Winding Down Normal

Mental Health: +3.5

Body Energy: +2
It’s the last full day of vacation, which has me thinking about how horrible work is going to be when I get back. A rude awakening from this lush, verdant paradise I find myself in. The air here is so clean. 


I have enjoyed my stay up here at 6,200 feet above sea level. Soon it will be time to make the long 530 mile journey home. To separate oneself from the usual and introduce the extrodinary has proven to be a thoroughly rewarding activity. I think I will be ready to go back when it is time. 

Carly is back in my world and I am very glad to have her. She adds an electric spark to my reality where there was previously emptiness. I still worry that our physical relationship might be limited or cause anxiety, but we will just have to play that as it comes. I really like her, and I’m very attracted to her as well, so there are all the ingredients to a successful pairing. I need more friends, and Carly is that and then some. I hope I get to spend some time with her in person soon, I really miss staring into her beautiful eyes. She is strikingly gorgeous. 

I don’t know what’s next, but life never ceases to amaze me with its twists and turns. Anything is possible, as long as you are alive and in the world to experience it. I won’t raise my expectations just yet, as the future is very uncertain. I have boundless optimism at this point. My scores are pretty good, and I’m feeling very alive. I hope this continues. 

Have a good day blog. 

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Going

It’s been a while since I checked in, and that’s largely for encouraging reasons. I tend to feel the need to write when things are turbulent, and within the past two weeks things have been pretty good. I have been taking the Latuda for a while now and I think the 40 mg dose is having an effect. My mood has been better, and my energy is up a bit. I’m back to a good level of exercise and my sleep has been fairly consistent. 

I am more resolved now than ever before to stay single and live my life the way I want. I don’t need approval from anyone but myself. My intent is to do the best job I can being who I am  and hold my head up with the realization of that. I’m severely mentally ill, but I won’t let that own my life. 

Will came down and visited, which was really great. We hung out like the old days and it reminded me of all the good times we’ve had together. We have been hanging out online and playing games with friends lately which has been excellent fun. The longer this pattern goes on the happier I’ll be. 

I’ve had some hard times in the recent past. I have also taken action when I noticed things were getting bad. I have been trying to be friends with Amanda, but I feel like I felt right before I broke up with her. It’s the same pattern of frustration and I don’t think I have any relevance to her anymore, or ever at all. I thought I could help her get a fresh start and provide guidance as someone who has successfully recovered from total life collapse, but I have doubts as to my messages being understood. Mind you, my life collapse was not as severe as hers, but many of the parallels should be noted. I have wisdom to give, though it is not “fun” to hear. Often times recovery isn’t about making the easy choice, but the one we must face down in order to go farther. Progress is earned, and the reward is pride. I don’t think Amanda gets that, which is still painful to see unfold. 

All I want is to help. I care about some people, and I don’t hesitate to offer assistance to those who need it, whether they ask for it or not. Sometimes help is a hug, or a smack in the face, but it serves a purpose either way, and that is to promote and acknowledge healthy behaviors. I myself have taken this type of advice and adopted regular meditation to my bedtime routine. I’m very reluctant to meditate because it is ridiculously hard to calm my mind for more than a couple of seconds. It’s a huge battle for me, but it is part of training my mind and to have control over my thoughts. People told me to be more mindful, and here I am implementing that in my personal reality. As a result, I have conclusively increased the sleep stage that provides me with a rested feeling the next day (Fitbit calls this: deep sleep). I was averaging less than an hour per night, and waking up feeling groggy and I was behind schedule. Since the meditation, that number has risen to more than an hour and a half, and I’ve had several excellent mornings in a row now. I do indeed practice what I preach. 

I hope you all have a good night. I’m happy that tomorrow is Thursday and we are but a stone’s throw from the weekend. Jubilation! 

Course Correction

I didn’t wait around for things to get worse, I took action. I had a thought-provoking therapy session and readied my cognitive tools for use. That conversation also helped me get a new perspective on my depression, something I desperately needed. Two days later I met with my psychiatrist and gave her my observations about the past two weeks. I told her it was feeling like the meds were not working as much as they used to. There were many symptoms, one of which was being caused by the Buspar (which was dumped). I was low energy, and had very little motivation for anything. I was feeling just somewhat perturbed, pretty much all the time, and without cause. My anxious thoughts were getting depressing, and negative to an alarming degree. It was not all on my cognitive tools to overcome all of that, so medically, something had to be done. We are cycling off Geodon (which can have damaging, permanent side effects) and introducing Latuda (a newer med which can help with bipolar depression). 

After 6 days on the new med, I’m doing significantly better. In fact, it really started Monday right after I got out of my psychiatry appointment. I got a good night’s rest and woke up Tuesday feeling healthy and alive. That trend continued all week. I honestly don’t think the Latuda had any effect the first night I took it. It’s not until right about now that I should be gauging its potential. I would say that the reason I have been able to continue on past the initial surge in the beginning of the week was that my brain started working better. Promoted by healthy diet and exercise, the med has had the best possible environment in which to operate. I think the benefits will be more pronounced as I get into the higher milligrams. Monday I’m up to 40. 

I have been working hard and having fun with my friends. We are all playing a new game together and it has been fabulous. It has been beneficial to feel good this week, I am so glad that trough is behind us. I was really starting to wear down. 

Wish me luck as I try a medication shuffle. Here’s hoping stability is the result!

Downwardly Up?

The last few weeks have been tough, as you have no doubt heard from my complaining and processing. Overall I’d say the trend was obvious and began having real impacts on my life. Thursday was a very low point for me as I contemplated the return of full-blown depression. I had many negative symptoms like low energy, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, fatigue, loss of appetite and dissatisfaction for things I used to enjoy. I called an emergency meeting with my therapist and it was at this point that things started to improve. 

She reminded me of my introspective process, and how I could be a better steward while my mental war was raging. Those little recognitions where I am identifying my suffering and moving past it are key to processing depression. Without the ability to accept, I have no hope of overcoming. Margaret again proved insightful, and even had a video for me to watch about self love (a concept I am still in the comprehension stage on). She reminded me of my tools and also the acceptance that bad things were going to happen. I can’t go on avoiding them indefinitely. I need to let my feelings pass over and through me. That is the only way to understand them. 

I felt better on Friday and that trend continued into the remainder of the weekend. I am now comfortably in my bed and pausing to look back on the dramatic change I have been through. I was feeling so down and despondent, but have since taken a sharp climb upwards. Out of the trough and in up the slope, as the sine wave says. I’m thinking this whole ordeal is largely neurochemical and time was the key factor in liberating myself from its shackles. Will the work week reduce me to a puddle of goo? We shall see. 

I’m practicing my good cognitive processes and finding much more space for my positive self to speak out. I am a proud man with a full and rewarding life. There just simply will be times that I am depressed, and I need to accept that. It comes with the territory. Why bother being surprised by something you’ve known all your life? I find this is easier to say than do. 

Tonight is the end of a very good weekend. I hope this trend continues on into the brutal horizon of monotony. 

Stumbling Forward

I got into this mode of living as an independent man to help forward my ongoing mental health, but at the same time I am taxed by being alone. It is a tough balance. I need friends, but not deeply attached friends. I need meaningful exchanges without love or lust getting in the way. I have said it before but I think getting herpes has really helped me realize how alone I need to be to be healthy. Relationships fuck me up, and I will have no more of them. 

I will have women who I care for in my life, but not love with passion. Friends who can share memories and stories and show interest in each other’s lives. The thing I am trying to avoid is love and all the baggage that comes with it. Love has chewed me up and spit me out more than a few times. I’ve learned my lesson. Now I have a chance to prove my intentions as valid. 

Things happen and we respond. Life presents us with new challenges daily. In the end, I’m the only one who’s responsible for my life. If I want to live it proudly or in the shadows, that’s up to me. I was just telling Will about taking something of worth from the poorest deals. There is a truth to be gleaned from great loss and suffering. Maybe what we learn can move us forward instead of back? I didn’t make this road easy, but it’s mine to embrace and plow through. I’m ready for that blog. I did this. This whole thing is on me, not anyone else. I own that and I will do what I can to live true and proud regardless. 

Sometimes it hurts to think about just how lonely and unfulfilled I’m going to be for the rest of my life. That too was my choice and my burden. I’m here because I put myself here. I’m the only one who can make something of worth out of what’s left. I have next to nothing to show for my life and a weight on me I will never be free of. I have come to terms with all of this and vow to push on. Even if no one comes with me, I’m going forward. I won’t turn away in shame. I will face my pain and embrace my ultimate isolation. 

Tomorrow is Wednesday, and I’ll still be the same fucked up me I am right now when I wake up. There is no reset, there is just tomorrow. 

Complications and Resolutions

In light of my good friend Will’s decision to pursue a physical relationship with his friend Erin, I have been giving some thought to the same perplexing possibility in my own life. The ingredients are all there for both of us, but I’m quite intent upon making a totally different meal than the one Will did.

Mainly, I don’t trust myself in that situation, and I don’t believe I could repress my feelings the way he has to. Sex creates bonds of closeness and that is something I want to avoid. Will is stronger, and he believes he can walk this road and not get hurt. I know in my heart that I could not do the same, as appealing as it sounds.

It’s not that I don’t like sex and closeness (I really do),  but when I look back over my life, I see failed relationships where I acted with my heart and got involved in things that would come unraveled eventually because I was too blind to see it wasn’t a good fit. At this point, I should know better than to go thinking with my dick or appeasing my feelings of loneliness with  companionship. I have seen where that way of acting gets me.

So I am both envious and fearful for my best friend. I hope he knows when to put the breaks on if that’s what needs to happen. It’s not a good match for him as far as a relationship goes, in my opinion. He deserves much better. As do I. I’m willing to hold off my urges and desires because I know that the end result is far more painful than the few good times that get sprinkled in along the way. Cost-benefit analysis.

Plus, it helps that I’m not looking for that satisfaction, and he is. I say if you have control over your life and don’t mind bringing in outside factors, then more power to you. If anything, it has made me realize how much I don’t want what he has, even if the idea sounds pretty fucking sweet. I know I’m not ready for that type of thing; not now, and not in a long time. My own dynamic with Carly  I believe may have lost the physical component but there’s no way to be sure at this time, while also irrelevant if that suspicion is true. If it has, then so be it… my life is headed in the direction of my choosing with or without it.

I guess this whole situation made me feel conflicted, then resolved. I do this with myself every so often; eventually coming back to a resolution about my attitude and behavior. I really do like this life I have where I only have myself to worry about keeping happy, or dealing with. I have a loving family and a strong sense of self… I really do have all the tools I need to launch a successful independent life laid out before me. I’m not going to let my dick get in the way of that, regardless of how nice it all feels to indulge. The temptation is strong, but I’m not ready, which is the final word on the matter.

This weekend has been a fucking blast. Fun parties every single day, family from out of town, beer on tap, Mexican food… do I really need to go on? Oh, did I mention my sister is going to have a baby??? I’m going to be an uncle! Hobie, that little man will be named, and he already has his first two onesies that I bought for him. I made a card for my sister too about how happy I am she’s bringing a new member of the family in to our lives. So many grand kids running around already it’s intoxicating and wonderful. Such a nourishing environment full of people who love me.

That’s the kind of thing I want to cultivate. I’ve always looked t make my own ideal family unit with some new woman from the outside, but now I realize I had one all along right under my nose. I need to spend more time nurturing the love that is already there and stop looking for it in other places.

Have a good rest of your weekend, as I no doubt will.

Drained

Boy, do I feel tired today. We are just over half way to freedom and my tank is empty. I can hardly think straight. My uncle wanted me to have a beer with him and the family tonight but I didn’t know how to tell him how crappy I felt. I’m down there dripping off the kegerator and I’m literally not sure how I’m going to make it home. I’ve been having more temperature regulation problems today too. At this exact moment, with more than 4 hours of daylight life in the day, I’m hiding in bed. I may not stay here, but I definitely needed to come here for a while. 

I have two more days to go. Looks like D & D is off this week. Boo. My Friday will be spent down at the beach house, which I am really looking forward to. That is, if I recover enough strength to make that happen. I think I will. I have been busting my ass for about three weeks straight, and maybe today’s 17,000 plus steps pushed me over the threshold. I broken. 

I want to play a few games with Will tonight; it’s one of the few things in my life that consistently brings me happiness. I also want to listen to the game on the radio as my evening winds down. Win or lose, listening to the call of the game has always been one of my favorite summertime activities. The way they describe the situations, and the jargon of serious baseball veterans make it like being part of a secret club, or even deciphering encrypted transmissions. People who don’t know the game would interpret the call as gibberish. “What did he say? What does that mean?” I mean, I think baseball is fucking lame, corrupt and unfair. Don’t misconstrue my enthusiasm for a blindness to the faults of this sport. However, the nostalgia and effect the call has on me are fundamentally undeniable.  I can both hate and love baseball without picking a side. 

So maybe tonight will be a lightly eventful evening. I’m hoping to hear back from Carly about when a good time to hang out again would be. Complete 180 from where my anxiety had me going earlier this week. She read my blog too! Even all than anxious ranting I was doing. Just goes to show you: anxiety isn’t often right. 

You know, I’m really being hard on myself keeping an eighth of weed in my nightstand drawer. I smell it every time I lay down here. Yet, it makes it no less likely that I will smoke some. In fact, my uncle offered me one today, and I turned him down. It was right there in front of me blog, and I said no. Graduation, bitches! Temptation is null and now it’s 100% on my schedule when things are going to happen. 

Eventful week ahead for me still, hopefully my tank gets above 1/4 before Friday gets here.