A Brief Stint

Saturday

I did something bad my one night back on a dating site. Something I never do. I lied about what I do for work. Not to everyone. Just 3 women in particular. Some background. I don’t send messages to just anyone. I have to pick my spots. I have to guess who might be receptive. Knowing most of the time I’m just going to be ignored. Part of that is because in no way do I indicate I’m taking the dating app seriously. When I do send a message I don’t send the same cheesy line to everyone. I usually try to think of a funny question that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no.

I lied on impulse because of something that has happened to me countless times. After I took some time to to write something that would elicit a reply, 3 women answered in the exact same way. “What do you do for a living?” (How much money do you have?) Not “Hi”, Not “haha”, Not even a simple, “lol.” No niceties. Just an immediate, “What do you do for a living?” Excuse me, that is so fucking rude. At least I put in a modicum of effort. I would rather be ignored. I thought, if that is all they care about I am going to see what happens. Instead of saying I’m on disability, I said I do tech support from home. Usually telling a woman I’m on disability is a conversation killer. I can understand but they don’t have to be so fucking rude about it. A long time ago I had a woman tell me I was wasting everyone’s time. Not just her time, everyone’s time. Just for existing.

I’d like to say I was surprised, but what a reception I got after I lied and they thought I made good money. Never before had any of the “What do you do for a living?” people ever shown so much interest in me. Suddenly they wanted to know everything about me. I don’t blame them if I said I was looking for a serious relationship and wanted to wine and dine them and meet their family and all that bullshit. I’m just looking for someone I can spend a little time with, I don’t want to meet their kids and be their step-dad. And I don’t want anyone meeting my daughter.

Those 3 were the longest conversations I had that night. But then I ghosted them. What was I going to do? I wasn’t going to catfish them and meet under false pretenses. It reminded me of everything I hate about dating sites and why I spend so little time on them. The second day I didn’t even sign in. The third day I logged in only to delete my account and that was it. Done.


Sunday

I almost started a fight yesterday, which is very uncharacteristic for me. I was already in a mood as I had to force myself to leave the house to walk to the grocery store. It was a perfect day for a walk but I couldn’t stop cursing out loud to myself as I went down the street.

I was crossing the road and a car came up behind me and hit the horn because he couldn’t wait 2 seconds to get into the cigarette/beer store. I don’t know where he learned to drive but I was going straight and he was turning so I had the right of way. That was no excuse for what happened next, again, I never do this kind of thing.

I spun around and gave him the finger and shouted, “Fuck you!”. He stopped the car, rolled down the window and started to say something. I yelled back, “I will fucking destroy you!” Again he was about to shout back and I went off again, “Step out of the car if you feel like fucking dying today!” He rolled up the window and drove away.

I walked the rest of the way reliving the moment and still swearing to myself. It was a good thing I was wearing a mask at the store because nobody could see me cursing them. People walking the wrong way down clearly marked aisles; wandering in my way. Others who couldn’t figure out the correct way to wear a mask. Either their nose or their mouth was exposed or sometimes both. Idiots!

As I was almost home I was still in a rage and I had decided to drink it away; turn all that anger inward and hate myself the whole next day. Because that is something I do. I get angry and drink to punish other people.

After I got home and put my food away, I felt safer and I started laughing at myself. What was I doing? I wanted to seriously hurt someone only because they beeped their horn at me. I was ready to ruin my entire weekend by getting drunk and deathly hungover or worse spend the night in jail with charges pending.

How silly was I to snap like that? I have a wicked temper but it is usually reserved for people who try to hurt me purposefully. I was ready to kill over a minor transgression I normally would let slide without thinking about. It was just the perfect storm.

Monday

It was my therapist’s idea to lie on the dating site. She didn’t specifically say that but whenever I told her I was having trouble, she told me not to say I was on disability. But when I asked her what I should say she never had a good answer.


I’m sick of people asking me if I’m drinking when something happens. Drinking is the cure not the cause.

Tuesday

I reached out to my case manager yesterday. I told her about not sleeping, not being able to sit still for 2 seconds and threatening to kill some strangers. Her response was, “Are you taking your meds? Have you been drinking?” I told her yes on the meds and no on the drinking. The next thing she said was don’t hesitate to get in touch if I need it. I thought that was what I was doing. I don’t blame her, she’s not a medical professional. She did offer to contact my doctor to see if I needed any changes. I said no, I’m already taking 50 meds, I don’t want any more. I don’t really take 50 meds, but I do take a lot. Every time someone suggests changing my meds I say no. It has taken me years to find the right combo to help me with my symptoms without any major side effects.

Thursday

I woke myself up crying this morning. Made some coffee, it didn’t help. I forced myself to pull it together and go to the store next door. I got a 10am meatball calzone to stuff in my fat face. The carbs and the fat didn’t help. I fell into bed and sounded like the cowardly lion. Then I started hyperventilating. I had to get up and made 2 more cups of coffee. I didn’t really want food and caffeine. I want something real to take away the pain.

I think I skipped my night meds too many times in the past couple weeks. I couldn’t help it, I kept falling asleep at unexpected times. I think it’s why I’ve been doing things on impulse I don’t usually do. Going on the dating site was more embarrassing than getting in a fight. I have so many strikes on a dating site, I’ve been thrown out of the game. Especially at my age where you are expected to be completely serious. I have nothing to bring to a relationship. That is why I’m not trying to get into one.

I put on a YouTube meditation for anxiety. I didn’t really do what they told me. I couldn’t breath deeply when they said. But listening in the background is good. The first one was an hour and now I am in hour 2 of the 2nd one. This one is a 3 hour meditation. I won’t listen that long. It’s a 6 part one but the first one is for deep sleep. How are you supposed to listen to the next 5 if you just put yourself to sleep? It only took me until 1:30 to calm down.

Saturday

I’ve been going since 6am today/yesterday. I hate waking up before I can do anything. I”m trying to get my schedule back but I keep losing it. I can’t figure out why I’m tired one night and wide awake the next.

I biked to see my daughter today. She is doing fine. I get all worried about nothing.

Her mom and her friends were there this afternoon. I can’t understand how they can drink 2 glasses of wine and then just stop. If it was me the bottle would be finished and on to the next one. I wasn’t really bothered. I”m just curious what makes the difference.

I should have tired myself out with all the exercise I got but it’s 2am and I’m wide awake. My brain won’t slow down.

Further Indiscretions

Saturday

My two girlfriends came over and helped me relieve some stress. I’ve been seeing them about once a month for a year now. I talked them into coming over twice this month because I needed to calm down. I met the older one on a dating site and she brought her younger friend with her. It’s very businesslike. They come over during the day, we talk a little, have sex and they leave. For the longest time I wasn’t sure if they were faking it to make me feel like the man. Today they were talking to each other and said, it doesn’t compare, they can’t do that for themselves at home. Sex is the only safe drug I have and it is better than any other. My brain is buzzing now and my whole mind and body are calm.

The situation with them is fine but I need something else too. Somewhere along the spectrum of today and a real relationship. I know I can’t handle a real relationship. I need to find someone I can hang out with for a night once in a while.

Monday

My case manager texts me on Mondays and calls me on Wednesdays. If I don’t respond then she calls the cops for a “Wellness Check.” That is where they cuff me and stuff me and bring me to the psych ward. They don’t care if all the neighbors in my large apartment complex see me handcuffed, searched and stuck in he back of the wagon. Even better they just drop me off at the psych ward and leave me to find my own ride home if the hospital decides I don’t need to be admitted. It’s fun to be treated like a criminal just because I have a mental illness.

Before my therapist went on maternity leave, I had her calling on Fridays to do the same thing. Ostensibly it was a therapy session but she was trying to get me off the phone as soon as she started talking to me. “How are you feeling? Are you taking your meds? Okay, talk to you same time next week.” I don’t blame her; I was her last call on a Friday afternoon and she just wanted to get on with her weekend.

A couple months ago I missed one of these calls. I never put my phone on mute but for some reason I had on that day. I was in the other room and I heard the vibrating noise but didn’t know what it was. It clicked and I rushed to my phone but I was too late. Before I could finish listening to my therapist’s voicemail, my case manager was calling. Then she texted me. I had to hang up the phone and text back I was okay. If I didn’t hear my phone I would have had a cop, “cop knocking” at my door. You know how they do it. Banging really loud and announcing to the whole neighborhood they are the police and why they are there. I”m tired of this shit.

Tuesday

I have a little time before I go to see my daughter. I hope she still likes me. I’m sure she does. My mind just blows things out of proportion. I’m always worrying about something. I was talking to my friend who has three daughters. As soon as I told her what was going on with my daughter she said, It’s puberty and it sucks for the child and the parent. That is what I knew anyway but I always make things worse for myself. I will feel better after I bicycle there.

I started an epic story for my Wednesday post but I don’t think I will get it done in time. The more I wrote the more I thought of to write. It’s not like I have to post on Wednesday, it’s just that I have every week since I started this blog. I think my first post was on that day.


I biked to my daughter’s house today. I got a pretty good sun/wind burn on my face. It doesn’t take much and it was the first time I sat out on the beach this year. It was almost 90 degrees outside. I’m using the AC for one of the few times.

My daughter is fine. I just get it tied up in my head one way and can’t get it out. I spend too much time alone.

Wednesday

6am. I just reversed my sleep schedule by falling asleep before midnight. I must be tired from riding my bike yesterday.

A few nights ago when I wasn’t sleeping I signed up for a dating site again to maybe meet someone. It was the same as I remember. I can click around and it tells you who is online at the moment. I send a bunch of messages and don’t get any responses from the women I think are compatible. Everyone is way too serious on there. I send humorous messages so people know I’m not taking it seriously or trying to get married or something. If I’m not serious enough that is the end of the conversation. People are so rude, they just stop talking to you if you don’t say the perfect thing.

I did see someone from my town who seemed normal so I was talking to her for a couple nights. I was making her laugh but she didn’t really like me. She likes to go out for drinks and I just can’t do that. I tried to get her number to text but she didn’t want to and I realized I can’t go out on real dates anyway. It’s only been 3 nights and I am done with it I think. I don’t know who really meets up on the site. All the men want sex and all the women don’t want sex. Some women I see say they are looking to get married and they are in their 40’s. You can’t find your husband on a free dating app. Good thing it is free and I didn’t waste any money on it. It just made me realize I’m not prepared to date anyone. I just want to hang out and talk and do some low key activities. I don’t want to go out party every night or even on the weekends. I don’t need something spectacular going on all the time.


I finished my Wednesday post. I didn’t proofread it. I just finished typing and hit publish. I feel like I left out some important points but it was also getting too long for anyone to read. The title doesn’t make any sense unless you know the name of the town Telluride is a contraction of the phrase, “T’ ‘ell ‘U’ ride.” It is what they would tell the gold miners back in the 1800’s because it was such a long trail with no supply stations and it led to the middle of nowhere.

Thursday

Just like that, I ditched the online dating. I’m in no condition to meet someone new. I am doing the bare minimum keeping up with my place. There is cat hair all over the floor and already this morning I said, fuck vacuuming.

Before my therapist went on maternity leave, one of the quality of life questions she would always ask me is if I was doing my laundry. I would always lie and say yes. On the last day we talked I decided to tell her, no, I’m not doing my laundry. She asked me how it was getting done. Like I have a maid service or something. She works with mentally ill people every day and she couldn’t fathom a person wouldn’t wash their clothes. I”m glad she took a few months off. She can be dense sometimes.

Friday

I have never hit the “pink cloud” phase people at AA talk about. It doesn’t matter how long I go without drinking, I never get that feeling my life has magically transformed. Maybe it’s my drinking style. I never drank every day. Instead I would get get really drunk on the weekends without thinking about booze on the days in between. I didn’t know until it was too late that is another form of alcoholism called binge drinking. I always thought you had to drink every day to become dependent on alcohol.

Binge drinking is defined as having 5 or more drinks for the average size man and 4 drinks for an average size woman in one sitting. If you are doing that on an typical night out you could be looking at some trouble later in life. Your blood alcohol content has nothing to do with how much you actually weigh. It is determined by how much you “should” weigh based on your height. That is because it doesn’t matter how much weight you gain, your body never makes a larger quantity of blood to make up for it. The idea that a larger man can handle more alcohol is a myth. The only reason they can handle more is because they have a tolerance. Having a tolerance is another major red flag for alcoholism.

I am sitting here in my 3rd or 4th month without drinking and I am still waiting for that pink fuzzy cloud to surround my brain. I’ve read stories of other alcoholics feeling it as soon as one month sober. I’m not sure if that can be true. A lifetime of problems aren’t just going away because you stopped drinking for 30 days.

My depression has lifted but not because I stopped drinking. It was the opposite. My depression dissipated first and that is how I was able to put the brakes on my drinking. I’ve had longer periods without drinking but I’ve never experienced the “miracle” they tell you to sit back and wait to arrive.


It is only 10am and I’ve already written on here and also did two book reviews. I’m usually just waking up at this time so I don’t know what made me so productive. Just a couple days ago I was struggling to write anything. I only had my usual 2 cups of coffee. Any more and my mind is ruined for the whole day. I learned that the hard way. Now I’ve bought myself some time to write about more interesting topics. If I can think of something.


Wow. Right after I wrote that I got incredibly depressed. Like I have to go to bed depresssed. But there was no sleeping. My schedule is upside down. I have to pull a 24 hour day to make it to 5am and fix it. After I came out of it I had bad anxiety and paced around until 5pm. That’s when I feel safer. I am always afraid they are going to break the door down between 9 and 5.


Noodling

Sunday

I wake up in the grip of fear. I have to become an automaton to make it to my automatic coffee maker. Then I put together a cup of lentils on the stove top. I have to push all other thoughts out of my head or I can’t get started. Then it is off to the bathroom and take my pills, I need a bens in the morning as soon as I feel the anxiety start. Otherwise if I wait an hour it is too late. After that my coffee is ready and I switch on the computer. I used to scroll Twitter but now since I’ve started this blog it gives me something else to do. I read most of the blogs I follow who posted before I woke up. If I do all this I am usually set to face the day.

Monday

Yesterday was pretty uneventful. I pulled myself together before noon and walked to the pharmacy and Goodwill store. I need some clean T shirts for summer but they were almost sold out. I bought one but it was too small when I got it home. I also got a good jacket to wear in the rain in warm months. I only had winter coats before and they weren’t waterproof.

I read a sample of a book by Patti Smith, “Year of the Monkey” and it was pretty good so I borrowed it while I wait for another book. The app is weird. You need a library card to use it and they have limited copies of some books so you have to put some on hold sometimes. My question is if the books are digital, how can there be a limited number of copies? It doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve never had a book reader before so I don’t know how it works on other apps. I can’t read like I did when I was younger so I can afford to wait.


Yesterday and today have been going fine. Except for my usual morning problems I’ve been feeling like a normal human. I rack my brain to figure out what makes the difference between a good day and a bad day. Sometimes my mood is completely disconnected from what is going on in my life. I go to bed and wake up at the same time, take my meds at the same time, eat the same. I can’t understand why some days I cannot function at all. Today was pretty good and it’s almost midnight so it can only get better.

Tuesday

Sometimes I can fall asleep without taking my meds. It’s fitful and I wake myself every half hour rolling over and back to sleep again. This happened last night around midnight until I finally took my meds at 5. I watched tv for 15 minutes then I was out till 9. I’m not tired.


I just finished my first book since my accident 3 years ago. “Year of the Monkey” by Patti Smith. Up until recently I couldn’t concentrate through more than a couple long paragraphs. I’m so happy. I used to read forever. Actually my first book was an audio but this one was text (digital) and it forced me to concentrate on the page. I like it better than audio. I will probably write a post about it later.

Wednesday

I am only able to do meditations when I don’t really need them. I did 2, 30 minute guided sleep meditations last night. I was so relaxed I fell asleep for about 10 minutes then woke up with more anxiety than ever.


I’ve been very productive today and that usually helps to lift my mood and keep me from going down the rabbit hole. I walked to the grocery and stocked up. I wrote a blog post about the book I read and I started another audio book. I listened to an hour yesterday and I am going to try to listen to another hour today. It is a 9 hour listen so I am glad it is audio rather than a text version.

Thursday

My daughter asked me if I could wait until next week to go see her. She has been sad this week. Her mom said she is crying because she thinks she is hurting my feelings. My feelings aren’t hurt. I’m just wondering if it is normal 15 year old things or something else. I’m worried because mental illness runs in both her mom’s and my families. I don’t want her going through depression or worse in her life. I know it sucks.


It’s funny. My first instinct was to get drunk over it. Get completely obliterated until I can’t feel my feelings anymore. But there is not enough alcohol in the world for that. It doesn’t work that way for me. Alcohol amplifies my feelings and I drink more and more until I finally black out and there is nothing there. Until I wake up the next day. Then it comes back worse than ever. I also tend to skip my meds when I’m drinking and that is not a good idea. Skipping my meds means I can stay awake for days and drink more than anything. A few months ago before my depression lifted, I would have done just that.


Alcohol is fucked up. It changes your brain. Even though I know I can’t drink, I still want to get shit faced. There is a small but powerful part of my brain that actually wants bad things to happen to give me an excuse to get drunk. Even a death in my family would be acceptable to that part of my mind as long as it meant my reptile brain could get what it wants. This is the perfect time too. The weekend is here and I could get wasted for 4 days and keep it to myself. Nobody would know I’m an idiot. Nobody would know I can’t deal with my feelings.


It’s only 10am. If I started now I could drink a case of beer today before the store closed tonight. Who knows what would happen tomorrow. A few months ago I would already have the beer. That buzzing in my ear telling me everything is going to be better. I don’t count the days since my last drink. That seems obsessive. I don’t like to brag about how long it’s been since I drank. I know it could end today and I would be right back where I started.


I really hope my daughter is going through normal teenage angst. I worry about her every day. I don’t want her medicated before she is 18. I want it to be her choice. If she thinks she needs it. I don’t want her to need medication at all and doctors are so quick to diagnose and prescribe to young children. I didn’t know what to say to her. I just said it’s okay to feel bad and I will always love her. I told her it wouldn’t be normal to feel good every day. It’s hard; I can only do it through text. She doesn’t phone or FaceTime with anyone. She never like it. I wish I could just go there and tell her it’s fine.

I could easily worst case scenario this and ruin myself. I don’t know how I’m being so calm about it. I usually blow stuff up and catastrophize. I guess writing helps. That’s why I opened this blog. I used to write long emails to people but I don’t have any good email friends anymore. I just sit here alone and ruminate. At least this lets it go somewhere. This is part of why my blog is anonymous.

Friday

The depression hit me this morning. Along with that friendly voice telling me I’m worthless and should kill myself. Of course I can’t listen but I know how to stop it. At least temporarily. But it will only come back tenfold. I didn’t use anything yesterday and don’t plan on it today. Funny, the 4th of July was harder. Maybe because I had a defined plan to get drunk. I was only hours away from following through but somehow stopped myself. Today all I can do is turn up the music to drown out my voice. Meditation would be impossible. My therapist is always telling me to try it. But it only works when I don’t need it.


Alcohol isn’t my drug of choice. It’s just so cheap and accessible. There are 2 state run liquor stores in my small town. Dedicated to selling only hard stuff. I stay away from that but I can go into any other store in town and buy beer or wine. I’m so old I don’t even get carded. All I need is a form of payment and boom.

I’m surprisingly chilled out today after a rocky start. I ate something and now I’m having a couple cups of weak coffee. I can’t make it too strong because I don’t sleep anyway. It helps me focus my mind into one stream.

It’s been really quiet in my apartment complex for the last few weeks. I think the drunk woman upstairs moved out because she was very loud. And you can hear everything in the hallways. Every day I was getting paranoid and thinking those noises were someone coming for me to take me away. That is a welcome change. I think it is a large part of me attempting to read books again.

Saturday

It’s 2am and I just got catfished. People like to do that when they are bored. I should have known by the way she avoided some of my questions. It was good until I tried to trade numbers to meet up then she disappeared. Figures

Goodnight

Heredity

Sad girl on dock

Tuesday

I was supposed to see my daughter today but when I got up this morning her mom texted me she was crying and could I come another day. At first my all or nothing thinking had me worried my daughter wouldn’t want to see me again. Then I thought of something worse. I was there last Thursday and we were all having a good time out on the porch. My daughter suddenly got melancholy and looked sad and was barely talking. I know mental illness is hereditary. I am schizo-affective and her mom suffers with chronic depression. Luckily my daughter has not experienced any trauma but I still look for signs of depression. She is only fifteen so I know it is normal for her to be crying and not know the reason. Still I think in worst case scenarios so I am always worried. Hopefully it is unfounded.

Wednesday

My daughter has never liked talking on the phone. Since she was 3 the most I could get out of her was, “Hi daddy, I love you, bye daddy”. Now that she is 15 she is the same. In the days between my seeing her we text a little. Today she told me she was tired but she had slept and then she sent me the heart emoji. That means she is done texting. Her mom said she is being 15. I hope so. I am going to try to see her tomorrow. I’ll see how she feels.


I just spent 5 hours frozen in bed. My fight or flight was in full force. My chest was so tight I was barely breathing and it felt like a fist was clenched around my heart. I put the tv on to listen so I could have part of my mind diverted. The rest of it was swirling in my head. I don’t know what started it. I already took my anxiety meds. I don’t have extra. The whole time I was making deals with myself. I knew I could get rid of it by drinking one of those 24 oz. beers from next door. But the punchline is one of those cans of beer is equal to four regular beers; and I never stop after four. Still I kept bargaining. I could buy two cans and pass out early and get up on time to see my daughter tomorrow. Like that would happen. I don’t pass out early. I drink until all the alcohol is gone. No matter how bad it makes me feel the next day; And I feel bad the next day.

I don’t know how I made it through. I kept thinking I am going to see my daughter tomorrow. Maybe I just had too much anxiety to even get dressed and walk to the store. Whatever it was, I made it. I wasted the whole night, but I made it. I got up and microwaved yesterday’s soup. Then I remembered. I must have had a premonition this morning. I bought a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream without even thinking about it. I don’t know if I felt better and ate the ice cream or if I ate the ice cream and it made me feel better. Now I am cruising around on half anxiety. They say writing helps but I couldn’t even think of it earlier. I couldn’t get out of bed, never mind open a draft and wrangle a keyboard. They? They have all kinds of helpful hints, but what can you do if you don’t even have control over your body? All I had planned was shaving my face for tomorrow. I couldn’t even handle that. I’ll have to plan it for the morning before I leave. I bet anything it will be like nothing ever happened.

Thursday

I told you I would feel fine today. (I already shaved my face) Even though I woke up at the ungodly hour of 8am. I did go to bed early. (2am) I usually fall asleep around 5am. That is enough sleep for me. I don’t feel tired during the day. I always have a lift in my mood when I know I’m going to see my daughter. It’s already 80 degrees outside. (I don’t know celsius since we gave up on the metric system) We might go to the beach (a block from her house) but she only likes it at high tide. It is too rocky to swim at low tide. Plus the seaweed drifts in closer to the sand.

Friday

Yesterday was fine. We just hung out on the porch all day. It was beautiful. People ask me what we “do” when I visit. I feel like saying we hang out and talk; don’t you talk to your kids?

After I got divorced visiting my daughter was a huge trigger for me to drink. Seeing her was great but I would spend the day like a family and then go home to be alone. I used to drink heavily on those nights. Luckily I stopped that and can enjoy the carry over of a good feeling. It is never dull at her house. She is there, her mom, 12 year old twin step brothers. 4 dogs and 2 cats. Plus there there are a lot of people who stop in once in a while. That cuts both ways because sometimes it is friends from when we were married and it is strange because I lost touch with them but my wife hasn’t. I get along best with her cousin. She is much younger but she has always been nice to me. I see her most often when I visit.


I need to type with music or the television going so I can have 2 things happening to distract my mind from itself. I drank 2 cups of coffee earlier. Sometimes it has the opposite effect and calms me down. I had high anxiety earlier but now I am pretty relaxed. I used to drink a lot more coffee but most days I only drink 2 cups in the morning. Regular cups, not extra large. I would quit but I need something because I wake up before my meds wear off.

I’ve been reading posts about Dry July where you don’t drink alcohol for the month. I’ve been longer than a month but I still don’t find it as easy as they say it is. It probably doesn’t help that the 4th is in July. They do say not to be afraid of having treats. I already had ice cream the other day and last night I found 2 chocolate bars in the freezer I had forgotten about. I just ate now and I am thinking of what to eat next.

Saturday

My anxiety kicks in as soon as I wake up. Sometimes it wakes me up. Not a welcome nudge into reality. Most mornings all I can do is keep my usual routine. A couple cups of coffee and make my lentils. (I know it’s a weird breakfast) I have to put on music before I do anything. Then I get on the computer for some distraction. After an hour or two I can usually face the day. This new blogging thing seems to help. Instead of passively reading I can activate my mind in the morning and other points in the day.

Nature vs. Nurture

This post was supposed to be about hereditary illness but I got distracted by my illness. I’ve been up for 2 hours now and I feel pretty good today. The person I am worried about inheriting illness is my daughter. Both her mom and I are diagnosed. I am schizo-affective and her mom has chronic depression. She is an excellent mom but she needs a lot of down time she spends it in bed away from the family. I don’t live with my daughter so I don’t pose a clear problem. I can usually pull it together for a 1 day visit.

Her mom and I are also both alcoholics. The studies say it is genetic but I’m not sure. I was taught to drink by other drinkers at a young age but does that mean I was born to drink? Maybe. I found out my father died of liver cancer from alcoholism. Her mom also fares better in the alcohol department. She keeps it under control. I’ve seen her buzzed but never really drunk. On the other hand, I have been sober for some time but I feel like even today I could break my streak and just get smashed.

So far my daughter is against drugs and alcohol. That is exactly how I was at her age but the next year I was out all night partying with my friends half the week. We are always keeping a close eye on her looking for signs of mental illness. She experiences some sudden downturns in mood but maybe it is just part of being 15. Who knows when someone is that young? I just don’t want my daughter living through some of the horrible things I have experienced. I worry for her a lot.


This was supposed to be a themed post but I got distracted and couldn’t formulate the ideas. That is why it turned into a journal post. Today is Saturday and I am going to post it tonight. It hasn’t been a full week but yesterday I finally got the impetus to write a real post for Sunday, so I broke my spell. I sometimes give up on long blog posts. I hope this one isn’t too long or boring. Let me know if you made it this far.


It happened again. Hours of being rigidly frozen. Not as bad as before but this time with the paranoia. Every sound in the hallway someone trying to break into my apartment. I know it’s not true but I can’t talk myself out of it.

I feel better after midnight. I always feel better after midnight. I feel like I’ve accomplished something; made it through another day. Maybe it’s the bens I took finally kicking in. I don’t know. It’s the main reason I stay up so late. I’m not overcome with fear like I am during the day. I can finally relax. I stay up forever.

It’s 1 am now. This is my first shot at a diary type post. I think it is a little long but I didn’t know what else to write all week. I have sticky notes on my desktop with title prompts to give me ideas but I couldn’t get started on any of them. Finally yesterday I got one down about quitting smoking. Now seems like as good a time as any to post. I’m just repeating myself. It’s still yesterday in my country but they are well into a new day on the other side of the world.

Sorry about this one: My cat and I

Cat

This is my cat. He came with the name Oliver, after the orphan, Oliver Twist. My ex-wife (who found him for me) and I were going to change his name to Adolph because of his mustache. But my daughter (8 at the time) was having none of it. I asked for a male cat, (because they are friendlier) about a year old, with short hair. My ex-wife (Nicole) found exactly that. I chose this picture because it shows the seemingly uncomfortable positions he will take to relax. After the photo he immediately fell asleep for 2 hours without moving a muscle. It made me jealous.

I got him about 6 years ago. He was about a year old at the time. My daughter was spending the weekends with me and she originally wanted me to get a dog. Specifically a Boston Terrier. They are my favorite dogs since a long time ago when I was married. We always had 2. Nicole still does but not the same dogs. Nicole was the one who talked me into getting a cat. She reminded me that dogs need more care and are more expensive to keep than cats. After watch all the dog people in the freezing winters standing outside waiting for their dogs to shit, I was glad I went with the cat.

The term “Emotional support animal” was not very popular when I got him. But I guess that is what he has become. When I am full of anxiety or depression, watching him chill out and sleep where ever he happened to fall over helps to relax me. At first he was wary of me, always watching me from my bedroom door. Now he is completely up my ass, following me around and I can’t keep him out of my bed. That also mellows me out.

Another reason I got a cat is I live on the 3rd floor of a large apartment building. It wouldn’t be fair to have a dog with no place to exercise it regularly. So if you live in an apartment with no yard, I would recommend a cat. I would also strongly suggest a male. They are much friendlier than females and once they are neutered they mellow out and just want to be fat and lazy. Female cats can also ruin your place by spraying their scent all over.

Oliver is very low maintenance. Which is good for me when I get so depressed I have a hard time keeping up chores. All I have to do fill his food and water dishes once a day and then the unseemly cleaning of the litter box. But Arm & Hammer makes some good clumping litters you just scoop out and it really controls the odor.

I am a dog person with a cat. I would definitely go with a Boston Terrier. They are well behaved and pretty much take care of themselves. I also like Black Labradors. They are big, dumb and lovable. But they need a ton of running time or they will destroy your house with all their excess energy.

Before I got Ollie I would have scoffed at the idea of an Emotional support animal. But that is what I have now. I’m good with it. Plus with him being an indoor cat I could have another 10 or more years with him. If any of us live that long.

I think that is enough. Thanks for indulging me.

Alternative Transportation

This is my bicycle. It is a Schwinn. It is my main form of transportation since I suffered a brain injury in an accident a few years ago. It was a good deal because I bought it in the winter and it is also a cheap model. I’m not complaining, this bike is perfect for me. It really cruises with 21 speeds and I can average about 10mph with the extra weight I carry in my backpack or on the included rack above the rear wheel. It also came stock with disc brakes to help prevent another accident. It also has large, thin tires for less resistance. Above those tires are nice fenders that keep the water off my legs if I hit wet roads. Like I said, it was a pretty good deal. I went into the store looking for most of these features and came out only slightly above $200 lighter.

My first real bicycle was a Schwinn Stingray. It was tricked out with the fat rear tire, banana seat and “ape hanger” handlebars. It was unique to the bicycle world. I’m not proselytizing Schwinn bicycles. They are not even made by the same company anymore. Somebody bought the name and makes them in China now. I am just relating a happy coincidence.

Yesterday I rode my bike to my daughter’s house. It is how I get to see her in the warmer months. The trip is 12.5 miles there and 12.5 miles back. I can do it without raising my heart rate. I’m in pretty good shape for a fat, old man. My daughter lives right on Hampton Beach so it is a great ride. I take the long way around for the ocean views. It also brings back a lot of memories of my childhood. I used to live off the beach in the winter with my family. It was low rent because nobody wanted to live there. A lot has changed with large condo complexes going up and new bars and restaurants. When I was looking for a new place to live I found I was priced out of the area.

I have always liked riding. When I was a teenager I had a mountain bike and I loved to take it out in the winter. I would try to see how long I could keep it upright on an icy road. I took a lot of spills. I would also drive it full speed into freshly plowed snowbanks. It would stop me immediately and I would go upside down over the handlebars and be buried. I did some pretty dumb shit when I was young.

My previous bike was a Trek, on/off road, hybrid. It was basically a mountain bike with street tires. I got it from a former neighbor. He was going to bring it to the dump because the tires were low on air. (Rich people’s problems) I took it to the pump at the gas station and BOOM! Brand new bicycle. At the time I was hypo-manic and I would ride that bike everywhere. I was putting on 25-30 miles a day. My longest ride was about 40 miles and the chain was about to give out before I did. Like I said, I’m in pretty good shape for a fat, old man.

I live in a semi-rural area. The small towns are about 10 miles apart so I can get anywhere in about an hour. Luckily I live in a destination town so I can get to the grocery store and other chain outlets in a matter of minutes.

The bane of my bicycle existence is rain. (besides being run over) I don’t wear any special clothing to protect me. Not even a helmet. (I know, I know) I made a fortunate discovery online. If you type the name of your town and “weather” into Google, it comes up with a very useful app. It shows the temperature, precipitation and wind speed and direction, broken down by the hour and day. I find it very useful in planning which days I can ride. Next to rain, wind speed is an important calculation. A 10mph breeze can make it feel like I am pedaling uphill the whole distance.

I also like biking because it is great exercise. I plugged my info into an online calorie counter and found I was burning about 750 calories an hour at my average speed. That is the most of any exercise I have tried and it sure beats walking in place on a treadmill.

It is also a great way to deal with my mental health. The level of concentration it takes to stay upright and moving forward is a form of meditation for me. It also distracts from all the things going through my head.

Here is a link to another blog post about bicycling which relates to other topics I plan to blog about in the future. ShankJoeJoe

Breaking Quarantine

I went to my daughter’s (14) yesterday! It was the first real time I’ve spent with her in 3 months due to my state’s stay at home order. She has put the break to good use. She has gotten a lot better at playing bass guitar which she started recently. She was popping out some bumping bass lines for me. She is a hipster so she learned a couple songs by Sublime and Green Day because she is into ’90’s music and she learned some songs by lesser known artists of today. One band I said I never heard of and she said, I know, nobody has. I guess that’s the point of being a hipster. She also increased her collection of Doc Marten boots to 8 pairs which she buys with her Christmas and birthday money. Still, it is like $1600 worth of shoes. Unbelievable!

This is a picture of one of the more recent pair of boots she purchased. She likes the platform soles. The first day she wore them they gave her huge blisters but she was determined and kept wearing them. Now she says they are broken in and comfortable. I don’t really care what she spends her money on as long as it makes her happy. The next item she wants is a new Fender Jazz bass. They go for about $700. Her birthday is coming up this month and it looks like I am pitching in with her mom to buy it. I hope she continues to play because she is picking it up pretty quickly and is good at it. Also I have been playing guitar since I was her age so I have an interest in the same type of music.

It was good to get out of the house for an extended period of time. The depression I had in the winter has lifted so I can do more than just force myself to go to the grocery store when I run out of food. The store is no fun with all the people wearing masks due to the Covid scare. It was really the only place I could go during the shutdown. It only helped to serve my depressive isolation tactics where I shut out people and don’t leave the house anyway.

Were any of you separated from family during the shutdown? I know a lot of people couldn’t visit their relatives in nursing homes. I feel especially bad for people who passed away with no family with them.

My daughter had a hard time with school being online. She doesn’t want to talk about it but her mom told me she was really stressing about it. She needs some of the in person connection with her teachers. I hope they can open the schools back up for the next year. I don’t know how other kids are dealing with it. I just told her not to worry about it so much and enjoy her time off during the summer. She is a happy kid and that is what matters.