August 7, 2018

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.

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Returning to Normal Routines

After several days of colder than average weather, it finally warmed up a little today.  At least it warmed enough for me to run some errands.  It feels good to be able to leave my apartment again without worrying about frostbite.  I had spent several days staying at home, watching college football, playing computer games, but doing little of anything else.  I need to get back into some regular routines.  To that end I started lifting weights again today.  I had been lazy about lifting this summer and fall.  I had been quite lazy about exercise ever since I hurt my back.  Sadly I gained back the weight I had lost a few years ago.  I’m starting over in this regard.  I know I can lose the weight again, it’s just a matter of doing so.

Still not sleeping as much as I used to.  Which is alright with me as I used to sleep twelve hours a day during the summer.  Now I’m getting like six hours a sleep every night.  Yet I still feel quite rested.  And I usually try to take an hour nap in the afternoon.  Even with my reduced sleep, I rarely stay up all night now.  Used to be I stayed up all night three nights per week and then sleep in the mornings.  My sleep is returning to more normal patterns.

Been spending a little more time on social media the last few days, mainly to find out about people’s holidays’ plans.  I don’t know if I’ll be back on facebook and twitter more from now on.  It seems to me that many of my friends have just gotten burnt out on all the drama and fighting that has been so prevalent for the last few years.  I wound up unfollowing many people because of the drama, including family members.  So much for making people more connected.  I think the older I get, the less use I have for drama and nonsense and the more uses I have for logic and intelligence.

Now that the weather is starting to break out of the cold spell and the holidays are over, I am at a crossroads.  I realize I now have more freedom than I used to.  During the holidays I avoid the stores because of the crowds and loud Christmas music and too bright displays.  I’m also at a loss now that I won’t have much going on until spring.  January through April has always been a slow but stable time of year for me.  Mentally I am usually my most stable during the winters.  And I usually get a lot of reading and writing done during the colder parts of year.  I admit I love to read for my own enlightenment more than I do my entertainment.  I consider learning entertainment.  I know I am weird in that regard.  But learning new things gives me joy, I don’t care if being an intellectual makes me a social outcast.

Since the holidays are now over, I can get back to some resemblance of normal routines. I plan on doing many audiobooks on youtube this winter.  I’m thinking about using my Khan Academy account to learn some subjects I wish I had taken when in school.  And I plan on doing more outside my apartment so I can have more material to write about.  Overall I plan on making 2018 an excellent year.

Taking Care of Physical Health with Mental Illness

Started exercising more consistently a week ago.  I’ve been keeping track of what I eat again.  It seems every time I track what I eat I end up losing weight even if I’m not doing much activity.  Unfortunately I tend to be unmindful of how much I eat when I’m not tracking what I eat.  If I’m going to lose weight again I have to track.  It’s worked before and it can work again.

I’m walking more again and lifting weights again. I’m also doing stretches every day.  I still stretch after lifting weights but I decided to do it more often.  I never was very flexible even as a child.  I get minor muscle pulls pretty easily and that’s probably not getting any better as I age. Weight lifting has been mainly a winter activity for the last few years.  But I decided to get a couple month head start this year.  Weight lifting by itself isn’t a fun activity so that is why I watch tv while I lift.  I started taking a multi vitamin along with Vitamin C and D.  Vitamin D especially is supposed to help alleviate depression.  I’m thinking about starting on Fish Oil but am concerned about it thinning my blood.  I’ll bring it up when I see my psych doctor in two weeks.  I also see my dentist for a regular check up.  Besides having to have some wisdom teeth pulled a few years ago I’ve had good luck with my current dentist.  I was in rough enough shape when I had those taken out I missed two days from work.

I’ve been getting outside more since the weather started cooling off a week ago.  I have my windows open most of the time now.  I’ve shut off my air conditioner and probably won’t have to use it again until next summer.  I’m still avoiding stress inducing people and situations as much as possible.  That really helps me.

I still don’t get as much socializing as I would like.  The writers’ support group I used to go to disbanded this month.  So I’m looking for another group.  I’m considering going back to my mental illness support group that meets once a week.  I haven’t been a regular for a few years.  I usually drop in a few times a year to update people.  I really haven’t needed that much support most of the time as I have long since accepted my mental illness and come to terms with the lost career and lost opportunity for a family of my own.  Instead I have settled for old friends and some friends I have made through the groups I participate in online.  I look at friends as the pseudo family that you can choose.  As my physical health improves I’ll look for more opportunities to socialize.

 

Breaking Up Routines With Mental Illness

Went to the family acreage for two days over the weekend.  Helped the family with some odd jobs but mainly relaxed.  I was needing a couple days out of my hometown and out of my apartment complex.  Two days of a change of scenery allowed me to realize just how much I missed this summer with back problems.  I’m only now getting some of my stamina back and adjusting to the warm weather.

This has been a tough summer physically.  I hurt my back and I couldn’t do much of anything for two months.  As a result I’ve gained 15 pounds since mid May.  This definitely isn’t what I planned for this summer.  While it was boring to have to spend all my time at home it wasn’t as tough mentally as I would have thought.  Besides the one day when I had a breakdown on two friends I really haven’t had any major flare ups of the mental illness this summer.  I think that the changes in medications I made in the spring have helped in that regard.  It helps that I am intentionally avoiding stressful situations and people.  I still don’t watch much news on tv or internet.  About all I watch on tv anymore is live sports.  During the Olympics I watched more tv in two weeks than I did the last four months combined. I wouldn’t have cable if it didn’t come with my apartment.  I just don’t watch much for regular tv anymore.  Almost everything I want to watch anymore is online.

I can tell that fall is almost here.  The weather isn’t as hot and the nights are getting longer.  The nights are getting cooler and school has started.  I feel like I squandered this summer since I couldn’t do much.  But I’ll just have to make it up this fall.

 

 

Looking Forward To Fall

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Now that my back has completely healed I’ve been getting out of my apartment more the last couple weeks.  At my most recent doctor’s appointment I found out I gained 15 pounds this summer.  Most of this is no doubt due to lack of physical activity and my eating too much comfort foods.  I did spend  this summer with alternating periods of depression and irritability.  I spent too much time indoors and exercising my mind and not enough exercising my body.  In short, this summer has been a loss in terms of physical health and activity.  The only positive of this summer is that I’m posting more on this blog and have gotten some more audience.

But fall is just a few weeks away.  I can already tell the days are getting shorter.  We also are no longer having several days in a row with nothing but scorching heat.  Looking ahead I see that we’re supposed to have some more cooler weather over the next several days.  I have spent most of my afternoons indoors avoiding the heat.  Since I spent the first month of summer on the mend I never adjusted to the warmer weather.  I normally have bad times during the summer.  Besides the blow ups on a couple friends I haven’t had any real serious problems this summer.  I know that I still have another three to four weeks of traditionally bad times ahead.  Hopefully I can make it through without anything else major.  I made it through last summer before having problems in October but I think working through my grandmother’s death made me more resilient because I had no options.  So my problems last year weren’t avoided as much as they were delayed.  So far things look good mentally.

I have been bored by the forced inactivity this summer.  Besides seeing my family a few times I really haven’t had much for social activity since Memorial Day.  But with the weather starting to get cooler and the nights starting to get longer, maybe my social activities will increase in the coming weeks.  I admit I am not sorry to see this summer go. I’m ready for cooler weather again.

 

Positive Vibes and Mental Illness

My exercise times are gradually increasing.  My stamina is slowing coming back.  I can now sleep in a bed every night with no problems.  Went to the park yesterday to exercise.  I exercised indoors today because of the heat and humidity.  I am still tracking everything I eat and I think that is helping.  I can tell I’m already eating less.  I get to see my nephews and niece tomorrow.  So I will get to do some socializing after weeks of primarily isolation. I feel like things are starting to get better after months of stagnation and problems.  I think it’s starting to look good for the first time in a real long time.

Finally Some Routine

I have not had my typical summer experience this year.  After hurting my back I couldn’t exercise for six weeks.  I couldn’t even sleep in a regular bed for almost two months.  I didn’t travel anywhere for the first month of summer because I’d get back pain even from driving.  I still haven’t been outside of my hometown much this summer.  I plan on spending a weekend in the middle of August at the family acreage so I can watch the late summer meteor showers.  That has become kind of a tradition for me for the last several years.  I really haven’t done much in terms of fun activities and socializing this summer.  And it was mainly due to hurting my back at the start of the season.

I finally built up enough stamina to get a good exercise in the park done.  I went on one of the hiking trails for awhile.  Hopefully I can get some good exercise in so I can build back my stamina by the time the weather cools off for autumn.  I am so far behind and I’m sure I gained weight during this six weeks of forced inactivity.

Had my twice monthly therapy session this morning.  It doesn’t really feel like stereotypical therapy as I’m not lying on a couch and confessing my darkest fears and thoughts to a Sigmund Freud look alike.  It kind of feels like I’m talking to an old friend as far as therapy goes.  I know it’s his job to listen and offer feedback as necessary so I know he’s not a traditional friend.  But I do consider him a rent a friend.  I haven’t been feeling really depressed or agitated for over two weeks.  I think it helps that I’m not drinking as much caffeine anymore and I have somewhat of a more healthy diet.  Forcing myself to get out of the apartment and get even twenty minutes of sunshine and a few minutes of walking isn’t hurting either.

Talked to my landlady this afternoon.  The request for my new carpet has been approved.  She also wants to repaint my walls and even replace my stove.  So I’ll probably have to vacate my apartment for a few days just to let them work without me being in the way.  Kind of tough to believe I’ve lived in the same apartment for ten years.  I lived in the same house for the first nineteen years of my life, but I changed bedrooms a couple times in that span.  I have lived in this apartment longer than anywhere besides my childhood house.  Barring any major holdups I’ll have new carpet, new wall paint, and a new stove by the end of the month.

I’m back to exercising again.  I’m back to feeling less depressed and aggravated.  I’m getting my apartment remodeled.  My insurance case from last year’s auto accident is all but settled.  I’m even losing my slight phobia of driving.  It’s as if a bunch of unresolved issues in my life are begin resolved all at once.  And it couldn’t have come at a better time.