Being Delusional About Not Being Delusional

I am now throughly convinced I have been delusional about how not delusional I have been for the last several months.  I admit to isolating most of the time and rarely leaving my apartment.  I admit to rarely socializing with other people and tenants in my complex.  I admit to occasionally going days without showering.  But I don’t think I realized how delusional I was being about my problems.

I talked to my landlord this afternoon.  She told me that there were several tenants worried about little I was socializing and how unkempt I have been for a long time.  I have pretty much isolated and kept to myself since last summer.  I just got to where I saw no point in socializing.  In my delusion diseased mind, I was thinking most people are violent idiots who would rather curse you out and physically harm you than say hello to you.  Fortunately most of these thoughts are symptoms of my mental illness flaring up and not being treated effectively.  My fellow tenants and landlord aren’t angry at me nor do they want to see me thrown out on the street.  They are actually very worried about me.  I just didn’t realize how far I had fallen in the last year because of the delusion blinders I had due to my illness.

I have gotten to where I was scared to leave my apartment.  I have gotten to where I was scared to go to the laundry room and wash clothes.  So I have been doing most of my laundry in my bathtub for the last few months.  Let’s face it, it just doesn’t do the job like a regular wash machine.  I have gotten to where I am scared to socialize in person with anyone.  I don’t go outside to talk with  people because in my delusion wracked mind, most people were just bitter and angry all the time.  I have gotten to where I’m just scared and depressed all the time.  And I hate it.  I see my psych doctor tomorrow afternoon and I am demanding he put me on something else.  My current routine isn’t working at all.

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Middle of the Night Ramblings

In addition to a change in the seasons, my routines have been changing too.  I now stay up well into the night but I am sleeping less.  I normally buy groceries in the early morning hours to avoid crowds but I have switched to shopping in the overnight hours.  I have also found good deals on perfectly good but day old deli items this way.  I think people would be sick if we truly knew how much food we in the developed world let go to waste.

Since I’m staying awake later I’m now reading more online articles and getting my youtube fix in the overnight hours too.  I don’t mind the solitude of the overnight hours.  Sometimes, thanks to Facebook, I can strike up short conversations with people from other parts of the world due to groups I’m involved with.  While we in the U.S. are asleep, much of the world is wide awake.  When my cousin lived in Japan, there was a fourteen hour difference between us.  I’d chat with her at 10pm my time and she’d be at noon over in Japan.

I don’t mind the overnight hours.  It gives me more time to read and write.  I sometimes get interrupted during the day hours by phone calls and people knocking on my door.  I normally don’t welcome interruptions, at least not initially.  If it turns out the interruption is a good one, like a phone call from my parents or college friends, I’ll be glad it happened.  I had one such interruption yesterday.  I was taking a nap over the noon hour and my dad called.  Had a good conversation with him.  I welcome such interruptions.  But if it’s someone trying to sell me something, I’ll usually either not answer or just hang up.  I feel bad about just hanging up on people but it’s more polite than yelling at them.

I’m still getting used to being up much of the night and sleeping during the morning hours.  But as backwards as keeping night hours is, it is better than when I was sleeping twelve hours a day during the winter months.  Overall, I have felt quite stable the last several months.  I still have my moments of anxiety and paranoia induced anger, but fortunately I haven’t acted on such impulses for a long time.  I did have a flare up in early February and one last October.  As intense as those were, they lasted only a couple hours.  I just hope I never have problems like those in public.  Most people still don’t understand mental illness or have empathy for it.  Seems to me that mentally ill people are among the last groups of people in society it’s socially acceptable to discriminate against.  But if other groups of people can break down barriers and be more socially accepted, then so can the mentally ill.

Adapting to Mental Illness and Better Coping

Little by little I’m getting into spring.  I’m starting to spend more time outdoors and I have had my windows open every night for the last several days.  I’m starting to feel like I have more energy.  I’m also sleeping less.  I’m staying awake later now but still keeping occupied.  I’m beginning to socialize more in person again.

Mentally I occasionally have had flare ups the last couple weeks.  Usually these don’t last very long.  Fortunately I don’t act out on these feelings of frustration and paranoia.  I have gotten to where I can feel bad and have bad days but not have complete breakdowns.  It has been this way for the last two months.  It is a confidence boost knowing that I can have a bad day and yet not act out on it.

Things are greening up in my hometown.  The weather is getting nicer with each passing day.  I’ll probably start going to the park again in a few days.  I’m getting to where I want to be outside again.  I have spent a little time outside everyday for the last few days.

Even though I occasionally have feelings of irritability and frustration and paranoia, I have learned to better cope with them.  If at all possible I just let them pass.  I no longer feel guilt for having feelings like this.  One of the things that helps me live better with mental illness is that I don’t have to feel bad for having rough patches.  I really don’t have to feel bad unless I act out in public or become destructive.  It took me a long time to come to this realization.  I don’t have to feel bad for having bad days.  I don’t have to feel bad to have moments of weakness.  I can’t always be at the top of everything at all times. And neither can any nuerotypical person.  And I no longer feel guilt about having moments of weaknesses.  That has helped considerably as I have worked with the mental illness over the course of my life.

Blasting Mental Illness Stigma and Giving Hope For the Future

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I suppose this could be filed under rant and frustration with normal people. There are times when I feel like I’m making some difference with this blog and that I’m making a positive impact on people.  Then there are times I feel like I just as well be talking to myself because I don’t seem to be getting through to people.  Right now I feel like I’m not making any kind of positive difference.  Most neurotypical people still think it’s alright to shun and discriminate against the mentally ill.  Many still think we are dangerous and to be locked up permanently out of sight and out of mind.  Mental illness is still stigmatized by popular culture and misunderstood by the public at large.  I’m sure I have people in my Facebook friends list who think I’m just dreaming up my problems because they think I’m weak, lazy, and don’t want to do any real work.  I am definitely not making these problems up.  I would gladly give ten years off the end of my life if it meant I never had to suffer from schizophrenia again.  I’ve been fighting this mental illness since age seventeen, so for over half of my life now.  I can’t remember what it’s like not to suffer from delusions, paranoia, depression, easy anger, and excessive fear.  I can’t remember the last time I talked with even close friends about things like politics and religion without fear of having a psychotic breakdown and ruining the friendship.  I can’t remember what it’s like not living in fear and paranoia of authority  figures, whether they were bosses, landlords, or police officers.

I never understood the mentality that nothing can go wrong with the human brain.  We don’t stigmatize people with heart problems, diabetes, blindness, deafness, or cancer.  We as a society accept that things can go wrong with every other organ in the human body.  But as a society we don’t seem to be as accepting that things can go wrong with the human brain, arguably the most complex instrument in the currently known universe.  I am somewhat hopeful with the programs began by the U.S. government and the E.U. that attempt to reverse engineer the human brain.  Maybe we can find out why some brains malfunction and develop mental illness.  I’m not delusional enough to believe I will ever be cured of schizophrenia, but perhaps better treatments can be developed and maybe future generations can find a way to cure mental illness.  As it seems to me, the brain is probably the final true unknown of medical science.

I imagine that my friends and readers get sick of me always writing about science and tech advances being the true benefactors of humanity.  But I get far more encouragement out of seeing science and engineering advances made on what seems a weekly basis now than listening to political debate or religious dogma.  There are cool things happening in science practically every day in this day and age.  I am thrilled to hear that private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin as well as NASA are seriously talking about sending people to colonize Mars within the next twenty years.  I am thrilled that we could soon have a vaccine for HIV, which I believe will be looked upon by future generations with the same horror we now look upon smallpox and bubonic plague.  I am happy that we are finding possible ways to treat anti biotic resistant bugs.  I know some of my farmer friends will want to crucify me for this, but the possibilities of vertical farming in big cities and lab grown meat intrigue me.  Supposedly there are medications in trials that could reverse obesity that have already been tested on lab rats.  Something like that, providing it doesn’t interfere with my psych medications. would be a life saver for me as I’ve been overweight since puberty.  That alone would reduce burdens on the health care system in many developed countries.  I am anxious to see lab grown replacement organs make the organ and tissue donor system obsolete.  I would love to see driverless cars take off and make owning your own car as much of a relic as the horse drawn carriage.

We are living in some of the most exciting times in human history, if not the most exciting times.  Yet these wonders seem to be lost on most people I interact with on a daily basis.  I don’t know why people lost their sense of wonder, creativity, and possibility.  To listen to most people we aren’t advancing at all, as if everything from hear on out is going to be down hill.  I don’t understand why most people are pessimistic and fearful.  I don’t see enough people saying ‘we have problems but we’ve solved problems in the past and we will continue to do so.’  Why is it considered normal and grown up to be worrisome and blind to the beauty and possibility of life?  That is yet another idea you normals seem to be born with that I wasn’t.  If I have to be constantly depressed, anxious, angry, and mopey to be considered an adult, then screw it.  I want no part of it.  I just see too much possibility and good things happening in the world to be consumed by worry.  Even your religious texts tell you to ‘not let your hearts be troubled’ and ‘don’t worry about the future.’  Seems to me these texts need to be spoken from the pulpits more than fear, hate, and wrath.

We are living in cool times with progress being made every hour of every day.  Breakthroughs in science, technology, health, and humanitarian efforts are being made all over the world.  It’s not just the U.S. who has advanced technology, advanced research, and freedom.  The world is not falling apart.  The world is not going to hell in a hand basket.  The past is not better than the present.  And I am saddened and tired of hearing  doom and gloom from people who don’t bother to look at the facts and numbers nor look out how far we’ve come just in the last few generations, let alone since we left the caves.  Make no mistake, we will continue to make progress in spite of your complaints and fears that the world is falling apart.  The doers and achievers of the world ain’t listening to the Chicken Littles of the world.  I may not be a great achiever but I’m not listening to the doomsayers either.  I have had enough.  I have heard doom and gloom my entire life.  I have no idea how many supposed end of the world type predictions I have weathered.  I laugh at such predictions now.  I find it annoying that many people are giving themselves needless grief and sadness simply because they can’t or won’t look up facts.  We have the quasi magic Google machine and Wikipedia that would put the Library of Congress to shame at our finger tips. We just have to use them.  Keep complaining and crying if you wish, but I will continue to look up the facts and the truth.  I will attempt to dispel the myths in this blog.  To paraphrase Jack Palance from the movie ‘City Slickers’, normal people “really do worry about a lot of crap that don’t matter.”

 

Why I Don’t Trust Authority Figures

Had a good chat with my landlady and the head maintenance man today.  I’ll probably get new blinds and new carpet in my apartment within a few weeks.  After looking over my carpet and blinds she acted quite astonished that I hadn’t been complaining about these problems for years.  The carpet in my apartment is well over twenty years old and I haven’t had good blinds on my windows since I moved in ten years ago.  The carpet has been getting worn and even tearing at the seams for five years.  Yet I never complained to her or any of my previous land lords about maintenance issues.  I never complained about any issues in my apartment because it has been my experience ever since early childhood that no one was going to take my complaints seriously.  Nothing ever changed when I voiced displeasure.  Not only did almost no one take my problems seriously, some people flat out stated I brought my problems on myself or they weren’t even problems at all.  I am used to my elders and leaders not helping me, especially when I have legitimate complaints.  That is why I don’t talk about my problems until they become major crises.

My entire life no one took me or my problems seriously.  No one cared when I was getting bullied at school, not my teachers, not my family, not my classmates, and sometimes not even my friends.  No one cared when I was fired from my McDonald’s job at age seventeen for overcooking maybe $10 worth of hamburgers on a grill.  No one cared for the first three years of my mental illness that I was having problems that wasn’t normal teenage angst.  No one cared when I couldn’t find a decent job immediately after college, let alone acknowledged the fact that many college graduates weren’t finding the decent jobs we were told a college degree would lead to. So forgive me for not voicing my complaints and trusting authority sooner.

Not only were my problems not taking seriously by my elders, my teachers, my bosses, and my landlords, most of the problems of people in my age bracket and younger weren’t taken seriously either.  The elder generations apparently don’t care that their kids have greater college debts than what most of them ever owed on their houses.  Most of my elders complain about their kids not being responsible for not marrying at age twenty two or not having a fifty grand a year job right out of college.  Yet my elders’ parents were complaining about how immature they were during the 1960s when they were doing drugs, burning draft cards,starting riots on college campuses, and doing free love. You may have forgotten your history but I, and millions of people in my age bracket and younger, have not. And I guarantee the “greatest generation” had their detractors in their parents’ generation.  Tragically, people in my generation are already complaining about their kids.  So it goes…….

It’s like once you hit a certain age, maybe late 30s or early 40s, get a few gray hairs, a little authority, a little hard of hearing, and a bit of a pot belly, you magically forget the problems you went through in your teens and twenties trying to get established and how your elders were usually critics and detractors.  Most of the encouragement I ever got was from people in my age bracket, not my elders.  I can count on less than two hands the teachers I had in thirteen years of public school who were encouraging and not indifferent.  My elders have the guts to think my generation and our children’s generation should be happy to fund their social security without doing any kind of overhaul to the system to make it more feasible and sustainable.  Social Security, as it’s run now, is a giant pyramid scheme.  It works well as long as enough tax revenue is coming in to keep the system running.  But with fewer people working to keep the system going, problems will come unless we do some restructuring.  We might have to increase corporate taxes to fund social security.  We may have to legalize street drugs and prostitution and tax those to fund the system.  We may have to raise the minimum age for social security.  We may have to do all of these and more.  What we are doing now is starting to no longer work.  And no one seems interested in seriously changing anything.

People wonder why I don’t complain.  I do complain, just not to anyone in any kind of authority.  I don’t complain to anyone in authority because until very recently no one took my problems seriously.  So do forgive me if I have an unhealthy distrust of my elders and anyone with any kind of authority.

Normal People From A Mentally Ill Perspective

Been reading a lot of Facebook posts from mentally normal people for several years now.  Read one this evening that really took the cake when it comes to normal thinking.  An old friend of mine and I were talking about the lunacy of modern politics and I expressed the sentiment that ‘politics are the new religion’ and that I was fearful that someday liberals and conservatives would force their version of a modern crusade.  To which one of her friends said to the effect ‘I hope so.  We conservatives have all the guns.  We need to clear out some of these tree hugging freaks.’  Well, go to hell!  Is this what normal behavior is?  Do normal people advocate murder against people they don’t agree with?  Yet the idiot who spouts such stupidity has probably never seen a war or even a gang fight.  My father spent over three years in Vietnam as a C-141 pilot.  He flew hundreds of war wounded out of Vietnam on medical missions.  He saw what war does to soldiers, some of whom weren’t old enough to buy a beer in a bar yet old enough to take napalm for Uncle Sam.  My father was at a base that came under rocket and mortar attack.  He said it completely changed his perspective once it became obvious it was him personally that his enemy wanted to kill.  He also brought home American Prisoners Of War only to see idiot protesters on the base chanting such intellectually stimulating ideas like ‘Baby Killer’ and ‘They should have killed you too.’  My father has been to war.  He has seen what it can do.  He is also not a violent man.  He may have voted for President Bush in 2000 but he also saw the whole War  on Terror as an endless fool’s errand before it even began, let alone before it became popular.

I see lots of idiots and fools spouting off on Facebook things they hopefully wouldn’t say to a person in real life.  I have grown to hate social media.  I really have.  The only reason I haven’t cancelled my personal Facebook account is because it is literally the only way I can keep in contact with the few calm and happy college and high school friends I have. And even these people were mostly social outasts when we were in college and high school.  The rest of it is pure garbage.  I see social media as a necessary evil that I have to tolerate, much like fighting traffic or enduring back pain.  I see lots if idiotic trash from people I have known all my life, especially when it comes to politics and religion.  Thank God that scientists and engineers who don’t agree with each other don’t insult and troll each other like a bunch of  normals.  You normals really are a bunch of school yard weaklings trying to cover up the fact you would soil yourselves if you ever were challenged to a fight.  You are also morally and intellectually bankrupt.  There has never been an original thought that came from a normal person.  It was normal people who supported Hitler in Germany, Lenin and Stalin in Russia, and Mao in China.  These alone should show you that normal sucks.

From what I have seen out of normal people, I don’t want the snake oil you are selling.  I don’t want to be normal.  I don’t want to obsess over politics, sex, CNN, money, possessions, Game of Thrones, or whatever horse feces is trending this week.  I don’t want to be a short sighted, unthinking, materialistic sheep.  I am amazed even after thirty six years of living as a human how short sighted and panicky most normal people are.  Normal people are really stupid.  Not even twenty years of easy access to information via the internet and search engines has cured your stupidity.  Smart people never have and never will be able to out vote stupid normal people.  We simply don’t have the numbers.  But we don’t have to.  Smart people keep science and technology advancing.  I know most of you normals are scared senseless of robots and possible AI becoming hostile.  I would laugh and cry both if AI machines and programs had more empathy and caring than humans.  We humans have had thousands of years of civilizing, religion, and moral codes and yet there are still some chumps who think theft, murder, and adultery are good ideas.  Some of you normals seem to think that the basic rules of civilization don’t apply to you.  You think that somehow you are special and are allow to steal, kill, fornicate, and generally be a zit on the face of humanity.  That is more delusional than any thought I ever had as a schizophrenic.  You normals are delusional.  You normals are out of touch with reality.  I never want to be in your stupid social club.  Screw you.   I am sick of normal people.  I never want to be normal.

 

Early Spring This Year

It’s been warmer than usual late winters here for the last two weeks.  So I’ve been able to get back to walking outdoors most days.  Went to a park with a large lake where I walk in the summers three times a week a few times already.  Migratory bird season is in full swing.  I’ve seen lots of Canadian Geese and Cranes already.  So it is very possible that spring is starting earlier than usual this year.  No doubt we’ll have at least one more snow. But it won’t last long now.

Mentally I’ve been doing alright for the vast majority of the time.  Maybe it is the nicer weather cheering me up.  It does get old after awhile of being stuck indoors because of the cold and snow.  I’ve been sleeping better too.  I pulled only one all nighter last month.  I’m thinking the more consistent sleep is helping me manage my mental illness better.

Had the complex maintenance man come to my apartment this morning.  I had to have some things fixed and a few others replaced.  So I just left for a few hours and let him work.  In previous years I had been paranoid about letting others into my apartment when I wasn’t there.  I was concerned about what they would think about how I kept my place and if they were going through my personal stuff.  After being in the same place for ten years I’m not nearly as paranoid as I once was.  I’m actually not as paranoid overall as I once was.  I still have to deal with the fact I don’t handle stress well and I get easily irritated.  But even that should be getting better the older I get.