Sunday, July 4, 2010

Adventures in Blog Writing…

My recent forays into writing honestly about my life have really shown me what my readership can be like at times and what blogging can be like when things go terribly, horribly wrong when you are honest.  Most people don’t reveal much on their blogs except the feel good stuff – the kind of stuff you only reveal in polite company. I guess I should as well.  I’ve always had suspicions that 95% of my readership are just gawking at my unorthodox life that I blather on about like an idiot – laughing at me and marveling that a 38 year old man can live this way. Navel gazing.  Only one person who reads the blog calls me regularly and attempts to reach out to me beyond the blog and it is Kirs.  She has been very supportive about the anxiety attacks giving me tons of suggestions on how to control it. She suffers deeply as well. 

Are all these people really my friends?  I am seriously growing to doubt it.  I am just entertainment.  It is not very flattering to be honest that I have all these malignant anonymous people reading. I would quit writing the blog if I didn’t enjoy writing so much and having an audience to read it. I could just lie and write a completely feel good,boring alcohol free blog.  Nobody would ever know the difference – knowing only what I reveal in my posts.  I am a very creative writer and could paint a story of mental health bliss, AA meetings, and sobriety. I already hide 95% of my experiences with schizophrenia, psychosis, and extreme anxiety so as not to worry my readers so it wouldn’t be very hard to do. I find it depressing to write about. I find it frankly boring as well as I read countless other mental health blogs that blather endlessly about these topics.  It grows tiresome. It seems like attention seeking.

I also haven’t been drinking so much as for it to effect my writing and my life.  I have been pleasantly surprised as to my moderation.  Years ago, I would drink until I was blitzed.  I really just want to quell the anxiety and not really get drunk per se.  I’ve gotten where I don’t like the feeling of being out of control that being seriously drunk imparts. I’ve grown out of that phase of my life.

I choose to write honestly about my life experiences because it is cathartic for me.  I’ve said it before, but my blog is therapy. It would be much, much easier for me to just lie and paint a perfect picture.  The anonymous commenters would stay away and my regular supportive commenters would be happy.  The anonymous commenters only come out when things are going wrong, controversial, or negative – taking delight in my downfall they think.  

Now, I’ve got extremely crazy overbearing people trying to call my father and interrupt his hard earned vacation and to worry him.  He only gets to see his grandchildren maybe twice a year, but these people don’t give a shit.  They just want to control me and get me in trouble – taking joy out of “turning me in”.  People calling themselves bitches and saying they care anyway.  They are calling the pharmacy so they allege (and there is no way in hell one of my father’s employees would give out his cellphone number).  They are saying they are going to find my brother in Virginia.  That is stalking and against the law! Who’s the villain here?  I don’t care.  Go ahead and call.  What can happen except to ruin my father’s vacation and make him worry about me?  There is little he can do being in Virginia.  You are not going to coerce me as you are attempting to do Marsha.

I’ve also got all kinds of anonymous yahoos boisterously blathering on about my faults and foibles.  Now I know how Kevin “The Homeless Guy” Barbieux must have felt when he wrote about such controversial topics honestly as homelessness and political dissidence on his blog. It made him quit writing about his life and writing his blog, and he had such an interesting story to tell we could all learn from. He was always so stirred up and crazed by the comments he would get.  It really stirs the crazies up. Well, I have a much thicker skin than he does though. I am not going to quit writing, but this post will probably kill my readership, but I don’t care.  I started out with two readers, Pipe Tobacco and Annabel, and will start again. The blog is definitely taking a different direction these days that I find so interesting to write about with me getting out of the house for a change.  I will garner a new readership that enjoys reading these kinds of posts. 

People try to control you and cajole you into thinking their way and towing the line I have learned in life.  Guess what people?  I am 38 years old.  It is America and a free country.  I have the choice to do with my body what I will and it is nobody else’s business unless I allow them entry into my life.  I am not breaking any laws.  It is just amazing to me the parallels with what I am experiencing on the blog to my father’s own way of doing things.  It is uncanny the similarities.   Coercion.  Malice.  Threats.  Derisions.  Demeaning comments.  Such controlling people.  It runs the gamut.  Is America really a free country or are we all controlled by peer pressure and social mores?

It is obvious I didn’t go camping last night as I am writing this at home at 5am.  I felt mentally shaky last night and decided just to stay home and rest, drinking my sunset brews, and I sat on my porch watching the neighborhood fireworks.  The neighbors really put on a show last night and it was fun to see.  They always go all out and must spend a fortune on all those fireworks. I also felt better for watching my British comedies.  Hyacinth was in fine form last night and so was Mr. Humphries.

Later in the evening, I walked down to the convenience store to pick up a bottle of wine and some cigars.  I then walked back up to the park to sit in a swing and listen to Coast to Coast AM.  Tonight’s show was about psychic vampires instead of traditional blood sucking vampires.  It was okay.  I’ve heard better.  It was hosted by Ian Punnett.  My favorite Coast host.  He made it worthwhile.

Yesterday morning, I drove down to Wal-Mart for the preliminaries of being hired.  I had to sign all the tax withholding paperwork and they had to make copies of my social security card and driver’s license.  I start work Monday and I am so excited and scared at the same time.  Can I do this?  Have I bitten off more than I can chew mentally?  The lady assured me it was a job I could handle even with a disability.  Next? I have to drive down to Opelika to the Social Security office to report I have returned to work and to report my pay which falls into the acceptable limits.  The will give me a receipt as proof that I did this.  It is very, very important that I do this from reading Social Security’s website.  The lady at Wal-Mart assured me they are going to work with me on this as far as my hours are concerned so I won’t go over the pay limit. If they don’t play nice, then I will just quit. I just can’t jeopardize the $1300 dollars a month I receive in help with my medications with Medicare part D. 

Someone asked why I started back drinking.  I was simply to quell the anxiety I was experiencing.  I don’t think people realize from my writing about it how horribly crippling this anxiety was.  I was miserable and was willing to try anything.  The medications my psychiatrist prescribes just weren’t working and I am not to see him for another eight weeks.  I had to do something to make myself feel better and it was working.  It is medicine. I am simply self medicating.  I will have to work very hard to not let the drinking spiral out of control, but I think I can do it.  I’ve felt so much better it is amazing.  Would you begrudge a man simply wanting to feel better?

26 comments:

justLacey said...

First of all Kris is not the only one who has reached out to you. Others have, but you made it clear that your anxiety keeps you from responding and hey, that's ok. I don't approve of people calling your father on his vacation. The fact that your sister was on your FB account and you post links to your blog there probably helps people to connect with your family and allows your sister to read your blog posts. You are right in that you are 38 years old. Certainly old enough to know the consequences of your drinking and that is your choice to make. I don't begrudge you trying to feel better, I just think you are going about it the wrong way for a 38 year old grown man. You choose to go against your father on some things, but not on the things that you need to which might be the timing of your meds and choice of drs. Those are the things you probably should be standing up for. But again, your choices to make. If I didn't care I certainly wouldn't continue to read as for me I have watched to many people close to me ruin their lives with alcohol. I don't drink, so I don't get it. I did drink when I was younger, but I just don't get what all the fuss is about.
As for the job, I think it could be a good thing as well as college, but you need to get your anxiety under control and you can't keep using alcohol it isn't feasible for either situation. You can't show up drinking to work or school people will eventually know. I hope you can sit down with your dad and talk to him man to man about these issues, I think it could help in many ways. Just my own thoughts, do what you will with them.

C.A. said...

Dear Friend....

I agree with alot of what justLacey said. I also have tried to reach out in the past, without a response and I figured your anxiety was so overwhelming that you didn't feel you could respond. You have MANY people here who care deeply for your well being and are not just gawkers, this I promise you. I personally only hope for the very best for you at all times. Like the rest of us, you are just trying to find your way.

As far as the drinking goes, the only person anyone has control over is themselves. People are always going to judge, and when you put your writing skills out there in the blogosphere, you have to know you're taking the risk of anonymous "friends" judging and being general busy bodies. I experience it to on my own blog.

I will close in saying that I genuinely care about what happens to you, and hope that you know that there are many, many others besides myself, who's days would be less fulfilled without your blog.

Big Hugs...

C.A.

Hap Joy Free said...

And the alcoholic blame game, self-victimization begins........

Jules said...

Hi Andrew. Happy Sunday morning to you.

I thought about you last night when I was listening to the Psychic Vampire guy myself. It was a bit milk toast, I agree. But I had to laugh, and then worry about it when the guy said "young vampires take energy from electronics." I know, wacky, right? But having been through 3 iPods and two computers in a very short time frame, I had to stop to say hmmmmmm.

Good luck at the new job!!!! And keep writing please. I love the honest you. I do.

Happy day.

Sharyna said...

Andrew, I think people should mind their own biz. Calling your father! What are they going to say? "Hi, I read your son's blog..." People are sooo weird! NOT to be confused with us crazies. What you need is a good psychiatrist that observes patient/doctor confidentiality. You need to go by yourself. You must be honest with your therapist and having dad there isn't helping. Good luck on the new job!

Mary K said...

I wish I could make the anxiety stop, for you and for me. I know how terrible the feeling is, like you want to crawl out of your own skin.

It's disturbing for me that people are calling your dad's drugstore. That's a bit stalkerish and crosses a line, in my opinion.

Anyone who reads this that has ever dealt with alcoholics knows that there is absolutely no way you can impose your will on someone else. Drinking, staying sober - whichever is a choice the individual has to make. Having said that, I think that everyone should continue to tell the truth.
Andrew, you blog what's happening. Don't gloss it. It's your life and your words. What you're saying probably is going to garner comments that you may perceive as an attack. I will say that I think that anyone who bothers to comment obviously cares...even Anon. And when you look back over your blog do you want to read a fabricated fairy tale or what was really going on for you at that time?
Stay safe.

This IS The Fun Part! said...

Happy 4th of July.

Grannie

Leaking Moonlight said...

Congratulations on your new job, Andrew!

Anonymous said...

Hello old friend,

This is Catherine, the nice anon one :)

Readers' comments have been a little harsh lately. So I thought you could use some kind and loving words.

Go here to download hundreds of teachings about God's real, genuine love for you. All the teachings are free. Or email and they will send you the DVD's free and postpaid. No strings attached. No phone calls will come. No followup. I promise.

http://www.flcbranson.org/freedownloads.php

Love you,
Catherine

Anonymous said...

Dear HapJoyFree,

For someone who is trying to be Happy, Joyous and Free you sure are negative and judgemental. You've never made mistakes? Keep in mind one important thing, Andrew is an adult.

Anxious Kaley said...

I feel the exact same way. Writing is therapy for me, and I also hoe to humanize mental illness and not have people think of us as circus freaks. I think being honest is the only true way to have the kind of people that you want to read. And you're right--quality over quanitity. I can only speak for myself, but I feel that I get so much out of the comments that others leave me whether they agree with me or not. But no matter what you write, I will keep reading, because I value YOUR thoughts, not what others would have you write!

GREAT post!

貴寶 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

glittermom said...

I think people that keep coming back to your blog are people who truly care about you..There are always going to be people who are negative and enjoy people who fall..Just be yourself and we will have faith in you...

Hap Joy Free said...

hey anon,

He sure is an adult. and an alcoholic. slowly killing himself. sorry I dont co-sign alcholic self indulgent, pity evoking bullshit.

no hand holding, coddling, pretending he aint dying in front of our eyes from me. Thats what he has from too many readers, imo.

Pandora said...

I applaud your stance. If people don't appreciate your honesty, then sod them. I'm sure some things have been done with the best of intentions, but that doesn't mean that such behaviour is right or acceptable.

Good for you for not kowtowing to it. I hope you are OK.

Best wishes

Pan

mxtodis123 said...

Andrew, Everyone here cares in their own way. I work with alcoholics. I see how it destroys lives. I am an alcoholic...clean now 19 years; it will be 20 in August. I know what I went through. Addiction is an insidious disease; just when you think you have it handled, it explodes in your face. I've tried moderation; oh, it worked for awhile, but eventually it all caught up to me. And just think about what it is doing to your liver. You're already on medication...add the alcohol and your liver is working overtime. You've recently spoken of a job. That's great...but is alcohol going to help you maintain it?

I sit back and read these well-meaning posts from people who don't understand addiction. To them, those of us who are trying to talk some sense to you are being mean; we're not being mean. We care. My stepson is a schizophrenic just like you...and every darned time he relapses on alcohol, he ends up in time he ends up on the street homeless...eventually to end up in the psyche ward.

From what I see, you have plenty of people who care about what happens to you. Yes, your dad may seem controlling, but I can empathize with him. I used to count my stepson's meds every day. Your dad is the way he is because he cares. He is trying to save your life just like everyone here is. I'll be honest. I was angry with you when you conned, yes conned, Mrs. Flourene out of that money. Poor old lady doesn't even realize she had a hand in your relapse, and it would probably break her heart if she knew. Andrew, get off the pity-pot and realize that everyone here is in your corner. If we're gruff, it's because we care.

PipeTobacco said...

Sir:

I know it is hard to do... but please try to ignore the irate, hurtful folks who have been being unkind. Your writing is far more valuable for people to have than to keep silent. The people who are mean spirited are really just trying to get your goat.

I am glad you have checked out all the details about the SSDI restrictions. With those known and in mind, I think you will be able to have a much better experience at WalMart if you do select to work there.

Also keep in mind the potential idea of a college course or two for this fall... keeping in mind the idea of finding classes that will help you foster more your creativity. You do have tremendous creativity and I think you can see how you have an impact.

Moderation is always good, so I am glad you are talking about moderation and working on moderation as stated in your posts. I think that in life, if you always approach issues with the idea of being moderate, you have the best chances of success.

PipeTobacco
http://frumpyprofessor.blogspot.com

Sharon said...

Please know that many of us truly care and if we haven't been as friendly as you wish, it's because we don't want to intrude on your life. You've made it clear on many occassions that you have social anxiety so I always figured if you wished to pursue friendships, the ball was in your court. Be that as it may, nobody can tell you what to do, you're a grown man and you obviously make your own decisions. There are nasty folks who have said some hurtful things, but the rest of us have only tried to offer you support and advice. Take it or leave it, that's up to you. Those of us who truly care from our hearts will still be here reading and hoping for the best for you.

Syd said...

Take care of yourself and enjoy Independence Day.

becomingkate said...

I hope you really enjoy the job Andrew!

HapJoyFree - I hear you on the coddling, but there's also common courtesy to consider. This is his page, and his life, and even if you think you have the right to write about him on your page, you don't.
It's his story, not yours.

Hap Joy Free said...

given that today is Independence Day, and given that this blogger has allowed comments to be posted on his page, do I not have the right to post MY opinion?

or, only comments of what he wants to hear?

Sorry but it DOES both me to see people commit sucide. Perhaps I should just stop looking?

Keep on coddling, it should be very helpful to him.

Anonymous said...

Stalking:

1. Repeated phone calls to your home/office. Umm...no.

2. Innapropriate gifts. Umm...no.

3. Waiting at workplace or in neighborhood. Umm...nope.

Free Speech: Reading a public blog out there for the whole world to see...commenting in the COMMENT section, although not in the same way as the rest of the people do....YES!

Pissing you off...YES. Do I care? NO.

Glad we got that cleared up.

Anonymous said...

Oh HapJoyFree, you're at it again. I hope you realize your toughlove AA bullshit isn't going to work in this case. There is a difference between "coddling" someone and being constructive. You, you just seem miserable and frankly I find it kind of sad.

Lena said...

A great deal has happened in your life since I went on vacation.

It takes a long, long time to build trust up again, so I can only imagine how your dad will feel if he finds out about the drinking and the job.

For me, it appears you are on the right track when you are not drinking and attending meetings. I hope u can find your way back.

Cheryl said...

Tonight I finally caught up on all the writing you've done since I've been on vacation. I'm commenting here, just because...

I hope you count me as one of your old and true friends. I will always be here for you, and will always support you. I've known you through good times and bad. And I have seen...the bad always passes.

I'm happy to see that you're working, though I worry about the heat. You will do your best, I know. One day at a time. It's all that any of us can do.

Now that I'm caught up, I'll stay caught up. With your father coming home tomorrow, I know you'll be doing a lot of writing. Your father can be tough, but you guys love each other. Remember the love.

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