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.

Conflicted

Here I am doing a check-in experiencing some emotional turbulence. I am thinking about my past relationships longingly, aching in the way that love feels once it has gone from a place. I still remember the feeling of being in love with incredible longing. It is a place I most enjoyed when I was there, but realize the intrinsic cost involved. Experience love = lose stability. I have a feeling this is still true, despite my evolved state. I could probably make a relationship work if things continued in this way, but will I? Probably not. Even in an ideal circumstance, it adds a new and unattractive variable to a life that is becoming well managed on its own. I do believe we all have a different way of being wired into our perceptions of reality. Mine have been wired differently than yours, and where you might need a relationship to feel complete, I realize that will never be my fate. I have tried to walk that path and nearly destroyed myself over and over again. I think back on love and still miss it, yes. Does that necessitate changing my life direction? Is it so overwhelming that I must bend to its will in order to survive?

I am back on PsychCentral too and posting on the forums. There are potentially dozens of people out there who could use help. I need to polish my profile, get out there and comment. I can be a resource for many more people than are locally available. More impact. More change. More listening. All of these aspects of MH care I am embracing and pursuing. The future looks bright. I know I have been on about this, but MH should excite you too, when you think about the positive future good care leads to.

The Icon

This was something I was working on as my first marriage fell apart. I wanted the stigma to be faced with the ever-evolving perseverance of hope. There are lots of poorly illustrated labels going on here, but mainly, that even something as atrocious and repugnant as I can still be full of life. I am going to overcome this bio-hazard symbol and turn it in to something beautiful and alive. I am not my illness, and I refuse to be defined as such. I am a fantastic person, full of the complex intricacies of a well developed organism. I am proud of who I am and the plant continues to grow out in all directions. I am making this symbol, forgotten for the past 10 years, my future. It will represent the new direction I am headed; a place fueled by the promise of a better tomorrow. Whether I can make it happen for myself, or anyone else, I will try my hardest to make that happen. We all deserve a chance to thrive. I have been there, and it felt very good to be stable. I felt so proud. I want others to feel the same about the accomplishments they achieve. This symbol is me, and it always will be.

Learn By Eating Shit

Hello there bloggy place. I was thinking about my run-ins with relationships, as I still have a lot of feelings attached to this aspect of my adult past. It is not an area I have totally abandoned, but my military occupational presence there has been reduced to a bare minimum. I have fought many battles while suffering horrifying sums of casualties in this war. I have the scarred landscape to prove it, along with a turbulent past whose narrative is saddening. I have always had this deluded and incomplete idea for what it means to be with someone, which perpetuated an unrealistic reality. Was I a great communicator, friend or listener? I feel like I blew a lot of my own people up in the process of being defeated because I didn’t have the right state of mind to understand the nature of the dilemma. Love that is built on a foundation which starts with self-acceptance. I don’t even pretend to have fully grasped the concept, hence my current independent status.

I feel love in my heart still, old fondness for things that are long gone. Faces I once knew. You know how those things just sort of flutter back? I’ll be thinking idly here in my space and then I will think of her. I’ll remember something I had forgotten. This is an interesting problem for me, because I tend to have a variety of responses to these feelings coming back into my active mind. I often am triggered by music, but regardless, I have ways of spinning these potentially troublesome moments into something positive. I often feel the ache of the hurt associated with my exes, but then I think too of how they had each taught me something about myself and how beautiful they were.

I have been vocal about my downfall, which is part of the process of healing. For me, there is only one way out of the dark place, and that is the light of the truth. There is no escape with a self-gratifying delusion. There will be no light without acceptance, and recognition. I could never have come to realize the things I have about my personality and my flaws if I hadn’t come to accept just how badly I had fucked up. When things go wrong, the investigators are called in to figure out how the thing got fucked up and what made it break. Then we study, and learn EVERYTHING there is to know about “why.” Embrace where your own people fucked up, or where something wicked was intentionally done to you. There’s only so much we can control, right? Everything on the inside of me I can do something about, since that’s my domain. Or, I can try to exert as much control over that are as is possible. However, things on the outside I can’t do shit about, and I accept that some bad things are going to happen. How I respond to that is the true test of my skills. If I can respond articulately, I might be able to diffuse. I have often failed miserably at this task. This is another of the things I still have to learn as I go through my life.

Even after all the pain, there is still love. For me, that is beautiful, in a way. Each of them has a part of me that is only theirs, and always will be. It was a wonderful thing, when it was good and the love was strong. It was a thing that had a life of its own and grew between us, and with our love for each other we helped it thrive. The act is wonderful, and I feel very fulfilled having made beautiful memories in my life. I can go forward with enough goodness in me to last the rest of my days. I have those thoughts to go back to and remember that there was a time when being with someone was wonderful. There is also the lesson of failure there, which is why remembering is harmless versus reproduction. I don’t wish to re-create new memories of love, but only revisit the times that there was love. Though, I find I am, more or less, responding to these feelings of loneliness since declaring my independence. Knowing the path I have chosen is one I will probably walk alone has been humbling, but also invigorating and empowering. I have such confidence in my strength to be able to call back upon emotionally heavy times and not sink or rise in any unhealthy way. A sign of progress to be sure.

I bring this stuff up mostly as a way to process my emotions as I move through my life. I have decided not to send any more energy into the aspect of my journey that hopes to bind itself to another. I have resigned to the fact that I might be alone, or I might find someone out there who is the right fit. I am not going to force anything, and divert my energy towards rebuilding myself. I want to be strong and independent again. I remember feeling like an empowered intellectual, and I had a radiance that drew people to me. I want to get back to that point, where I felt good about who I was. A charismatic ambiance I want to capture again. It’s out there somewhere, and I am looking to rise back to that point once more. Getting involved in the mental health community is a big step in helping me to establish worth as I build towards that glowy place.

Thanks for being a part of my thought vomit session. I feel a lot more relaxed and confident in my direction. I know a lot of mentally ill people who really want to be with someone, and that’s not the way for me, and it might not be for some of them either.

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.

Creativity Lost and Found

I have been afforded a unique opportunity to explore a “world” that had been dormant for a long time, as you can see by my fiction of late. This new spark has brought life a new color and added a smile to my face. At the same time as this creativity spurns new life, it reminds me of the last time I ventured down this avenue of thought.

Jax and I started a blog called “Ruptured Worlds” many years ago, and we planned to bring our two imaginations together and unite the fantasy worlds we had each created. She had a deep and rich world full of dimensions, languages and fantastic creatures, and I too had a setting that was deep and immersive. That was something I really still love about her, is that she is a wild dreamer. Her creativity was compelling, and I still do not regret any of the money I invested in helping her realize her potential. We wanted to create a fantasy story in sort of a living way, where posts on the blog advance the plot and document the narrative over time.

Not everything worked out the way I wanted, and I think this Ruptured Worlds thing was one of the last things we ever spoke about. She lost a lot of her content when we split, but none of it had been documented on the blog as we never wrote a single post. I didn’t have anything more than a “coming soon” sort of blurb to our non existent audience. It makes me sad to think that world she created never had a chance to be realized and shared. This is one of many regrets. However, my own imaginative enterprise is marching ahead with a new infusion of interest.

I have often times refused to take credit for “coming up” with this world, as I dreamed it all in such vivid clarity. All was made apparent to me, at least, the primary mechanic of the “universe.” This reality is different, and loaded with heritage, history and strife.  When I awoke, I documented my experiences, and began to fill in the details. I soon thereafter spiraled into mania and went on a two day 72 page tear where I didn’t sleep and constantly obsessed. I have recently discovered the document I created at the peak of my illness. I originally composed it in 2004 and it is loaded with emotional sadness and loneliness of a profound variety. This universe, or reality, has grown over the years, and players have been added to the story. I have also turned this world in to (now) 3 D&D campaigns. The one I am running now is by far the best iteration of the universe. I have a deep and engrossing story and a compelling plot which will drive the engine of creativity forward.

This new campaign brings up memories of Jen too, as she was the star character in the first D&D game in this universe. She and I were entwining by then and the narrative they all crafted takes me down a road of thinking about the memories we made. There were some good times in there, albeit, far outweighed. It’s the same sort of feeling I get for Jax: there is a fondness for that beautiful moment where our minds were playing together, contrasted with all the damage we later inflicted upon each other. Would those campaigns and moments had as much potency if not for those women I loved being wrapped up in them? I contend that the emotional gravitas of the story was amplified by the feelings I had, but not the source of them. I have an unending well of enthusiasm for this reality, and I greatly enjoy any chance to openly recreate there. With or without female companionship.

This is a good chance for me to be solemn and thankful. I am glad for the loves I have had and the good memories we shared. Those rare moments where I felt truly and unconditionally understood. I have come to a sort of peace with my past in that sense, otherwise visiting The Realm would be a painful excursion. For me, I can relish the now, while celebrating what there is to from our pasts. I regret, yes, and I’m sure that’s a mutual thing. I don’t have to wear my mistakes on my sleeve, but I do need to be aware of them (as I have said countless times). Negative emotions, grudges and anger all drain down what little energy I have available to keep my boat upright. Some people have no problem holding on to anger. It tears me apart and destroys me over time, like holding radioactive waste in my hand. So I gave up on that. The free energy I have now can go toward things like helping the disadvantaged and the severely mentally ill. I have the freedom to create an an environment unencumbered by anger and pain. The world is wide open blog. We are missing out on taking in the good if we are only focusing on the bad.

In this new dawn of creativity found, I still take the time to look back with fondness at all that has been. Memories stained with pain, but there are still fibers of that moment that are not lost. There is always something to be gained and some way to grow. Don’t let a catastrophe pass by without changing something about yourself. Bad things do happen, but so do beautiful things. I choose to look through the filter of someone who forgives and has forgiven himself. I choose to create, not destroy.

 

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?