Mistakes

•April 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t kept up this journal. I’ve had ups and downs since my absence.

Good things have happened, and bad things have happened.

I reached new milestones in personal achievement, and have hit lows I didn’t think possible.

I have loved, been loved, and I have hurt and been hurt.

This isn’t sour grapes. This is no pity party.

I want to get better. The past year taught me exactly what I need in my life, and that is to focus on school, family, friends, and myself. Even if this blog does not get touched in a long time again, this is the goal I am striving for.

I plan on reaching out to those I lost. Those I hurt. I want to let them know how sorry I am. How selfishly I acted. How my actions caused the divide.

Life is too short.

Almost There…

•April 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The past couple of months have been really intense.

I stopped writing in this blog for a couple reasons. I’ve been in therapy, and have doubled my sessions. I was getting a lot accomplished through therapy, and writing in this blog seemed redundant, given the therapy and my hectic schedule. I was also realizing that the blog was becoming what I didn’t want: it was starting to hold more subjective, negative thoughts than constructive, objective thoughts. I was using the blog as a weapon more than a tool for self-reflection and analysis.

I need to get back to where I initially was with this blog.

Well, background is needed in order to explain the last couple of months.

I suppose the big news would be my dad’s health problems. The man has been living his own way for a long time. After my mom passed, he just developed this routine of unhealthy choices in terms of diet, exercise, and bad habits. He ate whatever he wanted. He never exercised. He smoked, much and often. Family expressed concern, and would ask him to tone in down. It’s difficult, though, because from my experience with depression and addiction, no one can tell you or convince you to change. You have to be the one to do it.

My dad was feeling ill in October, and decided to go to the doctor. Immediately, he was hit with some difficult news: he had already had a heart attack, and didn’t even realize it. This heart attack brought more news; his heart was fucntioning poorly, he was near-diabetic, and he had heart disease. Right away, my dad realized he needed to change himself, and charged into a health campaign. He quit smoking altogether, and began a strict and steady diet. He underwent a minor surgery that place two stents in his heart, in order to undo some damage. He exercises regularly.

After his initial surgery, Dad was placed in cardio rehab. He went three times a week for a couple months, with regular tests performed all throughout. Unfortunately, just before his rehab was up the doctors confirmed more damage was found, and stents alone would not help the situation. He was going to need bypass surgery. Open heart.
Now, when my mother got sick and passed away, I was in full denial and remember not thinking about it. I did so not only because I didn’t want to think of the possibility of life without her, but I also just assumed everything would be ok. I was young, and wrong, and I wish to this day that I was more in the moment. So, with my dad’s impending surgery looming over the horizon, I made sure I didnt run away.

It was difficult, given my schedule. I made time, though. I talked with him, found out everything I could, poured over his charts and stats, and just spent a lot of time with him. I didn’t want him thinking I was not there for him, and that I wasn’t thinking about him.

Dad’s surgery was this past Friday, and it was successful and everything went as well as it could have. He is recovering on schedule, and his vitals and progress are well within the parameters set by the doctors. I am so grateful.

These past couple of months have been huge for me, growth wise. They have also been difficult, as I have fallen into some negative behaviors. I’ve just been so busy, so swamped, and so stressed that I haven’t been able to keep up with my goals. I suppose that is what I need to focus on most, these days. I need to be able to keep myself to my goals and routine, even in the midst of stress and a busy schedule. It’s difficult, though, because being busy doesn’t allow much time for the gym, or for personal time.

I do go out. I have fun when I go out. That’s why I feel so selfish and stupid when I still feel empty. I hang out with old friends, and I make new ones. They aren’t always the people I want to hang out with, though. I have a problem not letting go to the past, in that sense. I’m uncompromising in that way: I want to be with the people I want to be with. I need to get over myself, and take in my surroundings, and the reality. My main problem is that I get upset when I don’t get my way, and that’s unbelievably childish of me.

I’ve lashed out at people I really care about, and that’s not ok.

I can’t fully describe it. It seems silly and conceited, to be surrounded by family and friends, to go out and have fun with people, and not feel satisfied. I’m not, though. I’m not hanging out with the friends I want to see. I’m not with who I want to be with.

I feel alone all of the time, even when out with a group of people. I suppose that’s what depression does. It clouds your eyes and your surroundings, like a fog of war. It’s hard to make out the good things around you. All you see are silhouettes. You remain skeptical and at a distance. Even when you approach the shadows and the truth is revealed, it always seems to be a disappointing truth.

This isn’t me pitying myself, or complaining. I’m not trying to, anyway. It’s a childish truth I feel. I’ve been putting off trying to move forward and learn from this behavior, though. Sometimes, I over-think or over-analyze small events and details and trick myself into feeling like I shouldn’t move on. I need to, though. I don’t feel like I’m at my full potential.
This semester is wrapping up, and I plan to make good on a lot of changes this summer. I will become more rigid with my diet and exercise, instead of slipping it in when I have time. I will enjoy any social activity I can, and enjoy it in the moment. I won’t waste time feeling sorry for myself, or wishing I was with someone else. This last goal will probably be the most difficult, but it’s arguably the most important.

I just need to last another 30 days or so. Gahhh.

Late To The Party

•February 17, 2013 • Leave a Comment

It’s hard some days.

[Cue laugh track.]

No, it’s difficult. Life stalls, mistakes are made, opportunities are wasted, and detours come up in the road. You struggle. You realize that you have to fix things. No one person can snap you out of it. It has to be you willing to make changes. When it comes to depression, failure, or any negative roadblock in your life, you have to be the one to bust through it.

I did. I’m better than I have been in years. I haven’t felt this healthy since maybe 2004. I’m in therapy, I’m in school, and work will be starting up soon. I’m firing on all cylinders. I work out, in some form, every day. I eat healthy. I finish my projects way in advance. Things, on the surface, seem to be going extremely well.

Then, why do I feel like shit?

I suppose it’s because I’m still human. Some days, I try to block feelings out in order to finish work, or concentrate on working out, etc. It’s impossible not to be bummed that I got here in the first place. It’s a healthy bummed. I don’t obsess about it, and it drives me to continue doing what I’m doing. Still, it feels like I’m ┬ámissing out on a lot of things. Much of it is transitional things, anyway. I’m still figuring out who I should hang out with. That sounds harsh, but with my major life changes I need to be able to hang out with people that don’t flake, and people that don’t pressure me to engage in negative behavior.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate what I’ve done, or how far I’ve come. It just sometimes feels like it hasn’t even been close to enough. I’ve stalled, and people have moved forward that whole time.

Maybe it’s just me projecting my perceived lack of self-movement. It’s just difficult, I guess I’m saying. These past few weeks have been difficult. I’ve been trying to acclimate to my new schedule, and still maintain a workout routine weekly. Therapy has gone into overdrive, and we’ve begun work on some topics that are very raw right now. I feel pretty alone. Conversations feel forced, lately. It’s ok. I’m pretty busy.

So, things are a little rough. It’s normal. I needed to vent them out, which is also normal. This post went a little Danny Downer, but I feel a bit better getting it out there.

Maybe bowling will snap me out of this funk.

What Can I Do From Here?

•February 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Things are happening.

For instance, the wind is rocking against my windows, making the glass rattle. It’s been keeping me up. I figured it was a sign to get up and do something. So, I decided to type this out; I would have started work on a design for a project, but my hand is a little cramped up from previous work today. Typing is much easier.

School is happening. I’m enrolled in five classes. This is the first semester I’ve done this in quite some time, because taking that many art classes can be a bit of a stretch. This semester has me taking only 3 art classes, though…so it should be fine. I’ve been doing well so far. I’ve set myself some rules for how the week will play out. Under no circumstances, EVER, am I allowing myself to have extracurricular activities on weeknights. I can’t do it. I desperately need the sleep and the time to work on things.

…he wrote, at 1:30 am.

Yeah.

Working out and exercising is coming along. I think. I’m seeing noticeable changes in my upper body and legs. Figures. Everything but the middle starts to look nice. I have more stamina; cardio has become easier, and I no longer have to rely on an inhaler to get me through. I go to the fitness center at school, and I go to the gym every Saturday and Sunday with my dad. It’s a great bonding time, despite us working out separately and independently. I sometimes keep an eye on him, though, to make sure he’s doing ok. It’s nice to have someone else in the gym that I know. I don’t feel so alienated.

Therapy is going well. Well, in the sense that I’m figuring things out and I’m working towards goals and it hurts like a son of a gun. I have disconnection problems, I rely too heavily on the thoughts and opinions of others, I make all these assumptions that everyone has their life together but me, etc. I’m working against myself. It hurts. I make the stupidest mistakes by trying to avoid situations that aren’t real. I’ve hurt someone I love and care deeply about.

All I want to do is apologize and cry it out and prove myself to be a better person, but that’s not how mistakes work. It can’t be like it was, and I can’t be trusted. I’m the one that screwed up. I’m coming to terms with that, still. It’s so fucking hard, and I just want to flip out on myself because I feel I’ve just ruined what could have been an amazing thing. I don’t even know what to do.

I just hope. My therapist is giving me advice on the subject, and I just don’t know how I feel about it. I’m so torn on how to act. On how to feel. I just have to hope. All I want is for things to work out. Right now, I feel powerless.

Maybe that’s another reason I’m so uncomfortable. I feel powerless. Scared.

I’m talking myself offtrack.

What can I do from here? That’s the question I ask myself now, often. With life, in general. Whether it’s a project or a problem, I ask myself what I can do from where I am. Physically, mentally, geographically. What can I do from here?

Hopefully, sleep.

Long Time Silence

•January 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t used this blog in some time. Part of it stems from relapsing into bad behavior, and part of it is because I just don’t give myself a strict enough routine and include blogging into it.

2012 was a year. Good things happened, and bad things happened. I made progress, but I still have things I need to work out in my life. I was shown incredible love and kindness, and tried to meet it in return. I was hurt by others. I hurt others.

Let’s just get into what my goals are, and how they are going.

Weight Loss.
I am nowhere with this, if I’m going to be honest. I exercise, I try to eat healthy, and then I stop both of those things. I am really struggling with eating right, and regular exercise. There are times I feel powerless, and then it gets me down. Then, I sit there and mope. I don’t exercise. I eat crappy food that makes me “feel better.” I haven’t gained weight, but I haven’t lost any. So, 2013 is going to, hopefully, be different. I am going to add gym time into my permanent routine. I will go to the gym at school, and I will see if they have weight loss groups I can join. I will eat differently. I’ll pre-make and package healthy lunches.

School and Grades.
I’m not doing bad. I have a 3.25 overall. I did not try hard this semester, because I lost track of school being more important than hanging out with people. I have yet to reach a healthy balance of this. I either excel at school and have to ignore friends, or vice versa. I lost myself this semester. It’s difficult for me to focus when I feel the classes are remedial, but I did the opposite of what I wanted to do. Rather than spring ahead and get all of my work done early, I hesitated and would finish projects last minute. It ended up ok in the end, but I shouldn’t do this.
I also need to focus harder, and commit to a busier schedule. I need to get out of school.

Creative Outlet.
I keep saying I’m going to start work on my graphic novel, and I never get past the ideas stage. I have all these great ideas, and nothing gets written down or drawn. I am officially putting that idea on the shelf, until I can commit to it. I will no longer use it as a sugar line when conversing with people. I have nothing to show for it. It’s time to stop talking about things that don’t exist. I do not have anything in mind for a graphic novel that is tangible. What I do have is a desire to create, and I can do so by other means. I have been using my creativity in other means lately, so I will continue to do so.
I was in a play this summer/fall. I enjoyed the experience. I’ve been invited to apply for another one coming up. I will decline. The only schedule I will submit to is my own. As much as I hate passing up an opportunity to work with people I really like, I need to buckle down with school.

Therapy.
Therapy is going to be a big deal this year. I lost track of myself and my progress this past year, and therapy will at least provide me with a weekly checkup on my thoughts and feelings. There are many issues I need to address that I haven’t yet brought up with my therapist, and I see the negatives to that in the way the late part of 2012 went. My inability to talk about some things led to me being hurt, as well as me hurting others. Therapy will be factored into my schedule permanently.

Job.
I need a new one. I need one that will provide me with an environment beneficial to me. I know finding the perfect job in today’s world is silly, but I’m not going to apply and accept one that will harm me or the progress I intend to make. I did that once, shortly after moving back to the burbs. I kept the job for a day, and quit the next.

Relationships.
This covers both friendships and romantic relationships. 2012 was a year spent giving the wrong people too many chances, and not paying attention to the people that really mattered. I pursued friendships with people who don’t deserve the enormous effort I was giving them. I got hung up trying to impress new people, while letting good friendships slide away. I held grudges at the wrong times, and forgave at the wrong times.
It certainly was a regretful year for romance. I got scared, I shut off, I was cruel, and I hurt someone who really matters to me. I was scared because it was the closest I had gotten to actual deep romantic feelings in a while. I shut off because I thought I was protecting myself; the last time I was vulnerable like that, I got hurt badly. I was cruel, and I didn’t mean to be. But I was. I hurt someone who didn’t deserve it, and I fully recognize that and will have to live with that.
This year, I won’t give flakes a chance. I won’t do anything without being ready. I will be honest, and open.

Drinking/Smoking.
I haven’t drank since March 2012, and I haven’t smoked since April 2011. That’s that.

I guess that’s it. I just wanted to write this stuff down. My days, lately, vary. I either have awesome days, or extremely dissatisfying days. I don’t know how to combat the negative feelings on bad days. My old tricks of walking, music, candles/incense, or doing something I like don’t work. My mind just swims in anger, doubt, uneasiness, and restlessness. It’s something to ask my therapist.

Waiting for school to start is also driving me crazy. I need things to do, and that can be hard when you feel down.

This has helped, though.

Happenings: A Haunting And An Affirmation

•June 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

When I don’t have a schedule, my life stutters. I don’t often plan for these lapses in schedule, so I don’t leave myself with things to do. When I’m in the muck, I find I have difficulty planning. Luckily, things have changed and I am, once again, on the path I want. I’m moving forward. I have just recently taken on a second job, and summer school has began. I have plenty to do. I like when I need me, if that makes sense. I need myself…to perform at work, at school, and at anything else. I perform best when I have lots to do. It feels great.

I needed a lapse in schedule like that to learn that, even if these lapses come [and they will], I always come back out. I’m continuing to excel, and things are getting better and better. My outlook is much more confident than a year ago. I’m doing more things and proving I have what it takes to be successful. I’m becoming happy.

Just recently, however, I was dealt a hard hit in the form of what I will call a haunting. I call it a haunting because it was an encounter with someone from the past; this someone also has unfinished issues, which is what most people give as a definitive trait of a ghost. This ghost has a problem with me, and a problem with things it perceives to be my fault.

“Youuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuused my tooooooooothbrushhhhhh.”

Now, just like if someone were to see a ghost, I was scared. This couldn’t be happening! Why would this person be showing up? Now, out of any time?

This wasn’t possible. This ghost shouldn’t be here, man. This ghost was supposed to have moved on.

Instead, this annoying apparition, representing past conflict and regret, was back. It had returned to my life in order to frighten, confuse, and bewilder. Its spooky wailing carried all the way from the past back to my ears in the present, stirring up old emotions and slinging new insults…insults I never thought I would hear. Insults that, much like the chains Scrooge heard, rattled me to my very bones.

I think I just about wore out the ghost imagery. Long story short: someone I used to know was bringing up old gripes and called me some shitty names.

The person, the gripes, and the names shall remain anonymous. What I can say is that they dug into me, and it hurt immensely. These comments made it to my ears by means other than the person making them, and to know that this sort of stuff is being said about me to other people flippantly makes me nauseous. It sucks! This was a person I cared about, and to hear this stuff was a nightmare.

I talked to friends about it this week, and as time went on and my friends explained it more, is that it really doesn’t matter.

It sucks, sure. No one likes being called names. The problem with this situation, though, is that this person is mad at a person that doesn’t exist anymore. The me that existed years ago…the one that caused all these problems and did all these bad things…is gone. Forever. I’m not the same person. I’m a strong, healthy [and becoming healthier], and driven individual. I’m a A student in a very competitive arts college working two jobs; I don’t smoke or drink or do drugs. I’m making art again, and sometimes it’s for profit…and all the times, it’s because I love doing it.

I’m not saying this because I want to ignore the past; I fully understand I was an unhealthy person with a mess of problems, and I completely understand how bad my behavior and actions were. I was unhealthy, and I wasn’t doing anything about it. I’m sorry bad things happened back then, and I’m sorry about the person I was. Unfortunately, I don’t think my apologizing will work. I think it’s easier for people to just keep the blame on someone and stay angry. And I get that.

I initially felt bad when these comments reached my ears, but now I just feel like they’re directed at the old me. I understand when someone is hurt by someone, and they want that person to know and to feel bad. Unfortunately, the person to blame in this situation is gone. I can do nothing about the anger this person feels toward me, because the anger is meant for someone I am not.

It made me feel better; it made me aware of the progress I have made in such a short span of time. Two years ago, I was a depressed guy with no job who had moved back to the suburbs to try and start over. Now, I’m a happy and sober guy who is a straight-A student, works two jobs, and makes art and does comedy in his free time. I understand the past sucked, and I know I wasn’t the best person. The thing about the past is that it’s over now, and I’m looking to the future. As for this person who still holds a grudge…

Personal Problem: Stepping Back

•June 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It has been a long time since I have written a post, and my absence has been caused by positive forward movement and negative setbacks. While life is miles better than what it used to be, it is failing to reach standards I set for myself in some areas.

Life needs to be more “streets ahead.”

I have a problem. I often bite off more than I can chew, in terms of goals and standards. I’ve been doing well, but I’ve returned to the routine of trying to fix everything right away, rather than just working on things slowly and intelligently and utilizing a plan. This kind of routine is dangerous, ignorant, and often leads to falling back into bad habits. This kind of thinking was a philosophy I was bullied into a couple of years ago, because my problems were mounting and I was unable to help myself or accept positive forms of help from others. Instead, things became worse.

In a way, this has happened.

To start, good things have surely come to me. The spring semester has ended, and I was able to celebrate straight A’s. I even changed a B to an A in one class through perseverance; I showed my professor that I really wanted that grade. I was able to make the Dean’s List this semester, which is great but ultimately an achievement reserved for the younger students. It’s nice to receive the letter and accolade, but it honestly just reminded me that I am an older guy that still has a ways to go in college.

I have successfully kept sober since mid-March.

I have not smoked at all since April of last year.

The problem I am facing now is the lack of a schedule. Granted, it’s only been about a month since school ended, but it’s felt like an eternity. I have a lot of free time, and not much to fill it with. I have problems that cannot be dealt with at the moment…problems that will take care of the scheduling problem. I am beginning summer school, and I have to figure out what exactly the hours will be like for this online course I am taking. After that, I can figure out what my schedule is like so I can let my job know when I am available.

With this free time, I’ve taken steps back. I’ve been eating poorly and exercising sporadically. No set schedule has had me feeling the effects of depression; I need to feel useful and productive, and I have had no real outlet. Again, this post is about half a month overdue, and this rut will straighten itself out with the correction of my schedule in less than a week. By that time, I’ll have school and a job to worry about. I can begin a structured routine and get things back on track. Next time, I’ll have things lined up to pass the time.

Hopefully, though, there won’t be a gap filled with nothing again!

 
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