me

Do you want to know more about the guy who's on the other side of your screen, saying all this stuff?

Then come right in...

ribbons

These are my Mission Statements.

rant

These are my longer "deep-dive" articles on specific subjects so they don't get lost.

partyfavor

The fun stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere.

Thursdays are Fun Days

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Thursdays are my fun night out. I play a futuristic tactical game called MechWarrior:Dark Age where the main battle unit is a BattleMech, a 40 foot tall humanoid robot bristling with weaponry and a man at the controls. It’s about the year 4,000 and Man has spread to the stars. It’s based on the old (but still played) BattleTech. It’s a fun game that can be played in an hour or two and doesn’t require pages of charts and stats. Everything you need to know about a unit is on the base, which is clicked as the unit takes damage. So the stats go downhill as the units get more and more damaged.

This and model rocketry are my only two hobbies at the moment, things that actually get me out of the apartment to mix with other people and have fun. I get to do this once a week at most. We used to have eight tournaments a month, but changes at the company that sells the game have cut things back to four events a month. You see, this company hands out free prizes if you win. Not a lot of other game companies do this.

Anyway, I loaded my stuff into the car, went and got my son and we went to Midtown Toys and set up. He played, I refereed. For some reason, we don’t have a lot of players in this area to begin with. Tonight it turned out to be my son and one other player. No multiple battles, no exciting finishes, tonight was a 5 on that 10 scale of fun. I did get to talk with people of like-minded interests for a couple of hours, which is more than I usually do. I also got to spend some quality time with my son, which is always cherished time with me. That’s always a 10 for me.

I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to post more today, but I also had to take my wife to a doctors appointment. I am going to respect her privacy and not delve into the details, but I am worried. If you pray, please put her in your prayers at night.

Thank You and Good Night.

Balance

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My work hours are 10:30am – 7pm. With this in mind, getting up at 9am is perfectly acceptable. One of the reasons for this blog is for me to adhere to more acceptable hours. I got my alarm to go off this morning at 8am and I managed to get out of bed without an attack. After getting up at 8:00 for a couple of days, I’ll shoot for 7:00. I’m not sure what I will do at that hour, but I’ll find something.

One thing that I must be careful about is doing too much. My life is boring and vanilla as possible on purpose. Last week, in one day I paid the families rent, washed my overflowing dishes, did my laundry at the Laundromat, then took my family out for something to eat. Halfway through the outing with my family, I was overcome by a fear attack. I was able to hold together until I took everyone back to my apartment and I had to hide in my closet for a while. I also had to repeatedly thump my head. Not hard enough to bruise, but enough to provide a small physical shock to the brain. It serves as a “reboot” for the brain, providing a small measure of comfort to me.

The first indication that my life had forever changed was me crawling into the hall closet and started screaming and crying while beating my head into the wall. I was two weeks into taking an antidepressant treating what I thought was adult ADD. I was in the closet because I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I had let down everybody that I had known. I was out of control and my only saving grace was my loving wife crawled into that closet with me and calmed me down. But that was the first of many, many times in that closet. Over the next 6-8 months, I think I spent more time in there than I did out. I went in there for the sensory deprivation. My thoughts would spin out of control and the only way to get them to slow down was to go into that dark, quiet place and let time pass.

So with all things in life, I must find a balance. I have been on the low side on purpose because my primary diagnosis is fast cycling Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. I don’t ever want to go manic because I would be out of control and that would be very bad. Trust me. So this blog is part of my effort to creep back to the center and balance, instead of staying on the depressive side. While being manic is a danger, I want to be able to do more, so by doing more, I hope to be able to do more. We’ll see.

Something Conservative

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I happened across this article, The Goose is Dying. A quote is below, but I wanted to comment on it. Half of the money the federal government collects is redistributed to other people. Since I am on SSDI, I am one of them. The last I heard, only 26 cents of every dollar collected actually makes it to the person that it’s intended for. 74 cents disappears into the bureaucracy as overhead.

If 10 percent of an economy’s national income depends on government spending and control, then its economy can be called 10 percent ‘socialistic’ and 90 percent free-market. Today, shockingly, fully 42 percent of the economy is socialistic, that is, utterly reliant on government spending. Thus only 58 percent of the economy is free, and that figure is rapidly diminishing.
Call it “creeping socialism” – it’s happening one step at a time, so it’s hardly noticeable until we wake up one morning and discover that Karl Marx has replaced George Washington as the father of our country.

There is also this article, NYC’S Latest Gun Misfires in which John Lott muses over the latest anti-gun knee-jerk measures being considered by the “Republican” mayor of NYC and the City Council. When John Lott writes about guns, you better listen. He started out as a liberal meaning to come up with the quintessential study showing that gun control works. He found out the exact opposite so strongly that he switched camps and became an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment.

Wednesdays are important days

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Wednesdays are very important days for me. This is the day that I meet with my case manager. This is a licensed social worker who comes by to check up on me. He makes sure I've been taking my medication, that I'm still stable on it, that I haven't been doing anything stupid, etc. I see him weekly, because of my past history of instability means I must be closely monitored. I used to see him twice a week, but budget cuts cut it down to one. I'm one of the "lucky" ones, most under case management only see their case manager once a month.

Today was doubly important because today I also checked in with my medication nurse. She is a licensed Nurse Practitioner who is in charge of my current drug "cocktail." Between my NP and I, we decide on a monthly basis as to how well my medication works and if any changes are warranted.

Without my medication, I would be dead, literally. When I am not on the correct medication (or none at all) I have an overriding urge to blow my brains out. A constant mental picture of pointing a gun at my head and pulling the trigger. I have been ill for five years now and it has only been the last year that this urge has been under control. I stopped counting suicide attempts when I hit an even dozen. I have tried hanging, pills, guns, even a half-hearted attempt of suicide by cop. I've had the SWAT team out to the house twice that I can remember. Just think about that. Average one suicide attempt every four months for four years. Not good. I never really wanted to die, I just wanted the urge to go away. That was how desperate I was.

Now imagine what kind of pressure that puts on a wife and child. My wife has PTSD from all of the out of control meltdowns that I went through before trying to kill myself. To this day I cannot raise my voice for any reason in front of them. The pets are even scared of me when I raise my voice. I am separated from my family for just this reason. I do get to see them, but it's as a visitor, not as a true husband and father.

So you see, it is very important that I have the correct medication and stay on it.

Greetings and Welcome!

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Thank You for visiting my humble blog. Let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a 42-year-old man who is living with a severe mental illness. I used to own my own home, I used to have a family. I used to be an IT Manager, pulling down $50K a year. Right now I live alone in a one-bedroom apartment, working part time to support myself. More details in later posts.

I meant to get up early and start on this first full entry, but I had an attack this morning. What I mean by “attack” is an attack of fear. I am afraid to get out of bed. Nothing that I’m afraid of, I’m just chilled to my bones with fear. I fight it as best I can. I toss about in bed, punch my pillow, yell at myself, that kind of stuff. It is frustrating to be rational and fearful at the same time. To know that there is nothing to be afraid of but yet still afraid is very disconcerting. So I got up 90 minutes late. There have been days I have missed work because I can’t fight the attacks. Luckily I have been able to keep the attacks to my days off, as I only work three days a week. That’s all I can work for several reasons.

I’m up now, so I’m going to go surf and see what I can see. More posting later.

Oops

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Oops. Still working out how all this stuff goes.

First Post!

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Just created. Tune in a day or two from now for something more substantial.