None

The thing is, I just don’t have anything I want to say anymore. My preferences aren’t relevant. My opinions are inane, fleeting and easily ignored. Sometimes I have good thoughts, ideas that seem poignant. Then, those precious seconds pass into the spinning whirl of activity. Then absorbed into the nauseating flow of other monkey mind activities.

I’m really learning that external control is impossible. So is respect; which has become little more that an intent hiding beneath a big pile of actual disregard. People are in their own private worlds; no one wants to be reached.

I gave up on that. I’m plodding forward in a passive state, more intent on absorbing than mitigating. I can take a great deal of toxicity before an overload, which I’m sure is to be expected on this untenable course. I know that the world outside of my head is entirely beyond influence while my own responses to it remain as the factor in my reach.

I just don’t have enough energy to fight back. I don’t care. You can have the trophy for whatever it is you’ve won, I’m going to go lay down. There’s not enough left to care about this anymore with so many other things to address.

The lights are going out in the auditorium. Slowly.

Symptoms

I’ve indicated in past notices that I viewed my current neurochemical state on a downward slope and recent observed evidence confirms that. I am alert in this state, but struggling to maintain good health.

Symptoms I have observed in the last several weeks:

Lack of interest in extracurricular or fun things

Slowness, soreness, delayed response time

Inconsistent sleep

Dramatic increase in effort required to motivate

Isolation

Neurochemical imbalance/deficiencies/symptoms

Dependence on substances in effort to self-medicate

___

So most of that is pretty serious shit. There was no sneaking, these things have been accumulating, or increasing. Now, as I try again amidst the fray to gain some objectivity, I see how the symptoms of increasing depression have begun to surround me. At first, I turned to some default negative coping mechanisms like escape, or regression. I was having a lot of angry thoughts, and consistently find my arrow pointed down at the start of every day.

However, as I told my boss yesterday: “this isn’t my first rodeo.” I’ve been down in the black pit before, and my reluctance to go back is all the reason I need to be introspective. I was also talking about that topic last night at my Peer-to-Peer class. I spoke about how I began to grow “tired” of being down, having my life collapse and all that. I continually sought to treat my symptoms, but for years I never really understood myself, my habits, and my flaws which can cause me trouble. That lack of comprehension provided a parade of doomed solutions for me to splay myself upon prior to detonation. That dynamic proved both painful and unsustainable.

 

Responses I have taken to the onset of depression:

Initiated process with GP to achieve referral to see local psychiatrist (top priority)

Discontinued consistent alcohol abuse as escape mechanism

Discontinued abundant cannabis use as escape mechanism

Established regular exercise requirements outside for at least 60 minutes

Current medications are taken on time and regularly. Organized for minimal dose confusion.

__

I know what steps I need to continue taking to improve my condition. More activity will help contribute where my current neurochemical cocktail is lacking, but it is not a long-term solution. I need to be doing everything I can to sustain until I can see a doctor and get my medications looked at by a professional. Medication management is one of my “three pillars” theory of sustaining good mental health. All pillars must be strong for stability to be achieved, otherwise, things get tippy.

I continue to walk forward, set on improvement, while conscious of potential pitfalls and internally-generated danger.

Necessary Avoidance

I am endeavoring not to persist in polar judgement of things, and I do believe this is true in most recent cases. However…

I have learned that one of those areas that is still firmly polarized is my past loves. I can’t have them in my life at all, regardless of capacity. I have learned that there is no benefit in looking back, and the dead still do not rise up and walk amongst us last time I checked. The past is buried and gone, while the trigger on many memories can still be invoked and is active. This is the worrying aspect of my necessary avoidance.

The remembering is pain unrequited; a loss of unrealized potential. The devastation of a incinerated investment of love and trust, fouled by my own mistakes of circumstance. They are a disemboweled remnant of something beautiful that will never be anything more than the pile of organs and blood left splattered on the floor, regardless of my desire. I have tried too many times to resuscitate, staring the obvious impossibility down the barrel, and surprised when I’m shot in the face. I tire of this dynamic.

My own feelings are still not under control, at all. Even on a daily basis, it is a battle to go and do. The inciting agony of interference or invited contact from the past is too much to accept while straining to maintain balance. I can’t have anyone else now, and I won’t invite new people to participate in any relational capacity again. I am unfit physically and mentally for the task, and that is not debatable.

I don’t want to see, feel or think about it anymore. There is nothing there. There will not be anything in the future. I have no interest in this at all, and will avoid inviting any risk in the upcoming waning remainder.

It hurts, but “goodbye” is all that there is. I tried, but I was wrong to try. I was in poor judgement to think that the old soul would retain enough nutrients to allow something to grow. It is the past: unchanging and fading into oblivion. The future is all I have left, and I refuse to spend it pining for others.

I’ve wasted too much time as it is. The arrow points away from these contemplations, and so, I follow. Evidence says, move on… so, I try.

Paradigm of Self-Combustion

Good morning Blog,

This dawn-less hour I am awake, beginning my day still turning over the events of the previous evening (and days prior). I think I am beyond the point of further discussion in any direct way, as there is no possible discussion to be had. I tried to leave that door open, but it was kicked shut for good.

This all got me thinking about my own destructive states, where my irreconcilable symptoms pervaded and saturated my actions to an alarming degree. I have been very combustible in years past, and I still can be if properly soaked in fuel. The paradigm of the flaming man was not that appealing, or truly representative of the whole person I am. Though, it really does take actual trench-digging labor to become introspective enough to recognize that. A lot of what helped me see what my uncontrolled illness was doing was to look no further than the scorched and incinerated crater all around me, where my friends, partners and family once stood. The fractured rubble and dust is the visible, tangible result of the damage not taking care of myself can cause.

Hence, this Blog! It was conceived as a venting waste site and a bully-pulpit for a time (conditional maturity), but has also been the documentation of a long, slow journey of self-realization and growth. Going back years, the road I walked and the steps I took towards improvement and stability are unarguably, factually, right over there in the sidebar for anyone to see. If not for this place, I would not have been able to correct the negative paradigm I had assigned to myself through unattended action. I continue to feel a sense of inner-death over the things I have done to those I professed to love. I was abusive in my depression, selfish, craven, coercive, damaging and flawed. There is no denying that my broken neurochemistry was not assisting my conscious mind in making great decisions (see suicide attempt).

I think that life is totally, locally experiential. We all interpret things differently, even from moment to moment. As our perceptions and conditions change, so to can the context of memories and trauma from the past. I have participated in this sort of exercise, especially when freshly damaged from a breakup, yelling from the stage of the Blog theater into an unhappy crowd. My perceptions were impossibly biased, rooted in denial, and staunchly defending a favorable interpretation for the sake of self-defense while acutely vulnerable.

Looking back at the hurt I caused brings up all sorts of instances and material for interpretation, as is my process. I don’t let the past lie still if there is still something there. I haven’t affixed myself to an interpretation of things that best protects my security, but rather, deals with the real events and effects I have had on others with the hope of progressing beyond it. How can I ever hope to learn from hurt, sadness and regret if I do not face those thoughts, welcome them, and accept responsibility? In the end, the paradigm of self-combustion fails when one stops lighting themselves on fire.

Carrying around the petroleum-soaked tinder of anger, hatred and resentment was the first casualty of change. These negative emotions, when harbored, cause consistent and unrelenting duress. Their validity never having been in question, the choice is to keep marching them forward as new steps are taken into the future. Logically, I introspectively assessed that I don’t have the energy to spare on such an laborious activity, fruitless as it is. The energy I spent holding on to the negative emotions I had directed at others could easily be reassigned to some other function that would be far more likely to achieve a benefit of some form. This is a conscious decision; a judgement of effectiveness and survival made internally. I am simply less likely to be consistently stable if I have an offsetting weight on me at all times that I choose not to leave on the side of the road.

The real trauma of those terrible events is a constant reminder of the validity of those moments, and should always be there in my mind somewhere. I view the memories¬† and emotions tied to that trauma can be constructive and negative at the same time. I began to treat moments where trauma is triggered as opportunities to understand my negative responses, practice my anxiety relief techniques, and spend some time focusing on how that surge of emotions still guides (or doesn’t) my actions. There is no denying trauma is a source of consistent pain, but also, that pain is asking a question of the self.

I, personally, explore my trauma not only to comprehend the different emotional states of my life, but also to lessen the anguish of that trauma by not approaching it with reluctance/fear, but with curiosity. Ultimately, trauma is reinforced by the emotional reaction to it, and negative will compound indefinitely until the pattern is too well-ingrained to consider changing. Trauma can be dangerous if indulged, but if observed and understood, can bring stability, resolve and strength. I do go back to some of the moments of trauma in my past, recalling specific moments where I was in a desperate, dangerous states. Yes, it is painful to remember, but also, a sign of real fortitude and endurance that I can look at it at all without recoiling in horror.

I am quite familiar with the paradigm I reference, because I have been that person. I was that person not too long ago. However, I chose not to continue to remain that person and have evolved from that regrettable state into something far more sustainable. Isn’t that ultimately the goal we mentally ill have in common; to have a chance at a fulfilling life? I think it can easily said that no one particularly enjoys suffering, and neither do I. I didn’t paint a new fuzzafied reality for myself (turns out, complex thinkers don’t find delusions satisfying), I walked into the future with all my burned up ashes of truth and regret held in my arms for all to see. I have the dignity of knowing I hid nothing from you Blogosphere, and told you the truth of my story, as best I could comprehend it at the time, with each chronologically incremental post. One soggy revelation at a time, I built up my confidence into someone who’s actions speak volumes to his moral intent. This is the progression, or some facsimile of that, that I hope to not only highlight with this post, but encourage in those who are currently self-combusting (metaphorically speaking) to pursue.

Consistency of action builds a motivation which will fuel additional steps towards hope, and with the intent of establishing the currency of worth: pride.

Turns Out…

Consider this a post a notification of Blog redaction Concerning my previous post titled I Stand, Accused and resulting comments.

In response to the comments: I am still willing to discuss my behavior in relation to my exes and how my mental illness or other states cause them harm or trauma. I think engaging in a discussion about this sort of thing could be constructive. However, I think participation is still strictly contingent upon some form of mutual respect and not complete vehemence.

I do vastly prefer constructive conversation opposed to destructive and hateful word-chucking (which is all that was fundamentally happening).

So with that, I have had a very thought-provoking and emotion-assailing 36 hours, but now the hope for useful discourse on the topic of my transgressions is gone.

I will, no doubt, have some form of ambiguous summary failing to disclose vital facts of the matter but tempting with scintillating adjectives which imply, but do not overtly suggest anything.

I’m the same me I was 30 minutes ago, and getting ready for another fun-smelling day tomorrow.

 

Inertia

Good morning.

I have been struggling today. I’m sure all this talk of the past has likely given away the reason for my constant deliberation. It has brought words, thoughts and potent feelings back into the forefront. I don’t interpret this as a crisis, but as an opportunity to test my skills.

There is a process to moving through events, one that pays appropriate attention to their components while also softening the harshness of old wounds. Nothing in terms of circumstance will be changed by my own thoughts alone and I have long ago abandoned hope for deliberation or any sort of resolution. So, today I have been thinking, and churning. I have done the healthy physical walking thing, which has helped normalize. I did not stagnate in isolation, I had my words, and now, I’m working.

I’m NAMI Helpline guy today, and two full days at the office Tuesday – Wednesday. On Wednesday night I’m going to an LGBTQ + Mental Health meeting in the community. I did learn, after Pride, that NAMI doesn’t offer a specific program or service targeted at this population. I thought that was odd, considering the potential for Mental Illness to thrive there seems high. I’m hoping to learn a lot from the presentation and schmooze with everybody after it’s over. I did great after the NAMI status meeting helping out and being friendly with all the new people I met. I did feel very happy about myself that night, and as this week begins, I am already being similarly reinforced.

Today my only Helpline call was so gracious, and thanked me for hearing her (her son was in crisis) as she struggled through a difficult time. She wanted to know how long I would be on today, and when next I would be on the Helpline. I have had similar feedback in previous weeks, even to the point of one of them asking if I would take his brother on as a client (I did not).

I’m not a bad person. I may have been someone who has done painful, regrettable things in the past, but I am not that same personality silhouette at all at this moment. I am not living a model of continued harm to those I profess to love, and casting my personal responsibility on to others or abandoning it altogether. I have done that; it is just as gross and lacking in merit as it sounds. I have stopped being someone I did not want to be, and forged myself in to a man who is proud and has a purpose in this life. I intend to affect reality, improve the standard of living, uplift the mistreated and minorities so that all have a seat at the table of society. I feel my heart, and I’m guided by a morality and purpose that points a direction I am unequivocally proud of.

I live the life I know I need to. I am not a morose penitent resigned to guilt, achieving nothing. I am a light. I will be seen, and I am already filling the world around me with illumination. I can say that, because it’s just fucking true. A huge pile of evidence points to a man who is confident, effusive and eager to challenge the prejudicial norms of society.

I’d love to stay and chat, but I have research to do for my grant and sections to write for the submission. Hope you are up to something just as productive!

Walk Of Attonement

There is something fundamentally rewarding about survival through adaptation I have found. It’s a sense of worth, because many obstacles and trials were not enough to destroy the foundation and raze all that was built prior. Ruin should not be the mechanism of redemption because we do not reside in a world of unquestioned absolutes and flaming rubble. Instead, progress is quantitative; a multitude of accomplishments (theoretically) having been laid down instead, sloping upward towards a measured goal among many. This is not always easy to see, but truly can’t be destroyed without full and unquestioning self-participatory assistance.

There should be a caveat, because it’s not as simple as one small but purposeful paragraph (needless to say) to enact life-altering change. Pain is the key to recognition. Sounds unpleasant, largely, because it is (and should be). This may not be true of everyone, but hurt, regret, sorrow and suffering are an essential part of our human understanding of reality. Though we typically don’t live life at the extremes of emotional polarity, they exist as reference for when things start to stray from center. The drift of the perceived norm is the real piece to highlight, because there comes the setup for a moment when a threshold for tolerance is reached and crossed. At some interval which is different for everyone, a realization of position of the emotional pendulum is recognized. It is in this quandary of action that things become critical.

All humans are fundamentally different in countless ways, one of them being the cognitive tolerance for despair. Commonly thought of as an undesirable state, the supplicant of sorrow has a point in which the intensity and relentlessness of the state is unbearable, and in such stark contrast to the opposite end of the spectrum of feeling that dramatic action seems more tangible and needed. At this pivotal juncture, a choice can be made to continue in the current condition, or change somehow.

Again, not just as simple as a choice you make in your head and then boom, done. This revelation often comes at cost, and not always a productive result. For many (myself included) the first avenue consist largely of escape by one means or another (drugs, games, delusions, cognitive distortions), then suicide when there is no where else to go. In my own circumstance, I found that mental and physical isolation led to the trouble, a fundamental lack of constructive dialogue, as well as issues with being misunderstood and under-engaged. Plus, there are almost certainly lots of other contributors which vary per individual circumstance.

Given that death isn’t a solution to anything, and having failed at it personally, the lesson learned helps to dictate what information can be learned to push the load further uphill. Now, this moment of having been defeated in the attempt of self destruction or mutilation should serve as a marked transition point in which a new direction needs to be calculated. Or, should be. But why?

This is the most difficult part of the argument, because it relies on a person’s ability to compare alternating states of awareness in a crisis. I have never been very good at this, but the last time I hit rock bottom, it clicked. I could either stay this way, miserable, coasting just above the desire to exit existence entirely, or, to remember that feeling proud, or even positive, would be like fresh water to parched desert lips. The metaphor helps the imagination, which was a doorway, for me, towards realization and then action.

I, ultimately, wanted to feel good. I’d rather have many more days of trying for and achieving happiness than to check out of the world. The thread that kept me stitched together was hope. In and of itself, hope is too ambiguous to be useful. However, when tied to the looming mystery of the future, the window of possibility opens.

We don’t know, with any true certainty, what tomorrow will bring (unless you happen to be Madam Cleo). The fascination and promise is just as balanced between negative and positive as one would expect for normalcy in most cases. I personally hang on to that thread because I know that if I tug on it, I can take advance in a new direction. It is a hope that I am not eternally defined by the shortcomings and atrocities of my past, but rather, incentivized by fortune to make something better of the legacy thus far wrought. The ammunition to fend off advancing doubt is pride, and the individual actions that increase the evidence for having that radiant, internal confidence.

That may not appeal to someone grounded in surrender, but even the most well-established doubter can see the potential benefit of comparative reality assessments. See a future not yet realized, and head down the road towards it, I would say. It seems like a pretty fundamental adjustment to make if success is sought. I don’t pretend to be any more of an expert than my lived experience allows as I write this. I have seen, and will see, the very struggle I detail here if not within myself regularly, but in the world around me. I hope you can also see that this evidentiary argument has a real grounding in logic and constructive incrementalism. One step forward, two back, two forward, one back… and so on.

Join us. We are going into the future with the pendulum back where it belongs.