Mental Illness, Death & Buffy the Vampire Slayer

April 2, 2011

It’s been a while since I wrote anything personal or what’s going on in my life and posted it. So many changes and so many things staying the same.

 

I’ve been a shut in. I’ve been anti-social. I’ve been out of my mind with my Bipolar. I’ve had the face pain from the Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) on and off.  My anxiety Disorder has been acting up. My thoughts and feelings about life in general have fluctuated so much that it’s been rough to focus and complete anything. I have so many writings started and then I get distracted from my ailments. So, I’ve been pretty much working on various novels I’ve been working on forever and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ha.

 

It might sound funny but that’s what’s been getting me through the past month or so. I’ve been watching the series from season 1 on. Honestly it is a fantastic show. Well, it was a fantastic show. Underneath the goofiness, the vampires and demons etc., there is depth to the characters that I’ve been able to relate to and I’ve been opening up my feelings about life to myself.

 

I’ve been so disconnected for a long time that my emotions and relationships with people have died. I literally stopped caring about anyone or anything. My memories started cooperating. I started losing memories. My entire life experiences became a distant fog.

 

The final blow was when I started training for a job after 6 months of unemployment and I blew it on the second day. My TN acted up and I was up  all night and took my pain meds. I woke up 2 hours after I was supposed to be there. Since I was 14 or 15 I have always had a job. I’ve even had my own businesses. It was a real blow to me that my illnesses might be severe enough to keep me from holding a steady job. I fell deeper into my denial fog.

 

When I started watching Buffy I started to relive personal experiences that I’ve repressed and didn’t want to deal with. Lost loves, lost relatives, lost jobs, etc. It still seems corny that a cult TV series would start bringing me back to life but it did.

 

A few days ago my Aunt died. She was the one that helped me stop drinking and got me into “recovery”. I stopped going and believing in the 12 steps months ago and now that she’s gone it brought up everything. I remembered everyone that I’ve lost. I am questioning my part in life. In other people’s lives. In the 12 step program itself.

 

It’s tough to lose someone again. Someone I love and had such a strong impact on my life. It’s been really painful lately both emotionally and physically. It’s also been a good thing because it makes me feel human again. Although I can give a good appearance most of the time, overall, I have been out of my mind and almost completely numb. I’ve been repressing my fear, doubts, pains, my very existence. I was beyond hopeless in my mind.

 

I finally feel human again. Just by letting go emotionally I came out of hiding. Vicariously living in this TV show I actually woke up from my fog. Memories, feelings and motivation are surging through me now. I feel like I have a chance at life again.

 

I’m going to go finish watching Buffy save the world again and get another recharge. Ha.


Day 3 of No Job Training. A Loser or a Sick Person?

January 22, 2011

Well the decision was made or not made. Not sure at this point. Either way I didn’t go into work today. Read my previous blogs to catch up if you haven’t. Maybe I need to over the situation one more time for myself so bear with me..

 

I was at the end of the line with my financial resources. I had just enough in the bank after cashing in my 401ks and the little unemployment I receive to pay a few months rent. I pushed it to the limit and my friend suggested I try doing collections where he worked because they were considering offering employees to work from home. Remote calling I believe it’s called. I liked this because my car is old and not running at it’s best.

 

It took weeks from the suggestion to get the interview back in November 2010. It went well because I have 10 years experience in telephone sales. I discovered that I was going to have to travel there and working from home wouldn’t be a possibility for several months. The manager told me he would call me the next week and I would start work either the last week of December 2010 or the first week of January 2011. I was excited. I thought I was. From what I heard I could make a lot more money than I’ve made in along time. Great.

 

The first week went by and not phone call so I called the manager. He apologized and said it’s real busy and he would call me next week. Next week came and I called him once on Wednesday and left a message and then on Friday and left another message, My friend said that the manager told him he was going to call. To sum it up it was several weeks before I knew anything and that was because my friend bugged the manager and I got the confirmation in a forwarded email. No phone call. So I was finally supposed to start this past Tuesday. I got a phone call from the manager Monday to postpone my start date to Wednesday.

 

Meanwhile, after a 2 year remission of a chronic facial disorder I have came back. It’s called Trigeminal Neuralgia(TM). Refer to my previous blogs about it or look it up. It’s known as the worst pain known t man. It was the reason I quit telephone sales over 8 years ago. I had to go back on pain medications again. My sleep pattern has been screwed up since last Thursday because of the pain and the meds. I also suffer the usual anxiety that seems to creep up on me for no reason a lot of times.

 

I made it to my first day of training barely on time with a decent sleep under my belt. It went decent. I still had anxiety and face pain. I went home and was excited or I thought I was excited to get through the training and start making money. I couldn’t get to sleep until 2 am Thursday morning. I didn’t have to be in work until 10:30 am and it seemed like no problem except I was still in pain and on my meds as directed I might add. I kept waking up through the night. I got up around 5 or 6 am and stayed up for an hour then went back to sleep. I woke up at 12:10 pm in panic. I called the manager immediately and left a message on his cell phone to see if I should bother coming in. I called again on his business line 30 minutes later. I called my friend that worked there who happened to be on vacation. He told me to just go in. I would be 3 hours late. It made no sense. I called 2 more times before I made the trip. He answered and said he was disappointed and how I missed the most important part of the training. Then the phone was disconnected. I heard the “firing” tone in his voice. I called him back 2 or 3 times with no answer. I am convinced he hung up on me.

 

So I went through every possible emotion yesterday and then talked to a friend about it. I really didn’t want to tell anyone. He told me I should just go in on time on Friday to see what would happen. I was convinced I was done. I called another friend that agreed that I should go in. All I had to lose was a long drive. I was going back and forth on it all night. My face got worse. My anxiety got worse. I was determined to go to sleep early and get up early and make the decision then. Yes. I am still awake and still in pain. I didn’t go. My face pain and anxiety made the decision for me. I’m 99% sure I was already fired anyway,

 

I spent the past 2 months fantasizing, planning and setting goals based on the potential money I would have made there. I wanted to invest it in my other projects, pay off bills and save money. Now I’m back to square 1 wondering if I can keep any job between my anxiety, my TM, my Bipolar disorder and apparently a sleeping problem.

 

I really have changed. I admit that I have always judged people that didn’t work for a living. I couldn’t understand people that were unemployed, collecting social security, disability or on welfare. I didn’t understand people that had anxiety disorders, mental illnesses, social problems and even in some cases chronic pain disorders that I can’t see. I understood physical handicaps like blindness, in wheelchairs, etc. Now I’ve become one of the people I used to judge and didn’t understand. I have a day-to-day struggle trying to understand myself. I don’t. I don’t understand my illnesses both physical and mental.

 

I’m not writing this and telling you this for sympathy or to get attention. I write what’s on my mind and post it out of a compulsion. It’s the way I think out loud sometimes. Times like this I hesitate posting it knowing that you may judge me the way I judged others in my position.

 

I was raised with a work ethic believe it or not. I still exercise it everyday by writing and creating and consistently promoting and managing my websites etc. That’s my problem with identifying and relating to my current conditions. My adopted parents raised me to get to work on time and do my job to the best of my abilities. I hear m mother’s voice telling me to work. She has said judgmental things like “I don’t want you to be one of those people that doesn’t work and lives off of the system.” The problem is I agree with her and I think I am fine and then I am not fine. I am not fucking fine.

 

I am in a long process of learning and trying to understand myself and what’s wrong with me and what’s right with me. What are my limitations? What can I work through. I get all kinds of advice bout my diet, my cigarette smoking, lack of exercise, etc. That’s fine. I’m sure all that would help but there is much more going on.

 

I’m not miserable. I have a lot of happy moments. It’s just a struggle in my head and my body at times that I have to deal with.

 

My main concern right now is whether I will be able to handle working a real job or not. This TM can go into remission for 10 years to the rest of my life or it can continue forever. I have a friend that has had over 6 surgeries to treat her TM. My mental problems can be controlled to a point with medication and awareness of it.

 

I have full confidence that my immediate bills will be paid and I can figure out a way to make money on my own without a “job”. I’m just not there yet and I have to keep on keeping on and deal with my issues. That’s it for now I guess. Thanks for reading.


New Job? No Day two! No Job for You!

January 21, 2011

I wasn’t going to post this but my pains, mistakes, shame and illnesses are an open book for me as far as writing goes. I leave myself vulnerable but I’m strong enough to handle it. Here it goes folks. A lesson on how not succeed at life.

If you read my previous blog I wrote about my new job and the excitement and fears etc. I had high hopes. I went to bed at a decent hour for me. My Trigemingal Neuralgia was acting up so I took my prescribed pain meds and fell asleep. I woke up occasionally but had a good sleep. I woke up at 6 am or so and was going to stay awake. I didn’t. I fell asleep and woke up 12:10 pm. Almost 2 hours after I was supposed to be in wor for my 2nd day of training. I immediately called the boss and left a message on his cell phone. No call back after a half an hour I called again on the business line. I left another message.

I called my friend who got me the job and he said to go in and see what happens. I have never experienced this without a “being fired” or a “come back tomorrow” so I was hesitant. I called another time before I left. The boss answered and told me he “was very disappointed in me. It was an important day for training.” then we were disconnected. I immediately called him back. No answer. I called again. No answer again. I got the message. The tone in his voice was that of a man who was going to fire someone.

I’ll skip the whole denial depression, anxiety, anger, shame, embarrassment etc If you know me or read my blogs you can only imagine.

I didn’t want to tell anyone but I broke down and told told 2 friends. The first suggested I go in tomorrow as scheduled and see what happens. Of course apologize and try to move on. This didn’t sit right with me so I told another friend about the suggestion and he agreed. He said I have nothing to lose except a long ride to Delaware and back. I still question this. My friend who works there(that happens to be on vacation) reacted a little differently. He thought the phone conversation sounded like bad news and said it the idea of me showing up tomorrow “shuld be interesting.” I’m not sure what he meant by that.

I keep telling myself that I am going to go in tomorrow but I have reservations and loads of fear.

I am trying not to dwell on it. I can analyze the shit out if this. Was it the pain or the meds that made me sleep too long? Was it my Bipolar depression? Was it a sub-conscious self sabotage? Is it a self fulfilling prophecy? Do I secretly not want to work there? Work anywhere? I did put a load of energy into my other projects and plans to make money elsewhere all day.

I don’t know the answers and I don’t know what I am going to do tomorrow. What if? What if? I am cursed with the what ifs?

Anyway, if you want to help a starving artist out buy a book or 2 or 3 of mine at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/richhillenjr

and join my new Unrestricted Social Community at http://novaboon.com Join right now. It only takes a minute and it’s free. It’s been growing and we’ve been having fun.

Thanks. Wish me luck tomorrow. I hope my decision is the right one.


I Want my Mommy

August 24, 2010

After 7 long years of talking about this novel I am writing (everyone talks about the novel or screenplay that they are writing and never finish), I finished writing it in November 2009. I was overjoyed that I finally followed through on something that I have been talking about and working little on since 2003. I did it. Then I realized I needed an editor. They were expensive. A friend of mine did a perfect job editing it but it was footnoted and I had to have 2 copies open at the same time and couldn’t figure out how to use her notes so I put it aside for a bit. I’d jump in and edit here and here and my mother would always ask about it. She’s a published author herself.

I lost my job the end of May and it fueled me to finish. I finished editing it 2 days after I got fired. Again I was thrilled. I had a specific cover I had in mind and needed a “socks” model. After finding one it took almost another month to get a day set with my photographer friend and the model. Whew. Then I waited another month or so for my friend who offered to design the book cover. She did a great design for the front cover right away an d her busy schedule kept her away from the project so I figured out how to work with what she had. Meanwhile, I decided on self publishing online based on advice from friends who were published authors. Last Thursday night I finished everything and had ot published and available on the publisher’s web site.

Fear kicked in. I was afraid to finally publicize it because I was afraid it wasn’t going to sell or someone might not like it. So, I distracted myself with other things like digital art projects, writing stories, and on a woman. I’ve been cranky and agitated and full of anxiety. I forced myself to announce the publication this morning and I don’t feel excited. I’m still agitated.

“What’s really going on?” my friend Joe used to ask me when I would go on my little rants about this or that. It always shit me up and made me think about what’s really going on inside me.

I want my mommy! No, I don’t. Not right now. I want to avoid her as much as possible. I love my mom. I even like her. She’s been one of the best people to live with in years. Although, I’ve had a lot of great roommates in the past she tops the list. Lately, it hasn’t been fun.

She’s not my biological mother but she’s raised me since I was 11. When I was first introduced to this new life I was in total shock with my new reality. Consistent tough love by 2 schoolteachers that were cultured intellectuals. I came from a poor neighborhood and was living in luxury it seemed as a child. Unfortunately for them I was already set in my ways. I was destined to be an alcoholic and had an undiagnosed mental illness myself that went untreated for over 30 years.

She has never been the type to sympathize despite her spirituality. She only has sympathy for those that want to help themselves or are in great physical pain. She has a uptight teacher’s persona. She was not a nurturing type. She’d listen to my problems and then tell me the solution. Just once I’d have liked to hear her say “It’s ok.” “It’s going ot be ok.” I’d still love to hear that from her.

She has a lot of rules and outlooks that I agree with and disagree with but every one of them is stuck in my head even now. She had such a strong influence on me through my life. I respect her and have always wanted her approval despite my alcoholic mentally ill actions through the years. I would do the opposite of anything she could possibly approve of and felt like total shit because I couldn’t live up to her standard.

When I was a kid and the other parents would say “not my son” my mom would say “probably was my son”.

I’ve seen my other friend’s parents spoil them and let them do whatever they want. Then again I’ve met a lot people that grew up with unsupportive and abusive parents.

Her and my father were always fair. They just expected me to work for everything I wanted. I wanted this really nice e $200 bike when I was a kid and I had to get a job and save for it. I got it. They taught me the value of working. I have a strong work ethic because of them. They always supported my arts whether it was their taste or not.

My mother had some simple rules of what she expected of me. She didn’t care what kind of job I had as long as it was legal and I worked. She never cared how I dressed or how I wore my hair etc as long as I was clean and so were my clothes They both expected me to pay my own way and only come to them in emergencies I’ve only been to them a couple of times in over 20 years for money.

In general, I have always had a job since I was 13 with the exceptions of the end of my major fight with addiction in 1991 and I collected unemployment once in 1995 but still paid my way.

Since the first time I got sober in 1991 we have slowly grown to respect each other. Yes. I earned her respect. They approved over all of my life for a change. This lasted to this day. Well, maybe the last month or so. I moved in with her and my father Feb/ March 2009 to help take care of my father who was sick and apparently dying (I didn’t know this when I moved in). He died in June 2009. I was happy I helped and got to know him. My mother and I had great relationship until recently.

When I first lost my job she was tolerant for the first month knowing that I was wrapping up my novel etc. The second month she grew tired of having me around all of the time and not looking for a full time job, part time job or seeing about unemployment paying for an education. I made the mistake of declaring that I wanted to be a drug and alcohol counselor. Not just to her but to myself and the rest of the world. I regret it. I found a rehab that will hire you if you are 2 years sober and they will train you and put you through school to get your certification needed to be a counselor. I called about the job but I won’t have 2 years sober until October.

Ha. Everyone told me that I should have lied. Even my righteous mother who would never lie herself. In her opinion my 16 previous years of sobriety should count toward it. It doesn’t work like that. If anything it tells the employer that I am capable of relapse at anytime.

It’s not that I don’t want to work or go to school. I am just extremely involved in my creative productions. I am taking advantage of having money in the bank and the little amount of money I get from unemployment. I am following my dream but my mother keeps pulling me into reality on a daily basis. I guess it’s good but it makes me feel horrible about myself.

I don’t want to go back to waiting tables. I hated it. I was in telemarketing before that for 10 years. I hated it. I have a college degree without experience at the age of 43. I am an artist. A writer. I just published my first official novel and I’m not excited because my mommy doesn’t care. She wants me to get a job or go to school for my certification. I want to ride this out and make money at writing. I guess being a counselor is something I want to do as a fall back giving me the means to pay my bill while I pursue my dreams. I will never stop pursuing my dreams.

Mom understands this but she is acting too much like a mother and not the kind I need right now. I am anxious and irritated just being around her. I don’t like feeling like a directionless little kid with his mommy telling him what to do. I am a man. I know what I want and I strive for it on a daily basis. I am an artist. I don’t want to wait until I’m in my late 60’s or 70’s to like my parents did to flourish at my art. My time is now and I can do this.

Is it right to go through the motions just to shut my mother up? I wonder if I should confront her. If I get a job I know we will live more peacefully. I am going through the motions for now.

I need to take care of me and not worry about what mommy thinks. Like I said, I am a big boy now and I feel I am making some great decisions. Some bad ones too but I am involved in creating and promoting. One day, it will all comet through if I keep on pushing.

Even mothers with the most common sense, intelligence and good intentions can be wrong sometimes. I have to drop her off of her pedestal and let her know here I am at.


Can You Find Me a Job . . .?

July 22, 2010

Under the table?


The Future is Today or Get a Job

July 6, 2010

Yep. It’ll be six weeks tomorrow since I was fired. Let go. Freed. It’s been up and don since. Sometimes I am so relaxed and productive writing and putting my books together and other times it’s been depressing. I collect unemployment but not much since I didn’t technically make much on my checks. I’ve been living off of my savings but it’s going fast. Living with my mother doesn’t help much either. She doesn’t nag but there is an unsaid pressure for me to be looking for a job. A job. I don’t really want a job but all of this free time for an unorganized person like me can be hell sometimes. I get filled with anxiety and depression from the unsaid pressure and from being un focused. I want to write and that’s it.

Even dating has fallen to the bottom of my list. As I’ve said many times before I am a flake with dating and even my relationship with my friends. It’s become worse since I’ve become unemployed. I don’t want to do anything except write and make videos with the occasional half assed job hunt thrown in here and there.

The few times that I make the effort to sit down and think about what I want to do with my life I come to the same decision. I want to write, I want to make a living from writing. It’s possible but I there’s a long road of rejection and waiting first. I have to keep going at it. Write everyday. Try and get published every day.

I have so many connections to get into the writing field but it’s writing articles and reviews. This isn’t my strong point yet. I usually write journal or blog style or fiction and poetry. I tried writing reviews before and it ended up being stories about my experience with the movie, live band or cd. It worked for Hunter S Thompson in many of his writings so who knows?

As far as jobs go I’ve been keeping my ear out and talking to people I know because you can get the better jobs through word of mouth. That’s how I got my last 3 or 4 jobs. I use the word kob rather than career because that’s all they were. Telemarketing, retail and food service.

I had an opportunity last week that sounded great. I ran into someone I know that works at a pretty big alcohol and drug rehabilitation center. It hit me that I could really get a lot out of doing that. I’ve considered it in the past and it hit me that I should try and get into it. I asked her how I could get into counseling. She replied with enthusiasm. She said that they are always looking for new people. The pay is average but the benefits are great and you get raises often. The only requirement is to be 2 years sober. Shit. I’m 3 months short. She said to mention her name and maybe it wouldn’t be a problem.

I was nervous and excited about calling the next day. I called and talked to the woman in charge and she said that they couldn’t bend on it. I had to have 2 years sober. She said to call back in October. I was disappointed but I figured it was God’s will so I went back to my part-time online surveys and writing.

Everyone I told about this said that I should have lied. It was only 3 months. Besides I had 16 years sober before my relapse in 2008. I didn’t bother mentioning that to the lady hiring because that could be considered a bad thing. How could I in good conscience lie about my sobriety time so I can get a job working with alcoholics teaching them honesty? It made no sense to me.

Now I have to find a “job” to hold me over hoping that they will still be hiring in October.  At least the experience gave me an idea of what I want to do besides write. Meanwhile, I’m going to give it to God and take one day at a time like I’ve been taught. It worked today.


No Guilt for Fate

June 6, 2010

Fate. God’s Will. What is meant to be is to be. Call it what you want but I believe things happen for a reason. I believe in this more and more every day. Everything that has happened in my life has lead me to who I am now. For better or for worse depending on the day and my spiritual condition or mood. It’s all about today for me, today.

I don’t have any regrets of my past and what I have done or haven’t done. It is what it is. I try to make the best of each moment and when I’m down I just ride it out and it goes away eventually.

My recent unfair job loss has freed my mind up a bit. For now. I’m in a position to move on creatively and try to improve the quality of life for myself. By losing my “job” I got to thinking about what I really want to do. I’ve known it for a long time now but I want to write. I want to write and make a living off of writing stories, novels and poetry. I might get sidetracked here and there but I know deep in my heart what I want to do. What I’m good at.

Recently (but before I lost my job), I wanted to recreate myself as an artist. I’ve been toning things done a little here and there. I created a new blog page online to help promote me as a writer. I was going ot only post the less offensive writings. I’ve been holding back on my online social networking pages as well because family and people I know casually are on there. You know what? I don’t care anymore. To quote the great Popeye “I am what I am”. I did what I did.

I was worried about future employers googling my name and finding out about the xxx movies I’ve made, the serial killer songs I’ve written, recorded and performed, the sexual or offensive stories I’ve written and the “sick” drawings I’ve done. At one point I was considering deleting everything I could off of the internet. That’s impossible. I did what I did. Some things I’m proud of and some things I’m not but it all contributed to making me who I am today. It’s all part of who I am. People will see it and choose if they like it or not from there.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am perverted, dark, and weird. They also know that I am a decent person that doesn’t revolve my life around my darkness or perversions. There is another side to me.

It took another loss of a meaningless “job” to open my eyes to see who I am again. To quote Patti Smith “I am an American artist and I have no guilt”.

Today I will either create something perverted, dark, or light and funny. Whatever it is I am on a mission to constantly create no matter what anyone else thinks or says about it. Amen.


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