For the Nerds

You know, I never really thought I would find “for the nerds” a clever phrase. But placing it in my title I see a little wordplay for the phrase “for the birds” as in “That’s for the birds” referring to something trivial.

I think nerds are into many things trivial. We take the trivial and we expand it so that it DOES matter. Let’s start at a basic concept, Movies. We will even go genre that’s common for nerds, science fiction. Let’s pick an obvious (and my favorite) choice here, Star Wars.

Star Wars released and it was sort of capitalizing on the fun fantasy adventure driven interest of many people. It was a movie, it had revolutionary special effects, but it was more than a medium for a test, it was among other things, a spectacular marketing for merchandise.

Soon people were buying action figures, playsets, posters, costumes, and even comics. What started as a fun movie, exploded into a giant franchise. The merchandising only served to perpetuate future movies and marketing power. Then as children became young adults and later “real” adults, many of them favored moments in those movies, or playing with their toys. They reveled in things that were, even though they were simply fiction. The need for stories and other star wars memorabilia only grew, giving way to a full culture of people who were proud of their collections or analysis or imaginations of the Star Wars universe.

But for every Star Wars like boom of culture, there is thousands of movies and tv shows that become nothing but dust in the wind as only a select few people will carry any thoughts of fondness of these obscure creations.

Something like Star Wars though? It’s grown so big, that people can now divide themselves further. Me? I have to keep track of 2 universes because of how much “Legends” content was moved to non canon. dozens of books I read in a fictional universe only to be told that they no longer were correct and that there would be a series of correct or canon stories to replace them. Some of these stories do contradict each other and my favorite characters do not even have a place in the current Star Wars timeline. Then you have other people who swear only the original trilogy is worth it. Others still arguing the prequel trilogy was a better collection of stories. You have arguments about what was good and isn’t. Whether light whips were effective or just flashy. You have such a large culture that even people who would not identify as nerds know and may even like Star Wars.

That’s thanks to nerds (and great marketing) carrying that forward a few decades. I thought I would write more about this, but I’m far too distracted at the moment. Just know that while some things are just for the nerds, the power (of greyskull) is in our hands.

 

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The Thunderous Distraction

I think I have mentioned on here how I have an internal dialogue much like that of a conversation between two people. I fully acknowledge that’s my own self though. I don’t think that makes me crazy, I’ve been told that’s relatively normal and I’ve done it all my life. It’s simply how I think or address thoughts and ideas.

What’s particularly odd, is that my other self when speaking to a hypothetical idea likes to smoke cigarettes. Now, you are probably rereading that to make sure you understood what I said. Let me provide an example.

I think of having a conversation with a friend and am listening to a complaint that I have an answer to. Don’t ask why such thoughts happen, hypothetical conversation are constant in my head and I don’t know why. But when I listen to my friend’s complaint and prepare my response, I incidentally imagine myself smoking and taking an inhale right before I tell them something. Sometimes instead of an inhale, I’m stubbing what remains of the cigarette out in an ashtray.

I don’t know why this is. I also don’t know how to properly explain a visual in my head.  So I think the “other me” is a smoker. It’s probably no surprise I inhaled second hand smoke since I was a tiny thing and only recently get a break from it in the past few years. I have no idea if that relates. But it is certainly an odd thing to get caught up on in my head. Every time it surprises me.

“Why the heck am I smoking in this thought?”

“Eh, just deal with it” I get in reply.

If it weren’t for such distractions, I might actually get some work done. Also, related I am currently at work. So yeah.

Anyway, happy mid day thing, if I remember later I will write again, because it is my anniversary of dating with my fiance and would like to write some positive things too.

Words Overdue

Hey there, it’s been a while hasn’t it? I’ve not visited here as oft as days of yore. I don’t think I should promise I should change that. I wish I could retain enough focus and motivation to follow through with many of my intents.

It really has been a while though. Writing isn’t as cathartic as it once was. Or rather the type of release that writing is seems less called upon in my present state. I’m good. Well, as good as I can be I think.

What else is there to say about someone in my place? I lost my parents and my uncle last year. My brother a couple years before that. My dog that same year, and while I understand dogs aren’t people, I would be hard pressed to name 10 people who I would mourn so roughly at that time. I don’t do the whole people thing very well, and animals were (and generally are) more of a comfort, so yes, losing my dog was very hard.

I have bipolar disorder. I have narcolepsy. I have struggled with other issues, chronic pain, impulse and anger control. What can the world ask of me and expect in return?

I was just recently diagnosed with narcolepsy though, at 26 years old. This should have been found much sooner and I can point to huge points in my life and say that was affected by that. My ability to learn, work, and be productive in daily life has always been impacted by that.  I struggled so damn hard in school, especially in college. I went to college and slept through almost every class for a year, still managing almost all As. This semester was my first “real” one back and I pulled off 3 As and 2 Bs and that was before I was diagnosed and started treatment.  I know I have great potential despite finding it so easy to give up or put myself down.

My parents would be proud.  And God how I miss them lately.

Even at work, when I sip on my coffee. That soft noise the java makes while you draw it in with small sips, that pattering, I’m just thrown back in time. I clink that mug back down on my desk and suddenly I’m back when I was 12 and having a bad morning. I’m in the bathroom on my mom’s side of the house telling her of my constant nightmares that kept me up. She consoles me softly seeming to debate if she should let me stay home. Clink. Her coffee gets put down. She sits on the counter cross-legged (not sure how) applying mascara in a loose set of pajamas. They’re a faded lilac color. She sips again, and asks me if I think the medicine is helping. I’m just upset, sitting in the bathroom floor, my eyes feeling swollen from tears. And she knows she’s still got to go to work and goes about diligently preparing, while downing cup after cup of coffee. Her pajama pants don’t match the top well, they’re a faded blue with some pink lilies patterned on them.

Just one of the many times I would talk to my mom in the morning.  Even in high school. I had to talk to her by her bathroom while she prepared for work. Every so often I would hear a sip or clink and know she was still having a hard time waking. Sometimes I got her up in the middle of the night because I was having really bad impulses to hurt myself, and she would console me, often making a cup of coffee to make sure she had some energy to watch over me.

So every so often at work, when I get my cup of coffee, I will set the mug down and have to fight to regain control, because it’s still hard to realize she’s not here. Coffee isn’t the only thing. I wish it were, that would make this a little easier. But, sometimes I do remember good things, things I liked about my mom.  And sometimes, just sometimes, it does bring me a little joy.

Maybe I’ll start writing again. Nobody hold me to it though!

A Fresh Look on Things

As the semester comes to a close, there is a certain level of stress that comes with that.  Oh, but this is a special amount of super stress.

I just returned to my university to continue the program I stopped a few years ago, studying computer science. Boy are some of these classes making me take a beating. Sometimes it is nice to see that even years out of college, I am still occasionally having the highest scored test in the class.  I’m still getting mainly As and Bs, but there have been some Cs, Ds, and even Fs.

I have many classes that I don’t even stay awake in anymore. I had been trying to address my sleep issue before returning to school, but no such luck. And now I’m scraping and clawing to pass. I guess if I don’t I’ll handle that then.

But, behold a bright side! I had sleep study done a week ago.  My doctor indicated Friday that I have narcolepsy. I’m going in tomorrow to discuss option for treatment. It’s a bit late into the semester, but, hell I’m getting answers!

Oh and added to my stress, a week ago Thursday, I found a lump on one of my testicles. I rationally knew it was a cyst, but that fear crept in that it was cancer. I endured a week of being unable to focus on anything else. But I got my answer before the weekend confirmed it was a cyst.

I’m also trying to move into a new place with my fiance, there have been additional events precipitating the extra need to move in with her, not good things. But hell, again, some of this change is good, even if bad change walks along side it.

I have friends and family that won’t let me down and I will find my way, I’ve come out of far worse, and I’ve endured it all.

Here’s to the new things, the fresh perspective on which I will build my life.

You’ll Know it When You Feel it

You’ll know it. You’ll wake up and get into your car. Shaking off the grog you hear some solid rock, your steering wheel serves as an impromptu drum. No. It’s more. It’s a full drum kit. Get some oomph into. Now head bang. Close. We aren’t quite there. Now scream the lyrics when the chorus drops. Oh yeah, you’re there. And if you don’t think you are, give it an hour.

It occurs to me that many “normal” people probably do what I just mentioned. Not me, not normally.  I envy people that have that normal sense of energy or happiness. I don’t have that sort of function.  I only get like this when my manic states hit (Happy State Activate).  Actually, it’s not always happy. I get more mood swings in manic states. I don’t have the crippling sexual desires at the moment, just want to get into a fight.

Sometimes they’re all happy, and I will dance. Not right now. I want to fight. I want an excuse to scrap.  I haven’t been in a fight. Not a “real” fight anyway.  I don’t know why this happens in some of my manic states. I fantasize that this guy in front of me at the convenience store is about to pull out a gun when his hand goes to his waist. Oh, he’s just adjusting his pants. Damn. Wait what? No. An absence of guns is good.

I’m impulsive. It’s difficult. In that line, my heart becomes a war drum as adrenaline strikes me. BOOM DUM. BOOM DUM. I feel it in my head and face. I start to take a subtle stance. Then he just pays for cigarettes and my heart calms down. I’m better now. It’ll happen again later, but it’s been like that for years.

Oh, the sexual appetite stuff? Sometimes it is crippling.  I may have a project or homework assignment do, and I masturbate for hours instead. Hours. There are times when I have a similar urge and am not in a place where I can relieve it. Everything else around me starts to agitate me, I can’t focus. I’m simply trying to hide my erection that threatens to force an awkward situation.  In class I can’t focus. At work I can’t focus. In conversations, I’m absent even though I hear my words.

Anyway. It’s violent manic today. I like it well enough, I’m not ever going to hurt someone, but I’ll certainly kick up the Disturbed and other angry music.  When manic mode activates, you sure as Hell will know it.

 

 

 

 

 

Better Hop to It

Better get started. Don’t procrastinate. If it’s not worth doing now, then why are you doing it at all? For the grade? The job? So you can say “I told you so”?

When we want to work on something, no one has to tell us to “hop to it”. Besides what are we hopping to? It’s not a mad beat. We aren’t rabbits. Kangaroos? I wouldn’t mind being one, but unfortunately not the case.

Anyway. You start what you’re working on. You do it well. You do it right. At least if you have pride in your work, another lesson we repeat from our parents but may not have the convictions to match.

I don’t like it in here right now. I have to start my work, but my mind is abuzz. I guess some people have linear thought. I don’t. When I started my new job today, I walked in the door thinking “If we can just stay awake enough to get through the shift, our first class canceled, so we can sleep a bit then.”

We? It doesn’t bother me. And it shouldn’t I reckon, just chalk it up to quirks. Still it makes me feel abnormal in a bad way. I have to remind myself the things I do that others can’t. The things I’ve done that others didn’t. That I (we?) will do and others won’t. Some good, some bad. I’m smart. I’m also unstable though. I’m a mess, but I sure do like to organize and plan. There’s two of me in here. And I don’t mean that in a conflicting sense. He and I, we are the same. We don’t compete our ideas don’t conflict. We just think and talk. It’s just me really, I know that, you may not, but I do.

Sometimes though I get lost in “his” thoughts. They bleed over and I can’t figure them out. Then I lose my own. I mutter to solve problems to keep me on track, but professor calls you out sometimes for talking to yourself and suddenly you shut up.

I want “normal”. I’m not talking nuclear family, American dream, middle class. I’m not talking of normal personality, whatever the Hell that is. I’m not talking about getting rid of the other half. That makes me, well, me. What I want to be normal is function. I see people function on a couple hours of sleep, I need at least 14 to be mostly in the green. Anything else can be a risk. Despite all my noise, my hypnagogic hallucinations, my quirks and ticks, all I want fixed is the ability to work. I want to be able to go to school and stay awake. Not feel weak and konk out right after the shower in the floor. To be looked at weird when I try to articulate my symptoms in a way that isn’t computing.

I simply want to hop to it when I tell myself to. Not wonder what’s hopping where or why they don’t simply…..and the socks, they go……no no no no, that’s not how you….OH, that’s right I was doing something. Some say it’s discipline, but when you have my problems, whatever the source, neurological or otherwise, discipline means nothing, luck does. To hoping all this gets resolved some day, because I’m simply too exhausted to go much longer.

Every Day is Halloween

I have to wear a mask every day. Sometimes as an actor, sometimes as disguise. Sometimes I’m not wearing one, but playing a role that’s expected of me.  Sometimes it feels natural, who I am. Other times, I’m simply trick or treating.

Why am I here? I ask God and I never really get an answer. I get told I have purpose. I get told I will find my purpose. I get told when I’m on the right path, or on the wrong. But never why I’m here.

Another shitty day. I almost overslept. Rocket (my dog) was kind enough to be excited about the prospect of getting out of my room, that she jumped up on my bed, forcing me to wake up. Despite her excitement, I was running late and could not even let her out. I had to lead her to her crate and pretend not to be upset and ask her to be good and give her a toy that she won’t do anything with all day because she’s so upset. And I close it up telling myself I will find a way to let her still be a dog and not leave my life.  That seems more unlikely by the hour. It’s not right to keep her at this point.

I get to school, somehow safely despite my eyes going out of focus a handful of times and struggling to not drift off. I fall asleep in my car pretty much as soon as I put it in park. 20 minutes later, I’m running later than I’d like for class. I hop out of the car entirely too groggy, and lock my door and shut it to only realize I locked my keys inside. I was seized by an incredible amount of anxiety but couldn’t address it then, needed to get to class.

No idea why I bothered showing up for class though. I fell asleep through the entire thing. Even the quiz. I get a zero on a quiz I was present for. But somehow I can’t be treated for a sleeping disorder I’ve been trying to address for years, because specialists have to determine that I’m not lying I guess. Who wants the embarrassment of falling asleep in public places or falling out of your chair or getting to ride the bus for a full loop because you nodded off for more than a minute?

But I guess in theory I’m lying. Have been lying for 10+ years. I guess I like to keep lying to just get a chance at drugs or something? If I wanted drugs that bad, I would find a dealer. Hell, maybe I should. Doctors sure as Hell don’t seem to be doing much good. I’m getting failing grades because I fall asleep during quizzes, tests, and general lectures. What chance do I have if this is not addressed?

I first started trying to address my weird issues with insomnia in a serious fashion my first trip to the mental hospital. They doctors looked at me like I spit out a cockroach and eagerly dismissed my symptoms. But the symptoms haven’t gone away. Not even a bit. And everything feels like it’s conspiring to make me really fail out of college this time.

Then some good news, I get a voicemail that I was finally referred to a doc and an appointment set for March 6th. Thank God. Then, on top of that, I didn’t actually lock myself out of the car, because the passenger door was left unlocked (though it shouldn’t be). Then I fell asleep for a few in my car, relieved. Made it to my psychologist office and slept some more. This is around 3pm at this point. Then some more shitty stuff happens, delaying my return home and unburdening Rocket, while also costing some money.

Then I finally get home, getting ready to spend time with my fiance. And my roommate/landlord/cousin tells me we need to have chat. And it’s only a few things he says that make me realize how truly a shitty person I am. He tells me I’ve taken advantage of his family. I’ve allowed them to house me and pay for my insurance briefly without keeping my word to them. A brief flicker of anger reminded me how they treated my mom and me when she was still around. Like I was finally getting something from them. That died pretty quickly though, because that’s not who I am. I didn’t keep my word. And that’s shitty. And now I really need to get rid of my dog. Also very shitty.

For the first time in a while I was reminded of being in similar situations. When eyes would turn off me, I would hurt myself. I stabbed my hand. I intentionally fell down stairs. I overdosed on meds. I punched a wall. My cousin left for just a couple minutes and all I could do was suppress the urge to drive the nearby by screwdriver into my gut. Then I realized that was stupid, I wouldn’t get enough force, it should go for my leg instead. An odd immediate reaction. I would have hoped I saw how fruitless that was and wished it away instantly instead of that. I resisted. I didn’t dwell on that particular urge for more than a couple seconds. Punching the wall occurred to me, but no that wouldn’t do because it would cost my cousin money, instead I could just slam my head into my desk until I felt only a headache. Disappointed again my reflexes to my impulses, I suppressed this too.

Then I recalled when I overdosed. It didn’t seem that bad. It wasn’t a hard thing to do. If I did that then my family would have to lay off me. No. That’s not right. Then that made me feel more shitty for even jokingly considering suicide attempt and death risk as an effort to manipulate my family. What really is wrong with me? I don’t always know when I’m wearing the mask and when the mask is wearing me. Right now though, I don’t like me. I want out of this skin. It feels surreal, being this angry at yourself. Like your brain doesn’t even know how to process much else. There’s enough rationality to not do stupid things, but you suddenly feel like a passenger instead of the one in control. Maybe control will never be complete or real. Maybe it’s just a really bad day. Maybe I’m an awful person and I frequently will myself to forget that. Whatever the case, I’m exhausted, but now know I can’t sleep. I’m eager for today to end even though I will have the same problems tomorrow. Maybe I just want to turn everything off right now and reboot. I wish it were that easy.