Month: October 2016

October 29, 2016 auticus 1 comment

I Fight Dragons – Just Decide

Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you. It’ll seem like you are just getting your life together, and things are working out. Pieces are falling into place, and then wham hits you where you least expect it. In my case, it’s a broken foot, which left me unable to work full hours, and then my boss declaring bankruptcy, leaving me with no job.

 

It’s one of the main reasons I’ve been neglecting the blog. I haven’t been up for doing anything related to it, or anything at all related to making myself any better. But that’s not how getting through things works. No amount of cuts on my legs, laying in my bed staring at the ceiling, not eating, none of that helps to make things better. It’s a dangerous game to play, and often has the opposite affect to what I’m hoping for.

 

The big thing that struck me though, is everyone looking at my broken foot, and jumping to help right away. Some of these people are the same who know about my mental condition, and my problems with it, but offer little or no help on that front. It left me confused, and hurt. I really had to wrestle with that.

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October 21, 2016 auticus No comments exist

Friendly Savages – Counted Lost

There are days when I hate life. I feel like it’s not worth living anymore, and there’s just one way out of it. These days are often the hardest. It’s on these days that a lot of the tools in my tool belts aren’t useful, for the very simple reason that I have no desire to even pull out my tool belt.

 

Let me backtrack a bit though. Over the weekend, I drove to my little sister’s college to spend the weekend with her. On Sunday, we went to Skyzone, which is an indoor trampoline park. It was actually a lot of fun. They have a foam pit, a dunking ring, and a large area of just trampolines, which includes trampolines on the walls. Back at the start of the summer, I had a workplace injury that left my right leg all but useless. I was dealing with this injury up until about a week ago when I was finally getting over it. So that’s probably the first cue that a trampoline park wasn’t the best idea. Well, I thought I could jump off the trampoline off the wall, and do a backflip. As you might guess, that didn’t end well. I wound up landing poorly, which caused my left foot to hit on an angle that feet generally are not suppose to land. I wound up breaking my foot. So now, right after gaining use of my right leg, I lost the use of my left leg. I also drive a stick shift car. I haven’t been able to drive that because I’m not able to put enough pressure on my foot to engage the clutch, which means I’ve been stuck at home. Which also means that I haven’t been able to go to work.

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October 18, 2016 auticus No comments exist

The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

 

If you know me, you know I have an obsession with Rubik’s Cubes. I wasn’t the most popular guy in Highschool, so I spent my free time locked up in my room, learning how to solve the puzzle. I filled notebooks full of different things I tried until I came to the solution. It’s a good indication of my personality as well. When I set my mind to something, I’m going to do my best to finish it, and put my all into it.

 

After I got to a point where I could easily solve the cube based on my own algorithms that I had written down, I then turned to the internet on how to solve it faster. But I’ve approached every Rubik’s puzzle the same way. Before I look online for more efficient solutions, I get to a point where I can consistently solve them.

 

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October 14, 2016 auticus 1 comment

Goo Goo Dolls – Iris

One of the things I keep silent about myself, moreso than anything else, are the hallucinations I sometimes have. Out of everything I deal with, I feel like this is the one that makes me sound the most “crazy”. But it’s worth talking about and explaining exactly what happens during these times.

 

First, let’s take a look at what a hallucination actually is. Webster defines it as “Perception of objects with no reality.” and “an unfounded or mistaken impression or notion.” The second definition, I feel is important to note. When most people think about hallucinating, they think of things moving around in the field of vision, things they perceive as physically there, but in reality, aren’t. That fits under the first definition, but the second is equally as important.

 

an unfounded or mistaken impression or notion, doesn’t imply that it’s physical, it implies mental. Things that you don’t actually see, but are convinced they are there. It’d be something like being convinced that there is a monster in your closet, no matter how solid the facts are that nothing is in there. To me, this is the one that causes more problems.

 

I deal with both. I see things, and have false impression of things. The first one, often manifests itself in what I’ve come to call Shades. It’s shadow human shape things that I often see. I see them in doorways more than anything, but I’ve seen them for as long as I can remember. For the longest time, I wasn’t sure if they were real or not and they scared the living daylights out of me. It wasn’t until I went to therapy, and started talking to them about what I saw that I began to put them in their proper place.

 

That being said, no amount of knowledge makes it any easier to wake up in the middle of the night and see a shadow figure standing by your bed. I have to sleep in particular ways to make the impact less. I either sleep with the door to my room closed, or some sort of soft light showing through the door to make sure that I can see clearly. I also tend to sleep facing the wall, and under no circumstances, allow myself to look out at my room at night. These steps have helped me to sleep better at night, and work at reclaiming that aspect of my life.

 

But those aren’t the only times I see them. I sometimes see them while out and about my day. These aren’t as hard for me to deal with, since I’m not alone, and they are easily avoided. But they have caused me to behave strangely at times. I don’t like getting close to them, and sometimes will take the long way to get somewhere just to avoid going near one. Even though, somewhere in my mind, I know that they are perfectly safe, or at least that they aren’t actually there, I still have a fear of them, one that I’m not fully able overcome that fear.

 

I’ve also occasionally seen balls of light, and flashes of light. The flashes are probably the most notable for people to notice. I’ll see a flash, and my eyes are drawn to it right away. I can usually explain it away as the glint off of a car, or something of similar nature, but that’s not always possible. It’s sometimes will be bad enough that I won’t react to something that is actually happening, leaving me in mild surprise when someone else mentions it. When you live in a world that’s not fully seated in reality, it can be hard to figure out what to point out, and what to keep silent. More often than not, I opt for silence, and wait to see if anyone else mentions something.

 

But what about the other aspect of it? The “mistaken impressions or notions”. That one is a little harder for me to explain. But it’s basically the ideas of things. At least, that’s how I tend to look at it. It’s the idea most kids have, that there is a monster under their bed, and if they leave their bed at night, the monster will reach out, grab them, and pull them under the bed (I at least hope I’m not alone in growing up thinking like that). However, in my case, that notion never really went away. I’m not afraid of what’s under my bed, but I often am convinced there is someone in my apartment when there isn’t anyone here. In my last apartment, I had a closet that I would rarely open because I couldn’t shake the idea that something was living in it. I was completely convinced that one day I’d open it up and I’d see whatever lived in it.

 

Much like with how I handle the people in my life, I do the same thing with the hallucinations I deal with. Well, the opposite at least. Whereas I’ll try and remember people and convince myself they are real, I’ll concentrate on the hallucinations, and convince myself they are false. In practice, this has a few different ways that it looks. Let’s say I wake up in the middle of the night. I see a Shade standing by my door, in the moment I’m terrified, and not much I can do about it. So I keep a book, which happens to be The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It’s the Barns and Nobel version that has a raised cover. Whenever I see something at night, I’ll reach out to the book and start concentrating on the various aspects of it. Since parts of the cover are raised, it’s easy for me to focus on the different aspects of the cover, without having to see it. By doing this, it forces my mind back into the world of reality, and keeps me grounded in my thoughts.

 

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, sometimes it’s not possible for me to move because I’m paralyzed in fear. But it works sometimes, and it’s better than the alternative. This is another area that cutting helped me with. The pain left by the cuts, would help me to stay grounded in this world, and give me an easier time in seeing everything clearly. However, with that being an unhealthy way to deal with the problem, I try and stick with the healthy methods, even if they don’t work all the time.

 

Today is another Goo Goo Dolls song. When I was in highschool I listened to these guys a lot. It also helps that John Rzeznik (lead singer) wrote I’m Still Here (Jim’s Theme from Treasure Planet, my favorite movie). Iris has always resonated with me. I’ve kept myself hidden from the world, afraid of what they’d say, or what would happen. Only allowing a few in. I’ve always only wanted a few people to know who I am. These things I’m talking about, are some of the deepest secrets I have, it’s completely contrary to how I’ve lived my life up until this point.

October 10, 2016 auticus 4 comments

Shiny Toy Guns – Turned To Real Life

 

You may notice two new things listed on my website. The most notable is above my blog. “Shadow” with a level, and word count beside it. This is my early prep for NaNoWriMo. It’s a  pokemonesque word counter that levels the pokemon based on word count. I’m excited for NaNo to start so I can start watching it grow!

 

In case you don’t know what NaNo is, it’s National Novel Writing Month. The month of November thousands of people get together (via the Nano forums and in person) and write 50,000 words during the month. It’s a great way to get writing done, and even better way to get in contact with people who share a common interest. Most of the people who are currently active in my life are people I’ve met through NaNo.

 

This year, I’m attempting to tackle something insane. I’ve set a goal of 500k words during the month of November. It’s going to be a pretty crazy goal, and I’m not sure if I’ll actually make it to that in the end, but I’m going to strive for it. I have four different stories in my head that I’m wanting to do, but I might wind up with more before this thing is said and done.

 

My main project this month is called “What Lies Below” It’s about a man who’s always heard a voice under his bed calling to him and asking for permission to come out and play. The man (tentatively named Jeremiah) has never once responded to this voice, even though he’s heard it since childhood. He learned quickly at a young age that other children didn’t hear anything under their bed, and either made fun of him, or were sacred of him. However, one night he decided he had enough, and starts to talk back with the voice.

 

The main idea of the novel is to give an expression of what damage it can cause someone when they are told that their mental health isn’t a big deal. That they should “get over it” or “you are just making it up.” That type of idea is what keeps people who suffer from coming out of their shell and seeking help they need. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know if some people in my life were more understanding of my disorder, it would make it easier.

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October 7, 2016 auticus No comments exist

Collective Soul – Needs

I don’t like people very much. They are hard to understand, and it takes a lot of energy to learn how to interact with them. Which is slightly ironic, since I work in outside sales. But, back to people. I have a hard time with making them real. A lot of times, I’ll see a human as their title. “friend”, “sister”, “co-worker”. They don’t have a name associated with them, and they aren’t “real” in a sense.

 

I’ve struggled with it for pretty much as long as I could remember. It was one of the initial things that brought me to therapy. The main thing was that I didn’t miss people. My dad was in the Navy growing up, and he’d leave for months at a time while deployed, and I never missed him. This isn’t to say I don’t have a good relationship with my dad. He’s always been one of my biggest role models. It’s sort of like when you watch a TV show or movie, you have this idea that they don’t actually exist. My mind works like that, but with everyone.

 

Another good example, my best friend, Hannah, has also started blogging (found here). I can be talking with Kate Cavanaugh, and be completely blind to the fact that she’s also Hannah. To the point where if I don’t actively think about it, I could very easily talk to Kate or Hannah about the other and not realize they are, in fact, the same person. I have to actively work on it.

 

So what does that look like? I have a book that I use to keep track of people I care about. In that book, each person has their own section. In that section, I write down things that I find important about them. Whenever I feel myself slipping from keeping one of those people real in my life, I reference what I’ll I’ve written. I also never take anyone out of this book. Even before my diagnoses, I’ve realized this was a problem in my life, so it’s been collecting people I think are worth taking the time to get to know. I’ve been keeping this book since I was fifteen, and after ten years, I have ten people in this book. I don’t talk to most people who I have in it anymore. But I still reference what I’ve written for them so that I can keep up their memory and keep alive the idea that this is a real person who actually exists.

 

One of the reasons I struggle with this, the world I live in is removed from the one you live in. It’s sort of like that TV example. To an extent, that is how I live my life. I watch it from the sidelines, sometimes not even feeling that I’m even in the same room, but instead watching from a distance. When I’m in a large group, I’m an observer of life, not a participant in it. Sometimes to the point of out of body experiences, where I don’t even feel like I am the person who is standing in the room.

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October 3, 2016 auticus No comments exist

Head and the Heart – Down In the Valley

It’s a different name for sure. The name has come to be my personification of my emotional state. But that’s not how it started. It actually started as a pet name by an old girlfriend.

 

When I lived in Hawaii, there was a group of people I’d hang out with. I would consider one of them to have been a true friend, the rest were because they were his friend. I will more than likely reiterate this multiple times, but a lack of friends doesn’t bother me. As long as I have two or three close friends, I’m completely content. So the idea that I only considered one of them to be a true friend has nothing to do with how I was treated, I just didn’t feel the need for other friends.

 

There are four major players in this story, Kim, Susan, Justin, and me. I was interested in Kim, Susan was interested in Justin. But, Justin and Kim were interested in each other. At the time, Justin was my best friend. Ultimately leading to me not getting in his way when it came to him and Kim. Eventually leading to the two of them getting into a relationship, and sort of forgetting about everyone else. When this happened, Susan and I started to commiserate together. We found out that one on one, we actually got along very well. However, it was around this time that my dad decided to retire from the Navy, and we were moving to Texas.

 

Because of this, we didn’t really want to start something because of the long distance. But, after I moved, we stayed in contact. After about a month, we decided to give it a shot and started dating long distance. At this point, I didn’t know that there was something mentally wrong with me. I knew I was different, but had no idea why. But Susan knew of my differences, and did her best to help me out where she could. At the time, we just chalked it up as me being extremely introverted. She made a joke once that I was the opposite of a social butterfly, which for some reason to her, the opposite of a butterfly was a dragonfly. For awhile, it was just “my dragonfly”. I don’t remember when “social” was added to it.

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