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.
The weather is turning colder again indicating that winter won’t be too far away. The leaves on the trees have completely turned. Since I have lots of trees in view of my apartment windows, I can enjoy the autumn foliage and not even put on a coat. I am still a little guarded about whom I socialize with, but at least I socialize a little everyday now. Somedays I’ll stay home most of the time, but I am not as afraid of traveling as I was even a few weeks ago. I try to get outside at least once a day and I’ve been lifting weights for a week now.
I’m also attempting to readjust my sleep patterns to more regular times. For weeks I have been sleeping in the mornings after staying awake most nights. Naturally this messed up my social life and sleep patterns. It also doesn’t help that I’ve been drinking more coffee and hot tea to try to warm up during these colder days. I imagine that this could take several days as I am used to sleeping in the mornings and then being up in the afternoons and overnight hours.
I haven’t seen any family in person since the summer. That will probably change in a few weeks as Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up. I have usually been stressed during the holidays in years past. Anymore I avoid going to the stores and malls from Halloween to Christmas just to avoid crowds and the sensory overload. I don’t enjoy Christmas shopping or Christmas music. The only truly Christmas movies I like are It’s A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story. I like the supernatural thrillers of Halloween better. I can’t get into those slasher killer movies. So I’ve been watching more supernatural thrillers lately in the spirit of Halloween. I also enjoyed the old ‘War of the Worlds’ radio broadcast. Youtube has a few recordings of that. So I’ll be binge watching Halloween movies for the next couple days.
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.
Knee pains have finally passed. Felt good enough to go out and buy groceries this morning. So I’m set for another couple weeks. I was getting tired of having to eat out and do drive thru because of my bad knee. I can tell that when I eat fast food regularly my physical and mental health suffer some. Also started taking some multi vitamin pills a few days ago. That seems to help with some lingering pain. Makes me feel a little more energetic.
I’m back to where I’m not sleeping as much as I did over the winter and spring. Maybe it’s the longer daylight hours. Maybe losing a few pounds has helped with my sleep patterns. I still can’t walk as far as I could even two years ago. But I think if I keep doing the two high protein meals a day, avoid sugar as much as possible, and keep drinking lots of water I can get back into better health.
Since I’m not experiencing knee pains anymore, my mood has improved. I’m not as depressed as I once was. I’m getting out of my apartment more. I’m breaking up some of my in home routines. I’m trying out some new computer games I bought a few months ago I only dabbled in. I guess I finally got burned out on Civilization, Sim City, and Skyrim. I still read a lot, granted mostly online articles, blogs, and science journals. I trying to get back into more contact with old friends. And I want to bring some old friends back into the fold I lost contact with over the last few years.
Next week is my birthday. I’ll be 37 years old. Mentally I’m more sharp than ever and the mental illness doesn’t have the ups and downs it used to. Physically I don’t have the endurance I did even a few years ago. I get unexplainable aches and pains more often. I wake up more in the middle of the night. I’m even more cold sensitive then I used to be. Being a fat man, I could easily go through much of a fall or even winter with just a light jacket unless it was blizzard conditions. Finding that I can’t do that as well anymore. I have found that I am sometimes more set in my ways than I would like. I tend to shop in the same stores, eat in the same four or five restaurants, eat the same things all the time, watch similar types of shows on youtube and netflix, etc. At least I haven’t yet gotten to where I’m complaining about the kids all the time. I remember what it was like being ragged on by my elders all the time when I was growing up. I hated it then and I still hate it when people in my age bracket rag on their kids. I just hope that as I age and my physical health starts to decline even more that I don’t become one of these bitter and angry old men I see too much of. I hope I can be an encouragement to people to all ages. I just want my little corner of the world to be a better place because I was alive.
I’m glad that spring is finally back. I’ve been getting outside a little more often, I’m keeping my place a little cleaner, I’m watching baseball most nights, and I’m even eating less too. I’m still not as physically active as I would like but I think it’s starting to come back. After my car accident in October 2015 I gained back most of the weight I had lost in the previous two years. I think I’m finally back on the right track. Since I still don’t have a great deal of stamina yet, I’m cutting back on calories as much as I can. This means I’m giving up most sugar and eating meat only once a day. I am also doing my best to avoid fried foods. After several weeks of eating less than usual, I think I’m in a new routine. I can’t even eat as much as I could last summer. One of my problems was, after my accident, I got depressed and lost much of my confidence. From there I just got lazy and ate a lot. I have made efforts over the last several weeks to break out of this vicious cycle. And I think I’m starting to see results.
I’ve also noticed my habits are getting better too. During the winter I had gotten kind of lazy about shaving and cleaning up as there were entire days I didn’t leave my apartment complex. I’m back into good habits like these again. I would hate to think I let my personal appearance slide just because I was depressed by lousy weather. But mental illness can do odd things to a person.
I’m starting to socialize some again. Not so much with my neighbors as I am family and old friends. I still don’t enjoy the fact that many of my neighbors are grumpy and irritable most of the time. I have been around that kind of negativity for years and I don’t want it dragging me down. I spent enough of my life being depressed, irritable, and a pessimist. I just don’t want that anymore.
Even though it’s been a little more winter like the last few days, I can tell that spring is on the way. I’m starting to sleep less and even wake up earlier. I haven’t pulled an all nighter in over a week. I’m starting to do grocery shopping at night like I did in the past instead of at like 3 am. I’m chatting with friends more and starting to sort out my apartment. I had gotten lazy about cleaning since Christmas, so that was needing to change.
Mentally I’m as stable as I have been in a long time. I still don’t socialize much in person even if I make it a point to leave my apartment several times a day. Sometimes I leave for something as simple as getting soda pop at the convenience store just to get out of my apartment. I haven’t had any real bad flare ups for weeks. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t socialize that much or if I’m settling into a calm period. Late winters and springs are usually the most stable times of year for me. Late summers and early falls are always tough.
In other news, my niece and three nephews are coming to Nebraska for a few days over spring break. I haven’t seen those kids since last summer. It’ll be fun to touch base with them. I don’t get to see them very often. I do wish I lived closer to my brother and his family. Even though my brother and I weren’t close when we were growing up, I still think it’s important to keep touch with family members. Besides my parents are in their late 60s and they aren’t getting any younger. After a friend of mine told me her mom had cancer, it made me realize that easily could be my parents struggling with their health. And it got me thinking about my own health. Working against a chronic mental illness for twenty years has taken a toll on my physical health. I don’t get sick with viruses or infections very often, but I can tell I don’t have the physical strength I had even ten years ago. And people with schizophrenia tend to have shorter life spans to begin with. I can tell the stress of the mental illness is starting to wear me down. There is a connection between mental health and physical health I am convinced.
The winter is essentially over. We will probably have a couple more snows but they won’t be the type that stay around for weeks. I’m already starting to make plans for spring. And I’ll probably start spring cleaning and maintenance next week. I have a couple projects I need to get done that I’ve been putting off for weeks. It’s time to come out of my hibernation and winter exile.
I have been experiencing changes in my sleep patterns the last several weeks. I now usually stay up quite late and sleep in the mornings until usually noon. But I still get my sleep and am still able to do this blog two to three times per week. I am still able to socialize with friends and family in spite of my mornings being when I now sleep. I have adjusted to this new routine by doing my shopping and errands at night and scheduling my medical appointments for late afternoons. I look at it as no different than working a nigh shift job. My mother worked night shifts for years so I think it runs in the family.
Oddly I actually have felt more stable and calm during the last few weeks. Because of my overnight schedules I have been able to avoid problem neighbors whom have been causing me grief and irritation. The fact that I rarely hear from irritable and angry neighbors has made my stress levels go way down. I haven’t felt this calm and relaxed in a real long time.
Even though I’m not getting a great deal of physical activity as it’s still winter, I have found myself eating less. Most days I eat only two meals, drink a lot of water, and have a couple cups of coffee. I have found that caffeine can be an appetite suppressant for me. But if I have more than two cups of coffee at a time it can make me jittery and irritable. And I think I’ve even started to lose weight again because I’m eating much less.
I haven’t had problems with hallucinations and delusional thoughts lately. I think it helps that I still get good sleep, avoid stressful people and situations, and just pretty much have settled into a routine that has been helpful for the course of the winter.
My sleep patterns do vary throughout the year. During the summers I am often awake shortly after dawn and usually don’t sleep as much as the winters. I sleep the most and stay up the latest in the winters. But it evens out as winters are usually slow and uneventful times for me. I usually have my worst problems with schizophrenia in late summers and early autumns. I don’t know if it’s common for someone with my diagnosis to have seasonal aspects to the illness.
As of right now I am happy with my patterns and routines. I can still get things done and I don’t get bothered by irritable people as much as I normally do. I imagine as the days get warmer and longer I probably will start waking up earlier and hibernate less.