What Can I Say?
I’ve been wondering to myself what direction I want to take with my life. Lately it sometimes seems that I am disconnected from my life. I’ll remember something from an early part of my life and I get this sense of spirit, this sense of continuity that instantly feels distant. In some ways a lot has happened since last time I posted, but in some ways, not much has happened at all.
This week both my mother and my husband are out of the country, but not together. They are in two different countries. My mother is having a vacation. My husband is another story. He is currently in his native country dealing with personal matters of great sorrow and difficulty. That has left me alone for an entire week, more alone than I usually am. This is both the longest time and the greatest isolation I’ve experienced since I recovered from my largest mental health episode.
I’m not all alone. Via the phone I talk to my brother in California every day, Maus is still in contact with me, and if I really needed to I could go to my other brother’s an hour away. I’m also still going to my weight training class at the college twice a week, so I’m not completely devoid of human contact.
But, what have I been doing with all this time? I thought that I would read a lot, and possibly write a lot, and just work on stuff. Those were my thoughts. The reality is that I sleep a lot, watch TV, and sit and wonder what to do with my life.
Since my last post, I experienced an interesting time internally for the next five consecutive days. I started getting into this about four hour cycle of extreme anxiety, then frustration, then anxious anger, to total despondency. Wash, rinse, and repeat. It got to the point that I couldn’t even simply passively watch TV, and there was talk about being what I call ‘clinical’, and maybe having to go in-patient. I scheduled an earlier appointment with my nurse practitioner, who seems very confused by me, and was able to go to it. Right before everyone left she switched me to a new medication called Latuda, and dropped my anti-psychotic support entirely. I was taking a very low dose at that point, so it wasn’t too much of a change. The idea is that eventually Latuda may replace my current anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication. That would be nice.
Then, things seemed to get better. Just in time for the two closest people to me to go out of the country. I stopped going through this awful cycle, and relaxed. I read a couple old self-help books from like the seventies and eighties, the kind I like the best, that I got from a visit to the thrift store in the neighboring city. One book was about “Direct Decision Therapy” as proposed by this psychologist titled “The Happy Person.” He actually has a page on Wikipedia. The other was “What To Say When You Talk To Yourself,” which talked about the “Self-Talk Solution”. I looked up the authors online when I was done. The self-talk solution is still being exercised today, and the author has written a new book on neuro-plasticity. You can find out more at his website too.
Part of the reason I got better was because I was frustrated at the current direction my life was taking, and I felt powerless to do anything about it, and then… I decided I could do something about it. I came up with an idea for a website/game that I thought was interesting and shared it with Maus, who thought it was fascinating. I finally felt like I had something to do with myself, something concrete that could improve my life that I could work on incrementally. My attitude immediately shifted.
My mother pointed out that if this was all that was missing, then me being a butt and putting people through hell was simply a matter of self-control. That made me feel wonderful, I’ll let you know. What I mean is, I’m confronted with the prospect that going through what I went through, with the cycles and the frustration was simply a matter of choice and not necessarily unstoppable medication issues. And if it’s simply a matter of choice, then I’m being a butt without care about how it affects other people, which kinda sucks.
Unfortunately, since then, it is as if my life has been on hold. I researched programming languages for a while, and I’ve started ‘tutoring’ my nephew in programming on Fridays. However, with no one around, I’ve found very little reason to really do anything. I haven’t cleaned the apartment, though I know I need to do that before Maus comes back from his native country. I don’t cook for myself, I just warm up TV dinners in the oven, and that’s fine. I’m uncomfortable all the time, and watch TV for lack of anything else to do. And I sleep.
Maus has kept me informed of the struggles he’s been going through where he is. I wish I could do more for him, but I don’t really feel like I can do anything about his sadness other than just ‘be there’ for him, whatever that means. Right now I’m sitting in my favorite Starbucks writing this, and I’m uncomfortable and restless. It doesn’t seem like I really have any kind of ‘starting point’ for anything. I’m not even sure where I want to take this blog.
It’s not that I ‘hate myself’, like I usually do. It’s just that I’m kind of ambivalent. I started sleeping all day, and at some point, that became okay. I’m not sleeping all day anymore, though I’ve been taking naps, but life is just kind of, meh. I feel like I don’t really have a life right now.