I just realized that I don’t post as much to this blog as much as I used to. I just really haven’t had that much drama in my life lately. I’m not complaining. Drama and mental illness are vicious tag team partners that are always together. Normally with mental illness, it has been quite rare that I don’t have at least a minor flare up every few days. It’s just that as I have aged and matured I don’t act on these impulses nearly as much anymore. I have learned that yes, it is alright to feel bad. Yes, it is alright to fume and quietly rant to yourself. This is especially true if it helps me cope with mental illness and I don’t take out my issues on other people. Mental illness is scary enough for me. I can’t imagine how bad it is to someone who isn’t familiar with the ups and downs.
As it is as I have aged and been under treatment for most of my adult life, I have fewer ups and downs than I did in my teens and early twenties. It is actually quite nice to not have problems like I had in the past. Yet it did come at the cost of almost isolating myself for much of my life. Fortunately for myself I can keep myself in good company for days at a time if need be. It is kind of a lonely life, but at least I have always been one who preferred my own company or small groups as opposed to being Mr. Social Hour. I enjoy living a drama free life. At least, my life is as drama free as someone with schizophrenia is going to be.
Been going through changes the last several days. I finally broke my habit of staying up all night and then sleeping much of the day. Took a few months to break that habit. Now I’m usually up around 6 am and in bed by 10pm. And yet my routines don’t feel that different. I’ve been getting out of the apartment more and spending time outdoors. It helps that the weather has turned cooler.
Even though I leave my apartment several times a day, I still haven’t been outside of my hometown for several weeks. While I still have a little phobia about driving, I do drive more than I used to. It’s just that it’s all in town and stop and go driving. I really don’t have much choice but to overcome my fear of driving as my hometown doesn’t have good public transit. Fortunately I can everything I need within city limits. That’s one of the advantages of living in a college town that the farm village I grew up in never had. As it is, I have to buy fuel for my car only once a month anymore. Used to be I had to buy every week when I lived with my parents when I was in high school and college.
Didn’t go out for Halloween. I stayed home and watched a few supernatural thrillers and listened to the old ‘War of the Worlds’ radio broadcast on youtube. Spent most of my nights in October watching playoff baseball. So I guess I have to find a new way to spend my evenings.
Overall I feel pretty calm and content. I still have auditory hallucinations a couple times a day, usually hearing footsteps that aren’t there or my phone ringing when no one is calling. The real odd thing is that most of my hallucinations now come shortly after I wake up and before I get out of bed. I still get enough sleep. I think the consistent sleep helps keep me stable. I still avoid rude, obnoxious, and irritable people as much as I can. That definitely helps keep me stable even if it does hurt my social life.
At this point of my life, I have come to the conclusion that small talk and casual acquaintances are overrated. Most people simply don’t have deep and connecting conversations with very many people. I would rather bond to some family members and a few close friends as opposed to have lots of meaningless casual conversations with legions of fair weather friends. I love being an introvert. Most of my friends are deep thinking introverts. Being a people person is something that does not come natural to me. On top of that, I think it’s overrated. It doesn’t bother me that I sometimes spend entire days alone without talking to anyone at all. I rather enjoy my privacy and freedom to think and explore different ideas. I really don’t enjoy socializing that much. Most times, people won’t talk about anything beyond the weather, sports, or how much they hate their job. To me, it gets boring and mind numbing really quick. I wouldn’t be much fun at a cocktail party. Even though I’m not sure I could qualify, I think it’s too bad my hometown doesn’t have a MENSA chapter or some social group similar. I really crave intelligent conversation and mental exercise. Learning new things actually gives me joy and makes me feel good physically. Unfortunately I don’t get this much when socializing with most people. I have painfully found out that many smart people have lousy social lives. I am no exception.
Fall is here. The leaves are turning, the nights are getting longer, and the weather is cooling. Had to run my heater the last few nights. I do enjoy this time of year. It’s been several days since I last wrote. Updates are in order.
I haven’t had much to report the last few days because I have been feeling quite stable since my last breakdown a couple weeks ago. I now make a point to leave my apartment at least once a day. I usually buy groceries for two weeks at a time. Since winter is only a couple months away, I’ll have to start restocking my cold weather supplies soon. I haven’t been to my therapist for a few months simply because I really don’t have much to talk about with him. At this point in my illness, I really don’t have much of a desire to be social to strangers. I don’t really desire to leave my apartment much after dark, not because I live in a bad neighborhood, but because I don’t like driving at night anymore. It’s been a couple years since I went to the movie theatre as it seems that half of what’s shown anymore are remakes I saw the first time in my youth. If I want to watch something anymore, I just go to youtube or netflix. If I want to socialize I just call up my friends and family on the smart phone. I still avoid Facebook some as some people still can be quite nasty to each other over the pettiest differences of opinions. But I’d rather people be jerks to each other online than in person. I think one of the problems is that much can be lost in translation just with written text. I have thought about starting a youtube channel and doing a podcast through that as I think some of what I write can be lost in the reading.
I don’t mind not socializing much at this point in my life. I have always been an introvert who preferred having a few truly loyal friends and family members as opposed to having lots of casual friends. In my family, it seems that people are either extreme extroverts or extreme introverts. But sometimes I am my favorite company. I don’t mind going entire days without talking to people. I do like technology enough that I’m not going to be a modern Henry David Theorau and build a cabin on a lake and retreat from civilization. It can be tough being an introvert in a place and time that values “people person” types and extroversion. I have gotten in lots of trouble over the years for trying to keep to myself and just do my tasks at almost every job I ever had. It just isn’t enough to do the job and do it well anymore. But I know in previous eras I wouldn’t have had a job, I’d be in a mental asylum and probably would have had a short and chaotic life. It would have been much rougher in the past for someone like me. That’s why I’m not nostalgic.