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. 

Pillow Talk

Hello blog. I haven’t written to you in a while, and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been in a rut lately and many small things have added up to a lot of weight. Though, overall, I’m doing alright. I’m not acutely suffering, but some of the symptoms of depression are there. The fatigue, slow motivation, disturbing anxieties and skepticism seem to pervade, and especially in the morning. I was an hour late getting in today, for example. 

I feel much better though, now that I’m in bed. I’m happy here. Everything is soft with the fuzzies and warm. It makes me feel safe from all of the anxieties and stresses of my day. It is the one place I can go and feel at peace and protected in a very fundamental sense. Logically? No explanation whatsoever. I don’t even bother to understand it. It just makes me feel good and it’s not a controlled substance so you should be happy 

Will has been a great friend in this tough time. He’s always willing to talk to me about stuff, and has loads of insight from someone who knows me well. I have been meaning to ask, but he must look back on who I was in high school and wonder where that guy went. That me was direct, merciless, insane, goofy and bizarre. The only one of those things I still am is direct. I used to be so vital and energetic, but as time went on, it broke me. I collapsed. After that first depression and meds, I became someone different. I do not know how to compare these two states. Both are good and bad for different reasons. I favor stability and old me was in no way stable. 

I think I lost Carly. It would be sad but expected. She got scared by my herpes and that pretty much quashed the flame she may have had burning for me. She seemed to be really interesting, with a full life. However, she detached from me a long time ago for many reasons. It’s not the way I wanted things to go, but this disintegration was inevitable, it seems. 

I just want to have a normal day, you know, where I wake up refreshed? A day where I can focus clearly, have meaningful social interactions and feel solidly good. I have had days like that before. I’m trying everything to promote that possibility with my actions tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Goodnight blog. I promise to stop by more often. I haven’t forgotten you, I’m just struggling. 

…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. 

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.