My Mind is a Battlefield

My mind is a battlefield:
a land ravaged by war
where the once green fields
and luscious forests
are now gone,
replaced by blasted earth
and barren, burnt wastelands
full of sad, lost refugees
who shy from everyone they meet.

My mind is a world at war:
full of brutal savagery
and the most wondrous beauty
locked in some twisted dance
that never ends
while someone wanders
searching through the misery
to find the scrap of truth
that makes 
this travesty
worth it.

Maybe you can understand why
I do not like to dwell on things,
why I often seem vacant
and perhaps unmindful of
the people and things around me
or why I might not be listening
when you’re talking to me.
There’s a war going on and
I don’t have much energy 
to spare
because I’m the general
of both armies.

While you’re talking to me,
I’m trying to navigate through my mind,
watching out for landmine memories
and avoiding guerilla anxieties,
not to mention all the other soldiers
I have sent to sabotage me.
I usually never make it out.
I know all my own tricks
and there are too many landmines
to avoid them all,
especially when the guerrillas
are chasing you.

Yet I go in, the external me
who watches this all unfolding,
and hope to find
the 
sepia photograph
or inspiring tale 
of truth
that makes enduring
this constant, ceaseless war
a viable option.
The armies leave me be
but the guerrillas will not stop
planting landmines and
chasing me towards them,
despite the call of peace
and my humanitarian efforts
to stave off the nuclear winter
the generals consider simply for the sake
of concluding.

 

I Just Want to Let You Know You’re Not Alone and Someone Understands

One of the most important parts of any mental health awareness campaign is helping people see that they are not alone. When you are wrapped up in your depression, anxiety, or OCD, it can be incredibly easy to forget that you’re not alone, that other people have felt this way and understand how you feel right now. I can only imagine that other mental illnesses are similarly isolating. The simple act of letting people know that they are not suffering alone, of being able to reach past the barriers they have created and show them other people feel that way as well, can often be enough to help someone who is just starting to live with a mental illness.

Even if you’ve been doing it for years and consider yourself an expert and handling your own shit, it still feels good to know that other people know what you’re going through. That other people can understand your pain and you’re not the only person who ever got in an argument with a loved one and felt like you weren’t worth their effort anymore. Or that you aren’t the only one who freaks out at the entirely-unlikely-but-still-possible interpretations of the subtext of a conversation you had with someone import. Or that you aren’t the only one who feels like your thoughts have been taken over by a whirlwind that refuses to let you think about anything but your deepest, darkest, most ridiculous fear that you know is unfounded but can’t seem to ever let go of because what if it isn’t that ridiculous. Feeling understood is the best feeling when you’re in pain you can’t seem to stop that’s coming from inside your own head.

One of my friends messaged me last night, as I sat on the couch and watched Adventure Time in an attempt to reinforce the ideas of growth and slow change I’m trying to focus on. She had read yesterday’s post and wanted me to know I wasn’t alone, to let me know someone understood what I was feeling, and to thank me for being open on my blog. It was a little thing, a few messages and a few moments of shared emotional connection, but it helped me a lot. I may be past the point where I need to know I’m not alone, but it always feels wonderful to be reminded of it. It was just the boost I needed to get through the evening and to set me up for today. A lot of the comments I’ve gotten from friends today have been incredibly helpful, even if they didn’t explicitly remind me I am not the only person to feel this way. The kind understand and supportive comments, combined with a few frank observations, made me feel seen for the first time in a long time. As someone who gets so wrapped up and isolated in my own head that I can completely rewrite reality in order to have a “plausible” doubt to gnaw on, all my friends today reminded me that I’m here and so are they.

I want to do the same thing for other people. I want to be a beacon, a lighthouse on the shore, a little light in the darkness that says “you aren’t alone and there’s someone out there who understands how you feel.” That’s why I write about things in an open and honest way I struggle to do when I talk to people. That’s why I don’t hold back in my writing unless I’m protecting another person’s right to privacy. I want to talk about how I feel because it is good for me to process this stuff and because I hope someone else out there sees what I’ve written and feels it resonate in them. I want to create stories and write poems that make people feel things. I want to meander my way through drawn-out essays about the tribulations of my life so other people see someone else struggling with the same pain they feel. I put this up publicly in the hopes of one day helping one person who needs it.

This is why I tell stories. This is why I tell the stories I do. I want people to see and feel things that I’ve felt in the hopes of reaching someone who hasn’t made that connection yet. I want to promote understanding by creating art that conveys what it feels like to be anxious, depressed, and suffering from OCD. I want to capture it all so people who have no experience can get a glimpse of what other people feel, to promote empathy. I want to display it so people who have these same feelings don’t feel so alone anymore.

If I ever become a millionaire or make a pile of money from lucrative publishing deals, I’m going to secure my relatively simple lifestyle and spend the rest founding a charity to promote people creating art as a means of coping with their mental illness in order to foster understanding in the wider world about what it means to suffer from depression, an anxiety disorder, OCD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and everything else that people depict their stories and art. Journals, magazines, art galleries, short story collections, related websites, the whole kit and caboodle. Everything I can throw money at to get creators exposure and to get the world to understand through art. Music, performance art, literally everything that helps promote understanding. It’d take winning the lottery to fund an organization like that, but I think I can get it started slowly with a more reasonable amount of money if I get the right people involved.

Ideally, the charity would help prevent people who are suffering from ever feeling like they’re alone again. I’d also like to raise mental health awareness in the US and the world in general, get funding for better treatment options for those suffering from mental illness, and remove the stigma associated with mental illness. There are enough problems facing people with any mental illness without them also feeling shame for being ill. No one needs that.

Until I have the money, though, I’m going to keep writing on my blog, keep reviewing and sharing wonderful art other people do that speaks about mental illness, and do my best to always be a voice saying “You’re not alone. I’m here and I understand.”

Anxieties Can Grow into Fears and Trusting Again is Like Going for a Swim in a Lake

One of the worst parts of my anxiety is how it can make something entirely reasonable feel like something I don’t dare ask for. A five-minute midday phone call to help settle all the nagging thoughts that are threatening to take up my entire day? Definitely not something I can request without at least an hour of writing the message and then half an hour of psyching myself up to hit send. Sure it SEEMS reasonable, but what if it isn’t? What if they’re busy? What if they’re actually pissed at me because of what we talked about yesterday and I couldn’t tell then because I’m horrible at reading people over the phone, meaning sending them a message now is only going to make them angrier at me.

It sucks. It was a reasonable request because we needed to talk about what happened and verbally recognize that we needed to continue the conversation. I felt much better and I can only hope they feel better as well, now that they know I want to continue working this out. It should have been easy. A two-sentence message and then a wait until the appropriate time for a five-minute phone call. I spent more time worrying about what might have happened, trying to figure out how to properly say what I wanted to say, and whether or not it was appropriate to say anything at all than I spent on the conversation that spawn all the anxiety this morning.

My anxiety can run away with me, more than my depression or my OCD can. If either of those ever feels like it is running away with me, it is usually because it is fueled by my anxiety. The thought spirals that consume me are driven by anxieties I can’t squelch. The internal storms that threaten to sink me are whipped up by anxieties that I can’t deny. A lack of information is the greatest challenge to controlling my anxiety and a strong enough anxiety can make it a monumental effort to ask for any information, let alone figure out what to do with it.

As I reflected on this, my worst anxiety attack in a while, I realized that I’m not really prepared to deal with something like this. Almost all of my coping mechanisms involve heading things off or reasoning them away. That can work with my depression because a lot of that is based on not dwelling on any one thing in particular, waiting it out, and reminding myself that it will end eventually. It works alright with my OCD because most of my OCD is based around obsessions and I can usually reason with them so long as they don’t have an anxiety behind them. It even works with most of my anxiety since I usually know I’m worked up over nothing or have evidence to directly contradict my anxiety.

The fears though, the big anxieties that don’t have answers and prey on uncertainties, don’t have evidence I can trot out and are usually about things that I should be able to assume but really can’t. They’re what feeds into things like my resistance toward being emotionally open and vulnerable with people or the nagging fear that everything and everyone I love is going to disappear without warning. I know most people aren’t going to try to manipulate me using my emotions or use any time I’m open about my feelings as a way to hurt me. I know that it takes time for people to leave and there are almost always warning signs.

The problem with knowing those things is all the evidence to the contrary. I’ve got a lot of experience with people using my feelings and what I’ve shared with them to hurt me in new and horrible ways. I’ve seen how people can suddenly vanish, either because they decided you weren’t worth their time, because it was easier than working things out, or because something horrible happened to them. A lot of these were fairly isolated events, but there were still a lot of them.

I try to recognize that there’s also a ton of evidence supporting the idea that people aren’t out to get me or that what I love won’t suddenly vanish, but it’s hard to remember it all the time. Also, it is hard to say being emotional vulnerable with people won’t be used against me when I don’t really do it anymore. I also can’t use evidence to prove people won’t just vanish because it is almost always sudden and almost always happens in ways you wouldn’t expect. How can you disprove something you don’t expect? Someone randomly getting run over by a bus or going to a movie theater or club that gets shot up isn’t exactly something you can work to prevent or say won’t happen to someone around you. It isn’t likely, sure, but it happens to people and every person is a part of that group.

The worst ones, the ones that can bring in my depression and OCD, creating the hurricanes I mentioned in my other post, are the ones aren’t wrong. If I get going on something like “my anxieties make me annoyed and frustrated and I’m more willing to put up with myself than anyone else is, so how much everyone around me feel when I’m acting particularly anxious/depressed/obsessed/neurotic/what-have-you?” then I run the risk of heading straight toward meltdown city.

That isn’t a fun place to go. I definitely do NOT recommend the vacation package, the over-night bargain, or even passing through it. Once you’re there, it is incredibly hard to leave and a pass-through always turns into a full-stop. You don’t just visit. You take up semi-permanent residence and usually need outside help leaving since the stationmaster is hard to find and the population generally isn’t interested in actually trying to help you leave.

When it comes to fears or anxieties I can’t deny and the ones I have no evidence to disprove, all I can do is trust. Trust that I won’t be abused if I’m emotionally vulnerable with someone. Trust that people and things in my life won’t just disappear if they have a choice in the matter. Trust that people aren’t just putting up with me. Trust is hard. Trust is easily broken and hard to replace. I’ve got a lot of pretty convincing reasons not to trust, but trust is an essential part of being a human and living in a community. You trust that someone isn’t going to break down your door and take all your stuff. You trust that someone isn’t going to hurt your loved ones or, at the very least, that there are people whose job it is to protect them. You trust that people aren’t going to use you to their advantage whenever they can. Without that trust, you become isolated and have trouble connecting with people.

That’s where I’m struggling. I don’t trust much. Hell, I don’t even really trust myself. Misplaced trust has hurt me more than anything else in life and I’m not eager to get hurt again. I used to be able to dive back in by affirming that it is better to love and lose, to take a chance and fail, than to risk never again feeling the warm glow of trust rewarded with trust and love. Then I spent most of my time in Madison, nearly four years, getting every hand extended in trust smacked away, being around people who made it clear they only barely tolerated me, and getting my feet yanked out from underneath me at work constantly. There were people who made me feel bad about some of the most basic parts of myself.

Thankfully, I’m away from those influences now. I’ve got a girlfriend who wants to hear about all the things I love as much as I’m willing to talk about them. I’ve got supportive, helpful roommates who I really appreciate. I’ve got a work environment that is positive and appreciates me. I’ve even had one of the first and biggest metaphorical hand-slaps contact me and apologize for how they acted. I really want to dive back in again, but my fear and anxieties keep me back.

Like going for a swim in a lake, it is almost always better to just dive right in. The rush of water will feel cold at first, but you’ll stop noticing it quickly afterward. Then you’re free to swim to your heart’s content. Sometimes, though, you need to check for rocks first and take your time getting wet. Eventually, I’ll be ready to take the plunge, but for now maybe I’ll just start with my feet.

Swimming in an Endless Sea

I like to describe my depression as an endless sea. I describe living with my depression as floating in said endless sea. I also describe my depression spikes–the times where it gets all-consuming and I have to put all of my effort into not letting it swamp me–as storms on that sea. I feel the metaphor works well because I do not feel like my depression is an emotion or something that comes and goes. It is always there. It changes the way I interact with the world and how I evaluate every decision I make. When it spikes, it turns a relatively simple and routine task into an all-out fight.

A lot of my metaphors for dealing with my depression center around this image. It comes out mostly in my poetry, but also in the way I talk about it to the people close to me. Just like describing my anxiety as wind (which can be anything from a gentle breeze or even still air to raging tornadoes and hurricanes) or my OCD as a spiral (thanks to the lovely imagery from John Green’s Turtles all the Way Down), I try to find a good image based on something that other people can relate to. It usually works really well because mental illness and our experience of it are subjective. There’s no way for someone else to describe someone else’s experiences with an illness that exists in the realm of their mind. There are biological descriptors and terms we can use that deal with diagnosing and treating the illness, but our experiences are our own. The same is true of physical illness. Sure, you can diagnose and treat a broken arm based on certain tangible facts and descriptors, but you can’t describe someone else’s experience of having a broken arm.

I’ve always liked my depression metaphor because it does a great job of conveying the weight of it. I am treading water in an endless sea because I can manage my symptoms, but I’ll likely never be entirely free of them. My depression colors every thought I have, it weighs in on every decision I make, it is as much a part of my life as being a guy is. It is a part of me. If you can imagine being stuck in an ocean without land or a boat in sight, you can imagine the sort of helplessness and hopelessness that can strike me when I’m struggling to manage my depression.

The endless sea metaphor also lends itself well to the ways I try to manage or interact with my depression. It can pull me down, which is a lot like going under the water. I can’t breathe, but I know that I can hold my breath for a while and swimming in the right direction will bring me back to the surface. When I’m on the surface, I can work on assembling rafts from what I find around me as I float.  It takes a lot of work to make one and they rarely survive a storm, but they let me take a break from needing to work at treading water constantly.

When my depression gets bad, because my anxieties start a storm or I get caught in a thought-whirlpool, it gets more difficult to tread water. Can you imagine how a raft might not survive a storm, dashed apart as the waves swell and crash? Or how it might get tossed aside after getting sucked down a watery vortex? Then I’m back to sinking or swimming under my own power. What if my anxieties and OCD start acting up at the same time? A raft would be useless in a hurricane. Which is why I prefer an anchor to a raft. It might not help me stay on the surface, but it keeps me from getting swept away in a storm or pulled into a whirlpool so long as the rope is strong enough. Even in a hurricane, the anchor will remain. I may not be able to breathe under the water, but I can hold my breath for a very long time at this point and the ocean is always calmer under the surface. Clinging to it often means going under a bit during a storm more frequently that I’m used to, but it also means I always know which way leads to the surface.

The metaphor isn’t perfect, as no metaphor is, but I’ve spent years and years thinking about this and it is so far the best one for me. If I ever come across a better one, I’ll immediately switch to that, like I did with my OCD and thought-spirals. I used to describe it like being unable to stop making a ticking noise with your tongue: it is annoying as shit to you and can get on the nerves of the people around you; it interferes with communication but can be worked around if you try hard enough and people are patient; it is something you know you should be able to avoid doing but can’t for reasons you’re unable to explain (which also frustrates you); and feels like an involuntary bodily reaction once you’re sort of accustomed to it. Spirals is so much simpler and so much more accurate because it gets at the core of what my OCD is and how it affects me rather than being focused on the symptoms.

For a long time, I was tempted to see the people around me as rafts. I could invest myself in their lives and problems, trying to help them and support them, so that I could use my effectiveness at helping them as a means of buoying myself. My past romantic relationships and closest friends were rafts because I could lean on them when I needed help. The problem with that is that I can’t rely on other people to get my through my depressions spikes. Not because other people won’t do it or that getting help from people is bad, but because I can’t expect them to fix me or be emotionally available all the time. They have their own problems to deal with. They can’t be there all the time and that’s fine. That’s a normal part of human relationships. We like to say that we’ll always be there for the people who mean a lot to us, but “always” is a tricky word. That’s a lot to expect from someone else, even if you’ve married them.

I don’t mind asking people for help and I do it when I need a little boost. If what I’m asking won’t cost them too much and will help me through the latest storm or whirlpool, then of course I’m going to ask for help. I just don’t expect it. I also need to be ready to handle all of them on my own because I’ve had times when no one was available to help me and they could have gone horrible wrong if I hadn’t been prepared for that.

There’s a fine line, there. I want to be willing to ask for and accept help from the people close to me, but never in a situation where I absolutely need it. There are resources for those moments, help lines and therapists, but those are people with training for those moments. Putting the need for that level of help on people close to me would be an incredible amount of pressure. I think they’d all be willing to do it if I said I needed it, but, having been in the situation of someone needing that from me, there is a cost that comes with it. I’m glad I have people who’d pay it, but I’d prefer they didn’t have to.

None of this, of course, is to say that I’m in a situation where I need anything. I had a depression spike yesterday that is carrying through today and was made worse by an unfortunate connection between some of my mental health issues and the movie I saw with my girlfriend, but I’m doing fine. I appreciated being able to ask for some comfort from my girlfriend while we watched Rise of the Guardians to clear the other movie from our minds, but it wasn’t something I expected to make me feel better. It helped in the moment and it gave me an hour’s reprieve from the storm I was fighting (we couldn’t find the movie anywhere but on 20th Century Fox’s website and they only let us watch an hour of it), but I eventually left and had to deal with it on my own again. If there was more she could have done to help, I’d have asked for it, but sometimes the only thing that helps me is time.

Before I went to bed, as I meditated on my depression and my girlfriend’s wonderful offer to help me if she could, I couldn’t help but think of the ways I’ve dealt with and talked about my depression over time. I went from dealing with it on my own in an unhealthy manner to relying on other people to dealing with it in a constructive and nominally healthy manner on my own. Even if the metaphor hasn’t changed and I sometimes need to remind myself that it is okay to ask for help as long as I’m not putting too much pressure on people, it is nice to see how much better I’ve gotten at handling it.

Talking To Myself

Most people
when they chuckle
and
admit
to talking to themselves
offer the
explanation
that they just don’t like
silence
or that they’re
thinking out loud
Me
I do it to
drown out the whispers
in my head
hoping
against hope
that if I can
somehow manage
to talk loud enough
I can ignore them
It
never works
because there is a
slight hint of
insanity
that creeps
into my voice
and a
primal sort of
wild
tautness
to the muscles of my face
that just SCREAMS
of the whispers
hidden behind the
animated comments
and
self-narrative
that rambles out
of my mouth
It only seems
to emphasize
the
silence
outside my head
and the
color within it
I need
to stop living
alone
It’s too quiet here
especially when
I’m
the only one
making
all the noise

Saturday Morning Musing

Lately, I have enjoyed joking that my life is finally in order so now I can say that, for sure, I am the mess. There’s some truth to this expression, but it isn’t entirely fair to me. I believe that my mental issues are a part of me and that they are a significant characteristic, but they are not limitations. I am bigger than my mental illnesses. I am more than them, though I am them as well. I may be a mess right now, but I’m a fairly organized mess and I’ve got a plan for becoming a not-mess. I’m in-between bookshelf organization methods. Sure, my books are stacked all over and covering the floor, but I know each stack and where each stack needs to go. I’ve just got to do the work of putting the books away.

I’ve been having a lot of stressful weeks, lately. I’m currently trying to do everything I can to avoid feeling too depressed and wanting nothing more than to just stop doing stuff for a few days or weeks so I can rest. Dating, writing every day, blog posts, working more, and more! Then there’s been a lot of individually stressful things like a few super busy weeks at work, tax-filing, and realizing I need a strict budget. This leaves me spending my Sunday in bed, watching my Steven Universe DVDs while listening to the Steven Universe soundtrack and playing Pokemon, only leaving bed for D&D at 5 pm and a few times before that for food and the bathroom.

I don’t even know if I can say I actually enjoy days like those. I have them every so often and I know I need them, but I don’t really enjoy retreating from the world to that degree. I talk to almost no one, get nothing productive done, and make a mess in my room because I can’t even be bothered to go downstairs to put my dishes in the sink. Don’t forget the time I spend agonizing over stupid little things that shouldn’t be stressing me out as much as they are while I ignore the actually legitimate issues I should be fretting about. Sometimes I eventually work through it all and can think about the real issues, but not always.

Depression is a bitch. As John Green once said in a video (I can’t find the video so I can’t attribute it to its primary source), “Depression is melancholy, without its charm.” There’s nothing fun about this. Anxiety also sucks. Nothing ruins a day quite like feeling like you forgot to turn off the oven about literally everything. I woke up at 6:30 because I apparently don’t like to sleep and then spent the next seven hours stressed out. That was last weekend and it was the longest day I’ve had in a couple of years.

I really want to find a way to calm down and let go of my tension, but my tension is a result of constantly working on things that are good for me and that I enjoy. I want to do everything I’m doing and more, so I’ve only got myself to blame for the position I’m in. If I want the successes I’ve set as my goals for 2018, then I have to pay the price. It’d be really cool if I could just get out of my own way and no longer waste so much energy on dumb shit like freaking out about whether or not I’m going to see an increase in the daily average views for this blog or if I’ve actually got enough clean underwear for the next week (which doesn’t matter because I’ve got a washer and dryer, so I can just do laundry whenever I want).

I’m used to being able to turn my anxiety and OCD toward useful ends. Even my depression had its uses. Now, all of my worries and OCD traits feel frivolous or irksome. It is hard to enjoy the feeling of being in control engendered by the act of cleaning your space when you can’t actually get down to cleaning because your cleaning supplies need to be cleaned first

I’d like to just shrug and say I’ll figure it out in the end, but it feels difficult to maintain that level of confidence and belief in the strength of the future when I feel like I no longer have any part of my mental health problems figured out. That’s the stress and exhaustion talking, but they sure talk pretty loudly these days. They’re becoming dominant aspects of my mental landscape every week. Hopefully another quiet weekend or two, following on the tail of a quieter work week, will help me get back on my feet and feeling like I can figure it all out in due time. That’s always a nice feeling.

Fallen

Broken words and broken moments
Shower me with leftover letters
And more little “later’s” than I can stand.

Cluttered mind and shuttered heart
Weigh me down as I reach out
And take me far from what I had planned.

Shattered phrases and endless thoughts
Tie me up in ceaseless swirls
That ignore my every plea or demand.

Forever lost beneath the rubble
Of my organized and ordered mind,
Piles of rock and ruin all beige and bland
Of which not even a plinth remains,
Is the once-mighty empire of me.

And all I can say is that it was grand.

 

Saturday Morning Musing

For a long time this year, I wasn’t writing or updating this blog very much. I’ll admit part of that was by choice (at least for the blog since I felt like I didn’t have anything to say) and part of that was because I just couldn’t make myself string the words together unless I was super moved by an idea. I was pretty busy most days and that meant I didn’t have much energy for working on my books, much less my blog. A lot of my time was filled with trying to manage my depression and a related self project: trying to avoid making myself depressed or anxious for no reason at all.

Honestly, that was probably the most successful “project” I worked on up until National Novel Writing Month and this daily update thing. It worked pretty well for the most part and only didn’t work when I had fairly legitimate reasons to feel depressed or anxious about something. During those times, my pinpoint focus on not making things worse for myself helped me avoid spiraling into a fugue or going back to my bad habits of closing off and hiding away from everything but my minimum work requirements and meals.

It was exhausting, though, because I needed to be constantly aware of what I’m thinking and focused on jerking my mind away from depressing thought spirals and needless anxieties. My OCD neither helped nor hindered, thankfully. My tendency to obsess over depressing subjects was effectively cancelled by my tendency to sort of automate small mental activities, like emptying my mind or tracking patterns in the world around me–which are only “small” activities because I’ve been working at doing those things for over a decade now. Making a habit of forcibly jerking your mind away from its habit of obsessing over negative thoughts and ideas is basically a wash.

I’ve been doing it for long enough at this point that its become a solid habit, even outside of my OCD. I catch myself more frequently than I used to, even though the spirals are a bit stronger than before. There’s nothing like a new relationship to lend strength of some negative thought spirals. At the same time, one of my major sources of stress is gone and I’ve got a significant source of positive emotion. No longer living with my frustrating roommate and having a girlfriend have definitely had a positive overall impact on my life even if I still occasionally have moments of intense anxiety. I don’t know if I’ll ever be entirely rid of those thought spirals or, as I refer to them in my head, thought tornadoes (because only the incredibly powerful ones are a problem and there’s no reasoning with them because they just carry you along with them), but I can definitely appreciate the fact that they’re the only major problem I’ve got right now.

I really wanted to write a post about how awful my roommate was, as a form of catharsis for myself and in order to start a conversation about how painful it can be to try to live with someone who doesn’t respect you despite the fact that you get along great as friends. I wound up sitting on the idea for a couple of months, which was probably wise, because I feel like I’m in a better place to actually think about it and respond rather than simply vent about it. Which is to say that I think the thing that stressed me out wasn’t so much his behavior, but his refusal to actually take steps to work on it despite constantly acknowledging it. So many times, I would sit down to discuss something with him and he’d cut me off by proving he already knew what I was going to bring up. It felt awful to be living with someone who knew what they were doing was wrong but continued to do it anyway because they didn’t care enough to change.

I worry that he’s going to see this, or that one of our mutual friends is going to see this and then share it with him, but that might be for the best. He obviously didn’t hear what I was saying to him during the 21 months we lived together, but maybe reading it will help it click. It’s worked before, with my original blog. Maybe it’ll work here as well.

I’m not going to hold my breath, though. After successfully reducing the amount of self-inflicted pain and stress I encounter on a weekly basis and spending an entire month writing up a storm, I think I’m ready to return my attention to what is most important to me. That, and the most common issue I face when I’m working on my creative projects. I will take breaks to rest up and recharge, but I never seem to be able to get the recharging part working properly. I can rest, feel ready to push again, but I haven’t managed to recharged myself past the low-levels I’ve been feeling for three years at this point. I don’t need to get out of low-power mode in order to write, but I feel like it’d be a lot easier if I could.

Of course, its been so long that I’m not sure if I can actually get recharged or if I’m making the entire thing up as an excuse to stop when things get difficult. Time will tell, I suppose. It usually does.