Friday, February 20, 2015

Winter/Spring/Summer?

This climate change stuff is getting really disturbing. I live in the Rocky Mountains, known for its snowy peaks but things have changed. The snow-pack in the mountains is lower and lower with each passing year, which means drought conditions and water shortages down in the valleys.

The calendar says it's winter but we've had Spring-like conditions since New Year's Day! It's gotten so warm in our house that I wear shorts!! The house became so heated that the air conditioning kicked on...in the WINTER!!!! I keep hearing people naively enjoying the warm temperatures. It's scary because they don't seem to understand that its not normal or good to have temperatures this warm during the Winter. It means we are slowly cooking alive. What happens when the temps push into the 80s and 90s during late Winter? What happens when we routinely have water shortages in the Summers? The weather around here seems to becoming like California. That might sound good now but wait until the planet cooks us alive!

Psychologically, I dislike Summer because it's: too loud, too much commotion around town and in our neighborhood, too hot and too bright for my sensitive eyes. I spent Summers over-heated, anxious from all the noise and activity and wearing sunglasses in the house to reduce the glare of the bright light. Summers are a very distressing time for my mind, so when I notice the weather warming up become very anxious and irritable. 

I like Winter because it's a soothing break from all the chaotic Summer activity, hot temperatures and blinding light. I have a feeling I'd love the cloudy and rainy Pacific Northwest.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Why I Keep Going.

WARNING: THIS POST DISCUSSES ISSUES LIKE DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE. THUS, IT MAY BE A TRIGGER FOR SUICIDAL THINKING. DO NOT READ IT IF YOU ARE SUICIDAL OR DEPRESSED:

I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't wish anyone harm. I don't have it in me to kill anyone--except maybe in self-defense. I'm a lover--not a fighter. I'm a Buddhist vegetarian!! I don't even kill insects. Seriously!! I capture them and release them outside. I'd sacrifice my life for my wife without a second-thought because I adore her more than life itself.

I want to die anyway but I don't want to put my family through a suicide. I don't want to ever have to see my wife in a "life or death" situation but if it comes to that then I'd happily die protecting her. I'd do so a dozen times if need be. I wouldn't be giving into suicide, either. I'd die a hero. I continue living because it makes my wife happy. It would also break my mother's heart if I killed myself.

My Mom wasn't healthy enough to have another kid after my sister, but I was born anyway. I think my Mom's health complications had something to do with me being born with a severe mental illness. I don't blame my mother though because she wouldn't have intentionally wanted such a disease to befall me. Besides, I adore her too much and she has been one of my greatest supports and advocates along with my amazing wife. My mothers is the best person I have know, or have ever met. The world is lucky to have her in it--and I'm lucky to call her Mom.

Still, depression doesn't always respond to logic, so I have to commit daily to staying alive. When I feel like giving up and dying, I only have to think of my flawless wife and saintly Mother. They deserve better than I am or can ever be. I wish I could work and make enough money so that my wife didn't have to work. I wish I could give my parents a million dollars to secure their retirement. I can't do any of these things but if my life makes them happy, then I'll keep fighting to stay alive for them. It's the least I can do for such amazing people.

My Life as a Zombie.

WARNING: THIS POST DISCUSSES ISSUES LIKE DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE. THUS IT MAY BE A TRIGGER FOR SUICIDAL THINKING AND/OR DEPRESSION. YOU SHOULD AVOID IT IF YOU ARE HAVING A SUICIDAL CRISIS:

What did I do wrong in a previous life to deserve the mental torment and dysfunction that plagues my daily life? I fail to complete the simplest of tasks such as showering due to being crushed beneath a mountain of depression and depletion of motivation. I don't have any specific intent or plans to kill myself but I am stalked incessantly by the shadow of death. I do not fear it. It has become my companion. It is life that I fear.

I take pills to keep myself alive but they do nothing to give me much quality of life. I am like a walking corpse alive but slowly rotting inside. I am counting down the minutes until I am free to embrace the inviting arms of death.

Until that time, I exist only to the extent of medical intervention. Otherwise, I am a coma patient. I'm alive but unable to enjoy the pleasure of living. I am the boy in the plastic bubble who watches the world pass him by. A world unaware of the living ghost watching them, who is longing for a chance to just be a normal human being.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Why I Avoid Mirrors.

I still struggle to look at myself in the mirror. Its not out of shame or guilt but rather delusion and depression. I gaze into the mirror and somethings different. It's not purely a reflection to me. I feel like I am looking into an alternate world where I have a "twin" that appear menacing with eyes that flare with the flicker of demonic possession.

Twin isn't quite accurate. It's rather like an "evil clone" that looks like myself but is obviously an impostor. I sense that this "clone" seeks to harm the real me to "take-over" my body. If I don't look into the mirror then I don't feel so threatened but I still feel the frightening energy pulsating toward me through the glass. I've become skilled at going about my bathroom routines without looking directly into the mirror.

The other reason I do not look into the mirror is depression. I don't want to look at myself because all I see is a broken, exhausted, mistake of a man, which just deepens my sadness. I know that these perceptions are delusional but I can not control them. It doesn't matter...I try to rationalize with myself but it doesn't listen. It continues to behave and react as though those delusions are really happening. So, I feel the fright, anxiety and stress as though I would if I was truly facing my "evil clone."

It's no wonder I am always exhausted--both mentally and physically. That's why we often lack motivation to do much of anything. It takes a lot of concentration, willpower and strength to fight delusions, paranoia and suicidal depression. Psychological stress exhausts the body as much as physical stress--maybe more so.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Parannoyed.

It's incredibly exhausting living with schizoaffective disorder. The emotional stress of keeping yourself alive when all you want to do is die is crushing. I'm a recluse because my paranoia spikes whenever I leave the house. I live in a condominium complex where I feel like I'm being watched and monitored constantly. There are a lot of apartment windows from the building next to mine. I can't look over there without feeling eyes watching me from every single window facing me. The stares don't feel like they are motivated by curiosity. They are menacing and sinister. The intensity of the energy behind them is enough to drive me to hide behind drawn blinds. 

I can't go on walks outside alone without feeling like people are glaring at me from behind their curtains or from their passing car. It's all encompassing. I even feel like someone is watching me as I type this all out. I draw the blinds and it helps some but I can still feel the energy surging toward the apartment from the buildings opposite mine. It's so intense that its like feeling the heat of the sun warming up your apartment even if the blinds are down blocking the sun rays. You prevent the direct intensity of the sun's energy but it never goes away completely.

This paranoia feeds delusions. I often feel that these people spying on me are working together on some conspiracy against me. It's as though I'm a subject in some fucked-up experiment where the Earth was created simply as a virtual reality to monitor my reactions to certain stimuli. Everyone's in on the simulation, playing a character to influence my thinking and actions based on a predetermined script or program.

It's like that movie, "The Truman Show" which was very disturbing. In the film, an average guy is unknowingly and unwittingly the subject of a reality TV show broadcast around the clock to billions of voyeur viewers around the world. 

It's not just the feeling of being watched by nefarious people. I also feel as though these people can read my mind and sense my fear to feed on it making them stronger. In addition, I have the delusion that these "invisible people" hiding behind the curtains and windows are inserting thoughts into my mind telling me I'm a bad person who no one likes, so why don't I just kill myself. I feel this from people around me in public, too. I sometimes actually hear the whispering of multiple people at once echoing in my brain with understandable voices mixed in between.

I hate restaurants for this very reason. I hear people talking at the table across from mine and I assume that they are talking about me--judging me, and criticizing everything about me from my clothing to my body and everything in between. I also walk around expecting to be jumped, mugged or otherwise accosted and/or assaulted. I am super paranoid of the police even though I don't do anything illegal. If I notice a police car behind me on the road I assume that he's going to pull me over and find some reason to arrest me to ultimately frame me for murder, or for some other major crime where I end up serving life in prison as an innocent men.

At times, I'm don't trust people when they compliment me. I assume they are "just being nice" or else want something from me. 

All that paranoia stimulates the "fight or flight" mode which releases a lot of adrenaline. After the bout passes, the adrenaline rush fades and I crash emotionally and I'm exhausted. It's tiring to always be stressed out or worried.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Don't Give People False Hope.

The mentally ill are not a monolithic community. There are a lot of factors that go into a diagnosis, so not everyone with bipolar, for example, experiences it exactly the same. There are two forms of bipolar...type 1 and type 2, however, not all ones or twos are the same either. Co-morbidity is very common...co-morbidity simply means the presence of additional disorders or diseases. It's rare that one is simply diagnosed with one condition. Psychological diseases are usually a complex group of diseases and disorders, further increasing the unique differences between patients. As an example, my diagnosis is the following: Schizoaffective disorder depressed type with sensory integration disorder, A.D.D. and P.T.S.D.  Bipolar 1, rapid-cycling. This makes it very unlikely that anyone else has the exact same diagnosis...irregardless of environmental factors such as: wealth, education, parenthood, work-status, etc).

This is why I cringe when I hear these "inspirational" , "success stories" of people over-coming a disability saying, "If I can do it...anyone can do it!" It's not because I dislike these people but rather because not everyone can do what they have done...not all disabilities are created equal. What might be easy for one person can be impossible to another. The only people who can truly "over-come" mental health problems are people who are otherwise healthy experiencing depression or anxieties related to a specific event or person. For example, conquering the depression after your divorce or you anxieties about being laid-off. It doesn't mean everyone with any form of depression can do the same. A lot of people have chronic depression that isn't tied to one specific event, therefore, it can't be ameliorated simply by learning to view that event differently. Severe, biological, mental illness is currently incurable.

It gives some people false hope and piles on the guilt for people who already feel bad enough. It's simplistic to boil-down all disabilities into the same pot. Maybe you're in a wheel-chair, and you feel "worthless" for not being able to "rise above it" like those paralympians. However, what most people don't know is that you lost the use of your legs in Vietnam, so you have other challenges like PTSD, schizophrenia and/or chronic depression, which only add extra obstacles to over-come.

It's easy to tell people they can succeed if they just "pull themselves up by the boot-straps," to use an American idiom, but what if you don't have any feet, let alone boots?! Sometimes these "inspirational stories" have the opposite effect on others with disabilities. It makes people think they aren't trying hard enough and that they're somehow a failure if they can't live-up to the example of the "hero" featured on the news. It gives the false impression that anyone can over-come their disability, which places undo pressure and expectations on an already emotionally vulnerable population.

-hbw-


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Brandon Marshall Fined for Raising Awareness for Mental Health.


(Brandon Marshall's green cleats to raise awareness for mental health)

Chicago Bears player, Brandon Marshall, (who lives with a borderline personality disorder) was fined $10,000 for wearing green cleats on the field during an American football game. It was deemed inappropriate attire, which I find appalling. It's not like he was wearing cleats inscribed with "fuck" on one shoe and "you" on the other! That would have been inappropriate, but wearing green to raise awareness for severe medical conditions seems utterly hypocritical given the NFL's breast cancer awareness campaign. In support of this campaign, players wear pink everything: cleats, towels, gloves, etc. I'm not saying I oppose breast cancer awareness or wearing pink in solidarity but it sends a terrible message to those of us with mental health conditions that players will be fined for trying to raise awareness.

It reinforces the feelings of abandonment that are already coursing through the veins of people with these biological, mental diseases. Society has rejected us in ways that are as painful as they are humiliating. We have been stigmatized as "throw-aways." The NFL should be supporting Marshall, working with him to raise awareness rather than squashing it with such cold, heartlessness. They couldn't even be bothered to make a donation to Marshall's campaign. It's behind wrong; it's outrageous.

The irony, however, is that the fine imposed created greater awareness, so perhaps Marshall won in the end. That does not, however, get the NFL off-the-hook for being so cruel toward the mental health community. I have been a fan of American football since before I can remember; and I'm 38 years old! But, I am furious now with the NFL after this rejection. Fuck-you, NFL!!!! Take your blood-money and stick it up your greedy ass! If you had a heart bigger than your bank-account, you'd realized that you just stepped on the hopes and dreams of an entire community. Congratulations, assholes.

-hbw-

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Rejected by My Own Kitty.


UPDATE: Things are infinitely better with Yoshi, the cat. It wasn't too long after I wrote this post that Yoshi warmed-up to me and now we're best buds. It was only a month when I wrote this and I've since learned that it takes new kittens several months, at least, to fully feel comfortable with all members of the house. I've won him over with tuna and chicken, so now he purrs all the time and loves to play with me. Yeah!!! I'm SO excited and happy to report that our little family is doing just GREAT now!! And, everyone is happy. I can't imagine life without Yoshi, now. Please, disregard the rest of the post. When I wrote it, it was way too early to make such conclusions about how my relationship with Yoshi would be.

Sincerely,
Handsome B. Wonderful

Don't let his cuteness fool you! He's a snooty, spoiled, lil' brat...lol.

If you don't know--we adopted a cat. It's been a month and a half since we brought our new Balinese kitten home. He is now about 4 months old. At first, he was afraid and skittish of both my wife and me. However, now he's comfortable around us--well, not "us." He's comfortable around my wife. Ugh...as if my life hasn't been depressing--or hard enough, now we have a cat that finds me repellent in nearly every way--and it has broken my already dented and corroded heart.

The pathetically sad truth is that one of the big motivations behind getting this cat was to have a companion and friend for me while I'm home alone trying to managing my crushing depression and mental illness. Being disabled from schizoaffective disorder, I get lonely sometimes. I get overwhelmed hanging out with other humans but I have always been good with animals. Including cats, and so, I was looking for an animal friend that wouldn't be too hard to care for because of my limitations. A cat seemed ideal for my needs. We read all the "experts" books and have been preparing for years, actually!

But, that was all pretty pointless now because our lil boy, Yoshi thinks my wife is his "mommy" while I'm just some dude living with her that he has to tolerate. He makes an exception with play-time but only play from a distance with those fishing-pole toys you can fling like a bird through the air. If I try to pet him or even touch him, he quickly jumps away. I know he's just a cat but it still hurts. It never feels good to be rejected, regardless of who does the rejecting. This is all despite being the one who feeds him! Meals, and a special treat at 3pm.

And, you know, it kind of bothers me. My wife is gone all day, so I'm always available to cuddle and interact with him throughout the day. Yet, he doesn't approach me at all. Usually he just sleeps all day in the other room but not on the weekends. On the weekends he's "miraculously" no longer tired enough to sleep all day in the other room. He cuddles with my wife all day, instead. I don't exist. Except when it's mealtime.

Then, suddenly, he becomes my "best friend"; rubbing up against my legs and meowing. I'm essentially being "used" for food...lol. But, as soon as my wife walks through the door, Yoshi is all over her. He spends the entire night either laying on her, or laying next to her sleeping blissfully. He'll not only let her pet him and cuddle with him but he let's her clean the edges of his eyes of "eye boogers."

I am frustrated, sad and confused. I've cried several times over it, and I haven't cried over anything in years! I'm frankly embarrassed a bit at how much it's bothering me but I didn't expect to be rejected by a pet. Certainly not by one that I was hoping would be my friend during the day. Man, I suck at pets. I can't even succeed at finding a therapy animal! FML
-HBW-