Weather has finally warmed up after a couple weeks of the most frigid cold I have experienced since childhood. I never lost power or water. A friend of mine in Omaha said they had rolling black outs but she was without power for only a couple hours.
I weathered the worst of winter pretty well. Even though I don’t leave my apartment every day, I still keep in contact with friends and family. My neighbor and I drop in on each other a few times a week to check in on each other. I did sleep a lot this winter but haven’t had any truly serious problems. Still get groceries delivered a few times a month.
Mentally I’m stable. At least as stable as I can be during a pandemic. I’ve had a few breakdowns over the last year. But they were short lived and didn’t require meds changes or going the the hospital. It sometimes gets lonely, to be sure. I’m glad I love to read and can keep myself occupied that way. While I’m not currently on any major reading projects, I usually spend a couple hours a day reading online articles. Most of them are science, tech, and business related. I try to avoid most things about politics. Too divisive and stressful for my tastes.
As far as computer games go, I’ve dusted a few of my older games off and been messing with those lately. I’ve gotten into Medieval Total War and the Railroad Tycoon series the last couple weeks. Sometimes I’ll do PlayStation Madden NFL or FIFA Soccer for a change up. I can’t really get into first person shooter games much. They just don’t hold my interest quite like Civilization or the Total War series.
Still doing lots of cooking. My cleaning lady told me she can tell a good cook by how messy the kitchen is after a meal. I still don’t eat fast food very often. Actually haven’t had any fast food since before Christmas. Most fast food upsets my stomach and makes me feel sluggish any more. But I do make lots of soups and pasta dishes. I do grilling on the Foreman grill too. Don’t do any baking or desserts though. I haven’t tried my hand at baking sourdough bread yet.
Been watching small college football on the weekends. It seems weird to be watching football in February. But then the last year has been anything but typical. I renewed my ESPN Plus subscription so I can catch some of these games. And baseball spring training has been going for almost a couple weeks now. I don’t usually feel like winter is ending until I’ve seen a preseason baseball game or two.
My parents have now had both rounds of the covid vaccine. They’re getting out and about more often. They pick up the grandkids from school usually a couple times per week and do in person shopping and church. And I heard that a third vaccine has been approved here in the US just a couple days ago. Maybe we are starting to see the end of the line for this pandemic. I probably will get my vaccine sometime this summer. Not being a senior citizen or essential worker means I’m pretty low priority. But I’ve avoided getting sick for a year now. A few more months is manageable.
Been kind of quiet the last few days. I’m still going to bed around 10pm and waking up for good around 4 or 5 am. It feels like I get more done throughout the day now. I don’t know if that’s just my perception fooling me, but I do feel more productive and energetic on days I wake up early. I’ve been a night owl most of my life but that seems to be changing the older I get. I’ve felt less anxious and paranoid since I started going to bed earlier. Been doing this for a few months now.
Been feeling pretty stable. I still have minor flare ups once in awhile. But they usually quickly pass after several minutes. I think they are getting easier to manage all the time. I can be irritable and anxious, yet if I keep silent almost no one knows I feel any kind of anxiety or irritability. I never thought I was good at keeping my feelings and thoughts to myself. But maybe I’m getting better about this in adult hood. Some days I don’t socialize much. Yet it seems to keep me sane and well grounded. Sometimes my friends and family are going to be in foul moods. It seems to be best if I avoid them on days when they are. Sometimes I’m in a foul mood. And it’s better when I avoid people when I’m in those funks.
I decided I’m not going to my class reunion. I’m not sore at anyone from back home or anything like that. It’s just I don’t have much in common with most of the people I grew up with anymore. Adult hood has a way of changing a person. I’m not the same person at age 39 I was at age 17. Sometimes it feels like I’m looking at someone else’s life when I think back on my teenage years. I was back in my hometown last slightly over a year ago. I didn’t recognize most people living there anymore. Most of the teachers and mentors I had as a kid are either elderly or dead. Most my friends from that era have moved far away. Some of them aren’t the people who would enjoy reunions and probably won’t be going. My closest friends live at least a three hour drive away from me anymore. My parents and brother live two states away. And while I’m on friendly terms with most people in my complex, even after thirteen years at my current apartment I still don’t feel like I fit in. I hope that is my illness talking and not what is really going on.
One of the lousiest parts of my illness is that I am never sure where I stand with anyone. I’m not even sure where I stand with my best friends and family many times unless they specifically tell me we are on good terms. The illness makes it easy to jump to conclusions and form fears that aren’t based in any reality. And it doesn’t help that I tend to over think and over analyze people and situations naturally. I know my desire for constant reassurance annoys friends and family. I am convinced it killed my ability to enjoy dating or even get dates to begin with. As it is I haven’t been on a date in a dozen years and I don’t want to date ever again. It’s just more headaches for me than it’s worth. At this point in my life I greatly prefer friendships to romances. I never understood why it was such a bad thing to be friends with a dating interest or a spouse. And I never will. The fact that almost half of marriages end in divorce and a significant portion of those that do last for life are unhappy drudgeries tells me that we as a modern society are doing dating and marriage all wrong. People are not meant to spend their lives in drudgery, anguish, misery, and desperation.
As much as the mental illness knocks me down on occasion, I am overall happy and content with my life. Sure I could stand to lose some weight and isolate less. I probably will live longer if I drop some weight and be more social. As far as how my life has turned out, it could be much worse with this illness. At least I’m not dead or in prison. At least I don’t have addictions. At least I don’t have debts. At least I’m on good terms with my family and have managed to keep some really cool friends. And even the ones I’ve lost contact with over the years we can probably pick up if we ever encounter each other. Considering the illness I really don’t have many regrets I could have done anything different about.
Hosted Christmas for myself and my parents again this year. Even though they live out of state now, they had to be back in Nebraska for a couple days to close up some business issues and visit some family. I did get to face time with my nephews and niece, granted it was on my dad’s smart phone and not my computer. I do miss those kids. Makes me hope that I can spend Christmas 2019 at their place.
Right now I am house bound for the next couple days at least. We had massive amounts of rain before changing over to snow. I don’t know how much snow we have as my windows are so iced over I can’t see out. Our city did declare a snow emergency and told everyone besides critical workers to stay home today. Fortunately I have enough groceries I can stay home for a long time if need be, and I even have a lot of non perishables that don’t need to be cooked or refrigerated. I haven’t gone as far and picked up any of those Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) popularized by the military and back woods campers. But I should be alright. I keep everything charged in case we do lose power. With as much ice and wind and snow as we have, that is a possibility.
I got some picture frames for Christmas. I bought several prints of art work done by a long time friend of mine. I finally got some frames to go with them. My apartment doesn’t look so much like a monk’s chamber now. I guess I don’t mind the kind of starkness of white walls with few decorations. But some paintings on the walls do make the place seem warmer and less sterile.
Been going to bed around 9pm and waking up for good around 5am lately. I feel more stable now that I have a regular sleep pattern. I still sometimes nap in the afternoons for an hour or two at a time. I sleep much deeper than usual now. But I’m getting better sleep too. I think that only helps with my issues of paranoia and delusions. I tend to be less distressed after a few days of good sleep. I also get deeper sleep on days I don’t have as much caffeine. Feel less irritable on those days too.
Been feeling pretty good the last few days. I enjoyed Christmas with my parents. And now I am ready to face the rest of the winter.