Today was the first really routine day since a couple days before Christmas. Even though I played Christmas music on youtube and watched a couple Christmas movies since the day after Thanksgiving, it didn’t truly hit that it was Christmas until a week before Christmas. I had some flare ups a couple days before Christmas Eve, so I had to reschedule my plans. I did talk to my brother and his family on Christmas Day as well as my parents and a few friends. I had my Christmas celebration on New Year’s Day when my parents came to town. I got a few shirts, a few pairs of sweat pants, a fleece coat, and a heavy duty bed frame. The frame is all metal and a lot firmer than my previous frames. Yet it seems to sleep better. I went to bed at 11pm last night and woke up at sunrise and I didn’t have much for pain. I still fit a little stiff, but that’s been normal for the last several months. I didn’t even take pain meds this morning. I do take some gloucosimine every morning with breakfast as I sometimes have sore joints in the morning. That and a short soak in a hot bath every day seems to work wonders on my joints.
I hosted my parents yesterday, watched some New Year’s college football, and bought some groceries. My cleaning lady arrived this afternoon. Talked to a couple friends this evening. A college friend of mine and his brothers went skiing on New Year’s Day in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I never did any skiing or snow boarding, not even as a kid. I was always into warmer weather activities like fishing, playing football, and running track and field. My favorite winter activities involve drinking coffee, lifting weights, and reading.
Found my old e-reader two weeks ago. I’m rereading a couple of the classics I read in my younger years. I’m currently working on Plato’s “Republic” and Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations.” Last summer I reread “Art of War” by Sun Tzu. I also listened to a few audiobooks on youtube over the autumn, mostly science and tech books. Read the first of the “Foundation” series by Isaac Asimov last summer. While it didn’t seem like I got as much reading done as I would have liked, I guess I did a bit once the whole year was taken into consideration.
Decided to spend a few days at my parents’ house. Getting some much needed rest and relaxation. Haven’t gotten in the conversations as much as I would like mainly because I have been sleeping so much. Even after two days of unwinding, I can tell things are starting to improve. I’m glad that I don’t have the temper I did even five years ago with this mental illness. Maybe some people do mellow and relax with age. I believe I have.
This trip to my parents’ place made me realize how much I miss travelling and visiting people. I haven’t travelled as much as I used to primarily because of chronic back pain. But since I’ve lost some weight and just forced myself to get more active, I think I’m somewhat more mobile now than I was over the winter. I still have to take it easier than I would like, but even that is starting to go away.
I have been so used to eating alone over the last several years I almost forgot what dinner conversation could be like. Have had a few of those with my parents since I came to their house. I forgot how much even a few minutes of face to face interaction could make me feel better. I am convinced it was and is the paranoia aspect of my illness that doesn’t allow me to interact with others as much as I should. I know I would be better grounded mentally and physically if I spent more time interacting with other people in person.
Getting some other things taken care of I had been neglecting for too long. I have put things off when I was alone because I didn’t have either the motivation to get things done or the help to get things done. One thing I still have to force myself to do is ask for help. I have always had hard times asking for help, as if it made me feel inadequate and weak. But I suppose as I age I’ll have to just ask for help more often.
It’s been a relaxing couple days out of the routine. I imagine I’ll spend another couple days here at least before I try to go back and face my usual routine again. But even the strongest people need to rest and relax once in awhile.
The weather is starting to warm up and the days are getting longer. Spring will be in full effect within a few weeks. I am enjoying the warmer weather. I’m getting out of my apartment a few times a day to enjoy the warmer weather. During the course of the winter I have gotten lazy about cleaning my apartment. So a few days worth of spring cleaning is in order. Unfortunately I let my house kind of slide for the colder winter months.
Baseball will also be starting in a few weeks. I still have several days to do some research before I have to pick my fantasy league baseball team. Been watching a few pre season games the last few days. First time I really watched regular tv since the Super Bowl. February has always been a slow time of year for me.
Been feeling pretty stable mentally overall. I have started to wake up earlier as I no longer sleep until noon every day. I don’t sleep as much and I think my body and mind are starting to reenter spring mode again. I’m not staying up as late either. Seems to me that my overnight mentality is strongest in the darker days of winter.
I can tell that spring is almost here and winter is all but done. The weather is warming up, the nights aren’t as long, daylight saving time will begin next weekend in my country, the trees are starting to bud, the grass is a little greener, and it seems that the people around me are getting in better moods as the weather warms and the days get longer. I had dealt with so many foul moods over the last few months I pretty much isolated for most of the winter. I just didn’t want to deal with angry people anymore. But even the people in my life are starting to act more cheerful and optimistic.
Even though I have been making a point to leave my apartment several times every day I still haven’t worked up to taking an extended road trip. I haven’t been outside of my town since last fall. I actually made it through the winter with having to fill my gas tank only once I drove so little this winter. But I think since the weather is starting to warm I may have to make a few trips. It has gotten old spending most of my time at home and having the bulk of my social interactions taking place over phone and internet.
I am looking forward to spring. I am glad that winter is all but over. Won’t be long now.
My life has been essentially quiet and uneventful since Christmas. We had a pretty cold January and early February so I didn’t really go anywhere except to pick up groceries and house supplies for the last two months. We had our traditional mid winter thaw the last week or so. So I’ve been spending some time outside watching the squirrels and birds. I see the cranes and Canadian geese are starting to migrate back. They are usually quite thick near my town from the last week in February until middle March. I’m going to take a few hours sometime next week and just watch the birds along the Platte River just outside my town like I do every March.
I traditionally love to travel and see new places. But I haven’t been outside of Nebraska since my friend Matt’s wedding almost two years ago. And I can tell that the lack of travel and new experiences are making me stale and itchy. Believe it or not, I really don’t like the sedentary lifestyle. When I still held traditional jobs, I usually did my best at jobs where I was moving a lot and it didn’t matter if I got sweaty or dirty. I admit that since I had the sedentary lifestyle forced on me, first by my car accident and then spending a summer with a messed up back, I have gotten lazy. And by getting lazy I can tell I have lost much of my stamina and enjoyment of just doing simple things like walking around the park or going to the all night deli to pick up some Chinese food. I have recently started going back to the all night deli more often, especially if I’m going to be up late.
I am still not as active as I would like to be, but I can tell that it is beginning to come back. I am traditionally not very active during winters, at least not physically. I usually read a lot and have traditionally done some of my best writing work during the winter. Most of the books I read this winter were about future technology trends and popular science. I also listen to a lot of audiobooks and current events type lectures on youtube. I tend to utilize youtube and my books more in winter than the spring or fall. Traditionally during the summers I do most of my errands in the morning than spend the hottest parts of the afternoon reading and writing. But I still do the bulk of my brain work during the winter.
I can tell that the lack of physical activity and travel is making me easily bored. It is also tough in that I haven’t seen my close friends or family at all since Christmas. I fear that I’m losing my social skills. I don’t socialize much with my neighbors in my complex as I have little in common with them. Most of my neighbors are senior citizens or people with physical disabilities that can’t do much of anything. I don’t know many people in here with mental health issues who are still in reasonably good physical health. It is kind of lonely in here as far as socializing goes. I can also tell that the lack of socializing and physical activity has taken a toll on my physical health. I just hope that once spring sets in a few weeks from now, I’ll be able to get more active again.
Weather has been nicer the last few days so I’ve been getting out a little more. Got restocked in time for the next round of snow to come through. I’ve been kind of lazy about writing more recently. But that’s really because I haven’t had much to report. I’ve been quite stable for a long time now. This is the longest unbroken period of stability I’ve had in almost two years. My mental health loves it but my writing routine is suffering because of the stability.
I’ve been eating less the last few weeks than usual. But that is by design. Even though I’m still not exercising very much, I am noticing small differences from the last few weeks. I make it a point to leave my apartment and drive my car a little each day. I used to go two to three days in a row without driving, especially early in the winter when it was so cold.
About the only real complaint I have is I sleep more than I would like. I usually stay up quite late and then sleep most of the morning. Some days I even sleep past noon. Needless to say this messes with my routines and my socializing. Since it still gets dark early I usually don’t get much sunlight. Sure I can read and get a lot done in the overnight hours, but I don’t get to socialize much because of my odd sleep patterns. I still get enough sleep and I keep mentally stable. It’s too bad I have no one to share this stability with outside of the internet.
Things have calmed down considerably for myself the last few weeks. I’m back on my normal doses of meds and I haven’t had a mental breakdown since about Halloween. I still haven’t worked up the nerve to brave the mall during the Christmas rush. But I see no need to as I did all my shopping online this year. I think I’ll be doing all my shopping online for the foreseeable future.
I have felt quite calm the last few weeks. I’m back to mediating at least once a day. I leave my apartment more now. I just don’t go entire days without leaving the apartment anymore. I still don’t watch regular news as I have realized I’m not missing much. I really don’t watch regular tv anymore. If my cable didn’t come with my apartment I’d cancel it. I don’t use it.
I’m still eating less. For a couple months when I was eating out twice a day I ate a lot and gained some weight. Now I usually make it a point to have at least one day a week without meat. Been doing that for several weeks now.
Slowly but surely I’m settling back into my traditional routine. It’s been a long time since I had any calm for more than a few days. I think it’s coming back.
I did go and do some shopping on Black Friday. That is, if grocery shopping counts. Bought enough food to last several days. I haven’t eaten fast food in a few days as I’m doing my own cooking again. I’ve also had some of my psych meds doses lowered as I’ve been stabilizing for a few weeks. I sleep a little less now. I’m staying up later again but I really don’t drink that much caffeine. I have all but given up coffee and I usually have only one or two soda pops a day. I notice I feel less tense and short tempered since cutting back on the caffeine.
I’m back to eating less too. For several weeks I was practically living off fast food and I have no doubt my health suffered. Now that I’m back to cooking my own meals and eating healthier I am gradually noticing small improvements. My stamina is beginning to come back, I am not as irritable, I am not as short tempered, my flare ups aren’t as bad, and I’m getting better sleep. I think I have also lost a few pounds as my clothes are fitting a little looser.
I’m looking forward to winter even though I missed the summer with back problems and had more stress than usual during the fall. I love the chilly weather, I don’t mind shoveling snow, I love spending time with family over Christmas, I enjoy watching college football games all day on New Year’s, and I like making cold weather food like potato and cheese soup and chili. My Christmas shopping is done as I just did everything online this year.
I didn’t get what I wanted accomplished health wise this year. I gained back much of the weight I had lost in 2014 and 2015. Some of this came after I hurt my back and lost a summer’s worth of exercise. Some of this came as I was more depressed and unstable this year than some of my previous years. But for the last few weeks I’ve been having more of a sense of stability than I have had for months. I’ve actually gotten some of my more healthy routines going again. I still don’t socialize much in my apartment complex as I’m trying to avoid negative and depressing people. I’m gradually getting back on Facebook. I avoided it as much as I could for most of the fall. But now that winter is almost here I’m getting to where I want to socialize to break up some of the colder, slower days.