Battle Royal

Yesterday was terrible.

I had plans to go to the store and run a few other errands; however those plans hit the skids. Apparently, my anxiety has made a new best friend out of my diabetes and yesterday was their first tag team match vs. my normal day activities.

If you have never read any of my posts (or have no idea who I am) then I should tell you that I have severe general anxiety disorder, along with bipolar disorder and OCD.

Yep, you are reading the blog of a crazy person.

So, my anxiety does it’s usual number and it was the typical battle of myself vs. the front door. Usually, I can calm myself and beat the door, but that day Anxiety brought it’s A Game. For almost 3 hours I stared at the front door of my house trying to gather the will to get up and go outside. To get shit done. Finally, I had summoned the will to go get groceries and run my errands and…

My sugar tanked.

So now the will was there, but my body was not able to get up and move. My sugar was low and I had to stop and eat a snack to get it back up. About 30 – 45 minutes later I had that under control and felt like I could move forward; however a new player had entered the tournament…

Depression.

4 hours of my day had been stolen and now, I sat there feeling worthless, feeling broken, and feeling angry with myself. I called no joy and crawled into bed. I talked with my wife, and chanted my mantra “Depression Lies” (Thanks Wil Wheaton) and moved forward. I cooked dinner, and my day returned to as normal as it could be at that moment.

That night I came to terms with something. I will always have to fight. This is a war, not a battle. I have to fight not only my mental health issues, but now my physical health issues as well. It’s a war on many fronts, but one that can be won. I just have to fight. It sucks, but I have to do it. I have the tools, I have the support structure, and I have the drive to persevere. Because if I don’t fight; then like in a real combat situation I will die.

It’s brutal, but it’s the truth.

So today I got up, fixed a healthy breakfast, and ran my errands. I lost yesterday, but today I struck back and I won. I will lose again, but I always have to keep fighting,  celebrate my victories and learn from my loses.

That’s how wars are won.

 

 

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Still Waiting.

This blows.

I know that the Federal Government moves at the speed of narcoleptic snails, but this is ridiculous. My disability hearing was almost a month ago, and I have yet to receive a letter stating how much that I am getting. Much less a check. I am about to refile for disability here in about a week and I still haven’t received anything from my first filing.

I hate waiting, BTW.

I am also waiting to be able to see a psychiatrist. I had my assessment the other day (and yes, I am still crazy). Apparently, despite the fact that I am seeing and hearing shit that isn’t there, I am rated on the lowest level of care with the county mental health facility; however a therapist will be coming to my house once every couple of weeks or so. That’s pretty damn cool; however I do not get to see an actual doctor for my meds for almost another month. That’s not very cool.

I am also waiting on my unemployment claim to be reviewed. Hopefully, I won’t be rejected and will get some cash coming in until my other checks drop. Again, just more waiting.

So, that’s what is going on with me at the moment. Just sitting here waiting for things to happen.

Maybe I should go clean up my house a bit.

 

 

Repetitive.

It seems like I have covered this topic before, but I fear that I will be covering it again and again and again.

Because ‘Murica.

The mass shooting that happened in Las Vegas was horrific. 50 people lost their lives and hundreds were injured. Why? We don’t know because the coward offed himself.

Now we have talked about political vehicles that launch whenever one of these things occur. We have talked about motivation of these things. We have talked about the details of mass shootings to the point that I have forgotten what we have covered. So, my apologies if this is repetitive.

When the shooter was first identified, the media started asking what they always do (when the shooter is a white guy) and that was question his mental health. I am sure that they were shocked and amazed when the family stated that he had no issues with mental illness. Now, does that mean that he really didn’t? Of course not. There are members of my family that don’t know I struggle with mental health issues, but that’s not the issue here. The issue is that mental illness gets the blame as the cause for the incident and the idea that all mentally ill people are just sitting around waiting for their moment to snap and take out a pre-school is perpetuated further.

Say this with me now:

“The Mentally Ill are not mass murderers in waiting”.

As a mentally ill person, I have N E V E R thought about, or planned a mass shooting, bombing, or anything. I am horrified by these things and I am terrified that people with a history of mental illness are always looked at when these horrific events happen. I am not stockpiling ammo, or weapons, or anything. Matter of fact there is only one gun in our house.

Nerf Maverick

That’s right, I am a mentally ill white guy living in Texas that doesn’t own a gun and is not planning a mass shooting. I am like a fucking unicorn.

So what is the root cause to all of the mass shootings? If it isn’t mental health issues; then what is it?

In my opinion, there is not a root cause for mass shootings; there are several.  One is the current gun laws that we have in this country. In Texas, it is harder to get a fucking drivers license than to get a gun in Texas. I could literally go to [Insert Name of Sporting Goods Store Here] and shell out the cash for an AR – Whatever and be out the door in a matter of minutes.  That’s right, minutes. My wife and I have been helping my niece get her drivers licence and it has literally taken months and we still haven’t gotten it, yet.

So, we make people have licenses to show that they can safely operate a vehicle, but we do not do the same for a firearm. We make people have insurance to cover their liability in case of an accident, and we make them register their vehicles with the state; however we do not do jack shit for guns. Until we have comprehensive and logical gun laws in this country, we will continue to have mass shootings.

What else do we need to fix?

We need some common sense laws regarding the modification of firearms.  The media has been reporting about the “bump-stock” that the Las Vegas shooter was using. I know that these increase the rate of fire for a semi-automatic rifle; however I didn’t realize by how much. Then I saw this video.  It shows that the semi-auto basically becomes a fully automatic weapon with the flick of a switch. These are legal because you are not altering the actual firing system, but just the stock. We need to regulate this shit and quick. Sorry, but I am not sorry, there is not a legitimate use for this type of accessory. This isn’t used for hunting, this isn’t used for home defense, and not one gun-owner is going out to stop any tyrants. This type of thing isn’t needed, period.

We have to change the way we view gun laws. No one…REPEAT…NO ONE is coming for your guns. We just want to make sure that responsible people own guns, just the way we do with automobiles, and make sure these weapons do not actually become assault weapons. Yes, you will have to go to an actual gun dealer and not a convention center to buy a gun. Yes, you will have to wait, and go through some hoops; however this will lead to less dead kids, less dead concert goers, and just less death all around.

But… but… criminals will still buy guns illegally.

Yes, they will; however most criminals have stolen their weapons, or have purchased them illegally anyway. This will still happen. My thoughts on this are that if we stiffen the penalty for gun theft, and illegal sales; then we will see less of this, too. If guns are harder to get for the bad-guys; then we should see a reduction in crime. Other countries have done this, why can’t we. Of course, until the GOP stops sucking the NRA’s dick for their campaign money shots, none of this will probably happen.

Look, I don’t have the solution (even though the gun & cheese plan I had was pretty solid), but I have ideas. Ideas lead to solutions. Hopefully, one day, I won’t have to post about this shit anymore.

Sadly, that day isn’t today.

Victory-Ish (With a bit of Catch-Up)

Yeah, yeah… I know I haven’t posted in a few months. I have been busy.

However, I thought that I would come back to you all with some good news.

My SSI hearing was on Wednesday Sept. 27th. I had planned to let go of all of the constant mental and cognitive acrobatics that  I perform to keep the resemblance of stability that probably everyone sees right through; however that wasn’t necessary. I was a W R E C K when I got to the Federal Building. My anxiety peaked, thoughts were racing through my head and I could only look at the ground the whole time.

We arrived REALLY early and sat in the lobby. Waiting for our lawyer to arrive. Once he arrived he had some fairly good news. The judge had already made the judgment of a “Closed period”. Because one of the doctors or therapists had made the note that I was improving, he said that I could take the closed period, but not the residual monthly check. Basically,  I would receive payment from the date that I filed in 2015 to the date that I got out of my last IOP (BTW, I went into another IOP during the time that I was away from here) which was around September 15th, 2017.  So, Y x 25.5 months = Closed Period Check (Y is the unnamed amount that I would have been paid monthly during the closed period). I was told that I could re-file at anytime and that I would have a stronger case this next go around and that it probably would not take as long. So, I will be refiling later this month.

I feel that this is a win. Simply because, now I am not worried about back pay. I already have that out of the way and I just have to focus on getting a monthly check. I was working a job at the time and that also hurt me a bit. I was working for a company called Teletech troubleshooting a very popular brand of computer peripherals venture into cloud-based security cameras. I quit just a few days ago because the management there was horrific. I mean, these people couldn’t have run a fast-food joint much less a help desk. I was asked to work off the clock, threatened with termination if their software didn’t perform correctly, told that they would make any extra time disappear if I went over my 20 hours of availability and just treated horribly. It was just ran terribly. So, now I won’t have that weighing me down during my next filing and I already have a SSI Judge stating that I was previously disabled. So, I am fairly optimistic about this next go around.

I also plan on keeping up with this more. Maybe not posting every day, but at least once a week.

See you soon!

 

You Had To See This Coming.

Tomorrow I am walking into one of my current employers and resigning.  Mind you, I have only been there for less than a week.

If you read the last post, then you saw this coming.

Anxiety has turned into depression, and I cannot handle being in a role that requires me to be in a face-to-face setting.

So, tomorrow, I deliver this:

To Store Management and Whomever Else It May Concern:

It is with my deepest regrets that I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my <redacted> position effective immediately.

It has come to my attention that this job is not the best fit for me at this point in my life. I have issues of a personal matter that are intrusive to my work life and that will have an impact on my performance in my current role. I greatly appologize for these unforseen events and for the inconvienence that this may have caused you and your company. Rather than inhibit your business, I feel that it is best that I step down from my current role.

I do appreciate the opportunity to work for such an outstanding company such as yours and I do hope that I may be considered for future employment with you. I wish you all the best and hope that you can quickly find a replacment for my role with your company.

Best Regards,

<redacted>

So, it’s now time to focus on either a cubical type gig or something from home.

That’s my plan.

Sleepless Over Office Supplies

Here I am. Sitting at my computer at 1:25am having a panic attack.

Why? What’s wrong?

I am terrified of putting on a red shirt tomorrow.

I started work for… well let’s just say a large office supply retailer that is named after an actual office supply… and I have yet to complete a full shift. Tuesday I made it for a whopping 3 & 1/2 hours before the people and the openness started getting to me. I can’t handle it. Even after taking yesterday off, I am still in a sense of complete dread about going to work tomorrow. I have tried all day to put everything out of my head, but here I am. I was in bed, watching Fawlty Towers, waiting for my medication to kick in. I got sleepy for a few moments; however the dread has counteracted my pills. I tried forcing myself to go to sleep; however that obviously hasn’t worked.

I actually have sealed myself up in my geek-lair with the oil diffuser cranked with a clove & cinnamon mix and some incense burning. I am hoping that these sweet aromas will help me calm down and possibly get some sleep.

I am not holding my breath.

I am just terrified of going to that place tomorrow. I actually have a good notion to type up a resignation letter; however I am stuck on the male notion that I am just being a giant pussy and I know that is false logic. I have walked around this house anxiety-ridden and depressed for almost two days now and I am not sure that overcoming a (hopefully) temp job in retail is going to make me better. I still have my 2nd job and a few good prospects that have popped up lately. Honestly, I believe that this job is taking up time that could be put to better use by looking for another job and also polishing up on my Excel and Word skills.

I just don’t want to put on that damn red shirt.

 

Welcome Back!

To catch you up (Sorry, no condiment jokes this time), I am now working 2 jobs! I sell computers and stuff by day and on my off days and nights I evaluate search engines and stuff.  Together, these pay what I used to make working in the IT field, but still no benefits.  So, we are still insurance-less.

(Speaking of which, if you have a minute to check this out please do and please share this link. Any and all help is appreciated!)

I have a job interview on Monday and I am hoping that it goes well.

 

Also, I joined Facebook again.

“Why”, you ask?

Because I have to somewhat foolish notion that things are going to be different this time. People are constantly sharing meaningless and meaningful posts and I am dicking around on Instagram and … well mainly Instagram.

I am being cautious, and only adding people that I actually give two shits about and that number is pretty damn small. If anything, it will be added to my list of time wasting crap things that I do to waste time. However, this time I have set some ground rules!

My Rules for Facebook:

1. I don’t use the mobile app or messenger. If you send me a message on it and expect a quick answer; then you are going to have a bad time. That’s what WhatsApp, Allo, or a text message is for.

2. Rejection: It’s going to happen. I don’t want to hear about your butt-hurt if I don’t accept your friend request or invitation to your rescue dog’s Quinceañera. You shove that way down and save it for your therapist.

C. The first time I see some “If you share this 37 times in a row, Jesus will cure you of El Cancer”, then you’re out of here.

4. If I haven’t spoken to you in “X” years, then I probably am not going to start now.

Rule Amendment #1: Rule#5: Fuck off with the Game Requests

 

So far, which has been a whole day, I haven’t seen anything horrible. I also have not seen anything of real value, either. We will see how it goes.

 

 

Where The Fuck Have You Been?

Unlike the metaphorical father that left for a pack of smokes X number of years ago, I am back.

Where have I been?

Well, I will tell you.

In February, I started a job. I landed a “work-from-home” techsupport gig… or so I thought. I got a call back from a company called Kelly Services. I was tested and interviewed for this work-from-home gig. I was made an offer and I accepted. I then was told what I would be doing:

I was to be working as an AppleCare Advisor for all iOS devices.

Now, you may be thinking that is AWESOME; however it was far from. The job payed crap (for a technical support position) and the “benefits” that they offered was from the healthcare.gov website. So basically, they didn’t offer any healthcare insurance at all.  They sent me an iMac to work with and I had to disassemble my current computer system. Which was heartbreaking (Like the ending of Ol’ Yeller kind of heartbreaking).

Also, I should mention this: I FUCKING HATE APPLE iOS.

I did try to keep a positive attitude about the entire thing (No, really, I did).

I went through the 4 weeks of training to learn NOTHING about iOS that I didn’t already know; however I did learn a few things regarding the interaction between iOS and Mac OS X  and it was interesting. I basically took aced tests over basic IT concepts and played games on my tablet. When it finally came down to the most basic of skills that we needed to work at this job: learning the call system, we got almost no training.

You would think that the training would include a large portion of how to use the Apple Care ticketing systems (aka: iLog) and how to use all of it’s features. You would think that we would have access to this tool before we took calls. You would think that our trainers that did assist us in taking the few calls we did before we started work would be helpful; however it was just the opposite. We got to take a few calls during training and we were “mentored” by the most apathetic guy on the planet (and that’s coming from me!) who didn’t seem to care about anything other than us n00bz getting him in trouble.  It wasn’t until the last 30 minutes of our last day that we got somewhat trained on this system. The next day we went into full production.

(Basically, up until we got access and training, we were shown screenshots of iLog and that’s it. Imagine me showing you pictures of the drivers side part of the dashboard and explaining how they should work. Then, after a couple of lessons with just the pictures and my tutorial/explanation, I tell you to get in the car and take it out on the freeway.)

On my first day of production, I started on time and taking calls like a champ. I muddled my way through iLog and did pretty well (IMO). Until, iLog and my Apple VPN shit the bed. I didn’t panic. I called out attendance line to report the issue and was told that I would need to call the Help Desk. No problem. I rebooted my iMac and called the help desk. While on hold, my iMac booted and I tried signing in again. iLog still showed that it had a connection error. While I was waiting, my mouse started to move and I kept getting a series of IMs. WTF? I wrestled my mouse from whoever had remoted into my iMac and opened the first IM.

Did you ever see the movie “Office Space”?

…Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.

Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

And that’s what was happening.

I had put my iLog into an auxiliary code that didn’t go over well. Apparently, I had someone remoting into my computer to get me out of it and multiple people yelling at me via Jabber. My choice to place myself in “Offline” when my system was… well, offline was a bad choice.  So, I had all of these strangers trying to get my attention to get me to change it. When I advised everyone that I was having technical issues and on hold with the help desk, I was told that I should be in “Break” and not “Offline” (Because that makes sense in their world). I then had the multiple people explaining why and that I was “doing a bad thing” by avoiding calls. I then left a message for the help desk and tried force quitting the app. This fixed it; however a call to the attendance line again later, I was told that without a ticket number from the help desk that I would be marked as absent from half of my shift. The above events took about 25 minutes and most of it was explaining to people what was happening. It did not take 4 hours. So, queue the panic attack.

I tried taking another call and made it through it; however I was done for the day.

The next day I logged in and was determined to have a better day. That didn’t last long.

The key metric that is monitored for an AppleCare Advisor with Kelly Services is attendance. You get five occurrences before you get the boot. I received an email stating that with the one day that I had to take care of my wife and logged in late during training, some other tardy that I don’t remember and the prior day’s episode that  I had 3 occurrences, and this email was to make me aware of that.  So, I sent an email to my trainer, my supervisor and my team lead:

I resigned effective immediately.

Yep, rather than having another termination on my resume`, I just gave my notice. So, now I am looking for a job again and honestly, I am glad that I quit; however, I was kind of excited to work again. I emailed my disability lawyer that I tried to return to work, but failed at my job.  I have yet to hear anything back.

I have an appointment with the county mental health clinic this week. I may be entering an IOP to deal with some shit, if that’s available. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety a lot. I have also been having mixed episodes, which suck balls.

On a brighter note, I did get a new phone recently and I fucking love it…

And no, it wasn’t an iPhone.

 

 

Positive Change While Watching the Snow Fall.

If you read my ramblings, then you know I live in a secret lair in North Texas. As I type this out, I am watching the snow dust the ground in fluffy white splendor. We don’t see snow that often and when we do: All hell breaks loose. People make a mad dash to the store for bread, milk and eggs. People still drive like it’s a dry road despite the cold wet white stuff all over the place. The entire state literally panics and shuts down (Except for EMS and TxDOT).

But, I am digressing.

I am here in my central-heated home typing this out because I have good news! I have a 2nd interview with an awesome company doing  help-desk work in their IT department, but remotely (AKA: From Home). I did have 2 final interviews set up; however one was cancelled due to some corporate policy that they cannot hire past employees. I honestly think that it’s bullshit since they ask you on the application if you have previously worked for them and it’s the most current previous  job on my resume, yet I still got a phone interview and a live interview. It was mentioned in my live interview that this was a thing (the phone one was too see if I was still batshit crazy, which I am); however I was told ,since I went part-time at the end, that the issue of re-hiring wasn’t a problem, because the policy was mainly  regarding salary. Oh well, honestly they were my fall back anyway.

No loss, really.

So, 2017 is looking OK so far and hopefully I will be in a job that allows me to work from home, doing the nerdy shit that I like.

**knocks on wood**

Back on Drugs.

Good News! I am seeing a psychiatrist and getting back on my meds and having a few changes done to my typical regiment. I am no longer on “rescue” anxiety meds but on a medication that is supposed to control my anxiety throughout the day. I am getting back on one of my mood stabilizers and I have a sleep-aid again. Soon I will be on my other mood stabilizer and things should be back to what I consider “normal”.

Bad News.I went from a “great” two or three week manic episode to hitting a brick fucking wall. I have been unstable (mood-wise), groggy, and just plain feeling like shit. Imagine drinking a lot of coffee or Red Bull and getting in your car to start going at 100 MPH (161 KPH) and suddenly just slamming on the brakes while downing a bottle of NyQuil. You skid, spin and flip the car multiple times while being extremely tired and sleepy. That’s as best that I can describe it.

Other than saying that it SUCKS BALLS!

The new anxiety medication makes me dream; which is something that I do not normally do. And not just dreams, but odd ones. Dreams that you wake up from and are questioning the fundamentals of life as you know it. Some I remember, some I do not, other than one word or scene from the dream sticking in my mind. I have had dreams about:

Lithuanian Fruit Bats.

Being in a shopping mall that is also a hospital, and a spaceship.

Being in a large building that changes/rearranges rooms & floors because it is alive.

My mother being a professional “Rascal” racer.

Being attacked by sharks.

Being in the soap opera “General Hospital” and knowing that it is a TV show.

If this keeps up I may start keeping a dream journal, just because drug induced dreams can be hilarious…except when they involve sharks. Fuck that and fuck sharks.

The shitty thing is that I have been getting easily annoyed and even filled with rage over nothing. Literally nothing. Like I will just be sitting there and suddenly I feel anger to a level that just makes me want to break shit. I have also been having a lot of “fight” anxiety attacks that have left me with just a feeling of rage and anger that I honestly do not like. I have been experiencing a lot of spontaneous laughter as well. It’s like someone else has the remote control to my brain and is just randomly switching through channels.

And this is only the first week.

Eventually I will be back on my medication at full dosage and things will be all good; however I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy being off of them and just being “crazy” for awhile. It felt amazing. Which reminded me of the real danger of being bipolar. You feel AMAZING when you are just hypomanic. You can do anything, and you have all of the energy and joy in the world. That is, until you hit a depressive episode and then the world is a vile place and just shitty or you have a full-blown manic episode and end up hurting yourself or getting into real trouble (like the kind that involves handcuffs and a taser) because you had “a great idea” that you just had to do at that moment.

Although I hate this feeling that I get when I have to get back on my medication, I know it’s good for me. I know what it feels like to be stable and even though being stable is “boring” it is also safe.

Safe is always a great place to be.