June 19, 2018

Decided to spend a few days at my parents’ house.  Getting some much needed rest and relaxation.  Haven’t gotten in the conversations as much as I would like mainly because I have been sleeping so much.  Even after two days of unwinding, I can tell things are starting to improve.  I’m glad that I don’t have the temper I did even five years ago with this mental illness.  Maybe some people do mellow and relax with age.  I believe I have.

This trip to my parents’ place made me realize how much I miss travelling and visiting people.  I haven’t  travelled as much as I used to primarily because of chronic back pain.  But since I’ve lost some weight and just forced myself to get more active, I think I’m somewhat more mobile now than I was over the winter.  I still have to take it easier than I would like, but even that is starting to go away.

I have been so used to eating alone over the last several years I almost forgot what dinner conversation could be like.  Have had a few of those with my parents since I came to their house.  I forgot how much even a few minutes of face to face interaction could make me feel better.  I am convinced it was and is the paranoia aspect of my illness that doesn’t allow me to interact with others as much as I should.  I know I would be better grounded mentally and physically if I spent more time interacting with other people in person.

Getting some other things taken care of I had been neglecting for too long.  I have put things off when I was alone because I didn’t have either the motivation to get things done or the help to get things done.  One thing I still have to force myself to do is ask for help.  I have always had hard times asking for help, as if it made me feel inadequate and weak.  But I suppose as I age I’ll have to just ask for help more often.

It’s been a relaxing couple days out of the routine.  I imagine I’ll spend another couple days here at least before I try to go back and face my usual routine again.  But even the strongest people need to rest and relax once in awhile.

Laughter as Therapy

Over the last few days I’ve broken out of some of my old routines.  I have stopped spending much time on social media.  I have quit watching news videos on youtube and have even shut off my internet news feed.  I’m trying to break the cycle of sleeping so much.  And most importantly, I have taken the time to watch some comedy videos on youtube.

I think one of my biggest problems over the last several months was I wasn’t taking any time to unwind and relax.  I have been so focused on how unhappy and angry many people in my life have been that I forgot to relax.  I think that far too many people are wound up for too much of the time.  I think there really isn’t enough humor and laughter, at least not in recent months.  Too many people spend way too much time worrying about things they simply cannot control.  Are you worried about terrorism?  You’re much more apt to be killed by a drunk driver or die from falling in the shower than you are from a terrorist attack.  Are you worried about climate change?  There are probably hundreds of thousands of scientists and engineers working on practical solutions and alternatives to polluting energy while all you can probably do by yourself is drive less and recycle your aluminum cans.  Are you worried about some drug resistant super bug decimating our species?  Scientists and doctors all over the world are actually working on solutions while all you do is fret over the latest news reports.

In short, worry by itself is good for nothing.   That’s why I decided to stop watching current events type things and dystopian science fiction, which is most science fiction anymore, and find comedy videos on youtube.  Been watching a lot of Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart, and John Oliver the last several days.  I have also watched some old Penn and Teller shows.  I have found that I can handle some current events and news if mixed in with healthy doses of humor and satire.  And let’s face it, a lot of what has been going on the last several months looks like episode scripts that were too outlandish even for South Park.  And I doubt that I’m the only person who hasn’t resorted to humor to help deal with difficulty.  There are reasons that The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight are as popular, if not more so, than some news shows on traditional cable news networks.

And I think the renewed focus on humor and happiness is beginning to pay off.  I haven’t really felt depressed or irritable for a few days.  I’m not eating as much fast food.  I’m going to bed earlier.  And I’m not worrying about things and other people as much.  I just feel like I have a better quality of life overall these last few days.  And it’s mainly because I sought out reasons to laugh again.

To The Stars With Difficulty

The road to the life of our dreams is seldom a straight and smooth one.  I admit I don’t remind myself of that enough.  But life is mainly about how many times you get up after being knocked down.  I have been knocked down quite a bit in the last several months as my previous posts have shown.  But I have to keep getting up and moving forward.  Yes I lost a grandmother who was one of my closest confidants.  Yes my back got messed up in a car accident.  Yes I got lazy about losing weight and gained much of the weight I lost.  Yes I had difficulties and relapses with my schizophrenia.  Yes I became lazy in my social life.  Yes I developed a negative attitude about many things.  Yes I became depressed and lazy in my personal habits.  It’s all true.

But that does not define me any longer.  I won’t allow it to define me.  I do have problems I’ve been dealing with.  But I will solve them and keep moving forward.  I have solved problems in the past and I will solve my problems again.  No I may not make my goal of being at my high school weight within the time frame I set for myself two years ago.  But I won’t give up on pursuing that goal.  No I haven’t been able to exercise for two weeks because of my bad back.  Yes I made excuses not to exercise because the weather was lousy this spring.  Yes I lost a lot of my social safety net when I became paranoid and thought I could do all things on my own.  But that is changing starting here and now.  I am not going to go out without a fight.  I am not giving up on improving my health.  I lost seventy pounds in a little over a year only to gain at least forty pounds back in a year.  But I am stopping the bleeding.  I lost weight before and I will do it again.  I had good mental health before and I can gain it back even with a mental illness.  I have had good friends and lots of acquaintances before and I will have them again.  It starts here and now.  It starts today.  I am no longer going to be my past failures.  I have been through difficulties, some beyond my control and some even self inflicted.  I am going to be better all around.  And the road to the stars for me restarts here and now.

A Few Poems

 

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I have for a long time thought that writing was a form of therapy for myself.  One of the forms of writing I engage in is poetry.  Here I am posting three poems I have recently written.  Hope you enjoy them.

 

Chisel Away

By Zach Foster

 

Chisel away all that is not the sculpture

From the stone of your life.

Find the beautiful creature

You were meant to be

Hiding within the rock.

Polish away the rough edges

And the tough smudges

From the stone of your life.  

Ó Copyright 2014 by Zach Foster

 

 

Guises and Gall

By Zach Foster

 

Where do we go from here

Under our guises and gall

Breaking ourselves inwardly

To make ourselves look outwardly

Proud and Strong?

I just want to cry

For what I have lost

Giving up my heart

Giving up my love

Just to look cool.

Where is the payoff

We were so promised

Following this path

Of selling ourselves out

High and Dry?

 

Ó Copyright 2014 by Zach Foster

 

The Journey

By Zach Foster

 

Were are we going from here

On this mad, obscene journey of our lives?

Will fame and fortune be in the cards?

Or will we struggle to pay rent?

Will we allow ourselves to be weighed down

By the mundane worries of our days,

Buried in silent obscurity?

Will we instead cast aside the chains

That hold us in place

And soar with eagles

Over the vistas and skylines of the world?

Of the journey there are many routes,

True beauty lies not in the goals,

But within the journey itself.

 

Ó Copyright 2014 by Zach Foster