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It has been a long time since I have ventured onto wordpress. It took me a few attempts to remember my login and password but I made it on after a few attempts and accidentally sending a reset email to whoever uses dbahr as their login. As I figured out that my login was danbahr. Maybe though this is something I still need. A good way to get some things off of my mind and to share some of my creativity when I feel like it. 

It has been almost a year and a half since I was last on this site. Amazing to me and kind of depressing to see my lack of commitment to something that I enjoyed doing. I gave a quick glance to my site statistics and the funny thing was that my site had its busiest viewing day in august of this year. 400 plus views and that was a year+ removed from my last post. Well I hope that my checking back in here is not a temporary  endeavor. I hope that I an keep it up again and let this be my catharsis again.

Life has seen its ups and downs as is the norm. An up was that in august of this years I passed my three year anniversary staying sober. Something that I never thought I could attain. I feel pretty strong in my resolve to stay off the sauce but it is always a fear or worry that is in the back of my mind. The funny thing is that the fear of letting my family and friends down is probably one of my greatest motivators. Add that to the fact that I would not be able to live with myself if I made that mistake and went back.

One of the downs seems to be looming over my head. I feel a dark cloud is shadowing my path and I need some help that I let go of a few years ago. Over the past few weeks I have had issues every day with not being able to catch my breath or breath deeply. I went the classic “guy” route and let it go for far too long before finally succumbing to the pleas and demands of my friends and family to go into the doctor. I did so and made an appointment with my family doctor, well not actually my family doctor as she is far to busy and over booked to be seen on short notice. Anyways it was one of the nurse practitioners that work at the clinic I go to. I let her know what I was experiencing. I said I was wondering if it was asthma or something else with my longs. She promptly did some tests, checked my breathing, did an ekg, drew some blood. In the end they could not find anything. Everything came back normal. So upon her looking at my medical history and the pharmacopia of medications I was on previously she decided it was most likely anxiety. She asked me why I stopped taking all the meds I was previously and I said because at the time my insurance ended. I realized going into the appointment that anxiety was a possibility. My fiance had said as much as I was calling and making the appointment. 

When my life was at its lowest point I was diagnosed as being manic depressive with social anxiety disorder. Or something along those lines. I cannot remember exactly. Just means that my moods can go up and down and I can have some issues with anxiety, sometimes rather large issues. I was on bipolar meds(2 different types), anti depressants, a pill that helped boost the other pills, anxiety meds and meds to help me sleep. It was an interesting mix and definitely something I do not want to fully go back on. I was a walking zombie. Tremors and all. I was definitely not myself on all of these meds, but it did get me through the worst of what I was going through. In hind sight it was not the best decision to quit all of these cold turkey. I went through a week of hell but have made some strides on my own. Now I realize my own will power is not enough.

So anyways the doctor(you know what I mean) prescribed Lamictal, a mood stabilizer mainly for bipolar disorder. Upon hearing this and that this was the decision and knowing that it was most likely anxiety I was not happy and felt even more depressed. Depressed because I knew that this was not going to be the short term fix that I need at this time. My issue may have been opening up about my past and telling the doc why I checked myself into a psych ward. She did not want to prescribe me any sedative and in her tone I realized that she thought I was either a pill seeker or would do something risky with these meds. The first thought that went through my head was that I am not a damn pill seeker. I have not been to a doctor in over 2 1/2 years. That is not the normal pill seeker type. I have not drank in over 3 years. I have not done drugs(the hardest I have ever done was some hash and marijuana in college) in over 8 years. My second thought was this. If you think I was going to do something stupid and off myself with these pills you have got to be kidding. With the copious amounts of prescribed meds I was on previously I could have ended my life a few times over if I wanted to. 

With these thoughts in my mind I took the referral to a behavioral specialist, psychiatrist, and my prescription for lamictal and left. I left realizing there would be no short term relief and I would continue to suffer. I had the immediate urge to just break down into tears. I had the immediate urge to just toss the phone number away and go on suffering and hope it would go away. I had the anxiety of having to go to another doctor and explain my issues all over again and hope I was not looked down upon. Despite all of this I did call and make an appointment. At the time the earliest was a week and a half away so now I have to tough it out for a little bit longer.

I have suffered with something like this my whole life. Depression, anxiety and manic swings. It can be as little as having issues breathing properly, to my heart racing in public situations, like going to the grocery store. It can be the unseen anchor that makes it nearly impossible to break free and get out of the house from time to time. It can be the feeling of being in a tunnel under water with the weight of a thousand oceans sitting on top of me. It can be my mind going into overdrive right as I am laying my head upon a pillow making sleep all but impossible. It can be a small event that brings me nearly to tears and sometimes all the way there. It can be absolutely debilitating.

I definitely need some help and I have the tools around me to get it. I have decent insurance that makes seeing a mental health specialist practical and affordable. I have family around me that mostly support me. Especially my Dad and my Brother. My father knows what anxiety and depression can do and he understands what I am going through. He has also been there for me no matter what, no questions asked. He has saved me on more than one occasion  My brother is my best friend and he has been there to see me through the worst of it and make sure I had a good footing before trying to heal on my own again. I also have a good woman by my side who is supportive. I love her and want to be better able to support her as well. 

I think for now this is more than enough for one post. I hope to use this more often. I do not have the energy to go back and check this for errors so I hope it is readable. I think the writing is another tool that helps me not stagnate inside my own head. I plan on competing in NaNoWriMo again this year. The National Novel Writing Month. I just need to come up with a good story. It is a good way to occupy my mind.

Anyways. Good Night WordPress and Facebook Friends.

Dan

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No matter how much we look towards greatness in the future and relive the mistakes of the past, the only thing that really matters is how we live our lives in the current moment. This is what really shapes us and it is the only thing that we can control. We can live with regret for the past but it will serve no purpose but to drag us down, and on the flip side if we put everything in the hopes of a great or better future we may be nothing but disappointed with the unreal expectations we put on ourselves. I am living for now, living to make this one day in front of me a little better then the last. If I do not, then I can start all over again tomorrow with a fresh perspective and clean slate.

Many will wonder where this is coming from and to be honest there is a great factor in my life that has me looking at what is different about me as a person right now. All I have is what is in front of me right now. And these are the things I can appreciate. Family that is there for me, friends that have my back, a job that I love going to every day and a little place to call my own. I have my hobbies and passions and all the little things that generally make me a happier and more comfortable person than I have ever been in my life. All of this tells me that I am ready for the changes that are coming and are already happening. The biggest change being that someone I have cared about greatly, and still do, is a part of my life again. Life has shown us both a course that has brought us up and down and now to a different place in our make up and understanding. We have both learned some lessons, some pain and some joy. Both of us now a little more mature and knowing of what truly is important in life.

The part of this that pulls on me is how to bring my family and friends into the fold and maybe shed some understanding on the situation. In the end I can’t worry too much on what others think of me. Such thoughts in the past have been poison to me. I know that the only person who really knows how I feel or what i can handle is myself. I know how I have changed and how far I have come and I will not sacrifice that. My life is on an upward path and that trend will continue. Bumps will still show up in the road but I now know how to cope with them and how to make sure that they are just bumps and not cracks that lead to a landslide. Life is always going to happen and some things, most things we have very little control over. I don’t know what the future holds but I know I can’t sabotage it by not taking some risks that may be worth it. Right now I have a great friend in my life to add to everything else I already have.

All any of us can do is live in the moment.

Dan

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If I take an outside glance at who I am and where I am at in life i would think a few things. I am not perfect that is for certain, but at least every day I am getting more and more comfortable with who I am and where I have come from.  I have been given pretty much every reason just to throw my hands up in the air and say I give up. This is not to say that there were not times when I was on the edge of that cliff ready to give in. Each day that is further from my memory. Further from who I am now. Yes there are things I still want to change. Some deal with my physical image, and trust me I know, that needs some work. When it comes to lifestyle and the demons that have visited me in the past I seem to have some control over the wicked. Tomorrow will mark 18 months of sobreity, 18 months without a drink. A year and a half of sticking to something so important to me that I could not live with myself if I slipped. I know that this is a lot of pressure to put on ones self but it seems to work for me.  I think on top of how I would feel about myself it is the fact that I could never look my family and friends in the eyes again if I went back to the bottle. I can’t do that to them. They have been there for me and I need to repay them by sticking with it.

No matter what happens with other things in my life at the minimum I can chalk this one up as an accomplishment. With each anniversary I am reminded of this, reminded I did something right. Each anniversary I look back and am amazed to see how far I have come in such a short time. I think there is a greater change in my life though. I feel like for the most part I can say that I am relatively happy now. There are always times when something can get me down, but they do not last as long as they used to. They do not fuel the anxiety in me that I used to feel. I try to just let things go because to be honest there is so much in this life that does not really matter.

I think one of the biggest things I can look at as a possitive influence, besides my family, is the fact that I have a job I actually look forward to going to every day. No matter what I have not had that for too many years now. I am luckier than I deserve when it comes to this. We all seem to laugh and have a good time for the most part. It helps that I am a gigantic smart ass and play up the roll a bit. I like it though when I can make someone laugh or make there day a little better and I think some times I accomplish that. This also helps with the whole staying off the sauce thing because when I get off of work I don’t feel wound up. I don’t feel like I have to blow off steam or quiet my mind, more than the normal. I don’t have that itchy feeling in my skin like I have to escape.

Here is hoping that the next 18 months sees the same trend in my life. Here is hoping that I continue to get better at being me. I have my sobriety, my sanity, a good job, my family and friends.  I need to remember that every day.

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It was a holiday season that seemed to be more of what it should be. Different than what it has been in the recent past. Holidays have not been my friend but I think lately I am trying to make the conscious decision to not let the past ruin what could be the good moments of my present. It comes down to a choice I have when I do everything in my life. The easy choice is to be a scrooge and piss and moan and dwell on what is lost and how I have the right to be an emo little bitch. Don’t ask me where that came from I am just flowing with it. That is the easy way but also the way that ends up breaking me down more and more. The right choice is to try to live in the moment, which I think I am doing more and more.

My grandma said something to me christmas morning as we sat at her kitchen table alone drinking coffee. “You have had a good year” There was not much else except that said, but even though i might not be exactly where I want to be in life she is right. I have had a good year considering what could have hung over my head. The year did not start out the best I am sure, mainly because of the copious amounts of prescription meds I was on… all prescribed and prescribed dosages. I was a walking zombie. Most of that time seems like a distant movie to me, memories are all fuzzy and surely there are multiple reasons for that. Even with this the year got better and better for me. Work seems to be a place I actually enjoy going to. The people are great to me and many of them I would consider good friends now. I have transitioned to my own place and have become accustomed to living on my own after years spent a part of another family and then my retreat back home and then staying with a friend.

I seem to be finding my own path again after so many detours and dead ends and many construction zones. It is not a grand life by far but it is my own and I have some control over it. There are many things that I still would like to change and work on, they will come in time though. Every day is another step, hopefully if I am lucky it is in the right direction. It is okay though if every now and then i have a step back, that is the nature of life and it does not make me a failure. A failure is sitting and letting that miss step ruin your momentum and mood. I can’t let that happen anymore.

Anyways, it was a good holiday. Christmas may not have the same meaning for me as it does for others. I won’t get into the religious talk or debate because to be honest I could care less at the moment. For me it is about reconnecting with the ones you love. Family friends and all of those in your life. It is about living your days with a little lighter step and an easier smile on your face. Remembering the good things in life and learning from what has gone wrong. Living the day knowing that life can be shortened far too easily and it would be a shame to those who are lost if you wasted the days that you still have on this earth. One never knows what is around the next corner, good or bad.

Merry Christmas to everyone who actually reads this.

Dan

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I was in an odd mood yesterday, I could only classify it as being manic. Extra talkative, joking around and being more up than anything else. Swinging a bit is part of my life but the pendulum tends to be stuck in the lower portions of that swing more often than not. For the most part I would consider my mood a good thing, if not for the fact that it was a nice sidebar from what my life usually is. Dwelling on negative things tends to consume me so it was nice just to have some energy and be a little excitable. At the end of the work day I did have some conversations with my coworkers that went more into the darker places of my life. Dealing with my past and relationships and trying to move on in my life. I always worry in hindsight that I am sharing too much. I worry that I am coming off a but batty and most likely I am, hopefully in an endearing way. It can be endearing right? I am going to think that it can. One of my coworkers has gone through something similar as me in recent history so it is nice to talk to her because at least I know she understands. I probably rely too heavily on my work friendships to talk about such things, but they really are the only people I talk to on a regular basis. I am around them more than anybody else. It may be convenience but also in a way i trust them because I know them.

On a side note my novel is coming along. I should make the nanowrimo goal by this weekend, though the novel will nowhere near be finished I will have succeeded at the monthly contest. I had to break down yesterday and plan out a few chapters after the first 38,000 words were written from the hip with no real story line. I felt the need to do so, so that I could start reigning in some of the characters stories so that they could begin to come back together for the climax of the story. I am happy with my progress but must admit that writing in a more real life setting instead of sci fi or fantasy has been more difficult for me than I expected. It has been a challenge but that is a good thing.

Well I work today then have three days off to so some marathon writing. Hope all are having a good day.

Dan

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I have very few close friends in my life. They can be counted on one hand with a few free fingers to spare. My life has always been this way, I don’t know why it is this way but it is and as the years tick away it seems like it is going to stay that way. Some of the friendships I had became more difficult following my divorce as the friends I had made came with the package. We have not hung out or done anything in a long time, mainly since the split. Much of this is because of the feelings that are brought up when I see them. I know this is silly but my mind only needs a small catalyst to drag me into a dark place.

Tonight though we got together and were able to spend a nice evening together. George and I chatted and hung out for a bit then we all had dinner together which was nice and more then a little humorous. I miss moments like this. Camaraderie. Just being with others and letting go and having fun. I have not laughed so much in a long time or made others laugh as much either. We had a great dinner and then George and I brainstormed and talked about our NaNoWriMo stories. It was nice just to discuss things and talk about where I thought my story was headed. We are two very different styled writers. George is the plotter and storyliner. I usually just get an idea and set a stage and plow ahead from there without looking back. It is fun to compare. We both also were able to get some writing done which was a plus. It was a great night overall.

There are a few things that I realized tonight. I have few friends and I need to stay in contact with the ones I do have. Secondly I can’t let the past always get in the way of living my life and enjoying the things I do have right now. There are always going to be rough memories and that is something I cannot escape, but I do have some people to talk to and many of them know where I am coming from. This couple is among those people.

We agreed to get together a few more times during this month to work on nanowrimo and just hang out.  I am looking forward to it.

By the way, Nano update I surpassed the halfway mark of the goal of 50,000 words. This is a pretty good feat considering it is only day number 4. The story is coming along nicely as well.

Good Night

Dan

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Solitude is a two fold thing for me. I find that I enjoy the quiet and time to myself. I like the peace and quiet and the ability to do what I want when I want. I don’t always feel the need to be out there doing something. There is a point though where one as myself begins to worry that I am getting to used to it and withdrawing a bit too much from the rest of society. My life essentially consists of going to work and coming home. That is it, pretty boring person I know.

I brought this up to my boss at work in conversation and he mentioned that he is the same way he laughed when I said I was worried I would become a hermit. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not the crazy shut in who mumbles to himself and has newspapers piled everywhere. I am just comfortable in my own little corner of the world and I do not easily want to break out of the well worn rut that is my life. I feel the need lately to break out of that pattern. I want to go out and do things and be more active. Have a social life as you would say.

Their are two problems with this. One is that I have very few friends. One of them has been a good friend for years and went to school with me. Another lives more then three hours away in another state. The third is my brother Josh who I would consider my best friend. all of these people would be here for me in an instant, but these are all I really have. I have other friends but they remind me of things that are lost in my life as they came from when I was married. It is hard to do anything with them for the memories they would drag up.

The second issue is that in small town wisconsin, having a social life too often means hanging out in bars or being around those drinking in any other place. I no longer drink but I understand that there are times when I have to be less sensitive to such things and not let it get to me. I know that I can be around others who drink as my previous roommate and one of the friends listed above would have beer in the house and drink on occassion and I was never tempted to do the same. I also know that there were times when I highly resented him and became very moody because of the fact that he could drink and I could not.

So you can see this is not the easiest thing in the world. They may be excuses, but if so I am saying them hoping to overcome them. I told somebody at work that I would not mind hanging out some weekend and would not really care if it is at a bar. I guess I just want to be a part of something. I just want to have interactions that draw my mind away from the self destructive thought processes that seap in when I am alone. I know that most of the time my mind is at its clearest when I am at work and chatting with my coworkers, more often than anything bs’ing as I like to say. When I laugh and joke around I forget the demons of my past and my true self seems to shine through the most. I want more of that. I want to be that person more often and I know that I cannot be that way sitting at home all alone living inside my head.

Dan

 

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