I’m not doing well today. I just feel irritable, paranoid, and short tempered. I cancelled all my plans for the rest of the week. I am no longer doing well. I think the stress of the holidays and my home health aide work has gotten to me. My home health aide things didn’t go well. I had people dropping in my apartment several times a day. It got to be too much. I have accepted that I’m not going to get better, physically or mentally. I don’t know why no one else can accept this. I don’t know how much longer I have in this life, I may die of a heart attack in my forties or I may just keep limping along until old age. I don’t know. I’m at the point I just want to enjoy whatever time I have left. I don’t really enjoy the company of most people. I never have and it has only gotten worse the older I get. I know most people think I live a terrible life or “below my potential”, but I no longer care. I have spent most of my life worrying about what other people think and their expectations. I am sick of it. I have come to the conclusion that nothing I do or say will ever be good enough for anyone. It never seems to have been before. Hell, I can’t remember anyone ever telling me they were proud of me. I remember many of the compliments because, well, I rarely get them. I am tired of having to plug away all the time, day after day, year after year, and not only not make progress but not even please anyone. It burns me to no end. If I don’t please you or anyone else, keep it to yourself. I no longer care. I’m tired of fighting a fight that, even if I win, the victory won’t be good enough for anyone.
Getting out of the apartment more than once a day now. For awhile during the fall and winter, there would be times I’d go entire days without leaving my apartment. But I guess that spending my days chatting with online friends, reading articles, and messing with computer games and programs gets stale after awhile. A change was due. Right now much of my region of the country is getting bad blizzards. I personally have only a couple inches of snow, some ice, but terrible winds. Fortunately it isn’t as cold as it could be, otherwise it would be Ice Age revisited. And this happened right as most of the snow we’ve had since before Christmas was melted. But, this being a late winter blizzard, should be melted soon. Then we’ll worry about flooding. So it goes.
Now that I actually want to leave my apartment and venture out, I can’t because of weather. I’ve been bound to my town all winter just because it was too risky to travel. My car doesn’t do well in snow. So I pretty much stay inside most of the time. I do force myself outside every few days just to get what little sunshine and fresh air I can.
Been having a few minor flare ups of irritability and depression lately. Fortunately I’ve been able to constructively deal with these. I do have to sleep more and severely limit my caffeine. I haven’t had coffee in over a week. While I do feel less irritable, I do sleep more and feel more scattered. Fortunately I don’t get much for back pain anymore. Maybe I have lost more weight. I exercise some every day. And I make it a point to stand up or lay down every couple hours so as to break up the boredom and long days. Been a tougher than usual winter. Physically it’s been tough because of the snow, cold, wind, and lack of physical activity. It hasn’t been too terrible mentally. The last several days have been the toughest. But I’ve been socializing more too. And I admit I get more irritated with rude people than I should. I almost never respond to rude people except to avoid them at all costs. I have enough going on already without dealing with unnecessary rudeness.
The unexplainable aches and pains are becoming less common. I guess I’m taking more preventative measures now. I no longer sit for more than two hours at a time. I sleep in my recliner half of the night to rest my lower back. I sleep lying down so not to get leg cramps from sitting too long. I take hot showers at least twice a day now, mainly to keep my joints warm and loose. Sometimes a few minutes of hot running water on my knees, lower back, and hands will work more wonders than even a couple Advil. And making a point to get up every couple hours to do even simple things like walk to the kitchen to get a cup of water or walking to check my mail every evening can keep my joints loose. I think one of the problems I was having with my back and unexplainable aches was that I didn’t move around enough. I went through a state of excessive paranoia and anxiety for much of 2017 and all of 2018. I was scared to drive my car, I was scared to talk to my neighbors, I was scared to leave my apartment after dark, I was scared to walk my neighborhood, and I was even scared to check my mail. Most of my mail is junk mail now that I do everything online almost. The 1 percent that wasn’t junk mail was usually from social security or my landlady. I always felt a tinge of anxiety with those letters, and any time I was called before anyone in authority. I’ve had too many bad experiences with short sighted, heartless, and irritable people in authority over me. I just don’t trust authority to not abuse their power and influence anymore. And, yes, it is unnerving and scary.
Winter is almost over, at least according to the calendar. And it isn’t happening too soon. I’m beginning to get cabin fever real bad. I guess even strong people have their breaking points. I am convinced I would feel much better when the weather warms up and there are options to how to spend my days.
Still getting out of my apartment a couple times a day and spending a few minutes socializing with my neighbors. I still find normal conversation boring and mundane, but I tolerate it like getting stuck in traffic because I’m expected to. Most people I have met can tell right away I’m not like most people. I don’t enjoy talking only about the weather, sports, how much I hate my job, how idiotic my coworkers and neighbors are, politics, etc. I’d much rather talk philosophy, poetry, history, tech advances, science, international news than talk about the weather or my work. Half of the time when I’m listening to someone prattle on about the same things for the hundredth time, I have to remind myself to fake interest and act like this conversation is actually fascinating. I hate to say it, but I find some people mundane and even boring.
Most people go through life without taking any real risks or standing out in any way. Seems that many people when they were teenagers were content with their C’s and D’s on their report cards, going to ball games on Friday nights, and spending their weekends trying to get laid or getting drunk and stoned. I never saw what was so great about being normal. I was that smart guy on the football team that knew right away he needed to do his homework because there was no way he was going to get a scholarship. I was the guy who considered it a personal failure every time he didn’t get an A on a test. I was the guy who’s best friend was a girl. She still is my best friend. Even though I got good grades, I was still sometimes skeptical of what of my teachers taught me. I knew some really smart kids in high school and college who did poorly grade wise because they were skeptical of the teaching but didn’t play the game well enough to get the good grades. I was rather skeptical of a lot of what I was taught, particularly in the non science and math fields. But I gave the answers I figured the teachers were looking for while doing my own reading and research during the weekends and summers. I still spent time with my friends, but my friends had the same nerdy likes and interests I did.
Developing a mental illness when I already had a reputation for being eccentric and odd didn’t help my social life any. But considering how small my windows of opportunity for socializing with like minded people were in my youth (before the internet got really big), my social life was going to be lousy anyway. My parents used to worry about how little I socialized and how little I enjoyed school and church activities. It’s not that I am anti-social, I can be social for hours on end with like minded and interesting people. I just can’t stand chit chat and normal conversation. I find it too restricting and too predictable. I found out pretty early on that most people were quite predictable if you spent enough time around them. People in general don’t like change. In fact, most people are scared senseless of changes. I learned this when I was telling people about science and tech advances and what was actually going right in the world. I got almost no positive responses out of anyone besides my mother, and I think she was doing that mainly to humor me. Most people told me I was a liar or we would never live to see these advances. Just in my lifetime, I’ve seen the rise of the internet, the rise of genetically modified crops, the decline of communism, the decline of network and cable television, the rise and fall of CDs, DVDs, movie rental places, and most brick and mortar companies in direct competition with internet companies like Amazon, Alibaba, Facebook, etc. Even me, living on disability pension, can enjoy most of these advances that not even the richest man in the world could have enjoyed in 1985. Do not tell me we aren’t living in cool times.
I know most people reminisce about past eras and would rather live then than in their current times. I know people who would have loved to live in Medieval times. I couldn’t do without toilet paper long enough to be burned at the stake as a heretic to live then. Others pined for the Old West era. Many places in the Old West had violent crime and homicide rates higher than even modern day Chicago. I’d probably get shot for sneezing during a poker game.
I admit that I was always one of these people who wondered what life in the future would be like. I guess if I am nostalgic, it’s for things that haven’t happened yet or might not happen at all. I imagine a few hundred years in the future if our civilization has built colonies on other planets, solved poverty, ended war, ended pollution, have intelligent machines, etc., that there will be people who will be envious of us living in the early 21st century when many things started coming together and poverty, sickness, war, etc. became less and less. And yet most people walking the streets today are oblivious to the wonders going on in the here and now. It’s for reasons like that I am glad that I am not normal. I don’t wish normal upon myself or any of my friends and family. I love being eccentric and looking at life a different way. I may not be highly accomplished or influential, but at least I don’t completely blend in to the background.
Donations to Expand ‘A Life Of Mental Illness’
I've decided to do an experiment to see if I can get a little money for doing this blog. I have sold hard copy books of poetry and mental illness essays that were the inspiration for this blog in the past. Being paid for this work would be a dream come true