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.

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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  missing 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.

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.

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!

Personal Problem: My Sore Spots

•May 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This post is a follow-up to the anger post. I feel like I ranted without truly explaining myself; I don’t want it to seem like I’m some sort of powder keg waiting to go off. I don’t want to seem like I’m devoid of emotion, either. I guess what I’m trying to say is

I GOT PROBLEMS

Surprise! I have issues that cause emotional instability, and intense pressure on any single issue or multiple issues will cause immense discomfort and negative reaction on my part!

It’s good to know one’s limits, and one’s boundaries when it comes to life and what one can handle. Like I said, I’m not a short fuse, but buildup of pressure on something will cause a short circuit in the noggin…a reaction I feel to be very identifiable with the general population. Poke the bear long enough, and you get swiped at.

Quit it.

So, in order to avoid Hulk-ing out and ruining my day/night/game of Mahjong, I needed to figure out the things that set me off. I made a list of triggers, as I’ve mentioned before, but those are not root problems. In the previous post, I mentioned the things that angered me that day, but they angered me mainly because they were stacked one on top of the other…and when negative things build up it’s difficult to not let it affect you. What I want to talk about today are sore spots in my life, as well as behavior that affects me negatively.

1. School…Let’s Not Talk About It

I’m not looking for sympathy, and I’m not trying to tug anyone’s heart strings. My mom died the year after I started college, and I sunk into depression. I fucked up my grades over and over, and did not seek help. I, instead, went into the work force and [thought] I was doing all right. The whole time, everyone was asking when I was getting back into school.

Now, I had every intention of going back to school. I simply wasn’t ready; even when I pushed through and tried, I still wasn’t ready.

Here’s the thing: my depression was not my fault, but letting it go untreated was. It took a long time, but I am ready for school and I’m ready to finish. What I’m not ready for? Judgment.

My honest thoughts? I’m in school, I’m going for my degree, and how about we leave it at that? If someone is interested in a class I’m taking or just wants to hear about projects and stuff, I am all for that. Here is the exact thing I don’t want to hear:

“When are you done with school?”
“You have how much left?”
“What’s taking so long?”

I just can’t help but think, How dare you? I’m doing my damn best, and this is not easy. Not a day goes by I don’t realize I’m a 26-year-old in classes with kids just out of high school; I look back and wish I could snap myself out of it and have been done already. I know friends and family don’t mean it, but they ask these questions and it pisses me off. It’s an unfair thing to ask me, and more often than not the person already knows the answer. I will be in school for a while. It’s taking long because I was depressed and I didn’t fully invest in school before.

2. Disrespect…Don’t Be A Dick

A broad topic, and one I covered in the last post. It’s a big issue to me. It’s become a bigger issue lately, because I feel I’ve been disrespected incredibly. The main problem is that, in some of the cases, I’ve allowed that to happen. I’m starting to realize what kind of crap the old me would put up with, and it makes me feel ill.

Everyone deserves respect, and if you can’t respect me then get out of my life. It’s that simple.

3. My Privacy…Lemme Lone

Without privacy, life sucks. I need my privacy. I never got much growing up, and I still don’t in some avenues of life. I love my family, but they are not exactly respectful of my privacy.

I feel like this is a no-brainer; if I don’t want to talk about something, leave it alone. Prying isn’t going to do anything but make everything awkward.

4. Your Misplaced Anger…Check Your Shit

I’ve been the subject of misplaced anger lately, and it’s not right. I’ve been pulled into someone else’s arguments, and I’ve been yelled at because of someone’s overreaction. It’s simply uncalled for. If you’re angry, I understand…we all get angry. Taking your anger out on someone who did nothing is a jerk move, though.

These are just a couple things I was thinking of. I’ll probably post more sometime.

Personal Problem: Anger Management

•May 1, 2012 • 2 Comments

I’m angry right now. Fuming, in fact.

Normally, this would be the time I do nothing constructive, like sit there or play video games or something. I’d do whatever I could to bottle it up and just ignore it so I wouldn’t feel it. I’d blare music and think about something else…or, I’d sit there and think about nothing but my anger until I twist it into something it wasn’t.

So, I’m going to write through my anger just to get it out.

I’m pissed off, and I was not treated with respect today.

Problem 1: Disrespect In The Form Of A Joke

Now, my friends and I joke around a lot. It is one thing to joke around with a group of friends when you’re all together; it is another thing to poke fun at my situation over the internet for other people to see.

Do not get me wrong: I am proud of what I am doing and what I’m accomplishing; I am glad I am taking care of my life right now, and pushing myself forward on the right track. I will say, however, that my situation is just that: mine. I don’t judge anyone’s life, and I don’t want anyone judging mine. I know of the mistakes I made; I made them.

So, making fun of what I am doing with my life is, without a doubt, one of the easiest ways to piss me off.

Everyone is free to do whatever they want, obviously…but making fun of me when I’m trying to get my life sorted out is a good indication that you don’t respect me, and you shouldn’t be around me when I’m trying to keep positive.

Problem 2: Wasting My Time

No one likes being blown off.

hate being blown off. It says a lot about a person. It says you don’t care about me, or my time. If you don’t even bother to check in or cancel, that makes it even worse. I’m not even worth a a short text?

I got blown off today, by a consummate blow-off artist. Now, I agreed that this friend could come over with the notion of her cancelling already firmly in my noggin. Sure enough, the thinkable happened and I got blown off. Normally, I’d brush it off, but something different happened…this time, the fault supposed lay with communication errors. Somehow, my text and phone call did not reach her. I don’t know why this time screamed BULLSHIT louder than any other time, but it did.

This problem is mostly my fault. I know how flaky this person is; our relationship isn’t even a good one. This is one of those instances where I have to face my past and realize that this relationship is doing more harm than good. I suppose that’s why it’s difficult; another part of my past dies with this…connection, or whatever it is.

I guess that’s what I’m really mad; I allowed this to happen.

Problem 3: Don’t Yell At Me

That’s pretty simple. Don’t yell at me, especially if I did nothing to deserve it.

 

I wanted to write this out, because I want to show that it is difficult staying positive and on track. I have a ton of support, and I’m pretty positive about the direction my life and goals are headed in right now…but that doesn’t mean things don’t get in the way. Negativity is just out there, and sometimes it finds the people who want to avoid it most. I’m making progress, and I’m working hard…but the stress can get to me.

Compounding issues are big problem for me. When it rains, it pours. This new-found energy and forward momentum gets tested, and usually I can breeze past problems. Sometimes, I lose it, like tonight. I’ll admit, this new direction, and the stress accompanying it, can make me feel weak. Tonight was a bummer, but I’m glad I wrote about it. I already feel a little better, and I bet I’ll feel even better after some sleep.

Life Choice: All Smoked Out

•April 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I started smoking in college because the girl I liked smoked. There. I said it. Now it’s out. I was 18 and dumb.

MOVING ON.

Over the years, it never was about buying cigarettes and smoking them every day. It became a social thing. I would smoke at parties or during all-nighters. I’d have two or three cigarettes a weekend when sober, and maybe suck through seven or eight when drunk. I was a kid, and I thought myself invincible.

Oh, young me. You were so silly.

I’m going to skip ahead to summer of 2010 when my life upended. Almost everything about my life was pretty negative, and it affected all parts of me. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I was in a trench of self-pity and all that; nothing was going to get better, life stunk, I can’t change this by myself, etc. Basically, I was just floundering. This affected my smoking, as well.

Now, over the course of my relationship, my partner had stopped smoking and was wanting me to. I had cut down, but there were a lot of times when I simply didn’t care. I was in a bad place. Towards the end, I smoked more and more. It was pretty out of control. I continued to smoke after the break, and upped my intake drastically. I used to be the guy who never bought cigarettes; now, I was the guy who would buy two packs at a time for fear of running out. (I understand there are heavier smokers out there, but this was a big change for me.)

In April, my friend and I had planned a vacation to Florida, and it was an amazing time. The thing was, though, that my friend wanted to smoke way more than I did. I was starting to not feel up to it. There was the initial rejoicing over the fact that cigarettes were cheaper and that you could smoke in bars…but, I think, deep down I was no longer interested.

On the way back from Florida, we made a stop and spent a night at this Korean spa. It was amazing; there were different rooms with different temperature saunas, a pool, workout bikes, hot tubs, steam rooms, and massages. I sweat so much and felt so exhausted and cleansed.

As we were getting ready to leave, my friend said we should grab a quick smoke before hitting the road. I looked in my backpack, and pulled out my cigarettes. I had a full pack minus seven; I remember it vividly. I handed them to him, saying, “I don’t think I want to smoke anymore.”

That was April 16th 2011. I have not had a cigarette since.

Part of me believes that an act of cleansing was necessary for me to start making changes in my life…part of me wants to believe the spa was the reason I quit smoking. Mostly, I believe I needed something to believe in; I needed the spa as a faux-catalyst for change. I think I was so weak-willed and so far gone with untreated depression that I could latch onto this place as a saving grace. “Well, I’m cured because of the spa!” I couldn’t believe in myself back then, because believing in myself was out of the question. I was low, and the only thing I could focus on was that I was the cause of it. I didn’t realize that I quit smoking cold turkey, and how remarkably strong that act is.

Well, now I do. I’m grateful I went to the spa, and that it afforded me the opportunity to quit smoking. The choice to remain a non-smoker, though, is because of me. I don’t know how it is for other recovering smokers, but for me I don’t have a single urge. I’m happy I’m not smoking anymore, and it feels great.

Well, sort of. Let me explain.

I don’t ever want to smoke again. I wish I never smoked in the first place. As an asthmatic, smoking worsens the effects of asthma and makes things just a little harder. It’s more difficult to breathe, and shortness of breath occurs quicker. The problem now is that, since I quit smoking my lungs have begun the process of repairing themselves…and are doing an even worse job. This is easily the dumbest thing I have done to myself. Start smoking, make asthma worse…quit smoking, make asthma even worse than before. I wish I could go back in time and slap myself.

So. Besides the asthma problem [that was my fault for smoking anyway], not smoking is amazing. Not to mention, I save so much money not smoking! http://www.health.com/health/library/mdp/0,,calc011,00.html#calc011-sec It’s pretty crazy; I could have saved between $500-800 in 2011. Sheesh.