Struggling with the Elephant in the Room

A Manic Depressive Blog

When Drugs and Mental Health Mix, An Analytic Approach

Former Senator George McGovern once said the following in regards to his daughter Terry’s death: she “…was dealt a double cruel hand: the companion demons depression and alcoholism. They were demons that warred ceaselessly against the other aspects of her being-a warm and sunny disposition.” (http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/resource/depression/) The dark connection between addiction and mental illness cannot be overlooked, as many lives have been destroyed when these two “demons” work together. I was asked to write about how addiction affects mental illness recovery. It’s a tough subject for me to write about, as I’ve personally dealt with addicition. I’ve seen first hand how devastating addiction can be for someone with mental illness. Thus, this article will attempt to examine how addiction can worsen and exacerbate mental illness.

According to a study done by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, (drugabuse.gov) people suffering with mood disorders are twice as likely to use drugs than the regular population.1 Although, these numbers are alarmingly high, that does not mean someone who is mentally ill will become a drug addict. Rather, those who are suffering from mental illness have a higher chance of abusing illicit drugs. This does not take into account the impact drug abuse has on mental illness, instead it lays the foundation of this article. To understand how addiction affects mental health recovery, we must understand the connection between drug abuse and mental health.

A therapist once told me that drug abuse can speed up and increase the intensity of mental illness. I can personally confirm this as the speed and frequency of my mixed episodes grew exponentially as my alcohol abuse exploded. When I first started drinking, I would experience one depressive episode a year. However, a few months later, I was drinking everyday and experiencing massive depressive episodes every three months. Within a year, I was having multiple episodes in a single day. I was getting progressively worse. Throw in excessive pain killer abuse and my mind literally shattered. By the time I ended up in the hospital, I was abusing pain killers and experiencing massive mixed episodes that caused me to become a threat to myself and those around me.

The fact is drug abuse can negatively change the brain, potentially leading to mental illness. “Early exposure to drugs of abuse can change the brain in ways that increase the risk for mental illness (figure), just as early symptoms of a mental disorder may increase vulnerability to drug abuse.” (http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/topics-in-brief/comorbid-drug-abuse-mental-illness)

As such, drug abuse can negatively impact mental health recovery, both worsening existing symptoms or forcibly creating new ones. Because of the previous mentioned dangers, more studies are needed to fully understand how drug abuse impacts mental health. However, one thing is clear, drug abuse negatively impacts mental health recovery!

If you or someone you know is suffering with drug addition please seek help, or at least talk with someone you trust. Drug abuse and mental illness unfortunately are easily entangled, as such we must be proactive in research and recovery.


Footnotes:

1.http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/resource/depression/

2. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/topics-in-brief/comorbid-drug-abuse-mental-illness (National Institute of Drug Abuse)

Computer is Back Online, But my Mind is Clouded

It’s weird writing this post on a computer instead of a phone. For the last few months (maybe more, as time seems to be “off”) I’ve been using my phone for everything. All posts, articles, facebook updates and emails had been done on a cellphone, causing constant eyestrain and frustration. I couldn’t believe how unstable mobile websites were until I had to write a blog post using the iphone’s version of wordpress (not the app, the safari version). Every time I realized I made a spelling error, I couldn’t just click the word and re-write it. Instead, I had to highlight the entire post and slowly minimize the “selection” bar until I had the word highlighted. Sometimes the post would be deleted accidentally, or safari would freeze, or the selection process wouldn’t work, or…I guess you get the picture. The process was a pain in the ass. I then realized I could use the notepad (a pre-installed app all iPhones have) to write my posts, but a new problem arose. When I would try to transfer the post to wordpress it wouldn’t format correctly.

As you can see I’ve been having quite a bit of fun the last few months. Sorry this post is going to be really short. My mind is still in a haze, my eyes are extremely dry (it doesn’t matter how many times I use eye drops/lubricants my eyes are extremely dry within 15 min), my hands are hurting, my stomach is cramping, my mind is farting and well I just feel like crap. Even this post is starting to get weird as my hands are trying create witty things (that’s right, my hands are taking over writing this post, I’m just sitting here as they type alone while my mind is wandering, listening to my neighbors yell at each other over video games, my cat complaining I’m not playing with him and the wind invading my personal space). Maybe I’m just starting to get depressed or I didn’t sleep enough. Whatever the case is, something isn’t right. 

Ugh, my mind is foggy. 

My eyes are dry, which is the worst part. Every time my eyes dry out, my mind automatically thinks it’s bedtime. I don’t know why that’s the case, but right now all I want to do is crawl into my bed (well actually I don’t own a bed, I sleep on a comfy chair that my dad found at a Jewish Community Center “garage” sale) and sleep. 

I hope everyone is doing well, or at least better than (sorry I don’t know if that is the right then/than, I’m having a hard time determining things so if it’s the wrong one, please mentally change it as your reading. I don’t mean to put extra pressure on you the reader..crap now I’m sounding like some douche bag who is creating this existential Hollywood…no wait now that is making me sound like a pseudo-hip writer making whimsical commentary..that sounds even weirder. Well as you can see I’m having a slight problem with the thoughts bouncing around in my head. It might be foggy, but the thoughts don’t seem to want to stop racing. Maybe I’m manic instead of depressed. Or maybe I just didn’t get enough sleep). 

I think I’m just going to stop before this turns into 

The Weird and Confusing Life of David Stein

It’s been awhile since I last post. It seems this has become a habit of mine. I get overly obsessed about posting and social media, spend a few days filled with manic posting, commenting, social mediaing (I know it’s not a real word, but it seemed like the right thing to put) and constantly pushing myself to be the best. During the process I remember how much I love to write, how it makes me feel to let words flow out from my finger tips, enjoying the moment and feeling happiness. But, as always, my mind goes over board and before I know it I’m a nervous wreck and I can’t even get myself to write. I can’t even perform the one task that makes me happy. This has become a vicious cycle that I need to work on, so I want to apologize for my sporadic posting and hope that you understand what is going through my head. As such, today’s post will be about my life. In a Facebook message to Natasha Tracy, owner of the amazing Bipolar Burple and Breaking Bipolar,  I sent the following:

I was diagnosed with Bioolar 1, rapid cycling, severe social anxiety, OCD, ptsd, agoraphobia and drug addiction. At the age of 7 I was diagnosed with ADD and from the age of 7 till 18 I went through intense CBT, at first i went 3 times a week, till it went down to one session every Wednesday. About 2-3 years later I was diagnosed with ADHD. At first it was thought I would never graduate high school, I was a complete mess.

But over time through therapy and the support of my parents I became stable enough to graduate high school and gain a scholarship to a 4 year private liberal arts school (although because of the intense therapy, and my parent’a involvement I developed a horrific and unhealthy dependency on my parents that I broke free from about a year ago).

For the first year of college everything was fine, I stopped going to therapy and I seemed to be stable. However, a few times I experienced crushing depression, it didn’t last long but it was the beginning of my rapid cycling. I didn’t know until a few years later that I was already really manic.

Halloween of my Sophmore year I started drinking, before I knew it I was drinking every day. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and my drinking exploded. One night I ended up with horrible alcohol poisoning and blacked out for over 10 hours. I had no clue what happened. Paranoia and fear took over, i was convinced my “friends” where doing things from me and from that day on I locked myself in my dorm room only coming out for class. It as the beginning of my isolation/agoraphobia.

Fast forward to graduation, I was extremely manic, unstable, paranoid and constantly drunk. In fact, I graduated a year early to prove a prof wrong, I ended up 3 units short of 3 BAs, my mania allowed me to do this, but at a cost.

After graduating college I started working for a labor union and underground organizer at a hotel. It was exrtemley stressful, and on top of that I was forced onto the graveyardshift, a major negative for people who are bipolar (although i didn’t know it at the time).

About a year in, my rapid cycling had increased to the point where every three months I would have a week long depressive episode. I was getting scared so I went to my family’s Gp and told her about the depression. She forced me to stop drinking and put me on Zoloft. That first week was horrific, I couldn’t stop vomiting but i stayed sober and stuck with it. I don’t remeber when, but eventually he void in my mind that had been left by the alcohol become to big. I started smoking weed everyday and eventually I started to abuse pain killers, muscle relaxants and benzos. I was buying hundreds of pills a week, becoming more ustable and completely beholden to my addiction.

I was good at my job, in fact I had organized 10 times the amount of people as everyone else but no one wanted to work with me due to my instability. Eventually I quit both jobs and started working as a telemarketer (oh ya during my 2 years at the hotel I endured horrific psycological abuse and was even strangled by my boss, it left a massive hole in my heart), my boss was a nightmare. He would scream at me everyday telling me I was worthless, that i was lower then shit, de eventually I started to believe him, my drug abuse was at an all time high and my cycling was increasing.

Eventually I was able to escape. Around this time I finally sought a psydoc to confirm my already growign suspicion that i was bipolar. I was right.

Over the next few years I saw a few different therapists and psydocs, each one treating me like shit, as well as a guinea pig. By the time I was in graduate school I was on 900 mg of seroquel a day.

Oh ya, sorry I skipped some time. Afterleaving the telemarketer I had a few more jobs, I started taking classes at long beach state and was accepted at Claremont School of Theology for their MA program. It was a high point in my life, however, I was unstable.

A few months into the program, I started using again. Although I had been sober for some time I buckled under the pressure. By the end of the first year my drug abuse was out of control, I was extremley unstable and had to drop out of all do my classes. CST allowed me to leave due to health reasons, but because my grades were so low I would never be able to go back there again. I was devestated.

I joined the out-patient program at St Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA. About a month in I was hospitalized for an extreme mixed episode, I was deemed a danger to myself and those around me, I was dragged to the hospital by security guards and sedated.

It saved my life. I met my current psydoc and was able to stabilize. However, upon my release I was sent back to the outpatient program. All of my friends were gone. I was crushed by overwhelming depression and lonliness. The depression got exponentially worse and I spent the next 2 years locked in my aparment, sitting in front of my TV, waiting until I died.

Luckily, I met Michael. Initially he was brought in to clean my apt, but over time we became friends. We were kindred spirits, although he is over 10 years older than me and has a family, we connected. He helped draw me out of my shell and showed me that life can be enjoyed, even with the pain.

About 9 months ago moved in with his family. I haven’t had a major episode in over a year, I’m stable, able to go out and be around other people, I’m taking care of my body and I’ve started writing again. Furthermore, I stopped taking all of my meds (I am still taking subutex, gabapentin and ambien, but that’s it), I stopped seeing my therapist and I’ve been enjoying life for first time in years.

I never knew how much fun it could be living with other people. Furthermore, I haven’t had alcohol in over 7 years and pain killers in over 2 years. I know there is still a possibility for relapse and for another major manic/depressive episode, but for the first time in my life I’m not worried about that. I want to live. I want to experience what I wasn’t able to the last 3 years. Yes, I still isolate and watch a ton of anime, but that is my comfort zone, it allows me to recharge, so I can continue enjoying the world.

I blog/write so that others can hear my story, to learn they are not alone in this struggle, that even if things become unbarable, there still is hope. There still is a chance to succeed. I write because I love to write (it’s the one thing that truly makes me happy, when I’m writing I forget about all of my worries, and get lost in the words) and because I don’t want anyone to go through the struggles I went through.

Sorry, I ended up writng my entire life story, but I thought it was necessary.

I hope this message finds you well and that you are have a restful evening,

Dave.

Introversion Saturday- A Retrospective on Introverts Struggling in an Extroverted World

Today’s post is going to be short, as I’m preparing for my next major piece: an examination of introversion in today’s society. As such I wanted to point everyone towards a piece that is very important to me, one that has literally become the backbone of this blog- my first post on the struggles of introverts:

http://manicdepressiveblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/the-confusing-life-of-an-introvert-and-why-it-is-so-dangerous-to-force-ourselves-to-become-extroverts/

Over the last year, the post has grown into it’s own community, it has become a safe place for introverts to talk about their lives, their struggles, their fears, their hopes, their dreams and their love for other introverts. Since the day it was posted, the community has amassed over 33,000 views!! It has made my blog what it is today, and as such I want to share it with my new readers.

If you are struggling with introversion, please visit the post as there are some amazing comments and advice on how to survive in this extroverted world.

To end this post, I wanted to ask my readers are you an introvert or an extrovert? Or do you straddle the line between the two? These questions are important, as I want to grow my research on introversion and work towards my ultimate goal: understanding why certain people isolate, while others don’t. And to see if isolation is directly connected to introversion. Furthermore, I want to do a detailed study/examination of the Japanese phenomenon- hikikomori:

” …is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement.” (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hikikomori)

The reason I’m interested in this phenomenon, is due to my own struggle with isolation. I spent 2 years locked away in my apartment; even now I still struggle with isolation. Because of this, I’m not convinced that I’m truly agoraphobic, as it doesn’t correctly address my love of isolating.

Confusing nature of Isolation

Confusing nature of Isolation

I think this study could become extremely beneficial, as there are a tremendous amount of people struggling with isolation who are not receiving proper treatment/help.

As such, I’m actively looking for a website, blog or organization who would be willing to sponsor me so that I can perform a detailed examination/study on isolation, hikikomori and agoraphobia. If you are interested in hiring or sponsoring me, please email me at: david.stein [at] cst.edu.

I’m really serious about this study and I want to perform it properly, however, in my current unemployed state I do not have the necessary resources to write this article/paper/study. So please pass this on to your friends and colleagues, I would be forever in your debt.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Dave.

Ps. I’m still actively looking for guest bloggers, so if you are interested either comment on this post or email me.

Pps. Also don’t forget to check out my latest article on answers.com:

http://depression.answers.com/risk-factors/how-dehydration-can-cause-depression-to-worsen/

Connection between Dehydration and Depression- My First article Published on Answers.com

Well I did it, i got my first article published on answers.com entitled, How Dehydration can Cause Depression to Worsen. An examination of the impact dehydration has on the human body and how it can exacerbate depression (as well as other potential mood disorders). It’s fascinating how it only takes a small decrease in the body’s water to cause dehydration and other compilations.

I began noticing a pattern in my own body when I overly thirsty, I would be increasingly anxious, paranoid, lethargic and depressed. In fact it had a snowball effect as the day wore on. However, if. I drank a lot of water, my mood would almost immediately improve. I was blown away that something as simple as proper hydration could lead to an improvement in my overall mental health. As such, I decided to write the above mentioned article as a way to inform more people about the dangers of dehydration.

In fact, I was astonished to find that most people don’t realize they are dehydrated until it’s too late, at which point the mind has already started to change for the worse.

Well that’s all for now I need to get a cup of coffee and fully wake up. If you get a chance please check out my article and pass it along to your friends so that we can get the word out there of the perils of dehydration:

http://depression.answers.com/risk-factors/how-dehydration-can-cause-depression-to-worsen

I hope everyone is having a wonderful and restful week,

Dave.

 

 

 

Success

Although it hasn’t been published yet, I finally submitted my first article to answers.com!!! This is huge it’s my first step towards my dream of becoming a professional writer! I haven’t felt the satisfaction of accomplishment in a long time, it feels good! Well now it’s time for to relax, unwind and get lost in an amazing anime. 

 

I hope you are all doing well, 

 

Dave. 

The Cautionary Tale of a 28-year old Introverted Virgin

As the title states this post will be about a 28 year old introverted virgin: me. This is a problem I’ve struggled with for a long time. For whatever reason I’ve never been in a relationship and I’ve never had sex. It’s depressing, especially as all of my high school and college classmates are getting married or starting relationships, I’m stuck alone, forever a virgin. I never thought my life would end up like this, alone and pathetic. My parents got married at 27, my sister has been in a relationship for over 5 years, but me- nothing. I envy them. I envy their normal lives. Their love. Their relationships. I envy them, and that makes me devestatingly sad.

I’ve come to the realization that I will die alone and a virgin. I’m an introvert who wears the skin of an extrovert (when I’m outside, around other people I force myself to become extroverted. I force myself to become what other people want to see. It’s horribly tiring. But I’ve become used to it, as I’ve done this all my life. I’ve learned to wear the mask of an extrovert when I’m around other people, to hide the real me: the introvert that I truly am).

Sorry, I’ve gone off on a tangent. Going back to my previous statement- I will die alone and a virgin. I’m trying to come to terms with this. I don’t like being around other people (even though people like being around me, well the extroverted me), as I would rather spend my time watching anime, escaping into the amazing worlds that I see on my tv. I have no ambition, no drive, no hunger. I don’t want money or fame. I’m not interested in corporate life or spending hours working in a job I hate. I have no dreams (well that’s not entirely true as I want to become a writer, but I’m stuck at the starting gate because I realized I’ll never become well known, so what’s the point of even trying. It’s depressing, because writing is one of the only things that makes me happy, but I’m too scared to write), I don’t want kids and I like spending time alone (can last up to a week, sometimes more, depending on the show I’m watching).

The above paragraph exemplifies why Ill die a virgin. What woman would want a 28 year old virgin, with no ambition, no dream, only a love of anime and knowledge. What woman would waste her time with someone who gets nervous when touched by someone else (6 years ago this girl tried to seduce me while I was stoned, it was so weird having her body under mine {we were fully clothed} it didn’t feel right, how can you guys enjoy that? It felt so awkward laying on top of someone. But I guess this is just another knock against me), I’ve only had human physical contact maybe twice in the last year (normal contact like handshakes, hugs etc.) even though I live with 5 other people. Well let me expand on that, I might have only had physical contact with another human 2 dozen times in the last 4 years. It’s just weird to me. I don’t know why.

I lost my train of thought. All I know is that I’m always going to be a virgin, I’m always going to be without a relationship (actually that hurts more, I’m really not that interested in sex. In fact I only masterbate once a month maybe twice if my stress is higher than normal, it just doesn’t interest me. Again what woman would want to deal with a man who cares very little for sex, but would rather have a good conversation and spend time watching a good tv show?)

I don’t know where I’m going with this post anymore, I’m just really bummed now. At least I can spend my time watching anime and escape from this wretched world in the comfort of my room (I forgot to say, I rarely leave my room, except maybe for dinner, or if my friend needs help, or my parents ask me to do something. I spend all my free time watching anime and tv shows; around 8-10 hours a day, maybe more. The rest of the time is spent researching information to satiate my hunger for knowledge and sleep).

Well I’m going to end this post here, there is not much else I can say, especially now that I’ve told the Internet one of my biggest secrets. Oh well, maybe this cautionary tale can help someone else.

Sorry if there are mistakes, I wrote this on my phone as I still don’t have a computer. I hope this post finds you all in good health.

Till next time,

Dave.

Ps. I’m looking for guest bloggers, or other writers who are interested in doing a joint project. Please see my about page for my email address.

Another New Beginning

It’s been quite a few months since I’ve said hi, and it bums me out that I had forgotten what my greatest passion is: writing. I’d given up on my dreams, my hopes, my future and threw myself into a dark pit, forever writhing in pain, misery and self loathing.

However, I was freed from my self pity when an email was sent that reignited my passion for writing.  I was invited to join answers.com as an author/expert for the depression section. I was invited because of this blog. I was given a new chance at my dream because of this blog. For the first time in my life I was finally recognized by a well known organization for my writing, something I had dreamed about when I was younger. I’m really excited about this opportunity as it allows me to grow as an author, as well as pursue my other passion: research.

I have no clue where this will take me, but I’m excited about this new opportunity. Hopefully you will see my articles on answers.com in the coming weeks. I will also try my hardest to post on this blog and reignite my passion for blogging.

I hope you are all well and I look forward to talking with you,

Dave.

Ps. Sorry if there are a lot of mistakes, I had to write this post on my phone because I don’t have a computer at the moment.

It’s a New Day, I’m feeling Slightly Better- Today’s Post is on Ways to Deal with Depression/Mania

A New Day, A new Beginning

A New Day, A new Beginning

So far today has been a lot better then yesterday, I guess writing out my frustrations helped to ease my mind, I still feel the same way, but at least the pain isn’t as bad. The odd thing, is how popular the post is. Maybe everyone wants to read my rants and see how bad my self-hatred is, or maybe it’s the title, or the keywords, or just luck. I’m not really certain, but I’m happy people read it. I’m definitely not perfect, and maybe someone out there read the post and realized they aren’t alone in this crazy world. That some days we just feel so horrible, it’s as if our minds are trying to destroy us. Or other days we feel like we’re drowning in the darkness of depression. But one thing is for certain, we can’t give up, no matter how hard it gets. We all have the strength to survive, we just have to latch onto something. For me, it’s my cat Domino. I love him dearly and he’s helped me over the years. In fact, if it wasn’t for him I don’t know how far I would have gotten. Yes I know a lot of it was me, but it helps to have something to grab onto (it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you can hold on tight and know that it will pull you out of your hell). It also helps to have a hobby; mine’s watching TV and playing video games (I love being able to escape from reality and drift off into a new word that doesn’t demand anything from me or judge me, a place where my depression seems to evaporate and I feel invincible).

I guess that’s what today’s post is going to be about, ways to deal with manic/depressive episodes. For the longest time I suffered from severe mixed episodes and/or rapid cycling (it really depends on which doctor you talk to, as both episode types are very similar). I could have multiple episodes in a day, swinging from severe depression to extreme mania and back again- sometimes this happened in the same hour and it got really stressful, even frightening. There were days I just wanted it all to end and unfortunately I self medicated to compensate. It started with alcohol.

Alcohol is not a good way to deal with depression/mania

Alcohol is not a good way to deal with depression/mania

(www.recoveryoptions.us)

Some quick background: In high school I never drank or used drugs. In fact I never went to parties, or hung out with people after school. When I got to college I was desperate to fit in, so I hung out with the football team and started to drink with them. My first night drinking I blacked out after having over 15 beers. I thought it was great, I was “fitting” and I loved the buzz. I started drinking regularly and would party with the football team. My drinking increased as I tried to keep up with offensive linemen and feel to peer pressure. A few months into my drinking, I went to a party at the baseball house and went crazy, I ended up blacking out for almost 16 hours, waking up in a pool of vomit-well there was vomit everywhere. I convinced myself I would never drink again and it was on that day my anxiety and paranoia was born. The football players messed with my head when I asked them what happened and it escalated to the point where I was afraid to leave my dorm room. I was convinced they were stalking me and trying to destroy my life. I was also convinced everyone else was after me, so I locked myself in my room and only left for class. Because of this, I developed agoraphobia and social anxiety.

As this increased I started to drink again, this time while I was alone. I started spending the weekends at my parent’s house and my dad found out I had been drinking. I thought he was going to be pissed, but it was the opposite, he was ecstatic because he had finally found a drinking buddy.  It was around this time my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and to cope with the stress I started drinking excessively. It was the first time I used alcohol to deal with depression…my mom is ok now, she has been in remission for over 8 years…Fast forward a few years. I was working the night shift at a hotel and I was a full blown alcoholic. My doctor was worried that I was killing my liver so she demanded that I stopped drinking. She also prescribed an anti-depressant, which actually led me to quit drinking. But at the same time it caused my mania to grow, I just didn’t know it at the time. I was sober for about a week until I started smoking weed to fill the void. Overtime I developed a heavy habit, I also started to abused pain killers and benzos. Because of the drug abuse my mental stability was shattered. I caused my episodes to increase in intensity and frequency. Eventually I was diagnosed Bipolar type I, with OCD, severe social anxiety, PTSD and addiction. It took me a few years to quit using and by the time I did, I ended up in a mental hospital after dropping out of graduate school (sorry for skipping  a lot of my story, I’m late for work and it there is to much for just one post. I’ll come back to it in the future) and spent the next two years isolated in my apartment while I recovered. During these two years, anxiety increased exponentially and depression became severe. There were times I didn’t think I would make it, but a few things helped me through this period (well that was a lot longer of a background then I had anticipated, but now we are back to the discussion on ways to cope).

Depression

Depression

(jeffreymasson.wordpress.com)

When my depression got really bad, I found that doing something mindless really helped: watching TV, cleaning, playing with Domino, playing video games etc. That Is one of the things I’ve told people to do when dealing with depression (or anxiety, or mania), it doesn’t have to be what I suggested. Rather, the idea is to do something you love, while spending as little effort as possible. The reason is that it allows your mind to relax and escape, you aren’t adding to the stress and you are giving yourself a chance to breath. That’s why I love TV. Not only do I get to relax, but I can lose myself in TV show without spending much effort, further, I can stop anytime I want  or go as long as I want. The idea is to just escape. Another thing I loved to do is listen to a book on tape, the idea is the same as I don’t have to spend much energy and I can let my mind wander and for that bit of time I can forget about my struggles. The goal is to find something you love and to have it available so that if you feel depressed or anxious, or unstable you can help yourself heal. Another thing that helps is talking with someone, just having some human contact can help alleviate the stress and again can help you escape from your worries (you don’t have to do this in person, in fact you could just text). Taking a shower is another great way to relax and the concept once again is similar, allowing your mind to wander and for you to have some quite and some peaceful time where you can forget about your worries.

For me, finding something that allows me to escape into another reality helps almost as much as therapy (furthermore, it allows me to deal with my depression without having resort to illicit drugs. Although there are days where I struggle to keep those thoughts in check, but I’m human and not infallible). Also therapy, for me, helps tremendously but it’s not for everyone. The idea is to find someone you can talk to, who is both willing to listen and provide feedback (it can be a friend, a trusted relative, a teacher, a pastor/rabbi, someone you meet on the street, or even a journal. The reason I put a journal, is that it allows you to get your thoughts and feelings onto paper and in doing so, you can step back and examine what you have been going through. It gives a new perspective that you might not have seen before).

Hope for a better future

Hope for a better future

(wolfhirschhorn.org)

I’m going to end this post with question: how do you deal with depression/mania and do you have any tips or tricks that you do to help keep yourself sane (or at least provide yourself with some comfort)? I’m always looking for ways to help myself when I’m struggling and I know there are things I’ve yet to do.

Wow this has been the longest post I’ve written in quite some time.

I hope you are all well and look forward to hearing from you,

Dave.

Why Do I Spend So much Time Avoiding My Life and Responsibility?? Why Am I So Confused???

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I spend quite a bit of time procrastinating and avoiding my responsibilities. My heart is racing right now because I’m supposed to be outside making sales, but instead I’m sitting on the computer wasting time. I really don’t know why. And the sad thing is my livelihood is on the line- if I don’t make enough money this month I might be homeless, but instead of having the motivation to get out there and hustle, I’m avoiding life and responsibility. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself, it drives me crazy that I waste so much time. I really don’t enjoy sitting here doing nothing, especially where it causes my anxiety to increase and in doing so makes it even harder for me to get out.

But I keep doing it.

On top of that, I’m not even spending the extra time working on increasing my blog’s readership, which is something I want to do, but as usual I’ve spent all day doing nothing and disliking every minute of it. I know that I’m lazy, I have been for many years. But what I don’t understand is why I can’t break this fucking habit. I’ve tried over the years to break it, but to no avail.  I just don’t have the drive and/or energy (which is also the same excuse I give for not having friends, or why I’m not interested in dating). I know it sounds pathetic, I fully realize that, I’m disgusted with myself (I know what you are going to say, if you really are so frustrated with yourself why not change. And David don’t tell me “you don’t know” it’s a fucking cop out- which is what I’m screaming at myself right now. Great now I’m having three conversations in my head, this is getting confusing). 

Ugh. This all started senior year of high school. I got accepted to Whittier College at the beginning of the school year and spent the rest of the year doing absolutely nothing. I dropped out of all of my advanced science classes, switched to finite math and stopped doing my homework as I found that I could get A’s on all of my tests my tests and still pass (I did, however, stay in AP English and European history as both subjects were a passion of mine). I convinced myself that I could take the year off because when I started college I’d go back to working hard. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. My laziness carried over and I spent little time studying during college; although I did graduate with honors, multiple degrees and I was able graduate a year early. The reason this was possible was due to the fact that all three of my majors (Political Science, History and Religious Studies) were writing intensive (something I’m gifted at) and I was able to figure out how to make each of my AP credits worth triple the amount of college credits. Again, I convinced myself that once I graduated college I would start working hard, but my laziness continued as I found jobs that were made easy by my talents. Fast forward a decade and you can see why I’m struggling to break this habit. 

I really wish I could go back to my senior year of high school and kick my younger self in the ass, to stop this annoying cycle. So I’m really fucking stuck. Yes, I know I shouldn’t be using this as an excuse, but I can’t figure out any other reasoning for my lack of motivation. 

Now that I look back on this post, self-pity bullshit and I’m sorry for subjecting you to this (actually I don’t know what really is going on, my head is throbbing, my heart is racing and I’m having a hard time concentrating. I’m still wasting time when I should be working and it’s stressing me out. I’m ready to cry because I just can’t get it through my fucking head. I don’t know why I keep doing this. I don’t understand why I can’t take responsibility for my life, why do I hide from everything, why do I spend so little time on my life, bitch and moan when things get fucked up and then go to my therapist and tell her how messed up my life is. I’m just a stubborn piece of shit. FUCK I’m still doing it, I’m still going through my self-pity mode and for fuckssake why the hell am I sitting here at my keyboard instead of outside working.

Why the fuck do I keep doing this to myself.

Why am I so bent on destroying my life?

Why can’t I take responsibility for my future?

Why the fuck am I so lazy?

I just can’t figure this shit out and now I don’t even know how I’m supposed to fucking make any sales with my head ready to explode on top of that I still owe my friend $300 which I’m supposed to be making right now, but instead I’m still just typing, still just avoiding it. Not to mention the money I owe my parent’s, the rent that I have to pay, the bills I owe, or the fact that I still can’t get myself to shower, still can’t shave, still can’t clean my room, my car, my clothes. I just don’t fucking do anything but complain. What the fuck is my problem??????????????

This is bullshit.

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