Otherwise

Score: +3

 Today was an improvement over yesterday to be sure. I got things done and we took the boy to the park. It has been an eventful day off, and just about over now as I write this. Tomorrow I work, and that will likely be pretty dull. I wish I was getting two days off instead of just one. 

I still have those sad thoughts, but I reflect on them briefly before letting them go. I notice, and release. The feelings can’t stay if I don’t feed them my attention, so they move on. Back into the darkness. 

I’m tired. This is the last thing I will do tonight. 

Burninated

Score: +1.5

Big decline today. I have been having thoughts about my exes, flashes from the past that come back at me in stark contrast to reality. It’s not an accurate representation of the past, because it neglects the context and carries on only the peaks of happiness. I’m distinctly aware that my life now is far less turbulent as my life has been for most of it, so the exhilaration of the “ride” is gone. Don’t get me wrong, I would MUCH rather have the stability I have now compared to said ride. I lived from peak emotion to trough, over and over again. It has been that way for more than half of my life. Until just recently, I was unable to do anything but ride the ride and hope it all worked out. I tried various medication cocktails, and different doctors, and it all failed. I tried to kill myself just a couple years ago. So, to have those two years of stability is, frankly, amazing. I feel better and more confident than I ever have before, and I’m proud of what I do and who I am as a person. I have accomplished a lot in that short time. But it’s not the ride. These memories are reminders of what life felt like when things were out of control. I have done good things, and bad things, but it’s the good things that hurt the most from these past relationships. They remind me of the acute presence of love, the way I first understood it, as passionate and present and totally unique depending on who she was. I still remember it all very well, so it’s easy for my mind to recall something quite relevant. It saddens me, because I blame myself for things that happened, things I was responsible for and failed to do. It reminds me of how it all fell apart, and what went wrong and why. Like reliving a box score from the game over and over again, hoping somehow the numbers will change, and your team would win. But it’s already written and done. The past is over, and the part of me that used to feel that love, or lust, or whatever hybrid of those two things is dead, and empty. It’s a hollow place that these emotions bounce around inside echoing on and on into the deepest depths of the emptiness, until they fade and are gone. It’s a place that will never be full again, and I know this to be the truth, and that the emptiness is a burden I must carry as penance for the things I have done to myself to place these tragedies in my history. I will never be rid of the reminders of my past, so I must find an alternative method of coping with them. I cannot establish a trend of being crippled by recollections of things that happened that mean NOTHING to the present. Here and now, none of that has anything to do with what I’m doing. It’s not possible to forget those things, and I guess, I should not want to, because I am still responsible for everything I remember. I must own what I have been through in order to move ahead as a whole person. I know I can get through this, but the way I was feeling today was not good, and I needed to start my weekend a little early, considering I only get 1 day off. So I needed to get all that out there. It has been crushing me down the last few days as I grapple with how not to bludgeon myself over these things.

When Do We Break?

Score: +3

Sometimes I wonder about my energy over the long haul. I’m really pushing myself to go the extra distance in my life, and I seem to be mostly stable. There are underlying hints that there are cracks in the glass: I get sudden rushes of heartbreak and sadness from my past still, most every day. Sometimes it just comes back, but the typical culprit to recollection is music. The right song can have a significant impact, bringing the past into the present in an instant. Other than those emotional upwellings, things are solid. I’ve never felt more secure in my life. Money is a little tight right now, but my next paycheck should remedy that. Just have to survive until Thursday. 

Amanda is finally getting results from her psychiatrist. She’s going off the problematic antipsychotic and up on the helpful mood stabilizer. The carb retention has become overwhelming for her. We don’t have the best diet, but we do pretty good. We’re not eating crap all the time, just every once and a while. I think once she starts losing weight, that she will feel better. Right now her self confidence is low because she resents the way she looks. Personally, I find her attractive regardless of how much she weighs, but my words don’t change how she feels about herself right now. At least she got through to the doctor. 

I guess I’m a little bit scared about what might be coming for me. I have this dread that something bad is going to happen. Is there any evidence to support this fear? No, not really. I just sit here at night sometimes and wonder. I am continuing to push forward for a better life for me and Amanda. She needs my help to get through this tough spot. Together, I do not think we will fail. Instead, I believe we will prove to be a force to be reckoned with. 

Behind Curtains

Score: +3

I was right not to doubt when I posted last night. I had a rock solid day today, got through my shif uninhibited and felt positive by the end. I did have some bad feelings come up, but then they went away. Like an emotional burp. 

I spent time answering phone calls today because the ticketing systems were so up to date. 

I find that I move my hair out of my eyes about 8,000 times a day. Having hair this long is pretty new to me. I’m usually a buzz cut guy, but no more. Now the mission is pony tail. So I’m still getting used to life from behind my partially closed curtains. Good thing I have wide-rimmed glasses, because they consistently deflect my hair’s incursions into my field of view. 

We got our new e-cigs today and mine is unbelievably rad. It hits like a semi and looks like a bazooka. I feel much more secure now with this unit, and it’s up to me to make sure it gets treated properly. 

My life seems to be going good. Things are hard for Amanda and I right now, but we haven’t given up and won’t. I know we can get to a better place. We are in the business of small steps, and to do that every day is all the victory we need. As long as the forward march continues, we are going to be ok. I love Amanda, and I have her back through whatever happens. 

It’s rewarding… being there for someone. It’s a strong and quiet type of reward, because I know in my heart that I’m doing a good thing. I have no ulterior motive or manipulation in store. This is my devotion, pure and simple. I am committed to this woman and I think we can live happily for a long time. I intend to get her smile back, because she deserves it. We all need to feel happy in our lives. It’s what I live for. 

I hope turbulent heartbreak thoughts are not going to be a problem this week. I’m just trying to get in the flow. The week has only just begun. 

Breathe In

Score: +3.5

Productive day off today as we cleaned the apartment top to bottom. It only took a couple of hours, and everything smells nice again. I like doing work to clean up. It’s rewarding and makes me feel responsible for my space. 

I’m sad that I only got one real day off this week, and the same story next weekend when I work Sunday. The next two weeks are going to be a good test for me to see if I can go to work every day and feel good. I really think, as of tonight, that I am certain to go back full steam ahead, and hammer out next week without hesitation or absence. I am confident that I will wake up in the morning and be ready for a full day’s work. I like what I do there, I feel involved and needed. I do work at a high level on greatly important issues both within the company and from our clients. I handle all Einstein’s Bros Bagles and Caribou Coffee for all of North America. I have good relationships with the liaisons for each company, and the project managers they work with for my company. I’m their guy who gets shit done. I also work with corporate Raising Cane’s and handle all their exchange requests and dispatches. That’s just some of it… the list of people I work with goes on, and changes from time to time. Good evidence here for me to feel relevant. 

I did my taxes, and I should be getting $1800 back. Not bad for a low income fella such as I am. There is this stunning Amatrine crystal on eBay I want to get. It’s fucking gorgeous. Deep purple and red with shattered flecks of orange.  It had me from the thumbnail. It’s really expensive though. Really. 

Amanda and I both ordered new E-Cigs from this American vape company. I have been afraid of the possibility of incorrectly charging our lithium-ion batteries with non standard chargers and having the batteries blow up in our hands or near our faces or something. It’s happened a lot, and mostly because no one uses the correct charger for their battery and don’t follow the basic safety procedures. I personally don’t trust the setup we have now, so we went ahead and ordered new ones to be safe. That way, they come from a reputable manufacturer and we get the right equipment for our needs. 

Amanda is hoping, like me, to get off to a good start tomorrow. She missed all of last week, and most of the week before. I know she wants to make herself go back, because she has pride and doesn’t like being out of comission. It would frustrate me too if I was unable to do what I needed to. I have been where she is and it is terrible. Paralyzing. Moving beyond it takes time, and a change of environment. Fortunately, we have started the process of getting s second opinion on Amanda’s meds, and maybe an appointment with a new doctor soon. She needs to have her whole medical situation overhauled. Using antipsychotics to be the primary treatment for major depression is not working out. 

Well blog, I filled today up with stuff. Tomorrow it’s back after it. Here’s hoping I wake up feeling ok. 

Go Go Go!!!

Score: +3

Well ever since the weekend I have been doing much better. I was in a little slump there for a while, but now I seem to have emerged. Up and on to better things. Work has been busy, and it seems to me like the hammer is falling on the majority of the drive thru agents in the call center. They are abusing the system and eventually that will catch up with them. I’m not personally concerned as this as the work I do around there just doesn’t get done unless I do it. My supervisors actually asked people to go into Kana and assign themselves some tickets. I highly doubt anyone will take them up on that offer. 

Amanda is struggling again. She has missed a lot of work and her body is in a bad way. I know she wishes she could be back and healthy, but I don’t know what’s next. It seems like there are just more and more things popping up as we go along. She is a strong person, and I know that we can get through this together. There are better days ahead. 

My week is half over now, with three more days to go. I’m in the flow. 

I was just telling Amanda how her personality has mellowed me, and taught me a great many things about patience. I have a much easier time at work being who I am now as opposed to who I was a year ago. I was s hard ass. Now I’m flying under the radar. I much prefer it this way, as my life has become a lot less stressful. I’ve adapted to my environment, like any evolved creature would. 

I’m very appreciative. My life has become dramatically better since meeting Amanda. I don’t know what the future holds for us. I have good cause to fear since we have run in to so many obstacles provided by the whims of random fate. I’m resolved to just do the best I can for as long as I can. Isn’t that all one could really ask for? 

Next Thing

Score: +3.5

Being busy all day is nice. Time really seems to zoom right along and that appeals to me. My queue was never fully caught up today, which means there will be plenty to do tomorrow. 

Ah Wednesday. It’s not really hump day when you have to work Saturday. 

Amanda and I had a good conversation about the weed today. I was hellbent on quitting, but Amanda thought that was a bad idea. She reflected that I was generally a more happy person when I was using, which I find a valid observation. She also said that I used too much, which I agreed with as well. I let things get out of control over the holidays. With restraint, the weed has more benefits than drawbacks. I am more motivated, less stressed and blissful while on it. For me, it’s not a downer, it’s an upper. Amanda didn’t want me to go through withdrawal, which is a general grumpiness and agitation for several days. I don’t blame her. So we resolved to moderate the intake, and continue using it as prescribed. 

I feel more like I have fallen into rhythm this week. I was 8 minutes late today, as this morning was a real bummer. I had a terrible time going to sleep last night. I was up a couple hours past when I needed to be asleep. Tonight I feel exhausted, so hopefully sleep will find me sooner rather than later. 

Tomorrow is another notch in the belt. 

Average

Score: +3

Back to work Monday. Fortunately, I was in good spirits considering the sum of things that needed to be done. My queue was full all day and there wasn’t enough time to get it all completed. It bothers me leaving stuff undone, but whatever. I had a pretty normal output, no weird mood swings or disturbing thoughts. Average was where I was and I was glad to be there. 

I have decided to not buy any more weed for the foreseeable future. It’s too expensive and hasn’t been very rewarding lately. I seem to escalate my use until it is unmaintainable. I was trying to implement a system, but I failed. I had all this time off and I wanted to be stoned for most of it. But I need to get back to real life for a while. I was starting to feel like I had floated away from the ground, if that makes any sense. So I’m putting the breaks on the show, for now. 

We’re back to no-kid mode. It’s always a strange transition, going from one configuration to the next. The apartment seems dead without his energy. 

Well things are going along nicely, for the start of the week. I woke up easily and got to work early. That’s a good start, and hopefully that trend continues. 

Starting Over

Score: +3.5

It has been a successful recovery period after a big downswing. This weekend has left me feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. I’m glad to be going back to work. I need the return of routine so I can stabilize. I feel like things get bad for me when I deviate from the schedule. 

We had the boy this weekend, and he was pretty good. Amanda and I celebrated our first year together on Friday. We stayed in a hotel and ordered room service. It was nice to get away from home and do something different. The cats were not happy that we stayed away for a night. Their little routine was interrupted as well. We had a good time regardless. 

It has been a good break. I knew things were trending up at the end of last week. Now I feel capable and ready to resume action. I know there’s going to be a lot of stuff to do, but I’m looking forward to it, oddly enough. I want to feel responsible again. 

I think I’m going to have a good week. I just have this itch that tells me things are trending in a good direction. Getting up tomorrow will be hard, as it typically is. Monday is perhaps the hardest of the five mornings. And mine this week will be six as I picked up a Saturday. I’m ready. 

Downward

Score: -1.5

I bailed out today. Just pretended to be sick and fucking left. I tried to get there, but I’m feeling absolutely rotten. I’m down, stomped between boots, crushed. I feel despondent, lost and anxious. I’m afraid of being ridiculed at work. I just couldn’t be there today. I wasn’t ready to get on the phones and take call after call. I have nothing left in the tank. I started on empty. 

I’m in my bed. Just laying here in the quiet. It’s been a disappointing day. I wish I could just let it go so that I could relax, but instead I’m just anxious. 

*****

I gave myself some time to settle down, and that helped. I’m winding down my evening with the people who matter most to me. Everything at work is going to be fine. No one cares what I do, or don’t do to a degree that would be harmful. I’m given plenty of leash. 

I think I will be fine. I know today was a big step back, but I already feel better than I did earlier this morning, and I continue to improve. I just need a chance to sit down and eat a good dinner. The cares and worries of the day are slowly melting away. Tomorrow I will be back for a full shift, and the same for Friday. Gotta hit my stride here and get out of this hole. Three days down is a warning sign. My flags are officially raised. Me, you have been put on notice. 

Motivations

It’s one of those evenings where the thought dust storm rages on across the plain. Things are unsettled. I keep thinking about my past, and all the good or bad times there were. I have such distinctly happy memories, and others that are like mind poison every time I go there. Things that are dead now and nothing will ever come of them again. Moments of trauma, the pain and anguish of those jagged seconds. I wonder how my exes survived, because I barely did. My suffering was severe, and real, and no less vibrant in my head. 

Time is the only remedy, and it winds on and on with seemingly no indication of improvement. They dim slowly, and eventually they are much less, and not nearly as painful. I don’t delude myself into thinking that they will ever be gone, or not hurt at all. They always will. Just like my responsibility to them: I am bound to recall what transpired to get me to that place, and observe how not to end up there again. Don’t I owe myself that? After all the shit I’ve pulled, I should at least learn from my mistakes. 

I’m learning all about patience, and strength. I was never particularly patient or strong, but I know that survival in this world is bound to one’s ability to adapt. Overall, I’d say that I wanted to not only survive but thrive. I had many years to take in what I could, but I really didn’t “get it” until much later. I saw what happened when things were rushed, they just fell apart later. I saw that mania is not strength, and that anything built on madness will fail. I learned to think, and not to act. I exercised patience with my very thoughts, helping give them space to breathe and be understood. From that foundation came strength. 

Even though I’ve done all this work, I still break down like every other mentally ill person. I get in a hole and it becomes difficult to see a way out of it. Here I am waist deep in the mud, looking around for something to grab on to. This is to be expected. 

Tomorrow is a new chance. I look forward to it. 

Not Enough

Score: +2

Well, I made it the whole day, begrudgingly. I was butter on crunchy toast. Spread thin.

I can’t say my energy level has improved much, but some. My attitude was better, marginally. Overall, it was a teeny tiny step forward, or a step mostly to the side. I’m having these emotional responses to random feelings that come up through the day. Feelings of old love, long dead, from relationships that are little more than a memory. I was just talking about how I had been re-framing things, choosing my contexts. I have been remembering good times, which are now distinctly sad. I’m not sure why these thoughts are invading my active mind. Music has been a particularly bad trigger. Five or six songs that came on today genuinely made me feel something, strongly. I felt mourning for what was, snapshots from bygone times. It was like looking through pictures where the two of us were smiling.

I had a good night’s sleep though. I was soundly asleep most of the time and even awake around when I needed to be. in other words, I didn’t have to force myself out of bed like I usually to, I just got up and got ready. Right from there, I knew I was going to have a better day. I just thought it would have been more then it was.

It’s two days of being off, which means that if there is not significant improvement by day three, a trend may be forming. Trends are the enemy. They TREND downward, and rapidly. I am a little concerned, but I have had hiccups like this before. I’ve yet to go onto a third day since I started my new meds. But today was not even a step back, so it’s not even really a trend at all, and certainly not deteriorating, which would be a warning sign. Indicators suggest we are headed up from the Monday low-point and transitioning on to something better. I ate a good meal tonight, and I feel relaxed and ready to meet sleep. On off days, I go to bed earlier, I sleep longer, I give the brain magic a chance to work. Whatever it does, it usually rights the ship.

This toast is toasted.

Flee

Score: +1.5

Energy was in the poop house all day, and mood was not far behind. A sobering blast of cold reality at 4:30 am. I got myself there today, and did the bulk of my work. I left some stuff, but it was all pretty easy. I just wanted to go home. I needed to not be done yet staying in my snugs and lounging about. I played some great games this weekend. It was all over too soon, it seemed. 

Tomorrow I will be back in line. Falling into the routine is hard, and I rarely get it right on the first try. Today I feel disjointed and bewildered. I had a hard time focusing today at work. My mind was not with my body, they were distinctly apart. It’s a strange feeling. But one I do not function well in. So home I went. 

A few days a month are lost like this one was. They are “bad” days where I am limited from normal in some way. It’s not as though I suffer on these days, but I am not all the way myself. I do the best I can until I can’t go on anymore. 

I’m really tired. More so than usual. I think a long sleep will remedy this ailment, as it so often does. Tomorrow is another day. 

Finite

Score: +3.5

It has been another fun weekend. My parents came over for dinner and we all had a good time. We did a great job cleaning the house even though the microwave decided to take a shit. All in all, it was an up-trending series of days from a logistical standpoint. I found that my energy level went up as the days went by, but my thought processes deteriorated as I got closer to the end of break time. Sunday blues. 

I had a good session with Margaret this weekend. I felt especially productive talking with her about how I talked myself through some traumatic memories that came back up at me. The flashbacks actually happened a couple of times, once while I was doing dishes and again just before I fell asleep. Sometimes I just lay in bed trying to clear my thoughts but I can’t, and I stay awake. That’s when those negative thoughts can get at me. In the silence, they wait. This can go on for hours sometimes. Eventually, I get to tired to continue thinking about things. I have tricks to try to get myself to go to sleep: I play orchestral music in my head or try imagining something vivid and narrate actions for myself. It’s the spinning thoughts that keep me awake. 

We have the boy next week. House is in tip top shape for him. Friday is our one year annerversary. We were thinking about staying a night at the Westin downtown and ordering some killer room service. Party night. We have a lot to celebrate, this last year has been pretty fucking good, considering all the trials we went through. We never fought each other and no one gave up when things got hard. We pushed through and got on to the next thing. I’m proud of us. 

Have a good night blog. It’s Monday tomorrow. Sigh. 

Stretchy Time

Score: +2.5

A full 8 hour shift notched. I knew things would be better today compared to yesterday. Sometimes sleep is the best remedy. 

Tomorrow is Friday and we are going to have fun after work. Right now I feel really pooped. It’s only 7 and I’m exhausted. I have a retarded sleep schedule. And it still hurts getting up at 4:30 every day. HURTS. 

My days only seem shorter because I work hard. I’d rather be busy than bored. Amanda is stuck being bored all week and that sucks. She has been texting me more, which I like. But at the cost of her sanity. We talked a lot about the exciting weather we have been having. We had flooding, torrential downpours, thunderstorms, and wind. Apparently this is only the beginning of our weather adventure. We are a couple of peas in a pod when it comes to meteorology. 

I love Amanda. We’re coming up on one year together, and I’m excited. It’s been a hard year, and a year where our faith in each other became stronger. We are doing great trusting each other, and growing dependability. She has had anxieties about me leaving her, like her ex did. Like mine did. But if anything, we learn from experiences. I know that I would never give up on Amanda, no matter how tough it got. Love is stronger than all of that. It’s like the Force, it sorrounds us, penetrates us and binds us together. Love that matters isn’t thrown away. It’s rehabilitated and nurtured through the various tests that are applied to it. In all the failed relationships I have been in, the value of love was not understood, by myself or my partners. With this relationship, I think I finally get it. 

Goodnight blog. Rant over. 

Over

Score: +2

Not a good day for me. I barely made it to work and I didn’t stay long. I just couldn’t bring myself to drag out my entire shift. It was overwhelmingly not good being there. 

Sometimes I need a break to just unwind and forget about the world. It all becomes too heavy to carry around. My body tells me it’s time to do something about it. 

My energy is falling. All this week I have been dwindling. Fading slowly as the days go by. I’m doing healthy things though. Amanda and I are trying to eat better. We are incorporating exercise into our routine. I’m sure as we continue to perpetuate this pattern that things will improve. Energy will climb back up. 

I genuinely felt bad today. Off. I was struggling for consciousness this morning. Just hated the thought of getting going. But some mornings are like that. I got myself to work regardless. I cleared out my tickets and left things in good working order. 

My stability is always the priority. I’ll do whatever I need to do to protect myself from calamity. Especially the kind that originates in my brain. Chalk a day up to symptoms, and move on. 

The Afterglow

Score: +4.5

Still riding that wave from yesterday. We were crazy busy at work today, and I didn’t get close to being caught up. A full page of unresolved tickets and then a few more on top of that. I did the best I could. 

Busy days drain more energy, but time goes by faster. It’s a double-edged sword. I did manage to get some shit done today though. Getting house chores completed is gratifying. It’s a great example of what it looks like to accept responsibility. I like that. 

My week started yesterday, but today felt like Monday. If you know what I mean. That feeling of having been freshly regurgitated from my bed into the cold unknown. Sigh. How could I forget? 

Rain for a week here in the desert southwest. The first signs of the El NiƱo winter on its way. Forecasts are for 3 – 5 inches of rain. San Diego typically receives between 10 and 13 inches of rain a year. Half our yearly total in one week is a big deal. I hope this is just the beginning of a great weather adventure. 

Go Figure

Score: +5

Sometimes I get to doubting myself, or my potential despite all my attempts to strive for confidence. I’m not 100% free of the harsh voice that demeans me; crushes me down. Most of the time, I have evidence to dispute such doubt, but not always. It’s not a crime to be afflicted, so I don’t judge myself for listening to what it has to say. I have a much longer pattern of trusting that skeptic than arguing with him.

My work week started today, and people either didn’t call at all, or all called in at once. When I was busy, I was swamped. Something rather unexpected happened however: the two championship games I thought I was going to lose, I won, and by wide margins. This was not expected, or even contemplated as possible. I told myself last night that I had an 85% chance to lose both games, 14% chance to split and a 1% chance to win both. See what I mean about that voice of doubt? I have never been a fantasy football champion, and I get to be twice in one day. After five years, and three 2nd place finishes, I’m in the fucking club.

It’s a remarkably good turn of fortune. I am glad things turned out this way, needless to say. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I still think bad things about myself sometimes. There are many subtle ways this doubt is expressed, however outnumbered by positives.

 

Capture

Capture2

 

Capture3

To Choose

Score: +3.5

I’ve had a nice time this final day of the long triple holiday saga that has passed. I love this time of year, but now we are beyond it, and into 2016. Things will be different, but I can’t say if we will be spared or slaughtered. The uncertainty of the future is well known, and not particularly fair. I don’t like to get my hopes up for things. Too oft is the result something unwanted. I tend to be more practical. Expect realistic outcomes, so that you’re not fooling yourself. I have become more frank and unobjective about things in the last year. I have altered my attitude to be more accommodating of an unforgiving world. Setting the bar needlessly high imposes quality at the cost of sustainability. I don’t do that anymore, and my life has been a lot simpler. 

I’m feeling good. I go into work tomorrow (Sunday) for a shift. My two fantasy football teams will lose their championship games, and I will be done with football for several months. I mean, I’ll watch the playoffs, but I won’t have my heart in it. I’m just going to learn what I can from this year and be all the more ready next year. I love to play, win or lose. I’m pretty damn good overall, with a regular season record of 85-52. Five years. So I’m pretty deep in it, and I don’t plan on not being anytime soon. Not winning now only compelles me to keep trying until I do break through someday. Inevitably, I’ll get there. 

My break has been long and glorious. But now it is done and I must resume my digging in the deepest catacombs of regular life. Drenched in the slop of patterns. Chiseling away endlessly at the insurmountable sum of things to do. Existence is filtered through a thousand gallons of rushing water. We do the best we can against the torrent. We grind out each ridiculously difficult step forward, with the hopes that the water will calm sometime soon.