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. 

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Ragequit

Well I had a bit of a “lost my shit” moment this afternoon, as one after the other disappointing thing happened at work. I basically work with people who put forth the bare minimum effort in their occupations and nothing negative I point out ever fucking changes. I’m so tired of hoping the supervisors will do something and watching them ignore the things that make our workplace a fucking joke. And it’s a joke. I’m surprised we aren’t laughed at more often.

I got on the road and was insane. I cut people off, I was yelling through my window and I nearly rear-ended someone in my fury. Basically, frustration boiled over and I began to hate everyone and everything. Like right now, for example.

Part of me thinks this is still part of the marijuana withdrawal because that tends to make me grouchy. It’s been a week, so it’s kinda late in the game for that to be the case… but I never flip out like this. I’m usually calm and logical, not exploding with anger. My emotions have become significantly more volatile since stopping the weed.

Trouble is, there’s nothing I can do about it without surrendering my standards. I set my goal for the first Friday of next month as to when I would start smoking under new guidelines… but here I am only a week out and I’m suffering. This is just something I’m going to have to push through. I guess.

I’m pissed at everything right now. The world is so fucking stupid it blows my mind. There’s nothing I can do to change any of the bullshit things that happen every day in my life. I just stand up, get socked in the face, and get back up again ready for another. Isn’t life fucking great?

I’m supposed to play D & D tonight but I’m furious. I don’t feel like playing a game I feel like killing someone with my bare hands. I want to choke the life out of some of these worthless fucks at my workplace, then crush their faces in to the floor with my foot. Fuck every single one of those motherfuckers.

God damnit this is fucking stupid. Why do I even bother trying? No one cares. No one gives a shit. I’m all alone out here with everyone in the world with their backs turned to me. Pretending I’m not here. Who gives a fuck what I say?

Goodbye.

Tumultuous

Having a bad start to my day caused the remainder to be a struggle. Even though I worked from home, it was still very hard. Now that I’m near the end, I feel shaky and worn-down. I find myself gravitating towards bed, a haven of safety and comfort. I’m tired, and negative thoughts are floating around. 

I’m back on this point about not dating anyone. I think developing friendships is the best course for me, as I have stated. Needing to feel needed is a perplexing state: it diminishes individuality and triggers anxiety. Feeling needed is pretty powerful, but it can also be a negative addiction. 

My anxiety has really been flipping the fuck out here lately. It’s going to be a while before I can see my doctor and I need to find ways to cope in the meantime. Normally I’d be smoking marijuana to get away from the anxiety, but, we are all aware that this is not a permanent solution. The mental aspect of this thing I have secured, but the chemical side remains fuzzy. 

My friends and I have been getting back into online games in addition to the weekly D & D. Rekindling that fire has been rewarding and presents all sorts of options for socialization. Many good times ahead, I can see. I’m glad to have this back in my life, it has given me something to be happy about. 

Tonight I’m trying to stay up until around 8 or so. I remember when Carly was sad when I went to bed early. Now she doesn’t talk to me for long stretches of time… I kinda wish there was an ulterior motive. At least then I would know. Some people react to my herpes diagnosis with sadness and curiosity… others are fundamentally disgusted and distance themselves (it would seem). People respond to things in strange ways. At least, I’m pretty sure I have this situation read properly. My anxiety projects these negative realities and they feel quite convincing, regardless of whether they are true or not. Usually not. I’ll continue to go on cultivating friendships that matter, if I am indeed right about all this. The virus can prove to be a filter for finding the right sorts of people to surround myself with. 

I have had a tumultuous day, and I’m glad the end of it is fast approaching. Have a good night blog. 

First

I’m back at work again blog and kinda glad. The weekend and all that unstructured time left my thoughts to their negative devices. However, I still faced a similar problem after work today. I had another block of time and only a few ways to occupy it. I am pleased to report that I did not cave in to temptation and did not even have the urge. What I did feel was resolve. I know what I need to do to get healthy and I’m not going to let addictive tendencies derail that. 

I have begun talking to Amanda again, and this has been rewarding. I’d like to be a meaningful friend in her life. I have no intentions other than to have someone to talk to who knows me. She was a big part of my life the last two plus years and I’d be a fool to discount that. The feelings I had for her are different than they were, but there is still real emotion there, and love I would say. Love in a context that is not how it used to be. I realize that this might be dangerous territory, but I am not concerned. I know in my heart what I want out of my life and I know what things will help me realize that. Just like Carly and I have professed to be “more than friends,” so too will a similar dynamic exist here. 

Things are happening in my world. I’m going to be an uncle soon. I’m will be headed out on long family vacations in the coming months. Tahoe in July, then Sacramento in August for my nephew’s arrival. I already bought him a unijammy (as I call them) because it’s the finest piece of baby apparel a budding man-cub can own. 

People are noticing how much weight I’ve lost. 22.8 pounds as of my last check in over the weekend. My work dress slacks don’t fit anymore… or at least, not without a belt. My wardrobe comes from a time where I weighed 285, about five years ago. I weigh 196.8 right now, the slimmest I have been since high school. How? Eating a minimal amount of food and exercising vigorously multiple times per day. I average 5 – 7 miles in my 8 hour shift. Or roughly 10,000 to 14,000 steps. I ingest significantly fewer calories than I take in, and the results are profound. Is it the most healthy way to go about it? No. Then again, my body has been used to eating 1 meal a day for the last 7 years. I’m acclimated. My metabolism is burning fat to fuel the fires and I continue to build muscle in my legs and increase my oxygen intake efficiency ( went from VO2 of 33.8 to 44 in two months). I think things are going perfectly right now. 

This week the motivation is solely on me. I have no step competition to rally to. I have no goal, other than to get a solid mile or more in every two hours and work up a heavy sweat. So what if I’m sweaty at work? Most of the people there are fat and lazy. I’m the only one determined to lose weight and look fit. It’s a litany of bad role models, junk food and beer bellies. Not my crowd, and boy do I stand out. 

Ultimately, I’m proud of where I am. I worked my ass off to get mentally healthy and now physically too. I’m not going to stop until I’m at my ideal weight, and stable in my mind. It’s up to me to hold the line and perpetuate my healthy behaviors. I believe in myself, and I know I can do this. I’m not smoking, I’m perpetuating good behaviors. 

Ahead

Well another weekend has come to a close, and I am doing fine I suppose. I’m managing my anxiety and thinking about a tough week ahead. I’m back in a Fitbit challenge with friends and family which I know is going to help clear the fog of the stupor I have been in. Plus I’m cold turkeying off weed for the duration of the week. I need to get my bearings and breathe deep for a while. I like weed, but sometimes I need to step back. 

This week will be all about getting off on the right foot. I’m going to wake up on time and get to my desk by 5. I’m going to put my head down and crank out some evaluations. I know things are changing at my workplace, and I’m doing what I can to keep pace with it. Lately I have felt like I was dragging my feet everywhere I went. I’m hopeful this sudden intake of invigorating exercise will push me through the next five days. 

Here I am identifying my own shortcomings and finding ways to address them. I am a human, flawed but set on improving. I truly am going to keep trying to be the best me I know how. I’ll fall on my face and regret, but I won’t make the same mistake again. 

I believe in creating your own luck. If you want something, go out there and get it. I’m looking for an answer only I can find, but the road to discovery is long. There are many things I have yet to change, and still a long ways to go before my project is over. 

I wish you all good rest tonight in preparation on the Monday soon to be upon us. This is going to be a great week, and I will be vital and ready by Friday evening. Wish me luck! 

Try and Fail or Fail to Try?

Part of the miracle of being alive is the spectrum of experiences that are laid out before us all, every day. Depending on the time and circumstance, we might find ourselves on one end of the spectrum or the other. I contend that it is the contrast between good and bad which helps make us completely human, and enhances our understanding of the world. Without contrast, life becomes hollow and meaningless.Sometimes in my anxiety, I can see a world where I try to control my position on the spectrum as much as possible, even to the point of sabotaging my verbal discourse in order to present a non-confrontational non-incendiary approach…. but why? Because I have been  scared of fucking up my words and falling flat on my face in the midst of the conversation, but also to protect my inner self rom people who I don’t want to share that with.

In truth, this is a mistake, because failure is part of the deal; we don’t get to opt out of fucking up. In fact, I insist that fucking up is fundamental to progress, and demolishing conversations, alienating people and plummeting to the depths of unintelligibility are just a part of this process. 

I have my defenses, which keep most people from knowing much of anything about me, but now I see I can’t control anything beyond that. I have subsequently let myself fail time and time again over the years, gleaning valuable lessons from each new disaster. These successive failures and mishandled situations have led me to be a more targeted and specific linguist, especially in the frail territory of new encounters. I am fully prepared to fail, and almost expect that at some point, I will. This helps me be ready when I do, and then able to take something of use from the situation. Without experimentation, we develop no unique paths between who we are internally and what other people see.

I had this discussion with my best friend Will, as he is going through this very thing. In his case, he is anxious to a degree of diluting his words to the point of complete neutral transparency. He reveals none of who he is to anyone, and guards his expressions carefully to avoid conflict. To me, this is no way to live. I have learned more from my failures than I ever could have by carefully crafting my words to defuse situations and avoid confrontation. Sometimes you have no choice but to ruffle someone’s feathers and that’s okay. Negative and positive help us appreciate the good, and understand the bad better to avoid it in the future. Failure is learning and essential to our development as functional individuals.

My advice to you all is to continue to leap carelessly into the chasm and be willing to meet whatever reaction you get. Learn something from failure, and cherish the time you spend in the sun. Conversation is a beautiful narrative fraught with lows and highs and unpredictable transitions. It is this uncertainty that drives me to come back for more and to be honest with who I am. Don’t let people forget who you are with neutrality; make them remember. 

With Hope

Ever since my diagnosis, I have felt more at peace in my life than I have in a long time. I regret the delivery mechanism, but that’s reality for you; sometimes the lesson one has to learn comes with a price. While that is nevertheless true, I walk forward with a great deal of hope. My future has finally started to take a shape that makes sense for me, and I am very pleased with the direction it leads. I will be able to dedicate my time to advancing myself forward in the world and finally earning my degree. I will lift myself up out of this life I have and go where I have always wanted to go; unencumbered, self-invested and free to be who I am. I feel like I have been blind for so long, and suddenly…

I know what I’m going to do, and next week is all about putting the ball in motion. I’ve got 4 transcripts to collect and then I get to go school shopping. I intend to apply for scholarships and grants to try and fund my education, while I continue to work full time. Can I really do both of these things? Yes, I think so… especially now that my internal priorities have dramatically changed. It pains me to say it, but being infected was exactly what I needed to jolt me out of my complacency and make me see the whole picture of my unfolding life.

The best part about this situation is how right it feels. Subsequently, it doesn’t seem manic or out of control at all, instead, more like the sun has just burned through a thick fog. Or that feeling right in the middle of my first cup of coffee in the morning, when the cobwebs blow away. What is to become of me? I think many good things, and even more opportunities for them that I am making for myself. I do have hopes and dreams and they will be realized damnit!

I don’t recommend getting an STD as a way to jolt oneself out of a depressed cycle, regardless of the effect it had on me. When calamity strikes, it can take myriad forms; this just happened to be the one selected for me. Yours may be different: a death in the family, a lost pet, car accident, breakup… pain and shock can be boons as well as burdens. Those moments force us to harshly reconsider our current course of action, especially when the calamity is self-invoked (like mine).

So my point is, maybe when something truly life changing and terrible happens to you, there is a good reason it did. The real question is, can one find meaning despite great pain or sadness?