As quickly as the weather turned decent, it turned back to cold, dreary, and rainy. But I actually like rainy weather. Living on the plains of Nebraska, we need good spring and summer rains for the corn crops. But now that I’m up more in the days I can spend my daylight hours drinking hot coffee, listening to jazz music on YouTube, playing computer games, and just enjoying the sights and sounds of early spring. I still force myself out of my apartment at least once a day just on principle. I didn’t used to isolate so much. In fact, I used to be rather social to people in my complex until a few years ago. I think that losing three close friends in less than six months like I did in 2014 really took more of a toll on me than I initially thought. I became rather jaded and cynical for a couple of years. But then again, many people I knew became this way right about that time. So I stopped socializing as much. I stopped going to the park several times a week. I preferred to stay home, sleep, and socialize online rather than in person.
I think I’m starting to pull out of that just wanting to be left alone all the time. I try to socialize some every day, even if it is just with the delivery lady or mail man or cashier at the store. But I really haven’t talked to my neighbors much this winter. I’m trying to break out of that. I see that my complex has had several new people move in during the last few months. I need to get out more and see who they are. I’ve been in this complex now for almost twelve years. In some ways I’m becoming one of the more tenured residents even though I’m only in my late thirties. Originally this complex was designed for senior citizens and low income disability people. I was one of the first low income disability young people to move in years ago, at least from what I understand. For most of those first several years I worked part time jobs. It was in 2012 that I became tired of office place politics and decided to devout my energies to seeing if I get blogging up and going. I had been writing poetry, mental illness essays, and a couple novels before then. It was in 2012 I came to the conclusion I would have a better audience eventually if I set up an online blog. After a few years of this I have been proven right. I have had a bigger audience than I could have imagined just six years ago. It has gotten to where I almost never have days when I don’t have any traffic anymore. And I almost always have as much outside the USA traffic as I do inside the USA. It makes sense once I looked up the numbers and found that almost 95 percent of the world’s population isn’t from the USA. Being in a more isolated area of my country I have to remind myself of that occasionally.
Spending a quiet, calm, and uneventful weekend at my apartment. Haven’t talked to anyone this weekend. After several days of forcing myself out of my comfort zones trying to be more social and out going, I am needing a quiet weekend to recharge and regroup. Deciding that I’m spending the weekend binging on computer games and youtube music videos. Been listening to some of the music I listened to in high school and college the last few days. I refuse to go as far as to say music was better twenty years ago because anyone will be nostalgic for what they grew up listening to in the formative years of their teens and early twenties. I imagine in early 1800s Germany there were people complaining about Beethoven. And I’m sure when the 2030s roll around my nephews’ generation will complain about what their kids listen to, watch and read.
As it is, it’s been a calming and relaxing weekend. It was overcast, kind of chilly, and raining on and off all day yesterday. We get those days quite a bit in early spring. I enjoy those type of days. Boil some coffee, find a good book, and just enjoy the day. I also do some of my better writing on days like that. Days like that are one of the reasons spring is my favorite time of year.
Looks like I made it through another winter without having any major setbacks. I did have to readjust my life some as I got to where I didn’t like being around people and preferred to sleep as much as possible. Maybe one of the reasons I stayed stable was I avoided people as much as possible. But with winter ending I suppose I no longer have the excuse of it being too cold or too much snow to leave my complex. I have to renew my lease in a few weeks. So I have to get my paper work together for that. Too bad I couldn’t do this online and submitting e-files. My rent is literally the only thing I even write checks for anymore. I imagine this dream of mine is still a few years away.
Been several days since I last wrote. An update is in order. I’m still sleeping more than I would like. To see if I can change this around, I’m starting to sleep in a recliner. When I slept in my recliner because of back pains, I would usually be awake shortly after sunrise and sleep only 6 to 7 hours per night. As it is now, I have been sleeping 10 to 14 hours a night for much of the summer. Something has to change. Mentally I have been feeling well for months. Since late summers are usually the toughest time of year for me, I have been reluctant to change much this summer. As good as I have been feeling lately I haven’t wanted to change my meds or routines. But this sleeping twelve hours a day and being up most of the night can’t be kept up. My social life is hurting because of it and I haven’t been outside of my hometown all summer. I have to make some changes.
I think some of my neighbors may be worried about me considering how little I socialize in my complex and how I often sleep during the days. I try to keep out of peoples’ ways and keep to myself most days lately. This is a change as I used to be more social than I am now. I think I don’t socialize much mainly because of the paranoia I still sense when I’m around large groups of people or out in public. Even though I have much of the depression and hallucinations of schizophrenia taken care of, I still deal with some paranoia and social anxiety. I haven’t dealt with this level of social anxiety in several years like what I’m dealing with now. Sometimes I’m even too anxious to run regular errands like buying groceries until I absolutely need to. Needless to say, this isn’t healthy. And with winter coming up, I’m just going to have to break out of this anxiety somehow and start buying more than a few days worth of food at a time. Some winters we can get big blizzards that will shut things down for a couple days. And of course ice storms also make traveling during the winter tough. So I think I have no choice but to “feel the fear and do it anyway” and just start stocking up for when the weather turns cold in a couple months. Fortunately I tend to be more stable in the winter and spring than summer and early autumn.
I haven’t had a regular counselor for several months. Not because I was upset with my counselor or anything like that. It’s just that I got stable enough I didn’t think I really needed it. Mentally I’m stable and have been for months. I still face some social anxiety and do feel anxious about driving somedays. That’s the big reason I haven’t left my hometown all summer.
One of the good things about living as an adult with mental illness that I didn’t have in my late teens when this mental illness was just getting started is that I can still keep in contact with people real easy as opposed to twenty years ago. I may sometimes rant about the abuses that people do with their Facebook and twitter accounts, but they are still good ways to keep in touch with people from my high school, college, and extended family. I definitely regretted not going to my family reunion this summer, especially since my mother and father were the main hosts. But the anxiety was that strong. I know the anxiety exists in my brain and mind but the mind is strong enough that it can make anxiety real enough to be crippling in some cases. I have friends who have problems with anxiety and depression too. It breaks my heart that I often can’t do much to help them out other than being a sounding board and listen to them. I tend to be a problem solver by nature, but sometimes things like depression, anxiety, and mental illness simply don’t have immediate solutions.
Have had my days and nights backwards for the last couple weeks. Been getting most of my sleep in the mornings and staying up most of the night. Yet, it doesn’t seem to be negatively effecting my mental stability. If anything this has been the most stable summer I’ve had in years. Granted this sleeping during the days while being up most of the night is putting a cramp on my social life. But I didn’t have much of a social life to start with. So I spend much of my nights listening to audiobooks on youtube. I listen to mostly non fiction science books and some science fiction. I still don’t watch much tv. I’m not even really that excited about football season this year. But I am looking forward to cooler weather. I am glad I have made it through most of the summer with no real problems.
Perhaps I am having fewer problems because I socialize less than I have in previous months and years. I leave my apartment only to run errands and even then I make it a point to run them in the early mornings or late nights to avoid crowds. I have made a point of avoiding angry, irritable, and rude people in person and online. Of course this does limit how many people I hear from or talk to. I really don’t talk to many people anymore, mainly my family and a few friends. Sure it gets kind of lonely but fortunately the loneliness doesn’t last long. I’m glad I don’t have to rely on other people to keep me entertained. Sometimes I am my own best company.
In spite not socializing much I am still optimistic overall. I haven’t been outside of my hometown much this summer. But anymore with the internet, I can still keep in contact with friends and family. And I can keep myself occupied with free audiobooks, free online courses, and free music online. I would have had to spent thousands of dollars for the things I have read or listened to online just fifteen years ago. And I can get all this for a dollar a day in internet service fees. And I love it. I wouldn’t trade living here and now (unless I could be wisked a couple hundred years into the future and be exploring strange new worlds like Star Trek). And I have some of my family members and a few of my friends to be the same way. My best friend from high school (whom I’m still great friends with) loves speculating on future science and social trends when she’s not discussing Game of Thrones. But I guess she gets tired of me talking about baseball and computer games, so that makes us even. My thirteen year old nephew is going to be working with robotics and 3D printers this year in his junior high. And to think I was impressed with the old Apple II GS when I was growing up. I often joke with my niece and nephews that they might not need drivers’ licenses. Now it’s looking like even I might not need a drivers’ license in ten years. Wouldn’t hurt my feelings that much. Sure we don’t have flying cars like Back To The Future said we would, but even that movie didn’t predict the Internet boom, smart phones, or renewable energy starting to become affordable. I wouldn’t even have cable tv except it comes with my apartment.
What I’m getting at is that right now in 2017, despite the bad news we’re constantly hearing on the news channels and our online news feeds, we’re still living in some pretty cool times. It is, in many ways, a good time to be an average person. Sure I may not be able to ever afford a house like my parents or brother. But I don’t need a large house in an affluent suburb with the picket fence and two car garage. I can currently live quite well just in the apartment in the small college town I’m in. I currently don’t need much to live a decent standard of living that even the kings and industrialists of 1900 couldn’t have imagined. It is not, however, a good time to be a control freak or spiteful hate monger. We’re always probably going to have problems like these but, unlike in past eras, the overwhelming general consensus is that being a dictator or hateful person are bad things. For most of civilization’s history, the idea of the ‘divine right of royalty’ or having hatred of people different from your own little group was pretty much unquestioned by the vast majority of people. We have made progress as a species. And we will continue to make progress even if people take it for granted or don’t pay attention to it. The only reason that we don’t hear about the good going on is simply because good news doesn’t sell. Good news doesn’t sell only because we as a species are not wired to pay much attention to good news.
Been a few days since I last wrote. But then again, I haven’t had very much drama to write about. It’s been quite quiet for the last several weeks for me. About the only thing I really do have to report is that I am getting a little more active with each passing day. I spend more and more time outdoors too. I plan on spending a lot of time outside on Monday as the eclipse is coming right through the town I live in. I am just going to watch it from my front yard. I probably won’t be able to go much of anywhere tomorrow as my town is expecting several thousand out of town visitors for Monday. I’m just going to stay home tomorrow.
I’m sleeping alright. But my best sleep still comes in the morning anymore. Most nights I’ll be up quite late. While this puts a damper on my social life, it doesn’t seem to be effecting my mental stability any. I’m usually up and going by noon no matter how late I stay awake. I am so glad I can do this blog from home and I’m not constrained by office hours.
So far I have made it through the summer with no real issues. This would be a first for me in several years. And I am enjoying it. I know I still have the potential for a few rough weeks before the weather cools off for good. Sometimes no news is good news.
I’ve been on this new medication routines for two weeks. I’m noticing improvements. I don’t feel very depressed or paranoid anymore. In addition to a new medication routine, I’m also taking multivitamins and probiotics. I’m noticing that I have less unexplainable aches and pains. I am sleeping less than I was previously. I now average 8 to 9 hours a night whereas during the winter and spring I got almost 12 hours a night. Mentally I’m feeling more stable. Physically I’m feeling more energetic and getting a little more active with each passing day. I get out and socialize a little every day, even if it’s just when I go check my mail or go to the vending machine. Overall I’m feeling better than my usual summer fare.
Summer came a little early this year as it got real hot in early June and stayed that way for two weeks. Unfortunately my air conditioner broke down on me. So I’ve been using lots of fans and a window air conditioner unit for two weeks now. The repair man said I needed a new unit as the old one was over thirty years old. That’s supposed to be getting done within the next day or two.
Have dined out only once in the last week. For awhile when I was really depressed and paranoid, I didn’t do much grocery shopping and ate fast food at least once a day. It’s no wonder I was feeling sluggish and lethargic. Since I quit eating out every day, I’ve noticed I don’t have nearly as many aches and pains and I have more energy and actually want to be active. I’m also severely cutting back on sugar. I no longer drink sugared soda pop and I haven’t had candy bars or ice cream in months. I may not be losing weight as fast I would like, but I definitely feel better overall. And it’s all because of a few minor changes in medication routine and diet.
Been staying near the complex and avoiding the early summer heat the last few days. Bought groceries early this week so, in theory, I don’t have to leave the house for the next several days. I’ll probably have to stay at home tomorrow as I’ll be getting a new air conditioner and thermostat. My old air conditioner was almost forty years old and it broke down two weeks ago. So I’ve been using lots of fans and a portable air conditioner since. I’m glad that this problem will be solved soon.
I’ve been having a lot of issues hanging over my head for weeks that just seem to take longer then they should to get resolved. My sink was fixed a couple weeks ago. I started a new medication a week ago. I’ve been sleeping in a recliner for a week now as my lower back has been giving me pain. But I’ve been feeling quite stable mentally for the last several days. I don’t want to sleep all the time anymore. I’m usually awake quite early instead of sleeping until noon. I’m taking better care of myself. And I’m making a point to get out of my apartment to socialize with my neighbors for at least a few minutes every day. The socializing is going kind of rough as there aren’t any people in my apartment complex who share my interests or likes. Looking back on it, having three friends in here die within six months a couple years ago really effected me. I lost a lot of good conversations after that. So it’s tough finding things to talk about with people anymore.
A few days ago my family came to visit me. We spent the day cleaning my apartment. Once that was done I went to see my psych doctor. We decided to add a third medication and I’m supposed to see him again in two weeks.
Other routines that have changed is I’m waking up earlier and not staying awake all night like I used to. Since I’ve been having pains in my lower back again I’ve been sleeping in my recliner more. I still spend the bulk of my days in my apartment and alone. I still don’t want to leave my place very often. Even though I’m sleeping less I find myself wanting to sleep at the oddest times. I want to sleep but fortunately I can’t fall asleep whenever I want.
I’m still keeping in contact with old friends and family. At least that hasn’t fallen apart. But other than that I still don’t socialize much. I guess I’m only now starting to realize how far I have declined in the last year and a half.
Went on a road trip to see my parents at their place over the weekend. It was the first time in months I had been outside of my hometown. It was good to have a change of pace and get away for a couple days. My parents are clearing out some of their old clutter as they are preparing to move. It’s looking more like we’re going to move to be near my brother’s family all the time. Mom and Dad are looking at different places online almost everyday. So it looks like if they get their house and the acreage sold, then we’ll be moving probably in late summer.
Mentally I’m looking forward to possibly be living in a larger area. I have lived in small towns my entire life. But I have always wanted to live in or near a major city at least once in my life. Now it looks like it might happen. I definitely feel like I’m missing out on my brother’s family as I see his kids only a few times a year. And I regret that my brother and I aren’t close. We weren’t close as kids and unfortunately that carried over into adulthood. I don’t dislike him or anything like that, it’s just that we don’t have much in common. I guess we never have.
In other news, things have been kind of quiet for the last several days. I may be sleeping less than I did during the winter, but that is fine by me. Mentally I’m feeling quite stable. Haven’t been having problems with hallucinations or delusional thoughts for weeks. I also don’t have problems with depression or anxiety. Things have become quite stable.
Spent the last couple days cleaning my apartment and car. I didn’t drive much this winter except to buy groceries and pick up fast food, so it was just a matter of throwing out some trash in my car. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of clutter in my apartment. I still have a couple more days of decluttering. But since the weather is supposed to warm up by the end of the week, I think I can get a great deal done.
My nephews and niece are visiting my parents for a few days over spring break. I saw them yesterday and took them to a Mexican restaurant. Had a good chat with the kids and my parents. I hadn’t seen any family in person since Christmas. It was a good change to my routine.
While I still sleep kind of late most mornings, I have found myself sleeping less the last several days. Now that spring is on the way and the weather is starting to warm, I am getting more sunlight. I feel better because of the better weather. I definitely no longer feel the need to just stay inside for entire days.
Mentally I have been quite stable for weeks. I think it helps that I am getting plenty of sleep, eating more healthy, and avoiding stressful people and situations. I hope I can keep this kind of stability up.
Been experimenting with my diet for the last few days. I haven’t eaten meat for several days and I’m also avoiding wheat and gluten. My stomach is more settled and I feel like I have a little more energy than a week ago. I have fewer aches and pains too.
I still have some cleaning to do in my apartment. I had gotten a little lazy about keeping the place up over the winter. Even though I usually feel mentally stable in the winter, I am also quite a bit lazier too.
I have an appointment with my psych doctor next week. The medications I have been on for the last year seem to be working well. I don’t see any changes in those coming. I guess that I have weathered another winter and will be looking forward to warmer weather within the next couple weeks.