README.txt

Before you read anything else in this blog, start here. This blog is really nothing more than a jumble of words somehow associated with each other into long strings called sentences, organized into larger groups called paragraphs, and each set of paragraphs makes up a post which usually has one or a few (likely related) topics.

A lot of what I have written here is simply my own experience from living with a mental illness. There’s other random stuff too like random comments aimed at people (although I will never reveal anyone’s identity without permission).

Words are a very powerful thing when used appropriately. They are as sharp as knives. In the United States, we have the right to freedom of speech, but that does not mean anyone will listen, and in some cases, we can find ourselves in a box where nobody can hear our screams except ourselves.

I enjoy writing in this blog, that’s probably why I’ve continued to do it for so long. I’ve been told, however, certain things shouldn’t be shared. I disagree. If you’ve seen the photography section of my website, and you have a flickr account, you will see what I mean. Sure, I post my resume here, and I quite seriously link this website to job applications. As I’ve stated elsewhere, it’s the “honesty factor”. They say not to discriminate, but it happens all the time. So, let’s just get it over with before we’re in over our heads. Besides, I took some damn good pictures in Austin anyway.

The goal here is not to offend anyone, just an outlet for me to express my ideas and opinions. This is not a political blog, nor does it identify with any particular groups or cultures. That said, I’m catholic and I have no interest in being anything other than becoming a better catholic.

One last comment: Yes, I’m a millennial, but if I were born one year earlier, I would not be (at least by the definition I read on wikipedia a while back). So please, I am not 26.

Yes, Ms. Frizzle, I Know You’re Married

In case it wasn’t obvious to you that I already knew, I already have known. And anyway, I don’t take well to games, so if you turn the tables now, the bishop is COMING to St. Stephen (which I’m sure you are well aware by now), so don’t put yourself in a stupid position.

Ruminations

I wound up in UBC Christmas week and was discharged Christmas day. It was not a Baker act.

In group, one of the sessions covered the topic of rumination. There are a lot of things that we can do in our daily lives that are not productive, and dwelling on the past is one of them. I will add my pinch of salt to this by saying that, introspection is important to learn and grow, if used properly. However, if we dwell on the past too much, we are putting ourselves in a position where we face a reality which has already passed. That reality has already happened, and, we cannot move forward unless we take from the past what we wish to change about our reality and apply that to what we DO have control over. For the most part, there is very little we can control about the world around us; we have to be very aware of opportunities when they present themselves, because they may be subtle and fleeting. The chance to change your life is right in front of you, where would you like to go?

This is your call for new years resolutions. I didn’t really have a resolution last year, but I had a goal for myself and that was to go back to school. My first semester I overloaded myself and then COVID-19 happened, but I kept going. I’ve managed 2 semesters so far and it’s a real struggle managing that. I’m taking one class and research credits.

Jumping back a bit on my own ruminations over the past 5 years. There’s been a LOT of stuff. I’ve lived in FOUR states, in 5 cities, I’ve had 5 jobs, 3 full time and 2 contracts, I’ve made 6 figures+, declared bankruptcy, been in the hospital countless times, broken my shoulder, had 2 cars, regained and lost my drivers license, got 4 tattoos, generally annoyed and pissed people off, and I’m proud of it. I could keep going, but meh.

So, I think it’s safe to say I’m a bit burned out. Up until last summer, I basically had not lived in the same place for longer than 7-8 months or so, I only lived in Maryland for 2 months! The result of this was that, to declare bankruptcy you have to be a resident of the state you declare bankruptcy in for 6 months minimum, so I was paying the equivalent of a mortgage payment out of my 401k to make credit card payments at least until the money ran out. Drained all my 401ks, a 403(b), what was left of a mutual fund.

I live off of student loans now, there’s nothing left. At UBC someone I was talking to said this was depressing. Thing is, he was homeless. *THAT’S* depressing. I mean, homeless people can live in their cars, yeah, but when you can’t drive…

It’s a holiday today. Stop reading my blog and do something else productive.

Server’s up again.

My plan was to dissociate the new IRC server from my web server/”everything else” server, and move my main datacenter to New York, but I changed my mind last minute and ordered a bigger server. My Windows server in New York will be upgraded. I may try and combine it with the IRC daemon which I believe I will run UnrealIRCd for lack of anything better. It runs through Cygwin. I’d rather run a VM inside the VM, but last time I tried that, it didn’t work (even though it should). Then, there’s just the other server in Europe. Bigger server slices = more RAM and more bandwidth, and 2 dedicated 3900x cores. I’ve been hosting with this guy for 8 years and never really had a bad experience. Major problem is DDoS attacks but that usually brings the data center down when it happens and I have CloudFlare IPs anyway. There is always someone monitoring the network for this stuff and they handle DDoSes on specific servers accordingly if it becomes an issue. You would think CloudFlare should handle it, but nope. There are some serious people in this world who have access to a lot of resources and know how to get more.

I have no specific goal date to get the SpeakEasy hub online by. It just kind of is what it is.

Lastly, stuff. Words, phrases and things.

About 1 minute…

in Mac terms means around 6.5 million years. However, the end result seems to be… MacOS Catalina? So, meh. My Mac is old. It’s overpriced for sure, looks great on the outside. Not gonna touch the inside even to put an SSD in. I’ll find a local, reputable repair shop to do that for me.

More about hallucinations

Hallucinations can get really weird. I’ve literally had hallucinations tell me I have schizophrenia and that I need to get help. Really?

Here at the house, I have another common hallucination: hearing mom and her boyfriend on the phone. What I don’t understand is, he usually uses an earpiece, so why would she be on speaker-phone, and why would they be talking in the living room where I could hear them? That’s some really loud whispering. More to the point: they know better than to Baker Act me, because it really serves no purpose (long-term) and it’s expensive.

So there ya go. This is the schizophrenic part of me. There’s still the bipolar, and the epilepsy, but that’s life. Ya just gotta live it.

More about hallucinations

So, I’ve written things about coping techniques like reality checking and whatnot. That’s all great. Even if you think you know, you are still never sure because as time goes on, you forget the context of the situation (which happens very fast). At the end of the day, you just have to learn to put up with it. For instance, I heard the TV in the living room until I walked out of my bedroom to check that it was off (which it was). Little things like that. It’s taken a long time to really be sure that I hallucinate. I think I wrote about this a while back when my mom and her boyfriend went to Key West. I called the cops because I felt threated by what was nothing more than a hallucination. Even though the cops didn’t Baker Act me (hallucinations or delusions on their own will not get you Baker Acted), when they confirmed it had to be a hallucination it scares me. They offered to take me down to the hospital so I went, but even the hospital said I didn’t need to be there. Go figure. So, the cops were very nice and left a card, and they came back to bring me home.

I used to live alone. I never had any problems until I moved from Austin to St. Pete and had several major seizures before they put me on drugs. Being alone, and unconscious from a seizure for 1.5 days nearly killed me. Yet, I lived alone anyway, eventually moving to New York and later Maryland where I lived in a prison for 2 months with a boss who completely did not care (there’s a post about this elsewhere).

But anyway, life goes on. I’ve never been more confident of my diagnosis. Schizoaffective disorder bipolar type. There is a paper which claims schizoaffective disorder doesn’t exist, and that it’s just a subtype of schizophrenia. I have to disagree. There IS a subtle difference, you can be diagnosed with both schizophrenia and bipolar, but I usually explain schizoaffective as schizophrenia and bipolar because otherwise people don’t understand. Most people don’t understand most mental illness anyway and if you do the cliche google search you only get a very general list of symptoms. You have to consider side effects of medications, problems with relationships (both friendships and family), etc.

There are things I won’t write here, but they’re not secrets to the people who know. I know that they know that I know. Or at least I think so?

The problem with schizophrenia a lot of the time is that the meds make people feel normal again, and so they think they can stop the meds. I still have hallucinations and delusions even when on meds, so I’ve never gone off meds for those reasons. For me, it’s related to stress. Somehow, for whatever reason, I’ve lost the ability to handle any form of stress. I’ve known this for a while, and many people have repeated this to me independent of each other. I just stop, and that includes taking the meds, and everything goes downhill from there.

So, to sum up, the hallucinations are convincing. What I don’t understand is why other schizophrenics respond to their voices and I don’t. Maybe that’s the difference between schizophrenia and schizoaffective?

I had a therapist tell me that I wasn’t actually hallucinating, I was just hearing my thoughts in my head. Perhaps that was the case back then, I don’t remember now. However I can say this: It is easy to mix up thoughts in your head with hallucinations. So, it’s a game.

I can’t sleep

My routine is off now, thanks to some interruptions.. Just a bunch of random comments on my mind.

  1. I like writing pissed off emails to people. The problem is I don’t have any authority to implement change from those emails because the people who are responsible for all of this are usually my superiors, just don’t give a fuck, are rude, or don’t listen (or some combination of all of these things). Eventually I will apologize because I usually go waaay overboard to ask for something simple; in the end I realize this. A career is about learning and growing, at least that’s my view, so progress has to be a bit relaxed. It’s not simply because engineers are lazy, we just have to work with a lot of details in a very complicated system, and it requires time to go over everything and make sure we don’t fuck up (because that would cost even more time and money to correct).
  2. My mentor tells me there are a lot of things in this blog that I should not post in public. There is not a single comment from anyone on the blog, so that comment from my mentor (which probably shouldn’t be discussed here) is the only feedback I’ve gotten so far. I’ve had to remove a few things from my website for purposes of intellectual property integrity, but if you know where to look you can still find it anyway. I can only remove it superficially, so any consequences of having posted those things is already done.
  3. It’s occured to me that some things that happened a while back were, in fact, quite serious hallucinations (or at least so it would seem). This is nothing new. What is new, is that I’ve never had visual hallucinations of two people talking to each other that I could see AND hear (auditory AND visual hallucinations).

On another note, my therapist says this is the most stable she’s ever seen me. I was experimenting with my drugs and a certain sequence of events simultaneous caused a chain reaction which really backfired on me. Nobody can force you to take meds even during a Baker Act, but it is unwise to not cooperate. So, I was just honest with my doctor and told him what and why I was doing it. That said, I am not a medical doctor, so I have no idea how this combination of drugs was derived to treat my condition. I understand the withdrawal and how bad it can get, and some of the effects of the individual medications. After all of this though, I’ve basically reached the conclusion that my drugs are good and functioning properly and as expected. This is stuff they don’t teach you during a Baker Act or in any mental clinic. As they say, therapy is more important than the medication. Not only have I found a good combination of medications, but I also know what to look for out of a therapist. If you aren’t proactive in your health, you will get nowhere; ask questions and don’t be afraid to fire a bad doctor who doesn’t listen or care.

Idiot

I just ate a slice of pumpkin pie and it was delish.

I decided to write about a comment I made earlier about the neighbor. I had just arrived at mom’s house and of course the neighbor has a new car to play with. Not sure what he was doing, but that’s not the point. He previously had a Mercedes and souped it up. He must be doing some sort of chip tuning on these cars to mess with the timing and air/fuel mixtures, etc.

Anyway, I just couldn’t hold back. We were nearly inside and I couldn’t help but call the guy an idiot. Twice. I mean honestly. He responded “Thank you!” so I know he heard. If you think putting straight pipes and muffler/catalytic converter deletes on your car is cool, then I just don’t get it. I’m sure that any mechanical engineer would tell you that when you when push the engine beyond factory specs, you start to put extra stress on the drive train, the engine itself, the chassis of the car, not to mention you draw the attention of cops who are more than happy to take all that extra cash you have lying around to buy these cars and flip them.

Now, don’t get me wrong, when I had a BMW, I drove it like it was stolen. However, the N54 engine in the 2008 135i was severely detuned. You could get 100 more HP out of it with nothing more than a chip tune. What did I just say about the stress on the engine and drive train?

One point worth mentioning is that a catalytic converter is extremely important in maintaining low emissions, so a car with no cat can really only be driven in a state that doesn’t do emissions testing (such as Florida), so that limits your market when you flip the car. Even WITH the cat, if you’re messing with timing and fuel ratios, you’re going to screw up emissions anyway. Let’s not forget that a car without a cat is pushing the edge of street legal.

Experimentation

This blog, like my drugs lately, are a source of experimentation. Obviously with respect to the blog, I’ve stuck to more personal topics. I enjoy writing this stuff. I’d write a lot more in my blog if it were more convenient to do so, but then again it would probably just come off as a lot of rambling. I can honestly say I have not gone back and read anything I’ve posted here. I just have no real desire to.

I do know, within a certain degree of measure, that people do read this blog. If I cared, I could play around and parse logs or mess around with Google Analytics, but I don’t want to.

I think I need to re-write the sticky post about words, although I haven’t read it to be sure of what it says. However, to summarize what I might say in a new post, this blog has had real effects on people in both positive and negative ways. Here’s an argument for myself: If you don’t care for yourself, how are you supposed to care for anyone else? That, though, is a huge can of worms.

It comes down to accountability; that’s what I see. My parents weren’t very good at that, especially as I got older, and when they did try to hold me accountable for things, at least in my opinion, they did it in the wrong way.

You have to be willing to grow, regardless of where you are in life or you will never.get.anywhere. It’s amazing to me that while there are a few new faces around, there are also a lot of familiar ones, and some of these people have maintained the same disposition for so long it makes you wonder if they have ever really listened to a homily. You can go to church, but if you don’t understand what and why, you may as well not go. Tattoos are great, doesn’t mean anything. Necklaces, suits and ties, smiles, superficial. Faith is within and it has nothing to do with what religion you choose.

So let’s see, honesty, accountability, and I am a confirmed catholic. We’re going somewhere with this. I like it.