Almost midway through March of 2018 already. Three months after I told myself to start updating the blog more as a pseudo New Yearâ€™s resolution, but starting the year with no working computer other than my smartphone really didnâ€™t help the effort. To my credit, I have been doing a better job at finding the time to handwrite a few journal entries as a substitute activity, but itâ€™s still not what my intent was. Though I did get my computer back during the first half of February, I’ve been spending my free time catching up with all the personal computing I wasn’t able to do while my laptop was out of working order. Now that I’m starting to feel the slightest bit “caught up”, I’ve just recently started affording myself the mental bandwidth to tend to my non-essential projects…like updating a blog.
This past winter was a rough season health-wise. All of December was spent perpetually sick with all the bugs that were out this season. Caught cold from the roomie who works in a corporate building, and the guys at my office were dealing with the flu and our bookkeeper a bout of viral bronchitis. After I stared recovering, I kept the not-smoking chain going and went through January and most of February without smoking. I made the mistake of indulging during my birthday, and since then I’ve been casually keeping on. Remembering how much a bothersome inconvenience it was to have my lungs clearing out gunk not too long ago, I’ve decided that after this weekend I’m back on the cold turkey wagon. Picking up running again has been proving rather challenging lately. I don’t have much by sportswear for colder weather, and the times that I have been able to get a run in, the strain on my body has become a lot more noticeable. Two years ago I was running five miles daily with no problem, lately I’ve been having knee pain and muscles locked into tense position. I take it as a sign that I really need to switch things up and do more full-body intesive workouts and weight training, and ease back into my running routine.
That all said, there’s an elephant in my head that I’d like to completely gloss over, but it demands its due attention.
Back when I made this WordPress installation, I was looking to replicate that old-internet social networking, writing earnestly about the things going on in my life behind the anonymity of a screenname. At that point in time, it was the onset of mental illness. Outside of my therapist, I didn’t have a support network to help me through things. The family most people would rely on were the estranged cause of my distress. My best friend didn’t have the conversational capacity to address things of such a nature, and his frustration at being unable to do anything to help would often turn into cause for argument between us. Though I never personally approached any of my other friends to talk about these things, if I were able to remember all the times I’ve had someone reach out and ask directly how I’m doing I’d still be able to count them on one hand. This left writings visible to strangers on the internet as the only option to find any sort of dialogue, and even if none would come, I’d at least get the mental exercise from processing my thoughts into written words and make a progress journal in the process. But even back when I started writing, social networking and search engine efficiency had already removed all semblance of anonymity for my online handle, and the burden of having all of this so easily traced to myself in real life introduced an accountability mechanism to what was supposed to just be a personal outlet, the burden of which has also contributed to such erratic and low output.
And for years, the story I’ve laid out has been one mired in mental-emotional crisis, trying to work through things and too overwhelmed to articulate it. Winter seasons have always been the hardest for me to endure. The seasonal affective disorder and shorter days coupled with the family-oriented holidays spent alone were quite capable of triggering a depressive spiral. If that didn’t do the trick, then the disingenuous birthday greetings from estranged relatives would seal the deal. But not this year. It’s been so long I can’t even remember the last time I’ve had a lapse into one of those behavioral loops I’ve ruminated on ad nauseum at this point. I don’t struggle with having my rational conscious mind constantly conflicting with my emotional center, and the subsequent loss of mental clarity and repression of feelings as liabilities. I have that unshakeable sense of self I used to have long ago, tempered by the experience of age. All that self-resentment, criticism, doubt, reservation, fear, anxiety…it’s still a part of me, but it’s properly processed and managed now as a functional personal in a healthy capacity would. But acknowledging the fog gone also means no longer having it as a reason for impediment for other areas in my life. For months now, I’m not been bogged down by past baggage, and finally free and able to live and appreciate my life.