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.
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.
Been having some truly down days for the last week. Finally had a breakdown a couple days ago. I hate those. Seems to be the only way out of those is to just rant and rave to an empathetic person, namely my parents. I am thankful I didn’t have said breakdown in public, otherwise I’d be in jail or dead. It saddens me to read stories like the one about the kid at Georgia Tech getting killed by police while undergoing a breakdown. Now I know most people don’t care about the mentally ill, I get that. It’s tough to relate to problems you can’t see or imagine. But it does scare me that this kid could have been me if past situations were a little different. Now I don’t hate police officers, I have a couple in my extended family. I know they have a difficult and thankless job. But I just fear them. I fear people with power. I’ve seen people with power abuse it too many times. Makes me fear that power is supposed to be abused and that normal people respect those that abuse power more than those that don’t abuse their power.
I guess that I am still depressed and fearful. I know it’s not manly to feel fear and depression. It’s seems like it’s not manly to feel anything at all. My breakdown wasn’t helped any that I finally had to deal with internet trolls on my blog’s Facebook page. I didn’t write back to them, I just blocked them. Seems to be the only real effective way to deal with fools and bullies online. Seems to me that Facebook brings out the worst in people. As much as I love science and tech, I truly fear for our species when mind reading tech is perfected. I fear this far more than I do AI our automation taking millions of jobs. Maybe we won’t solve our current problems. I just fear what the average person is capable of anymore.
On June 14th, I’ll be celebrating another birthday. I’m getting to the point where I’m almost halfway done with my life, considering normal lifetime expectancy. I’ve also lived over half of my life with schizophrenia at this point. The biggest thing I have figured out over these 35 years of living as a human is that the only true certainties in life are change and unfairness. We can make all the plans we want for our lives, but nothing goes exactly to plan. There will always be snags, problems, opportunities missed (and taken), and changes in direction.
When I was 16, I had the next 30 to 40 years of my life planned already. I was going to graduate from high school, then college, then medical school, then go on into medical research, get married, have a couple kids, own a house in the suburbs of a large city outside of Nebraska, make well over six figures, and help develop something that would benefit humanity through my research. Besides graduating from high school and college, none of that happened. For years I was brutal on myself thinking “It’ll all fall into place when you get your big break” or “People less intelligent and less ethical than you are having good careers, why can’t you get things together”. I spent my twenties after college going from one remedial job after another, finding out the hard way that my ability to handle stress and interpret social cues and understand social norms were all severely damaged by schizophrenia.
For those years of struggle, I thought I was a failure and not trying hard enough. I would get panic attacks and bouts of nausea before I had to go to work every morning. It got so bad I had my stomach scoped to see if I didn’t have some underlying gastro intestinal problems. I didn’t. I also had to spend years listening to the whole “all your problems are in your head” nonsense. Everything we experience is merely electrical signals interpreted by our brains, so no kidding it’s in my head. It’s in all of our heads. Telling someone with a mental illness it’s in their heads is cruel and does nothing for them.
I was also told the whole “have faith and it’ll help you” nonsense. I won’t even address that subject except to state I had more faith than everyone I knew until my early twenties and I still developed a mental illness that destroyed my productive ability. I still get these feel good memes that oversimplify while not addressing root issues. I even had someone I thought was a friend tell me, to the effect, I wasn’t a real man because I didn’t have a job or a family. I still deal with ignorance and cruelty after eighteen years of mental health problems. Granted it doesn’t ware on me or anger me as much as it did ten years ago, but it still hurts.
Seen and experienced lousy things, horrible hallucinations, and harbored horribly violent thoughts in eighteen years with schizophrenia. But I did learn to not discount kindness and empathy when it does come. I also learned the value of real, genuine friends, something that not many people have at all in their circles of friends. Hopefully the struggles, disappointments, and good friends of the first 35 years will prepare me well for the next 35.