I’m a work in progress…

Sorry, another Jason song running through my head…

But it’s true! We are all a work in progress, none of us are better or worse than another, except in the end we shall see what God says.

Been thinking a lot about heaven and hell lately….

I know I want to be with God and my grandma and the many loved ones who have gone before me. I believe in the Mercy loving of God though so hope that He remembers me when He comes into His kingdom!!!

Been talking to God a lot lately. But no worries He doesn’t talk back thank goodness. But there is one thing I feel He wants me to do but I can’t do it as it would put my relationship with someone I really care about in jeopardy and I don’t know how I would handle another loss of a friend.

I lost friends when I became Catholic and continue to as hard as that may sound in this day and age. So much judgement from well meaning people for the most part. But I don’t judge them for that, no not me. I know they are just doing what their religion tells them to do. What is even scarier is that some of them even quote the bible in their needed break up of the friendship. Well I can quote scripture too and seriously it stands on my side.

Enough on that!

Now down to the nitty gritty how the heck are we all doing?

New trick~ the body scan

coming soon!

I’m ok, lots of minor ailments and I cut my own hair last night and woops, had to go get it fixed today. Haven’t been to a salon since November! Weird the timing of things in this regard but that is a story for a never day. Too boring!

There are signs around us everywhere if we have eyes to see. Today my dear friend who lost her husband recently had to make a decision and I told her to pray an Our Father to help her know God’s will in this situation. And within minutes it was resolved.

I prayed it with her and do that throughout the day. So right now am going to go lay down and then play with my dogs. Will do body scan and get back to you on the details tomorrow.

pax

Victoria

Call it gumption he sings…

Jason Mraz has done it again for me with where I am at and where I want to be. He sings in his older song, Song for a Friend, about all the strengths we have inside, and the gumption we possess inside and also that only we know if we are trying. I listen to it every day. It motivates me. No one else can say if I am trying. Nobody but me and God truly know.

Prior to this pandemic I sat all day as I have shared. I barely got the dishes done every day and some days I took advantage of my adult daughter and would ask her to do them. That’s how bad it was. i didn’t cook dinner every night like I do now. I didn’t take care of myself to the best I am now, or the house or gardens.

It is amazing but this pandemic has forced me to get busy. I do not feel good about my days unless I am busy. But busy means lots of things these days I am finding. yesterday I spent the day with my dear friend who lost her husband recently and just sat with her in her grief. 6 hours of conversing, laughing, crying, singing and some energy work. I was exhausted!

The day before I spent the afternoon/evening at my son’s new home with his wife and our immediate family to celebrate my daughter’s upcoming birthday. So I was busy being with family. It was a Sunday anyway which means a rest day for me but it was so much fun and we were there 8 hours!

So busy also means getting the house in order most days, gardens some days and working on myself too. Been doing a lot of grief work with Dave Markowitz. Oh yes Jason I’ve got gumption.

His song I won’t give up spoke to me when I was passively suicidal and was just trying to look up to God in desperation. This song has been my main support song. I won’t give up ever I think now so don’t listen to it every day anymore but it’s there on days that may be less than perfect and it’s a good reminder of where I have been.

Jason Mraz isn’t the only music writer who writes about things that help but his meditative music is so relaxing and just has a great vibe to it that resonates with my soul. When I am having a hard day it is Jason music I go to.

Thank you Jason for listening to the Source of Life and bringing such wonderful music to the world in a time so desperately needed!

Today my daughter is picking up my medicine an hour away for me. Thank you to all caregivers who do things like this. So much appreciation today…

pax

Victoria

Send you my love…

Another Jason Mraz song lyric stuck in my head.

But I do send you all my love! Whatever your diagnosis, past, color etc…

We are all children of God! Every life is precious to God and me…

Welcome to my blog which dates back to 2013. Diagnosed in 2008 with Schizophrenia and later fine tuned to Schizoaffective Disorder same year. Earned my Bachelors in Sociology in 2010 and Masters in Psychology 2012. Worked in the mental health field for four years until stress took me out and I have been on permament disability since 2015.

I wrote a May 2020 series on coping skills unlimited which is my greatest work to date as it has all come true.

I used to sit all day since going on disability. All day. But being self quarantined has caused me to do all the wonderful things I have dreamed of doing now that i have the time and energy. And then writing about it in May 2020 has helped exponentially.

I have had to take a break from blogging for a bit. May kind of wiped me out but feeling satisfied with what I got done. With all that has been going on in the world and my heart, I have been more pensive than usual…

Mental health or brain health as I prefer to call it a brain disorder, does not go away when things happen. It can exacerbate it or if one is in touch with triggers and patterns in our lives, we can battle it and win. And on the days that I think it is winning, I can look at my day and say to myself, “you did your best with what you had for the day”.

My energy level has gone back down this week despite my many protests. I need to be ok not doing much too! The reward system worked well today and I actually had energy to blog. My thoughts are all over tonight…

Julia~my dearest friend who lost her husband over a month ago. Been holding a lot of space for her since he passed. Thank you if you have any prayers for her as she is in need of a miracle. I got to hang out at her house the other night and after supper we planted some plants. It was a warm evening and it was a perfect night. I don’t believe in coincidences and I know God wanted me to be with her that night because my old Mercedes broke down right as I turned down her road. made it to her house on a hill and there I stayed all evening. I drove my car all day with no problems but being stranded there was so perfect!

Covid is still greatly affecting me. Been staying at home because of my high risk daughter, which really agrees with me (the staying at home). When I do go out depending on which essential trip I have to make I am often anxious and scared of people not wearing masks. So much has changed in my life because of Covid. Not ready to write about it at least not tonight.

Protests- wish my son could go. he wants to but is honoring his sister’s health and her being high risk. This movement, oh how I pray it changes lives. It already has but we need more so that George Floyd and many black people did not die in vain…

Been using my coping skills as I can but with low energy hard to do my faves, yoga, gardening and tidying, but been keeping up with the dishes (my nemesis) and the house and watering. Plus self care, pet care, bills, medical help (have 5 current afflictions), and journaling about my dad and reading more of Dave Markowitz’s books that have changed my life along with spiritual reading. Actually took a spiritual retreat Sunday all day which included Mass on line, full rosary and rest.

So I guess I am good…hope you all are too:)

pax

Victoria

p.s. tomorrow more on June 2020 caregivers month and will hopefully have my daughter as a guest blogger about her experience on how she has navigated as my main caregiver since age 14! So glad I don’t try to work anymore and that i am doing so well…

May series cont…Music~

Music has always been a part of my life…

It speaks to my soul at times and other times it is just a distraction…

Music used strategically can be a great motivator.  Listen to a favorite relaxing or jamming song after you accomplish a task, new or one you have been putting  off.  And then walk or dance or just sit in a comfortable chair or lay on your bed and listen away…

It also is fun when others enjoy your music with you.  I love listening to Simple Man with my husband as it is his favorite and I enjoy it more because of that… or listening to Jason Mraz, I won’t give up or Sarah Bareilles, She used to be mine or 1000 things.

I love almost all music from gospel with Elvis Presley to Heavy Metal Metallica or Pearl Jam.  The only music I don’t have a taste for is jazz but I appreciate people who are into it, and country on a limited basis of a handful of artist,  Keith Urban or Shania Twain.  Can’t forget Johnny Cash, Elton John and George Michael.

The last talented artist I will address is Justin Bieber.  I am a huge fan of this artist because of his dedication to others who suffer like him, giving them hope when he himself has seen the darkness depression enslaves…  giving away so much through his music, documentaries and interviews.  Thank you to all!

Pax

Victoria

 

A Satisfying day in the garden…

I had a huge success today for somebody with Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder!

I worked for two hours in my garden, which is huge because I usually only work out there for a half an hour max but today with breaks I spent at least two hours.

Feels good.  But the sad part is that the more you do the more you realize you will never be done.

Yet I get a giddy feeling in my belly when I know I am going out there for the first time of the day.  My dogs lead the way.  They know!

The theme for today’s blog is overcoming obstacles, often with the help of my soulmate, my hubbie of 28 years…

Gardening is a lot like life, just when you think you have it figured out something goes right or wrong.  Never a dull moment.  And like life so rewarding at just a little or a lot (like today) of progress.  Anyone who is interested can read my list below my signature of all I did today with minor comments.

Also did yoga and walking today along with my spiritual practice.  Caught the sunset as usual.  Not happening naturally like it was before I blogged that I have been catching it.

We are not promised another day in this life.  Impermanence is another theme of this blog.  All I see right now in my garden is life and weeds.  Weeds are like the problems we have in our every day life.  We have to tackle them or they get out of control.

Daily check in~  How are we doing?

I am good, activity always puts me in good spirits.

How are you? On top of our brain health hopefully, physical, spiritual, acting as if everything is normal, etc…

Driving  two hours tomorrow to pick up my meds that would cost over a thousand dollars because my insurance sucks!!!  Now that we are at stage two in lifting regulations for businesses, the reps are once again bringing samples.  My saving grace.  Thank you Jesus!

And then picking up dinner at either Mexican or steak cuisine.  My husband is treating because I have been spoiling him.  I love to.  He is my love, my friend, my comfort, my annoyance lol, my helper, etc…

No such thing as perfect in any marriage but we have gone through so much and now are at such a good place that it just feels divine.  Thank you to St. Joseph!

Anyways, off to write some more on meditation for the May series.  Anything done with purpose can be meditative!  Even writing.

Pax

Victoria [The joy of gardening…today’s tasks]

The Inspector is my dear daughter who is my usual helper in the garden, who is sick today with tonsillitis, could only come out to inspect and give me guidance.

  • Threw away the debris, crab grass, rocks in trash
  • leveled the ground for our new sitting area in the side garden
  • Inspector gives approval and makes suggestions which I do and receive the green light to proceed
  • lay down weed block with the staples my husband separated for me obstacle number one- found the right pliers
  • obstacle number two- ran out of weed block.  Time to improvise, success
  • added small decorative bark to front area.                      It looks so nice! Outdoor chairs, umbrella (my mother’s day gift from my kids), and a kiddie pool to soak our feet in on hot days.  I am predicting that 2020 will be a nice weather year if nothing else…
  • obstacle number three ran out of bark, , solution pick up more tomorrow at Whispering Tree (isn’t that a lovely name for a nursery where I wear a mask and so do they and no lines but great plants and materials plus tools!)
  • watered and gave Vitamin B for new orange tree dedicated to the honor of Larry Byl who passed away last week, my best friend’s husband.
  • Watered new succulent hanging plant garden my Mother’s Day gift to Mary Queen of Heaven, all the saints and angels.
  • Threw out rocks/concrete around African tree
  • Threw out pile of branches and leaves that my hubbie trimmed many weeks ago.  But he raked them up and I collected them in a trash bag and took them to the trash.
  • Took many breaks in between to meditate, relax and do light yoga and eat healthy.
  • Took a moment to grieve the loss of Larry RIP
  • Blogged
  • good night

 

 

With a mother’s heart…

I wish all of you a Happy Mother’s Day!  All woman need to be celebrated today I believe…

Jason Mraz has a new song called Wise Woman which is here just in time for Mother’s Day.  Beautiful rhythm and melody and the words capture many woman in my life.  For we are not mothers because we give birth to a child, no we are mothers when we care for another needs; albeit a pet, spouse or anyone in our life that we may touch.

I have 3 mothers. I am very blessed.  I have my mother in heaven, Mary, who helps me at every turn.  I have my adoptive mother who means the world to me because she chose me and loves me so.  And I have my birth mom, who is amazing and I wish I could get to be in her life more but alas it is not to be.

And I am a mother of 4 (3 still living) and was very blessed by them all weekend.

More gardening tomorrow.

God bless you all!  Especially moms who either have schizophrenia or are moms of children who have schizophrenia.

Pax

Victoria

 

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road…

When are you coming down?

When are you going to land?

Not every day can be perfect and today was one of them.  It is only now after relaxing by myself for a bit and processing my day with a spiritual friend that I am able to write.

I am not going to share my day though!  Hah that would be too boring…

Just the end.

I caught the sunset and have been doing so for the last few weeks.  I can see it from my meditation room and the few quiet moments tonight as it was descending this song came on.  Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Sarah Bareilles.  Again music comes to my aid to enhance an experience.  And the answer to those questions is that my future lies beyond the yellow brick road.  For me that song had great significance in my recovery from schizophrenia.  As I said goodbye to my delusions I would sing with Sarah.  Oh how grande!

So what else do I have to say goodbye to?

Life as we once knew it, which is now riddled with fear and chaos.

To giving up.  I will never ever give up!  I can’t, I won’t.

Please if you are reading this don’t give up hope.  You can always reach out to me at victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com which is a private email closely monitored.  Thank you to the numbers of people who have written to me sharing their pain.  Some of them I have lost touch with others are still in my life.  The important thing  is to reach out if you are hurting to family, friends, therapists, psychiatrists and 911 if needed…

The hard way out would be to commit suicide but I would hurt too many people so it would be safe to say that I have many protective factors on my side.  Not all are so fortunate.  If you fall in this category, please know that I care about you.  I pray for my readers all the time…

I would like to say goodbye to my non productive days like today was.  My lowest point was lying on the master bed, which I had just made at 5pm, with a pile of clean clothes in my arms curled up in the fetal position.  I was just trying so hard to be productive and what I really needed was just a  good old fashioned lie down.  I proceeded to fold the clothes while laying down which I do not recommend if you want your clothes to be folded properly (hehe).

I realized soon after that my blood sugar was low after I ate a delicious chocolate m n m cookie and felt much better.  And drank my water after my umpteenth cup of coffee.

Well that is all for the night.

Working on my walking blog for the May series.  Hopefully will finish and post tonight.

Do you all like when I put pictures?

Seriously, email me at victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com as my email in-box has been quiet this week ha ha.  It helps me to listen to you and is safe.  And in this lock down a good idea to at least call, text, facetime, or email someone in your life, if not me, who has been a support or may be.  People, especially me, are not perfect but human connection is needed now more than ever so reach out.  Go and may God bless you!

Pax

Victoria

 

How are we doing?…

These are weird times and I wonder how my followers and new readers are doing.  I know not many will answer but I care so am asking.  And if you don’t know here is the checklist I use to check in with myself.

  • Am I keeping my appointments with my psychiatrist, therapist, friends I check in with, touching in with family? Yes.
  • How is my anxiety?  Good.  What do I need right now?  A bath, incense, relaxing activities…Do I need to take a deep breath in and out a few times? yes.  Is my body tense in some areas? No. Do I need to stretch or do some yoga for a bit? yes but not going too because it’s too late.  Take my cbd oil? yes Drink a glass of water?  drinking one right now.  Wash my hands, again? no
  • Have I exercised or at least moved my body?  yes.
  • Have I gotten outside for some sunshine and fresh air? yes.
  • How are my delusions?  Today not so bad, not feeling very special which is great!
  • am I hearing voices or sounds?  nah, haven’t for many years except for the occasional humming in my ear.
  • Am I taking my medicine?  yes, just did, never miss a dose
  • have I gotten my favorite music in mainly Jason Mraz?  Yes and yes, found a new band, Music, travel, love.  Very relaxing…
  • Have I connected with God?  I ask this question last not least and my answer is yes but no messages, thank you God!

These are just some of my questions I ask myself.  So my answer about how I am doing is pretty good tonight.  Off to bed, meant to write about my crazy day but alas this came out instead.

God bless you all,

pax

Victoria

Guest article on financial planning for people with disabilities…

guest4 Essential Financial Planning Steps for People Who Live With Disabilities

Living with a disability can mean living with extra care costs. While you may be fully prepared to pay for those expenses now, life can be full of unexpected surprises. If those surprises impacted your income, whether due to a job loss or sudden injury, could your family afford the added expenses? If you can’t readily answer this question, it may be time to sit down and come up with a financial plan for your future. Without adequate planning, your loved ones could end up footing the bill and feeling overwhelmed. Thankfully, these steps can prevent that added stress.

Signing Up for Adequate Life Insurance

Although no one likes to think about it, if you pass away, that can put an immense financial burden on loved ones. But you can help your loved ones avoid this hassle by buying life insurance online. Online calculators and comparison charts make it easier than ever to shop for life insurance without the need to speak with an agent or even leave your own living room. In the event of your untimely passing, your loved ones can use the proceeds from your policy to replace lost income and help pay for other living costs. You should be aware, however, that a Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder diagnosis might make it tough to qualify for a large sum. Instead, you may need to apply for a guaranteed benefit policy, which is often more expensive and has a lower benefit.

Adding a Final Expense Insurance Policy

If you want even more financial protection for your surviving loved ones in the event of your death, you should also consider purchasing final expense insurance. Unlike life insurance, this sort of policy typically only pays out enough to offset funeral expenses, unpaid medical bills, and other costs that are directly related to your death. By adding final expense coverage, you can provide some added financial cushion for family members so that they can reserve payouts from your traditional life insurance policy for other costs and expenses. The average American funeral can cost $7,000 to $10,000, and that’s only for minimal burial and memorial options, so having extra final expense coverage could save your family a lot of stress during their time of grief.

Considering Long-Term Care Insurance

Will you need long-term care in the future? Over half of all seniors in America will need some variety of long-term care in their lifetime, and the costs of that care can be overwhelming, even if seniors only need care for a couple of years. So if you want to be prepared for your care needs, you need to come up with a financial plan for covering long-term care expenses. For many people, that means buying long-term care insurance. If you are currently in your 60s, 50s, or even younger, long-term care insurance can be much more affordable, so the key is to start shopping early. Purchasing long-term care insurance can prevent your spouse, children, or other family members from having to struggle to find ways to pay for the long-term care you may need. You may also be able to help pay for long-term care by selling your home, so it’s a good idea to stay informed on how much you can make from a sale. Keep in mind how much equity you have in your home and the assorted fees, taxes, and commissions you’ll owe after selling.

Saving Enough for Other Retirement Expenses

Care expenses can already be a major financial burden for retirees, but there are a few unexpected healthcare costs that can take seniors by surprise. Dental care, prescription drugs, and preventative care can all result in added expenses that are not covered by traditional Medicare policies, so it’s especially important for those who are living with disabilities to include these potential healthcare costs in their financial plan for retirement. Estate planning is also important, and signing up for life insurance can be a good start. Still, your estate plan should also include legal documents that will allow loved ones to make decisions regarding your care, your estate, or your final expenses, including a will and the right power of attorney documents.

You may not be able to see into the future, but you don’t need superpowers to create a solid financial plan for your future expenses. Living with a disability can mean even more expense for your loved ones if something should happen to you. So make sure that you have a financial plan for both the expected and the unexpected.

Thank you Ed Carter for writing this and caring about many by sharing such helpful information.

Photo Credit: Rawpixel

Coming soon the benefits of???

Pax

Victoria

Upcoming guest article on financial planning for my readers and me too!

Gracefully, I was contacted by a gentleman who wanted to bring his knowledge of financial planning to my blog.  Happily I accepted and it will be released soon coming up hopefully by this weekend.  It’s good advice for anyone but especially people who suffer from Schizophrenia or other mental health disorders (I still refuse to call myself sick).

So watch for it with the # financial planning for the mentally disordered or follow my blog.  You can also contact me as usual at: victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com with any questions or suggestions.

I have never had a guest blogger so am pretty excited to share his blog with you.  Thank you ahead Ed!

As far as my quarantined life I am doing pretty good actually.  Been keeping myself busy with various cooking, cleaning, gardening and blogging projects.  Which by the way leads to my next topic.

May 1, 2020 I will be releasing a series of blogs throughout May with various topics daily hopefully.  My first blog will be on the benefits of…. your choice or mine?  Any suggestions see email above and put in title, topic request.

Some that I am thinking of are music, gardening, yoga, eating healthy etc.  But am open.

I am also awaiting my new acoustic guitar to arrive!!!  Should my first song be “I won’t give up” by my favorite musician Jason Mraz?  For those of you who have been with me for a while know my mantra has been through my hardest times, ‘still not giving up’ based on Jason’s song.  So it will be a tribute of some sort to him.  My son plans to learn it too and is also excited  But I am staying sane and healthy at home for now with my other projects.

Hope this blog finds all of you with peace and love in your hearts,

pax

Victoria