Hermiting, Covid 19, and Schizophrenia

Been isolating and staying home for the last several days.  I do all my communication through social media and phone calls.  My cleaning lady had to have surgery so she’s out for probably a few months.  My neighbors come by and help out every few days.  Overall I’m burned out on dealing with people in person.  People actually scare me anymore.  The less I deal with them, at least in person, the better.

Currently working on audiobooks.  Recently listened to The Economic Singularity by Callum Chase.  Currently working on The Rise of The Robots by Martin Ford.  A friend of mine is trying to talk me into reading the Dune and Foundation series.  I read the first Foundation a year ago.  But I got soured on science fiction as a teenager when movies like The Terminator, Gattaca, and The Matrix were really big.  I have enough dystopia in my own life.  Why in the hell would I want to escape to that?  Recently read 21 Lessons for the 21st Century and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harrahi.

I spend almost all of my time avoiding people.  These are real scary times for me, especially living in low income housing, being on disability, and dealing with mostly angry, irrational, and illogical people.  It seems like most people I personally know just want to fight all the time.  I’m through with that.  I’m ready to move past the anger phase.  Too bad almost no one I know is.  I am thankful I don’t live in a large city.  I am thankful I can hermit and stay home.  I am thankful I don’t have to deal with angry and stupid people anymore than I already have to.  I don’t see how most people can deal with this.  I know I couldn’t.

Paranoia and Fear With Mental Illness

I’ve now spent two months in self quarantine.  While things are opening back up, I’m still staying home.  I’m still paranoid about leaving my apartment.  And I sometimes have anxiety problems.  At least they don’t last very long.  I’ve had only one breakdown since self quarantine started.  That was about a month ago.

I find myself wanting to sleep more.  Sometimes I sleep just out of depression.  Sometimes I’ll just lay in bed for a couple hours in the afternoon just to let my mind wander.  I occasionally have hallucinations, especially as I try to fall asleep.  I often hear footsteps of people that aren’t there.  I sometimes hear knocks on my door when no one is there.  I sometimes hear doors open and close.  And I’m beginning to get paranoid around some of my neighbors.  I sometimes fear they secretly don’t like me and want to get me evicted.  I sometimes fear people will try to break into my place and rob me, sometimes even during daylight hours.  I’m scared my neighbors will try to pick arguments and fights with me sometimes.  It just seems that people are more angry and quicker to fight lately.

I no longer find socializing enjoyable.  I spend most of my time at home.  I’ll sweet talk my neighbors into picking up my mail once a week just so I don’t have to be forced to socialize.  I’m scared I’ll get into a heated conversation that I wanted nothing to do with in the first place.  I don’t even find socializing over the phone very enjoyable anymore.  I fear people will think I’m rude if I don’t want to talk.  So I sometimes lie and say I have another call or someone knocking on my door if I need to end a conversation quickly.  I just don’t want to socialize anymore.  Some days I want to spend all day in bed.  But I don’t simply because I’m paranoid that someone will knock on my door or call my phone and I’ll be expected to answer at a moment’s notice.  I fear people get angry with me if I have to make them wait at all.  I’ve had this fear for most of my life.

April 13 2020

Been a good day so far.  Bought some groceries.  So I’m set food wise for a while.  I was up pretty late last night.  I’m still staying home all the time.  I haven’t been off my complex’s property in a month.  I haven’t had problems with boredom yet.  I do have even more aches and pains the last few days, especially in my knees.  The best thing for that seems to be stand up and walk around more often.

I am so grateful for home delivery right now.  I’ve been getting my groceries and medications delivered to my home for a few years now.  It worked so well that I quit driving my car.  Having a phobia of driving made the decision to sell my car made the decision more easy.  I haven’t driven a car in over six months.  And I don’t miss it.  My budget is thanking me now that I don’t have to buy gas two to three times per month.  I haven’t even shopped in a Wal Mart or a mall for almost three years.  Most of my house supplies I get either from Amazon or through my supermarket home delivery.

 

April 5 2020 Quarantine

Slept quite late this morning.  Made some ramen noodles for lunch.  Broke into an old computer game I hadn’t played in months.  Currently working on Rome Total War.  Been listening to more music too.  Playing some blues classics on my spotify account.  Lifted weights this morning.  Thinking about redecorating my apartment.  Taking some vitamin supplements as my diet has gotten pretty basic the last couple weeks.  I don’t buy a lot of things, like fresh vegetables, that can spoil quickly anymore.

Haven’t talked to my friends this weekend.  Talked to mom and dad for a long time last night.  I haven’t had visitors to my apartment since my neighbors helped with my laundry a few days ago.  I have some more groceries coming tomorrow morning.  I usually make smaller orders more often.  Sometimes things I order aren’t in stock.  I guess it was only a matter of time before supply chains became disrupted.

Self Quarantine: March 26 2020

Watched a couple Star Trek movies yesterday.  Called my parents twice.  Talked to an old college friend yesterday.  His school in rural South Dakota is doing online teaching now.  He spends several hours a day with that.  His wife is also a teacher, so there is usually always someone on their home computer.  A friend of mine in Denver was classified as essential worker status because she works for a financial institution.  She’ll probably put in lots of hours for the near future.  Saw that my home county now has two confirmed cases of covid 19.  I live in a small college community of less than 40,000 people.  The town has gone eerily quiet since this was declared a pandemic two weeks ago.  For the last two weeks the only time I’ve left my apartment was to pick up grocery and medicine deliveries.  It will probably be this way for awhile.  The only time I see any real traffic on the highway outside my complex is during the morning and evening commutes.  I have a friend in Lincoln, Nebraska who works in a pharmacy and she said things are crazy there.  She wears masks and gloves every time she leaves her house.

My brother and his wife have worked from home for the last three weeks.  Their four kids are all doing online school for a few hours a day.  My mom and dad are doing alright.  They sometimes binge watch westerns on their streaming services.  I call them at least once a day.

I call my neighbors at least once daily.  My neighbor lady helped me with my laundry yesterday and her husband cooked dinner for us.  My cleaning lady will be here this afternoon.  I just realized there were some supplies I was supposed to pick up for her that I forgot about.  But some cleaning supplies like disinfectant sprays and cleaning solutions are in short supply some days.  Twice in the last two weeks I tried to buy Lysol spray only to find the store was out.  Fortunately I found an old can I had forgotten about stashed away in my closet.  I didn’t go stock up on toilet paper or anything crazy like that.  The craziest things I did buy was some bottled water.  At first I was afraid the water might go out.  But I needed some as I try to keep a few days worth of water stored away just in case.

I’m still holding good on my psych medications and over the counter pain pills.  I bought some ibuprofen a few weeks before things got real hectic.  I haven’t had a real shortage of anything, at least not yet.  I’m glad my family took disaster preparation serious when we were kids.  Living in a small Nebraska town with the nearest Wal Mart being an hour drive away, we stocked up whenever we had the chance.  It wasn’t unheard of to have a major snow storm shut down the highways for a few days.  When I was thirteen, we had an ice storm that knocked out power and water in our town for three days.  Some of the farms outside of town were without power for a few weeks.  So I guess disaster preparations were never foreign to anyone living in our small town.  Most of the people I grew up around worked in farming or ranching, so they were people who were used to having to be on their own just by the nature of their work.  Even though my parents weren’t farmers, I learned some of those habits of being self reliant and prepared just by growing up around it.  I guess my family and those I grew up around kept some of the old pioneer mentality even in modern times.

Happiness in Being Alone

Been pretty quiet the last several days.  I keep in contact with friends and family a little every day even if I don’t spend much time on social media lately.  Spending much of my time reading any more.  Been reading regularly again since Christmas.  I talk to my neighbors a few times a week but haven’t left my apartment for a few days.  I’m usually content to stay home most of the time.  I don’t mind visitors but, outside of my neighbors, I don’t get them very often.

I don’t venture out in public much.  I’m just afraid of most people any more.  I am burned out on dealing with rude people.  And I no longer have much tolerance for mundane chit chat.  I just no longer enjoy it.  It’s the same thing over and over as far as I’m concerned.  Naturally, this makes me look aloof and standoffish to most people I meet.  But, sometimes I am my own best company.  It’s probably why I spend so much time alone and it doesn’t bother me as much as most people.  The fact it doesn’t bother me much is probably unnerving to some people.  I am just to tired and burned out to deal with pointless drama.  Have been for a long time.

Dealing With Loss, Isolation, and Declining Health

Haven’t written for a few days.  I’m only now recovered from the holidays.  I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that it’s 2020.  I am understanding why my grandmother said that time only goes faster the older you get.  I’m going to be 40 this summer.  Mentally I don’t feel any decline.  If anything, I feel mentally sharper and stronger than ever.  Physically, my body can no longer keep up with my mind.  It’s been this way for a couple years now.  I would love to be able to road trip and visit friends in person and go to concerts and ballgames at a moment’s notice like I did in my late 20s and early 30s.  But the body can no longer keep up.  I don’t know how much of it is aging, how much of it is the toll of two decades fighting a severe mental illness, how much of it is being overweight, etc.  At this point I guess it doesn’t matter either way.  I am pretty much content to stay home, chat with my old friends online, read my books, mess with my computers, and watch the events of our time and place unfold from my apartment.

Found out right before Christmas one of my college classmates died.  He was only 40.  He worked at a mental health hospital and was a compassionate man.  I hadn’t talked to him much since graduation.  I’m glad we found each other on facebook and were able to reestablish contact shortly before he died.  And then just yesterday I found out another college friend’s cancer has come back.  This time it’s terminal.  The doctors told her she has two to five years at most.  Starting to lose my own friends now.

Seeing most of my friends struggle financially has taken a toll on me.  And now that most of them are in declining physical and mental health and even starting to die is making this only worse.  It has gotten me to think about my own mortality far more than ever.  At my last doctor’s appointment, I was relieved to find I was not diabetic.  The only real problem they found was high blood pressure.  I no longer have much for stamina.  That’s one of the reasons I stay home so much.  Going out in public is now enough of an ordeal that I no longer enjoy it.  Add to this that most people I know are more stressed and short tempered than ever, I have no want to leave my apartment.  I have enough problems of my own to catch an ear full from my neighbors and landlord.  Sometimes I get in trouble even just staying at home.  Most people in my complex think I’m moving out or getting evicted because I never go out in public anymore.  Naturally, lots of rumors are going around.  No I’m not moving.  As far as I know, I’m not in danger of being evicted.  Though for the last few years I’ve lived in near constant paranoia that I was.  It’s mainly because most people are just so angry and short tempered constantly.  It didn’t used to be this way.  I actually used to enjoy socializing.  Then three of my best friends in my apartment complex died within six months of each other in 2014 and 2015.  From there my social life fell apart.  Other than a few neighbors, I literally have no friends within a fifty mile radius.  I don’t think most people know or care how tough socializing is for a middle aged man with a disability and no immediate family nearby.  I just keep to myself anymore.  I would rather be alone than have to fight with neighbors, coworkers, and complete strangers all the time.

Avoiding Negative People While Mentally Ill

Haven’t been in the mood for socializing much lately.  It’s not because I’m feeling lousy and irritable.  Far from it.  I avoid socializing for the most part lately because almost everyone else I associate with is in lousy moods.  I have run out of patience with people coming to me with their problems and not caring about mine.  What makes things even worse is that no one I talk to complains about things they can immediately remedy.  I’m tired of listening to my friends and family complain about this, that, and the third.  You have problems, well good.  That means that you are still alive.  Everyone has problems, even I do.  Surprised?

I haven’t even left my apartment for several days because I am tired of seeing and hearing so many people be in foul moods.  I have been told that socializing is important to good mental health.  Is it really when most other people are being negative and toxic?  I finally had enough and shut off my phone this afternoon.  Don’t come to me and expect me to listen to your gripes and not even have the courtesy to care about mine.  I live below poverty levels.  I am overweight.  I have chronic back problems.  My mental illness sometimes flares up but I don’t dare take it out on anyone.

I am lonely.  I have almost no one to talk about things I want to talk about, outside of my own parents.  It seems like most of my friends are in foul moods all the time anymore.  And my neighbors are just as bad.  I have to admit dealing with so many angry people is taking a toll on my psyche.  About the only things I enjoy anymore are watching youtube videos and playing computer games.  Most people will tell me this is a horrible way to live my life.  It probably is, but dealing with angry and irritable people for most of my social interactions sounds even worse.  And my friends and family wonder why I dropped out of society.  I just don’t want to deal with other people’s toxic attitudes and behavior.  I sometimes sleep just to feel better and not deal with other peoples’ madness.  I probably sleep ten to twelve hours a day anymore.  I have reached my breaking point.

Socializing is no longer enjoyable.  Being by myself is far more enjoyable anymore.  I have given up on telling people good news and sharing my enthusiasm for tech and science advances.  Most my friends and family either think I am “fake news” or I am met with complete indifference.  I would actually rather be told I am a liar than be met with indifference.  I’m burned out on negative friends and family.  I talk to only two or three people on facebook on a regular basis these days because of all the anger and hopelessness.  I don’t know if it’s me or if all my friends and family went bad all at once.

Naturally no one sees these things the way I do.  And if they do, they won’t bother to do anything to improve their situations.  As it is, for now, I’m just staying out of sight and out of mind.  I refuse to socialize with negative people.  I lost much of my youth because I was raised to be a negative pessimist who was never pleased.  I’ll be damned to spend my adulthood that way.

August 28 2019

Things have been improving with each passing day since my breakdown last week.  My sleeping habits have changed though.  I now usually sleep a few hours in the afternoon, stay awake until the early morning hours, sleep a few more hours, and am awake by 9am.  I think I’m getting back into my being a night owl routine.  I usually get like this in late summer or early fall.  For some odd reason I usually do my best sleeping in the afternoon and early a.m. hours, especially when the weather starts turning cooler.  Some years during the winter, I wouldn’t see the sun much because I usually slept in the daylight hours.

This has been a pretty long and stressful summer for me.  The spring was more stressful than usual too.  I was usually too stressed and paranoid to leave the apartment some days.  So I stayed home, rode my exercise bike, lifted weights, and caught up on sleep.  I think I have lost weight over the last five months.  I’ve also cut back on how much I eat yet I don’t feel like I’m starving myself.  I usually eat one large meal at lunch, always protein rich.  And then I have a small dinner, usually left overs from lunch.  I usually cook only once a day.  I’ve had fast food only a few times in the last year.  Now I have gone a week without coffee, I’m starting to cut down on caffeine.  Next time I shop, I’m buying tea instead of coffee.  Coffee just makes me to jittery and irritable anymore.

I’m still reading quite a bit, granted it’s still mostly online articles in science journals.  When I do read online newspapers, it’s usually something like New York Times, The Guardian, or Wall Street Journal.

As stressed as I was this summer, I wasn’t in much of a mood to watch a lot of baseball.  But with the Rockies having one of the lousiest records in the league, I wouldn’t have had much to cheer about anyway.  I spent much of my summer playing computer games, chatting with friends online and over the phone, and reading online articles.  I broke down and decided to renew my cable so I could get football games and the baseball playoffs.  The Huskers first game is this Saturday. We haven’t had much to celebrate the last few years.  But things are starting to look up.  When they hired Scott Frost to be the coach after 2017, it gave people real reason to hope for the first time in several years.  Hope things do turn around.

For the first time in months I feel really hopeful most of the time.  I spent most of this spring and summer at home, working out, eating healthier, taking vitamin supplements, and trying to get my physical health in order.  For years I had been tending to my mental and psychological health only to let my physical health slide, at least after my car accident back in 2015.  The last few years have been overly lonely and depressing.  And I felt I couldn’t really talk to anyone because of how angry and stressed most people seemed to be, especially online.  This truly bothered me as it is easier for me to socialize online than to just call someone up on the phone or go to their house.  That and most of my friends and family live out of town.  I hope after a few years of upheaval and distress, people by and large are learning how to tactfully interact online.  I lost some friends over the last few years because of everything that has gone on.  Hopefully, the madness is burning itself out.

Popular Sucks

Have felt quite decent the last several days.  I have been getting adequate sleep and leaving my apartment for longer periods of time.  I’m keeping my apartment less cluttered lately.  It doesn’t take my cleaning person as long to do her job these days.  Maybe after several months of adjustments and regular maintenance I’m getting on top of hanging issues.  I haven’t had much for flare ups or anxiety for over a week now.  First time in months I can claim that.

I think I don’t feel much for anxiety or depression anymore is for a handful of reasons.  For one, if I don’t feel like socializing I don’t do it.  I don’t socialize unless I want to.  Granted it means sometimes going entire days without talking to anyone.  Which is alright with me.  Some of my happiest times came when I was alone and allowed to read, write, and research answers to my questions without input from anyone else.  And I no longer feel guilty for not wanting to socialize.  Sometimes I will let the phone ring if I’m not in the mood to talk.  Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to interrupt my tasks to listen to a sales pitch, or take a phone survey, or listen to my friends complain about how much their jobs suck, or about something my retired parents heard from one of their neighbors or saw on tv.

Sometimes I just don’t want to be interrupted.  And most of the time mundane crap like talking about the weather, politics, the latest episode of Game of Thrones or The Kardashians, how work is going, or how my favorite sports teams are on a losing streak doesn’t interest me much. Yet most people I know want to talk about these things. Want to talk about it, okay:  The weather is cloudy and humid.  Politicians can’t solve technical and social problems and aren’t the gods mass media and party members make them to be and never were.  Game of Thrones really laid an egg on their farewell season and angered millions of fans all over the world, including many of my closest friends.  The Kardashians are famous just for being rich, pretty, and famous. Come back when they invent nuclear fusion or safe artificial super intelligence.  Most people hate their jobs and work them only for the money (which isn’t that good in most cases anyway). My Huskers have had three losing seasons in the last four years but hopefully the young hotshot we have as a coach can get us winning again and the Rockies are barely breaking even and probably won’t win the pennant.  I discussed all of that in less than a minute.  No need to rehash it.  Let’s move on.

Of course this doesn’t make me popular with my neighbors or family.  Then I’ve never been popular.  Popular is lowest common denominator.  Popular is mundane.  Popular doesn’t change the world for the better.  Popular doesn’t catch the attention.  Popular isn’t thought provoking.  Popular is boring.  Popular sucks because it stands for nothing, has no feeling, has no courage, has no magic, and inspires no one to their highest nature and capacities.  I don’t care about popular.  I care about making people think.  And if it makes my friends, family, readers, critics, etc. angry and uncomfortable, so be it.  I’d rather be persecuted for being beneficial to people than honored for catering to the base nature of our humanity.