Today is the first major snow storm of the season in my town. I’m enjoying staying at home, listening to the wind howl, and watching the snow fall. I’m glad I’m not traveling in this mess. It’s a good night to just stay home and stay bunkered down.
Even though I still spend most of my time at home, I get more visitors. My neighbors visit usually once a day. They were over here all afternoon on Sunday. After a few weeks of having more regular company, I’m less paranoid about people in general. I still spend most of my time at home, but it’s not as a defense mechanism. I usually stay home because I want to. And I have plenty of books to read and things to keep me occupied in my apartment. I am enjoying the longer nights. I usually go to bed about 9 or 10 pm and wake about 4 am anymore. I sometimes nap in the afternoons too.
I don’t have much planned for Thanksgiving. I’m spending it with my neighbors. My parents are coming to my place a few days later. I haven’t decided what I’m doing for Christmas. I guess I really don’t want to go anywhere, but I’m up for hosting a few family members. I just don’t like to travel much anymore. I imagine much of this is due to the illness. I am glad I got to travel in my younger years.
My illness has changed over the last few years. Some things really upset me now that didn’t used to. I am more prone to want to be left alone. I am less tolerant of being treated poorly by others. I have zero patience for gossip and drama. But I am more likely to seek help before things become crisis. I’m more honest with myself and others. I’m more accepting of my quirks and hangups. And I no longer feel I have to hide my mental illness. And I feel more hopeful overall. While I’m not delusional enough to believe I will get cured, I have learned how to adapt to the illness and plan accordingly. I guess I don’t know how I would adapt to life without a mental illness.
I don’t know what I would do if I ever was cured. It would probably mean I’d have to get off social security disability and find work again. Because of the illness, my work skills have deteriorated to almost nothing. Few jobs are available anymore that don’t require college degrees or moving to an urban area. I don’t want to go into debt to get a degree that will probably be obsolete before I pay it off. I certainly don’t want to get married at this point. I’m almost 40 years old. I don’t want kids at this point. I didn’t have kids or get married because I feared I would be a lousy father and husband. I just knew myself too well. I don’t really care about become rich. I certainly don’t want to become famous. I’ve seen too many high achievers get built up only to get torn down later. I always thought that it was stupid how we praise high achievers only to condemn them later for making mistakes and being human. I don’t want to be famous, at least not in my lifetime. Right now I’m content to be an independent scholar, write my blogs, write my journals, and have a few close friends and some family. I really don’t want much more than that.
Sometimes I don’t even really mind living in a large apartment complex, especially as long as I can stay out of sight and out of the way of drama. I don’t want to hear gossip anymore. I don’t care about who did or said what to whom anymore. The easiest way to make me happy is to not harass me and even just leave me alone unless you have good news. I’m happy to see my neighbors because they are almost always in good moods. I’m happy to see my cleaning lady every week because she doesn’t mind the conversation while she works. And I’m usually happy to chat with my friends and family, at least as long as they aren’t knit picking me.
Been staying close to home lately. Still sleeping more than I would like. But I guess I need it. I enjoy the longer nights. Won’t be too long and the leaves will be turning and the weather will get cold. Spend much of my weekends watching football and grilling my own home based tale gate. Made bacon and cheddar brats last weekend.
Been feeling more stable lately. Might be because I’m sleeping more and enduring less stress lately. Haven’t heard from my neighbors much lately. Sometimes drama gets started in these tight quarters and people have too much free time. Even though I’m on disability I try to stay busy. Some days it’s nothing more than reading science articles online or messing with my computer. I still lift weights three days a week at least. I’m noticing a difference after a few months of this. I’ve been stable enough I haven’t had to adjust my meds for almost six months now.
So far this fall has gone pretty good even though I don’t socialize much in person. It gets boring hearing my neighbors complain about things they won’t or can’t do anything about. I have my problems, sure, but I don’t feel I have a duty to share them with everyone whether they want to listen or not. I can only handle a few minutes of complaints, gossip, or drama before I’m ready to go back home. I spent much of my younger years as a pessimist. I’m not going back. If I have to be a hermit to avoid negative and toxic people, so be it.
I’ve been having problems with trolls on my personal accounts the last few days. I don’t understand why complete strangers act as if it’s their God given responsibility to harass and torment people they don’t agree with. It got especially bad last night when I was talking with an old friend of mine and I was getting trolled by one of her friends just because we didn’t agree on some things. Can’t even have a conversation with a friend without being harassed it seems.
Anyway last night, mainly out of frustration and depression, I wrote an anger laced blog entry but fortunately thought better of posting it. Once I got that depression out of my system I decided I wouldn’t post the entry. I learned about this strategy years ago from an old Dale Carnegie book. I was angry and hurt but posting that entry probably would have made things worse. I got my words out of my system, spoke until I had peace, and then trashed the entry so I couldn’t post it.
With a mental illness feelings of anger, sadness, and anxiety are going to be stronger than the general population. I have to remind myself of this on a daily basis. Some things that other people may forget about after a few minutes I’ll agonize over sometimes for hours. I have also been known to remember slights and hold grudges for years. I’m sorry for this. It is one of the curses of having a good mind and a mental illness at the same time.
In short, having feelings of frustration and depression is part of having a mental illness. Sometimes a person needs to vent. One of those ways is to write it down long handed and then trash the notes. Another is through counseling where you vent to the counselor. They are trained to deal with strong and unpleasant emotions, far more so than average people. By writing down your feelings and fears or talking about them with a professional counselor is a safety valve way of expressing your feelings with as little damage as possible. Harsh and unkind words cannot be unspoken and anything written on the internet is practically irreversible.