Unabashed

Survivor of mental illness

15 years lived experience

Mindfulness practitioner

Side-By-Side Companion

Volunteer

Temporary Employee

Grant-Writer

Website Administrator

Peer Connection Program Coordinator

Peer Connection Support Group Facilitator

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Stacking up makes for taller piles of things. Looking at the sum of the things also pleases, especially since the evidence is right there.

My thoughts are moving around, or by. Too fast these days, and the little ribbons of the flapping as they whiz makes many dizzy and not good thoughts. Little pieces. Shrugged, slumped. Tired.

Activities such as this thumb message help. The realness of fact. The providence of knowing the self. So much remains covered in dried leaves.

Brick-Related Nonesene

I have found my words to be infrequent. I’m less inclined to open, having found safety in being closed.

I’m understanding my uniqueness better, in terms that aren’t shaming (mostly). I feel untethered from possibility because of the inherent isolation imposed by my traits, flaws, preferences and composition. The bridge I built to acceptance spans a mighty chasm, but will endure (show me how to unknow something and you can have my adoration).

Bricks are appropriate because you can’t make anything with just a couple and it usually takes a shitload of them all piled up to assemble something worth marveling at.

Just like bricks, their integrity remains solid until the ground starts moving.

I see out from the peephole. I’m here, but I only want to come out if I have one of my masks on. I have become familiar with how it fits, but it is still taking little pipet-drops away each time. I don’t notice it happening, I just do what I have to in the present. I see the quantity getting lower only as I glance away and back again after a time.

This is the mode. Survival is paramount; effectiveness depends on forward momentum. The masking suits that idea, while shielding. I won’t argue that it’s healthy, but it is not overtly destructive. My personas help move my life forward in most cases, and they are still me. Yet, they dissolve away in my solitude, and the truth hidden behind the guise is exposed. Within me lies the pile of smelly socks that is the inmost nature my true self. Having a history of repulsion, the imagery seemed appropriate.

Do you know what I’m talking about? I have simply embraced my “never” and moved on. Do you know what “never again” feels like? I do. I remind myself every day that choices have consequences.

More words will come, and maybe they will be more coherent next time.

Gurjection

My trajectory has been unclear recently, or, wobblier than usual. Symptoms have cost me much of the momentum I had going, but not forever.

These down times are a regular event in my town. We get out the fancy streamers and everyone dresses up like sad clowns. Tickets available on StubHub.

Point being, I’ve survived worse and more help is on the horizon.

I have recently established a career path that is ever curving toward a fully self-sustaining state. 40 hours a week. I can, quite literally, raise money to pay my salary through my own actions. A successful grant or two would accomplish that. This is the full time plateau I have sought.

I have been here with me the whole time, and I can say with confidence that he is doing about as well as he ever has. I’m pleased that he hasn’t imploded into a singularity or shattered the world with recklessly destructive explodination-related incendiary activities.

Fight! Do not let Toejamela McHosebeasterson put the sweaty foot to your throat. There is a shitload left to do our here in the world. Are you going to let Moopybritches Sucktoadersplats kick your ass today? I didn’t think so Charlie Championship. So grab your vitamin water and spiked cudgel and get out there! Let’s do this!!

My pep talks only work on the hopelessly insane.

Grung

Well, here I am… slowly sliding down the slope into a deep trough. Unlike previous trips to the big D, I am more prepared to deal with the looming possibility of decline. It helps to have known, roughly, from the beginning that my current neurochemical state was a likely outcome of the chosen medicinal path. I did knowingly discontinue the Latuda months ago because of how the side effect was daily vomiting. I was well aware at that time that this would put me precariously undefended from the natural onset of symptoms. Now that realization has been the primary catalyst towards action, I have a much more coherent and sound approach to management.

First, this is not the first time I have been low in the psychiatric drug department. This is not the first time I have realized I was becoming depressed and considered a change of course. At this juncture in my life, I have been expecting this to happen and have been planning for more than a year. My knowledge gained and support system created have and will continue to prevent my possible meteoric impact.

Lately, I have made a good steps in recognition/evaluation, and here are some things that are going to help me stabilize as time goes on:

I will need to occupy myself with volunteering and working hard, as the earned value of labor and establishment of systemic worth is a good elixir for suppressing depression, and providing a distraction. The more I give to this the higher I push the yield of possible activities.

I should really encourage myself to write here on the Blog more often. I have been avoiding it, feeling the tendrils of my expanded creativity become fully retracted. My thoughts have also been pretty fragmented, and I quickly lose interest in expressing myself. I need to risk opening up here as well as in my Peer-to-Peer class.

I need to make more time for physical exercise. The stepping, on a consistent basis does help my mood. I definitely notice when I am not doing well physically, and this seems to be an hand-in-hand with neurochemical depression. The sun helps.

Well, I’m at the end of a long day, with another thingie to do tonight. I have a career path that provides a constant reason to be introspective, which is my front-line defense against calamity. It’s a learning, and preventative place I have sent myself, which gives me plenty of tools at my fingertips when a need arises. In times such as these, I do have the skills to cope with symptoms and continue to move forward with my life. I am not destined to implode, I am interested in prevailing. The things I can do for myself now will certainly sustain me until I see a psychiatrist in the next couple of weeks. Intake on Monday.

I continue on, in pursuit of shiny friends and soft things to rub my nose on.

Symptoms

I’ve indicated in past notices that I viewed my current neurochemical state on a downward slope and recent observed evidence confirms that. I am alert in this state, but struggling to maintain good health.

Symptoms I have observed in the last several weeks:

Lack of interest in extracurricular or fun things

Slowness, soreness, delayed response time

Inconsistent sleep

Dramatic increase in effort required to motivate

Isolation

Neurochemical imbalance/deficiencies/symptoms

Dependence on substances in effort to self-medicate

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So most of that is pretty serious shit. There was no sneaking, these things have been accumulating, or increasing. Now, as I try again amidst the fray to gain some objectivity, I see how the symptoms of increasing depression have begun to surround me. At first, I turned to some default negative coping mechanisms like escape, or regression. I was having a lot of angry thoughts, and consistently find my arrow pointed down at the start of every day.

However, as I told my boss yesterday: “this isn’t my first rodeo.” I’ve been down in the black pit before, and my reluctance to go back is all the reason I need to be introspective. I was also talking about that topic last night at my Peer-to-Peer class. I spoke about how I began to grow “tired” of being down, having my life collapse and all that. I continually sought to treat my symptoms, but for years I never really understood myself, my habits, and my flaws which can cause me trouble. That lack of comprehension provided a parade of doomed solutions for me to splay myself upon prior to detonation. That dynamic proved both painful and unsustainable.

 

Responses I have taken to the onset of depression:

Initiated process with GP to achieve referral to see local psychiatrist (top priority)

Discontinued consistent alcohol abuse as escape mechanism

Discontinued abundant cannabis use as escape mechanism

Established regular exercise requirements outside for at least 60 minutes

Current medications are taken on time and regularly. Organized for minimal dose confusion.

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I know what steps I need to continue taking to improve my condition. More activity will help contribute where my current neurochemical cocktail is lacking, but it is not a long-term solution. I need to be doing everything I can to sustain until I can see a doctor and get my medications looked at by a professional. Medication management is one of my “three pillars” theory of sustaining good mental health. All pillars must be strong for stability to be achieved, otherwise, things get tippy.

I continue to walk forward, set on improvement, while conscious of potential pitfalls and internally-generated danger.

RELEVANCE! ACHIEVED!!!!

Blog, I’m fucking in. The inner sanctum. Me. In! My feet are standing upon sacred ground.

Established, trusted, proven, vigorous, persistent, pressing, VICTORIOUS!

I can’t explain now, but know the status is unprecedented and the future limitless. I am the disciple of fortune! I am the warrior of cause!

The possibilities are limitless!

Yes!

The confirmation has come, and the future is being built like a bastion of protection, and inevitable success/relevance.

I’m in Blog… and it’s the dream I’ve hoped for for so long. To have a life that gives, redeems, replenishes. It is all right here for me, ready.

This is the day, in which it begins.

The Truth

Well Blog, the truth is I’m probably not perfect. Far from it in fact. I don’t attest to be flawless, more like acutely flawed but pushing forward regardless with good intent.

I am willing to have a dialogue with anyone about anything. I’m not set in some version of reality that has to be mine. On the contrary, I have much still to learn, and remain humble in my core (despite occasional excitability).

I feel fully responsible. I have been. I have regret that pushes me forward so I can do good in the world. I want to make myself into something better than who I have been.

The only thing left is to march onward, despite pain and trauma. I hold nothing worth carrying a great distance. It is what it is, and frankly, I’m only doing a pretty good job taking steps forward.

Humble to fate, I await whatever fortune deals me. Projecting no outcome, I endeavor to do positive things for those less fortunate.

Shame can be a source for change, and I am an example of that.

 

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Don’t get me wrong about the gravity of my past. It is huge, strong and a constant reminder of why I live the life I have now. I’m no model of perfection, as I view such a thing unattainable. The only structure to progress is to learn, adapt, and try again. I have taken my life a direction I am proud of, and that is something undeniably real.

I know the past is full of pain, and I’m very real about that. It is not a shame I deny, but once I have gained a great deal from. If not for my past, I could not have become who I am, which makes me thankful for that pain and the lessons it taught me. The choice to move beyond is just that, a choice, and it is one I make over and over again as the days advance. There is no arguing that the decision to fight is difficult every morning when I get up, but I do, and I still try, because I want to be proud of myself. I am not now a quitter, and I do not want to be remembered as one. If I am to be remembered beyond the time that I die, I would like people to remember how I helped my community, and shown a light onto minorities suffering with mental illness.

I need to earn the right to be here in the world, every day, and to never forget who I was.