Exit Stage Left

I know a great deal of this blog has been a narrative of my journey towards partnership. Starting with Jax and all that followed since the blog was re-established, I have had nothing but failure. My own doing? Yeah, a lot of it was, truly and I accept my responsibility for that. I have also been afforded a great deal of time to be introspective after my last encounter with relationships. This moment, here and now in my adult life, I have come to a clear understanding about myself. I have mentioned this earlier, but I do believe it to be more true now than ever. I need to be alone, for my own safety, and the emotional safety of others. I have fully come to understand that as things stand now, I am not at all ready to embark on a partnership, and I know for certain I never want a family. I have seen what relationships are, and hoped for what they could be. I am very sure that the instability that most people can cope with in their partnerships jeopardizes my mental stability. I can’t manage my own mental health and be constantly worried, anxious, walking on eggshells to avoid conflict. I have never had equality, unconditional love, or respect. Maybe that’s because I never earned any of those things, but I’m definitely not he best judge of that.

Regardless of where the blame falls, I seem incapable of producing a healthy relationship. I have give it plenty of tries and have no more tolerance for failure. At this point, I need to get used to the idea of being happy regardless of love or partnership. I need to be able to by happy in my life and not looking around for more. I’m living with my amazing parents now, and helping take to load off my mom for my dad’s care. I’m part of a family unit again, and that feels good. We all love each other, unconditional. They have saved me from disaster on multiple occasions, and now is my chance to give back to them. I’m with them now, as they get older and need more help. My sister will be there too when we move, so It’s not going to be all me or anything. I am genuinely glad to be entering this time in my life. I want to help, I need it. I use that to build meaning in my life again with accomplishments I can look back at and feel proud of. I need to feel like I am helping, that I’m giving back to my world rather than sucking he essence out of it.

I’m feeling bolstered in my confidence about my life direction lately. I have integrated into a new home, with change and prosperity on the horizon. I won’t give my time and energy to a mindless corporate entity, but will endeavor to help someone who is less well off than I am and help them build confidence and feel understood. I hope you all too find wisdom in your introspection, as I have. I see what will help keep me healthy and what will not. I see now where I have made a misstep, and where I need to be more careful in the future. I’m not closing the door blog, but I used to give a great deal of energy to finding someone. That energy is going towards improving my mental health now, and forwarding my new life with my family. I think that’s a much more useful application of my resources, don’t you?

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Return to Center

Hi blog. I know it’s been several months since I checked in, and there is a sprawling narrative behind the reasoning involved. The story I have to tell is one of great struggle to exist and sustain in society, and how difficult that is for someone who is severely mentally ill. I have dealt with deep depression, and psychotic/manic rage. I still feel a great deal of hope for my future, but anxiety is crushing me down with spun versions of a darker reality. I hope to be able to expose the last few months to you, and together we can see how the circumstances of my life caused my downfall, and eventual return to center.

About a month before I stopped blogging, the environment at work was becoming acutely toxic. I was hated, loathed even by a solid 2/3 of the people I was supposed to be coaching. It was becoming apparent that my position had no real authority, and would not be validated with any, so no one had any cause to listen to my recommendations because they knew no harm would come to them if they did not. Things had been going on this way for a year or more, and I was just becoming aware that there was no respect for me with a lot of the people that needed to see me as an instructor. Or, at least someone that had to listen to. Instead, the agents acted out against me by messing with my things at my desk, or making areas messy that I had taken the responsibility to clean. They would also use the hangouts chat to gossip about undoing thew work I was doing and how I was, essentially, a prick for asking them to not do something that directly made my job harder.

I had a meeting with my boss after I basically had a mini-meltdown at work. The main thing they wanted me to do was treat the disdain of my subordinates like “water off a duck’s back.” I agreed at the time, sensing that if this was their suggestion for how someone mentally ill should cope with a hostile work environment, I don’t want to even enter a discussion about it. I swallowed my thoughts and moved on, promptly going psychotic the following week trying to do what they asked me to do. You see, I’m not able to just let things roll off the ol’ carapace. Everything gets in, because I’m sponging up emotional vibrations, facial expressions and body language 100% of the time no matter if I want to or not. When I’m in a room with a dozen people that really don’t like me at all, that shit is like radioactivity breaking apart my DNA a little at a time, every second of the day. It was an unsustainable agony that lead to a truly scary moment of murderous psychotic rage while I was alone in my truck.

After some time away, I came to a conclusion that working remotely, as I had done in the past, would be an immediate remedy to the environmental duress I had suffered previously. The remote anonymity and even video conferences are not hostile encounters with agitated people in the same room as I am. I’m in my safe space, and I still get to see them and communicate with them. This seemed like a no-brainer since I have traditionally been far more productive on days where I have been allowed to work from home in the past. I asked for accommodation under the ADA so I could continue to work and be productive for them with a slight adjustment to my needs.

Dealing with HR has been frustrating, since they have no interest in asking me for any specifics on how I will need to be accommodated, and continually postpone acceptance of a return date as well as the specifics of what I was asking for. I’m now basically down to my last few uncommitted dollars, and I need to get back to work so I can start making money again. Then they disabled my email account at work, so I started to get suspicious that maybe they were just hoping I’d give up or something.

To be honest, I might have if not for a step I took a while ago to change the direction I wanted to take my life. I’ve been here on this blog advocating repeatedly for participation in society regardless of mental illness or disability. If you want to be productive, nothing should stand in the way of you being able to do that. I had a chance to work 40 hours a week because of my stability, but nothing is permanent with mental illness. I slid downhill for months. I stayed away from this blog for longer than I ever have before, which I knew was not a good thing. I was becoming depressed, and I felt like I was giving my daily energy to a company that was never going to appreciate who I am or what I have to offer. What was I doing with my life? Making money to pay the bills, but to what end? Saving $50 a month? For what?

I began to understand that unless I am making a difference in someone’s life with the knowledge and skills I have, I am not going to be happy. I need to affect change, and the best way I could think to do that was to start with the one thing I have truly done well with in my time: mental illness. I have a lot of real societal, intellectual and emotional success being a severely mentally ill person, and maybe I could be an inspiring force in someone’s life who also may struggle with it as I have. I went back to my old clinic, the one that raised me up from the mud of post suicidal depression 4 years ago and got me shambling forward again. I went back and started taking classes before my meltdown at work, and I had already decided then that when we all move away next summer to Sacramento,  I was going to start my life over as a peer-to-peer mental health advocate. I don’t care about income, or possessions. I just want to be out there making a difference in someone’s life, being there for a person who is down and thinking dark thoughts, and always a smiling face that appreciates the unique value we all have regardless of circumstance. I’m a step-forward kinda guy, and If I can help people get their heads out of the past and focused on what they have yet to accomplish, I think I would truly be at a place in my life I cold be proud of. I’m not happy about being a cogwheel in the massive machine of corporate greed. I want a life with meaning. I’ve fucked up so badly to (nearly) this point, and I want to give back for all the things I could have done better, and will do better now that I have learned from my mistakes.

I’ve been out of work for a while and at this point, I’ve started the formal legal process of bringing suit against my workplace for discrimination on grounds of disability. My goal here would be to get my company to recognize that they need to take me seriously and respect my rights as a disabled person or there will be consequences. I will not be pushed off or brushed aside. I would like to come back and continue to work for them until next summer, but if they keep walking down the road they are on, they’ll be sued for lost wages and damages.

People of the internets who are disabled and face unjust or inhumane practices from their workplaces: you are protected and you have rights. Don’t let them step on you, especially given how hard you had to have worked to get into a job and hold it. They don’t understand your struggle and they never will unless you hit them in the jaw with the motherfucking gavel of justice!

I don’t know what’s coming for me, but I continue to go to my groups at the clinic and I am enrolled to be certified for Peer Employment Training so I can be a P2P counselor no matter where I go. Do something in your life that makes this world a better place for us all. Things are so absurdly fucked up right now… everywhere. We need to all be helping each other. I want to do my part so I can feel good about who I am, and what I did with my life. I need to know I really did try to do the right thing, and that all I ever wanted was what was fair. I encourage you to do the same in your own respect, and find a path to self-worth that becomes a fire that will not go out.

I promise to be more regular again, for myself and to keep you all appraised of my literal quest for social justice.

 

…And We’re Back!

I haven’t blogged in a while, mainly because I have been so overloaded that the itch to write was stomped out temporarily. Life does tend to get hard for stretches, but it’s the hard things we do that make us who we are and represent what we stand for. Personally, there isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do for my family, but I am also aware how much energy that costs.

Moral of the story is, we survived family reunion and moving back to back, and now a much deserved return to normalcy. Starting this week, I will have only myself to worry about again, which I sincerely needed. This release of the weight I had been carrying has left me the excess to do things like, blog, for example. I know I wrote a little from the heat of it, but I was pissed off and grumpy in general. I certainly don’t feel that way now.

Getting back to work was a tough transition, but I made it. I got through my day and came out the other side feeling pretty nominal. I guess this is our mark on the post blog. From here, we will see as the week goes on if I manage to fulfill my physical health goals and still keep a high level of energy for the rest of my life. I am thinking right now I don’t feel tired, or anxious, or anything but comfortable. If I’m significantly lower than this by 7:40 pm Friday, I’ll have some clue that I need to change something else in my life to foster a better energy environment. Whatever that happens to be…

Goodnight for now blog. See? Happy post. Not angsty post. Happy post.

Almost

The end of Sunday is approaching and I’m down to one more social event for the remainder of the weekend. The social will continue on into tomorrow as we are doing another family dinner then too. It’s been 3 days of happy times, laughing, drinking beer, smoking a little weed and generally relaxing in the sun. I have no complaints, however the taxation of my energy level remains another matter entirely. I feel like I’m running on fumes headed into this last little dinner thing we are having tonight. It’s not going to be much, but it’s still going out and putting on a show. People love the show, mind you, so my presence is welcome. I generally feel nourished being around all my family too, which adds a bit of fuel to the fire. I am making it and I am doing a great job. I am also getting lots of positive feedback which has helped bolster my confidence. I know the person I am and so does everyone else, and we all agree I’m pretty cool.

 

I’m going to take a break from this blog post and write the rest of it when I get back from the party. Continuation below.

 


 

Well other than the elaborate conservative vs. liberal argument about new parent’s dependance on state provided services to raise a child, it was an okay evening. Hopefully a healthy difference of opinion doesn’t ruin their already tenuous relationship. For my part I talked and cleaned up after dinner and had a good time overall. I’m home now and in my jams, just where I hoped I’d be right about now. Sadly, this :45 minutes of peace and solace bumps right against bed-time. Tomorrow is another day jammed from start to finish with more shit to do. I think though I don’t have anything on Tuesday.

 

I’m in a pessimistic place right now and I want to rant but holding myself back. Right now ranting about things I have no control over isn’t going to help me realize anything new, and is certainly not causing a reduction in the feelings. I’m better off just swallowing my thoughts and granting them some internal recognition: yes I think that behavior is pretty negative, yes the way I am being treated is not particularly respectful, yes eventually there you will know for certain and there will be resolution of sorts. I don’t mind the waiting but it is hard to watch a slow death of something that at one time looked very promising. I’m being ambiguous intentionally. 

Well it’s my bed time. I partied, I lived the life. Now reality will be mashing pans together at 4:15 tomorrow morning and I need to be ready. So goodnight. 

Up

Hello again Blog. I have been proactive in my silence, pushing myself out of the depressed slump I was in with good mental and physical health practices. Last week, I did another step competition with my cousin’s wife and worked my fucking ass off. I also kept a positive attitude and remained in charge of my rampant anxiety as the days (and triggers) went by. I had a meeting with my therapist on Friday to go over what I had done and what else I still could do to further promote my good mental health. She recommended I spend some time meditating, which I fully intend to do at some point here today and into the future. I’m pretty terrible at it though. as you know, I have been in a bit of a trough, but I have clearly pulled above that back to some semblance of normal/functional. It was a lot of energy, but at the same time, I got tons of energy in from all the eating good food and exercise. I want to continue this trend for as long as it is sustainable.

I have had a little trouble getting good sleep, but I know what that is. I have scaled down my weed intake and that usually causes sleep problems at first. I think I have been using weed to help myself feel better about being alone, and that’s not healthy. It should be recreational, not a crutch. So I have implemented a hiatus until I can feel good and be alone without the need to get high. I don’t know how long that might take, but the weed isn’t helping me feel genuinely happy and I can’t have it obfuscating my objective of finding happiness inside myself.

I hope you all have had a good weekend so far. I am going to see my Uncle for his 60th birthday today. We will have a party and it will be nice. Also this month my family are all coming together down at the beach house for a week. I can’t wait to see them all and spend good quality time with everyone. I really treasure my extended family and how close I am with them. My cousins and I grew up like brothers and sisters all having adventures together or just hanging out. It’s really special when everybody gets to come together to have a laugh and a drink. Good times.

Be well blogomites, the new week is upon us and I greet it with bright eyes and a bushy tail.

Weight

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and many anxious thoughts to go along with them. My family wants to move back to Sacramento so they can be with my sister and her son (in August). They want me to come too. 

How smoothly I would be able to make the transition? The more I think about it the more rife with peril it is. My mom wants me to come live on her dime while I find work. I can’t do that from a strictly moral standpoint. I’m an adult, and I make an income. I will not be a dependent. That’s a road that leads straight to loss of identity and depression. What if it drags on? Then what? This situation presents many problems that there aren’t solutions for. 

At least for the foreseeable future, I invision myself here. I’m stable here. I have a job with status. I make more than I ever have in my life. Giving all of that up is pretty dramatic, and in exchange for a very unstable circumstance. I want to be there at this special time for my family, but I don’t see how they can ask me be, being who I am. I am constantly cost benefitting this situation. My results have been pretty consistent, as has the tone of this post. 

I think I need my independent life. I have never really had it, and now I want to nurture it. I’m surviving out here. I’m so fucking proud of that. I want to continue to show myself that I can hang in the real world. You can’t ask me to push the reset button and move half way across the state. My whole life would change, and I can’t handle that thought right now. I’m already doing so much to get myself right…

Blog, I’m very torn. My psychologist said I should do what’s best for my mental health. Yeah thanks. Very insightful. My only course is just to keep on going. My lease isn’t up until November. I don’t have to make a decision until then, even though I think I already have. 

These thoughts and the anxieties they create have been my anguish of late. Hopefully rest tonight pacifies them. 

Wild

Score: 3.5

Well it has been an interesting last few days. Amanda and I went from serious fight to swooning with lust in the span of 24 hours, I have recognized that I am cycling again, and my mom is falling off the deep end into depression. 

On the relationship front, Amanda’s homeless friend Kasey is nearing the end of permissible stay while living off Amanda and turning her apartment into a biohazard. We were fighting about said degenerate when I got a little psychotic with rage. All the while Amanda has had her friend there, she made it seem like friend was buying food, and taking care of the apartment. In actuality, Kasey took $500 from Amanda (putting her short on rent) and was going out nightly leaving her autistic son with Amanda to babysit. Now Kasey needs to go. So I got a little upset when I discovered the situation Amanda had put herself in. She says she was doing it for Kasey’s son, but still, there’s a time and a place for charity. When you have no income and every dollar is precious you can’t be just giving it to some loser you are acquainted with. So I got pissed. And we had a fight about it. 

The evening after detonation, we worked things out and resolved that Amanda would spend the night the following day. We had an even more involved conversation together when she came over in which I really felt connected with her. She told me I was the smartest guy she had ever been with, and I told her she was the most creative woman I had ever been with. Then the lust started. We had sex like it can be during that initial curious passion that derives from the onset of intimacy. We did it over and over as though we were suddenly new lovers discovering each other for the first time. It carried on into the next morning, while I was all dressed at 4 am ready for work. Unexpected much? 

Things became turbulent again when Amanda’s doctor did not clear her to return to work. She’s still depressed, but now her life is on the verge of being destroyed if she can’t make some money, rapidly. She was telling me how she’s probably just going to be homeless, and I was again alarmed. I encouraged her to redouble her efforts ahead of the next meeting with her psychiatrist so that she can get clearance to return to her old job. I encouraged her to fight to repair her independent life as letting your life get smashed into pieces is a lot more work to rebuild than it would have been to fix it before it disintegrated. 

I just got back from a meeting with my psychologist, which went very well. I told her that over the last 6 weeks I have been experiencing slightly elevated states which last 10 days or do, followed by periods where depression symptoms emerge, also lasting about the same length of time. My scores over this span tell the same story. So we decided to try a different pattern of dosing the Lithium while adding another 300mg, bringing me to a standard 1500mg. I’m to start taking it in the mornings as well. So that was good, and as a direct result of my observations. 

I need to go fix my parent’s relationship as my mom is spiraling out of control with meds that don’t work and bad mental health practices. She needs a reminder about what’s important as she tends to digress when she’s having symptoms. Life doesn’t always work out how we hope it would, but resenting your husband for suffering a crippling disease because now you can’t go to Italy for your 40th wedding anniversary? What’s more important, a vacation you can’t have, or your lifelong partner who needs you now more than ever? She is in a dream world that she thinks will make her happy. I need to bring her back down to the reality that we are all bound to, whether we accept it or not. 

It’s been a tough week, but I’m on an upswing, so it’s not too bad. Boy would I be fucked if last weeks down had carried over. 

Have a good night.