I decided to take down several previous posts. It’s fine to tell my story, but it’s not fair to tell someone else’s without their knowledge. I’ve been warned about this before, but I had forgotten how it was unfair to other people. From now on, it’s just about me.

I also decided to shut down my poetry blog. I created that site to share with my real-life friends, but I get almost zero traffic when I post anything. I posted links for my Fakebook friends, but the only people who visit the page arrive via the WordPress Reader tags. That’s not what I had in mind. I wonder if the algorithm prevents my posts from being seen by my friends since I almost never use Fakebook.

Isn’t any blog an exercise in vanity? Really, who wants to know the life story of an average guy with bipolar who does nothing remarkable with his life? Yet I continue to write, posting things that seem important to me but are next to irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I say I post for myself, but I secretly wish I had hundreds of followers (real people, not bots) who cared about every word.

I suppose the internet is moving on from blogs to shorter formats, but I have resisted using those platforms. Most of the time, I can’t share in real-life the things that occupy my thoughts; it’s too deep and too personal, and I have to constantly censor myself. Having anonymity helps me write out my private thoughts while having the knowledge that I could pull the plug at any time.

Maybe I will unplug things sometime soon. I’ve done it before. I could start a shiny, happy site where I only post the positive things about my life, but at that point I may as well be on Fakebook again. The problem is that even if I rebranded and opened a new blog, it would still be me doing the writing. The leopard can’t change his spots, and I would still have the same doubts and fears and demons that show through in everything I write.


blog bits

I’ve reached 100 posts since I rebooted the new and improved version of Swimming Upstream in March 2020. I don’t really count this as any kind of milestone because I’ve been blogging under various names and banners since 2004, and probably written over 1000 posts in that time. Hopefully those old blogs are lost to the mists of time; not even the Internet Archive thought they were important enough to save.

Why does WordPress say I have 160 followers, but it only appears that fewer than 10 people read here on a regular basis? Are some of you reading by email and not clicking through? Please let me know by liking or commenting! I think a significant portion of the “followers” are scammers or clickbaiters, and some are people who are no longer active here or have closed their accounts.

How do people get so many followers so quickly? I guess they write about more interesting things, while I just write about my life and my mental health. I’m not trying to “break the stigma” or influence anyone, and I certainly don’t think I have much in the way of “useful information”. I write for myself, but I am grateful when other people listen.

I wonder about bloggers who have dropped off the radar. Maybe they found another creative outlet to document their lives. Maybe they had significant life changes, or maybe they got discouraged by a lack of interaction in blog-world. Some of these people became blog-friends, and I have been concerned for their health. It’s unfortunate how many people I have lost contact with over the years, as they stop writing and I have continued for almost two decades.

I have met two of my blog-friends in person. One of them became a very good real-life friend who has been there for me many times over the years. Ordinarily I don’t make new friends in real life, but it is easier for me to interact with and build a relationship with strangers in this forum.

I have a public blog under my own name with a few poems and stories. No one reads it, and I haven’t contributed to it in a couple of years. Maybe I will post stuff there and link to it here so you can see what a bad poet I have been. Just don’t tell anyone about this secret identity. We take this shit to the grave.

good night, loon

I took a short break from posting. I wrote a lot of words in a short time, most during the middle of the night, but the train stopped when I started getting sleep again. Of course now I’m up again at 2:30, so there you go.

I don’t think I can take Latuda anymore. I think it is responsible for the manic spell, and it made me nauseous every time I took the 80 mg dose. I was also extremely tired after taking it, as I was falling asleep within one hour after taking it (then not sleeping well when I needed to sleep). The 40 mg dose didn’t have these effects, but it also wasn’t relieving the depression. I see my psychiatrist Monday, so I’ll let him know the side effects are too much for me. Maybe I will go with just Wellbutrin and my old friend Lamictal and see what happens. By the way, my psychiatrist made a special appointment time for me after hours, which I really appreciate.

The other news is about my bad back. Nearly two weeks ago I was getting in my car when I felt something move in my spine, and I thought, “that’s not good.” I could hardly get out of the car when I returned due to the knife-like pain in my left side and lower back. I have been to my chiropractor twice, and each time the adjustment only lasted for about a day before the pain returned. He said I may have to return to the decompression table, aka the stretching rack. Whatever works, man. I’ll see him Monday as well, but in the meantime I’m alternating heat and ice.

I was happy to see the inauguration went off without problems. I don’t think there was ever a plan to create a disaster on Wednesday; I think the premeditated plot was for Congress to be stopped and for a hostage situation to ensue during the riot on the 6th. Chilling stories are surfacing in court documents about how some of the mob weren’t rioting, but moving purposefully around the capitol searching for a way to get to the legislators. Someone with inside information and detailed knowledge of the building (an “unnamed sender,” said the FBI) was sending messages on Facebook telling the hunters exactly where everyone was located. Speculation about one congresswoman had been rampant, but if the FBI knows anything, they aren’t revealing it yet. I think the true story of the riot will come out, eventually, and hopefully people go to prison for a long time.

Finally, someone recorded 200+ hits on my blog Thursday. Either someone really appreciates my posts, or a bot crawled my site. I don’t know how WordPress’ stats work when the bots come to visit, so I can’t explain the spike. I only have 57 posts, so I don’t see why a human would generate that many hits. If you did, however, say hi.

Over and out.

welcome to new followers

I have had several new followers on the site recently, and I wanted to say Thank You! As I’ve said before, I write for myself and my own blog therapy. However, it makes me feel better when other people get something out of my writing, either a shared experience or empathy or just the knowledge that other people have the same problems. I appreciate when a new follower sends a meaningful comment or even just a like, because despite being a hopeless introvert, deep down I enjoy connecting with people who can understand the mess that bipolar can make of your life. So again thank you for following, and even if I don’t reply directly right away, I will say hi when I get a chance. 

On the other hand, the bots, spammers, and click-bait sites that randomly like a post or follow my blog are not welcome. I’m sure you have had them also, sites like “HealthTips Now!” and “StarLinkⓇ” and “ImproveBiz4You” which apparently troll WordPress blogs and have the ability to like and follow without anyone actually reading your post. I’m sure the only reason for this is to make me click out of curiosity, driving their stats and making them advertising money, which irritates me. I wish WordPress had better control over this problem. Apparently you can install plugins to help if you pay for a domain name rather than just having a free blog name, but I can’t justify the expense.

To summarize: real people, welcome; bots, piss off.

[update: within 20 minutes of posting, I had another 2 clickbait sites follow me.]