I’m coming out of my traditional late summer depression. It helps that the weather is cooler. I always enjoyed cooler weather. From this point of the year until early April I really don’t feel much pressure to socialize if I don’t want to. Sometimes in summers past my friends and family would want to do things like go camping, go to baseball games, go fishing, or go to the park. Sometimes I wouldn’t want to go but I’d force myself to in an attempt to break out of the depression I was in. More often than not I did break out of it, at least for the rest of that day. I would be glad I went out with them afterward but I would, unfortunately, be a little resentful when first asked out. But I did make some good memories in the process even when all I wanted to do was stay home and brood.
I’m enjoying the cooler weather and the rain. Sometimes during these rainy days, I’ll bring up some jazz music on youtube and just relax. I like to read to jazz and blues music. Listened to a lot of Miles Davis, Muddy Watters, and John Lee Hooker over the years while reading. Cooler and overcast weather puts me in the mood to think, read, and write. I do enjoy this kind of weather.
Been uneventful for a few days. I’m no longer staying awake all night and sleeping most of the day. Most of my waking time anymore is during daylight hours. Mentally I feel stable. I am starting to get a few more aches and pains I can’t really explain. But I have been more active than usual. I’m reading more books again. For awhile most of what I was reading was online articles and audio books. I’m currently reading ‘The Inevitable’ by Kevin Kelly. It’s a future tech trends book.
I watch more live tv now, mostly baseball and soccer. I still don’t watch most news as most of it is just bad news meant to catch our attention. All the news that fit to be print, right? I don’t have any regular shows I watch besides some Star Trek reruns on Netflix. I do watch a lot of history shows on youtube. I recently watched Crash Course’s entire world history series. I always did get a kick out of John Green.
While I do get out more often, I still don’t stray too far from my neighborhood. Haven’t really been outside of my hometown for almost six weeks. But I am just comfortable and content to stay close to home and did most of my business here.
I think I’m losing weight again. I notice my clothes fit looser and I can walk a little farther than I could even a few weeks ago. I think my aches and pains are from more physical activity than usual. I can also lift more weight than usual. Weight lifting does make a difference even after a month.
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.
For most of the winter I had the problem of sleeping too much. I’d sometimes sleep until noon or even later and still be wanting to sleep by midnight. Now my problem is that I just have a real hard time staying asleep, especially in the overnight hours. Of course I’m concerned about this. Sometimes major problems follow large changes in sleep patterns for me. Getting good sleep is important for controlling mental illness problems.
This has been going on for several days. One of the changes I made in an attempt to get more consistent sleep is taking my medications earlier in the night. Sometimes my meds can make me sleepy. Another thing I have done is cutting back on caffeine after 4pm. I admit I love my caffeine, especially coffee and soda pop. But perhaps I’m getting more sensitive to caffeine as I age. But the cutbacks on caffeine make me less jittery but they aren’t helping me sleep much.
One advantage to sleeping less is I’m getting more done. I’m spending more time outside. I’m able to do laundry more often. I’m keeping less clutter around my apartment. Some of my habits have improved as I’m drinking more water and bathing twice a day now. I have always liked taking a hot bath right before bed. It helps me relax. And I think I’ve lost a few pounds in the last couple weeks because I’m more active.
I still sleep some in the overnight hours. I just usually don’t stay asleep for more than two hours at a time. Since I keep my windows open most of the time anymore, I can hear the birds singing in the early morning hours when I would have been sound asleep in the winter months.
As much as I enjoy being able to get more done and having more energy, I am concerned about the changes in my sleep patterns. I have traditionally had problems after major changes in sleep patterns. This concerns me as springs and early summers have traditionally been my happiest times of year. Spring has always been a favorite season of mine. I just hope that if any problems do come up because of this insomnia I’ll be able to handle them without having a blow up on my family or friends.
In addition to a change in the seasons, my routines have been changing too. I now stay up well into the night but I am sleeping less. I normally buy groceries in the early morning hours to avoid crowds but I have switched to shopping in the overnight hours. I have also found good deals on perfectly good but day old deli items this way. I think people would be sick if we truly knew how much food we in the developed world let go to waste.
Since I’m staying awake later I’m now reading more online articles and getting my youtube fix in the overnight hours too. I don’t mind the solitude of the overnight hours. Sometimes, thanks to Facebook, I can strike up short conversations with people from other parts of the world due to groups I’m involved with. While we in the U.S. are asleep, much of the world is wide awake. When my cousin lived in Japan, there was a fourteen hour difference between us. I’d chat with her at 10pm my time and she’d be at noon over in Japan.
I don’t mind the overnight hours. It gives me more time to read and write. I sometimes get interrupted during the day hours by phone calls and people knocking on my door. I normally don’t welcome interruptions, at least not initially. If it turns out the interruption is a good one, like a phone call from my parents or college friends, I’ll be glad it happened. I had one such interruption yesterday. I was taking a nap over the noon hour and my dad called. Had a good conversation with him. I welcome such interruptions. But if it’s someone trying to sell me something, I’ll usually either not answer or just hang up. I feel bad about just hanging up on people but it’s more polite than yelling at them.
I’m still getting used to being up much of the night and sleeping during the morning hours. But as backwards as keeping night hours is, it is better than when I was sleeping twelve hours a day during the winter months. Overall, I have felt quite stable the last several months. I still have my moments of anxiety and paranoia induced anger, but fortunately I haven’t acted on such impulses for a long time. I did have a flare up in early February and one last October. As intense as those were, they lasted only a couple hours. I just hope I never have problems like those in public. Most people still don’t understand mental illness or have empathy for it. Seems to me that mentally ill people are among the last groups of people in society it’s socially acceptable to discriminate against. But if other groups of people can break down barriers and be more socially accepted, then so can the mentally ill.
My life has been essentially quiet and uneventful since Christmas. We had a pretty cold January and early February so I didn’t really go anywhere except to pick up groceries and house supplies for the last two months. We had our traditional mid winter thaw the last week or so. So I’ve been spending some time outside watching the squirrels and birds. I see the cranes and Canadian geese are starting to migrate back. They are usually quite thick near my town from the last week in February until middle March. I’m going to take a few hours sometime next week and just watch the birds along the Platte River just outside my town like I do every March.
I traditionally love to travel and see new places. But I haven’t been outside of Nebraska since my friend Matt’s wedding almost two years ago. And I can tell that the lack of travel and new experiences are making me stale and itchy. Believe it or not, I really don’t like the sedentary lifestyle. When I still held traditional jobs, I usually did my best at jobs where I was moving a lot and it didn’t matter if I got sweaty or dirty. I admit that since I had the sedentary lifestyle forced on me, first by my car accident and then spending a summer with a messed up back, I have gotten lazy. And by getting lazy I can tell I have lost much of my stamina and enjoyment of just doing simple things like walking around the park or going to the all night deli to pick up some Chinese food. I have recently started going back to the all night deli more often, especially if I’m going to be up late.
I am still not as active as I would like to be, but I can tell that it is beginning to come back. I am traditionally not very active during winters, at least not physically. I usually read a lot and have traditionally done some of my best writing work during the winter. Most of the books I read this winter were about future technology trends and popular science. I also listen to a lot of audiobooks and current events type lectures on youtube. I tend to utilize youtube and my books more in winter than the spring or fall. Traditionally during the summers I do most of my errands in the morning than spend the hottest parts of the afternoon reading and writing. But I still do the bulk of my brain work during the winter.
I can tell that the lack of physical activity and travel is making me easily bored. It is also tough in that I haven’t seen my close friends or family at all since Christmas. I fear that I’m losing my social skills. I don’t socialize much with my neighbors in my complex as I have little in common with them. Most of my neighbors are senior citizens or people with physical disabilities that can’t do much of anything. I don’t know many people in here with mental health issues who are still in reasonably good physical health. It is kind of lonely in here as far as socializing goes. I can also tell that the lack of socializing and physical activity has taken a toll on my physical health. I just hope that once spring sets in a few weeks from now, I’ll be able to get more active again.