A Good Conversation.

My good friend wrote a post about his experiences with drinking and it has inspired me to also write about mine.

Alcohol was never a big factor in my childhood. I was never shied away from it, but it was never around in abundance either.  I do remember getting to sneak a sip of my uncle’s beer from time to time and I always found it pretty good.

Into my teen years, I still never really got around any alcohol until my late teens ( like 17 or so). Then I met some of the “cool kids” and found that beer WAS pretty good, but we never had enough (for me anyway) to get get hammered. My first experience with being drunk wouldn’t happen until my 20’s.

I worked at Best Buy and, again, hung out with “the cool kids” and I went to my first real bar. Shot after shot, beer after beer, I was drunk for the first time…

And it was glorious!

Now, one of the reasons that I am also writing this post is that Brian and I shared a lot of these experienced together. We drank a lot together. Why? Because we are kindred spirits and we both had the battle cry: “I am never growing up!”

So, I drank to get drunk. If it was a party, I was drinking incredibly massive amounts of alcohol to get drunk and have fun. Because that is what I like to do. I had been doing it since I was in my 20’s and  I wasn’t slowing down anytime soon.

So I thought.

Now similarly to Brian, I also had a medical issue that caused me to go sober. Some of the psych meds I was put on did not really mix well with booze and I had also just got out from being in-patient at a mental health facility. So, having a reaction to my new meds and/or going back into an In-Patient was not something I wanted to do. So, I quit drinking. I stayed away from alcohol for over a year. Until one day…

I just wanted a fucking beer.

Not because I NEEDED a beer, or was having a craving, or whatever. I just simply wanted a god damn beer. An ice cold Shinerbock to go with my steak that I ordered at the hotel that my wife and stayed at to celebrate our anniversary. Simple as that.

I remember that beer. It was the most delicious beer that I had ever had. I remember the fear that I had with it, too. I thought my head was going to explode because taking mood stabilizers and having 2 pints is like mixing soda and pop-rocks, right?  Or would I just stay asleep forever like some Hollywood type in their 20’s, but I was in my 30’s and not famous.  Then it happened: I woke up after a nights sleep and I was ALIVE!

So, the next party we had, I was drinking and drunk Jeff had returned.

However, it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t like it was when I was in my 20’s and early 30’s. I am pushing 40 now and like Brian, I was never growing up. Right? That was the plan still right?  I mean I have a room full of fucking action figures, I wear nothing but geek t-shirts and Chuck Taylors and I still wear a back-pack for fucks sake. You’re goddamn right I am not growing up!

But, the days of “Drunk Jeff” may have seen their golden age pass. That aspect has “grown-up” or at least evolved into a new creature.

Because I have changed my drinking habits (Mainly frequency and type of alcohol) I have found that drinking isn’t about getting drunk. It’s about enjoying the journey to getting to that point where you have had a bit too much.

Like any good geek, I started looking into what I was drinking. I do prefer a good stout (Legion by Community Beer Company is amazing) when it comes to beer and I tend to gravitate to the finer Irish Whiskeys and Bourbons which is what I tend to drink more of than beer. However, there is one drink that I hold higher that all others and it is one that I have put my passion in, my poison of choice is Scotch.

When I sit down with a good Scotch, I don’t drink it as fast as the other above drinks. Scotch is different. Scotch is a drink that you prepare almost as ritualistically as Absinthe, and you also prepare yourself and your environment for. Scotch is savored and enjoyed like a good conversation, because each one is different.

So, my new drinking habit is this: Find something of good quality that fits you (beer, bourbon, or whisky; it doesn’t matter) and enjoy it. Don’t worry about getting to the drunk part, if it’s quality, it will get you there. It’s the conversation and the journey that matters.

So, I have grown-up, a little; however I am not getting rid of my action figures and I still will be wearing my Converse. Some shit is never going to change.*

 

 

*Shit will always change.

 

 

 

 

While I was “Working”.

Because I have nothing to do at work, I decided “I haven’t taken the good ol’ Myers–Briggs Type Indicator test in a good while”. So, I Googled “MBTI” and off I went.

The first round that I went through (https://t.co/pq4w2WfaYb) gave me TWO results that I could be:

ISTP (Introversion Sensing Thinking Perception)

“If your closest personality type is ISTP then you have both a logical and a practical mind and therefore enjoy solving tangible problems. You are very interested in how things work, and may have a tendency to take things apart if you don’t know how they work. You may also enjoy using your craftsman like skills to fix things that are broken, or doing investigative work, collecting facts and clues to find out the truth of what has happened.”

“…you like making decisions on the basis of logic, using objective considerations, and are concerned with truth, principles and justice. You are analytical and critical, tending to see the flaws in situations and you usually (though not always) take an objective approach when dealing with people or problems.”

That pretty much fits me, it sounds about right. Then I kept reading and got to the section: “How ISTPs Might Irritate Others”.

Huh… OK, lets see where this goes.

“The potential ways in which an ISTP can irritate other team members includes focusing too much on the current task at the expense of longer term or interpersonal issues…Colleagues may find it frustrating if you don’t communicate fully your understanding of the situation, if you take shortcuts, of it (to them) it seems as if you flit from one thing to another.”

And that’s where you lost me. I don’t flit from one thing to another and if I don’t get something (or why you want it done a certain way), I let you know.

So, I say they sort of got me; however I also go the result of ISTJ:

Introverted Sensing Thinking Judgement

“…you are interested in clarity and knowledge. You like to observe and listen, and have a particular interest in facts and information which help you to develop as clear a knowledge as possible.”

Now, this actually sounds more like me. I want to know things. I find that the best way to learn is to shut up and observe. Then I read the irritating part.

“The potential ways in which an ISTJ can irritate others include focusing too much on the current task at the expense of longer term or interpersonal issues, not articulating your understanding of the situation…Others may see you as being too serious, seeming to be inflexible, not encouraging others to experiment or innovate, and not promoting his/her own ideas or contributions.”

OK, so maybe this is a little more like me. I want to get the job done & done right. I may not give you every detail, but I have the details. Just do what I tell you and how I tell you and we will get it done; however if you have a better way of doing it, I am up for hearing your idea (unless it’s stupid).

So, I thought I would take another test on a different site, and I did:

http://www.humanmetrics.com/

Here I got the score of INTJ:

Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

This description was REALLY long, so I will just give the highlights:

“…INTJs may appear to project an aura of “definiteness”, of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance…”

Yeah, if it’s an area that I know about, I can come off as a dick sometimes.

“When it comes to their own areas of expertise — and INTJs can have several — they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don’t know.”

If it’s something that I know about and I feel that I can help, I do. If it’s something that I don’t know, but I know where I can probably get the answer at, I let you know that I can try. If it’s something that I simply have no clue about, then I am up-front and will tell you that I am clueless.

“INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest.”

Yep, if I am going to learn about something; then I am going to know everything and be an expert at it.

“Anyone considered to be “slacking,” including superiors, will lose their respect — and will generally be made aware of this; INTJs have also been known to take it upon themselves to implement critical decisions without consulting their supervisors or co-workers.”

Yep, if you are a lazy ass (or just appear incompetent or weak) and you think you are my boss, you better think again.

The rest was all about relationships and it pretty much made INTJ’s to be the stereotypical geek that cant talk to people and is socially awkward.

“Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ’s Achilles heel. ”

“This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people…”

Well, that was kind of me in High-school, and I am a private person now days. I do have little patience for small talk.

Then at the bottom, I see this:

“Because you appear to have marginal or no (1%) preference of Judging over Perceiving, characteristics of more than one personality type may apply to you:”

INTP – Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving

“INTPs are pensive, analytical folks. They may venture so deeply into thought as to seem detached, and often actually are oblivious to the world around them.”

Hang on, we may be onto something here.

“INTPs will often correct others (or be sorely tempted to) if the shade of meaning is a bit off…”

Go on.

“INTPs are relatively easy-going and amenable to almost anything until their principles are violated, about which they may become outspoken and inflexible. They prefer to return, however, to a reserved albeit benign ambiance, not wishing to make spectacles of themselves.”

Yeah, keep talking.

“A major concern for INTPs is the haunting sense of impending failure. They spend considerable time second-guessing themselves.”

I am Jack’s blown mind.

The rest of what this was saying about INTPs was pretty spot on for me.

Especially this:

“Mathematics is a system where many INTPs love to play, similarly languages, computer systems–potentially any complex system. INTPs thrive on systems. Understanding, exploring, mastering, and manipulating systems can overtake the INTP’s conscious thought. This fascination for logical wholes and their inner workings is often expressed in a detachment from the environment, a concentration where time is forgotten…”

But then, I started thinking about it and it because true, I DO swing back and forth between INTJ & INTP and I have a few aspect of ISTP & ISTJ; however I do see the 2 main parts of my personality in all 4: Introverted & Thinking. I may change between Intuitive and Sensing and also Judging and Perceiving; however I am always Introverted and Thinking.

I don’t hold these tests as strong scientific evidence ( and neither does the psychological community), but they are fun to take and just look at where your head is at. I don’t let these define me, I define myself, but it’s good to know about yourself and have some perspective about what makes you, “you”.

Some good stuff to meditate on & maybe get some perspective.

Chasing the Gingerbread Dragon.

Now the holidays have passed,  and only NYE is on the horizon,  I look back and wonder why I just couldn’t get into the holidays.

I thought about it and I think it’s more than just the shit year that I have had. I  honestly think that I am trying to recapture the holidays of the past. When I had my family members either alive or speaking to each other. When my mom was healthy and could be up and about. When I still believed in some of that Christmas magic.

But,  that’s gone now. It’s a thing of the past.

So, it finally dawned on me. It’s up to me and my wife to make our own family traditions and summon up our own holiday magic. We need to create our own things that we look forward to at this time of the year. We have to create our own joy. It’s up to us to create our own future.

When I had this bingo moment I got so excited. I had that Christmas feeling. I saw a universe of open possibilities and I was overwhelmed.

I can’t wait until Xmas next year.

Is it really the holidays?

Christmas is only 3 days away and I keep having to remind myself that it’s December and it’s the holiday season. It doesn’t feel like it, though.

The beginning of this year was horrible. I lost my brother-in-law, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and we began the months long battle to get her on Medicaid so that we could get her into a home (She has a long list of other health problems, and can’t live by herself anymore). That all lead to my wife being hospitalized and me going into an Outpatient program. On top of all of this,  we had to move from our apartment and into my mother’s home. So,  add a move to all of this; which is stressful enough on it’s own. Now it’s the holidays.

We don’t have a tree,  or any decorations for that matter,  and I honestly don’t care about having any. I told my wife to just leave my gifts in the Amazon boxes,  because that’s what I plan on doing. I simply don’t have the will to wrap up any presents or even do gift bags. I honestly have to remind myself that Xmas is Friday. I thank Google Calendar for that.

The only thing that I have looked forward to this “holiday season” is the release of the new Star Wars movie (which was amazing) and the Doctor Who Christmas Special. I do hope that my wife likes her gifts,  and that’s about it.

My only other hope is that 2016 is a better year than 2015 was and that things pick up.

Sorry for the depressing post, and sincerely:

Happy Holidays.

I need cigarettes.

So,  I am sitting here on my couch (freshly showered and deodorized) and I am supposed to be getting my shoes on. Instead of that I have been going over Twitter and Reddit while trying to get the courage to finish putting on my shoes and head out the front door.

What is the task that has me paralyzed on my couch typing this out on my phone?

I need cigarettes and I am craving Whataburger.

Its not like I have to go to dispose of a bomb or fight a fire. I simply have to go through a drive-thru and then pop into a well lit gas station; however these things involve me going outside and I haven’t been handling that well lately.

I guess I just need to breathe and put on my shoes.

I didn’t shower for nothing.

UPDATE: Mission Accomplished! Sausage Egg and Cheese Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits and Smokes have been acquired!

A little scared with a pinch of shame.

Back in July I checked myself into an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) and was in the program for approximately a month. I had a lot going on at the time and my anxiety and depression was overwhelming me. After the program,  I went back to work and tried to get back into my normal routine.

Now,  I would have issues with my anxiety and my bipolar disorder at work on the regular,  but with cognitive therapy tricks and some relaxation techniques I was always able to bring myself back to “normal”; however that wasn’t working anymore. People talking were talking about me,  people laughing were laughing at me,  I was fidgety,  my usual tricks weren’t working, and I have 7 more hours of this shit to go! Why is this so hard? I just got out of a program and I don’t want to go inpatient again! What the fuck am I supposed to do?

That’s when I made a tough decision. A decision that I have been trying to avoid having to make for some time because I didn’t think that I was “that bad”. I filed for Social Security disability. I still feel ashamed because of it,  because I am only 38 and I feel like I am giving up or giving in to my illness, but at the same time I know that I get anxiety attacks just thinking about having to go into an office and be around people, or having to deal with people who are upset about an issue. I know that every morning before work that I would sit on my couch paralyzed in fear just thinking about having to go into the office. I know that if it wasn’t for the caffeine and Xanax, I wouldn’t make it most days,  and that’s not even getting into the depression and then anger that would come along or the mania and not sleeping for 36 – 48 hours. So,  even though I know that my condition(s) have worsened and have impacted my ability to work,  I still feel ashamed. Which is pretty dumb, to be honest.

Then there’s the fear. The fear of having to explain this to someone who I don’t know and have them judge me. I have to explain that I have a mental health issue and it is affecting my ability to work and they get to decide if I am really sick. If I really feel this bad and if I am really worthy of their assistance. I am afraid that I will get the “you don’t look sick”  line and I will have to go through hell every day again for 8 – 10 hours, plus commute. I just won’t be able to make it, I don’t think.

So,  hopefully, in the next few months I will get some good news and all of this fear and shame will be for nothing and I can look back on this post and laugh about how silly I was being. I hope that I will be able to post an update on this with a positive outcome.

Until then,  I will just keep hoping for the best.

So, here we go.

I used to blog on here years ago, and from time to time I would blog on Tumblr; however the SJW/PC vibe is getting too thick over there and the ability to just “reblog” whatever pretty picture that I see was just too easy and I wasn’t really motivated to write anything or share anything. So, I am back here.

It was fun/cringe-worthy to read some of my old posts from 6 – 7 years ago. I see how I have changed as a person. I see that I may have actually grown up a bit and  I also see how balanced I have become with my medication finally being figured out.

Oh yeah…

I should probably mention that, I have bipolar disorder (Type1) with rapid cycling features & general anxiety disorder with mild OCD manifestations. Yep, I am mentally ill; however I am not going to make this a mental health blog (well, not totally), but there will be a lot of posts about how I deal with the illness and with life. I am not sure if this is going to have a purpose other than a sort of online journal, but we will see where it goes.

Stay Tuned.