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AloneGuy

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Blog Entries posted by AloneGuy

  1. AloneGuy
    I feel like I'm just an annoyance to everyone around me. Even here online, I feel like a big baby crying out for attention...I hate these thoughts and I don't usually get them quite this bad.
    I feel like a burden to my family and friends. What really sucks is that I don't even know if my feelings are rational or not.
    In social situations, like last night when a few friends were visiting for a Summer Solstice cookout...who would want to hear the thoughts of a lonely, ill, depressed guy?
    So I kept my mouth shut for most of the night. I wasn't very social last night at all. It's hard for me to be sociable when I feel so awfully down.
    I was polite, of course, but not at my "social best".
    We did make a cool bonfire last night...and it really should have been fun for me.
    But I just mostly ended up staring into the fire and thinking about lots of things...
    Anyway I'm rambling again so I'll stop typing for now.
    Thanks for reading and have a nice Sunday.
    -AG
  2. AloneGuy
    On what has been a terrible day and night for me, I thought I'd share a quote from Khalil Gibran's book "The Prophet", which was written in 1923.
    It's kind of a non-denominational, "inspirational" book about a fictional prophet-like character in ancient times who answers people's questions about various topics with proverbs and the like.
    Here's a quote in the chapter on Joy and Sorrow:
    "Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
    And the same well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
    And how else can it be?
    The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."
    I hope that is true.
    Good night and thanks for reading :)
    -AG
  3. AloneGuy
    Just some things that have been on my mind lately:
    - Since mostly recovering from my latest depression, I haven't really made much progress. I still have a hard time facing each day, my sleep is erratic, and even on days when my depression isn't too bad I get bad anxiety.
    - I hate it when my body hurts when I'm depressed....headache, fatigue, muscle aches, etc. I've noticed this happens a lot when I oversleep as well, so there might be a connection.
    - I've decided to become a pescetarian...which is a diet of seafood, veggies, fruit, etc but no meat. I'm doing it mostly for ethical reasons. June 21st will be my first day. I chose that day as it is the Summer Solstice, and I used to be kind of in tune with the changing of the seasons and would like to again.
    - My brother and I made our flight reservations for visiting our family in Colorado. It'll be in late July.
    My parents, my sister, sister's husband, and all of my little nieces and nephew live fairly close to each other in southern Col. It's always a lot of fun visiting them, especially during the summer.
    I have an awful fear of flying...so the days leading up to the trip I'll be a nervous wreck. It's really too bad trains aren't cheaper, I've always loved to travel by train. Lots of fun. :)
    Thanks for reading. I hope you all are feeling well today.
    -AG
  4. AloneGuy
    As usual it's been a while since I've updated my blog.
    Lately I've been thinking about starting a private journal again, since it's easier for me to write in a book or a letter than post online.
    Anyway... I have been trying to recover from a particularly bad and dark, but thankfully short, depressive episode. I go through such depressions often and have for many years.
    So I have the "time tested" knowledge that my depressions will lighten up to some state of feeling "ok" (never feeling 100% great).
    And after a few weeks of misery, my latest depression has truly lifted up a bit, thank God, and also thanks to my treasured friends here, and one very special friend in particular.
    So here I am today on a Wednesday afternoon...being hit in the head with extreme anxiety. The near panic type that shakes me to my core.
    I'm feeling very sorry for myself. I really don't think I've ever done anything to deserve either depression or anxiety...and to go from one to the other and then back again? It sucks.
    Sorry but I just had to type this out and get it out of my ill mind, even if only temporarily. To be honest I'm not even sure why...I know it'll come back. It always does and has broken me down for over 20 years.
    What's next?
    Thanks for reading.
  5. AloneGuy
    So last night, after some friends had gone home, I decided that I was tired enough to go to bed.
    Mistake. I spent about 7 hours alternating between a light doze and restlessness. My room felt really hot, so I turned on the air conditioner. Then it was too cold, so I turned it to the fan setting. My heart was beating too fast, and I was thinking about how I have only 3 Klonopin for the next 3 days before I can get it refilled.
    Other annoying thoughts went through my head as well.
    Usually when I can't sleep I'll just get up and go into the living room and watch tv, listen to music, go online, etc. For some stupid reason I didn't do that last night. I tried to gut it out. I should be learning from my experiences with depression and anxiety, yet I'm not. I make the same mistakes over and over again.
    Why can't I make my Klonopin last a full month? I tried setting some aside earlier in the month, but ended up using them all up.
    So this morning I am feeling pretty bad. I just took a klonopin so hopefully that will help a bit. Two pills would have been nice, but I need those for the next two days.
    I'm really afraid I'll have a panic attack today. Fearing fear.... being anxious about anxiety, are not pleasant feelings, but is so ingrained in my mind that I can't help it.
    Oh well. My end of the month blog entries probably sound like a broken record. Same story over and over again.
    Thanks for reading.
    -AG
  6. AloneGuy
    Brief update:
    I had a weird week, the past 7 days. I procrastinated on getting my Klonopin refill last Tuesday....which resulted in a nightmarish day on Wednesday.
    Wednesday really sucked. I was close to panic all day with no med to rely on. My mind was an anxious mush...worst I've felt in quite some time. Scary feeling for me.
    Yet, I did indeed drive myself to the pharmacy late to pick up my Klonopin...how I did so while literally shaking with anxiety I'll never know.
    Since then I've been well. :) With my meds I'm able to handle severe anxiety, and my depression (always present) is not severe.
    But I have also been very concerned about my brother...his girlfriend is moving out of our house in just over a week from now.
    I always worry about my brother.
    So anyway, that's my update...
    Thanks for reading :)
    -AG
  7. AloneGuy
    It truly was chaotic here. My brother and I hosted 8 people at various times between Friday night's dinner and Easter evening.
    I was able to socialize fairly well, as the guests are people I would call friends and wasn't feeling too bad anxiety/depression wise.
    On Saturday night I went to bed very early and missed a large party, which was definitely a good thing as I was one of few without after effects from overindulgence the next morning :)
    My brother's girlfriend and I went out to do some shopping early Easter morning while everyone else slept.
    The weather was beautiful!
    Last night (Easter) was a lot of fun. The two friends who were visiting from Pittsburgh left to tour Washington DC. So it wasn't quite as hectic as Friday night, which was crazy.
    I don't ever recall eating as much good food as I did this weekend. I've always been skinny so for me eating=good :)
    Just my scattered thoughts I thought I would share :)
    Anyway I hope everyone had a very nice holiday weekend!
    Thanks for reading,
    -AG
  8. AloneGuy
    More potentially helpful herbs for us depressed and anxious people...
    Kava - (anti-anxiety & antidepressant) The aged root has been used by Pacific Islanders for ages as a ceremonial drink. Many health stores sell the powdered root (and unfortunately the possibly toxic stems) for use as a tea, but it is meant to be consumed with the liquid, not filtered out. The process of preparing it is complicated and ultra-traditional in the Pacific islands.
    I have some experience with high quality root powder, and it tastes absolutely foul! LOL However, when prepared correctly it did help to calm my anxiety, and has a vague kind of "alcohol-like" effect on the body. For the most part the mind remains clear. Probably the best natural anti-anxiety herb I've ever tried.
    It also made me rather sleepy, so might be good for insomnia though I did not use it for that reason.
    Overall I found it very relaxing and lightly uplifting. It works, for sure.
    Wild Lettuce - (anti-anxiety) This stuff grows everywhere around here! It's related to common lettuce and has a very mild relaxing effect. The leaves can be eaten much like Dandelion, or a tea or extract can be made. Funny, it is sometimes referred to as Lettuce Opium, probably because the sap dries into an aromatic resin. I've never tried opium lol, but I guarantee Wild Lettuce is nothing like that at all. Very fun to harvest and drink/eat as a relaxing herb. Used to be one of my favorite herbs.
    Lotus/Water Lily - (anti-anxiety) I ordered this a few years ago on a whim. The species' are "Nymphaea" and "Nelumbo"...both famous for being featured in ancient Egyptian art. As it turns out, the sacred lotus was soaked in alcohol and consumed for its mildly relaxing (psychoactive?) effects. I just made a tea out of the flower petals and felt very calm. A bitter tea, but a little honey helped.
    I'll have to experiment more with these flowers.
    Sweet Flag - (anti-anxiety) Also known as Calamus root. It's pretty common here, growing around lakes and ponds. The root can be chewed (never swallowed) to ease anxiety, and especially for me, ease the after effects of a panic attack. I once had a ton of the chopped roots on hand, before I was prescribed Klonopin.
    It tastes horrid when chewed...kinda like a combination of soap and dirt LOL. I might harvest some locally this summer. I actually got used to the taste after a while.
    Valerian - (anti-anxiety) Even though this appears to be the most recommended anti-anxiety herbs, it had the opposite effect on me. I had bought a bottle of Valerian Root capsules when I was struggling with anxiety back in the days before I saw a doctor, and it caused me to become even more anxious. I remember being unable to sleep and feeling jittery while taking this. It must work for some people though, because it's very popular.
    Green Tea - (anti-anxiety) Hard to beat a calming cup of warm green tea :) Healthy and not at all as jittery as coffee or strong black tea.
    Great stuff.
    St. John's Wort - (antidepressant) I don't have much experience with this one. Yet apparently it is very popular for treating depression. I have read here and there that it is not as strong as pharmaceutical antidepressants, and that it is a weak SSRI. I don't know, so can't comment on this herb other than to say it is very popular around the world. The flowers, however, are beautiful I think.
    Thanks for reading. I'll post one last entry on herbs soon...
    -AG
  9. AloneGuy
    Ok, so here is the first part of my list of possible herbal remedies for depression, anxiety and mental/physical well being.
    These are fairly safe, but please do not take any supplement unless you are 100% sure that it won't interact with any meds you might be taking. There is always the possibility of an allergic reaction as well...so be careful :)
    I am also not recommending any of these herbs. This is just my own thoughts and experiences.
    Chamomile - (anti-anxiety) Makes for a very tasty and mildly relaxing tea. One of my favorites :)
    Catnip - (anti-anxiety) It doesn't seem that many people are aware that catnip is not just for cats. For cats, as everyone knows, it causes a euphoric "high" that is very entertaining to watch :) When made into a tea for human consumption, it can cause a relaxed feeling. Not at all powerful, but for me it is comparable to chamomile. The tea doesn't taste bad with a little honey added, kinda minty.
    Siberian Ginseng - (anti-depressant?) There are so many types of Ginseng available, and it comes in a wide variety of forms...pills, extracts, drinks, teas, etc.
    Of all the different species of Ginseng, apparently Siberian has the most calming effect. I used to take the pills years ago, and it was possibly placebo but I do recall feeling better...mentally and physically. Certainly not a cure for depression, but it might help a bit.
    For the most part though, Ginseng is used to help the body cope with stress. It is not usually referred to as an antidepressant.
    Kratom - (antidepressant) By far my favorite herb (actually a tree) for depression. It's grown in southeast Asian countries and has been used for its medicinal properties for a very long time and is considered "safe". I have taken it almost daily for the past 7 years. The dried leaves can be put into gel-caps or made into a tea.
    The effects are strongly antidepressant, but do not last more than a few hours. It is also strong, and unfortunately some people abuse this outstanding tree to get "high"...which can happen in high doses, along with very bad nausea.
    In small doses, I find that it makes for a stimulating, depression crushing, morning companion similar to coffee but with pronounced "hey I feel good" type of effects. It also helps clear my mind and helps me to concentrate, as well as increasing my motivation to actually do things.
    I should probably mention that it is illegal in some countries (but not here in the US). Take whatever internet info you may find on Kratom with a huge grain of salt...there is a lot of misleading and flat out wrong "facts" about Kratom floating around on the Net.
    It's certainly not for everyone, but I credit Kratom with helping me through some of my worst depressive episodes. The potential for dependence (especially psychological) is moderate, I'd say...but then again so are some psych meds (like Klonopin, Xanax, etc).
    Skullcap - (anti-anxiety) Possibly the strongest of the anti-anxiety herbal teas, but it can be taken in capsule form as well. It has been a while since I've used it, but I recall a mild-moderate calming effect from the commercial tea. The bulk herb can also be found and would likely be of higher quality than the Skullcap tea found in health stores.
    Combined with Chamomile and Catnip it might make for a pleasant nighttime tea, or as an anti-anxiety tea for any time of the day.
    Many more herbs to come in my next entries... I really should have done this in alphabetical order lol :)
    -AG
  10. AloneGuy
    So pretty much every spring, especially after a very long winter, I seem to get in the mood for hobbies I may have neglected for some time.
    Trying to appreciate the greatness of Nature is one of these...especially living where I do in the Blue Ridge foothills near the Shenandoah River.
    The sheer volume of everything natural is in abundance here. I really don't miss living in the DC suburbs at all :)
    I started becoming interested in the medicinal and "spiritual" use of common plants when I was young. Then I studied it and read every book I could find on the subject, and ultimately practiced it. Not as a profession or anything. Just as a fun thing to do :)
    So having been fighting against depression and anxiety for oh so long, it was natural for me to check out possible herbal remedies for my mental illness. Not to replace my psychiatric meds, not at all....but to supplement and possibly help treat things that antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds might miss. Or, just to improve my health a bit.
    Anyway, in my next entry I'll post my thoughts on a few herbs I've tried, or are reputed to help with mental ailments. Hopefully someone will find it of some interest :)
    Thanks for reading.
    -AG
  11. AloneGuy
    Hi!
    Its been a long while so I figured I would/should update my blog. In a kind of abbreviated format :)
    I took a month long break from DF from around Christmas until about the beginning of February. I've been around since then, but rarely post outside the Water Cooler/Forum Cafe.
    During that period of time:
    -Christmas was cool, just a small gathering of local friends and good food. A few gifts were exchanged, but Christmas really isn't the same as it once was for me.
    -My birthday was Jan 26th and, since my brother's is the 27th, we celebrated both on the same day. It was pretty fun :)
    -My depression was pretty bad throughout the month, and I was physically ill as well. When I saw my doctor for my routine 6 month psych meds refills/update appointment he noticed my lungs didn't sound so good and that I had a fever. Basically I had been sick for some time, and was put on meds for that, and am now finally recovered.
    Nothing serious.
    -My depression is currently not too bad. I'm going through one of my better phases. Who knows how long this one will last...
    Anxiety is ALWAYS an issue. Going to the store during the day can be hard for me. I don't get acute panic attacks very often these days (due to klonopin), but anxiety rears up frequently...especially social anxiety.
    So anyway I'm doing ok at the moment. Hopefully the next time I enter a depressive episode I won't retreat from DF like I did the last time.
    Thanks for reading
    :)
    -AG
  12. AloneGuy
    A few thoughts:
    Vacation- Wow once I got back home it didn't take long for me to fall back down into my usual rut.
    I was able to carry the good feeling of visiting my wonderful family for a few days, not much longer.
    Online Friends- I doubt it's reciprocal, but I really do care about them and try to talk to them.
    Hobbies- Summer is coming to a close, and I have done very little of my summer hobbies. Why? Because "there is always tomorrow"...yeah right.
    Blogging- Yay I enjoy it and really need to update mine more often...perhaps a daily journal?
    Thanks for reading!
    -AG
  13. AloneGuy
    So I made it out to Colorado to visit my parents and other family. I'll be here until next Sunday.
    I was, as usual, extremely nervous about the trip. Not the visit itself, but the plane ride out here....but of course I made it safely.
    Ever since I was a kid I've had a fear of flying. I do realize it's an irrational fear, much like my fear of heights (and even spiders!).
    I also realize I shouldn't be complaining at all while many people on DF don't even have supportive parents to visit...in fact I feel very guilty about posting this.
    It is very nice out here. The change of scenery has come at a good time for me as I've recently been coming out of a bad depression. How will I feel 6 days from now when I'm back at home? Likely not good, but I'm really trying not to think about that, I'm trying to enjoy myself out here.
    I discovered some interesting things while talking to my mom the other night. Apparently my family history is filled with mental illness. I knew that my mom's side of the family has a history of depression and anxiety, but I found out that there are also relatives who have been hospitalized with psychosis and schizophrenia...one particular relative actually disappeared and no one knows what happened to him.
    Anyway, this has reaffirmed the fact that I have inherited my illness. Depression, anxiety, psychosis, alcoholism, and who knows what else are all visible on my family tree. I guess I should consider myself lucky that I'm not even worse off.
    So, yeah, I am having fun on vacation. I'm now used to the -2 hour time zone change (I slept most of the first day), and I saw a bear today! :) Pretty cool.
    Thanks for reading. Hope all are doing ok, even though I know some of you are not.
    Best wishes from Colorado
    -AG
  14. AloneGuy
    So I'm roughly a week into my latest depression (no, the pattern never stops for me), and I've been thinking about lots of stuff in general. A few things in particular.
    -Physical pain is a part of my depression. When I first encountered depression when I was 12-13, I don't think I had any aches and pains...But what I do remember is having the gnawing butterflies in my stomach feeling. Almost like being nauseous for months!
    Over the past 10 years or so I have increasingly experienced vague physical aches along with the depression....even "mild" depression gives me a headache.
    My meds do not help this, and whether or not aspirin and other otc meds do is doubtful as well.
    -My social skills drastically deteriorate when I'm depressed. This past weekend some friends came over for a visit, and then again on Tuesday. Well, I tried to be as friendly as possible, but I really could have easily broken down crying in front of them. I actually felt like just crying and begging for help. I wish I could have done that, yet, what kind of host would I be if I did so? If I poured out my guts to them during a friendly visit? No, I passed on that and waited until after they left before crying.
    -I am definitely a burden on my family. They, like my friends, are supportive of me overall and I so greatly appreciate that! But really, I'm just the depressed loser of the family. I know it and I'm sure they do as well, though they would likely never say such a thing.
    I am most definitely a burden on my parents (financially) and my brother (who I live with and knows when I'm in a pit).
    -I'll be traveling to Colorado to visit my parents, sister, nephew and nieces pretty soon. My brother and I will both be going, but we've arranged for a couple friends to house sit for us and take care of the cats, etc.
    We're looking forward to this trip but the problem is that I have to completely zonk myself on klonopin just to make it on the plane. I have a terrible fear of flying, and as the day approaches so will my anxiety increase as it always does.
    -And lastly, wow, I really wish my depression would lift soon! Just for a few weeks, is that so much to ask?
    Thanks for reading. Hope you all are well.
    -AG
  15. AloneGuy
    So for the past month or so I have been pretty much stable. At or near my baseline which is not normal, but just "not bad".
    Today I wake up feeling achy and a bit down. I always get aches and pains when my depression comes on.
    Anyway I was in bed for most of the day, sleeping a bit and thinking, and when I get up it has become clear that I'm depressed again :(
    It's back in full force and I feel like sh**.
    My thoughts have turned dark, my body hurts, and I just want to retreat into sleep and dreams.
    I knew my depression would return, it always does and always has for many years now.
    I just wish my streak of feeling "not too bad" could have lasted a bit longer.
    Thanks for reading, I had to type this out because I haven't told anyone around me yet...though my brother knows me well and likely can tell when I'm in a depressive episode.
    -AG
  16. AloneGuy
    So something really sad happened last night. I've been thinking about it all day and feel the need to type this all out.
    First a little background. There is a young guy who lives a couple houses down from me. I don't know for sure but I'd guess he is in his early-mid 20s. He has paranoid schizophrenia and lives with his parents. I know for a fact that he is very lonely, and he will occasionally stop by my house to talk about random things. I'm not exactly the most social guy in the world, so normally I'll talk to him for 5 minutes and then make up an excuse to end the conversation (I always feel very bad about that, but it's hard for me to talk to him.)
    Some of the gossipy neighbors have said that because he has schizophrenia he must be dangerous. Well, I have been dealing with my own mental illnesses (depression and anxiety/panic) and so I never judge anyone by that.
    Occasionally this guy will run down the road shouting to himself, and I guess that freaks a lot of people out. Not me though because I really feel for him. No doubt his life is a struggle.
    Well anyway last night at around 9:30 I was sitting on the couch watching tv, and I hear someone banging on the porch door yelling "Help Help!"
    So I go out on the porch and it was the schizophrenic guy. It was pretty dark outside, but I saw that there was blood on his arms and he was cradling something in his arms. I look closer and see that it was a very small black kitten! There was blood dripping from its neck and it wasn't moving.
    I ask what happened, and he said that his dog (a large black dog that he will walk occasionally) attacked this stray kitten. He was very distraught and I was shocked to see the little cat with a large bite wound in it's neck.
    I said "man, I think that cat is dead" but then it coughed and moved around in his arms! I was stunned and had no idea what to do, so I told him to go immediately home to his parents for help. He said ok and I think he may have been crying. He left and I saw him running home while cradling the kitten.
    I felt like s***! Why couldn't I have done more? I could have at least given him a blanket to wrap the kitten in, but that thought didn't occur to me at the time...I was too stunned!
    Well this has been on my mind all day. I know now what I always suspected about this guy. And that is that he's a very sensitive and caring human. All the gossip about him was wrong! I seriously doubt the kitten survived, as it was bitten severely and lost a lot of blood. I love cats so that has upset me as well.
    So that's what happened here last night. I really needed to talk about this. Thanks for reading!
  17. AloneGuy
    So July 4th is Independence day in the US, for those who don't know :)
    It's actually a holiday that I used to love as a kid. My family would put on a fireworks display and have a cookout.
    So for a few hours my brother, his gf and I went down to the Shenandoah River, which is about 4 miles from my house.
    They went swimming but I just relaxed on the shore and walked around a bit. There were a few other people on the river. Oh and the weather was brutally hot!
    Overall it was quite fun :)
    Unfortunately I've been getting very little sleep lately. I slept for a mere two hours this morning, and attempted (unsuccessfully) to sleep some more this evening.
    It's a very weird and unpleasant feeling to be on such little sleep. The world looks...weird. Kinda unreal, like a dream.
    To complicate that a bit I took my last Klonopin today. I can't get it refilled until tomorrow night :( I'm usually pretty good at making my prescriptions last the full 30 days, but not this time. I normally take 1mg total per day. The pills are .5mg so I took a half dose with nothing to take for the next 19 hours or so.
    It's a scary thought for me not to have my Klonopin at the ready. I never know when my anxiety might amp up. And with the insomnia, well I hope I can make it til tomorrow evening without freaking out!
    Thanks for reading.
    -AG
  18. AloneGuy
    So I woke up today kinda late, with a bad stomachache and headache and now my anxiety is coming on.
    I hate feeling sick, all it does is make me anxious.
    Not even sure why I feel like crap. I ate some homemade stir fry for dinner last night, but it was very light and nothing in it that should be causing this.
    Some friends are supposed to be coming over this afternoon. But really I just want to take some klonopin and sleep the day away in my room.
    Hope whoever is reading this is having a better day.
    Thanks for reading.
  19. AloneGuy
    Normally I really love the mornings. During my darkest depressions I would get up to watch the sunrise and actually feel a little better, even if only temporary. I feel very bad when I sleep in too late and I hate waking up in the afternoon!
    Anyway this morning I woke up at 6am. But instead of feeling good I awoke with pretty strong anxiety. Like my heart was beating to fast and I felt very hot and my nerves were frayed :verysad3: It's a terrible feeling.
    I basically said **** this took a couple Klonopin and managed to go back to sleep for a few more hours.
    Anyway I have no idea why I woke up with so much anxiety. I didn't really eat anything last night, so maybe that's it. Or it could just be totally random. Who knows? In fact I haven't been eating much at all the past couple days. And then I'm too hungry to eat! If that makes sense.
    Not a good sign and I feel a depressive episode may be coming on. I really hope not cause I'll be traveling to visit family next month and I DON'T want to be depressed during that time.
    Thanks for reading.
  20. AloneGuy
    So I've developed this really weird habit lately. For example I'll be waiting in line at the pharmacy or other store, and then I'll think of something really funny and have to restrain myself from bursting out in laughter. It doesn't really depend on my mood, as it'll happen when I'm anxious and depressed. The other day my brother and I were at a fast food drive-thru, and as he was ordering, I couldn't help it and started to laugh uncontrollably!! I guess it's kinda funny, but now whenever I'm at the store I start to think about thinking about something funny, and that's enough to send me into near hysterics! It's really weird, but I suppose it's better than bursting out crying!
  21. AloneGuy
    Hey! I don't often post new topics on the Forums, I just reply to the threads that I can relate to and offer some advice to the poster. Or I reply to people who seem to need help pretty bad. OR, I just post in the off-topic forums. So I just thought maybe starting a blog would be kinda helpful. That's my first entry Good night
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