Oh Boy…

Score: +2

So it’s day 8 of 12, and I’m beat. This Monday felt like two Mondays had fucked and made an extra evil super-dense Monday. I was being scraped across sandpaper all day. Everything was labored, and exceedingly difficult. I got decent sleep, but after the run I’ve been on, it’s hard. Very. 

Other than that, I feel fine. I’m so drained, it’s hard to write right now. I’m hoping that you all have a good night. Day 9 tomorrow. 

Some Things

I’m still a person in progress, and proud to self admit to this status. I recall a time when I was not so, before my symptoms manifested. I was closed minded, and beloved a select few “truths” about living. I remember professing in my ignorance that there was no way I would ever get married, and that there was no way I would have a kid. I remember believing these things to be as rock-solid as any declaration I could make. 

But life isn’t like that. If we don’t constantly change and progress, we are swallowed up by reality and discarded, empty. Some people refuse to accept the world for what it is. Instead, they invision it how they would want it to be, and believe that to be accurate. I used to be this person. 

I remember when it changed for me: I was 20, and just making my way into independent life. I was in school full time, and had two part time jobs. I was living with college graduates and my world-view was expanding rapidly. Then something happened, and my grip on the wheel became weaker. My emotions started shifting around inside me like parasites. I grew paranoid, fearful of others. I tried to hold on to this accelerated life I had been living. One night, I was in my car at a park well after sunset. I saw my idea of what my life was supposed to be disappearing. I opened the door to my car, and I thought to myself: I’m going to go walk out into traffic. 

It took me some time to go get help, and I was in agony over it. The admission that I was unable to do what I wanted to do. It was defeat. It was total, unconditional surrender of my vision for myself. I took it hard. I never really accepted it, and four years later I was back in school trying to make it at UCSB to become an english professor. I just wouldn’t let it go. I had to be THE BEST. I had to show everyone how brilliant I was. I dropped out of college and went into the deepest depressive cycle of my life, culminating in my entire independent life collapsing. I moved in with my parents in Sacramento two years later. 

But what was I really doing? I was throwing s tantrum, one that played out over six years. I refused to redefine myself. I would not let go of the idea of who I was supposed to be. One day, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought: this isn’t so bad. I was still basically the same person I had always been: charismatic, humorous, articulate, rational and determined. Just because I was mentally ill didn’t mean my life was over; my reality simply needed to be reimagined. I am never going to be a college professor, or a senator, but I will be an amazing man who is proud of who he is. I found a way to earn the respect of the one person that really matters… me. 

It took me a long time to get past the feeling of dismay, but the more I talked about it, the less painful it was. In order to be truly happy, I had to discover myself. How can I be proud of the person I am? What do I have to do to stop resenting myself for being mentally ill? I will admit that it took me 12 years to accept forgiveness for that, but once I did, a new world of possibilities and hope emerged. I love who I am. I am sincerely proud of the things I do with my life now. I changed my reality, and now I can breathe free air, and stand in the sun. I do not hide behind lies to please myself, I am who I am, flaws and all. Mistakes? Fuck yes! Lessons learned? Truly. 

If you have fought a similar battle with reality, I’d love to hear at what stage in the journey towards acceptance you are at. 

7 of 12

Score: +3

Well blog, I didn’t think I was working all weekend, but found out at the last minute that I was on the schedule for Sunday as well as Saturday, making this one of those 12 days in a row at work type things. This happened to me a few months ago, and I was pretty beat by the end of it.

The call volume wasn’t bad today, though it’s the boring that really gets to me. I tried my best to stay distracted. I played Peggle on my iPhone. beat it, and then beat Peggle Nights too, still with hours left to go in the day.

I had an unexpected affirmation today about the things I have been claiming about Jax. I can’t really go in to it, but let’s just say that I’m not making statements that can’t be substantiated. Thus, I have really, truly, closed the book on her. I’m not going back to her blog, and I’m not talking to her at the clinic if we are to accidentally bump into each other. Over it. Goodbye. /ignore

This will be a great test for me, this block of 12 days working. I know I missed day 4 with a stomach bug, so it’s not really 12 straight… but I should be taxed to a new level during this run. I have a lot of hope that this will be a really strong showing, and that I will not deteriorate into a pile of ash.

It has been hot the last two days. I did not sleep well in the 93 degree apartment. I turned the A/C on in the evening… too little too late. I was just miserable.

I hope you all did something fucking amazing with your weekends. I will get a good one coming up, with two fantasy football drafts to conduct. SWEET.


Score: +3.5

It seemed like things were back to normal today. I completed my shift and kept up a high level of energy while I did so. For once, someone was nice to me today… which was totally unexpected. So things were good overall. 

I keep checking in on Jax’s blog, and lately it has been pretty ridiculous. She’s quite pissed off at me still, which seems like a big waste of time. She got all butt-hurt that I reached out to her in sympathy and forgiveness, calling me a “dick,” and my life a “fucked up mess.” I guess I find it pitiful, because I’ve moved so far beyond those crazy emotions I had right after we broke up. I still feel things, don’t get me wrong… but am I angry at her? No. Do I hold on to any resentment towards her? No. What’s the point? 

I guess I have let her go, which really means I just expect us to live our separate lives without needing to revisit old wounds all the time. I must admit to being curious about how she is faring on her own, which is why I find myself reading her posts. It was definitely a mistake to try and be remorseful with her, she seemed to take that as an attack. We were never particularly good at communicating with each other anyway. But her world, as she describes it, seems very turbulent. Certainly not demonstrative of good mental stability. She is jumping from one traumatic event to the next, and this is entirely her own doing. No lessons have been learned since we divorced; she got right back into a (from my initial perspective) doomed relationship and when that fell apart, she got right back into another without hesitation. I really just hope, at some point, she tries to be an individual for a while… it’s tough just being with yourself. She seems to be avoiding it desperately, even to the point of subjecting herself to breakups and fights then to be alone. 

I have one more day of work tomorrow. My shift starts at 6:00 am PST. so I get to sleep in for an astonishing 30 minutes. Boom. I then have to cram in my chores Sunday to make sure I am caught up for the coming week. I’m meeting Angi again before she goes back to Italy. Her life is on shaky ground as well, and I’m just trying to be there for her. 

And Then… Barf

Score: +1.5

Today was an unintended step back. I felt like utter crap from the moment I woke up, but took my meds and drove to work anyway. Just after taking my first sip of coffee, I ran to the bathroom and proceeded to vomit what little contents there were in my stomach. I broke out in sweat and felt weak. My head was throbbing. I quickly decided that this was no condition to do my job, so I left, using my final paid holiday to keep my paycheck in order. 

I have been home fir a bit and I still don’t feel very good in my stomach. I had a little coffee, but it was only to keep the withdrawal headache away. I don’t know if I can do food today. Everything down there is churning and moving around. It does not feel good. 

I have two more days of work. I feel guilty because I have missed time again, and I told myself I would not do that. I will not fail on  Friday and Saturday. I have to be consistent. 

So, I generally feel like shit in my body, and my mental state is burdened by guilt. I have let myself down. I gave failed at being a stable working person. Albeit, some of it was out of my control. But I still take responsibility for this delinquency. 


Score: +3

I had a good day today. My energy level was up in a much-needed way, because it was a busy one out there. I could have interpreted some things as negative, but I really just tried to preserve my attitude regardless of my surroundings. 

I met up with my friend Angi from high school today. She is going through a tough time with her husband, who is spiraling into depression and not doing anything about it. I feel for her situation, because I too have driven my partner away by going into the dark place and not helping myself out of it. I tried to offer as much insight as I could, and I listened to her attentively. I’m generalizing my own situation, but I do understand what it takes to lift oneself out of depression, even if it means torally rebuilding a life. I am going to talk with her again on Monday. I also reached out to her husband a few months ago on Facebook, and he seemed engaged for a bit, but then he stopped talking to me. He also decided to lower his meds (now that he is alone in France and feeling better). I really just hope she stays strong through this whole thing. It’s going to be hard. 

I’m pretty tired today. I rescheduled my therapy to next Thursday because it was too much to pull off in one day. I’m feeling good though. 

Grit And Go

Score +1

It was better today then yesterday, but there is plenty of room for improvement. It was a difficult day, where all of my actions seemed forced. Even though the voice inside my head was SCREAMING for me to go home, I stayed through my entire shift. I could have left early and still been paid for it, but I did not want to let depression take any more of my time. I trudged through the wasteland of my mind and endured against the decay. 

My energy level is about the same as it was yesterday, but the score changed because my attitude was better. I did lots of work, processed a dozen help tickets, and took my share of calls out of the queue. I talked to no one today, and no one talked to me. I stayed in my cubicle and worked with my head down. Which was good, because I really hate the bullshit that goes on there. People on worktime codes who are doing nothing but walking around socializing really drive me nuts. All this while call after call pile up in the queues bringing our numbers down. My supervisors don’t do anything about it, and I don’t really know why. Maybe they are just too busy. 

I win another $50 prepaid visa today. That’s 2/3 weeks I’ve won something. And not surprising, considering that I work a lot and have my name entered in the raffle several times. That’s just more money in my pocket for doing exactly what I am asked to do. 

I’m tired. I think I will be better tomorrow. My energy should improve and then my score should go back to normal. I told Amanda what was going on and she thinks I should call my doctor. Maybe I will, but I don’t feel like I’m at a critical point yet. If things get worse then yes I will. 

My symptoms are pretty nonexistent today, it’s just the lack of energy that has me feeling deflated. I’m going to get dinner ready. Goodbye. 


I’m doing the best I can to cope with how I feel and writing things out is helping. The symptoms that I feel are acute anxiety and deep depression. I do not have suicidal thoughts, but I feel hopeless, deadpan and lost. My thoughts are scattered like dandilion seeds in the wind. They zip by and are lost from sight a moment later. I feel a heaviness in my heart, a pressure on my chest, and a general feeling of isolation. So that’s what my situation is like. 

I have attempted to sleep, but how do you silence the noise of being anxious? There are endless thoughts invading my mind, tearing through it too fast to be observed but leaving damage in their wake. To rest, I need to be able to clear my head and relax. 

I have, for a short time, managed to distract myself from the symptoms with reading, blogging, watching TV and playing video games. All but my desire to describe my state have perished to failure. So, I have resolved to cope by comprehending my situation through my language. It is the only bastion in have left. 

I imagine that Sassafrass is correct, and that when Amanda’s son is here, my brain will go into a mode that it will be forced into by circumstance. It will adapt to answering questions and emitting a healthy demeanor, instead of being mired in suffering. His energy will likely be contagious, and having him here will make me feel better. That, and our plans to have a tasty and non-nutritional dinner. Sometimes you have to do something to lift yourself out of a rut by whatever means necessary. 

I don’t know how to understand why this happens. I only know that it does, and on the order of once a month or so. I am well aware that my brain is not able to function like a normal brain. It does the best it can, given the neurochemical deficiencies present. I’m not down on myself for feeling this way; being depressed is only made worse by being upset that it is happening. Attitude affects perception. 

I may need to post again, but probably not. Soon the pieces will arrange themselves in a new pattern. Change is coming, and with it, relief. 


I’m headed to bed early. I’m pretty tired of feeling this way. I know that I will get a chance to try again tomorrow, and have a better go of it. Goodnight. 


Sometimes I am totally incapacitated by my illness. It comes at me as soon as I wake up, and it doesn’t let go of me until after I go to bed. I have come to recognize these “off days” as unavoidable when they are happening. It is frustrating, but it is also a part of my illness as I have come to understand it. 

Today, I have been struggling to find something positive to lean on. I have been crushed under the weight of sorrow; it represents an emotional upwelling with no explainable source. Amanda texted me and told me she was suffering today as well. Hers I can understand, because she tried to get off the Abilify on her own. That seems to have had reporcusions on her stability. Which is unfortunate, because she is unhappy with the side effects of the Abilify. I think she should go see her doctor and ask him if there are any other options. 

Tonight we are going to try and enjoy ourselves. When bad Mondays happen, we make it a point to initiate a celebration of some form. The pattern has been to cheer the arrival of the weekend, but why do we do this for an already good thing? Shouldn’t the celebration be on the worst day, so that it does not seem as bad? It might alleviate the suffering to end on a positive note. 

Well, I’m stuck in this bad place. Tomorrow will be different, you’ll see. 

Chemically Down

Score: -1

I almost didn’t even try to go in, but I forced myself to at least drag myself to the office. From there, I spiraled down. My mood is terrible. I feel acutely depressed and I’m stuck in a very negative space. I can’t seem to get my thoughts to procure a happy feeling; everything I feel is either twinged with anxiety, or just low. But what am I depressed about? Who knows. I’m not able to listen to music, bad memories flood into my brain and overwhelm me. I feel like I could cry at any moment, the tears just want to come pouring out of me. I feel crushed under the weight of sadness, it is unrelenting and unforgiving.

Some days this happens to me. Fortunately my work is not totally dependent on my being there, so missing a few hours is not going to cause devastation or have any consequences. I even had the suck time to use, so I did. This counts as being ill in my book. Unfortunately, I am also subsequently unable to distract myself adequately. I have tried gaming, but I feel bad to the point of not being able to immerse myself in it. I came out here to write, because I feel like that is probably the best way to express what I’m going through right now. I have no one to turn to but myself for a while.

Eventually, I’m sure I will feel better. But these chemical imbalances take time to correct themselves.


Dont we all have to make a choice, at some point, about how we are going to walk through this life? It’s not a thing that is decided in a day, but a culmination of lots of steps in a general direction. The way we choose how also demonstrates a pattern of behavior, which can help guide us to change. 

I would say that I have not managed to be anything close to consistent in my choice of road. Frankly, the only pattern I have demonstrated so far has been one of failure. Being so unstable for so long makes it hard to  head in any one direction and just go. I envy the way some people just know exactly what they want to be and go for it. But, in my own way, I have taken many perilous paths and learned a great deal by walking them. If I had not done so, I may not have grown into the experienced person I am. I didn’t plan on it, but I went astray nonetheless. Sometimes, you have to find the one good thing that came of disaster, even if that thing is simply not to go that way again. 

At the same time that I envy the determination of others, I pity them too. I am a complex person because of my failures; I have been to the dark place and I know what it is like. I can sympathize with others in a way that is enriched by my own comprehension of suffering. Some may not get the chance to embrace failure, or they may be shielded from it. To me, that is like biting the apple, but not tasting anything but the sweetness of it. Without the bitterness, the apple is not really whole, it is a poor facsimile. 

Roads are meant to be taken, not avoided. In my life, I’ve tried all kinds of things, and I can’t say that I enjoyed all of it. We need to understand pain; we are incomplete without knowing the spectrum of experience. Failure is not a disparaging mark, but an opportunity to try a new road, and see where it takes you.  

Be mindful of your journey, and remember that as long as you can put one foot in front of the other, your destiny is yours to decide. 


Score: +3

I’ve had some lazy days before, but TODAY was a level of slouchatude that I have rarely embraced in all my life. Both Amanda and I worked pretty much all day yesterday doing chores. We celebrated by driving up to the top of Mt. Helix in La Mesa to watch the sunset above the city. It was hazy, and surprisingly crowded up there, but we had a good time. We drank coffee and stayed up way too late watching movies.

Today, on the other hand…

The only thing we managed to do was get to Target and buy some things for the boy, since we have him next week starting Monday evening. Other than that, I watched the Padres lose today to the Cardinals, and I tried to nap but just laid in bed with my eyes closed wishing I could. I think maybe this is a communal decision to just let everything go today and try to recharge the energy battery with a very busy week coming up. I know I will be ready to go tomorrow.

I haven’t been able to focus on anything for any decent amount of time. ADD hitting me today. Fuck, it’s taken me 30 minutes just to write these two paragraphs. I need to just sit back and let go. I’m stressing about not doing anything.


Score: +3

It has been a fairly non-stop week. I thought for sure that we would get a day where there weren’t a ton of calls coming in, but it never happened. We were slammed from beginning to end. They also just started pushing us to make sales on out calls, which I am not happy about. I do the best I can, and really without even trying, I’m the 6th place earner in a pool of 20. Imagine what I could do if I applied myself to it? But truly I hate sales. I think petitioning people to buy things is rude. If they want something I have, they will ask me for it. Right? They will be calling people out for not doing it. Boo.

Anyway, the week is finally over. Yipee! I’m pretty tired, but my overall energy level is still surprisingly good. I do not feel incapacitated by fatigue like I usually do by the end of a long stretch of work. Here we are at the finish line and I could still do another lap if I had to. Next week will be exactly that, a 6 day work week.

In my brain, things seem to be doing good. I have started taking the increased dose of Buspar and I shouldn’t be feeling any relief just yet, but soon. I’m not struggling with anxiety today, but that is in large part because it is Friday and I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, and I don’t have any major obligations to fulfill. Amanda and I are just glad to be here, staring at two days of relaxation. I have to do some chores, but these things don’t take a lot of time or effort. I am going to see my friend Angi on Sunday because she is in town from Italy. She grew up with me and we went to the same high school, but she moved to Ireland then Italy, so I don’t get to see her very often.

It’s going to be a lazy night, though I did do one chore before calling it quits for today. I’m going to make an early morning coffee run tomorrow, as there is little hope for my survival if I do not. Yes, very addicted to coffee. But then again, it is so tasty. Have a great night.

Early Bedtime

I feel like such an old potato. Here I am with blue sky still visible and I’m in my bed trying to go to sleep. Today’s energy is utterly gone. Battery at 0%. I tried to entertain myself with preseason football but it was boring. Then I tried to game on my computer, and after I had done my garrison maintenance in WoW, I was  through. It’s coming up on the last day of a particularly intense week, and my brain is mushafied. 

The same is true of Amanda. We’ve barely talked. I guess we’re just too out of it. We did a good amount of discussion last night, so it’s not like there is a pattern of disconnect. She is putting in her first 40 hours in over 2 months. I can’t imagine how exhausted she must be. 

I think I’m just out of gas. I’m sitting here thinking some negative thoughts. I feel isolated. I have alienated people who were at one time close to me. My parents are halfway across the country. My best friend (other than Amanda) lives 1,200 miles away. I don’t have anyone at work I can talk to, but maybe that is a good thing. They’re pretty stupid. But anyway, I’m trying to get away from this feeling by going to sleep. Hopefully this doesn’t fuck up my schedule. 


Score: +3.5

I have been, and will continue to be, honest about my scores on these daily posts. What do I gain by misleading myself or others? I’ve had a very stable week, with every day but Monday  (a 4) registering a 3.5. But what does it mean? Well, the score could swing between +10 (mania) or -10 (suicidal depression) and I have cone to consider scores in the +2 to +4 range to be healthy. Zero is the middle, but that score implies balance but not energy. I like to be charismatic and enthusiastic, and s zero is not that. So my scores should have a normal range above zero but no higher than 4. Above 4 and there is a potentially dangerous amount of energy being burned. I have had some days down at -3, and a few at +4.5… but outliers do not represent a pattern. As soon as a pattern forms, action must be taken. I hope that helps you understand why I do this every day, and for the last 193 consecutive. It helps me make sense of my illness.

Today my doctor raised my Buspar to 20 mg daily, which I think is great. The medication has already done some good in helping me suppress anxiety symptoms, but there was definite room for improvement. Things should be looking even more stable than they have been.

It’s nearing the end of a long week. I feel pretty tired. I’m a little short on words tonight.


For me, the hardest part about being consistently mentally healthy has been knowing what to do with my huge feelings. I used to get overwhelmed and triggered into acting on them, which almost never had a positive result. I made the mistake of basing lots of decisions on very impulsive emotions in my previous relationships. I think this tendency was a huge part of why Jax and I divorced, and Jennifer too. Both those women were also not in control of themselves, so the combination proved explosive. Time and time again we would have such rapidly deteriorating arguments. Trauma was inevitable. 

I know I made too many of those incendiary feelings become action, and I regret that. It is a lesson I have learned, and one that I have fully embraced. I will admit that a large part of my stability in this area is because Amanda is a rock, and she takes no pleasure from fighting. She and I have had a few passionate discussions, but not one fight in the 8 months that we have been together. The other part of the equation is me, and my ability to recognize a volatile thought as it is occurring, examine it, and move it somewhere other than the place where I would be inclined to act on it. I have found the relief from the pain caused by this to be indescribable. But how?

Introspection. I have become a keen observer of my mental state, and I take an unprecedented level of responsibility for all my thoughts. My mind has become more ordered than ever before. Whims do not control me. I do not act on impulses. I ponder, ruminate and process slowly. What’s the rush? Is the house on fire? Your mind might be trying to slip one past you with a bad decision wrapped up in panic. This process can be stopped by applying the mental brakes on rapidly accelerating thoughts. I ask myself: where is this feeling coming from? What significance does it have? Why does it want me to feel this way?Questions along that line tend to stop the feeling dead in its path to action, as the mind evaluates the merits of it. The system isn’t perfect, but the practice is the valuable skill. The more evaluative your process becomes, the more control you will be able to exercise over outcomes. 

I just finished yet another wonderful chat with Amanda in which we discussed my desires to organize my life. I do this to a degree that is abrasive to her because she is VERY laid back and relaxed by comparison. I told her that I had been (back in early adolescence) a much less regimented person, but ever since I became mentally ill, I could not afford to be that way anymore. A lackadaisical mentality had allowed bipolar depression to completely destroy my life on more than one occasion. Since the last time, I have stepped up my game to a new level, and have been rewarded with unprecedented stability. I reassured her that just because things deviate from “the plan,” does not imply a crisis has begun. I just have to exercise “constant vigilance” over my mental playground. Once we had talked she said that she understood better why I am the way I am, and I told her that I would make an effort to loosen up my scheduled existence as it pertains to trivial issues (which is where the friction was occurring). 

So blog, I hope you can see the value of slowing down impulses and exacting some control over your thoughts. We mentally ill can not generally afford to just let things happen as they will. Disarray is the venue for depression. We must try and prevent chaos from taking control of the fragile balance that exists within our minds; a tranquility must be established in order to prevent things from falling to pieces. 


Score: +3.5

Today was tough. A big problem exploded at work that I was directly involved in. I was then thrown under the bus and lies were said about what I had done with several high ups on the email. 

I guess I could have retaliated, or gotten all pissed off. But instead I consulted my boss who went to bat for me and protected me from the fallout. I don’t want to get into the details, but it was s big deal. It poisoned me with stress. I tried not to take it personally, and in the end, I was cleared of wrongdoing. I was even credited with discovering a clerical error that prevented hundreds of invoices from being paid. That will be corrected now, and my company is about to collect thousands in past-due balance. 
Other than that, I kept my head down and did my job. I processed a ton of help tickets and took my usual 20+ calls. It was a busy day. 

I treated myself to an unhealthy dinner. I needed a yummy. I don’t feel anxious, but I have this hanging sense of impending doom. I’m looking forward to just relaxing tonight. 


I have had some difficulty with anxiety symptoms tonight. I’m not really thinking about anything that is triggering it, but I feel the physical aspects of it. 

My doctor was too paranoid about me becoming manic because of the Buspar, so she prescribed me less than a full introductory dose. I think this is silly, and coming from un-informed perspective. She should be concerned about the depression, which is the real enemy, not the mania. My downward slides being triggered by severe anxiety. But she didn’t know that. And she also didn’t know I was on 30 mg earlier last year. So I am now going to take the starter dude at 15 mg, up from 10. This is not dramatic change. Not at all. I don’t really feel anything yet, but it will take a few more days to know for sure. I’m not in a crisis or anything, but it needs to be reconsidered. 

Other than that I feel fine. Amanda and I are just sitting around. The evening is drawing to a close. I’m hoping for a good sleep. I had a bit of insomnia last night, woke up very tired this morning. 


Have you ever taken medication that causes your ear canals to “pop” like there is a sudden pulse of pressure in there? I had this symptom when the SSNRI medication stopped working, but I’m not taking one of those right now. That leaves me wondering what it could be. Maybe it’s a combination of the increased Lithium and Buspar? It’s not annoying or anything, it’s just something I notice. I wonder if it is anxiety related, because I often feel it when my symptoms are happening. My heart rate goes up and my chest tightens up. Sometimes I have these symptoms with no mental instigation. In other words: I don’t have to be thinking anxiety-invoking thoughts to have panic attacks. Can anyone relate to this? I have several coping strategies to use… but I’m wondering if my struggle is unique. 

Wardrobe Malfunction 

Score: +3.5

I think the god of clothing has decided I am the enemy. Yesterday my left dress shoe separated from the sole right as I was leaving to go home. Nearly fell on my face in the parking lot. I ordered some new ones and thought nothing of it. However, today my slacks gave up the ghost while I was at work. First I went to zip up after going to the bathroom and my zipper was broken. It had become disconnected from the other side. So I walked very gingerly back to my desk and on the way the tiny hole on the left pant leg snagged on a cubicle and completely split the side of my slacks. Tragedy. 

So I had a few hours of sick leave in reserve for an emergency such as this, and I departed with dignity somewhat intact. I did stay for long enough to complete the projects I had been in the middle of, but I had to go. 

I’m not sure if I’m cursed or whatever. I don’t feel cursed. Are you able to tell if you have angered the gods? 

Other than that, it was a good day. Busy. I had a lot if tickets to resolve, and that kept me going for a while. No issues to speak of. I’m doing well by just keeping to myself. 

Mission Statement

What is the point if all this writing I do here? Is it to garner unprecedented fame and fortune? Is it to spread the gospel of my worldview to others? I feel preposterously humble in recognizing my true motivations. You see, I believe that thoughts that go from being trapped in my head to existing on the “page” actually get processed better than leaving them in my brain. I started this blog many years ago (as early as 2010, but I got suicidal and when I came out of my second hospitalization I deleted it. Then in October 2012 I bought the domain again, and reinstated it as a coping mechanism, as a vessel to trap expressed thoughts, and a sanctuary  from all the noise if the world. I made a commitment to myself to try and be as real and grounded as possible, because I was going to get nowhere in the healing/coping with my mental illness if I couldn’t do AT LEAST that much. So Neurochemically Challenged was only ever intended to be a place of logical understanding, but it has become much more than that now. 

A lot of people have come by here to say “hi” and offer little bits of wisdom, or comment on some ridiculous thing I said. This part of the blog was unexpected, because I never saw my introspective processes as interesting. I think there’s attraction is that I don’t come out here to tell you all how I want it to be. I just tell you how it actually is. The world is unforgiving, random, severe, stern and sometimes joyous. I am in a constant struggle trying to stay afloat amidst the chaos. My turmoil is real. My tribulations and failures are a part of this adventure. I’ve learned that my mistakes don’t hold me back, but instead, direct the course of my ever-changing future. I am truly a “fool” if I cannot garner something of worth from the deepest of devistations and move on.  To be mired in the past is a place I have been in before, but do not want to be in again. 

Don’t we all have to face our demons eventually? What better a way to expose the darkness to the light than by making a public spectacle out of coping? I think that this is why this blog has been such a personal success for me. I have learned so much here, and gone through such unimaginable pain. It’s all here, the last post I wrote before I attempted suicide and the first one I wrote when I got out of the hospital. The journey is agonizing, but it is truly mine and it has helped shape me into the drive and ambitious person I am today. I can thank honesty, and logic, for helping me process and understand all the crazy shit that happens to the severely mentally ill. 

Readers: you have been the most special part of this journey, all 650+ of you through the years. From the bottom of my cold, shriveled-rasin heart, I thank you. It has been an honor to have your attention, and to have gained such insights and hope from your words. I have met some amazing people through this blog; I even married one of my followers (though, that didn’t turn out so good). Seriously though, I am grateful. 

This place will continue to be the front-lines of my open cognitive process. I try to come here, every day, and share a little of what goes on in my head and in my reality. I am glad you are here too. Peace be with you. 


Score: +3.5

Ah, back to the real world we go. Amanda went to work for the first time in a couple months, and she held on tight. Monday was not as busy as I had anticipated it being, which I was glad for. We both did great today. We survived, and celebrated with a sushi feast. Hooray!

I think we are both embarking on a new pattern of success. All we need to be concerned about is getting through each day. One step at a time. There is no need to look ahead and get anxious. We are both on Buspar now. I’m feeling fewer symptoms for sure, and so is she. 

I had a Jax dream last night. It was silly, because she was in my dream trying to start a fight. But I wasn’t having it. Amanda was there looking for a teenage mutant ninja turtle costume. Weird. It’s the first time I gave dreampt about her and it was more an amusing thing than a bad thing. 

This brings me to think about the source of these perplexing visions. I have been checking on Jax’s blog because I was curious about her motives for deleting my comment and then going on a rant about how she can’t convince anyone to change their view of the world to be more like hers. She also took time to insult me, of course. I can’t help but feel a great upwelling of pity for her. She has no one. I must be one of the rare few who actually reads her posts. No one likes her writing or comments, even though she must use at least 20 or more tags. She’s really trying. But I think people can see that she’s not writing from a genuine place. She tries to spin her reality to be what she wants it to be, not what it actually is. People don’t want to read that. Blogs should be about what is real. They are full of unprocessed emotion, conflict, regret. Sometimes there is great joy, but life is never just one way. I know Jax is still holding on to her anger, and I think that’s why she was in my dream trying to argue with me. But I was much more interested in watching Amanda find her costume. 

Well, I’m managing my energy levels because the week ha only begun. I’m off to a good start. I kept to myself today at work even though I found some stupid fucking mistakes that resulted in pissed off customers. I swallowed my outrage, fixed the problem, and moved on. I felt better in the end. I got to keep busy and just cancel everyone out. It was actually kinda nice. 
Have a great night blog. 


Score: +3.5

Today was the final, grueling day of the heat wave. Temperatures should drop by 5 – 10 degrees tomorrow, so hoo-fucking-ray! It’s 8:00 pm and still 91 inside my apartment… my patience for this weather has officially run out. 

Tristan had a good time with us but by the end of the 10 days he was getting irritable. He gets bored easily and then acts out, and he doesn’t listen when we ask him not to do things he shouldn’t be doing. We still have some time to invest in getting his brain oriented correctly. But he’s a good kid, enthusiastic. 

I’m sunburned and tired. Amanda and I had sex for the first time in over two months tonight. I guess her depression is indeed lifting; it wasn’t a consideration while entrenched in sorrow. Little steps forward. Goodnight. 

At Last

Score: +3.5

It’s the end of the week, and I am glad. Today I was very tired, right from the get go. I pounded the Peets to the measure of six cups, and it managed to clear the cobwebs out of my head but not much more. I was yawning and feeling like I got about 2 hours of sleep when I had actually slept for 8. I guess this is my punishment for being so inconsistent and missing work. I was used to a schedule of working two or three days and then getting a break. Not so this week. 40 hours. 

I had energy enough to have a great session with Margaret, but it seemed to take the wind out of my sails. I really want to be able to stay up and play tonight, but I doubt that will happen. With or without coffee. 

Work was better today because I just kept to myself. I saw bad things happening, but I didn’t say anything about it. Not my problem anymore. I just need to do my job, that is all. 

Overall, I’m doing really good. We are going to the beach tomorrow and that’s good because it’s going to be very hot tomorrow. With an emphasis on very. 

Have a happy Friday. 


Score: +2.5

I have to make a profound perspective adjustment at work. I have become a perfectionist pariah and people regularly feel a need to berate or insult me for attempting to do my job correctly. It has come to the point where engaging with anyone but my omnidirectional supervisors seems pointless, and tends to cause more resentment than anything else. So after some thought, and with the input of others, I am abandoning my ongoing concern for the integrity of the workplace. I have officially detached from the concern tree and am drifting towards the ground of indifference. I have to just not care anymore. 

But this makes for a lonely me. I mean, it’s almost a petty desire to have friends at work. In reality, these people are not the kind of people I would befriend. They care about shoes, perverted jokes, and eating fast food every day for lunch. I don’t have much to say to any of them, so I think I just have to get over my loneliness. It’s futile. 

The rest of my life is moving along nicely. I’m really tired though. I had such a hard time getting up this morning. But tomorrow is Friday after all. 


Score: +4

A rock-solid day today. I was blissfully unaware of how much time had gone by during my shift and I had a consistent amount of work to do throughout the day. I was in an improving state today, and I can difinitively say that my energy level went up from yesterday (which is a fantastic sign). 

I’m here at my doctor’s office waiting for my therapy appointment. I have had some moments of weakness over the last month, but I have managed to recover my sanity and press on. Sadly, my next paycheck will be 1/4 smaller because of all the time I missed, but I do believe I have remedied that. I put in 3 of 5 days so far and I’m going strong. 

I keep frustrating myself trying to interact with people at work. I think it is generally understood that I am hated and no one wants anything to do with me (a consequence of my exacting standards). I mean, there are some people who are nice, but I see who they’d rather talk to. Now, I must get over this hurdle of wanting to interact with people at work. It’s an all-access granted featernity of stupidity and childishness. Everyone just wants to stand around and joke about each other all day, which is truly mindless. Do I REALLY want any part of that? I used to preoccupy myself with Wikipedia or other Google science articles, but too many people were abusing the internet while on the phone with a customer so it was taken away. People still do it, but if I was given direction not to do something, I listen. Yet they still get on their phones too even though write-ups were threatened. I guess they just don’t think that anything will really happen, so they don’t take management very seriously. I really hope the big-wigs who are visiting this week take note of how awful we are and get some shit done. 

Amanda finished her dual diagnosis treatment program today, and she goes back to work on Monday. She doesn’t much like that thought. She considered prolonging her absence for another week but that would probably do more harm than good for her already tenuous standing at work. But she should get a little downtime to herself this week, which should help ease her back into working mode. 

Well blog, I’m balanced and happy. This whole ex wife thing gave me a good chuckle. How silly it all is. Truly. 


Score: +3.5

I have been trying to write all evening and I keep deleting my posts because they were just so badly written. I guess I have a lot of scattered thoughts and I’m feeling self-conscious because they aren’t super awesome and fun. But I must remind myself that the point of this blog is not to have something spectacular and revolutionary to share. My blog started as an english language coping mechanism and has been a place where it was always safe to express my thought processes (regardless of content). 

Because this blog was the source of and lasted through the end of my last marriage, it is also a testament to progress. When I look back on those 2013-2014 posts, I really empathize with myself. I was often scrambling for reason whilst mired in symptoms. I got myself in a relationship when I had not established good mental health for any stretch of time. It was the wrong time to fall in love, but it happened. 

Part of my desire to climb past the ruins of my previous life comes from a place of solemn acceptance. I look at my actions, and I ask myself: “what could I have done differently?” Finding that truth within myself is the essence of my introspective process. 

I was wrong to commit to Jax when I couldn’t even commit to myself. Deep in my soul, I was dark and I hated who I was. I did not desire to improve; my life had become a disappointment because I was relying on things other than myself to help me feel good. Jax couldn’t help me if I wasn’t willing to help myself. But I had no incentive to change, I came to realize that I had trapped myself in a life I didn’t want. Jax was not who I thought she was going to be. My job was not what I signed up for. My depression ate away at me, every day. Soon, I was nothing. I had refused to witness my own demise. 

Even though my past is traumatic, the only way to learn and move beyond the pain is to expose it to the light of understanding. I didn’t stuff anything away and pretend it never happened. I didn’t come out here to my blog and attempt to convince everyone that I had been victimized without inheriting my share of the responsibility. I was hurt, and I processed my anger out in the open like I do with everything on this blog. Importantly, I started to grow from the moment of absolution. I gathered my wits, and went about re-invisioning my life. I was not going to stay rooted in my past, I was determined to try again. 

My blog has been exposed to all of this madness. I regret some of it, but never once did I redact or delete anything anyone else had to say about what I wrote. Your voice has just as much right to be heard as mine, and everyone is allowed to disagree. I encourage discention because it forces me to reconsider. Extra viewpoints are not what this blog was intended for, but are welcome regardless of content. Though I will delete your comments if you are just an adbot and all you want to do is tell me about Viagra. 

I am glad I have this place. Reading Jax’s blog the last few days really helped me to appreciate why I write. This is a healing process. It is stark, absurd, deranged and unique. What else would you expect a mentally ill persons blog to be about? I know in my heart that I did my best to improve as a person because of what happened between Jax and I. I have made huge strides since then. I know now how it feels to be proud of myself for all of the new things I have accomplished . I feel like a strong and confidant lunatic holding his head high and wearing a goofy grin. I tried to wish Jax farewell and to hope that she could get past the things that continue to hold her back, but she didn’t want to see it or have it seen by anyone else. That says a lot about what she uses her blog for. Definitely not a place where any learning is happening. 

Tomorrow is another day, and who knows what surprises are in store?

Firmly Planted in Regret

Score: +3.5

It was a Monday, and I had a good day today. There was plenty of opportunity to flounder like I had the past several weeks, but instead, I rose to the challenge and did not balk in the face of decision. I stayed for my entire shift, and I intend to do the same for the remainder of the week. I MUST enter a pattern of consistency… too long have I been imbalanced and unsteady. Now, with the recent medication adjustments, I feel great. I am back to 100%.

At work, I moved my seat away from the idiots that infuriate me, and now I have my own little cubicle to rule as my domain! I don’t share my desk with anyone and I am SO thankful for the change. My bosses realized I was being harassed and annoyed where I was, and let me go to my own little sanctuary so I can work effectively. That’s precisely what I did all day: I hammered out dozens of help tickets that had been accumulating over the weekend (because no one but me [basically] looks at them). I am shielded from the stupidity and I am very happy with that.

So I’m doing good. I will admit (that with Amanda’s encouragement) that I left a rather solemn and (in retrospect) regretful comment on my ex’s blog. I went back there to see what she had been up to, and I found her very much in the same condition she was in when we were together. She’s still holding on to a great deal of negative energy about me. She referred to our relationship as “horrendous,” which I find odd, and contradictory to the reality of it. But then again, I’ve managed to make sense of the things I did, and I own them… but no where in her writings does she ever seem to process the things she did, the mistakes she made, the issues that she still struggles with. She’s angry at me and her most recent boyfriend for some reasons that I know, for my part, aren’t accurate. In short, I think she’s created a reality for herself that rids her of the need to be responsible for her actions or work on changing her destructive behaviors. If she is the victim of misogynistic men and unfavorable circumstances then she doesn’t have to alter her pattern. It’s much easier than living in the real world, where we have to take responsibility for the things we do, and how they impact others. We live outside of our own delusions in a wold that is full of considerations. I, personally, don’t gain any satisfaction from misconstruing the truth of what happened in my life. Lies don’t solve my problems. They might serve to cover them up and keep me from the hard truth… but what good is that? I can’t grow if I’m in denial. So I see her in this really unfortunate place, and I told her as much. So she deleted my comment. I guess I should have seen that one coming.

Well blog, I’m off to bed. I think that tomorrow will be another great day. Though even if it is not, I can certainly still make it one. Right?

Making Choices

Aren’t we all just trying to figure out our lives as best we can? I mean, I’ve fucked up in my past, but I don’t live there. Amanda and I just had a great talk about this very thing, as she is having a hard time letting go of concern for her ex husband. Personally, I related the story of my own struggle in letting go of my past. I think it would be best to approach things without the confusion of volatile emotions. When I look back on my last marriage, I see it for what it was. We were foolish and acting impulsively. There were a lot of things I didn’t know about her, and many more that I never even tried to find out about or understand. We never really got to know each other very well before committing. I can’t say that I sympathized with her very well, and she never showed much interest in me. Was any one person at fault? Life doesn’t work that way. There is no perpetrator and there is no victim. Everyone in a complex relationship must realize that they each take on those roles at different times, for different reasons. 

I have had a long time to really think over that difficult time in my life. I don’t have any animosity for Jax anymore. I don’t blame her for mistakes she made. Who am I to judge? I made just as many mistakes as she did. I told Amanda that I have truly let her go in my mind. I’m not expecting to ever talk to her again, or think about her at all. There is nothing left there. We are never going to be friends. Amanda still hangs on to the thought that she will still be friends with her ex, and she wants him to care about her. But he doesn’t. That tie is severed, forever. Amanda has to let go of her ex, like I have with mine. I can honestly say that I have no concern for Jax, wherever she is in the world now. I mean, I don’t wish he ill; I just don’t care anymore, one way or the other. Amanda must, eventually, do the same, or she will continue to suffer from an unrequited concern. It’s kinda like forgiveness, but it is internal and unacknowedged. She won’t get any response from her ex, and neither will I. But that’s not why we forgive. I forgave because I don’t want to hold on to my feelings anymore. They just hurt me. So I let them go. And I hope Jax has done the same, so her life can move forward. As mine has. 

Amanda will need a lot of time to detach from her 14 year marriage, and all of the things that happened during it. She has much more weight to unload than I did. But we must move forward and let go of the past. There is no going back. She really does want to move on, but there is a lot of work to do. She has to take a step every day, and go that for many consecutive days. It’s a long road out of the hole, but there is a way out. 

I am going to be right there with her. Every step, we take together. 

Beach Day

Score: +4

We all went down to the beach today and had some fun. The swell was pretty small, but I got in on a couple of good waves. Mostly we walked around in the shallows and picked up empty clam shells for Tristan. He liked finding them when they were still two shells stuck together. 

I have been feeling good today. I’m a little anxious about going back to work, but that’s pretty normal for a Sunday. I get that anxiety that comes from anticipation and the stress involved. My job is very intense. I asked to have my seat moved away from the really awful people I currently sit near. I hope it goes through and I can get some relief from the idiocy. 

The 2015 NFL season is coming up and that’s good. I lost the fantasy football championship last year by 1.4 points. I have basically detached myself from concern this year. I don’t think I will win, and I guess I don’t care anymore. I’m 0-3 in championship games. I had my chance, and I couldn’t do it. So this year will be for fun. Whatever happens is fine, because I have no expectations.  I think that’s healthier than obsessing over it like I had been. 

Amanda slept in the bed with me most of last night, which was great. She has been out on the couch for more than a month. We have been having really good talks lately, deep conversations where we look at critical emotional issues. It goes both ways. I sometimes need her help sorting through my feelings and fears. She has helped me understand my dreams and their imagery. Things are very open between us. 

I’m ok. Feeling a little anxious, but that’s to be expected. Have a nice night blog. 


Score: +3

I have had progressively fewer anxiety symptoms over the last few days. I think the Buspar is having some sort of effect, but the free-roaming paranoid thoughts are still there. But I have some measure of control over this, and I rationalize those uprisings with patience. It’s the reacting rapidly that causes the most problems, and not just for me but for anyone who struggles with anxiety. I try not to let those dangerous thoughts gain much traction in my mind; instead, I see them for what they are and downgrade the emotional chaos that comes with them. Abandonment, fear, doubt… these are all fuel for those thoughts. I have come to a better understanding, and the symptoms being less severe has contributed to my clarity.

But will it last? Who really knows. My meds are going to change in the near future, hopefully to address the slight imbalances I experience in my neurochemistry. But this is a gradual process. I have enjoyed unprecedented stability for the last year or more on my current cocktail. I have tried all sorts of medications over the last 12 years, and I think that anyone suffering from mental illness should be thinking similarly. Why? Because we’re all fools if we think that psychiatric meds are anything but a educated estimate as to their effectiveness on an individual. Even with the advancements in the science of understanding mental illness, we don’t know exactly how it works in the brain, and it is certainly not ALL neurochemistry. Not at all, in fact, and that has been definitive shown to be the case. It is a slice of the pie. But an important slice, because it has trickle-down effects on the overall state. And since everyone has a slightly different set of symptoms, we all respond to the medications differently. Diagnosis shmiagnosis. What the meds are SUPPOSED to be used for may be irrelevant if taking them has some benefit for you beyond the FDA approved usages. I take an anti-psychotic intended to be used for people with schizophrenia, yet that medication balances my mood and keeps me from having psychotic breaks (I know that’s not a great example, because lots of Bipolar people take anti-psychotics). I have taken many such meds, some work, some don’t. That’s the game we all must play; we settle on one dose for a while, but then things change and we move on to the next option. I’ve never known anyone with mental illness who was diagnosed, prescribed meds and never took anything else because it worked perfectly for them on the first try. The brilliant science of guessing.

In large part, things are good. I cherish these times when my mind is clear and my emotions are in balance. I am scared though, because I have had times like this before and they have come unwound into the threads of life, shapeless, hopeless, gone. But I must say that in THIS run, I have been stable for a longer period of time than ever before without provoking a change in my medications or dramatically altering things along the way. it’s pretty much been the same stuff for a while now, and we are only adding little bits to it to round out the whole picture. Adding is not re-composing the whole thing. So this is good.

I hope you are all having a good night.



Score: +3.5

The week is over, and it was a struggle for me. I missed some time at work but did well when I was there. I am trying to get my seat moved away from the really ridiculous nincompoops that I sit adjacent to, because their toxic fumes make my brain angry. I really wish the summer was over so we could fire some of these losers, because that’s what they are. They don’t do the job correctly, they push responsibilities off onto other people so they have to do less work, and they’re perpetually unprofessional. How would you like hearing someone from customer service eating food while you were on the phone with them? It’s disgusting, and those mics do indeed hear you chewing. Ugh. So I have a chance to sit a little farther away from them and I think I’m going to take it. I just can’t be exposed to the radiation any longer.

But work is work and I’m leaving it there. My weekend is already looking full. We have the boy 3 days early because Amanda’s ex husband and his wife are having their anniversary and they want to be alone, so we’re covering. Which is fine, because when Amanda was sick and couldn’t care for him or herself, he watched the boy for a few days until she stabilized. We’re supposed to be a team, even if Jesse has no respect for either of us. I think he looks down on us because we are mentally ill, but he’s no golden god either. He cheated on Amanda twice and blamed her for it each time. So he’s not a great guy, and his opinion really doesn’t mean much. Amanda is still VERY hung up on needing his approval though, and that’s not so great (because he doesn’t care about her anymore).

Meanwhile, I have been ok. I think the Busbar might be having some small effect. I feel less flattened under my anxiety than I have for the last few days. I don’t know if that is just a coincidence of me coping better or the meds working. But that tight-chest feeling and the constant muscle agitation has subsided. I guess that’s exactly what the Busbar is supposed to do, but I don’t think it’s fully kicked in.

Amanda and I seem to be talking more lately, and we are starting to get closer. I feel like our illnesses and symptoms put a block between us, but ever since things started improving, we have been seeing each other better. I know that it’s going to take a lot of time before we are close again, but I am totally willing to wait. Patience is a virtue, and necessary when trying to survive mental illness. Nothing about mood disorders happens fast (except mania/suicide), and we must take our steps every day and do so for a long period of time. It’s the only way to not exhaust oneself on the way out of the hole.


I am going to be fine. I need to put in a full week after this weekend and represent myself at work.

Every Step Forward

Score: +3

176 Day Average: +2.92

I was back at work and the time really seemed to fly by. I felt like I worked half as long as I did. I was also very tired this morning, but got myself out of bed anyway. Like I mentioned earlier, my freebie day off allowance has about run out. I have to put my head down and be consistent for a while.

I’ve been taking the Buspar for a couple days and I haven’t noticed much change. At this very moment I am prickly with anxiety feelings. They typically start to take over when I am not absorbed by a distraction (like work). So this evening I ran around and kept busy for as long as possible until I arrived at this point, where I have very little else to do that interests me. I get to this place and the anxiety washes over me like storm surge. I feel accosted by physical symptoms and I spin around in my mind trying to grab on to my thoughts. I don’t much like this state. It represents a lack of control; that I have no power to contain my symptoms with the power of my cognitive mind. I don’t think 10mg of Busbar a day is going to get it done, but I’m willing to give it a week for my body to get acclimated, and then talk to my doctor again.

My world is improving slowly. My home life has been stressful because of the turmoil of my struggle and Amanda’s struggle colliding. I love her very much, but I feel detached from her as she struggles with her symptoms on her terms, and in her own way. She doesn’t often ask for help, because most of what I can do is to process things with her and talk through her anxieties. She has helped me many nights cope with this severe anxiety by doing physical things (electrode-muscle-shocks, valerian root, heated massages) and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to feel like someone has your back. She has mine, and I have hers, and we are struggling, but persevering over our current dilapidated state.

I think we are headed in an upward direction, but with the generally menial increments by which we ascend, it is hard to tell. I feel no more enthusiastic as the days go by; my energy level seems to be holding steady (which is better then before, when it was deteriorating). I guess I can’t complain. Life has not dealt me a killing blow, like losing my truck or losing my job would effectively be. I should be counting my lucky stars that things have not been catastrophically bad, because life has a way of just handing you devastation as though it were a basket of bagels.

I am going to cool myself off in the shower and try to find a way around these symptoms.

Out Of Freebies

Score: +2

I have been having a hard time staying on track lately. I missed work today, using my last floating holiday for this year. I woke up this morning and was just so tired. I couldn’t drive, I was unsafe. So I went back to bed for two more hours. 

Today we had an expected visit from CPS which had been looming for a couple weeks. Tristan got kicked out of a shoddy teenager-run summer camp and he was doing some inappropriate sexual things so they called CPS. Tristan was being bullied at the summer camp because he’s small for his age and he was the youngest there. I’m not sure where he learned the humping, but we had a talk with him about it and he’s been fine in the month since the incident. So CPS came by and talked to us, and they are going to close our case. They see no problem with our parenting ability, the house is clean, there’s plenty of food, there’s no cause for alarm. But Amanda and I have been stressing over this pending visit for days, and it’s over now. Anxiety will just move on to something new, as it always does. 

Today was my first dose of Buspar. Im on 5 mg two times daily, which I doubt will be effective. I was on 15 mg twice daily before my hospitalization. But I don’t think it was effective then because there were so many other bad things happening to me. I have had regular anxiety symptoms which seem to peak in the evening, but I think I need to take it in the morning and then in the afternoon. I should emphasize balance during work. I can’t be getting anxious when I’m trying to do my job. It’s been hard without the weed. I was not having any symptoms like I am now when I was using regularly. I know that’s not a good thing. I spoke with Amanda and there’s no chance I’m going back to regular usage again. Amanda doesn’t want it, and since she has a serious problem with addiction, that habit would only create conflict. So if I do smoke again, it will be as an occasional user only. 

I think once my medications are balanced, I will be able to hold to a productive pattern. But they take time to work. Guess we’ll wait and see. 


Score: +2.5

My day began with the return of the ghost. This formless specter occasionally haunts my dreams, where it usually succeeds in killing me through suffocation. I often try to confront the ghost, but it is unimaginably powerful. It wins every time. In last night’s permutation, it was after my sister, which has not happened before. I woke up before things got out of hand, as the ghost was trying to carry my sister off into a closet. I have been consulting with Amanda about what this all means, but even the dream guide can’t make much sense of it. All I know for sure is that the ghost comes out when depression is near. 

My anxiety has been rather constant, and it’s largely physical symptoms. My muscles are in a state of spasm and agitation, my thoughts are spinning around rapidly, I feel like a weight is pressing down on my chest. And I’ve done my cognitive homework on this one, so I’m not just thinking bad thoughts and allowing anxiety to carry them out of control. I have tried things to reduce anxiety, but they don’t get me out of the hole. So I called my doctor and she called back today and after some discussion we agreed to start me back up on Buspar. I will be taking an introductory dose until she can see me again on the 20th. She’s afraid I will get manic since I’m on a max dose of Welbutrin and the Buspar could push me over. But I told her that the only times I have been manic were when I went through a full unmediated cycle and then once when my first psychiatrist put me on 3 antidepressants at the same time. So it’s not something I think will happen. But if I start to get out of control, I can just stop the Buspar. 

Anyway. I’m ok overall. The anxiety is irritating, but surmountable. Things in life are progressing. Amanda goes back to work in two weeks. I’m really not sure how that is going to go. She has so much hatred for that place. 

I’m going to be ok. Hopefully I sleep soundly, without any dreams. 


I have been struggling with my anxiety lately. Tonight I have been feeling really bad, and I think I will need to take medical action. It’s getting to the point where I am acutely suffering, and maybe an anti anxiety med is needed. 

But that won’t help me tonight. So I did my showers, but that only helped for a short time. I started being critically introspective and analyzing the source of my anxiety-inducing thoughts. I stress about things that haven’t happened yet and have quite outlandish paranoia. I sometimes feel so vastly different from everyone else that very few people really get me. 

So I identified some things I was spinning myself up about and thought about that quietly for a while. I reassured myself that there was no point wasting my energy on thinking about these things. That they were largely out of my control and, therefore, not something I can do anything about. So I breathed deeply, and unpacked those feelings. After a little while, I started to feel calmer. Now that an hour or so has passed since the most acute symptoms were present, I am in a much better place. 

Amanda is worried about me. Tomorrow I’m going to call the doctor and ask for an emergency appointment. I think that the agitation, pressure and high blood pressure are a symptomatic response that can be treated. I can handle the cognitive side of this situation, but it’s not just thinking my way out of trouble. I need some help. 


My anxiety was still very severe so I took some valerian root capsules and Amanda brought out some massage devices. One that uses pads and electric pulses, and one vibrating heated massager. The distraction was quite satasfactory and I had the tension relaxed away from my shoulders. The electric pulse machine forced my muscles to spasm, then relax, which is also a technique for getting out of bad physical anxiety. 

I’m headed for bed, and I feel much better. 

Poor Start

Score: +1.5

Today was not a good day at all, and it really began last night when my sleep was constantly interrupted by my brain for no adequate reason. I must have gotten up, wide awake, at least 6 times and I don’t think I ever had any real REM sleep. So I was drained when my alarm went off at 4:30 am and I got my ass out of bed and hauled it all the way to work. Then I drank two cups of coffee in a vain effort to combat the fatigue. After three hours of work, I was done for the day, and I left. I do this sometimes, where some mental health issue causes me to lose time on the clock. My work is very flexible about these sorts of things, and for that I am grateful. But I didn’t feel good at all coming home. I got right in the shower and soaked there for a while. I get this kind of tired that permeates every thing I do, movement, speech, thoughts… and the real bitch about it is my mind is spinning at 10,000 rpm so sleep is totally out of the question. I don’t know how to explain this very uncomfortable state. It has all the mental symptoms of an anxiety attack, but the rest of me is unfathomably exhausted. I can’t even talk correctly in this state, I slur my speech, I forget things that were told to me 1 second earlier… it’s bad. I certainly don’t deliver a high level of customer service in that state, so I often excuse myself before any damage is done.

I tried to nap just now, and failed. It’s not possible to quite my mind enough to sleep. Right now I can’t get these wretched Taylor Swift songs out of my head, and things are spinning around out of control otherwise. I wish I had some weed so I could relax and feel better, but I know relying on a substance to do the work for me is not good either. It’s a frustrating state.

Well, I’m unhappy about today. I want it to be over so I can try again tomorrow and have a positive result. This pretty much sucks.

To update an earlier item:

After my third cold shower I started to calm down. I sat in the water and just thought about my life. I tried to settle down my spinning anxiety, which was getting to an elevated physical level. My body still feels uncomfortable, but it’s getting better. Amandaand her sister going walking at Lake Murray tonight. But I’m not feeling up to joining them. 

I weighed myself today. Just to put things in perspective, in March of 2014 I weighed 280. Today I weigh 209. I have basically just stopped eating the huge amount of food that I had been eating. I don’t like exercising. My goal is 185. 


Score: +3

We took the boy to Aquatica (a SeaWorld water park) today, which was good overall. He’s only 5 and short for his age so there were really only two places we could go. And he’s afraid of slides. But he had a blast in the wave pool and in the relaxation river. We stayed until he was exhausted and purple in the lips. 

I have had a good weekend. Things are always a little crazier when Tristan is here, but that’s to be expected. 

This has caused a tangential thought process in that I have been pondering a vasectomy. I’m thoroughly convinced I don’t want to accidentally create a new person, and one that is sure to be mentally ill. When I think about the torment this illness has put me through, and the contradictory, self-serving act that making a new child would be, I wonder why I haven’t had the procedure already. I don’t have some need to create my own offspring. The world is insanely overpopulated, and on a collision course with our planet’s carrying capacity. I’m not about to go adding to that problem, and banishing someone I’m supposed to love to a life of misery. Is all life important? In most cases. But is it necessary? Not for me. I have a son. He’s not my blood, but I will be a dad for him. And that’s the part that matters. 

I don’t hold resentment against those who have children even though they are mentally ill. What’s the point? I’d just walk around angry all the time with no possible way to resolve it. I think we are pretty much gambling when we make children anyway. We don’t have perfect genetic sequences, and we leave the choice of traits up to a largely random process. That is our current mode of reproduction, but I doubt it will always be that way. 

I’m alive during a rather futile and frustrating chapter in the development of humanity. We are a divided species, at war with itself like an animal gnawing off limbs to escape a trap. There is no unity, and widespread hatred of that which is different from what we understand personally. We live in a time of delusion and gluttony. The human race is exploding like a brushfire across the face of the Earth, and eventually something will happen that will bring it back into balance. A catastrophe of one form or another will be the event that finally unites us above our petty differences. We need calamity to force us into needing each other to survive. I fear I may never see that happen in my lifetime, and may not even survive the event that triggers the down-scaling of our civilization. 

Well what about gradual change? Couldn’t we work out our differences and unite without a disaster? Not likely. People are only motivated to change their core values when they are overridden by a more important value, and no one will let go of their beliefs until threatened by death. People don’t want to die, and they will change if they think that death is the consequence for standing pat. So we probably need a disaster to bring people together to survive, and enrage as one people, unified for progress. 

Talk about tangent. 

It’s back to work tomorrow. I have no anxiety about this. Sometimes I really don’t want to go back, but I feel good about it tonight. I’m going to go in there and kick butt, and I’m proud of what I do. I want to help, plus, I’m fun to talk to. 
Food for thought. 


Score: +3

Back when I was in college, I thought I wanted to be an english professor. I committed my studies along that road, specializing in the bible as literature (there’s a lot more to be said about that, but in another post perhaps). But I never finished college. I became severely depressed and dropped out before earning my degree. I entered the workforce and haven’t looked back since. 

One thing I have always been passionate about is science. I don’t pretend to be any sort of expert, but I do know a few things in several different fields. This is how I am though. I don’t have the mathematical part figured out, but concepts and vocabulary I am proficient in. 

I just had a good talk with my friend Will and I was discussing with him the upcoming El Niño event that will be changing the climate in my part of the world for the next several months. We wandered from that topic to geology where I also have a dangerously useful amount of knowledge. He gave me a really neat compliment, insisting that I should go into the field professionally because he was having such a good time listening to what I was saying. But like I said, I don’t have the whole package. But the part of me that still wants to be a teacher is always a part of who I am. I have been told many times that I have a way of explaining things that is very welcoming. I can cover advanced topics and have my points easily understood or conceptualized. This has paid dividends at work, where much of my day is spent trying to explain things to people clearly and simply. I have never had a call where I couldn’t get someone through the troubleshooting. I never have people hang up in frustration, and if I can’t get it working right then and there, I will send someone out who can. 
So Will’s compliment was very nice. I really do like explaining things to people in a way that is not overwhelming or patronizing.  Just ask Sassafras (I had some astronomy factoids to share on her recent Pluto post). Don’t even get me started on the solar system. 

I’m having a good night. Tomorrow’s plans are largely dependent on what the boy is feeling up to. Today we did not do much. I got my laundry done and we went shopping. I put a round top roast in the crock pot today and we will probably be eating it tomorrow night. It’s on low and stewing in beef broth, diced veggies and various seasonings. 

My mood has been pretty stable. I have been taking the increased Lithium for more than a week and I’m feeling nominal. But I’m tired. I didn’t sleep well last night. Here’s hoping for a deviation in that pattern.