Skip to content

Journal Redux #4

Mood: Depressed
– Questioning Things

Sleep: Near Insomnia
Diet: Whatever we Have to Eat

Energy: Some
Motivation: Some
Ambition: None

Libido: Hyper
– Porn Addiction: Fighting

Therapy: Missed Last Appointment
Med Compliance: None

Conscience: Lost

I had no idea that its been over a week since I last wrote an entry. My perception of time is still… random.

I want to throw up, but I do not know why.

I want to sleep, but, as usual, my mind will not shut down.

My sex drive is on full, even after sex. Usually it calms down once… I release. (I hate masturbating anymore, there is no joy or satisfaction… my wife is all I need.) I don’t know what this means, but its new.

I feel there is something wrong. I have this feeling in my head every time I do something, its like a disconnect from reality or my conscience. I get to a point in the decision making process and most of the time I get to this gap (I feel it, right side of my head towards the right… yep, it has a spot) that says, “I don’t care.”

There are things I still care about, but many things I KNOW I care about just have shut off, like they were removed from my own brain or now sit in an endless darkness.

I stopped caring. Now, this has happened before, but I have always cared that I don’t care and could usually follow through with not making decisions I knew I would regret once I “switched” back to my “normal” self. But this time… this time I don’t care that I don’t care. I feel comfortable. In a small way, yeah, it still scares me… but I don’t care.

Journal Redux #3

Mood: Depressed/Angry
– Near Tears

Sleep: Decent
Diet: Junk

Energy: None
Motivation: None
Ambition: None

Libido: Hyper
– Porn Addiction: Don’t Care

Therapy: Regular
Med Compliance: None

Conscience: Whispered

I got outside yesterday. It was a good thing. We went to a small lake beach and had hamburgers, sun and some relaxation. I start to retreat almost immediately being around people and by the end of the night I was exhausted and fully inside my shell.

Later, my wife gave a friend a drink called Hot Sex (chocolate, very good) and our friend sent out snapchats about how she likes it when her best friend gives her Hot Sex. She got a reply back from one of her friends about it. In it our friend mentioned to him that my wife had given it to her and he, possibly for just a joke…. doubt it, made a comment about sharing her friend with him.

Yeah, that is definitely a trigger. My humor was dead and I became super angry. The depression and anxiety I was already dealing with didn’t help, but I was angry and didn’t find it funny in the least.

I can’t even picture my wife with another guy without becoming angry, and when its mentioned by someone else it drives it home. I didn’t sleep all that well (I did sleep, though), and woke up still angry.

This all lead to me being cranky about everything and coming across as cross to everything, which then lead to a fight about weekend plans.

This day hasn’t been all bad… but I still feel dead inside.

Journal Redux #2

Mood: Depressed
– Near Tears

Sleep: Decent
Diet: Junk

Energy: Some
Motivation: Some
Ambition: None

Libido: Active
– Porn Addiction: Don’t Care

Therapy: Regular
Med Compliance: None

Conscience: Struggling

It’s Thursday. I got up and took the garbage out, got the kids to school, and I am now sitting here wanting to cry and scream. I want sex but I don’t. I want to eat but I don’t. I should drink some water, but I have no desire to move.

Its another day where all I want to do is escape to another world. I probably will, but I also have a doctor’s appointment today.

Another day. Just another day.

Journal Redux #1

Mood: Depressed

Sleep: Decent
Diet: Junk

Energy: None
Motivation: None
Ambition: None

Libido: Roller Coaster
– Porn Addiction: Roller Coaster

Therapy: Regular
Med Compliance: None

Conscience: Fighting

 

I don’t really have anything to say but I wanted to start writing again.

The last year has been great but also one of the worst years I have had in a long time. Last year I was hopeful and confident I was moving forward, even so I knew I needed some extra help and started in a Partial Hospitalization Program. The group therapy helped me immensely and I wish the program wasn’t temporary. As all things, though, it had to end and that was the start of my Icarus fall.

I was doing so well; resisting porn, spending, and had a controllable libido. I felt good, not great, but good. I could leave my house with relative discomfort and even go to large gatherings, like the meetings at the Kingdom Hall, with very little anxiety. I enjoyed going, in fact.

I was on medication again, and was convinced it was helping (which is was).

Then it happened, the fall. It seems like it was just a flick of a switch, but it was a slow burn, a burn I even knew was happening. Like Icarus, though, I was confident I could manage it. Then my wings were gone. The medication stopped helping and instead of being a fire retardant, became a catalyst. My conscience was smothered and tucked so far away that I could not hear its call. Every iota of energy was drained, gone like the wisp of smoke at the end of a candle.

I wasn’t suicidal in the sense that I wanted to kill myself, but I felt no purpose in going on. I was told too many times I needed to give things more time. I was downhearted and defeated for no reason other than I woke up one day. The darkness I fought so hard to keep at bay wrapped around me like a large comforter and provided me a bleak cold warmth that smothered any ambition.

I gave into pornography again because, well, what’s the point of fighting when I am a loser.

I gave into junk food again because what’s the point of eating right when I will fail anyway.

I gave up on cleaning because what’s the point when its dirty an hour later anyway.

I gave up.

For two months now I have sat in this darkness. I remembered the darkness from years ago, how bad it could be, but I had forgotten what its touch felt like. The comfort that the familiar misery brings and binds me together with.

I know there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I do not know if I will ever reach that light. I gave up on Jehovah and that is a deep, nerve slicing, bleeding pain, but the darkness dulls its edge. I weep without tears and lay here in the dry pools of my defeat.

I do not even have the strength to scream for help anymore. This is my prayer now, my words I cannot speak, my hopelessness put to text.

I do not want to die, but I do not know how to move out of the way anymore.

The Doctor and Mental Illness

I know that Doctor Who has many good analogies to mental health, there are plenty of articles and blogs on the subject. I am going to write one more.

My theory is that the entire show is in the mind of a Gallifreyan that has guarded Earth for many years, but is now in the throes of depression and anxiety and PTSD (even Time Lords cannot escape mental illness) after the Time War.
Each enemy is the Doctor’s greatest fears, and he is the hero he needs to be to fight against his illness. These enemies could be represented by enemies he has actually fought (Daleks in the Time War) or fabrications of his own mind that represent his daily battles. (NOTE: I use only the new Series enemies as I have not yet watched all of the original serials.)
Each companion is part of his real life, all there to remind him that he is not alone in his battles, because if he is, he has already lost.

Enemies:
Daleks and Cybermen: Daleks and Cybermen represent a fear of conformity that haunts many with a mental illness. Society in general wishes those with a mental illness to conform to “normal” standards, and its not a stretch to think that Gallifreyans would also do this, even if it wasn’t deliberate. Each enemy represents a different sort of conformity: Daleks represent those in society that want to purge any with a mental illness, to write them off and never see them again just because they are different. Cybermen on the other hand represent the conformity to the general group; to join but to not be different. (Note: As the Doctor is still Gallifreyan and has fought in the Time War, he could truly have a deep fear of Daleks.)

Autons/Nestene Consciousness:
This may not be a huge one, but there is a phobia called Pediophobia or the fear of dolls. I myself have this phobia and it can be debilitating as Mannequins and Dolls are virtually everywhere.

The Family Slitheen/Sontarans/Ice Warriors/The Great Intelligence/Silurians: These species, and others like them, represent the never ending armies of his own mind that relentlessly battle him each day. Sometimes his day is faced with a feral and unpredictable battles (Silurians/Ice Warriors), other days he faces a relentless mind (Sontarans), then days where his mind seems to want nothing more than to leave him no matter the destruction it causes (The Family Slitheen). Then there are the rare days, but the darkest days, the days of great peril where his own mind is convincing (The Great Intelligence).

Ood: Back to fears, the Ood represent the fear of friends and family turning on him at a moments notice. They are always there, but what secret do they have that can turn against him and have that betrayal become real?

Vashta Nerada: Unseen dangers, paranoia of what may or may not be there in the shadows waiting to devour you. For people with anxiety, those shadows represent their fears, whether there is truth to those fears or not, it feels as if those shadows can strip us of who we are.

Silence: A great fear of those with mental illness is that people will forget them or overlook them and the Silence represents that. The fear of being lost in a world of monsters, that your friends and family will no longer be there because they will move on and forget all about you.

The Weeping Angels: The fear of the ordinary. I love/hate the show because of its representation of this fear; that everyday objects can make us afraid. This is represented particularly in the Weeping Angels, as even the simple action of blinking can lead to fear. This is the embodiment of what a true anxiety disorder looks like, the fear of the ordinary, the fear that something, even if you don’t know what, is going to get you, going to hurt you.

The Master: Best Friends can become our greatest enemies.

The Shrouded Creature/The Veil: This is the most dangerous monster of them all, the one that stalks relentlessly. This creature is suicidal ideation. It is rooted in your own mind and you know its there and the only way to fight it is to face the truth of your illness and who you are.

Companions:
Rose: Rose is that friend that is always there, even if it seems there are dimensions between you. This is a friend that is not necessarily a lover or romantic partner, but this is the friend that is there no matter what.

Martha: Martha represents the friend-zoned friend, the friend that had feelings for you that you did not reciprocate but is still there for you when you need it.

Donna: Donna is that tragic friend that passed away, but you hold on to the memories of when there were there and use those moments to help you keep going.

Amy & Rory: Amy & Rory are your family that is not family. Most people have that family friend that treated you as if you were their own. They are there for you even when you cannot be. Their commitment to each other will always come first, but they will always strive to be there when you need it the most.

River Song: River represents the Doctor’s wife (or our spouse), as she already is. She loves him dearly and is willing to do anything to help, but because of depression she does not always feel that love back. This does not lessen her love, but she holds on knowing that his love is there for he shows it as much as he can. Even when she cannot be physically with him, she will always be with him no matter how far away they are.

Clara: Clara is the teachers, nurses, and other professionals that strive to help along the way. She may not always be right, but she can help the fight with encouragement and a bit of push. The loss of this “friend” can be a great detriment.

Jack Harkness: There is no forgetting Jack Harkness. He is that friend that will go to great lengths to make you laugh or smile, to try and pull you from the darkness.

TARDIS/Idris: The TARDIS is our toolbox. We may not always like were we end up, but we can make the best of where we are.

““We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”
— The Doctor

Mental illness is a constant battle. Some enemies are tougher than others and all require a different set of skills to face. These are not enemies we can completely defeat or get rid of, but we can stand up to them and fight each day.

Doctor Who as a whole shows a man that fights each day to protect his universe. He struggles to keep himself intact, but recognizes the need for skills and friends.

 
“Can’t I just lose? Just this once? Easy. It would be easy. It would be so easy.”
— The Doctor

This is our fight, not only is it against our illness but our own mind. We can only fight for so long before we are exhausted. “Heaven Sent” was an episode where the Doctor felt as if he had lost everything. Clara was gone and he was alone running from an unstoppable monster. This was a monster he could not run from nor give into, the only way to stop this monster was to look inside himself, to really honestly look at himself.

The Doctor faces misery and pain, not of his doing but because it is. This is life for those with mental illness; a fear of the ordinary, a fear to conform, a fear of being alone, and the fear that no matter how long we fight, it may not be enough.

Try and Try Again

Wow, it has been awhile.

A lot has happened in the last 8 months. Well, maybe not a lot, but some. I have plateaued in regards to depression, which is not a bad thing. I just am. My anxiety disorder has gotten worse, but there are still good days. I have also felt very tired, exhausted and sore.

Depression is a funny thing, especially if you have Bi-Polar. For years I have gotten “used” to a fairly regular cycle; spring and fall are “good”, winter is dark and mid-summer I become a human version of Gollum (rapid mood swings, mostly irritability, aversion to light and crowds, and a general hatred of anything outside of my own little bubble).

Anxiety is a different beast. I have gotten to the point where I can regularly “push” through a panic attack or situation, but I still crash quite heavily. I have started taking medication again, which helps takes the edge off the panic attacks.

The exhaustion does help any of this. There are many days where getting to my chair is all the energy I have. I am also in my mid-summer crash, so that doesn’t help. The good news is that it may be caused by sleep apnea, which is only good news in the sense that my exhaustion may have a cause that can be remedied.

Addiction
This is something that will never go away. I still deal with an addiction to collecting card games from time to time. It gets easier to resist, but it never really goes away.

I am making a lot of headway with my pornography addiction. I nearly got to where we were going to drop our internet access. This wasn’t optimal as we use the internet for many things. We decided to try a trail of Norton Family Safety, though, and it has worked out really well. We got a nice spring deal on the Internet Security Suite and its helped a lot. I tried many free parental control programs but I could find a work-around for all of them. Norton is nice because it works in Chrome’s Incognito mode and on tablets and phones. This means it monitors nearly every point of access to the internet I have. The only exception is my TV web browser, but it is slow and buggy, which works nicely as its own blocker.

I felt this was a way to “cheat” at first, but my therapist reminded me that part of breaking addiction is to get away from what is causing it. This helped a lot. Its been months now, and while I may still make the errant comment still, they have become rather rare. My libido has also dropped considerably.

As I mentioned above, though, the addiction is not gone completely. It rears its ugly head every now and then and at very odds times. It does still seem to be triggered by anxiety, but it can also be triggered by watching any TV or playing any games that have the innuendo in them. I have to watch this very closely. That also means I have practically cut out all TV watching. I have a few shows I watch, but for the most part I just stay away.

I wish that less TV watching meant more time doing things around the house, but with the exhaustion I end up playing video games more often than not.

Overall, I can say that things are better. I can read through my posts last year and see how far I have come. I may have a long way to go still, but that doesn’t mean the journey I have made so far is any less important.

Introvert’s Math

I am exhausted.

I am not tired, though I wish I could sleep the day away. I have no energy. From the moment I wake up, I feel as if sleep itself has taken energy from me.
I move, but barely. I do the minimal required tasks, because it takes all I have to do those. I want to do more, but lack the ability.
Some say, “Get going, once you get going you’ll feel better and want to keep moving.” Yep, I tried it.

I force myself to do dishes or laundry, and the longer it takes, the more exhausted I feel. Each arm feels like stone, while my hands creak and groan to move my weighty fingers. My chest begins to hurt, a sharp pain charts the nerves along my ribs and shoulder. Each step feels like walking through knee deep mud. I AM EXHAUSTED.

On top of the exhaustion, Agoraphobia kicks in and makes my natural introvert into a problem. I have no desire to leave the house, because its mentally draining, which in turn is physically draining.

I play video games, particularly Strategy and RPG games. So in my head are numbers to try and explain how I feel.

Here is the Introvert’s Math:

Say each person has a base energy production of 50 E/s. This is a “normal” person’s energy level as they go through the day.

For this person, chores and tasks will each take 1 E/s, work will take 2 E/s, and Group Activities will take 1 E/s per Person in the group (this includes being at work).

“Normal” Person:

Base Energy: 50 E/s

Activities:
-Chores: 1 E/s
-Work: 2 E/s

Social:
-Co-Workers/Acquaintances: 1 E/s
-Strangers: 2 E/s
-Friends: .5 E/s

So in a “Normal” day, a person usually has excess energy as they go through the day, but the Base Energy Production will usually drop as the day progresses.

Example:
Morning:
-50 E/s
-While doing chores (which includes getting ready for the day), each activity will take 1 E/s, which is subtracted from the 50 E/s while doing that particular activity. So making breakfast (Eggs, Toast, and Bacon) requires 3 E/s, so the Base E/s becomes 47 E/s while doing that. Add in cleaning up, showering, picking and putting on clothes, it all requires energy.

 

Now to the Introvert. This is what my numbers look like:

Base: 30 E/s

Activities:
-Chores: 2 E/s

Social:
-Acquaintances: 4 E/s
-Strangers: 6 E/s
-Friends: 1 E/s
-Family: .5 E/s

Now Introverts also get a Negative to Social interactions. The more people involved the worse it gets. So basically a gathering looks like this:

Acquaintances: 4^X E/s (X=Number of Acquaintances)
Strangers: 6^X E/s (X=Number of Strangers)
Friends: 1^X E/s (X-Number of Friends)

Social gatherings to an Introvert are DRAINING. The bigger the crowd, the worse it gets, and can lead to panic attacks, if not outright panic disorders.

Add in Agoraphobia and anything outside of one’s Sanctuary (usually home) also exponentially increases energy drain. Time also factors in, as well as activity level (for me, being active, rather than sitting and either doing nothing or listening can lower the levels a little, though rarely enough).

Example: Trip to the Grocery Store

Base: 30 E/s
-30 – (6^X + 4^Y + 1^Z + .5^N)^T

The background people (people I don’t actually have any interaction with), cause a drain effect of 1.5^X.

So 30 – (6^X + 4^Y + 1^Z + .5^N + 1.5^B)^T = Total E/s

At any given moment I may have to excuse myself or interact with 1 stranger, so X=1. Seeing friends and acquaintances are rare and I tend to shop by myself. Y = 0, Z = 0, N = 0 (We remove these when at 0.)
In the “background” I can see  roughly 20-30 people, so we will go with B=25.

So at the start of shopping I am at 30-(6^1 + 1.5^25)^1, which gives me -25,227 E/S.

Yeah, that number is right. It definitely feels that way. I get through by shear NEED, not any actual energy, and I crash when I get home.

We are built to take a lot, but that is what every day feels like.

 

I AM EXHAUSTED.