Failure to connect

Failing to connect the dots, thoughts escape me as I sip my drinking, laughing nervously

 

Trying to think of something to say to the person who has chosen to sit beside me, but I’m lost in the ever-present sound of life as it passes by me and they leave without saying a word.

 

I’m still on this stool, waiting for a smile that never comes, so I look around to see a friendly face but all I see is darkness

 

A sea of people but I feel alone, washed away in loneliness, a common theme

 

Another face, I open my mouth to speak but a soft whisper comes out, I sheepishly realized that the eyes in front of me lack interest and so I turn back the glaring glow of the television broadcasting a basketball game which leaves me feeling bored.

 

I walk outside with my drink that burns and churns my stomach, the patio is empty, it’s cold and I start a conversation with the only person I haven’t failed to connect with: myself. “How are you?” I say. “I’m great”, my own voice replies.

 

We talk until closing time, the man motions for me to leave, we get into the car, head home, put ourselves to bed and get a good night’s rest. A failure in connectivity which no longer pains me since it is so familiar.  😦

I’m struggling

So right now I am really struggling, no I’m falling apart actually.  I haven’t worked in months, I had to drop out of the one class that is keeping me from graduating from college and I feel unmotivated and hopeless. I haven’t been this consistently depressed in quite a long time, it reminds me of the days when I used to stay up all night and sleep all day because I was totally manic.  And to make matters worse, aside from my family, I have very little support, no friends, no one to call, no one to hang with except for the disabled ministry and I like being around them but it’s not a social group per se, although I had lunch with one of the disabled adults and his mom earlier this week and it was nice, it brightened my day. That being said I am still struggling and I have been writing less and I just don’t feel right.

Its almost 2 am and I am up and I went to the only place I know gives me comfort, my blog.  And even that feels like has dropped in terms of likes or comments, maybe it’s because I haven’t been active. But it sucks and it leads me to my next point. Last week I grew increasingly frustrated with trying to seek mental health support through social media.  I had added all of these people and for the first few days I was getting tons of support and messages and it felt like I had finally been understood and I was discussing mental health advocacy and doing FB lives and getting praise left and right, it was an amazing feeling. About a week later, my reactions dropped from about 150 likes on a few posts to 15 to 20, considering I have 4500 friends, that is ridiculous because I am trying to advocate for mental health and no one is listening.  I grew bitter and anxious so I deactivated all of my social media accounts. It has been a week now and I thought I would feel better but I feel worse. Yes, I was addicted to social media like most people but here’s the thing, it seems to be my only source of support from peers. And I used it because in real life I’m not connected to anyone and for first time in my life I felt like somebody, you know. And within days that was taken away from me.  I don’t if it’s because Facebook is terrible or people just stopped paying attention to what I had to say, but it hurt so I left.

The one thing I have noticed since I left is that I am fuckin lonely and totally isolated, aside from talking to my parents and the disabled ministry, using social media was an escape and it masked the fact that at the end of the day I was completely alone and that in real life, most people don’t care. And yeah, I feel bitter and sad. I even thought about taking a break from blogging but I think I need it right now. I need to get my feelings out somehow. Loneliness encompasses me on some days and I didn’t notice it because I have done everything I can not to think about it.  And I have a feeling this post, much like my posts on facebook, will be ignored as well because it’s too damn long and no one ever takes the time to really and comprehend what I have to say. It is what it is. I just need to get off this my chest. If you did read it and can relate, leave a comment or something so I know you’re here and you’re listening otherwise move on to the next post like you usually do.

Thanks,

Dave

 

 

 

Building my support network

Lately my social media has really grown, I have added thousands of people to my Facebook, most of them life coaches therapists, other advocates, those in the recovery field and it has been such a blessing to connect with them. I have found it healing being able to share my thoughts and feelings across and get all of these amazing responses, unimaginable 2 years ago, I finally feel like I have a sizable support network and for me that is important and when it comes to support, it makes no difference whether I personally know someone or not. In fact it’s a lot easier to me to talk about mental health or advocacy with those I don’t know personally. I am talking to interesting people and in only a matter of a few weeks, I have really grown as a person. and have never felt more connected/

This week is going to be quite the busy week in regards to advocacy. Today I went on my first Facebook live discussing mental health, I was with another advocate/life coach. The discussion went very even though I was a little nervous, especially sharing my story and being so open about my struggles and past but she listened and I felt like she understood, I was honest and raw in my discussion, which I always am, I don’t usually do on video, so it was nerve wracking. But people seemed to like the broadcast and I got a lot of good feedback from everyone, it was healing, therapeutic even. I talk about mental health, my issues with disabilities, my health issues my brother taking his life and spirtuality. . It can be overwhelming to get this sudden attention, to go from feeling very alone to being connected with all these people who want to talk me, it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around it, I am anxious about all of it but also excited. I have felt rejected for so long, I have trouble understanding why anyone would want to hear me talk. But I feel this is important and I will continue to speak out on mental health and disabilities.

I am also participating in an online anxiety workshop on top of everything else, I am very busy. But this is a time of finding myself, healing and I hope maybe this might lead to a career somehow. I really believe that I have the ability to reach people and help them with my story and experience. I care, I like to listen, I encourage others and I want them to feel less alone, those are valuable skills in that field. I am not working right now and I can’t go back to retail, I want to do something that makes a difference and working retail is soul crushing and it was so difficult and emotionally draining.

And I that leads to one more thing. In talking about the past and my issues with mental health and disabilities, I have mentioned several times how I felt I was treated poorly, in school as a child and in the workplace as an adult. As I was talking live on Facebook and i recounted my issues of disabilities and mental health struggles at work, I felt angry inside. I felt angry how they put me down, made me feel inferior and never took my disabilities into account when my productivity was slow. And when I was telling this story, the other person just listened and for first time I felt like someone was as angry as me about it. Like I knew I had been treated fairly but usually people just brush it off and say ” Everyone hates their job” It was different for me, I felt isolated and helpless, I was dealing with really bad stomach and bladder issues and it was creating emotional distress and all they could do was mock the fact that I wasn’t quick enough, that makes me angry, I was treated unfairly. I realized that part of advocacy is speaking out for those who are in similar situations but are afraid to speak up, much like i was, not too long ago. But instead of letting my anger fester and destroy me, I channel it and use it make a difference, that is what advocacy is all about. In a sense I feel vindicated, all of that pain and anquish lead me to something good, something better and maybe in a way it was worth it.

I feel advocacy is my calling and I will continue to share my story, I will continue to speak out especially when I see injustices in the world. I feel God is working in my life and he is giving me all these opportunities and my life is changing faster than I could have imagined a few weeks ago, I’m really optimistic because I feel people are listening. I feel like this is my turn to shine and make something of myself. So I thank all of those that hurt me because they thought i was weak but they actually made me stronger, I rise above them and prove them all wrong. Thank you everyone who has always supported and listened to me

 

Note- I have been much less active on my blog lately, I apologize,  I have been communicating with a lot of people and dealing with an influx on comments, messages and reactions.  I am going to make more of an effort to blog more because I enjoy it.   And as soon as I can, I will post the link to the broadcast

 

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Walls

We build walls around ourselves; sky high walls with no openings; only cracks through the wall where only a few can slip past; the rest in anguish; desperately trying to get through; they’ve dug tunnels and scaled the wall to no avail; they are met with resistance and their hearts break because while they try to get closer to us; all we can do is build walls. Only until we dismantle our own walls; piece by piece can they reach us and their broken hearts can be mended.

 

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It’s hard to connect with people

I’m back from my mini vacation from blogging ( that didn’t last long lol) and I made a new video on my Youtube Channel.   It’s been difficult since I lost my job and I miss interacting with people on a daily basis and I feel disconnected from others. I receive so much love and support online and it really makes a difference but I’m hurt I don’t get that same support in real life.   With that here is my new video; I hope someone who is feeling lonely today can relate

Dave

 

 

 

 

Taking a vacation

I have really been struggling since the loss of my job; I no longer have that daily routine of getting up and going to work everyday. I feel lonely because I’m not interacting with anyone and the depression is starting to sink in.    My sleep is bad as well. I have bipolar and when I don’t have a set schedule, I end up staying up late at night and sleeping until late into the day.  So right now things are really tough for me and it just feels like things are falling apart. I end up on the computer a lot , mainly due to all this free time. I post way too much on social media and my blog; I live online and it’s just not healthy.  My interactions are positive though; I reconnected with a lot of friends and I’m sure if they lived close by, I would see them.   I feel more connected to writers all over the world and my words are reaching people in positive ways, something I couldn’t have imagined a few years back.  So I don’t have the negative  responses that many people report; considering I have mental health issues and am on the Autistic spectrum, no one bullies me, in fact I receive so much praise from so many people, its unbelievable, in fact it can be overwhelming. But it’s also a crutch, I crave the attention online and don’t make the effort to connect with others in real life. And I know I have written about this so much but it is a real struggle for me and this blog is my daily journal to sort out my feelings, bear with me.

I want to make some serious changes beside what I’ve written about in earlier blog posts.  I want to take a vacation from blogging, social media and just do some major self-care.  I plan on waking up everyday at the same time, until I have a more normal sleeping pattern.  I plan on trying to find a way to connect with other writers in real life, I know there are some writing groups in the area I can join and I intend to participate.  Social situations make me nervous but somehow I feel less anxious around supportive, creative, artistic people: writers, painters, poets.  It’s so hard to make friends and I feel so damn lonely. I wish there was an easy answer, all I can do is just keep moving forward and having faith that things will work out. So now I am going to try my very best to limit my online time. Thank you for all the support; it means so much to me.   I can’t believe the amount of followers I have and the wonderful community that I am a part of, it has been life changing. And if am able to actually take a vacation from all of this maybe I can come back with a different perspective.

See you later

Dave

 

 

Dreaming

When I dream I’m always lost; searching for something or someone; I can never find what I’m looking for. An eerie feeling at a party in house that seems to be mine but I don’t recognize it; everyone seems unfriendly and cold and I shiver when I sense their icy stares; it hurts. I move around this house; looking for a friend; I see them but they just walk on by; ignored even by friends ;forever alone in my dreams. I open a door and am transported to a different scenario; a portal to another world; an empty shopping mall under construction; searching for wire cooper for some unknown reason; the fear of getting caught; the thrill of getting away with thievery. A police siren; my heart races; up to the top of the parking garage; where I jump to avoid the police; in the dream I can literally feeling myself falling ; I land on my feet on a sandy beach; alone again; listening to the waves crash and searching for anyone to make sense of the predicament I’m in. I walk towards the boardwalk; my feet on fire from the hot sand; I step on the wood and I am immediately back at the house; this time the party goers are gone; I crawl in to bed to sleep ( A dream within a dream) I wake up in the dream to tell them about the crazy dream I just had; only to be suddenly jerked out of sleep; into reality; heart beating out of my chest; body drenched with sweat; dazed and wondering if the dream was the reality and the reality is the dream; that’s a question for the ages.

Artwork Credit- PaintingbyJeff IG Written by David A

 

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I look at all the lonely people

Today as I was getting off work; I decided to get something to eat at the food court.  There was a lady in line next to me and I offered to have her jump in front of me; she mentioned how polite I was.  And for some reason she mentioned she had just turned 50 and I said “50! That’s young!”; which hopefully was the appropriate response. This lady was very talkative with me. I was telling her how I just started at this new job and how busy it was during the Christmas season.  And the conversation turned to the churches we went to and she mentioned the church she attended and I told her about how much I liked my church.  As I was talking with her; I could tell she was lonely.  Usually people who talk to complete strangers and start telling you about their lives are lonely; they need someone to talk to.  And I’m a very lonely person so I totally get that. I can’t tell how many strangers I have tried to start up conversations and been given the cold shoulder; it hurts.  But like her; a lot of us don’t have that outlet. And I didn’t want to be the kind of person to not respond to her. She then told me that she was with her friend because she had seizures. I said I understood because I volunteer with people who have disabilities and some of them have seizures as well; so we have to be mindful of that.  It was actually lovely conversation for me as well; I enjoyed.  Although it made me sad that there are so many lonely people out there. We parted ways but I am so glad that I may have been the one person today who listened to her;  another God moment for the books.   The lesson here is be kind to everyone you meet; you’ll never know the difference you might make in their lives.

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Lonely thoughts

Loneliness is not just being alone; but it’s a feeling; a state of mind.  Even  in a room; full of  lively conversation; plenty of opportunities to connect and yet somehow you fall flat and you feel that heavy burden of being lonely;  you can’t shake it; that loneliness.  I feel it late night mostly; the loneliness leaves me alone in my owns thoughts.  It’s always been a part of me; a nagging voice in the depth of my soul; letting me know; I’m man on my own in the middle of the water; with one paddle; spinning directionless in this boat; with no help; completely lost at sea.  I don’t know where that feeling came from and maybe I don’t want to know.  I’ve stopped looking for answers and accepted that it’s a lonely life; whether I’m with people or by myself. How does one change this perpetual state of loneliness?  Anyone got anything? I didn’t think so

 

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Neighbors

We live houses away from each other but we might as well be miles apart.

We don’t talk and keep our heads down when we pass by each other’s houses; not even a simple wave. We wave for the mailman and the dog walkers but never for each other; it’s sad

We passively like each other’s statuses on social media without absorbing what is being said.

How can we live so close but fail to communicate; what happened?

And the awkward moment when we see each other in the grocery store and act like long lost friends who moved far away; only to coincidentally meet in the checkout line.

But we know it’s bullshit. How difficult is it to walk 4 houses up the hill and say hello. We went from neighbors to strangers. How do we fix this?