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Mar 11, 2014 - 0 comments

So, I didn't take my lamictal till later tonight around 11:00 pm.  I used to suspect it made me sleepy.  Well, not taking it makes me very 'not sleepy'.  I am so wired and didn't really sleep much last night.  Felt pretty normal all day.  A bit more productive and attentive to building a flower box for my friend.  It ended up being a perfectionist job and took hours and hours. Started designing and cutting wood for a step stool.  I'm actually basing it off of a picture of an ikea stool I found on the internet.  It will be a neat challenge for me tomorrow.  I fear it may take up the whole day though.  I am only 4 days, including today 3/11/14, from being sober for 6 months.  Drugs and drinking have been on my mind a little bit more lately.  I enjoy watching this show called "Bar Rescue" which isn't really the best reminder.  I'm glad I had more somber experiences at bars once the majority of my friends left town.  So, the feeling is what I miss the most.  The shaky and wavy moment when I realize I'm messed up; that surprise.  Feeling like I arrived to something somehow.  It is important to remember that there is no eternal bliss in alcohol and substance abuse.  I do not know if that exists here on Earth, but I would like to give that more of a shot-- no pun intended.

Spring Break

Mar 09, 2014 - 1 comments

So, this is the first weekend of my spring break.  It has been uneventful thus far.  Had my sister spend a lot of time with me this weekend.  She lives in my parent's home about 1 hour away and commutes to grad school here in Greenville.  We had a bit of fun, and I spent a few meals with a couple of her friends.  We had a pretty good time.  I got to try gluten-free pizza for the first time.  Not quite what I was expecting, but not bad.  Other than the crust, the pizza was outstanding.  Had a lot of laughs this weekend, but noticed yesterday I was sleeping a lot during the day.  Today was no exception.  Slept about 10 hours through the night, yet an additional 5 hours throughout the day.  I'm trying to tell myself it's okay.  I fear a depressive cycle coming up-- not very welcomed when I want to accomplish a lot of house and school work this week.

I scored a lot of free wood from behind a pool store, and had about $150 worth to work with for my raised bed garden.  I had plans on building a 10 foot long raised bed that was about 16 inches high.  Unfortunately, I checked the tag on the wood and it was treated with arsenic.  Now, I'm super bummed about what to do for the garden.  I know there is a vole problem in our community garden, and I am really not looking forward to dealing with them.  My one idea is to dig about a 1 foot deep trench and fill it with gravel around my plot.  I started my seeds, a variety of things.  Unfortunately, my killer pepper plant did not sprout.  I also knocked the soil over.  I'm not happy about this Carolina Reaper pepper not sprouting, nor my jalepenos.  I am trying to be patient.  The second Reaper seed I started is just in a paper towel, so I will be able to keep an eye on it.  I am hoping to keep a reaper plant indoors and continue to clone it.  Perhaps by next year I can sell seedlings.  It is a hybrid so I can't rely on seeds.  I am looking forward to the gardening season.  I really don't know what to do about some raised beds.  I have a reliable source for some really cheap wood.  Unfortunately, very thin and rely on me prying many nails out.  I do have an angle grinder now, so maybe that could be handy.  I unfortunately discovered I already took out about 5k in loans this year that I didn't know about.  I figured I was getting some bonus grants or something, since all my financial aid is deposited into one account.  So, my excessive spending has got to stop.  I do have more than enough to get through the next few months.  I am scared about the job prospects.  I really want to have something lined up for after school in this area.  So, I believe I am getting an A- in this one dumb 1-hr class of mine.  I really hope he puts in a curve.  I ended up with a 100% participation grade for my group though, which means that I was the highest rated among my peers!  That was such a huge surprise.  I once got the lowest rating, being all neurotic and stressed.  This semester I just congratulated everyone's hard work, as well as asked for opinions when this one steam-roller member tried to boss everyone around..

I feel like I have come a long way in the last few months and years.  I am getting along with all the people in my life, which gives me a great sense of peace.  I haven't blown up on teachers, though my tax teacher's attendance policy and test difficulty has me a little perturbed.  I get along with all my friends and haven't really blown up but once in December at the end of a relationship.  Even she and I had coffee and went to the store together the other day.  Something I really like is how I interact and perceive my classmates.  Every semester, in at least one class I find one person insanely annoying from them being a know-it-all.  I always imagine and plan leaving an anonymous note that tells them to shut up.  I even published one comment in an anonymous section of our school newspaper.  Now, I have befriended all of those people.  They are just intelligent, and may not realize that they are intruding on other's learning.  I give it some time, and they wind down.  They stop answering so much.  I know and speak to them by name.  I had a guy that sits beside me in one class offer a study-guide for the final of my auditing class.  Another person, the girl I had originally posted a 'rant' about in the newspaper, has become someone I regularly talk to and like in class.  I asked her for her notes after forgetting my livescribe pen and she sent them immediately with a friendly note to rest my leg and enjoy my spring break.

I feel like I am getting to be a better Christian.  Sometimes I look around and feel like I am finally being repaid for all the wrong I have done in my life.  The things I have stolen, the people I have hurt, the lies I have told...  Then, I look around and see a lot of good at the same time.  Things in my live are changing like the ebb and flow of a beach's waves.  A new wave comes in, and takes some away.  Every wave is new.  

I hurt my leg, and I felt the need to close the chapter on the skateboarding part of my life.  I really liked it, but feel like my hypomania mixed with skateboarding in truly dangerous and life-threatening.  I have a torn shoulder-blade from 4 years ago, two scars and a fracture in my face, a blown-out knee.  My wrists were almost permanently messed up for years from falling.  I almost hit my temple going face first into a set of concrete and steel stairs.  I once jumped over the hood of a car that almost took me out at around 20 mph.  I don't know why everyone tells me I should keep doing it if I still love it.  I don't love it anymore.  I'm obsessed with defeating it.  I wanted to be better, and better, and better.  Told myself I'd never hit stairs again, then I hit stairs again.  Then I start trying tricks down stairs again, though my skills on flatland skateboarding have greatly diminished.

I loved it at one point.  Then I needed it to stay out of the house, when I was being stalked by a girl's ex-boyfriend.  Then, I needed it to be better, to impress others.  Then, I needed it because I needed it.  I was skating about 10-12 hours a day at that point.  I became obsessed with learning the very basics.  There was not a ton of improvement, compared to where I wanted to be.  Then, I needed it to avoid my problems.  Then, I saw it as the only healthy thing I was capable of doing.  Eventually, it was my self-esteem.  When I was skateboarding, I felt as though I was becoming a better person.  It was the only way I derived self-worth in my life.  I told my psychologist the reason I got back on my board and was even trying to do tricks a bit after my first fall was that I felt better than other people on campus when I did it.  When you suffer from having a lot self esteem, it's hard to not do something that makes you feel equal or better than others- even if for just a moment.  I told him I need to learn how to look people in the eye and not be afraid.

I told my psych I was feeling hypomanic a couple of days before I hurt myself this winter.  It just doesn't make sense to do anymore.  I want to be able to snowboard a lot better one day, which will be relatively safer. We'll see what I turn it into.

Back to life -
I feel different, life seems a lot calmer.  Tony (weaver71) was right - it takes time.  It is better than I imagined it could be at this point.  I am so thankful to have friends like Maxy, Tony, and Marie to keep me company.  I enjoy remembering their kind words, like when I was told to write down journals when I was feeling good-- so I could return to them when I was feeling down.  That is kind of what is happening right now.  I am feeling a lot better writing about the changes I see.

I sing now.  It started in my car, and now I sing in my apartment sometimes-- not really caring who hears me.  I really enjoy it, and notice I sound a lot better.  I started to want to practice when I began attending church for a few weeks.  Sad to say I haven't been lately or looked up the sermons online.

I'm not so paranoid so often.  I don't even really think about it that much.  I never say, "No one's out to get me right now".  Now, it's like I think.  Sometimes I suspect someone might not be my best friend in the world, like the bossy guy from my group project, but that is pretty true.  Even a former coworker I had-- I talked to my psychologist Bob about her and he said, "It sounds like she actually was trying to push you out for her former assistant manager to move in."  Wow, it felt great to not think I was completely delusional over the past decades.  But yeah, now the thought about paranoia goes something like this: "Out to get me?  Why would someone be out to get me?"  I bite my tongue and don't talk trash about people.  It really is true that your thoughts become your words, your words become who you are.  I try to stop the negativity as soon as I sense it in myself.  I'll allow the situation to play out, then say, "That wasn't so bad" or "Yeah, that stunk".  

One thing I need work on is my eating.  I eat a butt-load of candy every day.  This is bad because I have bad habits with eating sugar and not brushing my teeth afterward.  I pass out after eating a bunch of candy.  Though I avoid caffeine almost entirely, I can't give this candy up.  I eat so much junk food, and have a huge surplus of sale-candy from last Halloween.  So-- candy it is. Somehow I look at a Nathan's Hot Dog and think that SweetTarts are equally healthy.  I do love sweet tarts-- the mini ones that are crunchy.  If I eat a Starburst and then crunch some of those mini SweetTarts in - my is it heavenly.

So the isolation is decreasing ever-so-slightly.  I'm going from about 99% isolated to about 90% isolated.  I still daydream about finding a girlfriend.  I kind of hit on a girl from my accounting classes, it did not go well haha!  I just said she looked dressed nice.  I was reminded she had a kid and whatnot, and probably a significant other.  Saw her in the gym stretching the other day when I went in to use the stationary bike for my knee.  She disappeared pretty quickly haha!  Oh well, no sweat.  I thought she was cute, but mostly that day she was dressed up and all made up.  I'm starting to crave intimacy a lot lately, so it is probably just a side-effect of that.  Hopefully I don't grab at the first thing that comes my way.  I really want to avoid the grabbing in the first place.  I get too scared to ask out girls I would like to be in serious relationships with.  I imagine it so seriously sometimes, which I know not to do.  I need to see if it goes well, and still be guarded about putting myself out there too much.  Thinking, "this girl isn't the one for me, I'm just going to hang out and be friends with her" is working pretty well for me.  Inevitably though, the hypomania has different ideas.  My psychologist told me a lot of people entering hypomanic conversations have a code word they think, like "STOP" or "ENOUGH".  I think that might benefit me.  Spinning perfection into a conversation leads to a very lengthy conversation.  The result is either a very weirded-out recipient or someone fascinated by me to the point of annoyance once I come down.  That is worse than being completely alone.  I do have a problem with not 'shooting' when there is a possible relationship with a quality woman right in front of me.  I think I need to learn how to back off if it doesn't go well, yet still preserve things on good terms.  I don't really know if that is possible.  They end up taking it the wrong way if I decide just a friendship would work great for me.  I know when girl I haven't hooked up with does that to me, it is creepy and I guess I do become paranoid at that point haha.  Paranoid that they are interested.  Hmm, interesting.  I have a hard time saying, "Im sorry, I don't like you."  I used to feel very rejected from young childhood to early adulthood, so it is hard for me to do that to someone.  When you are called annoying, weird, or eventually 'psychopath', it kinda gets at your self esteem a bit.  That might be the understatement of the century.  

So, well, I am making progress.  Things aren't perfect, but they don't have to be.  Next Saturday will mark my 6th month of complete sobriety.  As I've told friends curious about the motive for my sobriety, I'd like to see how far I can get.  I've been around a friend drinking a beer, maybe smoking a bowl-- not a problem for me.  I'm not going to try to be around it and prove anything to myself, but I'm not going to avoid people or things I like to do because of it.  I don't even think about it after I leave the scene really.  I just think about it the normal amount-- maybe for about 5-10 minutes about every 3 days or so.  It's nice to not have it be every 5 minutes of the entire day, how I thought about drugs and alcohol when I was using them to self-medicate.  I don't worry about how people perceive me being 'the sober one' really anymore.  I concentrate on how I feel, and see so many benefits I could really care less if someone sees me as boring or not.  I really feel much more boring by not being hypomanic, which is about 10x more exciting than your average person gets by being drunk or high.  I feel a lot for people on drugs now, especially people on harder drugs.  I no longer see the drug user, but the human.  Lately, I have been trying to say a little prayer for them-- even if I'm just watching Cops.  I don't pity them, I think that kind of belittles people.  I just can say, "I know how you feel" in some aspect.  We usually use drugs to mask other issues which may be a lot larger and more complex than one can explain.  So, to anyone out there trying their hardest to stay clean or still deep in the battle, I know how you feel

Tuesday's Orthopedist Appointment

Mar 08, 2014 - 0 comments

So, I went to the orthopedist on Tuesday.  It turns out I tore both my ACL and my lateral meniscus.  I have to wait till May to get operated on.  I have a real **** teacher who has a no-forgiveness policy on attendance.  He "rewards" attendance by removing points from a grade, which actually has a weight of a test grade, the first absence and on.  Not such a fan on tax accounting, especially since I got a 68 on my second test.  Unfortunately, they said I would be unable to do anything for a week after the surgery due to the pills, pain, etc.  So, I'm trying to build it back now so I will have a good knee to operate on.

High mood and most stressful week in a while

Feb 27, 2014 - 2 comments

Sleepless last few days.  Major school stress.  Major presentation, went well.  Had to fight (debate) with this difficult member up to the minute before our final presentation started.  Killed it.  Major test the next day.  Didn't study much at all.  Very elevated.  Started conversation with random person in the hall discussing "intermediate" which I somehow guessed was accounting.  One high five later, I'm going with her to coffee.  Some young chick,  Lookin at me.  'Aye im not interested at all, but let me talk to you for 3 hours like I'm your best friend'.  But then, goodness I was so gung-ho talking about accounting and this and that.  It was like 4 hours later I left the library.  Then, have to study.  Then, after sleeping for 2 hours the night before, on about 6 hours sleep from the last 3 days, start crashing and am so tired.  Can't do anything due to brain fog.  Just wanted to sleep, but couldn't.  So worn out, but couldn't .  Eventually went into my last resort and took half of a trazedone.   Looking at mood chart, elevated.

Finally, took this stupid test today, which I was not prepared for and possibly used unethical means to achieve a higher grade.  I had a 93 on the first one, and this is tax accounting-- one of the harder two classes of the semester.  I took it in the testing center, thank goodness.  Almost 3 hours (they gave me unlimited time for some reason) instead of the usual 1.2 the classmates take.  I went so indepth and ended up writing stuff that wasn't true.  One of those 98 percent correct answers where they take one of the 10 points away for a word or two.  I think I made a B.  I definitely didn't make an A.  I'll be mortified if I made a C.  That would suck.  Wouldn't be the end of the world, but would definitely suck.  At least im 1 solo paper away from the presentation class from being done.  I have an A- in there right now.  A couple of days ago, I didnt know there might be a curve and thought it was impossible to get the A because the one guy in the group would rate me low.  I killed the presentation, awesome.  Still, we got a 92.5 on it.  I think I'll end up getting an A after all in this 1 hr class.  I'm aiming for perfection, which is kinda messing with my head.  I'm trying hard, but I'm stretching myself too thin.  Even now, I'm typing a paragraph within a paragraph that was already written.  Perfection slop at it's finest.  And the sleepiness was about to leave me again.  So, now you can continue reading what I was writing before:  Totally wiped out finally.  So ready to close eyes and sleep.  Was getting irritated at my neighbor, who's tv i heard he moved into his bedroom (i think).  This dumb chick has been texting me nonstop trying to get me to go to dinner with her.  I literally talked to her about accounting and she said she wanted me to tutor her.  I was like yeah, i need to study for grad school cause that's the hardest undergrade accounting class.  No, please, no...  This 20 year old is all into me like what the hell man?  I tried to explain the bp to her in text, which I don't know-- never seems to get the right message accross.  I was like, "That wasn't me being myself".  "I prefer to not be like that." "I know I was super happy and enthusiastic and outgoing..." "My mother just saw me the other day and could tell underneath the joking and excitement, no sleep and was looking unwell".  Girl is totally understanding of my need for space  and to reset.  Oh wait, what?  She totally took it personally and has no idea what it is I was trying to say?  I love when you tell people you were unwell and they were like "Well, I'll still like you when your not"  I really want to say, "Well, I'm not sure if I like you yet.  Manic people tend to like everything they are doing, even if it makes no sense"... if only.  People need to know more.  I knew so little before I was diagnosed. Looking back, now the insomnia since childhood makes sense.  I actually couldn't spend the night at friends houses without having to call my parents.  I was never afraid, it was that I couldn't sleep.  Would be watching my friends sleep for hours, and then just give up.  Wide awake.  Looking back, makes a bit more sense.  Could have been some sort of early manifestation I guess.  I never thought it went that far back with me, but who knows.  I know when it got bad, by when I stopped paying attention to good grades and just went off on these tangents of hobbies and crazy as schemes and aspirations.  Happened at the end of highschool.  Got me homeless by the time I graduated.

Every time I try to start a random conversation when I'm stressed and borderline (or) hypomanic, it always goes like that.  I'm glad im out of the random hookup type of scene.  Goodness, This girl literally wants me to come ride horses for my torn knee, which is either a piece of cartilages (hopefully - yes- hopefully) or we are going to be cutting me a new ACL.  Yeah, someone I don't know and now I have to ride a horse destroying multiple body parts all at once...  (I rode my friends show horse for half a loop around the ring once, I was done in about 15 seconds of it's hopping, prancing, jumping, whatever it was... speaking of whatever it was, whatever it was wasn't intended for a man to do.  I think I need some sleep.  Good night.

I just got a text from a pal congradulating me on being able to go to the gym to do a stationary bike or to swim.  "It's a step forward in the right direction, no pun intended haha"  I said "Haha more like one hop."  Good night, second time.  I'm going to enjoy this so much.  I haven't felt this much satisfaction from going to bed in a long long time.  Not desire, satisfaction.  I'm going to check if I have any school work to wake up early for.  Because we all know I will, pop on up, pop pop pop.  Goodnight.

...running... spinning... jumping....