January 7 2020

It’s been a good day overall.  Got a bunch of house hold chores done ahead of maintenance coming to my apartment tomorrow afternoon.  Took a nap and am generally ready to face the night.  We’re supposed to have two warmer than normal days before things start getting cold again right in time for the weekend.  Had a good chat with my best friend last night and my neighbor this morning.  She hadn’t been spending as much time here the last couple weeks due to the craziness of the holidays.  But she came over and we had a good chat.

My new bed sleeps well.  I have now gotten used to the bed being taller than my previous beds.  It is the right combination of soft and firm for me.  It isn’t so soft I sink in and it isn’t so firm it feels like I’m sleeping on the floor.

When my parents came to visit a few days ago, we got all my old flags hung on the walls.  I now have a pirate flag hanging behind my recliner and a British flag hanging behind my dresser.  My 13 colonies American flag is hanging right behind my tv.  I’m glad I didn’t buy more flags.  They, in addition to the artwork my best friend made, take up most of my wall space now.  My house now feels like a home again.  For a few years after I went minimalist I didn’t have much on the walls.  It’s amazing how much one year and weekly maintenance and cleaning can do to improve the surroundings and my morale.

I find myself sleeping less at night and even staying up later.  Yet I don’t feel tired.  I may be getting less sleep than I did during the summer and early fall, but I think it’s better quality sleep.  I changed out the parts on my cpap machine and I think that has made a big difference in my sleep quality.  Some days I don’t even need to nap anymore.

Between getting my cpap new parts, redecorating my house, getting a new doctor, having a regular cleaner come help me out, having regular contact with my neighbors even though I don’t leave my apartment some days, and having these lingering maintenance issues resolved, it feels good to be getting some tasks accomplished I had been neglecting.  I think much of this neglect was do to the paranoia aspect of my illness.  Sometimes all the tasks needing to be done were so numerous and overwhelming I didn’t know where to start.  I’m glad I got some outside help to help with my projects.  I’m starting to get over my fears of asking for help.

Changing Routines and The Holidays

I’ve been feeling quite well the last several days.  I make it a point a socialize with at least one neighbor per day.  I still call my parents twice a week on average.  Other than running errands and a couple doctors’ appointments this week, I’ve stayed pretty close to home.  It’s been colder than usual the last couple weeks, so I’ve pretty much been going to bed earlier and waking up early.  I think I finally broke the habit of staying awake most of the night and sleeping in the mornings.

Been avoiding negative news for months now.  And I think it’s given me a more positive outlook overall.  Most of what I watch anymore are science shows, comedy, and inspirational materials.  I am still largely avoiding social media except to occasionally drop in on friends and promote my blog.  I just came to the conclusion that the drama involved in most social media isn’t worth the trouble.  It does make the nights kind of  lonely as facebook used to be a lot of my socializing.  But I am adjusting.

Mentally I am stable.  I am not sleeping as much as I did during the summers.  And I’m not staying up all night either.  I think I have found some balance in the kind of schedules I keep.  I have made a point of keeping my apartment cleaner than usual.  And I have to think that has positively impacted my mental health.  I’ve decided I’m regrowing my beard for the winter.  Other projects I have this winter include rereading some of the old philosophy books I read years ago in college.  I may watch more classic movies too this winter.  I don’t really have any plans for the next couple weeks.  I’m going back to my parents’ place for Thanksgiving.  I am definitely not doing the Black Friday shopping nonsense.  I do all my shopping from my computer anymore.  I don’t plan on going out shopping this Christmas but I will probably watch a few Christmas movies.  It’s A Wonderful Life and Christmas Story are my two all time favorites.

Peace and Quiet with Mental Illness

It’s been a more peaceful and quiet week this week than most of my previous weeks.  I still don’t leave my apartment more than a few times a day.  But I am talking with my friends and family more over the phone and online.  I am starting to cook most of my meals and am eating less now.  For several weeks I was essentially living off fast food because I was too depressed to go grocery shopping.  No doubt I gained weight.  Now the struggle of taking that weight off begins.

Bought a couple new computer games and a couple new books this week.  They came just in time for the weather to turn cold.  We had our first snow in my hometown this week.  It came about right on schedule after weeks of warmer than usual fall weather.  I’ve been breaking up some of my old routines and reading more lately.  I try to have one major reading or writing project every winter.  One year I read a couple major philosophy works.  Another winter I started writing a novel.  And many winters ago the seeds that would later become this blog were planted when I started writing essays about life with schizophrenia.

I admit to being lazier than usual about writing this week.  But things have been more peaceful and settled the last several days than they had been in months.  I’m enjoying the colder weather and I have most of my winter provisions gathered again.  Hopefully I won’t have to get out much this winter.  I usually avoid travel if there is a lot of ice or snow on the roads.  So getting these new computer games and books will go a long way in keeping me occupied this winter when it’s too cold to go anywhere.

One of my biggest problems of the last several months was keeping my mind occupied with things other than the circus side show that was the last election.  I avoided a lot of people because that was all most people wanted to talk about.  It got old several months ago and I started isolating.  Unfortunately my mind being what it is craves mental stimulation.  I have to find something to always be researching or looking up.  For about two years I have been throughly researching science and technology advances.  I had forgotten how much I loved science classes as a kid.  But I have come to where I have researched those topics more in the last two years than most people do in a lifetime.

Before I researched science advances I was studying economic history.  Spent a couple years studying old economics books and theories.  It cured my itch for new knowledge and encouraged me to get out of debt and save some emergency money.  And my thirst for science knowledge might lead me and my father to building some homemade solar panels for his cabin at the family acreage.  He’s not going to go completely off the grid but he’s toying with the options that he could with a few adjustments if needed.  Our family has always had back up plans on top of our back up plans.  We don’t like leaving things to chance.  So even though winter is near we are already making plans for next spring and summer.

It’s been a few smooth days for me mentally.  I have made my plans for the winter.  I plan on reading several books and mastering some new computer games.  I will keep writing this blog.  Fortunately with mental illness it’s not all depression and anxiety all the time.  But the depression and anxiety do make me enjoy the calm and peacefulness more than most people who are well adjusted.  I know that problems will come up again, probably sooner than I would like.  But for now I’m just enjoying the few days of peace and calm.

Return to Normal With Mental Illness, Part 2


Fall is just a few days away after a long and eventful summer.  I saw my best friend get married and we buried the last of my grandparents.  Partly because of these developments I became lackadaisical about my exercise routine.  I was taking so much time dealing with externals that I neglected to take care of myself and gained some weight.  Fortunately I made it through the summer with only one relapse into schizophrenia and even that lasted only an afternoon.  This time two years ago I had just gotten out of a mental health hospital after a voluntary commitment.  Two years in a row now I’ve made it through the roughest parts of the year without a major problem.  I’m feeling pretty good about that.

The leaves are starting to turn, the weather isn’t as hot now, and the corn harvest will be going really hard and fast within a few weeks.  I have always enjoyed this time of year, almost as much as spring.  My mental health always improves in the fall and I seem to get a lot done in these times.  Recently I sign up for khanacademy.org and am working though a few of their free online courses, namely chemistry and world history.  This will be one of my fall projects.  My winter project will be to get an General License in ham radio.  I already have a Technician License that I studied for last winter.  With the increased exercise I have my projects for fall and winter already lined up.