Another Independence Day has come and gone. We are now into the middle of summer. From now until usually mid September has traditionally been a tough time of year for me. I have usually been moodier and more short tempered during the heat of summer. I am usually good for one psychotic break down during the summer, usually in August or September. I have had breakdowns in October before too. But the two times I went to a mental health hospital were both in September. So as far as the calendar goes, I am beginning to trek into traditionally troublesome times.
I have been avoiding people, at least in person, for the last few days. I have been doing so well for so long that I don’t really want anything upsetting this winning streak I’m on. I don’t sleep as much as I used to, but I usually stay up all night until sunrise and sleep until noon most days anymore. That way I still get some sunlight during the day and get to enjoy the quite and solitude of night as well. Been spending most of my days reading articles online, watching science videos on youtube, talking to friends and family on the phone, and messing with computers. I don’t have much of for a social life, but that is by design. I can’t stand most small talk. I find talking about the weather, politics, and other people draining, boring, and even physically painful. I can’t stand talking about mundane and stupid crap I can do nothing about. Makes me glad I’m an introvert who learned how to keep himself occupied a long time ago.
Looks like I’ll keep this routine up for the next several weeks. I don’t want to go anywhere and I don’t want to interact with anyone, especially if all they do is complain and moan yet not do anything about their problems. I’m through listening to petty complaints. I have enough issues of my own.
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.
Been isolating a lot lately. I sometimes have entire days when I don’t even leave my apartment anymore. I’m just burned out on people in general. Even though I sleep at night I find myself wanting to sleep almost all the time anymore. Seems like the only time I don’t feel anxious or depressed is when I’m asleep. I have gotten to where I am anxious every time I even hear people talking out in my hallway or even when I hear footsteps in my hall. My neighbors had an argument this morning I could hear through my wall. Made me definitely not want to leave my apartment today.
I know that eventually I’ll just have to gather my courage and force myself to leave my apartment just to do laundry and check my mail. But I really have gotten to where I no longer trust anyone it seems. I’m afraid of people more or less. Seems that everyone I meet is in a foul mood all the time. Of course going online to look my friends up doesn’t help any as foul moods and arguments are the rule online anymore. A friend of mine once suggested I start a youtube channel and just do voice over videos. Not a chance. YouTube comment sections are even nastier than twitter or facebook. We have near god like capabilities with our current state of tech yet we act completely uncivilized online. If I acted a fraction that rude in public, I’d expect to get a beating or a jail cell. Though knowing my countrymen’s attitudes about guns, I’d probably get shot rather quickly.
At this point I don’t feel sorry for isolating or having all my groceries delivered to my apartment. I don’t regret that it’s been two months since I had guests in my apartment. I don’t regret rarely leaving my apartment. I don’t regret being lonely. I’d much rather be lonely than made miserable by other miserable people. In some ways I am glad I am an outcast and an outsider on mainstream civilization. I’m burned out on all the fighting and negativity I see every hour of every day. I’m tired of people being ugly and evil to each other all the time. I’ll interact with some people via phone or online chat. The rest of humanity is welcome to keep it’s distance until they come back to their senses and act like civilized people again.
It’s been a while since I last wrote. I couldn’t do much online after my computer crashed over a week ago. I managed to recover my mac and I now have a new PC too. Being offline more or less for over a week made me realize just how much I use my computer. I managed to recover my mac by watching several how to vids on youtube. I’m glad I found some advice that worked for my problems. It saved me from going to the shop. Now that I have both my mac and PC back, I feel like I can move on.
During my forced hiatus from my online activity, I did some reading and more sleeping than was probably healthy. Sometimes I just slept out of boredom. I still had my phone so I kept in contact with family and friends. But it was kind of lonely at times as many of my friends I keep in contact with via social media sites. And of course I couldn’t post blogs without a keyboard. I tried to post via my smart phone, but my fat fingers make typing on the phone almost impossible. I’ll never complain about people using shortcuts in their text messages anymore after that.
Overall I’ve felt good. It’s been quite cold with snow for the last couple weeks. Haven’t gotten out as much as I should because of that. I just can’t endure cold weather as well as I could even a few years ago. Been stable overall even if a little lonely and kind of unmotivated. It doesn’t really bother me anymore that I don’t want to go out much. I know, that should bother me. But I have been an introvert my entire life. And sometimes I don’t mind going entire days without talking to anyone anymore. I couldn’t make it a permanent thing, but I can isolate for a few days and be content if needed.
I don’t have any plans for any major changes or shakeups for the next few weeks. Right now I’m just taking it one day at a time as we go through winter. I really don’t like driving on ice and snow anymore. And we’ve had continuous snow cover since before Christmas. But we have another four to six weeks of this left. I should feel guilty for isolating and not socializing this winter but I really don’t this winter. And I’m not exactly sure why I isolate so much. Maybe the depression is creeping back in. Or maybe I’m more selective about whom I spend my finite time with as I age.
Even though I have been feeling quite stable overall, I have very little desire to leave my apartment complex except when necessary. I am still a little paranoid about people I meet in public. And I am somewhat that way about people within my own complex. It’s sad to say, but I think I have developed a phobia of people in general. I really don’t interact with anyone in person unless necessary. Anymore I prefer to communicate by phone or social media rather than in person. I didn’t used to be like this. But anymore I am paranoid and scared to venture out in public, sometimes leading me to neglecting to run errands unless absolutely vital. Anymore when I do leave my apartment complex, it’s usually at night so I don’t have to deal with crowds or strangers. I’m even starting to become afraid of the people in my complex. I am scared that many people in my complex don’t like me. I suspect some of the elderly residents don’t like younger people on disability living in here. But I hope that’s my paranoia being in high gear and nothing more.
My illness has changed over the course of the years. I can more easily deal with the delusional thoughts, hallucinations, and anger. But dealing with the paranoia and problems socializing have gotten slightly worse. Anymore I desire to be alone most of the time. Most people I don’t want to socialize with. And it’s often because I am afraid of them. My fear stems from not being able to read unspoken cues and body language. I also have no concept of how to deal with office politics and the nonsense social games that many normals seem to fair well under. I don’t understand office politics. And it has cost me several jobs over the years. I have no desire to “man up” and go back to a regular job mainly because of office politics. Personally, I hope that automation takes a lot of these jobs and people will have to find other ways to define themselves besides job titles and money. I had to once it became painfully obvious that my hopes of a career were killed by my mental illness. Adaptation is the best strategy in living rather than holding on to a past that isn’t coming back. I’m not going to regain my ability to work a forty hour a week job and I have accepted that. And I no longer feel shame when anyone tells me I’m making my problems up or that I’m not worthy of living because I don’t have some remedial and repetitive job that will probably be taken over by machines in not too many years. I know what I have been thorough and have dealt with. No one else has. So these people can condemn all they want, but their condemnations mean nothing to me.
In my part of the country, the weather is warming up enough to get rid of the ice and snow we’ve had since before Christmas. It is a welcome relief that I can leave my complex without too many problems. Got out and about a few times this weekend. I ran a few errands, so I am set for the next couple weeks. I still don’t socialize as much as I would like because the paranoia still remains. Sometimes it was strong enough I would go entire days without leaving my apartment. Physically, I’m having back problems again. I can’t stand for more than ten minutes at a time without lower back and upper leg pain. I can still get around if I walk for ten minutes, take ten minutes to sit, and repeat. But this isn’t practical when navigating out in public. I’ll have to go back to the chiropractor or some other doctor to see what I can do about my failing back. I’ve been fighting back problems on and off since my car accident in 2015. I imagine I’ll be fighting it for the rest of my life from now one. It’s a pity that I start falling apart physically right at the time when I start figuring things out mentally. At this point I wouldn’t mind just being a head in a jar attached to a machine body, like in Futurama 🙂
With my back being messed up, I am more house bound than I would like. I miss the things I was able to do even just a few years ago that, due to my bad back, I can’t do anymore. I miss walks in the park, I miss going swimming, I especially miss not worrying if sitting on a hard chair will mess me up. I even have a hard time getting in and out of my car anymore because of back pains. So I don’t drive unless it’s necessary now. I am now starting to see what I get to look forward as a senior citizen. Golden years, yeah right.
The positive side to having such limiting back pain is mentally I am still stable. I have remained stable for months. In the past, physical pain and illnesses have made my mental health worse. It doesn’t seem to anymore. Maybe as I become an old man I have learned to cope with the hangups and stresses of mental illness better. I do miss having a good strong back.
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.
Been getting more regular sleep the last few days. So I’m returning to some of my old routines. Started lifting weights again. No doubt it’ll take a few weeks to get back into the routine of lifting weights three times a week. I’m eating healthier again. I used to eat fast food about once a day. Haven’t had the stuff for two weeks now. Been getting up around eight a.m. the last several days. Still napping for a couple hours in the afternoons. But I am no longer staying awake most of the nights.
Been going outside a couple times a day for the last few days. Starting to socialize again too. Found out that some of our more problematic residents have moved out. One of the reasons I isolated so much over the last year or so was to avoid these people. I can freely socialize again without fear of running into negative and angry people all the time. Too bad this didn’t happen a few months ago. Some of these individuals were really taxing my sanity and well being.
Had some changes in my medications. So far they seem to be working. As it is I have a several week supply of meds built up in case of emergencies. I think that after several months of less than optimal times, things are starting to look good again.
Since I’m starting to sleep less and more regular hours again, I’m finding myself with more free time. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with this new found freedom and energy. I have pretty much been withdrawn and homebound for awhile. I imagine I need to start contacting friends and family again. I haven’t been a regular on Facebook for over a month. I want to get back in touch with people again. I’m even starting to look forward to the holidays for the first time in a long time. I’m glad to be back on the mend and more active again.
I want to start losing weight again. I’ve been real lazy about diet and exercise since my car accident two years ago. As a result I gained back all the weight I had lost previously. I haven’t been drinking sugared sodas for a couple weeks and I’m cutting back in other places too. I’m eating more vegetables too. Started lifting weights again. Been lazy about that for a long time. So glad I kept my old hand weights during my minimalist purges. Overall things are looking better than usual. Even during my exiles I stayed positive for the most part. But now I am more social and outgoing, it can get even better.
Started to restock my winter supplies and emergency food. I am now set to the point that I don’t have to venture out for several days if needed. Lately I have been content to stay close to the complex besides running errands. Mentally I have been stable even if I am staying awake most of the night and sleeping in the mornings. Maybe that is why I am so stable.
I have gotten to where in my illness that socializing makes me paranoid and irritable. I no longer enjoy socializing with my neighbors. I no longer enjoy driving, not even across town. I’m pretty much content to just keep to myself anymore. Anymore I am my own favorite company. I hope this is mainly paranoia and the illness, but I really can’t stand to be around most people anymore. I would rather socialize over the phone or online than in person anymore. With the holidays coming in a few weeks, I may be forced out of this isolation routine that has worked so well for me. I’m not looking forward to losing my routines. I am definitely not looking forward to the holidays. I really don’t feel like celebrating much of anything anymore. And I certainly no longer care to celebrate merely because the calendar and society as a whole tells me I have to. Maybe schizophrenia really does get worse with age in some aspects. I don’t have much for hallucinations or angry outbursts anymore. But I do still have paranoia, delusions, and just prefer to be left alone almost all the time. I hope it’s my illness messing with my mind, but I just can’t stand to socialize in person anymore. I definitely can no longer hold a job. I can barely venture out into my hometown without problems anymore. I can only hope this illness stops getting worse as I age. It has definitely screwed with every aspect of my life.
July has faded into August. In a few weeks school will be starting again in many places. Seems that school starts earlier every year. But now that we are into August it does seem like autumn isn’t too far away. Another four to six weeks of hot weather and we should be done for the year.
Since it has been hotter than usual and for longer stretches this summer, I have spent more time inside. Haven’t been getting as much exercise as I would like. So I have been eating less. I’m back to having usually only two meals a day. But I think I have lost a few pounds despite my lowered activity because I am eating less. Mentally I have been quite stable, especially for my summer standards. I think I’m doing well just by avoiding stressful situations and people. These certainly make my life more pleasant and quiet. I’m even getting fewer aches and pains too. Even though I don’t exercise as much as I would like, I still get out and walk around for a few minutes every day.
I really haven’t talked to anyone lately outside of family. But I can do alright alone for long periods of time. Loneliness doesn’t really bother me that much. Loneliness is easier than dealing with rude and stupid people all the time. I just enjoy my quiet and alone times.
I have so far made it through half of summer with no issues. Hopefully the second half can also go well. Once things cool off for good I am usually alright. I have usually done better in winters and springs than summers and early autumns.