Zero G Slug Attack!

I have been infiltrated by an unwanted gastropod, who hitched a ride on me from some point on my fishing journey this morning. Once I put my jacket away, he crawled up the wall, then onto the ceiling. This is when I spotted him, on approach to deliver what I’m sure was to be the killing blow while I was busy blogging (or otherwise not paying attention to the potential of sky slug). “Son of a bitch!” I shouted, and disposed of the unwanted invader. “A watery death for you!” I cackled madly, my face illuminated from underneath and my eyebrows wildly accented. Muahaha!

I have “created” a new fishing lure (see abomination). As I described earlier, I demolished a rooster tail and added all this trout shit to it. It’s basically the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and the probability of catching anything more than an aquatic plant with it seems astonishingly low.

So I got my fucking dad laughing at me, and that’s probably fair, but nevertheless, he insists I should use “live” bait or food. “Just give me 5 minutes and a cheese ball” he keeps telling me. And I suppose if everyone in professional sports did steroids and got super artificially buff that would be cool too right? OH YAH, LOOK AT MAH MUSCLES? Moral equivalence! Food/live bait is cheating. I’m not fishing for food. There is no urgency, therefore I should be able to procure a fishy by NO OTHER MEANS than through skill/deception. I MUST fool the fish… it is the only way to achieve true honor. If the fish (surely) does not like this latest, sad offering to the gods of temptation, I’ll just come back tomorrow and try something new to fail with. Basically, this is a new low point for me as an angler. I’m not going to let another self-respecting fisherman see what I’m walking over to the water with tomorrow, and I will get to the spot under the cover of near darkness to avoid potential shame.

Ugh. Okay, all is not lost despite the troubling events of earlier. For a minute there though, I had to do a quick trip through the Torah. Locusts, frogs, burning hail, no plague of slugs. Phew. Then I was like, OH SHIT, Revelations though? Was one of the four horsemen a gastropod? FUCK! Was there anything about slugs or possibly flaming slugs (there is a lot of fire and brimstone and earth cracks and shit in there)? Again, phew. There  is no religious significance to today’s sky slug. It is not a herald of the Apocalypse, or a sign of God’s wrath upon the Egyptians (or any other -ians). Always double-check your biblical prophecies; don’t get caught flat footed when the seven headed beast shows up.

I’m coasting on a happy, riding this high to Friday, or maybe Thursday. We shall see. My optimism is astonishingly high, despite being defeated 23 – 0 by a fish. “Fuck you fish. You have nothing on me. Come at me bro!” That’s how we’re going to end this one.

All The Moths

What a fine morning it is blog! I’m reveling in my alacrity in producing a fantastic, near-lock job lead within my first 26 hours of being “available” to be hired. I also got a hit from NAMI Yolo who are also looking for a PSS, but possibly not paid. It was only a couple days ago I emailed them asking if they had volunteer opportunities, but clearly things have accelerated.

I have some peace in my environment, albeit undoubtedly temporary. They seem to have simply swept the broken glass under the rug and moved on, since the work to actually resolve the conflict is either beyond comprehension  or laboriously undesirable for them. I have re-iterated my case late last afternoon, and I do not believe I was really, again, taken seriously. My parents will see me withdraw from dysfunctional people who don’t resolve their issues. I don’t admire people who stagnate, explode and whine about having exploded. They are fully capable of resolving this if they can get past their bad communication habits. No mind reading, use non-accusatory “I” statements, reflect don’t project. Fundamentals simply forgotten, or abandoned as irrelevant for whatever reason.

Here I am putting on my Debbie Downer pants! Sorry blog, this post is not about them, it’s about the shiny thing that I have become! That’s right blog, I am adding a new adjective to the list of embellishing superlatives after my email signature: shiny! See below:

Westin Eric Bailey
Peer Support Specialist
ITE 15 Years Lived experience
Outstanding, Unique, Thoughtful, Moral, Honest, Dedicated, Intelligent, Shiny

 

Okay, I don’t sign my emails like that… but the exercise of positive self-acknowledgment is well worth the ridiculousness of it. Why are mentally ill people always so quick to shred themselves? It’s fucking EASY. Doubt, fear, hate, it’s like sugar on the tongue. It comes quick and strong, but lasts as long as a fire with no wood to burn. Instead of wasting my energy investing in negativity, I am filling my basket with happy. This brings me to my point about “shiny.”

I use that adjective because it brings to mind imagery (for me) of a light shining in the dark, in a place where many wander; lost or not knowing where to go. I have a light to shine in a place like that, and I know there will be people in this world who will benefit from my having been around to shine it. Like little moths who are drawn in to the safe glow of warm, I am a beacon that those around me will seek for meaning, honesty and trust. My heart is wide fucking open, and the risk that entails is great, but the energy it sends out in all directions is unmistakable, and undeniable. I have that radioactive confidence, because I have taken charge of my illness, and now, my life. The path I have chosen is empowering in a way I had not known would be possible.

The process I have gone through lately, as I look back, could not have been more transparent. Over the last 5 or so weeks I have grabbed the wheel and started driving my own car for the first time in many months since my relapse. Now, I stand at a point of desiring to break away to seek my own independence, while still bonded to those I love in a sort of caring yet indentured servitude for the rest of my ridiculous days. I coped with momentary trauma without escalating the crisis or injuring anyone emotionally, I endured my own individual up-and-down days and all the while retaining an active discourse here on this blog as a part of my coping skill-set.

I’m running off towards the future blog, metaphorically speaking… would you like to tag along? Oh, and one last more nugget of happy: as I continue my restricted died + exercise routine, I am now 8.8 lbs lost since the start of the month. Yeah boss. Every time I get on that scale and I see a smaller number, I get THAT MUCH MORE fired up to go out there and bust my ass to get healthy. It’s a big shot in the arm of reassurance that all the work was not in vain, but rather, just the beginning of a much healthier way of living.

Ta ta for now, and good morning!

Second Interview

Score: +3

Hello blog, good afternoon to you. Here in Sacramento, I’ve been on the job market for no more than 26 hours before being (basically) snatched up. I have whizzed by the phone interview I had today and will now meet with the hiring manager ASAP, they said. As early as Friday, I could be employed. In fact, I’m willing to bet that I will be, based on all the signs I’ve seen so far.

I will be a Peer Counselor for Goodwill of Sacramento. Working with at-risk youth and homeless who come into the shelter for help. I will be getting hands-on in my community and making a real difference. Plus, I’ll get paid for it. This is the direction I have been trying to go, but had not been properly forced to act in such a rapid fashion.

Speaking of, the parents are still embroiled in conflict and doing little to address it properly. I’ve made it clear that figuring things out is necessary for retaining my presence, and they are, incrementally I guess, working on it. For now, I’ve seen a huge disorganization of my regular routine, but on second thought, this was a pretty good time to have a nuclear war. My forearm has been hurting in a tendonitis kinda way, so i’ve given it a break for the days in which all hell has been unleashed just outside my domicile.

I am going to do this, blog. I’m getting a job THIS WEEK. BOOM. I said I was going to go out there and do this, and I have pretty much just about fucking done it. Change your life? Why thank you sir, I think that sounds fine.

I am jazzed about today, I know these people are hot for my skills. I can feel it. I knows it. I tried to talk to my parents a little but Moo is just, not ready. She’s in denial. When she comes out of denial, and realizes the world she lives in is still the same as it was when she was in denial, I think we will have progress. For now though, they know I’m all done fucking around. Logically it makes more sense to stay, but I won’t stay in a place that poisons me.

The future. Saving money for a while, maybe finding a studio by the river to live in. I’ve already been looking at things that are in my pathetic budget. I definitely can move out, but again, logic commands that I should not, and try to save as much money as possible on a month to month basis. This is, logically, a good idea, as stated. However…

I’m going to have a kick fucking ass night, right here, right now. I’m going to be employed, able, and launching ahead towards a future of my own defining. How totally empowering to be such a wanted commodity and feel your worth weighed and measured. Damn, what a great day. WOOOOOO! JOB!!!!

Discovered Land

By that I mean personally; there are no new lands being charted. However, I do tend to start naming things in my environment once I become established. Below you will find a map of my new home and the various places I have marked and named. Explanations provided. The area, in general will be known as the Muck Trench and the surrounding foliage Muck Trench Woods.

 

Welcome to: Muck Trench Proper

 

1. The Sky Bridge: goes over the 80 and is the only way to get to the best fishing spot. Puts the fear of impending death on you every time you cross

2. Best Fishing Spot: where I stand around waving my stick in the air and catching nothing while fish laugh in my face

3. Alternate Fishing Spot: there is good mojo here, but no fish… which leads you to wonder what the fuck said mojo is really doing?

4. Long Road: this is the area where a Grass Bear would be most likely to strike, beware (distant, more aggressive relative of Sand Bear)

5. Far Outpost: possibly radioactive, possibly lost alien hardware, possibly the doom of humankind… 100% mystery

6. Sleepy Spot: never looked very comfortable, and now it’s kinda dead, and scattered about like a lion kill

7. Near Outpost: not too far from the road and the spider union has its lodgings here (SUMT local 888 [we let the Black Widows decide the numbers])

8. Popular Fishing Spot: just as mucky as the rest of the Trench but here you can park a car and take in the smells up close

 

My starting point is always to cut through Barandas Park to get at the paved walking trail. You must “bushwack” a few feet to get from paved road by the sky bridge to Muck Trench service road where the rest of the trail goes. This is the one I need to take *** on and see what she if she thinks it’s as exciting as I do. Lots of fuzzy animals running around, pesticide loaded scuz pit to our left… noice. Some nature better than broken solo cup and homeless guy sleeping for scenery on my walks in El Cajon.

I’m geared up for another fantastic week in my newfound home, starting with my warmline and trip to the NAMI office today. I need to tell David that I am now very actively seeking employment due to my recent acceleration of life-timetables. I want him to have first crack. I know I need to make at least as much as I was at my last job If I want to afford a 1BR around here. I’m doing a budget spreadsheet this morning in preparation for my eventual transition. Without calculation, planning and care, well-intended steps towards progress can sometimes be misplaced. So for now, we are in the stages of the process where everything gets figured out before we execute (by “we” I am referring to myself, my PM and my Architect). A lot like building something with blueprints. Look at them for a good long time and make sure that with the way it’s drawn, that it will all fit together again when they have to go out and build the thing.

I’m tired of not being the Lord of my own castle, with an Iron Throne to perch myself on and hand out edicts to my vassals (which at this point would consist of any insect or rodent that would have wandered onto the premises). I need a pit full of slaves looking sad, and another pit with slaves fighting hundreds of very angry tortoises. Ah yes, my reign will be long and prosperous. “Bring your Lord some more Saltines!”

So blog, I’m going to the office today so I get to fancycate myself and smell less like moldy elephant splatters and more like “fresh” human. Hooray! I’m starting up at 8, then heading over to the office at 10. I have a great deal of optimism for myself about the direction I have decided to go. I am still sad to see my parents self-destructing just beyond my ability to do anything about. I feel less flabbergasted today, but still resolved to seek alternative living arrangements as soon as possible. I just don’t need roommates, not even my parents, though I love them both. I need to be in my own space, by myself, in charge of what happens in the environment and secure in a self-defined kingdom of my own control. I feel this is a healthy step towards better individuation, albeit, sounding a bit like a maniacal overlord planning a takeover rather than a mentally ill person making a healthy life transition. There are more possible future outcomes that lead to happiness for me now if I move out on my own than if I were to stay in this box.

It’s already off to a good start, this week, and I eagerly await the next few days as my foot presses harder onto the gas pedal; racing forward towards the promise of better days. I’ll be checking in here through the day… so bai for now!

 

“No Despair”

I am now listening to music and feeling remarkably better, singing “Ventura Highway” here in the fading moments of the weekend. You know, music just lit my fire again!

I’m going to redirect my life in a totally healthy direction, and I’m already started! Now, let’s sing for a little and celebrate this calamity that has forced such a beautiful change! The restoration of my long lost independence is about to be realized, and the groundwork for success is being laid. I know that shit had to get kinda choppy for me to hurry the fuck up, but I have, and I am continuing to pursue a deep and full future.

If I could update my Score. it would be a +1.5 right now. BOOM BITCHES.

I’m going to sing myself exhausted and smile at all the great memories I looked back on today in the last few hours. Man, I have lived with some beautiful women in my life, and each one of them still makes me smile. Yeah, I know I’m a fucked up asshole. Whatever. Since then, I’ve made a fair bit of progress out of the slop of unforgivability. Forgive me ladies, I did you no justice. I was a fool who had yet to become. I’m sorry.

Tonight blog, despite great toxicity, I am channeling a constructive enthusiasm which lends me to forge a better future for myself. If dissatisfied with life, figure out what is within the scope of influence, and change! Inact change blog, if you are stagnant, if you are dysfunctional and always disagreeing, just talk!

Singing seems to be a worthy activity for conjuring some zest for life. What a jubilant expression, to sing, to have your voice go out into the world regardless of how shrill and glass-shattering it is. Man, I am fortunate to be where I am, and I will never stop trying to improve the lives of those I love, and also, promoting my own personal health above all else. This is one of those moments where I am choosing the life path that ONLY coincides with better mental health. Logically it is not sound, since I am not paying any rent where I am. To take on 1,400 a month is pretty yikes.  However, blog, the point here is money is meaningless in comparison to sound mental health. I would pay through the flaming anus for stability.

It doesn’t matter what it costs blog, money is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is if we are living for happiness, honesty and love. I fucking despise money, but it’s cosmic relevance is not lost on me, however. To play the “Real Life” game you need money. There is no avoiding it if you want to establish any sort of identity in society. You need money coming in. You need to be USEFUL in some way, in a way that somebody else would throw money at you to keep you doing the useful thing you are doing. This is my life/dream/destiny = to be eternally useful in a morally relevant context and to make just enough money to keep people from bothering me for more money. I wish for nothing but shelter, food and someone who loves me the way I love them (and won’t let me perish).

I’ve had a rapid sort of calamity driven epiphany today, but I’m glad it happened. It was very useful in igniting a ferocious Bunsen Burner under my repulsive/bio-hazardous ass, in order to get me aptly motivated to erect my independent existence. I hadn’t planned on this, but I am adapting admirably given the semi-hostile circumstances. Also, I’m sure as time passes, I’m going to be more energized to forge my new identity in a city that knows nothing about me. I have a chance to start all over, and make that big fucking splash somewhere I’ve always known myself capable of.

Today needed a turn in the positive. Did you really think an erupting volcano was where the evening’s diatribe was going to stop? You should know by now that optimism is the engine that drives me forward, and the hope of a full and beautiful future compels each step towards the future I hope I earn. I don’t know what’s happening or what’s going to happen, but the one meager thing I can plan for is that I will do whatever I have to to achieve stability for my family and love those who come close to me. I will be loyal, and honest always. Once you are family, you never aren’t family. I will protect and serve those I love with the full-throated enthusiasm of the very first rooster to call out the arrival of dawn.

Know this, blog, I will be the man I have always known I am, and his arrival upon the landscape of independent society is nigh. Prepare for a slightly more introspective and insightful future. For my future love, for my career, and for all the people who I will help in my time serving the needs of the disadvantaged. The meaning and significance of this destiny is irrefutable, and is mine, for the rest of my life.

 

Beer and Boom

I think this will be my last post for today. I have the beers and I intend to drink them, and slip quietly into oblivion. Today can go fuck itself.

I have included this image which I found, demonstrating that sometimes things go boom, but after enough trees are flattened, things are good again. I claim that of my many talents, this one is not. I am a sham to even idle doodlers, but I get to express whatever I want out here. May some shitty drawing I had from years ago remind me of things that go boom.

My Sister’s Card

See below for my truly fantastic, original, cards for people on holidays. It is a tradition of absolutely superior quality, and to have a maker’s mark of some form. In this instance, the recipient was my sister, and the occasion is Mother’s Day. On a side note, the creatures spoken of on the card are REVILED by my sister, who insists they are among the few things on this Earth she truly despises.

 

I HIGHLY doubt anyone knows what the Evil Eye of Orms-By-Gore is, but if you do, tell me!

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Score: +1

 

Things have taken a turn for the turd bowl here in the last few hours. I’m in solitary confinement while the storm of resentment grows and looms just outside my door. No one is talking to anyone, no one cares to ask how, or what they might try to do to bring peace. No, instead people storm off, or just sit there doing nothing like the whole world has gone away. It’s pretty lame, to be honest. look at all the wasted, useless sorrow that has been spent on these such events? If only you two could talk to each other then maybe you’d actually hear what the other has to say.

This environment frustrates me today. I imagine it will be better soon but not without some effort on my parents’ part. They have to salvage this Hindenburg before it’s just a burning metal skeleton.

I applied for 4 jobs today, and my resume already good at least looked at on a weekend. Noice. I updated all my resumes, and I’ll probably be adding more fluff on to them to make it poofy and such. It’s not bullshit if it’s true, but relevance is the scale that determines fluff quality.

I would have liked to have had a normal day. Instead, because of my parents and their total inability to do the basic conflict resolution any couple should be able to after being together for so long, I’m in my room with the door closed. Everything is anger, hatred, malice outside. I refilled my water and it was fucking excruciating to be out there in that big sweltering pit of misery they’ve made for themselves.

Man, I was on such a good feeling earlier this weekend. What a bummer. Totally out of my hands. Like a fucking spiritual rainy day. Fuck. I wanted my goals met, and now because of trauma triggers, they won’t be. You know, I’m writing myself a guilt free coupon here. I spent all the mid morning and early afternoon beefing up my employability and getting my name in people’s hands. I can think of no better way to deal with a situation than to take charge of the areas of it I can control.

I can’t do anything about when and for how long my parents fight, but I can decide where I am when they happen. I have no interest in smashing my head into the two single most stubbornly opposed to communicating individuals I have yet dealt with. They listened to approximately ZERO suggestions I made for them. I said things like “ask for clarity,” “Don’t mind read each other,” “tell me about how YOU feel,” “can you frame that as an ‘I’ statement?” Not for one second was any of that even remotely considered relevant, because it went out the other ear and onto the shit pile of things our son says that aren’t worth a fucking thing.

Meanwhile, they’re still not giving a shit about my email even, the one place I tried to adequately express myself today. I feel just, hopeless right now. I wish they’d just drive away for a few days and leave me alone.

She comes in here acting like I wasn’t going to Mother’s day at my sister’s house today. Did she ask me, ever? Nope, she just assumed because I wasn’t talking to anyone that meant I wasn’t going to do anything fun today. Assumed. Right there, the very thing I’m talking about. No communication. No asking me if I was going, no acknowledgment of anything that’s going on. Ridiculous. I need an actual healthy environment in which to thrive and this sham is absolutely not it.

This is fucking 1 day after they said they wanted to be better communicators with me they pull this assumption shit. Are you fucking kidding me right now? What did my request retain its meaning for all of 23 hours? NEW WORLD RECORD GUINNESS. Look it up. One day later blog, it’s back to zero. Fuck me in the eye please.

Someone’s going to need to wake the fuck out of the stupid zone and move themselves somewhere more useful. The outside world won’t remain intolerable forever, but I eagerly await the events that will lead to a rendering of reason and explanation. Ultimately though, this crisis will be brushed under the rug like every other before it, and the table set for the next party guest to come in and blow up safety, normalcy and fun with idiocy. THIS COULD ALL HAVE BEEN AVOIDED. I hate to say it, but this didn’t have to get to the point of me not want to live here anymore. If you all had just fucking done some things to take care of each other and listened to you son’s suggestions, maybe he wouldn’t be pushing the eject button on living under your roof.

I’m determined to be a healthy person, and I won’t have the two of them fucking that up with their stubbornness and inability to share/trust/love each other in situations of vulnerability. I don’t know what it is blog, but I’m not the doctor. I don’t have the cure. They’ve always had it, in their hands, the whole time. I just tried to remind them they were holding it. to no avail, mind you. Oh blog, how acutely frustrating to be totally unable to address something broken between two people you love.

 

The Email

My dad came in here and tried to do what he always does, and I got fed up with his attempts to leverage me as the middle-man in their disagreements. Not to mention the enticing reward of not  being respected either. I’m just a negotiator no one is listening to. So, I basically told them both I’d had enough, and wrote them the following email with a BCC for my sister. She’s a part of this family too, and she deserves to know what’s going on with us. I’m certainly not going to shoulder this alone. Here’s what I wrote:

I am not going to arbitrate your disagreements any more and please do not involve me in your fights. Neither of you have listened to a single piece of advice I’ve given you to effectively improve your communication skills and you find yourselves back in the same spot over and over. 

I have proved to be more frustrating to deal with than useful since I am tired of not listened to about any of your disconnects. Either that, or you are content in this dysfunction you seem to have, and unwilling to change it at all or even seek a solution that prevents further trauma.
This environment, in this state, is something I want no part of. When I had a psychotic break at work, it was because I had to walk in to a place, inescapably, every day, where people roiled with hatred towards me. It created an energy and a pressure on me that caused my to break down mentally and snap.
I will not let that happen again, and your continued lack of ability to effectively talk to each other has forced my hand prematurely. I will not have a place I cannot escape from be toxic and poison my mental health, which is what you two have perpetuated. I am going to forgo my plan to be a volunteer for the immediate future and seek employment, followed shortly by my moving to a 1BR somewhere else in Adagio. I will not let you damage my mental health, or my environment, hamper my sense of safety, or trigger a trauma I have no desire to relive. 
This is non-negotiable. I have tried my best to help you two, but you’re in denial of your issues, unwilling to be real, and content to blame/judge each other into your separate corners. If anything, look at your history of fighting, sweeping the bits under the rug and moving on. How’s that working out for you? Have you ever stopped to consider another way of doing things?
It’s on you two now. 
 
Now, personally, I don’t think there’s anything mean about this letter. It’s clear from my tone that I’m frustrated with the dynamic, and raising the MH alarm which is always concerning. I don’t feel upset, just tired of being used the same way over and over, with no effort to change anything to make it better. I’m a band-aid, and I’d rather be something more than just a band-aid. I deserve more respect than that for all the shit I’ve been through, and I don’t get that here. I’m not an expert on anything because I’m their kid.
Well, I’m taking my health into my own hands and not allowing someone else’s inability to mature beyond petty squabbles interfere with the arc of my success and ongoing mental health. It’s nothing personal, and I have no resentment. I’ve just seen where this road goes, and I don’t want to go there. Not ever again. I hope I can drop by as less a resident and more a visitor and perhaps that will change our dynamic a bit.

3… 2… 1…

As projected, I have tossed full energy into the pursuit of immediate independence. I am now active and fully resume-updated on 3 bigtime job sites and I also have 2 applications out today. One of them I’m sure is going to garner me some attention, that is, If they are still taking applications. I’ve had fun writing all my qualifications out, certs, education and prior job experience. I am a very marketable commodity with all this good shit going for me. I like applying for jobs because all my cover letters are just another opportunity to toot my little horn about how fantastic I am and all the stuff I’ve done.

 

So I will put my after fishing morning energy burst into job search, and just hack away at the fucker a little every day. Once I secure a job for sure, I can talk to my parents about my plan. I already know they would be in favor of such a thing as they have made it clear the plan was never keep me here so I was easy to access. I’m basically compromising in my desire to live in my own place, but still be close enough by to where running might be the fastest way to get from me to them. I, in no way, want to abandon my poor parents to their own little spiral. I want to be there for them every day, but still able to walk away from a space controlled by them to a space controlled by me. All of you renters out there know you are some serious shit in the house where you pay rent. “I pay the rent, I’m the boss, got it, bub?” I’m not sure who I was talking to there, my plan was to live alone. Maybe a plant had been disobedient and needed to be set straight.

 

It’s going to be a good week blog! I’m really excited to launch myself forward into my career and new life here in Sacramento. I have really been processing a lot this week and into the weekend. I’ve barfed out thoughts from both ends of the spectrum out here in Bloggytown. This open deliberation makes it easy to see when there is a problem, and begins the process of hoping for a solution. Albeit, not everything discussed can be “solved,” as logistical things are only a small part of the overall thing. Most of what is here is just brain-vomit. I’m having a symptom: bbbbllllaaaarrrrggghhh. There you go. I don’t think it’s good reading, I never have. But it is honest, and repulsive at times, and hilarious at others, but my stupid process is what it is nonetheless. I highly recommend you language based people with mental illness consider writing. Expression totally works. Honesty is beautiful. Trauma is real. All will pass in time.

 

I need to kick my own ass and get going here. I definitely don’t want to start slipping downhill because the environment is not a friend. I did title the post that way for a reason. I do feel like I’ve had to move the launch ahead and fire off this rocket sooner than expected. Either now or later, I’m confident the only direction we are going is up.

The Time To Act

As I had discussed in a post last night, my parents are being disagreeable again, and poisoning the house with all their negative energy. Even back here in my little cave, I can feel them resenting each other, pissed, bitter, fuming. Boy oh boy do I hate that. The ENVIRONMENT is toxic? Jesus fuck that’s where my bed lives!

My point is instead of slamming my face into the wall trying to teach my parents something they don’t want to learn how to do, I’m going to resolve this the only other way I know how. I need to go get my own place to live. Period. My stability cannot, under any circumstances, be damaged by someone else’s neglectful MH behavior. My parents’ inability to communicate and discuss their feelings without fish-slapping each other with them is the reason they are to be left alone. They create negative energy, unresolvable anger, and that is something they can do all by themselves. It’s like, if someone told you the land right next to Chernobyl was cheap, would you still build your house there?

I’ve been looking and there are plenty of nice apartments right here in Adagio I can try. They have 1 BR that could easily be within range of a part time job, and surplussing with a full time gig. I don’t want to leave this complex, it’s seriously the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived in, and the nearby amenities are irresistable. So I do need my own place though, without any dysfunction that refuses to acknowledge or address itself. My presence is contingent upon things being safe, and under control, and as long as my parents think that “working out their problems” means yelling, slamming doors, leaving for hours and being hateful are the best ways to deal with a crisis, they’ll be doing it by themselves. I’m not 19 anymore guys. I grew some decent skills and started actually facing my issues rather than being ignorant of the real problem.

So yes, my financial mark is pretty low frankly. I think with a week or two really pounding away at it, I can get a job and start saving some money for a few months. Then I’ll put a few thousand down to make them feel safe and move in to my own place just down the walkway. I think that would be pretty cool.

So blog, I’m upping my timetables. I was REALLY hoping to get in a paid position with NAMI for the long term, since I am a roots-to-branches program success story. At this point though, I need to be in my own space completely removed from the swell of rage just outside my door, or any other future moment when the tide comes in. It’s not a good feeling blog, especially for me. They realize that last time I had a psychotic break was for reasons exactly like this. I was in a work environment full of anger, roiling hatred, but at least then, it was directed at me. Right now, it’s just like a cloud of poisonous gas outside my door waiting to choke me to death with resentment if I venture out. I don’t anticipate being at a breaking point with that anytime soon, but I’m also not interested in the ongoing risk of exposure.

Getting my own place blog, much much sooner than previously thought.

My Ever-Changing Heart

Oh blog, the years have taught me some useful survival skills when it comes to matters of the heart. For me, my heart has changed an number of times, and occasionally, not when it was at all convenient to do so. I followed my heart to love at certain points (or my cock, the jury is still out), only to find a change of circumstance a short time later led to a dramatic shift in desire. I have felt my direction change while I was mired in a marriage that was hurting me mentally, but was stubborn, so I stayed. After the suicide attempt, I started to learn to not shove those feeling away, but to listen to them.

The heart is tricky, because sometimes it leads us to such happiness, only then to have life or a change in disposition snatch it away. Life really is chasing a little chicken through the yard. Sometimes we catch the chicken, if not for a few fleeting moments, but its small and squirrely so it gets away. I guess in this metaphor finding real lasting happiness is cooking and eating the chicken, so yeah. My metaphors have been a tad dark lately.

Honestly, there may not be that moment where one is to say: I am now truly, content. Life changes every single second, and nothing that is constant can stay relevant. In order to succeed, the heart must lead WITH change not against it, and the conversation on stability should be deep, revealing, honest and full of the hope for a blending rather than a division. We all strive to find joy in our lives, and the inconsistent desires of the heart don’t make that easier.

In my mind, whenever my little fire gets going, I start to wonder what I am walking towards. Is there happiness down this road somewhere? Is there a future here that coincides with growth and progress? In the past, I have loved people who needed help to move forward in life, but this is not partnership. Partners are equal, and they share the burden of reality and do what they must to help each other. If one has to drag the other around, there is no sustainability there. I lost my love and had to walk away from that life, because it became apparent that I was going nowhere, and certainly not up while dragging someone behind me.

My moral lesson here is to be adaptable. Things change, feelings shift, and sometimes people can endure those changes without growing infinitely frustrated with each other. Sometimes we do grow apart and move away from each other. I’ve known this personally, and it is a tough thing to realize if you are still in love with the person who is moving away, as I was. I didn’t know how to cope with that then, but it does make a lot more sense to me now. I don’t think I would hurt the same way now that I have such an understanding of the volatility of love. Trial, failure, recovery. All these stages have led me to be a true appreciator rather than someone who pines. I have an open forum to love, and for people to freely change their way right out of my life without my empire crumbling. Why burden yourself with the pressure of eternity? How many times have I said I was going to do something “forever” and the longest that sort of “forever” lasted a few years and then it was not “forever” anymore. We are foolish to think things just can go on and on unchanging, when every clue around us tells a different story.

We must adapt our love to survive, and be the benevolent overlord of our hearts. May they know the freedom to love, and feel, and be, but not the heartache of having that feeling not go on forever, unchanging, safe, strong, impregnable, but inevitably, imobile. Forever doesn’t bend people. I had to get divorced twice and fall right on my face a few times to come to that realization. Granted, I was not the most stable individual during that time, but still, I think the logic is sound. We want to have lives that are planned, have road signs, and that we never feel lost in the forest. The thing is people, you don’t learn anything new by following the signs and never deviating from the path. Explore the bushes, find the secret, hidden road. There is so much more to life being allowed to be unexpected than trying to defend reality from the constant changes of living.

This has been a tough lesson for me. I’m eager to give away love and dedication to those I treasure, but I also am aware that people come and go as they will. I love those who I can reach, and call out to those too far away to come closer for a time. Love is a door one can walk through and then leave from. This is the final evolution of the heart, one with the omniscient confidence to spread joy to those who take shade under my limbs, if not only for a time. I know In my heart that I have learned, and value the hard lessons I did benefit from. So blog, the moral here is to be open. Talking, sharing, discussing… all are going to lead to a communication that is hopefully honest and can facilitate a peaceful reconnection.

 

Sigh

The parents are at it again with their absolutely dysfunctional way of communicating with each other. They snap, yell, assume, judge, you know, all the things you should avoid doing. They also never ask for clarity, or a moment to pause, or anything like that. They inflate, expand, and explode. Over and over again.

I’ve failed to instill any communication skills in them at all. It’s because I’m not an expert at anything in their eyes. I’m still just their son. I’m not an adult who lives with them, I’m a kid who needs to be told what to do so he doesn’t fuck up. I’ve had my fair share of conversations with them about treating me and each other with respect, and they don’t get it. Not one teeny tiny bit.

So, as a healthy communicator, I’m in an environment where my skills can’t be utilized or even practiced. It wasn’t until I found ******* again that I’ve finally had someone I could effectively communicate with. Boy was that refreshing to talk to someone who could reflect, understand and be a safe place to reveal trauma. I can’t do that here. No one in this house has even the slightest idea what to do in a crisis.

This is one of many posts that leads me to want to remove myself from this living arrangement eventually. I still love my parents, but they’re basically a lost cause at this point. I can’t learn anything from them in regards to good mental health behaviors. Moo seems to have largely just slipped back to not caring about anything and doing what she wants. I’ve been poking her to motivate but she’s resistant. She listens to no one but herself.

Parental relationships can be complex, and even though they’ve been married for a long ass time, they are still not in a healthy relationship. Not by a long shot. Nevertheless, I will still try to be the bastion of hope on this battlefield. I’ll never stop loving them or trying to convert them to functional communications, even if I know they will never change. Dedication is something that doesn’t stop.

Recap

Score: +2.5

I was feeling like getting out and about today so I walked all over the fucking place. 18,000 steps and counting. I’m feeling better as time goes on and I get out more consistently. Having an every day fishing objective is really nice since it’s refreshing just to fish (regardless of catching anything). My energy was still a little low though, and I know on a more poppy day I could have gone further.

The fam and I just watched the TV adaptation of Childhood’s End which was pretty well done. It’s going to be a relaxing weekend leading up to another fun and exciting week of possibilities. I don’t have much to say at this point… I’ve been through my processes and pretty much arrived at a stable place. Just look at all the damn posts, clearly I have been thinking about some things. Hope you guys have a good night.

Bright and Early

I got up to go pee and couldn’t go back to sleep. There were a barrage of inner-mental distractions as soon as I regained consciousness which I will need to clarify at some point down the road on the secret black curtain blog that none of you know about. Anyway, I’m starting my morning routine of waking up toad frog ass early in the morning and going fishing. I’m will be walking over there about a quarter after five and spend an hour or so on the water, then walk the .85 or .9 miles back. All before 7 am too.

I’ve really changed my Chapter 2 playlist to pretty much strictly contain songs I can sing, or lip sync with astonishing accuracy and pizazz. This is all part of the good. I’m feeling like I have my performing arts fire lit a little bit. This is fabulous timing since I’m interested in being a part of the In Your Own Voice program with NAMI (almost entirely public speaking).

I have also come up with a new and exciting way to torment my parents under the guise of being thoughtful. I came across a pad of sticky notes and my immediate thoughts were how I could abuse the medium to do much more than the meager Post-It was ever thought to be capable. This morning is a prime example of this newfound philosophical approach: I fed the cat early, while my parents were asleep, which yesterday, resulted in the cat being fed twice (it fooled my mom by being absurdly pathetic and cute). I needed a way to convey to the family that the cat food should be left alone, because the cat was already sated from a predawn feast (and is not a Hobbit, therefore, requires no Second Breakfast). I grabbed a sticky and transcribed the following message, and I’d like to see who’s pop-culture whiskers get a tingle with this one. A correct identification of the reference earns you my awe, and a little crown I made just now out of an unused tissue.

The note read:

“All these worlds are yours except:

CAT FOOD

Attempt no landing there. 
Use them together.
Use them in peace.”

 

I eagerly await some form of response from them, or possibly, likely, a burst of insane laughter. This is only the beginning though blog. I have dozens of these Post-Its. They are soon to be appearing in “seemingly” random places, bearing a message of some relevance in a highly cryptic or possibly indecipherable fashion. I’m not sure yet if this is all going to be part of a larger, comprehensive propaganda campaign or possibly just something that torments with answers that cannot be unpacked from the insane cookie jar they came from. Frankly though, we need all the help we can get, legit or not. WEB’s numbers are sagging in the polls and the fucking midterms are nearly upon us! We have to do something drastic.

 

Grasslands Drive

I am truly fortunate to live in this place. Beautiful environment, gated, safe, fishing spots abound, easy handicapped access and great, inviting staff. This place was a score, needless to say. I would be content still living in this complex if I had my own 1BR somewhere within it. The venue could not be more beautiful. I am very lucky to be here and living to catapult myself forward.

1,600 Miles

Since I started February 22nd 2016, I have walked the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef (1,600+ miles). Thanks for the helpful little thingie FitBit, that was a happy in my email today. It also got me thinking about how much better I’ve felt lately because of the significantly increased walking on a daily basis. I walk 2 miles to fishing spot and back every morning, not to mention all the pacing around I’m usually doing.

I had a good talk with my parents about their need to be more effective communicators with me, because they are all kinds of dysfunctional on their own, and I refuse to be party to such treatment. I have been trying to instill good communication skills, especially for my dad, and today was a breakthrough of sorts. They agreed to stop “kid gloving” me and treat me like an adult who is not about to explode into a ball of all-consuming fire. Also, They agreed to treat my like a third adult in the house, a roommate even, rather than the freeloader son I actually am.

We all agreed to be more open about our feelings and bring things up to each other and avoid anyone feeling not respected and not talked to about important issues.

That was good. It felt good being the PSS for my parents, or a P/FSS? Either way, I’m effective. Speaking of communication, I did hear back from * and there is clearly some wheel-turning or reaction processing going on, which I am not sure how I set off, but deeply regret if it has led to hurt, pain or extra poop in the face. She says she wants to talk later, and that she has a lot to think about. I’m hoping she finds some peace/solace this weekend as she has been looking forward to it all week, and that she finds the clarity of thought she seeks.

I checked the warmline at 8, and no one. This happened last Monday too, and I was grr about that. WHY I NO HELP U 2 DAY? my cat puppet in my head says. Patience, cat puppet, someone will call. I’ll be in at 10, 12 and 2 for my patrol. So long for now bloggytime!

#1,404

Howdy there Blog. Today I’m manning the warmline for NAMI Sacramento, and Monday (my regular day) as well. This picture represents the seed of my meager beginnings. I have no desk, only a bed, binder and photocopied organization, group and education programs to guide me to success. I also have my PSS skills which have come in handy on a few of the calls I’ve already handled. I feel proud of the job I did preparing resources for days like today, and I have been fantastic in my encounters with people in need so far.

Don’t mock my chicken scratch. Handwriting = useless method of communication.

The title of this post helps to summarize my resolution, because: it’s just another post. One of thousands. It is a habit I engage in daily, and there is no deviation from that pattern, ongoing since 2012. Really, #1,404 grounds me, because isn’t it also true that life is divided up into tiny moments where we either succeed or fail? Some of my posts from the past are just fucking flat-out bat-shit nuts. Others, sound, reasonable and founded in logic. But they by themselves do not define the whole, they simply become part of a massive accumulation and the individuality of their sharpness is resolved by an overwhelming quantity of others that do not reflect the same acute nature. So even though things get momentarily perturbed at times, we still sail on, driving the ship ever towards the unknown horizon. Sometimes there is a storm that tosses us around, and sometimes the wind is with us and we break the swell hard and fast, driving that hull flush towards the setting sun, the spray of the sea clinging to my face.

Today has been about me sinking my feet into the dirt and staring hard at what lies ahead. The future may be divided into agonizing little increments, but they are just more days, more numbers more tally marks towards the moment when I will become who I desire to be. Though, the control of my destiny is still not yet mine to take, I do feel the anxiety/excitement of the impending moment when I have both hands on the wheel again, and we are ready for sail on all-ahead flank!

Affirmations

Today is going to be a day in which I take a positive step forward.

I am volunteering, and giving my time to a cause deeply connected with my success as a person with mental illness.

I am happy, living in a safe environment with people I love.

I am cared for, nourished and kept track of by people who love me and are concerned for my well being.

I am educated, savvy, spontaneous, introspective, thoughtful, original and quite uniquely humorous, all of which help define who I am as a person.

I have the confidence in my heart of knowing my intentions are pure, that I would break nor moral or judicial law to satisfy some personal need or impulsive desire.

I am immensely proud of them man I am now, and looking forward to becoming even more expansively fantastic as I ensnare myself in the mental health spiderweb of resources (Hmm, On second glance, I guess in this metaphor I’m going to get eaten by a spider… so maybe I should try something a little less horrible next time I dip the ladle in the “original ideas” bucket).

I am creative, and finally realizing a personal dream to fully expand and document my fiction epistolary narrative and complete my first novel.

I have taken hard blows in life, some nearly fatal, bur always come back to rise up and try to have a life again.

I will not give up on my life, I will shape it into something I can be proud of, and something that brings me close to worth and meaning

I believe I have many things to learn still, and many teachers I have yet to meet

My doors and windows are open, and all are invited to come over.

The world is a beautiful place in its moments, and I am glad to be here in it.

**UPDATED** 5/18 – Chapter 2.5?

A new album inspired by recent events. **UPDATE** There have been some uncanny harmonies I need to include, so the playlist has been adjusted.

  1. Hotel California – Eagles
  2. Walk Away – Joe Walsh
  3. For Whom The Bell Tolls – Metallica
  4. Don’t You Know What The Night Can Do? – Steve Winwood
  5. If I Can’t Have You – Yvonne Elliman
  6. No One In The World – Anita Baker
  7. Secret Separation – The Fixx
  8. Roam – The B-52’s
  9. A Little Respect – Erasure
  10. Middle Of The Road – The Pretenders
  11. No One Like You – Scorpions
  12. We Built This City – Starship
  13. What You Need – INXS
  14. Straight To My Heart – Sting
  15. Trouble Me – 10,000 Maniacs
  16. Beautiful – Gordon Lightfoot
  17. Right Down The Line – Gerry Rafferty

Moar!

I didn’t get any warmline calls yesterday, but I spent all day with ********. Sorry, but I’ve been asked to censor and word replacement doesn’t make much sense when read back. I did, however, get an email that I responded to and informed someone about our NAMI Sac membership fees. I have also reached out yesterday to my ED David and asked him if there was more I could be doing this week. I’d vastly prefer staying active and busy then sitting in my room smoking weed and wishing I was doing something meaningful.

I’ve had a bit of an emotional upheaval the last few days being with *************************. When I see her, I get several different reactions, a lot of which I’d like to preserve/keep. There is another area though that doesn’t have a place in our lives anymore, and I have been trying to express how difficult that is for me to subdue. It is something I prefer to share openly, because bottled emotions and repressed things often go boom at some point later on. That’s not who I am anymore… I’ve been blown apart by my on un-dealt with feelings too many times.

I am a problem solver, and when presented with the quandary of what to do with these feelings, I adjust internally towards a solution. Plus, there is the additional responsibility of the memories of my past, and things I have done in similar social dynamics. She told me we would have to “break the world” to be together. We did, and it was doomed to fail before it even began. I did though… and it fucking destroyed me for 5 years, and stays with me in my present. I will never subject myself to that agony again. The shame I still carry around my first marriage is a weight I will never be rid of, because it needs to be there to remind me, every day, about what I did.

So being a volunteer is not predictable. I’m like a misfiring laser, sometimes bursting with radiance for a few seconds, sometimes just a tiny little blip of energy, sometimes nothing at all. I have two months to poke my way to a salary of some form, and I promise that I will accomplish that. I have done more with less time.

MOAR!

I have been doing a great job hitting my minimum 10,000 steps a day. I was up at 20,000 per day over the weekend. I do really like the way I feel when I’m more mobile. My cardiovascular health is improving again like back when I used to walk all the time at work in San Diego. I am intent on getting my weight to 175 – 180 range, back like when I was in high school. That’s the body I had before the meds, before depression. I think I can get that healthy person back to center stage, and I will drive myself forward with determination and improved health in mind. It’s really great that *** and I are talking, because she is also healthy and motivated, and we could be good exercise buddies. I do believe we are going for a nearly 3 mile walk today, but even after that, I’ll need to hop on the elliptical for a few miles. It’s harder-earned steps on the elliptical, that’s for sure, but the calculation for distance is not based on steps walked but the turn of the belt around the resistance wheel. So it SAYS I’ve put 151 miles on the odometer, but that’s not “walked,” that’s “ridden” or more like a very pedaling a inefficient bicycle. I’m just being straight with you.

So, here is my cat, Dandelion (I didn’t have any part of naming the cat. If it were up to me we’d call it “meat.”). The cat is pretty much broken, and should be returned to its store of origin and replaced with a cat that actually works properly. As you will see in the video, it doesn’t meow, it squeaks. It doesn’t purr, is snores. It doesn’t hunt, it runs in terror of creatures big and small. However, it has some unusual dog-like characteristics: it loves belly rubs, it comes when called, is fiercely loyal to it’s momma and it works hard to get your attention when it wants something; with the incessant persistence of an animal that has nothing else to do and the determination to get what it wants.

This is 4:30 am feeding time since I’m up ass fuck yes :30 in the morning. She’s much more excitable at dinner. She probably was asleep a few minutes before this video was taken. I did my best to get her all excited. Enjoy!

To Trick The Fish

I recently started fishing a junction point of the agricultural waterway at the point where it crosses the 80. There’s a big, open area of water where I WAS SURE there would be fishies. I’ve been there 5 times with different setups each time; not even one bite. Are there fish in the murky trench? Why yes there are, and large ones at that. I’m not a catch and kill guy, I just enjoy the sport of temporarily mutilating a fish and then sparing its life to be tormented by some other human at some point later on down the line. I don’t argue it’s wholesomeness… because it’s truly horrible. However, it is also primal, instinctual, and a trigger of a sort. Some little animal part of my brain expands when I am trying to trick a fish into biting my artificial lure. I think about the crankbait swimming through the water, or the spinnerbait sparkling. There is an art to how I use the topwater popper, and how I can simulate an injured baitfish with my “moves.” I especially like being on the bottom, and feeling all the mud, rocks, plants and other things that the bait bumps into on its way back to me. A stasis, or, euphoria pervades, with imagination as the great engine of imagery. I don’t like killing and eating the flesh of what I have killed. My Dad and Mom’s generation are still really into that sort of thing. It connects them to themselves somewhere deep, like fishing kinda does for me.

The story is about persistence. My subjects will only be able to elude me for as long as the mystery of what they find interesting remains as such. A great thing I have learned in life is that if you concentrate a great deal of dedication onto something (whether it be a full time job, or a project, or a relationship [or catching a stubborn fish]) you can almost certainly count on getting it, or at least some part of it, over time. The passage of days is key, because impatience leads to frustration and burnout. Just like slowly dragging that Texas rig through the muck, all things develop in time and with the application of determination. I am determined to get mentally healthy, me a part of NAMI Sacramento and live the rest of my life loving the people that matter and taking care of those who need help. Sounds like a pretty fantastic thing to be dedicated to, no?

 

Fishing and achieving lofty goals is about going slow, and making sure you take more steps forward than steps backward overall. Perseverance is driving the hammer of will to the nail of reality. Be the master of your own domain, as they might say in pop culture. Keep smacking the shit out of reality until it takes a more desirable shape. No body gets anything done in this world by pooping the bed and not going anywhere. Get off the pooped-on bed and let’s go do some shit!

Profile

Age: 34
Weight: 218

Activities: Fishing, Writing, Politics, Family, Beer, Weed, Walking/Hiking, Movies/TV, D&D. Fiction, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Literature, English, Geology, Meteorology, Astronomy, Zoology, Debate/Discourse

Personality Attributes: Sense of Humor, Intellect, Scientific areas of Study, Logic, Compassion, Empathy, Unbreakable Bonds, Love, Trust, Passion, Dedication, Adoration, Polarity, Pain, Joy, Happiness, Lust, Desire, Closeness, Friendship, Enlightenment

Flaws: Diseased, Scarred, Imbalanced, Obese, Damaged, Confused, Frustrating, Inconstant, Unreliable, Irrelevant

Adjectives: Unique, Hyperbolic, Embellished, Observant, Sensitive, Auric, Old, Detached, Irrelevant, Archaic, Poignant, Introspective, Improving, Prideful, Honest, Moral, Obedient, Calculating, Thoughtful, Logical, Internal, Complex, Random, Arbitrary, Nonsensical, Surprising, Shocking, Rude, Deranged, Contrary, Objective, Respectful, Chivalrous, Smelly, Strange

I wish I was balanced, and I had a chance to explore all the avenues of my life without having willingly or unwillingly given up on them. I defined my early life by confusion, frustration, misguidedness and disorientation. Real life shocked me into functionality, but the mold didn’t work for me and I collapsed. I went through that cycle three or four times before arriving at the point I am at now. Things are stable, but also still very easily perturbed. The problem lies in my personal toxicity. Everyone who gets close to me is eventually poisoned and grows to hate me for one reason or another. The people who can’t get rid of me have swallowed the pain I’ve caused them and moved on.

Memories Found

I found these pictures today of Em and I back when we dated. On the occasion that my life in Sacramento imploded about 6 years ago, we ventured south and I lost all contact with her. My sentimentality and generousness for forgiveness lends me to want to build bridges rather than seek to burn them down (if they happened to still exist).

I would like to find her again, and see how the road has been treating her. I certainly have meteored-out at least once between then and now. Seeing her face reminds me of how passionately I loved her, and I can still feel the ache in the place that is now empty because she has gone. There will never be anyone else like her, and no one that could replace what she brought to my life, for a time. I learned many things because of Em, and seeing her bright face only reminds me further of the memories we made together. Those years were some of the happiest times in all my life; when I lived in that granny flat in Fair Oaks with Em. We had two wild chickens whose names I still remember: Jack (black) and Houdini (brown) that hung around the house. That summer when we first moved in and the hot water wasn’t working… We took baths in the tub out on the lawn and had sex under the stars at night. Passionate moments both good and bad were all a part of my span with her. Many beautiful memories though, a lot like this picture of the two of us. I will never forget those moments and all of the things I have gained having lived through them.

 

What an odd thing to find at random in a notebook, just a few weeks into my return to Northern California. To Em: wherever you are, peace be with you.

Emelia Gribkoff Westin Bailey

Back when we were together

Initiate

My volunteer career with NAMI Sacramento has begun, and I am already participating in the expansion of my organization’s goals. I represented a living success story when I manned our NAMI Sacramento booth at the Disability Fair on the campus of Sacramento City College last Thursday. It felt great to be working, or more accurately, sponsoring awareness and proactively engaging the community. As time goes on, my hours will steadily increase, and I believe I have made it clear to my Executive Director that I have a lot to offer. The future looks bright.

There is this part of me that keeps going back to the past to poke around in the ashes for an ember of some form. I don’t know why I indulge this activity, as my last encounter with this resulted in me being cursed and berated. Chances are, the same fate ultimately awaits me in the past. The past is a place I have utterly ruined, and I should not expect anything to grow there ever again. Looking forward, this seems to be a good incentive for isolation and an avoidance of the path that led to all that mess. The whole sector is now an irradiated wasteland with an unfriendly fence around it.

I don’t know what new things I will discover in this career direction, but the work is bound to be more rewarding, more meaningful. It is having a purpose and making a difference that are of concern to me. I don’t want to be forgotten or useless. We have a cat: there’s already someone in this house who’s primary occupation is being useless. No room for two of us, it would seem. So here I am living my life, being proactive and helping a nonprofit spread the word about erasing the stigma of mental illness.

Communication Practice

It’s hard to maintain healthy communication skills when you live with people who refuse to practice them. My parents are frustratingly ingrained in their resentment and biases, which makes bridging their disconnects with good communication skills totally impossible. They refuse to shed the cognitive distortions that haunt nearly all of their interactions: My dad the mind reading projector and my mom the all-or-nothing emotional free radical. Together, they hardly communicate about anything that isn’t inherently positive or reflective. Conflicts just keep getting brushed under the rug in their partially dissimilated states; abandoned to frustration and time.

I do hope that as I expand professionally, I can build up more of a tolerance to being consistently rebuffed in my attempts to establish good communications between my parents (or clients) and  still help them improve their ragged partnership. In such a dynamic, the more clear and concise the better, but in my reality, speculation and projection run amok like easy candy out of a cheap vending machine. No one views my way as a superior way to communicate, or are otherwise unmotivated to change for the (what I believe to be the) better. This is frustrating for me, naturally. The people I love the most are the ones I am least able to help.

So, I have to endure a dysfunctional environment with no real hope of improvement for as long as I am living here. In truth, I had suspected that I would not be with them in the same house until the end of their lives, because eventually, I would need a healthier environment to thrive in as the person I intend to be. That man, Westin we will call him, is intending to be a ripple of good in the still, murky pond of life. I know I can impact people’s lives and show them a way towards finding a kind of happiness that makes sense for who they are.

In the meantime, I at least have my own room and place to retreat to in the event I do not want to be a part of the ongoing discourse. Things are moving forward in my path towards re-establishment into relevance… this is more of a personal relevance if anything. I need to achieve, to try for something of worth, and succeed so that the roots of my pride and personality are nourished. It’s a good recipe for avoiding deep depressive cycles, I have found.

 

Have a good day.

Transition Complete!

Hello Blog, I am in a great mood! Over the past 11 days I have moved myself and my family 525 miles north to Sacramento, CA. This is the actual physical reset button being pushed on the whole dynamic and directive. Moving is always one of the most stressful things to endure. It taxes our bodies, and fills our minds with stress. I had many bad days during this run towards transition, however, I did not falter in my responsibility to my family. The only real negative thing that happened the whole trip was that Moo had a can of paint explode on her feet and got all paintafied. She was mad because her shoes died. All in all, that’s pretty damn good considering the potential losses we could have suffered in such an undertaking.

I have a new living space with ample room, of which I am grateful. It will be nice to live here while I get myself independentacated again. It’s only a matter of time before I’m working somewhere self-sustaining. Even then though, I still believe it is a big part of my life now to look after my parents. My dad needs help every day, and to toss that burden casually to my mom for the sake of my independence seems unjust, and not something a family member would do to another. Even if I am making the big bucks, and  I could be living somewhere by myself, I will probably stay with them.

This is the most content I have been in some time. Sitting here in my new abode amidst the twinge of box smell and fresh paint. I am pleased to be here, as I believe I forecasted I would be some time ago, looking down the scope at this day off in the future. It is great to be here, and the cascading erosion of time has left me dusty, smudged and bruised all over.

I’m going to focus on getting the apartment 100% unpacked and situated, then call my peeps and start the lifes.

 

I struggled and endured a huge ordeal, and this can be evidence for you that huge undertakings of epic scale are possible, if worked at, if crushed with persistence and if pursued until completed at all cost. There is no giving up, even when you can’t move your legs. Eat a pop tart, and give yourself a few minutes before getting the fuck back to work.

One day soon, we will be at done. When there, a new kind of ice cream like happy should prevail.

Exposed

Not a great start today. The fact that I live in a dining room is becoming increasingly frustrating. I have no schedule for myself. Everything I can do is contingent upon what someone else is doing or wants. I don’t have a door. I can’t establish an identity in a shared space. This arrangement has me at my breaking point.

I now retreat to my truck outside on the street to get the solitude I require since I have no way to filter noise in my current living space. No one seems to mind my discomfort since I’m not that important in the grand scheme of things. It’s true.

I guess this is a discomfort I need to become accustomed to since it will be present for at least the next two weeks and in some lesser form after that. I’m a vagrant. I’m not going to complain to the conductor that the steerage train cars are filthy. I feel that not a battle I can win or am interested in provoking.

So here I am exposing myself everyday and longing for some shred of privacy in the future. I have no dignity regardless, but I don’t care to be a victim of shame in further opening my life to public observation. Have you ever lived in a dining room or tent outside an RV? Beggars aren’t choosers if they’re smart. Humility is the finest virtue when seeking charity, I find, since it is the only state that doesn’t incur the penalty of guilt. We are all quite familiar with how I can beat myself about the face and neck with the fetid dead cat of self-imposed guilt.

I don’t ask for much. Sometimes I want to be not poked at. Other times the poking is welcome. This morning, I wanted to shut my door to the world but I couldn’t. I just had to leave the whole residence in order to have a moment alone with my thoughts. Without the obnoxious television blaring or the sounds of life stirring. I need quiet, warm, protected.

I find that explaining often goes by misunderstood more often than not. My words largely go unheeded. I am an expert of nothing; a mountebank that people passing by in the cobblestone streets pay no heed. Somewhere in the distance, a duck is quacking loudly but no one cares.

Today is one day closer to the end of this torment. Two more weeks. I can make it two more weeks before igniting the engines and readying myself for blastoff. I have the hard work done, and now the final pieces in which skills are implemented will be my next task to arrange. I just want to be up there. I don’t want to be in this circumstance anymore. Discomfort level high. Not much more room to go before the thermometer pops.

Things might be better if my attitude wasn’t such crap. I don’t have much going on. I’m not proud right now. I want to be committed, needed. I desire to be a part of an organization affecting change. Things are very muddy for me right now.

Well, this post has done little to change my mood, and that’s unfortunate. Reality doesn’t just poof when I want it to, unsurprisingly. Yet, I’m still pissed.

Monday Bumday

I guess things are not going so good. I don’t feel like anyone is really excited about anything I’m doing right now. I’m in a physical place where I have no privacy, schedule or spark in my life. Things are starting to taste bland.

Part of this is the fact that no one has any reason to invest anything in me unless I’m in crisis or causing a disturbance of some sort. I’m useful, mind you. I do often work my ass off and contribute. I am appreciated for that in a small sense.

The thing I am beginning to understand is that I’m not desirable. I’m not someone who would compel one to invest energy, love, time or words in. Some people got excited about me for a time. Then they learn who I am, and they distance themselves. They did not like the whole-me thing apparently. I can understand that, most of the time I don’t either.

Puts me in a tough spot. No one is giving me feedback about what makes me so undesirable or repulsive, so I’m not sure how to change. I don’t want to be this way, where I am just a piece of luggage. I’m clearly easy enough to walk away from. I think the reality of all this is starting to really harden around my ankles.

Today, I realize that even if I wasn’t permanently diseased, stigmatized and obese I would still probably be pretty easy to hate. Or forget.

My parents will always love me, it’s true. They’d prefer I not be too much trouble, which is no burden on them and I agree that I should aspire to that end; as it should be. However, they are under no obligation to give a shit about me beyond that. My passions or my thoughts however, are neglected the attention I feel they deserve. I’m not worth investing the time into because no one ever engages me fundamentally on any of the things that are strictly in my court, no matter how many times I do the same for them. This is the story of my relationships: give to my partner endlessly to keep her around, and loose her once I’m to tired to maintain the charade.

If not for my eagerness to try to do right all the time, I’d be just another mentally ill degenerate living like a parasite in the intestines of the middle class. Since that fate didn’t sound particularly fulfilling… I sought alternatives.

Somewhere between penitential servitude and true happiness there is a grey space. Things here seem real, but never feel like they are. What I have now are the distant cosmic echoes of massive emotional explosions, peaks, troughs and all the feels in between. They hang in my night sky like fading stars, with only the most distant of outlines left, reminding me of what they had been.

There is no where to go from here. I’m not going to be able to change myself into a more desirable person. I am at a crossroads where one direction leads to implosion, and the other leaves me fighting for my life an a sealed compartment rapidly filling with seawater.

I wish you the best on your journey. I don’t know if I really want to keep going on mine anymore.

Far Away

Hey blog. I’ve had some time post impact and I’m feeling pretty resolute about my interpretation. I gave her a last chance. She squandered a great opportunity to be a part of something special. Creativity is awesome.

By Jax. Never more.

In other news, I’m in Barstow, CA on a rockhounding expedition with my mom. Oddly enough, I came here on my honeymoon with Jax and we had a great time. This time around we are systematically attacking the Calico Mountains. Today we went east / southeast and found some Opal and Chalcedony. Still much more to be had out there.

The details of the move north have been made. Plan equals the finality. We know when and where, now we just have to do it. There will be a busy time while things are boxed. I would be looking forward to the moment when the loading truck is empty outside our new place.

I’m planning on being a care provider for the next 25 years or so. My family, and my career dictate that my role be about redemption, hope. I like that in concept. I had my life. That time is largely over now. Understanding the value of family and the bonds of love are the lessons to be learned.

I’m looking forward to another long adventure day tomorrow!

Down a Peg

Well I’m having a down day after game night last night. The lowered dose of Latuda might be a part of that. I had to step down as the higher doses were causing me some barfing of the not good variety. Mainly though, I’m feeling sad inside my body, penetrating all the way through my skin. I feel weighed down, slow, unresponsive and lethargic. Nothing captivates me, or even renders much of a distraction in my current state. I find myself thinking about being alone, and feeling lonely. I cherished companionship as much as I squandered it, and that truth has left me empty handed and futureless. I knew such vibrant women, and they all went away. Now I am all by myself in this world, being the only person I know who can consistently tolerate me.

My parents have done masterfully in regard to protecting me and keeping me from imploding. They are a constant anchor in the real world that I cherish. However, they are not that piece which represents a level of unattainable completeness or symbiosis. A central expression of meaningful union in partnership which has eluded me my entire life. In truth, the disability is my own, in my inability to conduct myself properly or consistently in my past relationships. I may be unloading the guilt cargo onto myself.

 

Now what? I have a frustrating amount of uncertainty in my future and also I am feeling less than inspired by my situation. It’s been a year since I even touched a woman, let alone had a relationship. The ache of absenteeism from participation grows over time, but becomes no more attainable as the moments pass. What are these memories of love? Are they joyous or are they a burden? I look at them and see what could have been, if only I knew then what I know now, and so on. The hindsight helps nothing. The core of it is that I am alone and remain alone, because that is what my life is right now. Largely by my own manifestations, but some due to exterior decision making, I have forged a path of aloneness.

 

I don’t think I should be allowed to hurt anyone again. I am quarantined, restricted and buried deep at the bottom of a mine shaft. I wish I hadn’t blown my chance to really be that person I had hoped I could be. The shape of my life has moved me past that point, and only the echoes of the days that have passed in the rare light of summer sunset. Every man has a time in his life where he sees the top of the mountain, the pinnacle of emotion, the height of passion and has a chance to relish that moment. That time, was some of the best time of my life. Subsequently, there were polar extremes in that time but the emotions I felt, the passion, the love, it was all so real and more beautiful than anything I have ever known. Those times are gone as the sun slipped beneath the horizon. I will never forget. I could never forget.

 

Maybe the future has something more for me, but I have no expectation. I plan to give whatever I have left to my family. They are the only thing that matters now. They never left me, they always helped me when I obliterated my existence. Many women have told me they loved me, but none of them did enough to want to stay and help me when the shit hit the fan. The terrible truth of my disability, the rapid deterioration of functionality, the heinous obesity of decay which permeates. I was too ugly to love in that state, and something more appealing was elsewhere. In the arms of another man or another life, there is a lure stronger than the word “love” which calls louder than the morality of the implication. What does love really imply? Is it worth fighting for? What does it mean to fight for love? See if there was even a shred of functional communication in any of those relationships we might have had a chance. Rot led to infection and then death, ignored, untreated, unaddressed. If ever I am to have happiness in the arms of another in my life it will need to have a FOUNDATION of communication. Core principle.

 

I don’t want to go back. What was back clearly didn’t work. I have evolved since then, and become more of a complete person now than at any point in my life. I do believe I have the tools I need to succeed despite my circumstance and emotional hardships. I loved them, but I couldn’t really talk to any of them. I didn’t know how. Neither did they. It took me nearly 15 years to learn, but fuck, I’m not going to sit here and bitch about being alone and not do a damn thing to change the reasons I am alone. If you can’t communicate, learn how! If you want to find someone who understands your definition of love? Try making it really clear what you stand for, what drives you and what you believe in. I’m not hopeless. It’s stupid to be hopeless since the future is entirely unwritten.

 

Thanks for being a part of my process this morning. I’m just dealing with my thoughts out here.

Parents

My parents are simply terrible communicators. I have listened to them down-spiral this morning as they fought each other in bed resulting in multiple verbal traumas. After all of the coaching I have done, it was as though my dam had been made of paper and been asked to hold back a lake. There was no moment in which good communication skills, or even basic listening took place. The downside of living with people in such close proximity is that if they had a bad relationship, it sends negative vibrations throughout the environment.

Personally, logic should have prevailed in their argument instead of suppressed emotions. Uncorking on each other is a pretty unproductive activity and results in no progress forward. In the short time I listened, I heard vocal agitation, misunderstandings not clarified, NO I statements at all, accusations, judgements and insults. These are not the tools we should be using with each other when attempting to communicate something important.

The one thing I have tried to pass on to them is a practical application for the principles of mindfulness. Before driving as fast as one can down the emotion freeway, we need to stop for gas and make sure we are headed in the right direction before charging off. My parents have failed at doing this, which leads to the bulk of their issues. Fights like the one they just had only deepen the ongoing resentment and cause bitterness and anger to take root. It’s a destructive process and they need to be aware of that before it becomes the ONLY way they know how to attempt to resolve conflict or attempt expression.

My first job as a Peer Support Specialist is to repair the broken communication bridges between my mom and dad, and help them find a better way to speak to each other. Obviously, what’s going on right now is not working, and no matter how hard they threaten, they’re not likely to go their separate ways. They just need a better way of communicating. which will need to be something they are both equally invested in doing. At this point, it should be obvious to them that what they have going on right now is unsustainable, or at least, in desperate need of repair.

I have often been this person for my parents, but I detect now things are different. I have a unique position of regard, and I need to take that role seriously and balance my approach as a true impartial figure. Frankly, this is not hard since both parties are in a similar state of decay, and similarly need work done in order to rectify the issue. I’m optimistic though, because this deterioration today is a valuable lesson about how we don’t want to keep doing things. Fights hurt. Feelings get smushed. Crying and snot happens a lot. It’s not the best thing ever. What we need to be doing is looking at that and going: “How did I get here?” “What do I need to do to prevent myself from getting here again?” If we can divest ourselves of the need to ridicule and blame, then we are likely to make progress forward.

So for now there are tears and anger, but soon the dust will settle and they will be more receptive. In times of acute emotional crisis, the best thing is to focus on diffusing that heightened state with compassion and safety. Once out of the altered state, the work of understanding can be done.

The Prodigy

Milestone moment for me Blog! I have just received my 4 certificates of qualification from the Peer Support programs I enrolled in over the last few months, and I am pleased that my training is largely complete. I have volunteer hours I still need to log, but the hard work is done.

Yesterday I had an actual graduation ceremony at Recovery Innovations, International’s San Diego office. Only about half the class turned up for the event, but I was very glad my parents could be there. Every single classmate I gave a hug to spoke highly of me to my parents, which felt wonderful. As the ceremony drew to a close, I was the last person to speak before the gathering. I always find public speaking to be a bit “amplifying,” however, I think I handled myself with poise.

Someone I was not expecting to see was there, my old case worker Annette. Back in 2014 when I came out of the hospital, she was right there helping me get back on track. She got me into the WRAP classes and that really made such a big difference right away. As I got healthy and went back to work, we closed my case and I said my goodbyes. Here we are 4 years later and she’s representing NAMI San Diego watching my graduation from PET. “Before I met you I was but a learner… now I am the master.”

She gave a big speech about how proud she was of me and that really warmed my heart. She saw me at my lowest point, and now here I am reaching all new highs. It must have been refreshing for her to see that. I was moved by her words and my mom turned into a puddle. My instructor Gloria also stopped and made a special point to highlight my skills and accomplishments. I was showered in praise and compliments which was altogether overwhelming.

But well earned, Blog! I worked my ass off to get to where I am now. I didn’t ask for anything, I just did what I had to do to get myself back to a place in my life I could be proud of. My parents got a chance to see how hard I’m trying to change my life for the better, and that helps reassure me a lot. I want them to know I’m not just Eric the pot smoking chocolate eater, but Westin, the articulate and loving Peer Support Specialist.

I hope you all have a good Friday. I start my volunteer hours down at my old clinic next week to complete PET requirements. That should be a piece of cake. I wish for you all to have fun on your weekend and live in an action-packed non-boring sort of way. I vicariously thrive on your vices! Fulfill your desires and yes!

In It

I am pleased to report that my PET training is going very well, and I am learning a great deal from my classmates. They are all so bold and open with their feeling, which inspires me to do the same despite my reservations. It’s not just the skills, but how they are implemented that is making a difference for me.

 

Today we are sharing our personal stories which I am a little frightened of. It is a abrasive feeling to talk about myself flatteringly, and this is the hurdle I am striving to overcome with this career path. I can’t deny the facts that I have done great things, but I still have my hands on the reins to prevent the glorification wagon from going over the cliff. My humility is one of my best qualities, which reinforces a desire to not proclaim self worth with any sort of volume.

 

But the facts remain that I have done good and I am doing better than I have ever been before. Even if I throw doubt at that, it doesn’t stick. Logic prevails. However, there are far more mercurial subjects that lend themselves to a more destructive path of logical reasoning. It can be both useful, and poignantly detrimental. I have plunged to my lowest lows because of that negative logic spiral. I learned my train could be hijacked.

 

I wish I had these skills a long time ago. Maybe I wouldn’t have been such an abrasive partner or husband If I had better communication skills, or better listening skills. I can logic that back a bit by also recognizing that even if I had been a good communicator, doesn’t mean that would be a mutual thing. All my partners had no true ability to grapple with themselves honestly, so nothing of true worth ever came to be between them and I. I see so clearly now what a functional relationship is supposed to look like. Even though I’m content that I will never have that for myself, I feel empowered knowing my future interactions will be significantly more diverse than they had been in the past. There are fewer mental obstacles to my success than I can ever remember before.

 

Well Blog, I think today is going to be a good day. I promise to be open and genuine with my classmates, and tell them the story of my journey as only I can tell it.

 

Slow and Steady

I am in a very fortunate position to have a safety net to fall back on in times of crisis. My family has always been there for me throughout the years, despite all my crash and burn events. It makes me wonder what life will be like when they are gone. What would I do if it all fell apart again? Hopefully I would be able to work something out, but the thought is worrisome. I still think that having a support structure is really important to recovery, since its not always an easy road. That is why I am getting back to volunteering, but also just good common sense. I know from experience that if left unchecked, I will slowly deteriorate into dust. Monitored, poked and occasionally questioned is best, since it keeps me in the present and also forces me to come face-to-face with my actions.

Right now, in this uncomfortable interval, I am homeless but not hopeless. I am pursuing justice as well as exerting my energy towards a MH career. I also have come to realize these things are not going to move at a speed that I feel normal about, nor are things going to be in my control very often. I am finding that the more little things I push into motion, the less control over the outcomes I have. I then find myself in this limbo between events, where I am unsure how to occupy myself without guilt. I have made with the fun for the most part with these past days, admittedly. Now I feel like I need to “get serious” or something and stop allowing myself to have largely unregulated fun. I feel guilty about doing things that are not productive, yet keep me distracted while the wheels are turning somewhere in the background. Maybe this type of conjecture is not resolvable, since there are great arguments to be made on both sides.

So I’m in a type of sullen paralysis where I do what feels good but, subsequently, feel rotten about it. It’s not like I have demonstrated a desire to not work, or an eagerness to loaf. I do not prefer these as default states, as I have mentioned before, but vastly prefer ordered time be justified and valid. Work allots play, and so on. Now, however, things are different. I am not coping effectively with the feelings I am having and I feel like it is only a matter of time before I wear out my “welcome” and generate animosity in my environment. I fear this outcome though do not overly expect it will be true. These are things I fear. Hence the purpose of this place: to vent my feelings idly into cyberspace to avoid their residency in my brain. Ideas don’t stay in and not do anything.

So Blog, I am thinking that I will try to post daily, and start documenting the feeling I am having through this process. I have decided not to go back to doing therapy with Margaret as she has proven to be a bit out of touch now that we see each other so infrequently. I’m not in a regular therapy kinda place. I have the fundamentals down pretty well, but need real hands-on experiences dealing with all sorts of issues as they arise. Whether my interpretation of something internally or an observation about something outside myself, I need to know I have the tools and can use them. I find my parents and their dysfunctional system of communication is a good place to start.

I will keep posting as the days go on, and new emotions come up. We are all going through these things together at different times in our lives. This is my time to struggle,  and soon it will be yours.

#1333

I’m capping off a good evening by myself with a little mental health check in.

Emotionally, I’m very stable and consistently happy. Ever since I moved in with my parents, I have been doing much better in terms of my mood being more up than down. I do have moments of lethargy and anxiety, but I find that I remain confident. I know I’m continually adding more to my schedule, not stagnating. I’m turning the volume up slowly, patiently. As my new career path begins to unfold. My emotions have been good, and steady.

Anxiety has been a bit of a challenge, and has made going out a little harder. I find that because my dad is handicapped, his need to go out and do things is more important than my anxiety about not going. I know he needs my help and I will always be there for him. So I kind of have a cheap escape from a lot of the agoraphobia in my righteous task. Its empowering to be a caregiver, and be so integral to the success of the mission.

That is the actual number of total posts on my blog: 1,333 including this one. Most of those posts are complete bullshit crap festival. Some of it is processing, but oh my the venting. I’ve done more yelling at this blog than any person in my whole life. If you could run away blog, I bet you would have by now.

I have gone through a lot of “learning,” or stepping on an explosive and being blasted through the air like a floppy rag doll. Lessons are hard earned, but I have the trauma to prove I’ve gained something from it all. The fact that I can come out and share my story is a part of why I am having success with coping. Everyone should share and draw the venom from the wound. We spend so much time burying things we don’t want to deal with when the truth is coping, exposing, understanding. This is what I have come to see clearly.

I hope tonight finds you being introspective, and looking inward for truth and meaning. We are so frivolous sometimes. We take our stability for granted, and are ill prepared when it is ripped away. I don’t sit around calculating contingencies or anything, but instead, I have loosened my grip on the reins. I don’t want to try to control things outside myself anymore. I have a hard enough time handling my own monkey fuck zoo. To manage anything outside of that has proven itself to be impossible.

So I isolate myself from partnership and pursue good mental health for the remainder of my eroded life. I’ve fucked up pretty bad, but now I have a real shot to change something that matters. This brings me a new level of profound worth that is stronger and more meaningful than any accomplishment I have yet achieved. To save someone from darkness. To offer that hand right before they slide over the edge. I want to help now. I don’t want to go on a slave to the machine. Even after my parents are gone and my resources are all used up, I will still work for the poorest and most disadvantaged. I have nothing of worth in this world but the life I have lived and the memories I can make with others to help inspire happiness in their lives. Hopefully more people in this world will think of me as a good man than as a complete fuck up.

Companions

On Thursday, I’m going to meet my Side by Side companion and see if I can help him. I’m pretty fucking awesome, so my hopes are high. I like meeting on the winter solstice too. Literally, the darkest day of the year and here I am holding tightly to the light of hope. To me, it’s an interesting coincidence, since every day can feel like the darkest day of the year to someone who is depressed. This captures the importance of tomorrow in both a literal and metaphorical significance. I am pleased by the nature of such oddities.

I have been visiting the San Diego NAMI office a lot lately and everyone there has been really great. They have turned me on to resources and may have even got my name moved up in the PET waiting list. I was expecting to be on hold until some time next year, after speaking with some savvy individuals. I feel very fortunate that I have been given this opportunity and I won’t miss out. Overall, I feel like I am taking patient, measured steps forward advancing my career and causes.

I live bound to my honesty. It is the backbone of my pride, and helps fend off depression and negative thoughts. I hope to illuminate the strength that can be found within, once one is willing to accept the truth. However foul or unforgiving, the basis of all recovery is to have ones feet in the real world, and work on the rest over time.

I don’t give advice anymore, especially since my in-depth education on mindfulness. I am learning more and more the two aspects of effective communication. Hopefully this peer to peer experience helps me build on my skills. I feel genuinely optimistic about this new direction in my life and know I am already starting to make a difference.

I am proud of who I am to my parents. They see me not only as their son, but a voice of moderation and reason in their sometimes turbulent relationship. I have always been called an “old soul,” despite my insistence that such descriptions are in accurate to my core beliefs. Nevertheless, I have this shamanistic sagelyness to my demeanor that generally appeals. All of these aspects help me be as friendly as lukewarm bathwater. These “medium” qualities help me keep my mother lassoed to the Earth as she rockets away from the surface at mach 8 and scoot the boulder of reason that is my father close to her. He’s just barely holding on to the balloon string most of the time. Now, there is a big piece of elastic underwear holding them together. I’ll let you imagine your way out of that one.

I do hope you all have a happy holiday season. Celebrate however you want, with those you hold dear. Cherish each other. We only have a widow of time together in this world.

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?

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. 

Graduation

Score: +2

Well blog, training is over and it’s time to get back to the other part of my job. I am truly exhausted having crossed the finish line intact. My guys got the knowledge they need to succeed, now I just hope they can implement it. I will be listening and helping all the while. 

In my personal life, things have been changing all around me. Amanda has taken in a homeless friend and her son. I think this has been both good and potentially bad. The friend helps out with groceries and promised to pay rent, but Amanda can’t have anyone move in. However, the friend is also a potentially destructive person and where she goes, drama goes along too. So far, Amanda has steered clear of bad friend. She deals with good friend currently. I just hope Amanda gets stable with or without friend. We shall see. 

I just wish I had more energy. I stopped the Buspar. I don’t think it was actually doing anything. I have noticed zero change in anxiety levels. I’m generally the boss of my anxiety these days. So why buy the medication if it no longer provides benefit? My anxiety was never truly the main mental health symptom I experience. Depression and psychosis take that hands down. Anxiety is a small part of the whole thing. Contributor to bigger problems, mind you, so not insignificant. I think the stability is due in part to the Geodon and Lithium. The Welbutrin helps some, but I’ve also taken that drug for a REALLY long time, and has no doubt diminished in potency. Even though I’m on a crazy dose of the shit. More than prescribed max dose. And no one is helping Seretonin. Every SSRI or SSNRI I try I fail on. Things look good at first, but after a couple years, it all goes to shit. It happened to me 3 different times and nearly cost me everything twice. So I don’t know why we don’t try SOMETHING for Seretonin. I have been feeling strong, but very bland. I lack zip. I used to have zip, but I’m more like blop these days. I need to think about all the meds again coming up in early January. I highly doubt any changes will be made. I’m not in crisis. 

My mom though, she needs to go get her meds evaluated. I had an intervention with her the other night. I really put it all out there. She needs to start the process and get an appointment with a psychiatrist as soon as possible and have her meds evaluated by a professional. She needs to rebuild her mental health, which has become a bit dilapidated. I wasn’t going to sit by and watch her down spiral. My duty as a son will not allow me to stand by and see the matriarch in peril without taking action. Not to mention the fact that  we mentally ill people have a bond to each other to help, since only we truly know what it is like to suffer as we so uniquely do. I stepped in and told my mom just how important she was to us all and how much we (my dad and I) love her. I had some advice about how to reframe her expectations to avoid constantly disappointing herself. Reality is not what you’d like it to be. It’s more like being surprised by the contingency you were least prepared for. Sometimes it’s a rock solid gut shot that takes you down to one knee, but that’s the way it goes. You can either roll over and die or you can get up and ask for another. I’m not letting anyone on my team surrender. I’m going to do everything I can to help my mom and Amanda, each with their own unique struggle. I have the strength to give, just not the money to make much of a logistical difference. Sadly. 

But things are changing all the time. The future remains unwritten. I am just going to keep on pushing my life forward. I’m doing ok. Overall. Night. 

Grog

Score: +2.5

Well things got off to a slow start today. I was difficult to motivate, but once I got going my momentum seemed to level off. I did review today in training and had them start transcribing all the handwritten notes they had taken. It was a good summarization of the material in an of itself. They have a couple more hours of that to go for tomorrow. 

Meanwhile I had a slow weekend. I did lots of work, but things seemed to crawl by. I spent what energy I had cleaning, with traces left over for the rest of the day. I didn’t carry anything in reserve on into the week. 

Today was also busy, but for a good cause. I got a tree today, and my mom and I decorated it this afternoon. It’s quite lovely, festive and a good forward look at what Christmas morning at my place will be like. I’m hosting the fam and Amanda. It will be good times of the yes. 


This is me in the dark wrapped up in my sheets looking out. It is a glowing world out there in the cold dark. I think I will leave it on all night. 

This week is going to be good. I can already tell things are headed in a positive direction. No doubt. Now, if only the energy would catch on and provide me with a much needed boost. 

Night 2

Score: +3.5

It’s finally looking like a place where someone is living around here blog. No more boxes on the floor in piles, only a few pictures need hanging and then I’m wholly settled. I spent the day constructing a bookshelf and a stand for my TV. Ok enough summary. 

I’ve been worried about Amanda. She is struggling hard right now, and not getting on top of her situation. It’s not all her fault, as a lot of what she has to do is based on the input of others. Agencies, social workers, doctors and lawyers are all converging on her life and I know she is overwhelmed. I had her over tonight but she could barely eat she was so depressed. She said she needed to go home and have a good cry. I guess that helps, but it doesn’t solve any problems. I’m a fixer, so this situation is tough for me as there is little I can do to help. I extricated myself, which I also feel guilty about. Should I have stayed with her in the apartment to be there with her, even to the bitter end? I don’t think she would have wanted that, but I don’t feel loyal. I feel like I turned and fled when shit hit the fan. I don’t know how to reconcile that guilt. 

I know Amanda has the most difficult challenge of her life ahead of her, and I just want to be able to say I helped her through it. I love her unconditionally, and would never retract that unless I were fundamentally betrayed or cast away. I don’t foresee her leaving me amidst this crisis; I’m a pretty useful person to have around. My real quandary is how to encourage Amanda to be strong in this time of crisis. How can I let her know that if she pushes through this, things will get better in time. She only sees a negative future filled with uncertainty right now, and I don’t know how to change that culture. But can you blame her? The future is scary right now, but that is (arguably) when we must be the strongest. 

I hung some pictures because it was bugging me that I said I had that left to do and I was sitting here blogging and perfectly capable of hanging several of them. Mr. Project. I’m really excited about living here, on my own again. I needed to be independent right now, and to lift my head out of the clouds. Things were becoming indiscernible. 

My hope is that Amanda addresses things one at a time, and comes to a healthy schedule of accomplishing mandatory tasks gradually. Today’s meltdown was due to her mom, who is a psychopathic anxiety head-case. Undiagnosed and untreated anxiety and paranoia for decades. So she’s not a great person to talk to when one is in a crisis. She tends to dramatize and inflate. These actions sent Amanda to the bad place today. She never responded to my text messages after she got home. I’m sad. 

I have hope, however, that eventually she will be out from under all of this mess and on to living a life she deserves. This is not the life she should be living. Not at all. I know we can get her to a better place. Perseverance. I will not give up on her. 

Tomorrow is Sunday. There will be much watching of football and family time. I’m tired. Today was eventful, and now I can say that I am 98% complete setting up my new life. I worked hard to get here, and now I get to enjoy the spoils. 

Many things on my mind tonight. I feel pretty useful living on my own, but utterly useless when I am with Amanda. That sucks. I wish my life wasn’t so starkly contrasted. I need to restore balance. 

Well, goodnight. 

Settling

Score: +3

Well the move is essentially over. I’m in my new studio apartment sleeping on my bed that has been in storage for a year plus. Finally, the dust is settling. It was a brutal stretch there early in the week; I even had a colonoscopy on Monday. On that note, I’ve been on this kick to try and get myself healthy, starting with a screening for cancer. It is the main killer on both sides of my family. I had polyps but they removed them and will biopsy. Hopefully they’re not cancerous. 

But seriously, I’m doing much better now that the move is over. It was hard work and very stressful. I’m glad we are done with that stage. Don’t misinterpret my situation; I’m still seeing Amanda, and we have not broken up. We just realized that her life is imploding and mine would have gone along with it if I had stayed living with her. She’s in deep transition, and hopefully there will be relief for her soon. Her disability case is strong, and she is also filing for bankruptcy. I’m helping her as often as I can, and that is a stabalizing force in her life. 

We seem to be bonding better amidst all the strife, on the bright side. 

So transition time and time spent living on my parent’s couch are over. On to this new phase where I live independently and openly. I meet my own budget, I am responsible for only my own shit. I progress through life on my own terms. Things are really looking up. 

My kitchen. Cuties on the counter. 

Need to hang that native art and get a TV stand tomorrow. 

Still have some unpacking to do. The bag behind the couch is my PlayStation 2. 


Bathroom, with my pill organizer on the vanity counter. 

Still missing a bookshelf so I can unpack the few boxes I have left at the foot of my bed, clearly. But other than that, everything is in place. This is my studio, in beautiful Mt. Helix, with a view of all of eastern San Diego county. I’m truly fortunate to have such a place to live, in a multi-unit property with only 1 other rented space in my area (above me). AND those tenants are awesome, genuinely nice people. Couldn’t ask for more. 

Hope you have a good night blog. I am. 

Superzippy With Boo

Score: +3

This is not a good thing. The last two days, my anxiety has been running at system-critical high levels. Amanda and I have been discussing possible triggers, but almost everything falls into that category. On football Sunday, I was out of my mind. I did 1.5 miles on the elliptical and took two warm sit-down showers… nothing. No reduction of symptoms. And things that continue to trigger me are relics from the past that have no implication now. Such as things that might have made me anxious years ago, situations at old jobs, awkward interactions, but why are they relevant now? I can literally feel my blood pressure spiking, and my breathing constricted. It’s not ideal. 

Work was fine today. Had my fingers in many pies. I’m feeling increasingly confident there. New round of evaluations coming up so that will be keeping me occupied for a while. 

Amanda had ECT this morning and the doctor prescribed her a stimulant to help her with her energy and clarity of thought. I’m hopeful it will benefit her, and we will just have to wait and see over the next few days. My mom has been helping out bigtime with getting her to The hospital and back. Oh, and I will be 33 on Sunday. We’re supposed to have dinner at my parent’s place: I requested Jesus Christ alpha and omega burgers with bacon and guacamole. Phe-nom-i-nal. Needless to say. 

I went 2-0 again this weekend even when I was sure I would lose the more important of the two games. Dropped my cousin last week and she was in the championship with me last year, and dropped the guy who beat me in the championship the year before this week. Vengeance is a dish best served on a gridiron. So both my teams are 3-1, with a very uncertain future ahead. I’m scrambling for waiver wire moves this week as injuries have become a problem. 

Well, I’m going to bed. Still have a very fast moving carousel in my mind, which I know will be better tomorrow. Goodnight. 

Give

Score: +3

I don’t do enough for others. I think it’s because I don’t know how to extend myself out and do it. I’m still not even secure with who I am. I can’t seem to get a handle on boundaries for myself. I’m still a person trying to work through his own shit. Let alone have enough energy for everyone else. I feel betrayed. I can’t trust this stability if I can’t trust myself. 

One thing I have managed to commit to is getting on the elliptical and doing a mile every day. I just can’t be stagnant. I’m trying to eat better. This new income will help me keep healthy meals coming. We are starting this again as it had been abandoned for a time. But I’m getting more lethargic and less enthusiastic the longer I stay in one place. I need to reprioritize. Things have gotten out of hand. I can do better than this. 

I want to be a complete person, inward and outward. I know I’m struggling with both. I can work towards a better me, and things will improve. 

I need to fucking relax. Just, ease up off the tension a bit. Take a deep breath. Things may feel very out of control, but they are not. This is your perception of events not reality. My interpretation is irrelevant; the facts are what matters. Breathe. 

Well. Fuck. It’s 92 degrees inside the apartment. Sun has been down for an hour. Boo. 

Day 1

Score: +2

I was there as Amanda was admitted to the psychiatric hospital today, where she will get ECT. tomorrow morning at 9, in fact. I dropped her off and then came back later to see how she was doing. She said they were asking her a ton of questions, which was to be expected. 

I’m here alone tonight for the first night of seven. I already feel the echo of her there across from me on the couch. It’s like she’s sitting there even though she isn’t. I’m lonely. I miss her. Laughing with her, smoking a bowl with her, or watching some awesome show. My routine has been disturbed. My partner is gone. 

So the cats were all upset when I came home. And no mom all evening makes them unhappy. They won’t go into her spot on the couch. It’s like they still think she’s there. 

Well. My grandmother died of colon cancer today. My mom was pretty devastated. I came over with weed and cheered them right up. We watched slide shows and talked about this and that. I ate dinner, and I helped my mom some with her coping strategy. I told her to let the grief come, and be real with it. Don’t hide it away or hold it back. Just let it pass over and through. Hopefully that helps. Personally I have no emotional bond to my grandmother. I always held her accountable for what horrible things she had done and failed to change in her life. She hurt my family more times than I can remember. She never once apologized. So I never once cared what happened to her. 

Tomorrow will be better. I’ll get focused at work, and put my head down. The ne

Getting It Back

Score: +3.5

Things are stable right now and that’s key. I have been plugging away for multiple months and actually building PTO. Remember all thisev”off day” posts I had a while back? I know this new path I’m on will change me, and has already started to. 

Amanda is out this week for sure. I sad because I know she’s struggling and sometimes all I can do is be there for her. I want her to know I have her back, and that if she needs to take time to get right, take it. Anything to get us back to a healthy place. I know we are going to get there, as we keep taking steps in the right direction. I have to discover within myself how I can help us both through this time. 

I spent an afternoon with my parents yesterday. They seem to be holding it down. My dad still can’t walk on his own, but he is making progress by taking on getting up on his own and getting to his walker. I know he wants to walk, but he doesn’t let it beat him down every day that he can’t. He makes a joke instead. I admire his courage. 

Tomorrow is Friday, and we have a busy weekend ahead. Somewhere in all the fun I need to get my laundry done. Practical, yep, got that down. 

Transition Time

Score: +2

It’s my last week of having to be the master of three ticketing systems. The guy I was supposed to teach to be my replacement didn’t show up today. I don’t think they can expect the same quality of service that I delivered. I’m just looking forward to having a lighter workload. 

We locked in to a 9 month lease. Part of the reasoning being that I need to recessetate my savings, and stabilize financially. It keeps our rent from going up for a while. At least. Amanda just had a huge family adventure getting her parents out of the squalor they were enduring. So the kids rallied together and saved the parents, much to their protest. I got to meet older brother David, who seems like a level-headed fellow. He’s been through some shit, and it’s good to see people who have strive for normalcy. 

Things are ok in my world. I’m not as tired as I usually am on a Monday. Tomorrow is a fresh start. Just checking in. 

…To Those Who Wait

Score: +3

At long last, after a month of application qualifications, the promotion is mine. I had an idea all along, as I put in above and beyond energy in all stages of the analysis of the candidates. I didn’t know for sure until today, and BOY am I relieved. I was struggling to make ends meet, and kicking the can farther down the road. Now, I won’t have to worry about that again. I am so relieved. I was spinning and spinning last night thinking about it. I have been given stability, and a fresh start doing something unique. I’m really happy about all of this. 

Life has been stable of late. I have not missed any work in a good long while. I find myself thinking about how far I’ve come. Remember when I was living outside an RV for 4 months?  

I met the whole family tonight with David there in celebration of Amanda’s mom’s birthday. I had not met David, and he’s a cool guy. Kathy was there too. It was good. We talked and they congratulated me on my promotion. We ate dinner and laughed. 

I’ve been so tired. I have to energy for games anymore. I play scrabble now and that’s the extent of it. Maybe bookworm but meh. Anyway, I think my energy is indeed going to improve as the new life takes effect. 

I’m going to bed. More early mornings still ahead in my calendar. At least, for now. 

Tribute

I have been in a few relationships, and experienced both great suffering and unfathomable joy. The extremes of my past are as apparent as my disorder, yet I find myself now in uncharted waters. For once in my life I am finally happy, and in a relationship that has both sincerity and strength. I have changed my way of approaching companionship and now I feel significantly more stable. 

Amanda was in a relationship with a bad communicator, so her I ate skills are a tad rusty. But I know she tries and truly does want to have an open discourse in our partnership. We can engage and resolve all in one tidy little conversation on nearly every topic imaginable. I admire her strength, because she as a significantly heavier burden and handles it plus extra. I look up to her when I struggle, and her unwavering calmness despite all the anxious torment in her mind. I’m not saying it’s all fluffy bunnies and scented candles, but we have demonstrated more compatibility than any other partner I have ever had. 

We’re well past a year together, and there are only more options available for solidifying our future together on the horizon. I love her in a way I never thought I could love anyone. Above all else, she makes me feel real, and proud. I am dating a good person, with a kind heart and patience beyond measure. She’s determined and observant. I look forward to 3:10 pm on weekdays because I know my day is about to get a whole lot better. 

Amanda, I adore you. Goodnight. 

Many Leaves

Score: +2.5

Monday is always harder if one has been a listless vegetable for two days prior. I’m not blaming anyone but myself here, and yes, it is still a matter of fact. Things in my world are holding steady. I’m making a hardcore effort to clock several 40 hour weeks in a row to stabilize my situation. I need consistency. I have to demonstrate this for myself. 

Amanda has been doing better. The hormone therapy is working, and she’s getting to work now more often than not. I’m so proud of her right now. She’s really taking charge and owning her life. We’re going to move by the end of next month, which I’m excited about. We want to start over in our own place. This is a positive development for sure. 

My troubling thoughts are down to a very minimal level. I get bad feelings from time to time, but this all seems natural. Abnormal behaviors acquire my concern. 

My dad is out of rehab and is now in an apartment with my mom while he continues to work towards walking again. Hopefully in a few months he can get there. I know he’s determined. 

We are all just trying to stay floating. Life has dealt some critical blows lately, and we have been reeling. But change towards a positive is coming. Even if at times the tree is bare, there will come a day when it is full of green leaves again. 

Every Step Counts

My life has been unusually stressful of late, but now things are finally settling down. My dad is in a rehab facility learning how to walk again. There has been such an outpouring of love for him. The family closed in and protected one of their patriarchs. Progress has been made since surgery. In fact, I believe all 36 of his staples will be coming out on Friday. His goal is to walk unassisted, but I believe he will need the walker, to be safe. If he fell that could still be a disaster.  

Amanda and I went together to see her psychiatrist a week and a half ago. After describing her symptoms is as elaborate a fashion as I could manage, he came up with an entirely alternate treatment. He prescribed thyroid hormone. Since Amanda has started taking the medication, there has been a significant change in attitude, energy, motivation, and her general enthusiasm continues to grow. She’s determined to get herself a new job, and my mom is helping in the search. Things are going great for her right now. I am so glad we went together and talked to him. It has made a WORLD of difference. 

As for me, I’m doing ok. I was able to be a rock for my mom when we all thought my dad was going to die. I helped her get grounded the other day when she and dad were at odds. Sometimes she just floats so far away from reality that everything gets scary and unreal. I help her find gravity. Reason, in a way she can understand. 

I will continue to work hard and build up a little life for myself. Seems to be working out so far. I’m proud. I’m doing good at work, getting lots of positive feedback. I have lots to learn still, but I’m getting there. I still like what I do, and especially now that I handle much bigger issues. 

Ta at for now. 

Phoenix

My dad had emergency surgery on his spine, and is currently in the hospital recovering. He’s in a great deal of pain, but he may yet walk again. I’m hopeful rehab will improve things for him. 

That ER Doctor who deemed my dad inoperable and terminal is a real fuck. He scared us all out of our minds. I thought I would lose my dad any day. It was terrible going through that. I was tested, and it was difficult. 

Things seem to be headed back to normal. I hope. 

Eventually

Score: +2

There’s no set timetable for how long my dad has left. He says he wants to see the total solar eclipse in 2017, and I admire his optimism. I don’t know what to expect of the future. Anything is possible at this point. I’m on temporary leave at work. They are all wishing me the best in this difficult time. I can’t focus on much but the conflict between sadness and sanity. Our whole family is coming together tonight for dinner and it is going to be fun. We are a good little family. It’s hard to imagine it without the patriarch. He was our rock. When he goes, who will hold us all together? Who will I talk football with all winter long. Who will I go to for a pep talk when life gets me down? I’m going to miss him so much. I fall apart thinking about life with him gone. But I must be strong. For my family, so that they will trust that I am a rock too. For myself, because I believe in who I am more strongly now by being tested with great suffering. I look back at you from behind tired eyes, sometimes lost in the darkness of an uncertain future. 

Entrophy

Score: +1

My dad went into the ER last night as his spinal stenosis has advanced to the point of total loss of motor control. He went in and they did some CT scans and a specialist reviewed them. They gave my dad a terminal diagnosis with no chance to operate. His spine is being sawed in half. He could die at any time in his sleep. 

I was not anticipating so severe an outcome. Now my dad has a short time left to live. Should I abandon everything to be with him? I am still on the fence about how to proceed. The best I have to offer is compassion, and understanding for my mom and sister. They will be suffering, and we will need to hold each other up sometimes. My philosophy towards death is still unchanged, even now. Pain is still real, and my sadness over the loss of my dad is also real. How and when I chose to realize that is up to me. In my private moments, maybe with Amanda there to hold me, I will find myself understanding the sorrow of losing a father and a friend.

Tonight the loss is here, but so is joy, and happiness that he has brought into my life. So many good memories, my passion for music, my logic and reasoning. He has helped shape me into who I am. I am proud to be his son, and carry his name on into the future. 

Goodnight. 

Night of Ghost

Score: +3

It’s 5:38 pm and I’m shaving my face in the bathroom. I am getting ready for Amanda to get home around 6:30 pm. As I am in the bathroom with the door open, I hear and feel the front door to the apartment close. A shudder runs through the unit every time. I thought to myself: oh Amanda must be home early. I hear her purse hit the accumulated stuff on the couch, but I’m not done shaving. I say hello but I don’t hear anything. I get the feeling that she’s standing in the kitchen. I don’t see it, I just feel her in there, her presence, her energy. But as I concentrate on her she feels more like mom, and the kitchen is like home. I stop shaving and walk happily out of the bathroom and around the breakfast bar into the kitchen, where I find the cat meowing, but no one there. A violent chill runs through my whole body, and the cat sees me, and stops meowing. I felt happy, right up until I saw no one there. Then there was nothing. 
I have discussed this with Amanda and her belief is that the supernatural is involved. I think this whole thing is somehow because of Amanda’s ability to attract ghosts, not mine. I’m inert and largely a non believer. But after tonight, I don’t know what to think. 

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. 

End of Veg

Score: +3.5

It has been a pretty good four day weekend. I’m very pleased with how much merry I made. Things have been winding down to this point, where I face my upcoming shift. There will be a lot of work to catch up on. I will be busy the whole time I am there. 

Amanda has hurt feelings because her son said he would rather be with his dad today. He’s five, and only knows that his step brother Dante is also at his dad’s, which makes it more fun then hanging with two quiet grown ups. I play with him when he wants to play, but he’s into video games and that keeps him distracted. I wish he were older so our oddness would be understood. He doesn’t know what a burden his mom has to carry. 

I’m actually kind of glad to be getting back. I need order. Too much free time and I start to go crazy. Structure is essential for keeping the psycho monkey behind the gated door. 

Well I’m tired. Goodnight. 

Ding Dong Ding Dong

Score: + 4

Awesome Christmas morning with my family today. We all gathered at our apartment and opened presents. It was a good time indeed. Amanda was embarrassed because Tristan was acting ungrateful and only cared about getting the Wii U. He was being rude, but he’s also 5 and doesn’t understand much about social norms or politeness. So I don’t hold him accountable. One day he will understand. 

I got a nice new hoodie and some Vans. I also got a very cool custom calendar which I will be hanging up at work. My dad made it. I got a Tupperware full of cookies, which is now completely gone. I got a loaf of sour cream bread and 1/3 of that is devoured already. It’s been a good day. We’ve relaxed and made merry. I get Monday off as well, which I adore. Good ol’ PTO. So I’m intending to go on vegetating through the rest of my weekend. Living the Christmas dream. Or, my version of it. 

Dull

Score: +3

Well blog, things are winding down to Christmas. It’s only a couple days away and I’m glad to say that I am prepared. All my shopping is done and my entire day booked solid. It’s going to be awesome, as Christmas typically is. Especially with my family. I’m going to be spending the night with Amanda cooking our own Christmas dinner for her parents and some family. This will be a new one on me. But I’m optimistic. 

Work is slow. Very slow. Call volume is lower, my tickets have been few and far between. I’m really on top of my shit, but I get bored. Being bored is agonizing, because time becomes noticeably slow. I’d rather be busy, and have my day feel shorter than it was. Occupied = yes. 

We are going to eat sushi tonight, and indulge. I’m convincing myself that it’s ok to gain weight during winter because all the best eating and reckless abandon occur at that time. What am I going to do, not eat cookies? Or sour cream bread? Give me a fucking break. It’s WAY more fun my way. Your way smells like toad farts and old broccoli. 

Really no stress today. Things are crawling along. I’m feeling good. 

And Days Go By…

Score: +3.5

We are rolling through some form of trough. Things have become increasingly deliberate and generally strenuous. 

Today was a good day though. It was busy, so time really zipped by. Also, I have received a lot of positive feedback lately. 

Amanda and I are closer than ever as we scramble for a way out of the hole. She has had a dramatic change in her medications, and we are currently still unable to detect improvement, but it has only been 3 days. We have the boy this week, and he is very low energy. Unlike last time. This was much appreciated because Amanda is struggling. We are taking necessary steps and working daily towards the goal of wellness. But change is slow in mental health. 

My grandma has cancer and it has matastacised. She has a very limited amount of time left. My mom has been in the hospital with her for days. On top of that, the water pump in my parent’s RV exploded, causing thousands of dollars in damage. It’s been a series of shit draws. 

Life is not headed in a particularly pleasing direction. I still have my head above water but things are continuing to become submerged. I am relatively powerless here, and just trying to carry as much burden as possible. I’m hoping that I can provide assistance in this way, and not perpetuate any more suffering. 

I don’t know what is next, but the sea is choppy and we have a long ways to go before safe harbor.

In more uplifting news: I’m 12-4 in both leagues this season. That’s 3:1 win loss ratio, and only having one 0-2 week (3). I have rarely done so well. I’m still not getting my hopes up. I may lose out and miss the playoffs. You never know. With the way things have been going, I’m not going to be surprised if it all falls apart. 

My spirits are up, but the situation is in need of improvement. 

Crispy

Score: +4

There comes a time of reckoning on weekends when some critical few things need to be accomplished, I’ve found. I need fresh clothes for work, and I require enough food to get me through the week among other issues. I should make the time to clean up my domicile and apply myself to at least one extraordinary task like scrubbing the shower floor or detailing the sink. Once that is done, I can afford myself some time to relax. 

While Sunday was largely about me working on chores, this weekend has been quite good. It started off with a Friday get-together at my parent’s RV. I like to spend some time with them because it nourishes me. Plus I got to hear lots of positive gossip about Amanda. 

All this week I had been going to Amanda’s place and cooking with her after I got off work. Simple meals like chicken, salad and rice. We prepared food and hung out as a little three person unit. I really like that time I get with them, even if we are just sitting around watching Sponge Bob. 

This weekend we did lots of things: we went swimming in the community pool (which we had all to ourselves on Saturday). Later we went to Amanda’s parent’s place and I bought dinner for everyone. Her sister Melissa came too and gave me a hug right off the bat. Things trended steadily up from there. George told me all about the mine he jointly operates. He has a problem with short-term memory, so he says a lot of the same things over again, but it doesn’t bother me. I still have fun talking to him and showing interest in his work. The evening went great. Then Amanda and I put the boy to bed and stayed up until 10 talking to each other. 

But Sunday I had to take care of my stuff. I got up early and scurried around until my shit was done. I tried to come home tonight and play, but my brain can’t handle it. Edain is out and I’ve not logged one skirmish. To be honest, I just wanted to finish XCOM: Enemy Within before getting my head into The Battle for Middle Earth II again. Especially when I’ll be figuring it out as I go along because of the complete overhaul Edain has brought. Right now in XCOM I’m on the temple ship mission, and my squad looks like this: 1 Sniper, 1 Support, 2 MEC Paladins, 1 Assault, 1 Heavy. I had a Major rank sniper through most of the game, but he was killed in action closer to the end of the campaign. I’ve cycled through the assault as well, because they always get hit and have a propensity for being in precarious positions. I had two other MEC troopers, and I killed them both. But then I made two after that and those ones made it all the way through. They have 30 – 40 kills each, and the highest possible rank. That kinetic strike does 18 damage and can be used twice a turn. Sick. Anyway all I have left to do is storm the temple ship and end the game. Then I will start in on Edain. 

It has been a great weekend. And tomorrow is another chance to go out there and get after it. 

Scrambled Eventsauce

Saturday Score: +2.5

Sunday Score: +3.5

I know things are changing. New variables have been introduced and the climate of my environment is altering itself rapidly. My only remaining grandparents are dying (well, one of them). Amanda told me that she loves me. As one chapter of this story draws to a close, a new one begins. My sister moved to Washington DC on Saturday while I was at work. My parents were on the brink of leaving for a months long road trip to Florida, when my grandpa hurt his back trying to lift a 30 lb flower pot. They got him to the hospital and found MANY problems with him. He has a growth in his liver, and needs a biopsy. I spent Friday night and Sunday with Amanda and Tristan. We saw the Sponge Bob movie, and spent hours together acting like a single, healthy family unit. I met Amanda’s ex husband Sunday morning and he asked me a few questions pertaining to my integrity. I was anxious leading up to it, and glad it’s over. My grandparents are in their mid-late 80s and my grandma is an alcoholic. My grandpa is holding over 25 lbs of stool in his body because he can’t defecate. Things are coming apart. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m aware that things are changing. I told Amanda I loved her too, because it is true. I’ve been falling for her for some time. I understand that she accepts me for who I am. Baggage and all. We are very connected, and bond is only getting stronger as we dive deeper into each other’s worlds. Tristan cuddled with me today, and I put my arm around him and cuddled him right back. On Saturday night we had a seafood feast at my uncle’s house for my parent’s going away party (they were leaving on the 1st, but plans changed when my grandpa hurt himself). We had yellowfin tuna and Scottish salmon sashimi to start, followed by baked salmon filets on garlic mashed potatoes and a side of asparagus. 

Blog, as I write to you, it is Monday morning. I’m supposed to meet Amanda’s parents tonight after my shift. I think that will go great. Her dad is a real geologist. I’m sure we will have things to discuss. I’m in a good mood today. I started out today very drowsy. I laid around in bed for a good 50 minutes before willing myself to go take a shower. I think this will be another good week. I’ll keep you posted. 

Events

02/20/15 – Score: +2
02/21/15 – Score: +3.5
02/22/15 – Score: +3

The last three days have been crazy. Friday I was busy all day on the phones. I made more outgoing calls than I took out of the queue by a 2:1 ratio. My brain was a mashed cantaloupe by the end of the day.

Friday night I went and picked up Amanda and we drove over to my parent’s RV and I formally introduced her to them. It went great. We all sat around and joked and passed the pipe. I picked up some food that I was to keep safe in my fridge and Amanda and I came back to my apartment to spend the night. We talked, played Katamari Damacy and held hands on my futon. I’m adjusting to having someone new who I can touch and feel… all theses areas in me have been laying dormant for a while until now. And I feel a shift has occurred: I don’t pine for sex the same way I used to with other partners. I think it’s because Amanda is willing to be open and emotional with me, and I feel connected to her in a way that supersedes the intimacy of physicality. Don’t get me wrong though blog, the sex is wonderful, but it’s not the primary way I’m bonding to her.

Saturday was the day of my dad’s 60th birthday party, and many things needed to be done. My truck was a huge part of the plan. I packed it full to the brim in La Mesa with goods and supplies, then drove everything into mission valley off Qualcomm way where the venue for the party was located. The place was a property managed by Oakwood, and the only reason we got to hold our big party there was because Tina (my mom’s brother’s wife) hooked it up for is for free. It was a giant room, with a pool table, three bar areas for sitting, a living room with couches and three TVs, a big kitchen and a theatre. Yes, a theatre, with maybe 20 recliners in four tiered rows and a digital projector mounted to the ceiling. Nice. Anyway, I carried all the supplies, food, drinks and decorations down there and unloaded it all into the room. But I could not stay there and help set it up, because I had two loads of laundry to do and that was likely to take the better part of 3 hours to complete. If I didn’t do it then, I was not going to have clean clothes for the week. So Amanda and I hung out at my place and had a nice afternoon together. Then we hopped right back in the truck and went to the party two hours early to help. Once things got going it was all in autopilot. The party went great. I did tech support and got a slide show going on the theatre room projector. Then people started showing up.

Now, I was aware that the dress code was “cocktail party” but had thought about this earlier in the day. Was I really going to dress up and then work my ass off all evening with the cleaning in my slick digs? I thought of myself struggling to keep my sleeves rolled up while I got water and food all over my button up shirt and slacks. It was a bad idea to clean up after a 30 person party in my best outfit. So I did not dress up, I wore my working clothes. I do somewhat regret doing this. But I also knew what had to be done. No one else was going to wash the dishes but me. No one else was going to pack up dinner and move shit back into my truck. I didn’t mind not being dressed up because I was working, and being an effective worker is more important than looking temporarily sharp.

Amanda came to the rescue and helped me in my effort to clean and pack nearly everything before the party died down. People started leaving, and Amanda and I must have made 15 trips from the room to the truck carrying things. My dad helped towards the end because he could see us busting ass to clean up and I think he wanted to feel useful. But it was HIS party. He should have just relaxed.

After the truck was (again) stuffed to the brim with things, we headed back to my apartment and unloaded the perishable food and coolers back into my kitchen. We faded out rapidly into blissful sleep.

Sunday was the day that I was supposed to go paintballing, but as morning arrived, I realized that my plan was doomed. I still had my whole truck jammed with stuff from the party, and no where to put it. I couldn’t unload it into my apartment. Doing so would then obligate me to pack it back up again when I was done with paintball, THEN drive it somewhere to be unpacked. I took Amanda home first and was headed out to rural Lakeside where the course was located, but I stopped less than half way: I aborted paintball, as I realized the commitment I made to help my family with my dad’s party sill required my attention.

I spun a lie to my coworkers about why I could not go, and I don’t care to disclose the truth to them about the reality of my priorities. My life, and its intricate workings, are not knowledge I want them to have. So to them, my alternator died, and I went to have it fixed for $380. Done. I was already in El Cajon, so I went by storage and pulled the last of the polished rocks out of the tumbler. I bagged those up, went home and loaded both coolers back into my truck and any additional boxes that needed moving. I took everything to my parents RV, and there we sifted through it to remove anything that was going to stay with my parents. My sister and I drove separately to the storage unit (again), where I unpacked the last of the things from the party, and loaded a big rug and an inflatable bed into the jeep for my sister to take with her to my cousin’s house. It was only at this point did I stop working for the party. I went home again, but quickly went back down the street and bought all the groceries I would need for the week ahead. I made lunch and did some of the final chores at my apartment. At around 3:45 I took off for Amanda’s house to help her do her housework that she was behind on (having spent almost no time at home because she was with me). I got there to find her unconventional friend Kasey there with her developmentally delayed son doing their laundry at Amanda’s expense and using her hot water to clean Kasey’s son Gavyn. He’s 3, and can’t speak any words yet, and he is sill wearing a diaper because he is not potty trained. He cries and freaks out a lot, and rolls around on the ground squealing and flapping his arms when things don’t go his way. His mom is a meth addict who’s primary occupations are prostitution and stripping. I don’t know what kind of mom she is. I mean, from what I can see she does care and love her son, but I don’t know enough to pass judgement. I just see things from the outside and begin to wonder. But anyway, while Kasey was there I helped Amanda clean every single dish in her sink, then hauled all the trash down to the dumpsters, then folded all her clean clothes and Tristan’s clothes and put them away. By the time 6:15 rolled around Kasey was gone and Amanda and I ordered a sushi feast and brought it back to her apartment. A wonderful way to spend an evening… in her company.

Blog, this has been quite a weekend as you can see. I have been busy the whole way through. I know ur was wrong of me to lie about not being able to go to paintball, but I value my privacy tremendously at work, and don’t ever want to let anyone in on how the priorities of my life are arranged. I don’t want them to be in on it. So I tell lies to protect myself.

I’ve had an eventful weekend. I hope yours was good as well. I feel strongly about Amanda, and I am so impressed how she handled a difficult situation. She rose to the occasion, and I am so thankful for her help. She made things go a lot easier, and worked until she was injured. I’m glad she’s on my team. That’s for sure.

Caught Up

Score: +3.5

Breakfast started off with a laugh. I see Amanda just pull into the parking lot at the Lake Murray Cafe, and I had a look and saw it was totally full. So we both just drove two blocks down into a residential area and parked right behind each other. I gave her some flowers in a vase for Valentine’s Day, and she liked them. Then we had a fulfilling breakfast and went to the park together. We turned Tristan loose on the playground and sat there on the bench taking in the day. And it was unreasonably hot. Poor Tristan started to turn red and looked pretty flushed by the time we were headed back. I got to hold his hand and lift him up with my right arm. That was a fun game.

I have, since the outing, have dismantled both rock tumblers and put the new drive and idler shafts back on the frames. Both tumblers are working normally at this time. The next thing I will need to do will be to get the unfinished gemstones from Moo and add the grit and ceramic pellets in the new barrel we bought. Then that guy is probably gonna go for a week. That should be about the time of Daddo’s birthday party, which is probably going to be fun. And then the next day I’m out paintballing with the dudes, and a couple of chicks. Eventful. Needless to say.

I’m doing great. Things in my world are moving right along. I’m taking my work ethic to new heights, and striving to be the best me I know how to be. I’m getting to discover a rare and amazing person in Amanda, and I’m having a good time doing so. There’s no rush to get anywhere. We are learning each other in a measured and sensible way. The journey we are on is a promising one, and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

It’s nearing the end of the day. I have an early start tomorrow as my shift starts at 6 but I need to be up and at ’em by 5. I will probably go to bed early. So, all in all a good day off, with lots of fun stuff going on.

Getting It Right

So I’ve noticed that after the weekend, I tend to fall flat on my face emotionally. I don’t really know why this is, but maybe it has something to do with not looking forward to going back to work for six straight days. Or coming down from the relaxation and family interaction of the recess. I’m thinking it’s just kinda hard to get up and go face my Monday sometimes, knowing that there’s going to be a ton of work there for me to do. I haven’t been able to hang the last two Mondays, I’m really hoping I can buck that trend and stay for my full shift. I’m gearing up so that I’m more than ready for tomorrow. I know things are going to work out fine.

I’m downloading a legit copy of Diablo II from battle.net right now, and I’m going to install it momentarily and run the perfect drop mod on it. Then Amanda and I are going to convene for some excellent gaming on the interwebs. She’s going Amazon, for the ranged component, and I will be going Druid (shapeshifting of course). I want to be able to tank Werebear and DPS with Werewolf. Bear tank with hunger is hard to stop.

Update: it’s confirmed, I’m legit and connected to US East for open battle.net with the Perfect Drop Mod installed and ready to go. I can hardly wait! This is going to be some fun, I can tell you that right now. But I’m officially a dork: I forgot that I had already registered my Diablo II CD keys years ago. Why is this important? Because I just ordered the game on Amazon yesterday. Doh. So now I have two copies of the game. I have already messaged Amanda to see if I can give her that copy I ordered. Saves her a trip to the store anyway.

My new glasses will be coming in sometime this week, though I know not when. I’m ever eagerly awaiting the call to come pick them up. Maybe by the time I do my eyes will be fried beyond recognition for having had to strain through sunglasses for several days in a row. I hope I don’t lose all the valuable light sensitivity resistance I’ve accumulated from having not worn my sunglasses for a long time before this most recent disaster. Being tinted all the time is a bummer. But I’m a dork and those glasses died horribly, and are now out in the trash.

Today was cool. I went over to my uncle’s house in the morning and had breakfast. He had thought the NFC Championship game was on at 10:00 am, when it was actually on at 12:05 pm. So we had some time to kill before the kickoff. We chatted about football, and made interesting observations from our comfy seats. He has a 65 inch LED in his living room, and it’s like a damn movie theater in there. That screen sucks you in it’s so gargantuan. My uncle is planning to do lots of modifications to the house and make it a deluxe palace of screens and radness. He has an outdoor patio area too that has another TV and seating all around it. It’s a nice place, and there’s a good reason I like going over there. The being around people is the best part though, and having the chance to interact with my aunt and uncle. We extended family members are generally much closer to each other than in most other families, I’m finding.

 

This week is going to be different than most weeks. I have quite a few things to look forward to, and the lack of those things generally causes me distress. But this week will be different, I can tell already. I’m going to be fine. I made a good CD that I’ve had fun listening to. I have my gaming with Amanda and then two dates on the weekend! What more can a lonely boy ask for?

So what really needs to happen this week is a steady uphill climb towards the next achievable goal: making it to the weekend again (however abbreviated). I did spend a lot of this weekend alone. I did things on my own and spent maybe 2 hours with my uncle, all told. I went shopping, I did my laundry, I took out the trash, and I turned the tumblers over. I also went to work for four hours on Saturday. Definitely eventful. But on a more introspective note: I spent a lot of time with myself too. Just being around the house, or playing a game on my computer. I need to get used to being alone, because I’m not always going to have someone to be with. My parents will only really be here for the shorter part of February, and then they’re off on a cross-country trip to the Florida keys. That will take them a very long ways away. I will need to muster the strength to only count on myself, and find safety and tranquility in that fact. I believe that I can do it, nut it will no doubt challenge me. I believe I am ready.

One final note here: I had engaged several women with emails indicating I’d like to chat with them on Match, but heard back from Amanda first. Another nice lady, Sia asked me on a date and I had to turn her down. I am already walking down the road with someone… I’m not going to lead anyone on. And just ten minutes ago another lady, Erin emailed me asking to start a conversation. Holy crap! When it rains it pours I guess. Another person I will have to turn down is what it amounts to. I have had huge success with Match compared to OkCupid, and a much better pairing as well (Amanda and I have quite a few things in common). I’m not happy to have to tell people “no,” but it’s kinda a good problem to have. Confidence boosting, that’s for sure.

Have a great night blog. My Sunday keeps getting better and better.

Terse

I just wanted to let you know that I was somewhere around 85% today and holding strong. I had a bit of a sulky morning, but that passed as I got down to business during my shift. Things have been improving all week, and that’s a reassuring sign. My parents are coming back by the end of January instead of mid next month. Also bonus.

My life might be boring, but it’s stable. And I am so thankful for that, because living between extremes as I have been is untenable. I don’t want my world to explode again like it seems to every few years.

Tonight, I rest easy. Things are on the up-and-up. It’s another busy day tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Back Then

I’ve been reminiscing. I was officially divorced in late November, but that was not the thing that would push her out of my mind. Instead, I find myself pondering the strange outcome of our life together. We were so happy at times, so sad at others. I found that my depression really took hold of me through the winter of 2013 and our relationship being destroyed was collateral damage to my down-spiraling. I had gained a ton of weight, and was smoking cigarettes every day. My life was hanging by a thread. But for all of the sweet caring and love Jax had for me, I think she was shocked and horrified by how deep my rabbit hole goes. When she saw me break down into suicidal anger, and threaten those cops with weapons, she lost all semblance of respect for me. It was too painful a thing to behold, the one she loved willing to throw his life away. I know that after that night, she wasn’t coming back. She had seen the demon and wanted out. And frankly, I don’t blame her. My life was being primarily destroyed by me, and in my haste to obliterate myself, I had forgotten all about her. I was not interested in her trauma, the story was about MY trauma, and MY suffering. I made no space for her to breathe, and I choked her out of our relationship.

I wish things hadn’t gone that way, because she had a lot of value as a person, she was caring, creative, understanding and funny. She enjoyed coffee just as much as I do, and we had a blast collecting rocks together. I miss her sometimes, at least, those things about her. There were plenty of places where we were impassably disconnected, but neither of us realized that those differences could have been bridged with understanding, if only given the time to build it. I gave up on Jax first, sending myself into destruction. But she also saw me at my weakest, most vulnerable point and chose to sleep with someone else, which kinda sucked. When I was in the hospital, I cried myself to sleep at night on those plastic pillows. I sobbed because I was sad about what I had done, but more importantly, scared that I had lost the one person I loved. Which I did, I just hadn’t been told that yet. She came back after that night that she asked me to “let her go,” but it was clear her mind was in another place. She was already gone.

 

I did this to myself. And ever since that dismal point, I have striven to make something better out of my life. I admit that along the way, I lashed out at her in anger, in comments and emails. But eventually I wrote her a formal, heartfelt apology, where I laid out the shortcomings of my actions and asked her for forgiveness. I became aware of the large margin or responsibility I was accountable for, and took action on doing the right thing with it. I learned something from the fall, and I have moved on from that broken place to the best of my abilities. Do I still resent Jax? No, not at all. I actually completely understand why she did what she did. It’s not what I would have done, but I get where she was coming from. I have been looking at that night as a tragedy, when in reality it was an opportunity. A chance to prove my worth to the person who matters most… me. And that I have done.

 

So today as I work, I really don’t spend much time thinking about sadness as it pertains to that night. I think about a friend who I lost, and a life that I was leading that had all but dried up and was heading no where fast. It needed to be changed, but could I have been the one to change it? Not likely. It was already too far gone, and the board needed to be wiped clean and the reset button pushed. It was the only way, and our relationship may not have survived that, even if I had not melted down. I still regret the way I treated her, because I was so blinded by my own suffering that I never gave her the attention she deserved. I never really listened to her pain, only questioned why it was important. I was in no way mentally capable of handling anyone’s problems but my own. And even at that job, I was failing.

 

As I go along through my life, I can only look back and thank Jax for the time she spent with me. Having her in my life was a source of joy that had no rival. She has since moved on and found someone new to love, and a new place to call home, and I wish her nothing but the best in her journey. I have my own adventure to go on, and I’m very glad I am. Jax, wherever you are: thank you for being with me. I had fun, and I’m sure you did too. You will always have a space in my heart to call your own, and no one will remove you from it. That part of me will always be yours, whether you want it or not. Have a good life, as I will try to as well.

#815

Today has been largely bad. I struggled from the get-go with my energy at 45% and diminishing as the morning wore on. By the time 2:30 rolled around I was done. I packed up my show and went home.

I then fell deeper into sadness, allowing loneliness to take a hold of me. I missed my parents, and I generally felt stranded in a world without people. I made myself dinner and watched a movie on my way to bed.

I just got off the phone with my dad, and they are going to be gone for a month or more. They’re trying to help my sister rearrange her life, and will be going to Sacramento after they’re done at Lake Isabella. Weekends of running over to my Uncle’s house will come to an end when football is over, of which there are really only two weeks left. I’m going to have to be my own best friend, because I’m all I have left.

I was feeling bad about my situation, but it’s changing rapidly. What better an opportunity to prove to myself that I can indeed be on autopilot and not need anyone else around to hold me up? I have a chance to show how strong I have become, and how stable I am. I’m not saying that I’m going to just romp through my days with a happy-go-lucky demeanor, but I can remain upbeat and be good to myself. This is going to be hard, because I know how easily I can become frazzled or otherwise burnt out. I need to do everything in my power to ensure I stay afloat.

Tonight my sadness lingers. It reminds me that I will be alone. It brings to light all the people I’ve loved who have given up on me. It makes me think about painful memories that are lined with regret. I can’t change what has happened, but I can try and get going in a different direction. I can assemble a new chapter in my life, with a foundation in small successes over a great deal of time. This is part of what I have already started to do. So I don’t fret for long, but I still waiver.

I hope you have a good night blog. I’m going to bed. I’ve had my fill of today.

Respite’s End

My two day weekends will be a thing of the past from here on out, as I work each Saturday until the end of the month. The last two days have been good, with me getting a good deal of stuff done for my house as well as getting in some family time at my Uncle’s house. I actually went over there both Saturday and Sunday, as there were meaningful football games to watch on both days. I was at home watching them by myself but I was chatting with and texting my Uncle the whole time so he just invited me over again. It’s nice to share an activity like that with another passionate fan. So all in all, rewarding and fun. And my house is clean and stocked with food. I also got the tumblers going again, with four barrels full of new rock to be polished. I was kinda silly for setting them on a Saturday because I really should have waited for Sunday so that I would have more time to get them going. Now I will have to change them after work for the next three Saturdays. Which I guess is ok, but I could have waited. I was on such a roll though, I just wanted to keep working and getting things done. And I did handle quite a bit that first day off, leaving myself with nearly nothing to manage on my Sunday.

My mood is ok. I’m a bit low energy. I have that voice in my head telling me to go home, but I’m not really listening to him. His argument has no foundations. I’m perfectly capable of making money today, no reason to throw that away. Though that voice is persistent. He always wants me to fail at something I’m trying to do. And while I admit I’m below normal on the energy meter, it’s not enough to provoke me into taking action against myself. I am going to motor on through without delay, because that’s the thing I need to do right now. It’s my job to go out there and have a good day.

After having seen all three Hobbit movies in rapid succession, I started watching The Lord Of The Rings movies again. I downloaded the extended versions and have made it to the first third of The Two Towers. Those are some great movies, truly well done, if not spiced up with some creative interpretation of the lore. Aragorn never falls off a cliff and nearly dies. So on and so forth.

My shift is rapidly approaching. That voice is still bugging me, telling me to give up and go home. But why would I do that? I’m fine. I might be a tiny bit hungry and another part tired, but that’s no reason to just give up on the day. Is it? I don’t often have a keen sense of what my body needs or doesn’t need. Right now my fatigue is the thing that will limit my functionality, but I sense, not to a degree that would impede what I need to do. I guess it’s just the prevailing sadness of knowing that the break is over, and now I must go on a five day trudge through the world of work.

I’m going to be fine. I’m not listening to that voice, and away we go.

**UPDATE 12:30 pm**

I’m struggling with energy. And my concentration is totally shot. I’m not having a very accurate day. I feel like I’ve already made some mistakes. But I also kinda don’t care today. I guess it’s my poor attitude about the grind, which is an accurate way to describe my trials at work. I just want to go take a nap. But I also know that I never really nap and that the feeling of fatigue should fade as the day wears on. But to struggle so from the get go is upsetting. I’d rather be high energy and be able to handle my responsibilities, but instead I’m struggling to survive. Keeping my head above water will be the priority. However, managing that will take its toll on me.

The Night Is Young?

I’m home from a 31 call day, and generally feel upbeat about this week. I know I got off to a terrible start, but I finished strong. I’m not going to be able to stay up past my bedtime and play games or watch TV… I’m tidally-locked into a routine that will irrecoverably induce fatigue by 9 pm or so. I can drink as much coffee as I can handle, but it will not change my 9 pm bedtime. Things went well at work today, with everyone moving seats around me, and even carrying over into the next few rows. I don’t know if it’s a good thing, or a bad thing that I’m not moving. I guess it’s one less hassle for me to endure. Now I sit next to Jeff, who is generally an idiot, but not as bad as some others. Chris has been moved to within direct earshot of Mike (my Manager) who will, no doubt, be appalled by the way Chris handles customers on the phone. Chris is generally rude, puts people on hold to finish talking to his friends, and has a dumb way of communicating with people. He treats customers like morons, which is not a good policy… it’s even bordering on hypocritical considering the capabilities of his own dimensionless mind. He has the worst phone manners out of anyone in the call center, with Ryan coming in a close second. I found an order today that Ryan started entering in the system, but he then completely abandoned it, ensuring that there was no way it would ship, and that someone (eventually) would call us (upset) wondering what had happened to the order they placed. That’s where I come in. I field the call, and can offer the explanation of neglect or delinquency for the reason this paying customer does not have what they asked for more than a week ago. Needless to say, that customer does not think much of us anymore, and I don’t blame them. I have been calling out these mistake-prone agents in emails asking how they managed to fuck things up so badly, and a carbon copy to my supervisor, who I’m sure is aware of the problem, but should be informed of big errors that result in escalated calls. It makes me wonder about the value the company places on it’s public face, in us. They have some certifiable retards manning the phones, and that sort of ilk is a great way to get a bad reputation about the customer service of Mood Media.

On the emotional homefront, I’m doing better by leaps and bounds. I have had support from all angles during a time of genuine crisis. People I reached out to helped, and people reached out to me from unexpected places. I was quite surprised by the attention, and have been thanking people ever since I got my shit back on the rails again. I’m on my own now though. My family has taken their rig a solid 270 miles north to Lake Isabella, where they were planning to stay through the beginning of February. I don’t think they’re going to be up there for that long, but we’ll see. Apparently, the fishing is good there, but my dad doesn’t freshwater fish, like I do. I have a top-notch bass rig that I have taken to several venues and had success with. But that’s more a summertime event, whereas the depths of winter are typically bass sleepy-time. They can be pestered into a strike, but it’s hard to do. Anyway, they are gone, and I’m flying solo for a while.

This is my last two-days-off-in-a-row weekend for the rest of the month. I have a Saturday shift for three weeks. I’m happy about that, in large part, because I have missed some time at work and would like a chance to get that money back. I’m making more than I spend every month, even with the lost hours. I’m in the + by $200 to $400 after two biweekly paychecks. Rad. That’s assurance and safety beyond anything I had been able to throw together in the previous 12 years of independence. It’s a good time to be me right now. I’m on the rise and have an unprecedented level of both success and stability. I’m doing great, despite occasional emotional setbacks. There are bound to be bumps on the road.

Mandosrex updated the Improvement Mod today, but the Japanese are still broken. Animals do not go to shrines regardless of how close you build one to a herd. And captured livestock do not fatten at houses or farms anymore. Mandosrex was trying to explain to me why this was so, as it has something to do with how the AI gathers food, or doesn’t as the case may be. I typically out-resource the AI in every category but wood regardless of who they choose. I applaud Mandosrex for trying to fix it, however, the Japanese are now unplayable. Wild animals going to the shrines encompasses the lion’s share of xp gathering for that faction, and without it, you may as well not even pick a home city deck, because you’ll never use it. It’s sad, because I like the Japanese, and now I can’t use them.

Tomorrow is the divisional round of the playoffs. I have 25 points in the bracket game, and the current leader has 41. My fate will be decided by the first game tomorrow, as a Baltimore win would greatly improve my chances of winning. A New England win buries me in the clear with few chances left to distinguish myself from the herd. I’m the only one who picked Baltimore. Fingers crossed.

Goodnight blog. It’s been a fluctuational sorta week. I survived. The end.

Fridaaaay

My mood has been great for a third consecutive day, and that is quite reassuring. I was starting to wonder if I was headed into a deep depressive cycle back on Tuesday, but since then, have shown a turnaround in mood and demeanor. My attitude is positive and my disposition is proactive. It’s another promising start to what will surely be busy day.

I’m almost done downloading all those TV shows I had queued up for my parents and myself. Prospectors is a show is very much like to watch over again, and there are three seasons of it. And there are several others, like History Channel’s Vikings and Fox’s Da Vinci’s Demons. My mom wants to see all three seasons of Revenge and all 7 seasons of Mad Men. I found MM to get a little boring after season 5. My dad requested all seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I fucking love that show, and I must have seen nearly every episode. Total download size around 200 gigabytes.

Last night I said goodbye to my parents, who may not be back in town until the beginning of February. I’m glad they are getting away and have a chance to go do something fun. A change of scenery is usually always a good thing. I will miss being able to go over to their RV and have an evening with them. But all in all, this is part of the advantage of being able to take your house anywhere you want.

Have a good day blog. I will probably be busy for the better part of the morning. Maybe things will slow down by the evening.

**UPDATE 12:30 pm**

Seats are changing today, and the cluster of retards will be broken up and redistributed through the rows. Thank heavens. We’ve been so busy lately that it’s been hard for the delinquents to fuck around all day like they used to. This location switch should largely stifle any further attempts at group idiocy. I’m very happy. My seat, also, will not be changing. Most guys are moving, but not I. Rad.

A shakeup. That’s just the thing we needed to send the message about shit getting more serious. I’m tired of the carefree and irresponsible attitude some of these guys walk around with. They think they can do whatever they want and no one is going to hold them accountable. Wrong.

**UPDATE 1:00 pm**

I’m keeping busy and on-target today. Feeling generally pretty positive about life. I have nowhere to go this weekend, sadly. I will be on my own to develop something to do with my day. I’m going to be watching the playoffs, naturally, and doing my chores. But I will likely be alone and that may spin me down into a sad place. I’m not positive what my reaction will be, but it is an object of my concern. I don’t want to start next week like I started this one. So here’s hoping I can preserve an upbeat attitude through the weekend.

**UPDATE 4:45 pm**

I made a plan to go over to my uncle’s house on Saturday night to watch the first NFC Divisional game. So my weekend will not be wholly spent in isolation. I will have good food and company at least. The last hour is always so very slow. The seating switch is nearly done, with most everyone moving here or there. Fun stuff. I’m looking at a quiet evening tonight with an acceptable bedtime. I feel fatigue creeping in on me already. I would like to drink another yummy coffee tonight. That’s not going to keep me up past 9 though. Im not sure what I’m going to do with my freedom. I need to go shopping early tomorrow as I hardly have any food left in my house. Chores. Sigh. But hey, this is my last full weekend. I work every Saturday remaining this month.

75%

I’m returning to normal operations after a short plummet into depression. Monday and Tuesday were both really bad, with my energy and mood rendering me about 5% functional. I missed time at work because I found myself totally incapable of doing my high-energy job. I was no better than 15% functional in Tuesday, as taking 35 calls nearly drained the life from my limbs. After that abbreviated shift, I had a good evening with my family, a solid meal, and got a chance to pour over all the stones Moo and I had collected over the years to make some loads for the tumblers. That whole conclusion to the day, punctuated by helpful responses from the community here on WordPress and an uplifting conversation with my best friend Will, helped to get me on track.

This morning when I woke up I knew I was tired, but not overly depressed. I was low-energy at therapy because I hadn’t had any coffee and was still not quite overflowing with enthusiasm and hand gestures like I would be normally. But it was good to go there and just rehash my state, and go over the reasons not to plunge deeper into depression. I left there feeling positive, bought myself a big coffee, and went to work. My shift starts at 9:30 am and ends at 6:00 pm when the call queues close. I never once thought about ducking out early. I cruised through the day, getting resolutions and placing exchange orders with accuracy and ease. I say my overall functionally was up near 75% today. I was still pretty tired by the end of my shift, but I was confidant that I had done well and will continue to improve tomorrow.

Today I was out of the billing queue, as it is my mandated day off from taking those calls. But tomorrow and Friday I will have my feet to the fire once more. We at Mood Media have been extra vigilant about harassing customers with a past-due balance of any sort with a call or letter indicating we will shut off their service in 48 hours if they don’t pay. And sometimes they have paid, but get threatened anyway. So when wrongly persecuted people call in, they’re usually upset. That, and people who are incorrectly billed, or have had money withdrawn from their account and they don’t know why. Those are some of my “favorites,” where pretty much no matter what I’m able to accomplish on the phone, it’s going to be a miserable exchange. Tomorrow I do believe I will have enough strength to handle the most vile of billing calls. Bring. It. On.

Today was excellent progress from where I was. And Thursday will be a step forward from my 75% mark today. I know how serious my depression can be. It can crush me down flatter than hammered shit if it wants to. Sometimes the chemicals in my brain do not allow for me to experience any sort of positive feeling. I am rendered incapacitated by sadness, defeated by depression or otherwise maladjusted by the lack of certain neuro-transmitters between synapses. I have come to expect that with no warning or instigation, my whole demeanor can be changed, downgraded or otherwise obliterated. This is my illness. I have survived the many terrible things it has managed to do to me so far, and I will persevere through challenges yet to be posed. Reading this blog must truly be difficult to do: my posts are all over the spectrum, varying in seriousness and subject matter almost as dramatically as my fickle moods. I never intended this blog to be anything more than a sounding board for my thoughts, or a diary of my activities to keep the insanity at bay. 807 posts later, it seems to be doing the trick.

Today, Tomorrow

I crashed and burned this Monday. I was totally out of it when I left home this morning and, since then, have tried to force myself to do what I normally would. My attempts to gut it out failed not long after I got to work and discovered I could hardly talk (I was so drowsy I was slurring my speech). Then I tried to do anything I could to get myself right, and that failed as well. I was drowning in exhaustion and deeply unhappy. I took myself off the front burner, and went home.

Since getting here I have not felt better, only worse. My mood continues to plummet and my fatigue extends broadly over my activities. I tried to do things I would typically enjoy, and none of that brought me any happiness. I often stare blankly at my computer screen, feeling the crush of having so few things to look at or puzzle over. With my mood in the gutter, there’s very little I can do to lift myself out of this tough spot. I’ve tried distractions, but all I can really think about is how shitty I feel. I want to sit here and cry because I feel so alone, so cut-off from the world. There’s no barricade between me and the sadness; it pours into my thoughts like running water. I just don’t have much of a life. I’m isolated, and when my parents are gone next week I will have hardly anyone to spend time with or feel nourished by. I am going to have to face it without help, and I don’t much like that thought.

As I sit here writing this, I feel an ache pressing down in my chest. I have little tears pooling up in the corners of my eyes, and my face is bent in a frown. I’m feeling stranded on an island of suffering, and there is no rescue from it. Everything that could potentially take me away from it is poisoned and unusable. I would try and distract myself, play a game, watch a movie, something. But every time I try, I am reminded of how terrible I feel. It groans in me and presses my organs down into pulp. All I can think about is how fucking stupid I am, and how there is no escape from my suffering.

I want it to be night so I can just go to sleep and be done with today. I’m frustrated and tired of this mood, this rotten disposition. I’m so sad, I’m crying and I don’t know why or what good any of this is doing me. I just don’t want to feel so alone, so isolated from the world. I’m not generally likable. I’m more of an ass who has to be right all the time. I don’t have many friends. I lean on my family for support but they will be out of town again soon. Then I will have no one. I’m here in my cold apartment by myself and not able to be saved from torment. I’m suffering so badly. My tears have turned to sobs. I’m doing the best I can to be coherent and introspective despite all that. It’s hard to look at yourself when things are so awful. All I can think about is how bad it hurts, how sinking and crushing the feeling is. There’s nothing I can do to escape it.

I just want today to be over, so I can start again tomorrow without this terrible burden on me.

**UPDATE 5:00 pm**

After a long cry, I’m feeling a little better. I’m going to bed early. I just want to be done with this whole state. It’s just unrelentingly painful. I don’t think there’s much to do here but start over. Push the reset button.

If you asked me to describe what I am sad about, I would not be able to say. I just feel so poisoned by negativity, and drunk with exhaustion. It felt like I got two hours of shitty sleep and woke up in the trough of a depressive cycle. Sometimes this happens: the mood that I counted on for stability completely fails leaving me stranded in a place of unending torment. But I’m mentally ill, so I guess this is par for the course.

My mind was hoping for a chance to understand why this has happened, but everywhere I look I’m offered no explanation. Nothing has changed except the date and time. My neurochemestry is a flawed entity with substandard corrective potential. I do the best I can, and cut my losses. Full retreat into sleep.

**UPDATE 6:30 pm**

I called my bro Will, who also struggles with depression. He helped me come up with some reasons why not to despair. He reminded me of all the positive steps I have taken leading up to today, and how none of that can be undone by this feeling of sadness. I’m still having a hard time feeling good about anything, but his words, and others who have spoken up, are helping me feel less alone.

The Footsteps Of Rain

Stormy weather continues for us today, as the rain has been falling all night and the snow accumulating in the mountains. I would go drive out there and throw myself on it like I did last year, but I remember how bad it hurt when I landed on that rock and bruised my rib. Besides, there’s no one to share it with.

I’m doing better today. I had a nice long sleep and woke up in the cold, but ready to go. I shaved and used my new French press to make coffee, and it was delicious. Thick, frothy, warm, and tasty. I finished writing a post about a good Age Of Empires III game I had a few nights ago. When I was feeling depressed I deleted it and got discouraged about finishing it. I tend to shut-down when I get sad. I don’t reach out and I don’t have any desire to say much of anything. Sometimes I go through cycles: I feel good for a week or more, then dip down into depression for several days, then back out of it. If my downward journeys become long stays I know there is a problem, and I should start being proactive about correcting it. So far, I have only had to wait a few days and then I come back out of it again.

I think I’m just reeling from the long break and loads of family I had over the holidays. That whole thing was just so much fun. It was awesome to see all the kids running around smashing each other with those inflatable hammers my sister bought. And all the baby news from my cousins that are now expecting. I’m not really interested in having one, but other people having one is fine by me. I can play with their kids and not have any of the responsibility of raising them. Sweet!

It’s going to be another busy day today. People are calling in to pay their January bill, and have other issues that they put off until after Christmas, I suppose. I have been quite busy, really only letting up sometime after 4 pm. Most people on the east coast are done for the day, and will probably just call back the next day.

I’m here in my truck listening to the rain drops falling on my roof, and I’m happy. I don’t have any bad thoughts in my head right now, and I’m keeping a close watch on my feelings. Something that Feminine and Feline posted on her blog really hit home for me. The devastation of being forsaken by your lover, and the pain of a dying relationship. Yeah I totally get that. I just lived it, and basically still am living it. My heart is not done breaking yet, because I still loved her, even though she didn’t love me anymore. Sometimes I sit here in my solitude and wish I had her back. Or that there was something I could do to win her love. In truth, I know that being involved with Jax was more bad than good. I didn’t do enough research on her before combining my life with hers. I know she has moved on to a better place, and so have I. Wherever she is, I hope she has found happiness. I struggle, but that’s what life is about: the obstacles and the way we get through them. And so on.

**UPDATE 11:45 am**

So instead of busy it has been very slow. I have had under 10 calls all day so far. And a lot of guys are stepping out early to go home for the day. I’m going to stay until the end, as I need the income. And I’m one of 3 guys on after 5, so it’s kinda important that I stay. I would love to be able to get up high and look east at the snow-covered mountains, but there is no vista anywhere nearby. I was talking with Will earlier about the Edain mod, which we are both getting excited about. I’m also going to go see the third Hobbit movie tomorrow with my parents. Should be good.

Anyway, today is simply crawling. I have a short list of websites to visit as football season is over, and there’s no need to check those pages anymore. The bracket game is starting up, and at least in that contest I have done well. I have 4 victories, tied with my sister for the lead. I’d like to win this year and be all alone in first. A boy can dream.

So adieu for now. I should be around this evening for a New Year’s Eve post. But I won’t stay up to see it. I have a bedtime to keep.

**UPDATE 3:30 pm**

Just ridiculous how slow it is out there. Things are moving along at a molasses drip. I’m so bored, and have been reading various articles to keep myself occupied. I’ve handled one call in the last several hours. I really can’t wait to be home. I just want this boring day to be over. I’m not going to bail out early, but holy shit am I tempted.

End Of The Line

The weekend of family and festivity is now over, and back we go to the proverbial grindstone to labor away long into the next year. I am not disparaging, just commenting. I lost last night in the fantasy football championship, as I predicted I would, but only by 1.4 points, which is a tough one to swallow. That’s just one play, one catch, one fumble from victory. But it was not meant to be, I guess. My cousins were quick to comment on the stinging defeat, though I didn’t even think it would be that close. My opponent’s team was a juggernaut and I really never had a chance from the get go. But it’s not official until Thursday, in the event that a stat correction could swing the score. But the probability of that happening is next to none. I should just accept my defeat and get ready for next year.

 

My break was relaxing, yes, and had lots of cool interactions with family from far off places. It was nice to see everyone again. One way or the other, we all find a way to get together for Christmas. Just about all of us, anyway. There is another big family reunion scheduled for early May back down at the beach house like it was last year. The family really liked that whole thing, so they are going o do it over again. I will try to sneak away from work for long enough to enjoy it, but I have a full time gig, and probably can’t afford to spend much time not working.

 

I’m doing fine. A little sad to have come so close to glory and fall short. But that’s life for you: unpredictable and unforgiving. We just have to smile and move on, as that’s the only option other then to pout and waste time lamenting. Work is going to be slamming again today, as no doubt everyone with an issue will be calling in to get help, after having waited until the holidays were over. I don’t really count new year’s day as a holiday because who takes that day off anyway?

 

We turned the rocks over in the tumblers and got them going on the aluminum oxide polish on 3 barrels, but the fourth barrel will have to wait because one of our tumblers is dying and needs it’s motor replaced. We were only able to set up one barrel on that one, and will have to wait until next week to finish the other. But 3 barrels to look at next weekend will be very nice indeed. I have already seen how rounded and colorful the stones are, which is well beyond my expectations for beach-gathering. There’s no telling where the stones came from, only that they are beautiful and have come out looking splendid. I am eagerly awaiting next weekend, and a chance to post some photographs of the stones. I believe you will agree with me about their quality and color.

So blog: it’s the beginning of a new week, and I’m getting off to a somewhat slow start, but will surely be busy as the influx of calls is already email worthy. Mike sent out a message to get us on task and in the queues to get the volume handled. I haven’t even clocked in yet and already there’s a rush. It’s Monday for sure.

Take care blog. I’ll see you after work today.

**UPDATE 12:45 pm**

I’m feeling pretty exhausted. Today has been pretty non stop since I clicked in. I have had something to do every second until just now when I stopped to eat my sandwich. I have been on the phone all morning solving problems.

I guess I’m feeling deflated. All the cool hanging out with family raised me up, and now that it is over I’m crashing back down to reality. Fantasy football is over, and I won’t get another shot to redeem myself until another year. Poop. Also, I am back to living my solitary life, which I guess is a little sad. Meh. This is my lot. Work hard, quietly.

I don’t have much to look forward to anymore. The events have gone by, and the celebration is over. I am holding on to my desire to see the rocks come out of the tumbler, which should be fun. And shocking. But really, that’s about it for the fun. I maybe need some more things to do with my life so that I don’t feel disappointed by it. I didn’t get to hang out with Will. He is sick. All the family have gone home. The party is over.

I have more than half of my day left to go. I’m wishing I could be home curled up beneath my sheets and blocking out the unforgiving world. But I can’t go do that. I have to get up and go handle my life like a responsible person should, no matter if it sucks or doesn’t.

**UPDATE 3:05 pm**

Today has moved by pretty fast. I had my head down the whole time, going from one task to the other. I’m in a poor mood overall. I’m not ready to be back cranking at 100% speed like I had to today. I really had no choice. I could either quit and be ashamed or prevail and swallow the pain. I don’t have the luxury of being able to sulk. My mood will change as the days go by. It just sucks.

**UPDATE 4:15 pm**

I’m going over to my parent’s place tonight. I can’t stand the thought of being alone with this mood. I’m struggling through the slow half of my day. I can’t seem to think a happy thought, even though I keep trying to concentrate on positive things I have going for me. I want to be excited about my life again, but right now I can’t really see it. There is a cloud in front of me and nothing gets through it. This will change as soon as I get off work. I will be in a better state of mind and be fine again for tomorrow.

Scattered To The Wind

We have family from all over. Helena Montana, Chicago Illinois, Boise Idaho, Dallas Texas… and the starting point in San Diego California. Our family is big. I have 13 cousins, and 6 aunts and uncles (counting the spouses as family). We all make it a point to get together frequently. When I was growing up, we would typically drive out the 50 miles east from where we lived and go to the ranch where my grandparents had set up residence, in Boulevard California, which might as well be in the exact center of nowhere. It is a 70 mile trip to get to the nearest grocery store from there. Truly out there. But Saturday morning we would all pile in the car and drive out there. My uncle Joe used to live in two trailers on the property with his family to avoid having to pay property tax. Three of my cousins were raised there. We made regular pilgrimages, and so did the other uncle’s and aunts. The brought their kids and we would all go down in the basement (see carpeted entertainment room with a pool table and lots of stuff to play with) and have adventures. Or you could brave the mountain elements at 3,800 feet and investigate the sheer enormity of the property. The used to raise pigs and rabbits for eating as well. Meat has been a huge part of my family’s existence. Rotisserie prime rib, breakfast steaks, sausage and bacon, seafood like you wouldn’t believe: bbq oysters, Scottish salmon, ruby red ahi, whole steamed crab and freshly caught lobster. We are a family of food, and drink, and general merrymaking. We don’t think it’s weird to give each other meat as a Christmas present. It’s quite a sign of respect, actually.

When the family celebrates, we do it with class. Overflowing with fine wine, beer and spirits. Slathered in sauces and seasonings. Cooked slowly in its own juices. We know how to party, and the knowledge of how to do so has been passed on down to the next generation. Fuck man. We even made crepes after dinner. Maybe 20 to 25 of them. They all got eaten, amazingly enough. We all love food.

Tonight was no exception. We were in full form, as the new generation (of which there are 6 currently) of kids played at our feet. A number that will be going up by 3 very soon. Two cousins announced that they were pregnant: my cousin Jessica (her first) and my cousin Bruce’s wife Megan (her second). My cousin Lauren is well on her way to number two, and very close together (only 6 months between birth and getting pregnant again). Our name will go on. And the genetic sequence will be preserved on into the years and be spread to generation after generation. So soon there will be 9 total kids. Wow. I don’t know if they’re going to get past our mark of 13 but anything is possible. It’s just so enriching and rejuvenating to be around all those fresh faces. Chloe is such a little princess. Christian is Bam Bam reborn with the drooliest face you ever saw. Kid just doesn’t swallow.

Anyway. I was given baseball steaks (which I had never heard of before), queen’s oats, Russian tea cakes, chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies, and sour cream cinnamon bread, and I consider these to be very excellent gifts. The gift of food is to say: here, eat this yummy thing and may it bring you sustenance, excellent flavors and many other good feelings. How could that be a bad thing? Apparently, it is not the norm for people to give each other fine top sirloin as a Christmas present. Some people also may not have a good idea of what a bond it is to sit and enjoy good food with the people you love. And hear nothing but laughter and chewing noises all night long, occasionally augmented by the giggles of happiness that little kids make as they run and play.

So Christmas dinner was a smash hit. We bbqed a 7 bone prime rib for a good long while. My uncle has a digital meat thermometer sensor that monitors the core temperature and the outside temperature of the meat at all times and sends the data to a little handheld display that fits in your pocket. So he was watching the meat slowly increase in temperature until he had it cooked just right, tender and rare, very rare. We like our meat bloody and covered it its own juices. This is the only way I know how to do it, and I’ve tried well done meat, and it tastes dead, dry and uninteresting. Rare meat is tender, juicy and flavorful. We had twice-cooked potatoes and a green salad, spinach casserole with French onions and bacon on top. An my aunt Chrissy made Swedish meatballs. Damn. It. What a feast.

My evil grandparents came, despite all the general pessimism around that possibility. My dad was sure that they’d bail, but sure enough, they were there for dinner. All 19 of us, having a great time and eating wonderful food. If which I am currently full of. To the brim.

I hope you out there got a chance to spend time with whoever it is that you love, and had fun today. If there’s anything to be learned, it’s that the bonds of family transcend distance and time. We all know when to come back together again and rejoice. Even if our lives have scattered is to the wind, we are always together.

Feliz Navidad

I hope that you are having fun, regardless of what the holiday may mean to you. We are never going to have a white Christmas here in the desert southwest, but we do have a wet Christmas, as the rain is falling today. And much to our surprise, considering how this was to be a bit of a winter heatwave. Sporadic showers are about as close as I’m going to get to snow. Sigh.

My mom drew a picture for me, and I’m going to hang it in my house somewhere. Haven’t decided yet. I got a small mountain of Christmas goodies. Cookies of various flavors, queen’s oats, sour cream bread. The works. I’m going to have to work my ass off to get out from under the burden of Christmas goodies. But I don’t mind. It only happens once a year.

Happy holidays to you all.

Hey Santa

I’ve had that little Christmas jingle rolling around in my brain all afternoon… I know, aren’t I lucky? I’m wishing with all my might that another Christmas song will get stuck in there so I don’t have to listen to Hey Santa anymore.

Tonight was casual dinner at my evil grandparent’s house with all the dysfunctional family in tow. My grandma (who is slowly but surely losing her grip on reality) had to interrupt the conversation about Cuban cigars to tell us all about some cigar-related trauma she had experienced, then proceeded to sob uncontrollably as we all pondered what new insane thing would happen next. My scuzzy aunt Renee kept trying to get me to sneak off with her and smoke some dope. But I don’t like her at all, and don’t want to do that with her. Then later she redeemed herself by giving me a can of cranberry sauce. Divine! I have a demented love for the stuff and eat it greedily with a spoon from its original container. But then later she tried to give me a doobie even though I told her that I did not smoke at my house, as this puts my occupation in jeopardy by violating my rental agreement. So I turned her down and drove myself home. That side of the family (my mom’s) is abusive, deceitful, violent and awkward. They have a long history of abusing my mom, but she really dotes on them all like they were royalty or something. I don’t quite understand her continued interest in them. They are generally not nice and lately have been bordering on crazy. So I got there at about 6:15 and hung out for an hour and 15 minutes before the gathering began to collapse and I too jumped ship. It was like being exposed to radioactive waste, but only for a little while.

Today at work was mind-numbingly slow. I took 7 total calls today. Seven? I usually take upwards of 30, so this was a dramatic change in business and an invitation to (seemingly) unending boredom. As a result of having very little to do, I got some annoying Christmas music stuck in my head and also read about every fantasy football article I could find. I was able to handle my responsibilities, and by the end of my shift, it was just Kaiser and I in the entire building. He said he knew how to lock up and declined my offer for help in shutting down. Most everyone had an early day today. I’ve never been the only car left in the entire parking lot before. That was weird.

Tomorrow is Christmas Day, and we are closed. Queues are already in holiday mode, and no incoming calls will be answered. People should be gathered around trees and tearing through wrapping paper, not calling us about their drive thru being offline. Take a break once a year, I think you can handle that. Personally, I like to be with my family on Christmas. I generally want for nothing, so I don’t do gifts anymore. I can’t afford to be spending my limited resources on presents for other people. It seems silly to do so. I intend to stuff myself with cookies and sour cream cinnamon bread. Basically I’m going to derail the healthy train and go berserk. And why not? It’s Christmas. It happens once a year. It’s not the end of the world to eat some cookies.

I hope you have a good holiday wherever you choose to spend it. Merry Christmas blog. Happy holidays.

Strength

I have just driven 82 miles round trip to go up to Carlsbad to celebrate my uncle’s retirement. I saw my cousins, and spouses who I consider cousins now as well. Mike, the commissioner of the family fantasy football league was there, and his wife (my actual cousin) Jessica as well. And Jess announced that she is pregnant! Another family member on the way. That will make 7 grandkids when she gives birth. Zero from me or my sister, who is not inclined to settle down and make babies. Neither am I. Point being, the family continues to grow. And that is a good thing. I saw my cousin John and his wife Jessica (I know, two in the same room… confusing). It’s been a while since I’ve seen John. I used to live with him and three other guys in a 5 bedroom house in Santa Barbara. But that was 10 years ago. Holy shit. That’s a long time. It feels so much closer than that, maybe because that’s really when my mental health journey began. Right about then, I started showing the symptoms of bipolar disorder and sought treatment. Seeing him brings back painful memories of my troubling past. It reminds me of how far I have fallen, and how I’ve grown since. But he doesn’t know much about how I have changed, only what I did in the past. Mike and Jess are both players in the fantasy football league. I eliminated Jess in the final regular season game to advance to the playoffs. Then I snuck by the first round opponent to end up in the championship. They are both rooting for me, but I’ve already conceded. I’m going to get blown apart on Sunday, and my season will be over. I gave it my best shot, and came up short. I don’t know what I need to do better in order to win, I really don’t. I guess I’ll have several months to think about it.

Seeing them was great. Even if it was for only an hour and a half. I had a long way to drive to get back home, and I’m already up past my bedtime. But I have had a remarkable turnaround in my mood. I’m doing better by leaps and bounds. I almost bailed on tonight, when I got to thinking about the 1.5 hours it was going to take to get up there. Which it did take that long because of the traffic. But I try not to listen to that voice, because he leads me astray. I shut-down and become hollow when I listen to him. He does not help me feel better, he makes the darkness linger and grow. But he is difficult to ignore, and when he is powerful I am often struggling. He wanted me to not go out and see my family tonight, and I know now that doing that would have been a disaster. I would be wallowing in suffering and feeling no end of guilt to have not been there.

Sometimes I need to be reminded that there are people out there who care, and that I am being thought of. I can get to feeling like I don’t exist, because no one cares that I am alive. But family reminds me of all the people who do know me and wonder about what I am doing with my life. It forces me out of my shell and makes me feel human again. In some meaningful way, I am helped by them.

But this shift came mostly while I was sitting in the car thinking. I slowly built a soundproof box around that unwelcome voice and stopped the badness at the source. Sometimes I really just need to stop and think about where I am, and who I am. I get so caught up in my surroundings that I forget to look at where I’m putting my feet. I’m endeavoring to be more mindful, and I still have plenty of work to do. Have a good night. Thanks for listening.

Courage

I’m fighting with depression today, and it is winning. I left work early pretending I had a migraine, but in reality I’m just very down and have no zest or excess energy to go around. I’m sad inside, over my solitary, one-dimensional life. I live in a hole; cut off from others and internally focused. I don’t socialize very much at work. I don’t go anywhere or do anything of consequence during the week. I feel utterly alone.

And this is because everyone who has ever loved me has been driven off by my dysfunctional personality. Or my stubbornness and general callousness. I am stranded on a lifeless island having scorched all precious things around me into ash. I have nothing left to offer. I dwell in solitude. I have been rejected by many, scorned by a few. I have more enemies than friends.

I’m going up to Carlsbad today, leaving here around 5:30 and likely being snarled in traffic for hours. Then I will get there late and have 10 minutes to socialize before I have to turn around and go home. To get up tomorrow and go to an early therapy session. Good timing too, considering the shabby state my mind is in.

I don’t know what to do to help myself. I tried playing a game but I grew immediately frustrated with it. Then I tried watching a movie, but all I can think about is how I’m stupid and that I suck. And no one wants anything to do with me. And no one cares what I have to say. I’m as irrelevant as a bag of garbage waiting on a curb to be collected and dumped.

I’m not happy anymore. I’m frustrated that my life is so meaningless. I strive for no one but myself. I endure suffering and receive no reward. I benefit from my deeds alone and receive no breaks from fate or chance. I’m headed in a downward direction. I feel like I already reached the peak of my success and have been sliding down into obscurity since. I’m meaningless.

I don’t know how I am going to face them all tonight. I feel like the hatchet of shame is buried in my back. I have nothing to bring, little to say and few are the reasons for caring about me at all. My parents care, but it’s their job to care. No one else will take the job. And even if you do, it’s only a matter of time before I drive you off too.

I know I can be better than this. I’m just very sad and disappointed by my life. I don’t know what there is to say about it. I’m knee-deep in the mud. I know things will get better. Eventually. I just have to be brave, and survive the storm.

10/12

Another day of work with no break. My brain is utterly spent after two hours of training on timers today, and some genuinely tough issues to resolve on the phones. I feel deeply exhausted. My mind is leaking out of my ears and making a mess on the floor. The good news is that despite being clubbed to death by fatigue, I have continued to elevate my wellness. I have resisted temptation and eaten just my sandwich for lunch this week. I started exercising in the mornings, and that seems to bring a surge of energy along with it. My abs and arms might be sore, but that’s the good kind of pain; the kind where I know I’m doing a positive thing for myself.

I have a confession to make, however: I was looking at my wordpress stats page and the most frequent commenter other than myself was Jax. I clicked on her name and an instant later I was on her blog. I shouldn’t have done that, because I know there’s no point in reading anything she has to say. I actually just skimmed, and only the first couple of things. I didn’t dig in or go sniffing around. I caught myself and aborted. I didn’t learn anything, as I should have expected. I wonder if she does the same thing I just did. Who knows. It makes no difference if she reads here or doesn’t. Our lives are apart, now and forever. The days of her needing to make angry comments on my blog are over. And I kept them, because this place is about acceptance, even if the words are negative or hard to comprehend. I’m vowing to not ever go back and rudely intrude on her life. It’s none of my business.

Work has been intense. Lots of new things coming at me all the time. I find it makes the time go, but simultaneously renders me into a dry autumn leaf. I am gaining valuable skills here, and I will be soon embarking on a new adventure: teaching. There will be several classes over the course of a few weeks, and I have already started building my curriculum. I intend to teach the theory behind billing first, then break down the actual processes involved in being able to resolve issues on the phone. I am honored that they are considering me to handle this responsibility. It’s a sign that I’m a member of the team, and a valuable one at that.

I’m going to go to my parent’s RV on Friday and celebrate 12/12. It will be fun to write that post as well. I’m looking forward to these 12 consecutive days of work concluding. I’m running out of go-juice. I’m literally opening my door, scarfing some food, pills, clothes off, bed. I’m waking up every morning at 6:30 am so that I have that first half hour or however long it takes me to get tired of exercising. I’m in poor shape. What I don’t want to do is burn myself out by doing too much, then becoming discouraged and dropping it altogether. I am going to slowly dial up the intensity as my body gets used to being worked out. I want this to last, not crash and burn.

I hope you have a good night. I keep telling myself: you can do two more days. You’re almost there! Don’t give up! I was so close to leaving today too. But I stuck with it and finished my shift. Boom. Ten down, two to go.

Season Of…

I’m a little sad to not be in a relationship around this time of year. It’s a family togetherness thing, where every day feels like a long hug. I get lost thinking about Jax and how she ate that entire loaf of sour cream bread. I had this cute picture of her with her mouth attached to the corner of an uneaten loaf. It was gone shortly after that. Ha. Christmas is fun when you have someone you love.

But things change. I will be working more this holiday than enjoying time off. I think this is an acceptable distraction from my loneliness. I’m turning my solitude in to money. And lots of it.

I started playing the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. I really hate skaters, but I adore this game. When I was in high school, I used to go get stoned with my friend Beanjo and play this game for hours. It was one of the more fond memories of my turbulent childhood. We’d laugh our asses off the whole time.

I guess I miss Jax in a lot of ways. Though with how much I work, I’d probably never see her. We’d have dinner at 6:30 every night, and I’d rant on and on about my day. I’d buy her tons of jewelry supplies with all the extra money I make. We’d go on rockhounding adventures this winter, and good ones because of all the rain we’ve had. But I would end up blathering about where the rocks came from in geologic time and lose her attention. And we’d get home and disagree about what music to listen to. Or fight about something that could have been avoided if only I would have listened to her feelings.

I reminisce, and I’m well aware that it does me no good. But I can’t help feeling lonely. I though I was going to be married to her for the rest of my life. We were together for a year and 5 months instead. That’s not what I thought was going to happen.

It’s pretty slow here at work. Blog, sometimes I really wish I had someone to hold. I guess I’m not thinking very realistically about things. I am aware of this. It doesn’t stop me from feeling a bit heartsick at this season of firelight and hospitality.

Let’s Review

Today was perhaps the single fastest day at work that I can recall in my several months of being there. The first four hours was gone before I even had time to come up for air. I learned a lot today about the three distinct web-based interfaces we use to keep track of Mbox related things. I will, undoubtedly, start fielding issues tomorrow, which I am not overly concerned about. I generally don’t like not knowing what I’m talking about. I prefer to be direct and concise, and not ramble on like an idiot. At least, that’s how I feel about it. Be prepared, don’t just wing it.

I go back to see Dr. Judge on Friday, and I will have only good things to report to her. My mood has been excellent of late. My energy level is nominal, my sleep is regular, my diet is primarily good and my mental health is at a record-breaking level of goodness. I can concentrate at work well enough to get by, but I really have to work to reel my monkey mind in sometimes. I’ll be doing an order and suddenly start typing what I was thinking about instead of what I was actually supposed to be doing. It bothers me a little. But I always catch myself, and sometimes I’ll even go back over an order that I just finished and doublecheck it to make sure I didn’t wander off and forget something. Oh, that error report came out on Monday and most everyone had a list of orders that had some issues. My name was on there, and out of the roughly 30 orders I put in, one had an error. And it was a simple fix, I just forgot to choose the proper shipping method. Duh. But that’s ok. I was hoping I would have no errors at all, but I’ll settle for one. Just to give you some idea, most everyone had from 3 to 9 orders that had mistakes, some orders had multiple errors, as the report lists all the different ways an order can be fucked up. I had one error on one sales order. Nearly everyone else was in it WAY deeper than I was. Steven had at least ten, and they all had multiple errors on every order. These guys have been here longer than I have. I figured they knew what they were doing. Assuming makes an ass of you and me. Nar har har.

So concentration has been my only real mental struggle. I don’t want to take meds for my ADD anymore because they fuck up my mood more than they help me focus. Riddilin caused me to get angry when it wore off. Aderall just never managed to cut the fog for more than an hour. I guess I will go largely untreated for this aspect of my disorder, but I can discipline myself to focus harder and not lose my train of thought. It is not easy, but possible.

My parents snuck into my apartment today and decorated it and brought me a Christmas tree. I saw this multicolored glow coming from within my living room as I walked up to my door and I was thinking: you bonehead. You left the kitchen light on all day? Pleasantly surprised to see tinsel everywhere and a three foot tree with ornaments and lights all over it. Hooray for Christmas! Have a good night blog.

Good Sunday

I’ve had a relaxing, eventful day so far today. I was over at my uncle’s house this morning watching our hometown Chargers beat the Ravens in the final seconds of the game. Very suspenseful and surprising. I had no thoughts that we would win, but we did. And tonight it will become clear if I will be eliminated from the playoffs or if I get in for fantasy football. It’s not looking good though.

I hung out with my cousin’s daughter Chloe and she stuck stickers on me and played a sticker counting game. It was fun to play with her, while also enjoying the football I got a chance to catch up with my cousin David and my sister, who was visiting from Sacramento. My cousin and I got to talk fantasy football as well. Good stuff. It was a refreshing break.

I’m back at work tomorrow and I’m again looking forward to it. I find that I really largely enjoy what I do. I get in difficult spots sometimes, but I continue to succeed. Even if it can be both busy and boring, it’s what I do and I do it well. I’m going to have another good week, I’m sure of it.

I am sitting here on my couch that used to be my bed, and I’ve got my blankie and I’m watching Sunday Night Football. I’m perfectly happy and relaxed. I will probably go to bed soon. I’ve got nothing to lose.

Thanksgiving Day

I had a great Thanksgiving with my family. There were 10 of us there at my uncle’s house and it was quite a lot of fun. The kids were there with my cousin David and his wife Jen, and Tanner was there too (Bruce and Megan’s son). So it was nice to see those little kiddos running around having a good time. I was pretty absorbed in football, which was slated to be exciting, but turned out to be pretty lopsided. Detroit took control over Chicago in the second quarter and never looked back. Philly owned Dallas and Seattle’s stifling defense put San Francisco in it’s place. Thankfully my fantasy teams did alright, with the highlight being Calvin Johnson’s unbelievable day: 11 catches, 146 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. It’s win and I’m in in the family league, and Megatron’s performance can only help push me in the right direction. Hopefully the rest of my lineup puts together some points this weekend, though that remains to be seen.

 

But I did the dishes, like I always do, and we cleaned up the feast in no time flat. I take pride in my cleaning ability after the party is over, and I get many thanks for it too. It’s the kind of reputation I enjoy having. I had a blast though. It was really nice to see my parents again, who were back in town for the first time in more than a month. And they brought my sister with them. It was really cool to catch up and see everybody again. I got lots of hugs, and that has helped fill me up with a good feeling headed into today. I’m actually really looking forward to work today, and have had a calm, restful, peaceful break over my little 1 day holiday off. I work Saturday as well, and I open the facility at 5:00 am, which means my alarm has to go off around 4:00 am if I am ever going to make it there by 5. I’m even excited about that too. I can’t wait to do it, but I’m a little worried about how groggy I might be at that time in the morning. I intend to pack my lunch and set up my coffee maker to be able to brew a quick pot for the road, so I can be at least somewhat awake for work. I have a thermos I can bring, which will probably save my day. And I go home at 1:30, which is like, hell yeah.

 

So all in all, it was a very eventful break from the norm. I had fun on Wednesday night over there after I got off of work, and had an all-day ride on Thanksgiving, from around 8:30 am until after 6:00 pm. I hope you all had a chance to spend this fantastic little holiday with people you are thankful for. I don’t know where I’d be without the love and support of my family. They’ve saved me from the pit of despair more times than I can count.

Unexpected Support

I just received a neat little email from my aunt, stating how much I am in her thoughts and that she wanted me to know that she cares deeply for me. She lives in Montana with an isolated limb off the family tree. It was an unprovoked action taken out of genuine concern for my lot. I think this is fantastic. I didn’t go overboard in my reply, simply stating the facts of my life as I see them. She was interested to know how I was managing on my own, and I was only too happy to articulate. So I have a new email buddy along with Sasha and Will. Right on.

Speaking of Will, he may be headed back to San Diego from his current location of Portland, Oregon. He just broke up with his girlfriend Sandra and she left to go back to San Diego where her family is. Will may have to do the same, as his resources and chance at stability up there are running out. I know he wants to forge an independent life, and I totally support that, but not at an excessive cost and not without stability.

It’s another workday morning. I’ll keep this post updated through the day as I plod along. Be well.

**UPDATE 11:00 am**

A lot of the guys around me who also take billing calls are running into barricades as they try to navigate this very tricky part of their jobs. So far, they have incurred scrutiny and reprimand as a result of our limited understanding of the job itself, and the resources available to do it effectively. Hopefully there is some consideration that we are doing the best we can, and just following what limited procedures we have on some of these incoming issues. I have not been “coached” (see being told what I did initially was wrong) recently and have been fielding more billing calls than anything else. So I hope my trend of doing my job right continues. The bubble may burst at any moment, as I’m aware.

**UPDATE 12:30 pm**

A little too busy today. And the fact that most of my coworkers prefer to eat out is driving me nuts. The good they bring smells just so amazing, but I know it’s terrible for me. I have to endure the smells while not being able to partake. It’s a festival of gluttony. Most people at my work are obese by a large margin. They even have to waddle around because their fat guts spread their hips out. It’s not a good environment for someone trying to eat well. It’s overflowing with temptation, and I have been offered food before and always turned it down. I bring my own lunch and I eat alone. The break room smells wretched, like caked-on rotten food. It’s the opposite of appetizing. I’m fine with my routine the way it is. No need to conform. It’s just hard when everywhere I turn, someone is eating something delicious.

**UPDATE 3:30 pm**

It’s lonesome work out here. I’m an oddball, and as a result, I find myself standing apart from most people. I don’t really want to be a part of the crowd though. I think I do better on my own, as there are fewer things to worry about. I’m a bit mixed up in the feelings department right now. It’s hard to explain. But overall, things are good. Day is winding down. I’m glad to have therapy tomorrow. It will be nice to chat with Margaret again.

Hoping For Me

I’m struggling. It’s the same problem I’ve been having: I get alone time and I spiral down. I feel like nothing that I do is fun. I can’t sing my favorite songs… I have no desire to. I can’t play my computer games, I judge myself for participating in a mindless activity. I feel like I deserve to be lonely; I made my life end up this way. Nothing I want to do brings me any joy. It’s all lifeless, tasteless cardboard. Everywhere I turn, my mind is evaluating and punishing me with negativity. It’s a hopeless struggle against a much mightier foe, and I am losing.

But as I sit here in my sadness, I’m holding on to the good things I have going for me. My life is stable. My apartment is mine, and can’t be taken away from me because someone else decides to leave me. My job is good, though I am having a difficult time mustering the energy to participate fully in it. I have a good support team who cares about me and my wellbeing. I don’t need to make things harder on myself by judging all my actions as bad or somehow worthless.

So here are some things I’m going to try: I’m going to try to take care of myself with compassion and not judgmentalism. I’m going to try and go over to my uncle’s house and be around people, if possible. I am going to be understanding of my mental state as fragile and not put undo pressure on myself to be a certain way. I can have times where I feel down, and it’s not the apocalypse. It’s just a thing that happens. And I’m working with my support team to get on top of it and be healthy again. These times where depression gets strong are tough, but I can and will get through it.

I just got the conformation that I am going to spend the evening with my uncle and aunt, who have really stepped up to help me. It makes me feel less despairing to know they care, and are willing to help. But I’m crying. And feeling acutely sad. I know that these feelings are symptoms, and they come from a malfunctioning part of my brain. It’s not fair that I have to suffer this way. I can’t help but feel the deep and resounding ache of depression, it’s icy grip choking me. I feel it all wadded up in my throat, and burning behind my eyes. I really don’t like depression. It pretty much sucks.

But tonight I will not be lonely. I will not suffer on my own and get deep into the muck of sadness. I’m going to get through this, and I’m going to take steps that will help me feel better. Every day, until I can get back to living my life normally. I appreciate you out there who suffer a similar plight and maybe have as hard a time as I do figuring a way out of it. My tears have stopped. For now.

**UPDATE 4:30 pm**

I’m still shaky, but I’ve done some good things to help myself feel better: I cleaned my bathroom, did the dishes, took out the trash and played some more Diablo II. I also took a shower and just let that warm water run all over me. It’s calming, I’ve found. So it’s not like I’m suffering and not doing anything about it. I’m going to leave here soon and make my way over to my uncle’s house for a salmon dinner. Sounds epic. And being around people will surely cheer me up. It’s Friday night and I should go out and have fun. I don’t want to stay cooped up in my kennel all the time. It’s not healthy. I have a headache but I took a naproxen sodium to get rid of that. So blog, I’m still sad inside, and I still hurt, but I’m not going to let it own me or otherwise ruin my mental state. I have too many good things going on in my life than to be bogged down by depression. I realize there is a clinical component to this that can’t be overlooked. My brain really is not producing the correct neurochemicals to be a well behaved organ. I got my new medications today and I start taking them tonight (Lithium). Tomorrow I start the elevated dose of Welbutrin. So that will give my body a couple of days to respond to the changes, and hopefully get me back to stability for the long-haul. I know that these mental health issues can be a struggle, but I’m doing everything I can to combat it. Here’s hoping for the best.

Lucky

I guess I owe a lot of my recent success to being pretty lucky. Like how I got my current apartment: I was the last one they interviewed and they didn’t even know I was coming (they thought I was going to show up a day earlier). I got in, and no more than 40 minutes after that interview with Ken and Jan, they called me to offer the place. I was lucky before that to get a call from Paula, a recruiter for Eastridge (the staffing company that put me on assignment at Mood Media). And I was lucky well before then that my parents happened to be in town when my life fell apart, lending me at least some temporary shelter at their RV. I was lucky to have family in town who could lend a hand when I needed to move. I can see a pattern here. Maybe I really did bust my ass and make the most of those opportunities, but I was still lucky to get them.

Isn’t a lot of what happens to us luck? Sometimes we get a break, and a random good thing happens instead of a random bad thing. I’m a big fan of putting life-events into perspective, and I owe a portion of my success to the whims of chance. I can both know that, but not let it downsize the effort it took to capitalize on those situations.

Like a wide receiver catching a short pass in the flat. He has to make a guy miss in order to gain any yardage, and he is presented the chance to make the most of that opportunity. He has to turn upfield, break a tackle, and get a first down in order for that short throw to have been worth it. The catch he makes is the luck component. His move after that moment is what he will do, given the opportunity to take that luck and make the most of it.

But come on. We have to give credit where it’s due. The hard part is making something of the opportunity. There are just so many ways to blow a chance and squander a lucky break. It’s all too easy. Realizing it for what it is, and then doing something about it is on you.

Today, I’d like to appreciate the favorable breaks I have been given. I just had to put it into perspective. It’s not like I walked out into the nothing by myself and made a whole new reality. I had luck on my side, and I put in the work to expand my potential. Makes sense?

So that’s some food for thought. I hope that this post rings true for you in your life, and maybe you haven’t taken advantage of luck, or maybe you have. Point being, we aren’t 100% in control. We live, at times, on chance. We need those breaks in order to advance our lives by greater than normal steps. Life can be ground away at. It can be shaved down over time, and worked (slowly) in to a more desirable shape. But it’s luck that cracks the whip of progress. And on this evening, I’m quite thankful for it.