8/24/16: Overspending on CDs, rambling about Werner Herzog

Doing away with my personal Facebook account has been great. I feel like I’ve eliminated a lot of chaos, bullshit, and hostility from my life. I probably spent too much money this week, but I also made a lot more money last week, so it all balances out in the end.

I ended up getting a box set of Metallica’s entire discography. I’m not sure I’ll ever even listen to any of the stuff that came after Load, but it was cheap and used and maybe I’ve finally forgiven them for disappointing me in 1995 (by releasing Load). I also got 3 more Scott Walker CDs, including the one he did with Sunn O))), which I haven’t heard but it seemed like a good idea at the time. (Still waiting for those to come in the mail.) I got 3 of The Stooges’ albums, too, because I only have their stuff on vinyl. Some of it was really cheap new on Amazon. And a 5-CD Roxy Music set. I have mixed feelings about Roxy Music, but it was cheap, too. I think that’s it.

On the one hand, it’s overspending; on the other, some of it’s replacing stuff I used to have an sold, like some of the Scott Walker and Stooges stuff. I got a used 6-DVD box set of Werner Herzog films also. There are several of those, I think there are 2 with documentaries, then there is one of films with Klaus Kinski (this is the one I bought) and another 6-DVD set of non-Kinski Herzog films.

It took me forever to get around to watching Grizzly Man, I don’t know why. I’m not sure I’d watch some of his documentaries again. I loved the On Death Row series and Into the Abyss was decent, too. I’ve been trying to talk other people into watching From One Moment to the Next every time people mention texting and driving. It’s on YouTube, last I checked, and it’s terribly grim. I was really high when I first watched On Death Row (there are 4 episodes) and I probably like it better due to sympathizing with Herzog’s views on capital punishment.

Anyway, not much going on here. Buying things, watching movies, listening to music, mostly.

Positivity

People tend to say to focus on positive things, but this is problematic when you can’t come up with any positive things to focus on. Everything is completely fucked up. I am legitimately struggling to find anything positive to focus on. In addition to that, I do also have the feeling that negative emotions are normal in response to negative circumstances, and I don’t think denial is necessarily a good thing, either.

I kind of feel like my personality and self-awareness were completely out to lunch for several years there. There was nothing other than denial/lack of awareness. That wasn’t good either, but there was no sense of struggling.

Getting out of the house doesn’t help; it just further fucks up my sense of time and keeps me from doing the things I need to do, like dealing with health problems and making money. It causes me great anxiety and stress. My sense of time is still quite abnormal and I have trouble getting even a few useful things done in a day. I force myself to do things now, like drawing and attempting to get a somewhat decent portfolio put together. I make myself play piano/guitar/violin to focus on something and to pass some of the time in a somewhat meaningful way. On occasion, I drink too much and spend too much money. I think I’ve bought 3 DVDs, a few records, and about 20 CDs this week.

I am not seeing anything getting better in the future, and that fucks me up a bit, I guess.

Mania and overspending

While manic, I tend to overspend. I am prone to excesses of many kinds, but I tend to allow the spending most of the time because it’s the one excessive thing I do which is least likely to result in my death (unlike randomly taking or not taking medications, abusing drugs and alcohol, etc.). The very first week, I bought an electric piano, various guitar accessories (pedals, cords, new strings, new tuner). I’ve been buying books, records, and CDs at a pretty steady rate since then. I’m sure I’ve acquired at least 100 CDs and well over 100 records in that time. I also have a habit of buying the very same albums repeatedly. The first time I can remember doing that was about 15 years ago.

ebayfeedback

The shift in my mental illnesses took place a little over 6 months ago. This is interesting because you can see a pretty big difference if you subtract the last 6 months of Ebay feedback from the last 12 months. 6-12 months ago, I wasn’t ordering all that much. Most of the orders have been since this past August.

amazon

Here, you can see that I order, on average, about 11 times per month from amazon. Those orders can (and usually do) include multiple items.

Thinking back to about 15 years ago, I can remember being extremely stressed out from work and taking the train to the mall after a night shift. I was working night shifts for a few years and decided it’d be a good idea to just sleep every second day. My days were 48 hours long. That really screws up your sense of time. I was never tired, though. I would sometimes get upset and go to the mall and buy stupid shit I didn’t need. I also bought a lot of books and CDs, but I consider those justifiable purchases. I just bought way too many of them.

In more recent years, it’s become more of an online thing. The spending part is enjoyable, but so is getting things in the mail and then having the things. I suppose you could make some accusation of attempting to fill a void in myself with material items. I enjoy categorizing things, putting CDs/records in chronological or alphabetical order (I switch it up now and then, just for something to do), and searching for items that are rare and hard to find. I also justified some of the spending by telling myself that I had quit therapy, and that freed up some cash money. Buying things, however pointless that may seem, still seemed like a more positive experience to me than therapy, anyway. I don’t blame my past therapists; I think a lot of it’s my fault. I just am not willing to talk about myself in person, to anyone (unless it’s a humorous story or something). If a therapist pushes me, I will quit going right away. If they don’t push me, I just won’t get anything from going there, and that will eventually cause me to stop going.

Mental illnesses report, Jan 25

It has been several months now since the bad chemicals in my head have changed their configuration. It might be not quite perfect to refer to things as only mania and depression, but that’s the best vocabulary I have at the moment. Sometimes I’m on, sometimes I’m off. I’ve been on nonstop since last August, and it’s beginning to wear on me.
I find it kind of funny, though; I spent the whole time I was depressed wishing I was manic, and now that I am, I’ve actually found myself longing for the depression. I know I don’t really want that, either, though.

This is greatly complicated by the medications I am on. I am convinced that there is little hope of psych drugs stabilizing my moods. I have tried that, and with fucking disastrous results (nearly hospitalized once) and no psychological changes. I don’t like therapy and I don’t feel like it helps me or has ever helped me or ever will. And it was costing me hundreds of dollars a month. I feel like my problem, other than the obvious bipolar disorder, is that it is complicated by the medications (corticosteroids), which exascerbate it and make it sort of unbearable, except for short periods of time when I am falling down drunk or engaging in ebay/amazon “retail therapy” (lol), which is to say, obsessively buying shit and then obsessively organizing and reorganizing the same shit. Books are nice, too. Started writing again and have been drawing more. If I can’t sleep, I have about 50 books of classical sheet music, and I do enjoy just kind of zoning out and playing some Beethoven on the piano. It is almost relaxing.

I could function more or less like a human before the prednisone. With the prednisone, I am barely holding my shit together. The depression sounds nice just because it seems like a very stable, calm, Vulcan-like state, but while depressed, I really I am just completely numb, apathetic, can’t enjoy anything, and am vaguely sick of being alive. While manic, I can be irritable, I can start raging or crying at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all, I alternate between extreme egomania and something like a post-Catholicism super-masochistic martyrdom complex, but I am very productive and when I enjoy shit, I enjoy shit a lot. So there are good and bad points.

I have tried probably dozens of drugs over the years (talking about psych meds here) and nothing ever had any positive impact on me. Most of the time there was no change at all, and if there was, it was something unpleasant like an allergic rash (depakote) or constant diarrhea for months on end (prozac), or the zombie-like state I was in when they had me on anti-psychotics in the late ’90s.

I have given up on being stable. Part of me enjoys being unstable, just not *this* fucking unstable. So I am just hoping I can reduce the corticosteroids, maybe find something else that works, and at least get to the point where, if necessary, I can more or less pass as a human for short periods of time. I’m not there at this point, I’m more like a very volatile walking pharmacy/toxic waste dump.

Obsessiveness and language learning, etc.

I think the reason I stopped therapy was mostly that (1) I considered hypomania much better than the state I was in before a couple months ago, and (2) I am afraid that any treatment to “stabilize my moods” is going to put me closer to the aforementioned state, which is my worst fear at the moment. As for things like coping strategies or whatever, I feel like if any coping strategies were going to work with me, they would have worked at some time in the past 25 years. I’d been contemplating quitting therapy for at least 6 months before I actually did.

That being said, I’m still very far from stable and I just feel like I need to regain some self-discipline. I will, on occasion, get very, very fucking angry over some stupid shit. Today it was because someone claimed a translation project I wanted, and I screamed a long string of profanity (not even muttered under my breath, I mean I fucking screamed “fuck” about 20 times) and nearly put my hand through my wooden desk. Glad I work from home, haha. On a serious note, though, I need to not do anything that could potentially injure my hands, because they’re sort of important to me considering they’re what I use to work. But that’s where the desired self-control comes in, I suppose. It feels good to be angry though; it’s much nicer than the sort of void I was in before. People could have pissed me off in any conceivable way then, and I wouldn’t care, because I didn’t give a shit if I was alive or dead. Now I just sort of randomly rage about stupid shit. That’s one of the things that drove me to compulsive exercising when I was in college though, in addition to projects like a video game thing that I spend untold hours/months/years coding. It gave me something to do with the extra energy. Same with when I’d buy German grammar books 15 years ago when I didn’t know any German, never took any classes, and I was like goddamnit I am going to do every exercise in these books until I understand German. And so I did, 8 hours a day sometimes. That’s why I bought the piano. I’ve completely forgotten how to read bass clef, which is really weird because I can still read treble clef and the last time I actually had to read music when when I played trombone, which was bass clef. So my right hand knows what to do and my left hand just hovers stupidly in mid-air. I’m sure it’ll come back to me. I also cut up a bunch of pieces of watercolor paper (I have a gigantic roll of it) to do some paintings to try to sell. I had some bad BDD-related moments because if I was going to work a self-portrait in there, I had to take pictures of myself (the angles are too weird for a mirror), but it didn’t bother me that bad. I don’t even have a state ID, I haven’t since 2007, because I don’t want to have to have my photo taken. The Cushing’s syndrome is a big part of that, but it existed long before the Cushing’s. Will probably do a couple more serial killer paintings just because people buy them on there, but I’m bored to death of doing them.

I am abusing drugs and alcohol entirely too much this week.

bipolarFound my last therapist receipt while cleaning out my backpack. Equivalent to bipolar NOS, i suppose. Anyway, just saying the “psychosis” part isn’t really new since I’ve been diagnosed with it for 20-some years. ^_^ I think I function pretty well most of the time, regardless of where my mind is at. All of my websites were created while manic, also.

ETA: I bought TUMS for the calcium, forgetting that I am having trouble with certain tastes. I am having a terrible fucking time trying to chew/swallow two of these things. Should’ve at least gotten peppermint. Ugh.

ETA pt 2: I am abusing drugs and alcohol entirely too much this week.

I spent the past years largely in a sort of depressed brainfog wishing I could be me again; now it seems that I am but “me” isn’t necessary an easy person to be. Dealing with excess energy and lack of desire to eat and sleep. I forced myself to very nearly eat a normal amount and variety of foods yesterday but it wasn’t pleasant, and it was only after spending a couple hours wandering around town in fairly hot weather and feeling like I was going to pass out.

Currently listening to The Beatles for about 12 hours a day, but still listening to a lot of Elton John, too. I get weird like this and it’s like I am attempting to make up for all the time I was unable to listen to/enjoy music while in a depressed state. I tried listening to the Grateful Dead last night and didn’t find them as interesting as they seemed to me a month ago. Likewise, if people suggest music for me to listen to, I am unable to comply due to compulsively listening to either the Beatles or Elton John. Repetitive/obsessive/compulsive behavior is pretty normal for me while manic, but I like to document it so that I can recognize things if they recur. I now feel like I should’ve recognized something was a bit off when I started buying a bunch of Grateful Dead stuff. [shrugs]

I am trying to stay away from the liquor store because I feel like I would attempt to buy half the alcohol in the store and drink myself to death. I was in a somewhat dysphoric frame of mind last night.

It’s not that it’s terrible to not sleep due to tiredness, because I don’t really get tired, but it’s more like it would be kind of nice to just shut my brain off once in a while (drugs don’t seem to work, i know because I’ve tried). On the other hand, this is actually a whole lot better than the depressed state I was in, because I really was not seeing any reason to go on living in the state I was in for the past 7-8 years.

I am taking a short break from Facebook today because if I see one more motherfucker saying how great the pope is, I’m gonna fucking break something. I’m experiencing a massive psychotic hatred of the pope right now.

I had a granola bar today, I’m off to a good start. I have a lot of work to do today.

I got on the scale today and started swearing because I didn’t think it was possible to lose that much weight within a single month. I’ll have a few more granola bars, I think. =/ I mean, I had it to lose, but shouldn’t have been able to do so so quickly.

Then I spent 20 minutes in front of the mirror marveling at the fact I have a lot more white hairs than I seemed to last time I inspected my hair for them.

Another impulse buy

Latest impulse buy: 88-key digital piano. Also pictured: dogs, gigantic fucking box, and my old shitty keyboard in the garbage can outside where it belongs. The reason the box was so big is there is a stand and bench with it, but I can’t be arsed to put those together right now; busy working and trying to make up for the money I spent this week, lol.
piano

Manic episode and I stopped seeing my therapist

I decided to stop seeing my therapist as of yesterday. I went last Thursday, I had been going every three weeks since I got the current insurance, and every week before that (I was on Medicaid). I am tremendously bad at talking about myself. If indeed I have any issues which could be helped by therapy (and things like personality disorders can’t be treated), I am unable to talk about them to my therapist or anyone else. In fact, it weirds me out when people say to me “you can talk to me.” No, I can’t. And if I could, I doubt it would make me feel better.

That being said, I am in the most manic of manic phases right now. Can’t eat, can’t sleep. Have developed a borderline-psychotic obsession with Elton John and listen to him about 20 hours a day (this happened about 15 years ago with David Bowie). I was reading Oliver Sacks’ book “musicophilia” and a lot of that makes sense to me, the idea of drugs (and/or imbalances in neurotransmitters, mental illness, etc.) causing either obsession with or aversion to music. I couldn’t listen to any music at all for about 6 months there, which was upsetting because I was trying to do another issue of my [black metal] zine. I couldn’t review albums, I couldn’t do interviews with bands because I didn’t give a fuck about them and I can’t fake it. If I don’t care about the bands I’m interviewing it’s gonna come through in my interview questions. Last psychotic obsession I had was not music though, it was Star Trek, which I hadn’t watched in 15 years or so, and I actually went through and watched every episode of every Star Trek series except Voyager, which bored me so much I made it halfway through that show. I have been being quite productive though, so there’s that. It’s also likely that, if this keeps up, I will manage to lose the weight I gained from the prednisone. This could also help my BDD. I haven’t been able to look in a mirror for years really and I don’t allow people to take my photo.

I’m also pretty sure my typing speed has goddamn near doubled.

That being said, at least one of my [past] therapists had doubts about my bipolar diagnosis because my manic episodes lasted so long (years, in some cases) so it could just be sort of intermittent mania. The depression could just be explained by prednisone, but it has been pretty crushing. The skin condition (especially the pain from it), among other things, has made me contemplate ending my own life on numerous occasions. I’m at pretty much the opposite end of that spectrum right now. If I had more money, or less debt, life would be good.

I never manage to leave the house, though. I think the only reason I used to was because I was in college and/or had roommates who would tell me to go places with them. Left to my own devices, I’m pretty much an island, socially. I hang out here and talk to a few people on facebook but I have no desire for any type of real life interaction with humans. I take walks with the dogs at night, and go to the store if I need something, and that’s about it.

But going back to the topic of aversions, I find I can’t watch movies anymore either, and I think that’s somehow related to meds or something. I used to watch a film every single day. When I started up my horror movie review website back in 1999, I actually would rent enough movies on VHS that I could review a film every day of the week. Now I just watch true crime shit.

Anyway, that’s the problem with mania. You’re nuts and you don’t want help because being nuts can be enjoyable.

I stopped taking my BP meds a while ago (the steroids cause HBP) so if I end up dying of a heart attack, that’s why. They gave me heart palpitations every time I laid down. Started taking an aspirin in the mornings though. The blood pressure only gets high when the prednisone dose is increased though, like higher than 10mg/day.

ETA: The last time I had a really outstanding manic phase I would spend 6+ hours per day exercising. that was maybe 10 years ago. Exercise just became the most enjoyable thing in the world. I have been doing a lot of pushups and spending time on the exercise bike this week, but not nearly to the same extent.