It’s Been A Long Time

It’s been a long time since I’ve used this thing.

Sadly, not a lot has changed. I’m still fighting the two-headed beast of depression and anxiety, and lately, it feels like I’m losing. I’m noticing that anxiety is tightening it’s grip on me like never before. Just going to stores or public places, ramps my anxiety into full gear. These places don’t even have to be busy. Just being out of my safe space and dealing with a car ride get me going, and then the longer I’m out or further from home I am, the worse the anxiety gets. I can literally feel myself wanting to curl into the fetal position. Anxiety has been making a lot of decisions for me, which is never a good thing. I try to fight against it, but I’m already weakened from depression, so there’s not a lot of fight left in me for anxiety.

Depression has certainly made its presence know as well, by running a marathon of doubt and hopelessness through my brain. I keep waking up with the feeling of a 1,000 pound gorilla on my chest, and not feeling like it is worth it to try to get that off of me and get out of bed. I have spent a lot of time in bed in the last month. It’s exhausting.

I started working with a new therapist recently, which has been a good experience so far. I’ve been trying to do the homework she gives me, but I keep finding myself fighting the same thoughts over and over. It’s very frustrating.

I’ve been working on reframing negative and obtrusive thoughts for a while now, but recently came to the conclusion that I’m not really buying what I’m selling. I reframe as much as I can, but am exhausted from constantly having to do that, as well as I don’t see the results that I should be seeing from it. At this point, it feels like I’m just running through the motions.

I wanted to start the new year with hope and a game plan to attack the things that are ruining my life. My therapist mentioned that I should look into filing disability again, so I talked with some lawyers about it. It appears that I can’t re-file, unless my current conditions significantly worsen, or I get a new diagnosis. This all but sapped the little bit of hope I was holding onto. My condition has worsened, but I haven’t been hospitalized(as I am terrified of it, since I’ve heard some not great stories), I haven’t attempted to take my own life(the ideations are there, but I have no want to act on them), and I haven’t been re-evaluated in a while. I’m going to try to talk with my psychiatrist, and hopefully there may be something we can do from there.

To be quite honest, I am in a really bad place right now. I have no want to off myself, but I really just want to not wake up anymore. I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of losing. It’s incredibly exhausting and heartbreaking.

I live with my mom, and without her, I’d be incredibly lost. I have no way to support myself, and I don’t qualify for state financial help. I haven’t worked in about 15 years, I have no degree, or real skills. I have no clue what I’ll do when my mom is gone. I’m terrified. I can’t commit to a job, as I barely take good enough care of myself, let alone go work somewhere. I’ve looked into at home work, but it all seems to be customer service or cold call phone work, and has certain hours you must be available. My anxiety makes talking on the phone very very difficult, and the hours the places want me available, I can’t commit too.

If anyone reading this has any idea of something that could help, please feel free to suggest it. As long as it isn’t advice like “pull yourself up from your bootstraps” or “sometimes you just have to do things you don’t want to do” type advice. That is not helpful. If I could just get over it and do things, trust me, I would.

Thank you for reading, and for any useful advice anyone has. I appreciate you all.

Bryan

@stewnami on twitter

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Enacting Change

Hi all!

In this blog, I want to talk about enacting change.

I’ve been working on issues in my head for a while now, and I feel like I’m hitting a point that I’ve practiced enough. It’s time to put some things to practice to see how far I’ve come, and how far I have to go.

I’ve been riding a positive wave of energy and mood lately, and that has really made me want to accomplish things. My self confidence is feeling higher than it has in a while, which has been a nice feeling. This newfound energy has given me the energy to fight off my depression a little easier, which is huge.

Some of you may not know that I’m an artist. I’ve taken a lot of classes in the art realm, but never got my diploma from college. This part of things is actually a two-headed issue. I haven’t been drawing regularly in years, and I really would like to complete my degree. I’m going to focus on trying to do some drawing and get back into the habit of drawing something more regularly. If I can’t do this step, going back to college is pointless.

The next area I’d like to make a change in is my lack of driving. I’m getting to a point that it seems more and more necessary. Not to mention it would make my attempts at dating easier. This one is going to be very difficult for me, because of how afraid I’ve been of it over the years. I don’t have a plan of action for this yet, but I want to make this happen.

Another goal is to get my own place again. I miss having the freedom that having your own place affords you. Plus, much like driving, it helps the dating situation more than living with others does. I just want the feeling of something being mine again, as well as stuff like being able to cook food that I want, instead of cooking for a few people, having more room to exercise(more on this in a minute), and maybe have people over occasionally. Some things have to sort themselves out before I can take this step, but I don’t want to lose sight of the desire to have my independence again.

The last thing I’m going to put on this list is weight loss. I’ve been putting this off long enough. Mostly because of a lack of energy, but I’ve also just made plenty of excuses as to why I couldn’t exercise. This is a step that I am currently working on, and trying to get into a routine of getting myself moving. I need to do this for many reasons. My physical health, my mental health, and to try to get off medicines that I’m on. The main reason though, is because I want my outside to feel like my inside. I’ve been feeling better and better about who I am inside, and feeling worse and worse about what I see outside.

For now, that’s the list. I may have some stuff I want to keep private, but these are the main points for me to work on in the future. It’s a lot to take on, and I’m very scared to go toe-to-toe with my anxiety, but I need to, so I can wrestle my life back and start living again.

Bryan

@stewnami on Twitter

Never Enough 2

About three years ago, I wrote a post talking about how I always feel like I’m “never enough” and I felt as though I should add to it.

Feeling like you’re “never enough” is a real problem for many with Depression. Constantly doubting yourself is extremely hard to get over. I’ve gotten a lot better about it, but I still can’t stop that feeling from creeping in. These thoughts cripple me with doubt, anxiety, and fear. I’ve put off doing a lot of things because of this.

A great example of that is college. I’ve taken around seven years worth of classes, and still don’t have my degree. I created excuses such as: my dad has cancer, and I can’t’ focus(which was partially true), I doubted my talent level and my ability to get an internship, I compared my artwork to others’ work, I got frustrated because I couldn’t put to paper how I saw something in my head, and so on. These happened well before I got help for my anxiety and depression, but I knew what it was at the time. I just couldn’t stop myself from making excuses. I’ve been contemplating starting school again and seeing it through this time, because I want that feeling of completion.

Another way that the feeling of “never enough” has affected my behavior is in the realm of dating. I’ve written before about my dislike of online dating, and that hasn’t changed. I’ve still tried, but I either get ignored, or no messages/right swipes. It is hard to not feel rejected by this, even though I know it’s all a crapshoot anyway. I’ve shifted my want of a long term relationship to I just want someone who I can have fun in life with. If it goes on long term, that’s fine. I’ve met women that I would love to ask out, but my fear of rejection or not being enough for someone stops me dead in my tracks. I’m that guy who crushes on someone like mad, but won’t make a move. Then, I get hurt that they find someone else. It’s my own doing. I take the at bat away without taking a swing. I’ve been this way for a long, long time. The weird part of all of this is that I know I’m a good guy with a lot to offer someone, but I just can’t bring myself to break the ice. Once it’s broken, I’m great. I’ll engage, make jokes, and show my personality really fast.

I talked about work in my previous post on this topic, so I won’t go into that again here, aside from saying that I don’t have a clue when I’ll be going back to work, because I have no path to take right now. Hopefully, that will change.

Finally, the last example I will give is driving. I’ve never had my driver’s license. I was in a lot of car accidents in a short time, and developed a fear of being in cars in general. I’ve gotten a lot better about this, but I was always too terrified that I wouldn’t be a good enough driver, and could cause injuries to someone else.This has been incredibly limiting, and has added to some of the above examples. It’s tough to schedule a date when you don’t drive. It’s hard to go meet someone at a bar or other place if you never go out. I need this to change, or I need self-driving cars to become an affordable reality soon. Kidding aside, I want to work on this.

Reading all of this made me realize how negative it all sounds, but I assure, I’m not in that mindspace anymore. I’ve worked very hard to get in a more positive, optimistic way of looking at things. I know I just have to enact change, to get the ball rolling. That’s always the hardest step for me to take, but here goes…

Bryan

@stewnami

P.S. If any woman reads this and is interested in me, feel free to hit me up. I promise I’ll be awkward for a while, but totally worth it.

Love Triangle

Putting On Pants

A lot of people complain about putting on pants. Most of the time, I know it’s in jest, because they just want to be comfortable.
To me, putting on pants isn’t something to despise, it’s an accomplishment. it’s a sign that depression didn’t win that day. I hate the days that I just lie in bed and don’t care about anything and let the indifference take over.
putting on pants is a sign that i fought through. I pushed my way out of the funk and into at least putting on clothes for the day. Even if I just moved my depression to a new seat or room, it’s still on my terms now, not the illness’.
It’s too easy for a “comfy day” in pajamas for me to become a week, a month, etc. I have to fight against it. If you don’t, that’s awesome. I hope you never do.
The comforting side of depression might be the most dangerous part of it for a lot of people. It’s so easy to lie under the covers, in your comfy pj’s, watch Netflix, and just feel safe. Depression hates movement. It loves stagnation. If you’re reading this from the comfort of your bed and you’re fighting a depressive episode, get up, go sit in a chair or somewhere less inviting. Trust me, it helps a little. It won’t cure it, but every little bit matters.
Tomorrow, if you can, get up, put on pants. I know the internet hates it,, but so does depression, and it’s the biggest troll of them all.
Don’t let the trolls win. Put on pants.
Bryan
Check out my podcast “The Crazy Life” where I talk about my depression with my friends Gen and Henno each week.

Scott Weiland, R.I.P.

Just for Tonight

Just for tonight,
I want to shut out the darkness.
Just for tonight,
Let’s flood it out with light.
Just for tonight,
I want to shine, I want to shine.
Just for tonight,
Let’s let all the light in.
Just for tonight,
I want to be blinded.
Just for tonight,
Let’s turn our backs on sunsets.
Just for tonight,
I just want to rise, I just want to rise.
Just for tonight.

Are You Okay?

End of 2014

I haven’t posted in a while, so I figured that I should post something to round out the year.

This year has seen me cancel knee surgery twice because of developing kidney stones, spending┬ámy first year single in 14 years, going through withdrawals from going off my anti-depressant, I’ve gained some of my emotions back, and started to really look at who I’ve been for the last three-ish years.

2013 and 2014 have kind of sucked a collective bag of dicks. I’m anxious for 2014 to be over. It doesn’t mean that 2015 will be any better. I’m not “due” a good year, as that’s just bunk.

I want to get out and bowl again, but I need to get my knee fixed first. I hate that, since I miss bowling a lot. It’s always been something that I love to do. I miss bowling in a league, and the people involved.

I do plan on continuing my inflection, as I think that going on that anti-depressant cost me things in my life that I can’t get back. I wish I had not gone on that. Since not having any of that medicine, I’m feeling highs and lows again. I don’t look forward to the lows, and I have to be careful of them, but it is so nice to not be totally indifferent or “meh” to everything. Trust me, indifference is not something you want as a way of life. People online talk about not feeling stuff like it’s a good thing. It isn’t. It’s the worst thing. Feeling indifferent is what sociopaths do.

I’m not the type to believe in resolutions, but┬áhere’s to positivity, trying to keep my feet moving, and avoiding indifference.

Happy New Year!

Closure