Weather has been very hot the last several days. Summer is certainly here. My parents are going to visit for a day or two next week as my birthday is coming up. I don’t need anything really besides a few extra pairs of pants.
I usually talk to an old college friend of mine three times a week in the late mornings. He’s a high school teacher and school is out for the summer. Even though I haven’t seen him in person in several years, we still have lots to chat about. He and I are in the same fantasy baseball league. Have been since the mid 2000s.
Sleep patterns are changing, again. Most nights I fall asleep shortly after midnight, wake up to visit the bathroom in the middle of the night, and wake up around 6am. I usually nap for an hour or two after lunch. I think I’m also eating less. I still eat twice a day, but I’ve been having smaller meals for the last few weeks. I’m limiting caffeine. I have only one cup of coffee per day, usually in the morning. But I’m starting to find I feel better on days I don’t have coffee. I sleep more on those days, but I’m also less irritable.
I haven’t been doing much reading the last few weeks. I still watch lots of educational videos on youtube. Been studying lots of economics videos the last several weeks. I’m thinking a change in subjects will be in order soon.
It’s the first day of September and I’m looking forward to cooler weather, getting to wear sweatshirts, the changing of the leaves, corn harvest, and all the other trappings of fall. While I am disappointed that my Nebraska Huskers’ fall sports season is cancelled due to coronavirus, I understand why. I just hope we can mass produce a vaccine and that enough people can safely use it soon. I am concerned about the flu season being extra rough with coronavirus going around at the same time. It’s one of the reasons I volunteer to stay home. One of my relatives said to the effect our grandparents were asked to fight wars halfway across the world, we are asked to stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing. This isn’t the first pandemic we have dealt with. Won’t be the last either. I hope we learn from this one and manage the next one better.
Besides a short lived breakdown a couple weeks ago, I am doing alright. I’m not needing as much sleep anymore. I wake up with fewer aches and pains, and even those are more manageable. I see my psych doctor by teleconference again in a month. I haven’t had to have a change in my meds for over a year. I also think I’m losing weight.
I talk to my parents on an almost daily basis. They are doing alright. They don’t go out much besides running errands and visiting my brother’s family. My nephews and niece started school again a couple weeks ago. They seem to be doing alright considering everything. My brother and his wife work from home part of the time.
I have been lazy about reading for a couple weeks. I’ll probably pick that up again soon. I haven’t been watching the news lately. Too depressing these days. I want to know what’s going right, not everything that is going wrong. The information on what is going well is out there, you got to look for it though.
Mentally I’m still stable for the most part. I sometimes have moments of irritability and anxiety. They usually last for only a few minutes. I’m glad I haven’t lashed out at anyone because of these bouts. I fear with as on edge as most people are these days, my lashing out at even family wouldn’t go over well. So far I’ve been able to fit and fume to myself and keep these flare ups from blowing up into breakdowns.
My cleaning lady is back on the job. She comes back in a couple days. I miss my neighbors. I was sad to see them leave. But I am coping alright.
The college football season is all but cancelled in the US. I’m sad to see this happen but I hope it can come back next fall and we have a mass produced vaccine before long. I have heard that Russia already has one that they are trying to mass produce. Reports like this give me hope that the rest of the world can have vaccines soon. Several other countries, including the US, already have vaccines in human trials. A hospital in my state was looking for volunteers to test out a possible vaccine. If I didn’t have a mental illness, I probably would have signed up.
Been sleeping well lately. I usually sleep four or five hours at a time in the night. I usually wake at least once to visit the restroom. If I pace myself and stretch before I get out of bed, I can avoid the worst of the morning aches and pains. It does take a few minutes, but if I stretch my legs and back before I get out of bed I can get around alright in the mornings. I still take some advil with breakfast every morning. I usually take it only once a day. The daily aches and pains are about the only part of being middle age I don’t care for. I do miss my easy mobility but I do like the idea of becoming a wise elder. Maybe I can put my knowledge to work afterall.
It’s the middle of August. The weather is still quite hot, so I spend most of my time indoors with a fan running. Overall I’m feeling stable and content. I think it helps that I avoid irritable and rude people as much as possible. I’m now at least a week into giving up coffee. I’ve replaced it with black tea. I feel less irritable and paranoid. I think the caffeine effects me more negatively now than it did even a couple years ago. I used to drink over six cups of coffee a day with no problems. Those days aren’t coming back.
I am staying up later and waking up later now. I usually go to bed at midnight and wake for good at 9am now. I usually eat only twice a day, with my biggest meal usually being lunch. I think I’ve lost weight during this pandemic. I know my clothes fit better and I recover from aches and pains faster. And I usually make a point to leave my apartment several days a week, even if it’s something as simple as going to the library on my floor or picking up my mail.
As far as my diet goes, I have given up most sugar and carbs. I eat mostly meat, canned vegetables, soups, etc. I seem to be less lethargic and irritable with this diet. I almost never eat bread or pasta anymore.
Had my prescription medications renewed at my last psych doctor’s appointment a couple weeks ago. We did a teleconference. So my meds are taken care of for another few months. Since I get them mailed to my home, I don’t even need to go to the pharmacy anymore. I do most of my shopping online these days. If I need anything from a store that doesn’t deliver, I can usually sweet talk one of my neighbors or my cleaning lady to pick it up.
My cleaning lady is back to work. She had to had surgery two months ago. Yesterday was her first day back. I’m glad to see her again. I get a cleaned home and some conversation while she’s here. She’s real chatty so she actually likes chatting when she works. I usually just sit in my recliner and stay out her way when she works.
Overall I’m doing alright in spite the pandemic and economic woes, at least for now. I’m hopeful as there are several possibilities for vaccines in trials right now. And we didn’t even know what covid 19 was one year ago. It’s quite amazing how fast researchers were able to get that work done. I know some of my friends don’t take covid 19 as seriously as they should, saying things like “it’s not the Black Death.” Thank God it isn’t.
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.
I’m going to take a detour with this post and have a little more fun than usual. I’m going to post on oddities about myself. I’ll try to keep this fun. So here goes.
I have the same best friend at age 39 that I had at age 17.
My best friend is a woman. When we were in high school we came to an unspoken agreement that we wouldn’t make our friendship a romance. While it hurt in high school, in the long run it payed off.
I started college as a pre med student. I shifted to business after two years. I mean, who wants to trust a medical scientist who got a D in Organic Chemistry?
Even though I really had little interest in business and economics until I went to college, I’m glad I studied business. I am really more interested in history and literature.
I spent as much time reading literature, history, and philosophy in college as I did studying business my last three years of college. I spent a few hours every day reading at the campus library. I’m glad I did this ‘dual study program’.
I haven’t been on a date since my late 20s. I’m not anti romance or anti marriage. I know myself well enough that, with my psych illness and personality type, I would make a lousy husband and father. Now I love having friends and family. But, I don’t do well with romance.
I have several email accounts, most of which are dummy accounts so I can cut down on spam in my real accounts.
I don’t give my nephews and niece career advice or ask them what they want to be when they grow up. The workplace is changing fast enough that even I had several different types of jobs. I imagine this trend is only going to speed up in the coming years.
I enjoy reading non fiction books more than fiction. Real life is quite interesting to me because, well, some real crazy things happen in non fiction. And it’s non fiction because it actually happened in real life.
I wrote drafts for two novels in my late 20s and early 30s.
I find writing in first person easier than writing in third person. My writer friends think I’m crazy for saying this. But it’s true for me.
I like the comedy of Bill Hicks and George Carlin.
My likes in music have changed over the years. In high school I was big into grunge and heavy metal. In college I really got into country and blues. In my late 20s I really got back into metal and added some hip hop. In my 30s I got into techno. I do like some of most genres of music. I don’t have just one particular style.
Even though I did well in school in high school and college, I still wasn’t very confident in my abilities until I hit my 30s. And it was in my 30s I found out that most of my classmates in high school and college were less confidant than even I was.
While I no longer work a regular job, I’m glad I had the variety of jobs I did. Some of the jobs I’ve worked included retail sales, waiter, factory worker, teachers’ aide, janitor, and farm laborer.
Even though I don’t make money from my blog writing, it gives me more joy than any job I’ve ever done.
I never understood the trope about people not liking their in laws because my parents always had good relationships with their in laws.
Both of my parents worked full time jobs, but they had different shifts. My mother worked the night shift as a nurse at a hospital. Even with these different shifts, we always had at least one meal a day as a family. And since I had a set of grandparents that lived in town, mom and dad would send us there if they needed a break from us. I guess I had the best of all worlds as a kid.
I don’t socialize much in person anymore. Yet I don’t feel lonely because I socialize via the internet and phone daily.
I don’t like fast food anymore. I prefer my own cooking in most cases. The closest thing to fast food I eat anymore is delivery pizza and Chinese.
It is December 26, 2019 as I write this posting. I had a rough go a few days right before Christmas. I had to postpone my holiday plans as I was having some flare ups with the illness. Even though I spent Christmas Day at home by myself, I made a point of calling my family and getting in touch with friends via phone and social media. Got to chat with my brother and his kids and find out what they got for Christmas. I rescheduled my family Christmas for this weekend. But we’re supposed to have winter storms this weekend, so it may be getting postponed a second time, perhaps until New Year’s Day. Fortunately there are lots of college football games this weekend. So even if we do get the several inches of snow and ice and bad winds, I can stay home and watch football. I just hope the power doesn’t go out.
I don’t have much planned for the next few days other than get ready for the storm and watch some ball games. In addition to watching a few games already, I have been thinking over the last twelve months. 2019 hasn’t been as eventful as some years, at least not for me. I did sell my car, I have employed a cleaning lady who has dropped in once a week, and now one of my neighbors is helping with my laundry. My neighbors drop in a couple times per week and we just check in on each other. I had my annual physical checkup in early December. I didn’t lose weight (like I had hoped), yet I didn’t gain weight either. I don’t know if I stayed steady because of the change of diet and regular weight lifting or what. I did start on a blood pressure medication. After a few weeks on it, I notice I feel less tense and am starting to become more active again.
Mentally I kept largely to myself even though I have felt less paranoid and anxious than previous years. I have had a few flare ups over the last twelve months, but they seem less intense than in previous years. I still sometimes call my parents and just blow off steam. I feel guilty for it even though my parents seem to be understanding. I admit, I have an amazing family for support. Even the extended family of cousins and aunts are very understanding. I’ve been doing this blog on a regular basis for six years now. I’m more comfortable talking about my issues now than I was even when I started this blog. I certainly didn’t feel comfortable about talking about my problems twenty years ago, not even really to family. I started having problems when I was seventeen and a junior in high school. At first I was hoping it was merely teenage angst and anxiety. Turns out I was wrong. After using regular medical treatment and therapy for almost twenty years, it is easier to talk about my problems. I have moved past the acceptance part and now advocating for others besides myself. I don’t know how long I will get to live, but I plan on talking about these issues for a long as I can. For awhile I was thinking about starting a youtube channel where I do voice overs just talking about mental illness. I am still a little leery about broadcasting myself, but not so much my voice. I hope that mostly paranoia talking. A friend of mine has a youtube channel featuring her art work and she’s tried to convince me to put some of my thoughts to video instead of just print. I didn’t get around to it in the 2010s, but who knows what opportunities the 2020s will present.
Had my annual physical checkup this morning. Sadly I haven’t lost any weight since last year, yet I didn’t gain any either. The really strange thing is my clothing fits better than even last year. I don’t know if it’s because I gained muscle or if I’m just delusional again. I started on a blood pressure medication. Not surprised as my dad has been taking blood pressure medications for over thirty years. My lab results will be coming back in a day or two. The big things I got taken care of was the new blood pressure medication, new prescription for a cpap machine, got the paperwork going to try to get some home health aide programs, and just getting everything up to speed again.
I had a physical back in summer 2018. Shortly after I developed serious agrophobia. I got to where I was fearful of driving. I finally sold my car several weeks ago. I heard it went to a good home. I got to where I wouldn’t even leave my home most days. I was just that fearful of being out in public. And just spending time at home no doubt made my physical health worse and led to the paranoia and phobias just building on themselves. When I was out in the parking lot waiting for my ride to the doctor’s office, I had two residents who thought I had moved out. No I haven’t moved out. I am just home bound most days.
Things have been going down hill for me for right on five years now. I had three good friends die within six months of each other. They all lived in my complex. Then I had another friend die in 2016, also in my complex. I had my car accident in 2015. That was the beginning of the end of my road trips. After that car accident, I went into a deep depression and gained well over 100 pounds in three years. I had a few rounds of physical therapy. But that car accident really took most of my confidence. 2016 and 2017 were even more depressing as I had falling outs with most of my family and friends, mostly over politics and religion. I am still not on speaking terms with much of my family or some of my old college friends. The whole thing has become a mess I am too overwhelmed to deal with.
I tried to talk to an old friend about toning it down some, but he wouldn’t have anything to do with it. Told me it was my fault for being so sensitive and triggered. Well, screw you! If we as a civilization have gotten to where we no longer care about friends’ emotional health and generally don’t care about empathy, then I want no part of it. I don’t understand people who care more about politics and religion than their oldest friends. I never will. Hell, I don’t want to understand people like that. The only real positive that has come out of everything falling apart for me is that I got to find out what friends and family were genuine and which ones were frauds. Sadly I lost most of my friends and don’t talk to most of my family besides my parents and a couple cousins. Yes I said frauds. If you care more about your precious damn politics than you do friends and family, you are a fraud. End of discussion. This is not open to debate. You will not be responded to. You were never a good person. I’m glad you are out of my life. Don’t ever come back.
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 feeling quite anxious the last several days. I didn’t realize how anxiety stricken I was until I took an emergency anti anxiety medication. I slept for several hours. Even though I missed a couple ball games I wanted to watch on Saturday night, I slept very well. It was the best I slept in weeks. It was one of those sleeps that was so deep you had no clue how long you were down for. As it was, I was down for over five hours. When I woke, I felt a calmness and peace I hadn’t felt in weeks. I felt quite weird in the fact it was also 1:30 am and I felt all this peace and confidence I hadn’t felt in a while. So I’m now waiting on a load of laundry to finish and it’s 3 am my time on Sunday morning.
I now fear that much of my avoidance of people and feelings that people were more irritable than usual were due to me being anxious and more sensitive than most people lately. I have always had an uncanny ability to pick up on other people’s feelings and vibes even as a child. I could sometimes sense their feelings almost as soon as they could. Naturally this caused me to over read many of my family and friends. Anxiety is part of the mental illness. And I had been more sensitive to it than usual for much of this summer. While the anti anxiety medication and long sleep helped, I now want to take active steps to warding off hurtful anxiety. I now realize how paralyzed by my own fear I am. That’s probably why I avoid socializing in person as much as possible. Other than chit chat with neighbors when I check my mail or meet the delivery man to sign for my deliveries, most of my in person interaction came when my cleaning lady came to my house once a week.
She usually comes on Thursdays, so those were getting to be my favorite days of the week, at least until fall started and college football got going. It is an exciting year of football for me. My Huskers, while not in the championship picture, are now at 3 wins and 1 loss, and that loss was an overtime one. I feel a sense of hope and pride in my home state team I hadn’t felt in several years. I think it made a lot of people happy that Scott Frost, our coach, has a winning track record at his previous jobs and is a Nebraska alum and grew up in a small farming town in state. I hope we continue to improve. I don’t know if the glory days of my youth will ever return, but it is encouraging that the alumni and fans still support the team even though it’s been twenty years since we won a championship. I don’t know anywhere else that has that kind of unwavering support.
Overall, I’m starting to feel more confident and energetic. That anxiety will mess with a person real bad if left unchecked. I hate to think most of my problems are due to anxiety problems I was not addressing. But that is how strong our minds are. Our minds are powerful enough it can make anxiety as real as the air we breathe and the food we eat. And anxiety does effect physical health. I had felt aches and pains, especially in my lower back. I still feel those some but I can now push through them. Sometimes getting outside help can make all the difference. It can be tough to seek medical help or assistance from even a trusted doctor. I don’t know how much of that is my illness talking or me being a man or what. It can be tough to ask for help, especially when I am often able to solve my own problems and have a knack for helping others solve their issues. But I definitely read too much into other people, especially those I’m close to. But the mind, even an ill one, is very powerful in that it can sometimes make or break our realities.