Working On Graveyard

I started working on the graveyard shift last mid-2012, I had some challenges to go through – which includes adjusting my circadian rhythm and since I will be sleeping during the day, taking Efavirenz early morning. The body clock thing is no longer a problem since I can adjust to some minor to major disturbances. My weekends are quite  used with going out with friends or out of towns, this will endure me some extra time to be awake. There are times I need to be awake for 24 hours just to cope with my social side. As a result.. eye bags.

Another downside is when I need to take Efavirenz during the day, in the event of some gathering, out of town or any activity that needs my mind and physical motors, Efavirenz’s side effects is hindering it. Now I am at the verge of this major adjustment where I need to take Efavirenz during the day and bear its undefined side effects. I have been taking EFV for 3 years now, dizziness is now well taken cared of – I just take menthol candies to combat the dizziness while I’m still awake. There’s still the vivid dreams which I can no longer control. 

These adjustments make me think to opt for a normal working schedule. Prior to this type of work, I was in the corporate setting and having a flexible work time as a privilege. 

I am having difficulties sleeping during the day, my mind tends to be more active and I think a lot when I hit the sheets. I admit, I still have the depression hangover from last year which somehow affects my internal cycle and re-bounces every now and then.

Now, my internal systems are slowly deteriorating because of inadequate sleep and abnormal circadian rhythms. I am balancing my sleeping habits with the normal routine I need to have. Maintaining my social being must be at hand for my depression not to recoil and this is a tough setup. 

Options for this 
1. Continue and play the balancing act game or,
2. Look for a new job – a normal working hour job and quit my current one.

I don’t know how to do this but — come what may.

*photo taken along Ayala Avenue after work. Going home from a bleak morning while most of the “normal” workers are getting to work.

I Just Need Not To Talk To Anyone

Talking about introversion, I found this 9gag photo while browsing on work. Yes, I do internet browsing while at work.

This is the description to pound for. No more buts or ifs.

Hobbies or activities that will make sound if a person is Introvert:

Playing video games (check)
Watching movies
Traveling (check)
Playing musical instrument
Or anything that describes an activity that can be done alone.

Photo credit: See watermarks.

How I Like My Coffee

It’s almost a year since I’m working on a graveyard shift. I must say, I no longer want this schedule. I was just forced to take this schedule than no have no work at all. I work for an IT-software company which explains everything. Since the beginning of this work, I’m starting to appreciate the value of coffee. When I was a kid up until recently, I’m no coffee drinker. I do take on some occasion but not as heavy as today. Every working day, I can manage to free up my tummy for 3 cups of coffee. Just don’t give me the strong plain black coffee with no sugar, milk, creamer or whatsoever.

This post is not about me as a coffee drinker (novice, that is) but how I consume them up. The introvert way.

During office days – or should I say nights, I always start my day to perk up. That is, either buy coffee from a nearby shop of just get a plain vendo-coffee, either way works for me. I have a large mug that is good for 2 on a single serving, if i feel the need for more action.. I can instantly use 3 servings, so that’s 6 all in. 

The most exciting part is when I end up on a weekend and having my cup of coffee alone. If no invite from from friends or appointments on weekends, I usually do my “me time” – that is most of the time. After watching a movie or dining out by myself and since I don’t want to disrupt my body “graveyard” body clock, I go to some coffee shops and have a sip before going home. This way, even though at the wee hours of the night, I’m still awake. Sleep is now the far most important thing in this world – after coffee. 

Any variants will do, as long as I get to sit down and watch people while I slowly consume my stuff. Yes, this is how I take my coffee during my “me time – watch people as they pass by. It’s quite an exciting activity for me coz I see a lot of different stories while sipping my hot, smoking and aroma-full drink. As long as I have a cup, a chair to relax to and my iPod, then the day is complete.

Don’t think I’m mean coz that’s what most introverts do. We watch people and create stories behind what we see. We gather up and collect energy from within using what we see or observe. That’s what I do. maybe it’s different from others.

Observing other for my own pleasure is a good experience. It creates an introspective art of well being which makes me realize how should I be thankful of and what should I be having insecurities with.  I do this a lot, maybe twice in a month or so. Some of my friends are so curious on how I manage to be alone. To each his own. Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean lonely, it’s just a way  your mind collects energy and caring for one’s own dimension. This is one way of reviving pleasure – through solidarity.

There are several needs for this – either I reward myself for some small achievement, a time-off from a stressful week or contemplate on some depressive moments.

My coffee time is my me-time. If you happen to see someone alone, having a sip, listening to iPod and just watching people pass by. Remember The Chemistry Guy.

*I can do this for hours up until closing time.

Association and Travel

Honestly, I don’t have a steady past time. During your kid days, your parents would normally ask you to either play the piano – or an instrument, do some painting, engage in a sport – like a sports clinic or anything that will hone your abilities (be it mental, physical, spatial whatsoever). But it was the other way around on my end. They tried, but didn’t succeed. I’m not really sure why but having an introspective flashback of my situation.. I was the ultimate introvert kid. The typical shy, stay at the corner kid who can’t even make friends with.

As far as I can remember, the first time I did these learning enhancement skills was when I started drawing. Drawing and skething the basic stuff of living things up to cartoon characters. It didn’t last long enough and I wasn’t able to sustain it. 

My mother encouraged me to do swimming lessons, he asked my cousins to teach me how to swim – the basics such as breathing and floating. There was a time I nearly drowned – take note, not just one instance. After that, I was so scared to hit the pool or be in the middle of the beach. I have to say, even until today.. I don’t know how to swim. I’m so hesistant to be in the airline industry – cabin crew/flight crew coz what I know, you need to learn how to swim.

When I was in lower grades of schooling, I tried joining “boy scouts”. The normal routine of cab scouts as they imply to young boys joining the team made me even more shy and reserved as I see a lot of boys of my age and teens among the group. I cannot mingle around them and unable to connect with what they want. A week after, I quit.

Several years later, I went crazy to modern technology when Family Computer was released. My mom didn’t spoilt me enough, it was the childhood experience when I go to the neighboor every weekend night nd whole day of Sundays just to play Mario, Mappy, Ice Climber and those old school stuff. I had a chance to own one when my father bought a unit for my birthday. Soon, he bought another Sega Mega Drive. It was kinda sad to play since I don’t have any siblings to play with. Mom doesn’t want my friends to be in the house. The only choice left was to play alone.

My parents then realized this computer stuff will not do me any good so they bought some sports supplies. I have BMX bike, a football, a volleyball, a basketball and a roller skate all in one big box as a birthday present. The BMX bike was an instant friend, I got to learn balancing and riding the bike within a few weeks. It was so intense that I even did somersault along the streets until the bicycle fork broke and was never repaired. I then turned my interest to roller skates, touch luck – those four wheelers were hard to learn so I just kept them. I never had the chance to do basketball, I don’t know but there’s no spark between us. I think I was really born to be gay coz I don’t like basketball and did like volleyball. I had a Spalding volleyball and that time – 1990’s, a Spalding ball was expensive as hell. I got the chance to play volleyball with neighboors, day and night – non stop until it was severely punctured beyond repair. 

All the my sports stuff were gone except my gadgets which I reconciled and played with them again. As I grew up, I become naive of such activities. Even at school, I wasn’t even active at extra-curricular subject. Entered the school volleyball team but wasn’t sustained as well. I was a loser. Teenage years was a bit more “athletic” as I met some new friends when we got a new home. Athletic in such was I do outdoor games. Not a big deal though.

Up until now, I haven’t found a thing that I can associate myself with. Now, I’m trying photography and travel. Both wasn’t sustained much and slowly deteriorating. I think I just wasted some hundred thousand bucks for buying photography equipment. As for traveling, no regrets though. Traveling is the best thing to do while you’re still capable. The experience it leaves is most treasured other than anything else.

*topic deviation ahead 

The past couple of years, I have been into traveling and I really like it. It gives me the chance to explore beyond the common standards. I started traveling with friends and now planning to do it by myself. Solo traveler as they say. I plan to visit majority of the Philippine Island and some neighboring countries as well. Recent;y, I have been reading local travel blogs, been a fan of booking online flights and searching for itineraries of my next domestic travel destination. 

The sad part of this is when you there’s no one to invite for you to join an out of town trip. You are then forced to do it alone. Which is kinda frustrating. But after trying to be alone one time – during my Baguio trip, where I met some new friends then it became more exciting. Yes it’s exciting but when the time comes that I need to book a flight on my end, I can’t seems to put the excitement into action. 

I even seen this site where it will grade you based upon how many provinces of the Philippines you traveled. Quite baffled as I got a C mark. I need to extend my network and be on the move.

My Lakbayan grade is C!How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

I admire these people who create their travel blogs and at the same time I’m jealous. Why they can travel alone and here am I being to hesistant. In any case I’m able to push through with it, maybe I’ll make my own travel blog. Or perhaps post some of them here – of course, I won’t go into much details for security and identity purposes.

This year I will be committing myself to at least have a travel activity to 1 or 2 places every quarter. Possibly, this can be associated with The Chemistry Guy. Soon.

**Summer and Holy Week is coming so I expect to be out of town. Hopefully not being closed inside my room and playing video games or online Tetris.

Third Year of Being Poz

This marks my third year of being HIV positive. Honestly, I can’t really recall when was the exact date I went to Makati Medical Center and have myself tested, I know it was in between February and March. The 3 years of my conversion was a rollercoaster ride, too steep ups and too free fall when going down. This was the time when you will learn to appreciate who you are and what to perceive of what’s going to happen, being care free is no longer an option. Taking extra care of yourself more than the usual, when I was still considered HIV-negative, should now be your top most priority. 

Novice events took place the last 3 years – meeting new friends and acquaintances, finding someone to be a confidant, being more open to my feelings and a wider range of “activities”.

The first thing came into my mind after being diagnosed was to find someone to talk to and share what happened that afternoon. I went online and found some online forums and communities, which was a bit of help. A couple of weeks have past, I decided to create this blog in hopes of releasing tensions inside and let other reader know how I feel. Through this blog, I have met several people of the same sero-status which turned out to be ok.. though some were not. These people, which some I now call friends were the ones who helped me of somehow forgetting the past. The first year of being diagnosed was exciting because I tend to meet new people almost every week. From the old-school ARG clinic of RITM, to its weekly activities, to check ups with Ate Ana. Seeing new stuff after this were somehow great. I knew I wasn’t the only one.

My second year was not that blessed and turmoil started to pound. It affected both my professional and personal environment. It wasn’t easy for me to sustain myself. I think this year, I started creating a poz-Twitter account. I have some friends you used this and I joined the bandwagon. I have to admit, it was fun and there were lots of chances meeting new people. More than what RITM-ARG has provided. As the chemistry principle of entropy and enthalpy, the more you know.. the greater the chance of uncertainties. Which I proved to be true. It was good at the start but its quality started to decline month after month. It seemed to have contributed a big chunk of what my second year gave to me. I’m not putting blame, just stating what I see. If I happen to check my Twitter timeline, all I see are some types of crap. Not all, but most. Way far from before I started it. No longer that active coz I decided to focus more on blogging and meeting good and trustworthy friends. Just like the old times.

This 3rd year should be my rebound year. Bouncing back from where I left last 2011 and have a clear mindset of what to expect. No more chummy bullshits.

Or perhaps, throw and clean some trash out of my closet. Eradicate all that triggers. I think that’s the best way.

This blog will not be that long as most of the topics were discussed or will be discussed. I’ll keep you posted.

My third year statistics:

CD4 count – 710 units
Viral load – 80++ units, I can’t really recall
All other blood parameters: I think is normal
Mind state: sane
Emotional state: still unstable
Physical state: Good, but not for the fucking choosy
Financial state: I dunno, I’m poor

*by the way, what the hell happened to other poz bloggers? Where are you? Hope everything is fine.