The tide feels like it is turning in my favor

After meeting with my therapist today I have more hope that I will do better in the future.  I have not been doing great, even not working, although this last week was pretty good minus getting hurt the other day.  I have blogged this and feel like I have lost a few followers sharing how I still have bad days when I feel very unwell.

I don’t mind losing followers if my blogs don’t resonate anymore.  When I was doing well I got lots of likes but now that I am struggling again not so…  I am just very honest how I am doing and will continue to blog even if no one reads my blogs or likes or comments on it.  I do this selfishly, it helps me to get it out.  And I like to think that my blogs do help others who are not doing so well too although they may be quiet on the comments.

This is a serious disorder.  I can’t even get life insurance easily because of it or it is very expensive my broker has told me recently.  This is nothing to joke about.  Having Schizoaffective Disorder means I can’t work outside the home, means stress is my worst enemy, means socially I feel like an outcast most of the time and so much more.

But I don’t give up the fight and today’s session meant more to me than a whole lot of talking with various people about nothing.  I believe my therapist gets me and my disorder which is great and was worth the wait recently to know if I will be able to see him or not.

Today was great because I came to terms with how God made me.  I am extremely sensitive and take criticism very negatively of any sort.  In the past I have seen this as a great defect but today my therapist helped me to realize something.  That it is because I am sensitive I am the glue that holds my family together.  I will try to remember how it was said.  Forgive me if I don’t share it perfectly but it went something like this…

Therapist: So you want to be less sensitive?

Me: Yes

Therapist: That would mean you would be have to be harder

Me: Then I don’t want to be less sensitive.  Inside I scream to myself that I don’t ever want to be harder like others who  don’t show compassion….

So I’m stuck and stuck I like today.  Because I am sensitive I help my folks a lot, I help my family, I help myself.  I happen to have a lot of time to myself and I really need it, to pray, to reflect, to veg out for a little while before I get busy with the business of helping my parents.

I also read part of a Buddhist book recently prior to my appointment that really made sense and goes along with what I learned from my therapist today.  All the craziness (or insert whatever you are that you don’t like about yourself) makes you who you are so don’t wish it away.

Instead I will embrace it.  And no longer feel bad when my sensitivity bothers me.  But it will take a while to get used to because I have hated it for so long.

I often laugh at myself.  Laugh or cry I say, I choose to laugh and not take anything too seriously even having this disorder.

Pax

Victoria

Is there a number able to count?

I have relapsed several times, some psychotic breaks, some anxiety attacks, some depression and the list goes on…

And each time I have relapsed I have gotten weaker in my ability to recover….

But I don’t give up.  I listen to Jason Mraz I won’t give up and I sing along.

Even though these relapses are behind me, they still affect me greatly.

Pax

Victoria

It’s a new beautiful day

Sometimes life just gets hard.  It is hard to know the right thing to do especially when one suffers from mental illness.  I am dually diagnosed, I suffer from addiction along with Schizoaffective disorder.  I fight it though and am happy to say that today I am clean and sober and taking my mental illness meds as prescribed.  It is not every day that I can say that, but I have hope for many more days like today to come, one day at a time.

I have new hope that God will carry me through when I cannot lift myself up even in prayer.

The great part is that there are these really good people in my life today who help me to see the positive side of things.  Negative people have a very small place in my life.  If I could I would eliminate them altogether but when they are immediate family it is very hard.  I try to be positive with them, always pointing out the good in every situation and lately there have been some situations which just suck!  But I do my best and I think I am doing a really great job with what life has given me.

I will leave you with this prayer which I try to live each day.  It really helps me to get through everything with grace and dignity.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (you),

the courage to change the things I can (me)

and the wisdom to know the difference”

Amen

Pax

Victoria

Some of the ways I stay sane

 

Well the days are strange these days.  Some days I get a lot done and others I kind of bumble around not accomplishing much.  But that’s ok because I can’t have perfect days every day, that would be unrealistic.

These days I am very grounded in the reality of my situation.  I can’t work, not even part time.  My career is toast and although I am sad about that because I actually do enjoy working it is ok because my life is very full with family, friends and all my readers some of whom have become good friends.

I take great pride in the upkeep of my house and actually enjoy days when I get to stay home and make it shine.  I have also joined a book club for mental stimulation.  Right now we are reading Thoreau which was my pick so I am in heaven; I just love his writing.  I go to Church every week and practice my faith every day praying for all my loved ones and right now am praying for all who read this blog for relief such as I have found from this dastard disorder which does still rob my joy at times when I let it which sometimes is more often than I like to admit.

But I have hope, hope that while I live and breathe I can enjoy life and look forward to life eternal when I will no longer suffer from SA.  If I can give just one person hope, that is enough.  Coming to a place of acceptance is the greatest accomplishment and I hope that all of you can find the same.  Your life is not over because you have this disorder, different yes, but not over.

The best thing I have done is to find a psychiatrist who I trust with everything to get the medication cocktail just right and also finding a therapist who I trust as well to work through some of the facets of this disorder that I don’t discuss with my pdoc like how to live life with this disorder.  I no longer see this therapist but will forever hold onto her comforting sessions when I got to be myself and have a good sounding board to check in my sometimes still strange ideas and hear solutions which I couldn’t think of by myself.  Exercise is also key to my well being.  I walk sometimes 7 miles a day and enjoy this cheap hobby very much which brings me great relief of the depression that I still face at times.  Eating well is also vital to my well being.  I probably eat healthier now than ever before and I have lost 30 pounds doing so with the help of Weight Watchers to learn how to eat smart and be more active.

These are the main ways I stay sane.  Like I said not every day is perfect but the days that are are awesome.

Readers, write in and share some of your secrets for dealing with this disorder!

Pax

Victoria

 

Some days are still hard…

Hello to all, Victoria here! Hope everyone is doing well- it’s been a little quiet in the email department but then there are days when I get several emails. I am hoping it is quiet because my readers are leading fulfilling lives and have better things to do than email me, but I welcome all email. It is a pleasure to me to open my inbox and receive many messages from those afflicted, loved ones and professionals!

I have been on disability for one month now and to be perfectly honest, some days are downright hard. I am suffering highs and lows quite frequently these days and although I have not been isolating the way I was afraid I would be I do have a lot of quiet time to myself which for the most part I treasure. And this is all in between helping my elderly parents, going out to coffee or lunch with friends old and new, and going to AA and weight watcher meetings. Oh and of course my walking is still happening although I am not walking as much as I was the first couple of weeks. I was getting in 5 to ten miles a day and it was great because it was free and gave me something to do but now that I am more focused on house tasks, cleaning and such, I don’t have as much time to walk so I get in 4 miles average on most days.

I enjoy these walks, it feels good for my body to move and it gives me time to think, pray, listen to music and meditate. Sometimes I walk with a partner or my doggies, but most days it is just me, my walking shoes and the pavement. I went to a craft store to see about getting a hobby for night time when I am watching tv or netflix with my husband, but I just wasn’t interested in anything I saw. Readers if you have any suggestions I would appreciate it in the comments!

Some days are hard though, like today. I went to my weight watcher meeting, earned my 25 pounds loss medal, shared with the group I was doing well and then went home and watched a new show I am obsessed with on Netflix and then went to the dentist. The dentist discovered that 1/4 of my back tooth was broken off. I thought I had just lost a filling! So I need a crown and it will cost me one thousand dollars! Dang! There have been a lot of these unexpected expenses lately and I am not making as much on disability as I did when I was working along with some other bills. Blah blah blah. I really hate money problems! I am praying a novena to the Child Mary which will end tomorrow. I trust in God and He hasn’t let me down yet but I need like several miracles to be ok financially this month. I even subscribed to a newsletter which teaches how to be frugal. I am really trying!

Anyway, this news about the crown really got me down so I went to an AA meeting and shared about the obsession of the mind and boy was I obsessing over this thousand dollars I don’t have. Instead I decided I needed to focus on the Serenity prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”. It has helped today to remember that prayer and try to live by it. I also reached out to my best friend and dear daughter who is now living 3 states away. They both encouraged me in different ways how to get through this tough time. I have had a lot happen to me over the last few weeks with my elderly parents who I help when I can, my two adult children getting into car accidents and other stuff with friends.

I guess I get overwhelmed easily, but reaching out to my best friend and daughter was pretty huge for me to do and I like the outcome. When I struggle I so commonly keep it to myself but not today and that made the difference and helped the day to turn around.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I wish you all the best!
Pax
Victoria

Accepting one’s diagnosis

I have accepted my diagnosis and feel like I am on the other side of it now living symptom free.  For different reasons not everyone with a mental disorder is able to accept their diagnosis and I have recently been educated on that fact.  For me it was very freeing to have a diagnosis to explain what was happening to me while psychotic and then when the medication helped me to get stable again and live much more functioning, I was very happy to have medication that works so well.

It is alamring to me when I hear that some people go for a season without their medication.  I cannot imagine going off of mine- for any reason at all.  I do not want to be psychotic again and the medicine keeps it away so why would I want to chance that by playing around with my medication?

Life is so good right now!

But I refuse to judge others’ decisions because my reality is just that, mine not yours.

Comments are welcome!

Pax

Victoria