Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Ramblings

It has been a long year and much has happened.  I have settled into a quiet life in my own home with my dog and my computer.  I am finding myself more isolated these days despite my jaunts down to the shopping center.  I go down there mainly out of boredom and loneliness.   You can always count on something "going on" down there. 

I was thinking this morning about my state of mind and my appearance.  I look, for all intents and purposes, like a homeless person.  I wear frumpy clothes and rarely shave these days.  My tennis shoes are falling apart and I won't wear my new ones bought in the fall.  I was wondering if it was depression, but I don't think so.  Depression causes me to sleep and I haven't been spending an inordinate time in bed.  This just feels comfortable to me, and I realized I no longer care what other people think.  It affects my relationships though.  My status on the social ladder rungs of life is pretty low.  I have keenly noticed how different I am treated when I am out with my father.  He dresses well and looks wealthy.  Yes, Sir! No, Sir!  I am treated with contempt as I look poor, and I am poor monetarily.  

I have big dreams these days that I don't share on the blog.  Dreams of wandering the countryside, riding the rails, and seeing where my fancy takes me.  I would be leaving behind a lot, and I would somehow have to train Maggie to stay with me and not run off like some hellion set free after a school day.  Still, I dream.  I dream of leaving behind my overbearing family and becoming a true vagabond.  This home has kept me tied down and too comfortable for far too long.  Wanderlust is in my blood. 

I thought of living in my car for awhile like the Hobopoet did for a spell.  Just for kicks and fun.  I lived in my car for a short while last year and it was interesting.  I have always been drawn to alternate forms of living one's life.  I have also thought of pitching my tent behind the cotton mill and living for a spell.  What has kept me from doing all that is that I tend to want to drink when faced with such situations.  Your days are filled with idle hours and the drinking makes the time fly.  Drinking, I have found, also causes those terrible panic and anxiety attacks to return.  I can't live with those as they are absolutely horrible and frightening.  That alone almost keeps me sober these days. 

Mentally,  I think I am doing pretty well.  I have my moments.  Just today, I was thinking of quitting blogging.  I felt like I was getting nothing out of it with only negative comments from people I think don't really care.  I am just some dog and pony show for other's entertainment.  I have seen so many people come and go over the short life of this blog, and it makes me wonder what I am doing wrong.  If I am even worthy of being someone's friend or not.  Little communities sprout up around blogs and mine doesn't seem to have much of one, unlike the many, lessor read blogs I read.  I always had a hard time making friendships and keeping them.  I wonder why I even try anymore.  All my relationships are superficial.  A few people that have read my blog have reached out to me over the phone these past few years.  I won't answer on a regular basis though due to my phone phobias and they soon grow tired of calling to only get my answering machine. 

The new year is coming up.  I have plans.  Big plans.   I still want to volunteer somewhere to help build up a work ethic and resume.  I have good intentions every morning I get up, but falter.  Getting dressed in uncomfortably nice clothes, being socially acceptable, and driving to ask wears me  down and brings out my anxieties.  I used to be such an outgoing soul, not afraid to work or try new things.  I realize I am scared.  Scared of other people and life's situations.  It is safer to sit at home or to visit with my unorthodox friends down at the shopping center.  My only lifeline to others is the Internet and that is superficial at best as well.  I don't know what the new year will bring, but I have high hopes.  I am so lucky in so many ways, but so mired in my own comfortable existence that change is terrifying.  Maybe it is time for change -- for this blog and for my life as well. 

34 comments:

Golden To Silver Val said...

Just wishing you a Merry Christmas, Andrew. I hope it brings you what you desire. Please try not to isolate yourself now...be with your family.
Blessings ~

Blue Gardenia said...

Dear Andrew, This you describe are all the negative psychotic symptoms to Schizophrenia, staying in, not answering the phone, having few and superficial friendships, not shaving and wearing clothes by how they feel and not how they look. Wanting to live outdoors is also a symptom. I have all of those symptoms and am struggling too. I have gone downhill from being a rr conductor to an unemployed, mentally ill person. I keep 2 sports jackets and sweaters as well as a pair of nice slacks and loafers. When I go out, even just for coffee, I force myself to put on these sociable duds. People do treat me nicely which does not add to the always-present paranoia. Coping mechanisms and wearing the above disguise helps me get by without being found out as a Schizophrenic. I also try to say very little and not have my speech patterns give me away. Stay home and try not to be swayed by the demon of alcohol which is crude and unrefined medicine for those labrythine spectors which haunt us constantly and tenderly.

mosiacmind said...

andrew...i can relate to some of what you wrote. i typically no matter how good or bad that i am feeling wear clothing based on how they feel.my friend s and i always joke because it seems pretty much wherever i go i wear what some people view as slumpy and she is one of those people who will not leave the house unless makeup on etc.
i have never gone camping much at all. i have to say that if i ever came into alot of money that i would want to take like 3 months or longer to tour the united states. the only issue with that is that since i cannot drive anymore that i would have to take someone with me unless i took greyhound to various places which sounds fun to me though might not deal well with being with lots of people that i do not know.
i wanted to remind you that there are some of us here in blogger land who really do care for you....i hope that if you decide to take off and camp that you would let your blogger buddies so we would know why the silence from you...also i was just thinking that if you were out and about most libraries have internet access..just a thought.
i know for me...and this is just about me not you i do tend to get less social when i am not taking my medications.i tend to be social even when i am on my medications at times. again just sharing about what happens to me when i do not take my medications...and i know that we are similar in many many ways but have different diagnoses.i just want to encourage you to take care of you and we are each knowing what works for best for self. i would like even if it is just for a short time to visit your family and especially those who you have not seen in awhile. i know for me often times when there is a big family gathering i need to take breaks even sometimes just sittig in a room by myself for a short time or bring a book and my family does get that i need to take breaks or my anxiety increased ten fold. i as i know that you know..i do care lots and i do know what it is like all that you are dealing with.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Andrew, if you need a break from blogging, I would honor and support that. But your writing would be missed. You offer a great contribution in the way of being candid and sharing your life - that is truly valuable. There are those who suffer from negativity and cynicism - I try my best to disinfect when approached by such, but in truth, sometimes I can mimic the same darned attitude :-( Just know (and beleive) that you are well loved and appreciated here! Take care and hope you and Maggie enjoy a peaceful Christmas!

Mo said...

Andrew, Checking in from blogger land here.

I stop by all the time but rarely leave comments. I do care. There are days I just don't have much to say. If I were a betting woman, I would say there are others out there like me.

I value you, your insights, and respect the life's journey you are on. I find inspiration in the honesty you share with us.

As for those with negative comments, poo on them. Don't let them get to you.

I wish you peace and wishes coming true in the coming year.

mosiacmind said...

Andrew I forgot a few things I wanted to share....if you do need to take a break from blogger land i would miss you yet understan.I also wanted to mention when I first stopped using that year it was moire difficult for me to not use when I isolted myself.....again i am just sharing about myself.as you know i do not go to aa or na meetings anymore so i understand how aa or na does not work for some people and for me back then just staying social helped me.

justLacey said...

I think blue gardenia gave some excellent insight into what may be going on. Perhaps you should consider the advice given from someone who seems to understand. If you don't want to blog for a while you can still contact some of your friends on their blogs. The rest of us will understand. I quit blogging because I felt i didn't have much to say on a regular basis.

Rhette said...

Andrew,
I'm stopping by to say hello & also to apologize for not commenting lately but I had surgery & it has taken me longer to feel better. Still that is no excuse for me not to send you a little note to let you know that you are in my thoughts.
As I read your blog, I feel you are having some difficult days, it seems a lot of people are that way this year -- even people who are always happy seem to be down, I wonder why.
Your have wonderful friends here that care about you Andrew, I am humbled by their concern for you & letting you know that they are here for you. It's amazing. You must have heard this a million times but you have touched so many lives. You are NOT a dog and pony show for other's entertainment, not for a minute!
Many people come here & read, they may not always comment but they are pulling for you each day & we worry about you as we would a family member.
You have come so far, so please take a moment to give yourself some credit for showing up each day to fight your battles. And on days like this when the struggles are a bit too much -- just sit, be still and let God love you ...

Hugs to you and your sweet Maggie

Kirs ~

geelizzie said...

Andrew, I happened upon your blog a few months ago and am one of those that rarely leaves comments but follows your blog. I just want to say that I have hopes that your New Year will bring you whatever it is that you are looking for and need in your life. I enjoy reading about the moments in your life and do care about you even though I don't know you. I especially like the photos of your little Maggie and the ones of your town and street, it looks like a beautiful place to live.
And watching trains is a great way to spend a day. My son who is 26 has loved trains since he was a little boy and is now an engineer for Burlington Northern Santa Fe here in California. He and his friends have always enjoyed a day of train watching over the years.
Best Wishes to you and Maggie for the new year.

SOUL: said...

hey there my brotha...

i can relate to a lot of what you say here. i know you know that already though right.

don't take recent slowing of blog readers or comments etc personally. it is the time of year. people are busy, and will be back here reading and talkin in your box real soon. a lot of people are trying to squeeze more hours out of the day than is there, and more energy from themselves than they have. i see a lot of blogs that are usually full of posts and comments stopped cold lately. it'll come back to life soon, after the holidays.

someone already said it up there -- for now, just spend this time with your family. you know they love you, they would enjoy the time with you.

try not to isolate too much right now, it;s a bad time to do that. too easy to slide back into old thinking and old behavior .. you know i know that first hand.. not just blowin smoke-- right? i also think you know it first hand-- and i don't think you want to make the same mistakes again?
so--- hang in, and hang on--- and have a happy christmas ... it's gonna get better!
laterz

Annabel said...

In the blog world, people will come and go, but you do have those that care about you and will continue read regardless. I am one of them and you know this. Please don't take your blog down. I really enjoy reading it. I didn't bring your number with me or I would call you from here.

Just hang in there and enjoy the Christmas with your family. They won't care what you look like. Sure, take a shower and shave, but just be yourself.

Sharyna said...

Andrew--I look at your comments and see so many people who care about you. I'm glad you were able to get Maggie a present. I'm like you, I wear what's comfortable, or clean, or handy. I noticed there are alot of us out there.

sharyna

Anonymous Boxer said...

Andrew - I stopped by to wish you and Maggie a happy Christmas - I hope 2008 brings you the peace and fulfillment you desire. And deserve.

~Jenny

Terroni said...

Like Mo, I read more often than I comment here. Today, my first comment was going to be, "Live in your car? Won't you freeze?" Then, I remembered...you live in Alabama. Clearly, you're not missing out on a lot of insightful, intelligent cricket chirps from me :>

For now, I will wish you a good Christmas. I will be visiting my own overbearing family in the next few days, and I'll think of you.

And, I'll try to comment more often in the new year. (You'll just have to try to ignore all those that don't make any freakin' sense.)

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Hi ANdrew,
I can see why you feel like that, and believe me I've felt that way in the past as well, but what I've found is if I do take a break, the ones that matter wait and will wait until you're back, respecting your space, and understanding that something like the phone is a very hard thing for you to manage at times.

Blame it on the rush rush of Christmas, but do what's in your heart. Find your magic.
I for one am blessed to have read you, your words have inspired me..it was you that gave me that stubborn jump to stop smoking mainly because of your strong will to survive.

So thank you for you.
And may you find the peace you need. :) I'll be waiting for your next wonderful post. :O)

Always,
Crusty~

autumn said...

Andrew,

I never post comments, because I am so sure that I will say the wrong thing [I have this tendency IRL, too :)]

I hope to echo what others have said...many out here in cyberspace do care about you. I was in your neck of the woods recently (I live in Georgia), for a trip to Callaway Gardens for the Christmas Lights, and driving in the area, I thought of you, as I would think of any friend whose neighborhood I was in.

I hope this doesn't sound too stalkerish! :) Anyway, just know that there are probably many readers out here who read on a regular basis, and do care, but for one reason or another, do not comment. Their silence does not equate lack of caring.

Autumn

M said...

well, after reading your blog for awhile, i sense that you go through these periods of wanderlust and need for change. then awhile later you seem to really embrace the life you are living.

i would caution you to make changes in your life when you are feeling positive. as someone who moves all of the time and lives a chaotic life, i know from experience it is not wise to give into the uncomfortable feelings.

sometimes, it is better to ride out the painful times waiting for your mood to change internally rather than trying to force the internal change with an external one (ie, quitting the blog)

does that make sense? i am not sure if that makes sense.

anyway. Merry Christmas!

ps If you lived up North here, getting dressed up and being social would be less important. Frankly, I think Southern American folk have a unique sense of style which requires them to dress up and be overly polite.

ac said...

Just stopping by to wish you and Maggie a great Christmas no matter how/where/with whom you choose to spend it. You can be sure that you are in my thoughts. Cheers! ac

abbagirl74 said...

Hey booger. I am in between trays of cookies in the oven and how I wish you were here to taste test them for me. I have read the post and what others have commented on. I just want to shout out that I LOVE YOU MAN! You are truly one of my best and dear online friends and I cherish all you have to offer. I certainly hope you have a wonderful time with your family and the little ones. Tell the gang hello for us when you see them.

AlabamaGal said...

You are cherrished by me and many of your blog readers.

Merry Christmas to you and Miss Maggie and best wishes for many blessings in the New Year from, Armando, me and our cats: Chochi, Cookie, Pumpkin Muffin, Macaruchi, Pollyanna, Queen Lucy, Miss Domino! (We have a lot of cats)

Just try to make big decisions when you are feeling good. We all have the wanderlust sometimes and the desire to be living a different life or be in a different place.

Maybe start by planning little day trips to other cities? It doesn't have to be expensive, just your gas, take picnic (sandwich)lunches, buy sam's colas and your camera and be off.That is an adventure and fun!

We usually can't afford to go on big trips very often. The Chile trip each year is quite expensive but is vital since Armando is the only boy and his Mom and sis need to see him at least once a year, but we do like to take little weekend trips sometimes even if just during the day.

Sorry for the huge comment.

((big hug))
Michelle

AlabamaGal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlabamaGal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlabamaGal said...

Sorry, I accidently put two r;s in cherished. :S

Barb said...

Andrew did you know that you are loved?
Andrew did you know that I and many other's read the words you put on these pages because we care and you bring us joy?
Andrew did you know that what people say to you that is negative arent words that shape the fabric of your life?
Andrew did you know I am one of the people that pray for you when the world sleeps?
Let the positive resinate in your mind, sift through that which brings a smile to your face, and blow the rest away!!!
Love,
B~

greglo said...

HI Andrew, I don't come very often these days on blogs, not even on mine. But I do come every day, generally twice to read your posts. you're the only blog I keep reading on a daily basis. Life is quite busy here and probably will be so for another few months... in the meantime I keep reading the 4th Avenue blues Blog with the same pleasure.

Have a great christmas and a happy new year, I'm sending all my love and best wishes and I'm always available should you want to correspond by mail.

Have a great day... well more likely a great night!

With all my love,

Laurent

Goldrush said...

yours is the only blog i read daily...i feel like you already know what you are going to do...but i would miss you..merry christmas

simonsays said...

I just want you to know that I have cared about you for a long time...you do matter to me.

:)

Nikita said...

Hi Andrew! Was nice catching up with you again!! I've done one exam, passed, two more to go! So time a bit little and I would like to come here daily as soon as i'm done with all these exams...have a NICE CHRISTMAS and hope you will get those presents!! I would like to have new curtains too! :))
Nice doggie!! and keep posting us with all these wonderful pics!! Love
Nikita!

Gavin said...

Hi Andrew

You sounded just like I thought when you said "I always had a hard time making friendships and keeping them. I wonder why I even try anymore. All my relationships are superficial."

This time of year can be hard and if you and I ran away we would probably bump into each other.

You have Maggie who looks like she thinks she might be human. I have my fish which don't do anything really.

I also have my three children, who I see every second weekend and without whom I would have done myself in by now.

What I am trying to say is that there is some kind of special relationship for everyone. At the moment it is Maggie and your loyal but sometimes quiet readers.

Keep talking and writing, you do it really well.

mapiprincesa! said...

Hello, Andrew:

I wanted to drop in to pass my wishes for a peaceful and blessings-filled Christmas for you.

Be well. Merry Christmas.

SOUL: said...

just here to say HI..again...
have a great day!

mago said...

Merry Christmas Jonathon.

Tee said...

Andrew, there are so many people reading your blog, I don't think you have any idea the numbers you are reaching. You are an inspiration and I hope you will continue to bless us with your writing. Just want to tell you I pray for you all the time.

Blessings and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

nengaku said...

Andrew,
My selfish wish is that you do not stop blogging. I've really enjoyed getting to know you and I look forward to catching up with you several times a week. You are often quite inspirational and your on-going story is some of the most REAL stuff there is to read on the net. And I KNOW you get something good out of writing it. So, for your sake as well as for ours, keep it up!
And BTW Happy One Month Birthday (a few days late - sorry).
Peace