Happy all hallow’s eve…

Dear readers,

On this feast day I hope all of you have a fantastic day and as I remember the dead especially souls with no one to pray for them I had a haunting dream which is still with me as I write.

It was about my dad, who is a stroke victim and is paralyzed on his left side with cognitive deficits.  I dreamed that he was partially doing the things again that he once could, burning his toast which he loved and expecting much of me.  It was great but at the end of the dream he was back in the hospital.

And then today I read the saint of the day who happened to be St. Wolfgang who happens to be the saint of stroke victims and those paralyzed.  I don’t know how I see this but know I must continue to  pray for him and visit him more even if it is a brief visit.  In the dream there was also some children whose mother was in the hospital and I helped them to get some toys to make their visit more tolerable as one of them was quite young.

When I visit my dad I not only visit him but have gotten to know many of the workers and other patients who I try to be a bright light for.  So not only do I get to see my dad but I get to bless others and they bless me all the more.

I have had many very interesting dreams as of late but this one meant so much and how much I miss my dad as he once was.  It is called ambiguous grief as the loved one does not die but continues to live despite the odds and it is the most difficult type of grief.

I used to visit him every day because I needed to, but now I only go once or twice a week.  I believe that once I am done with teaching this semester I will go more again and be that bright light for him and so many others!  The staff are so wonderful and caring there and they all love my dad!

Making decisions these days is harder than ever but I continue to pray for God’s guidance with so many things that I am unsure of.  I also feel that I dodged a bullet after my mom said some unkind things to me and it sent me reeling but I had a visit with my wonderful therapist who is also an aromatherapist and she gave me an inhaler with essential oils which greatly aids with stress and make me feel peaceful and calm for several minutes.

I felt I was relapsing with my Schizophrenia but after the session I spent some time at the Mission down the street because I had taken a full dose of my anti anxiety drug of which it is not safe to drive for a few hours and at the mission I met the most interesting spiritual woman.  It is amazing how when we get out there the people God can bless us with!

Hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween.  I am hoping to dress up as a Dodger fan.  Quite the hard week to watch them lose the world series but so happy they even made it there and put up a good fight!

Pax

Victoria

Dear readers,

Life can sure be hard at times!  But the knowledge that God is with us through it all makes everything better.

I am realizing that my recent stressors have been just that stressful.  I did make it to the dollar store yesterday but after had some sort of melt down and had to go home to lie down.  I am more comfortable at home these days but today I am going on a walk with my dear daughter and not going to talk about school stuff.

Our relationship has reversed its roles I am finding and it is good to be her mother again instead of her just being my caregiver for emotional support.  But it is hard because yesterday when I had my melt down, she tried to comfort me and it didn’t work like it had previously.  She is in therapy now and dealing with her own issues and it is probably my hardest relationship right now sad to say.  But I trust that God will make things right as our love for each other is intense and I believe our love will see us through.  We plan to meet with each other’s therapist in the near future….

Reversing roles and then me having a relapse where I need support again just doesn’t seem fair to her and I have decided not to confide in her as much but instead take it to my therapist who I see today.  But God is good and I feel positive we will work this out.

I feel good about my decision not to continue to teach and especially because this decision I made on my own with the ever present guidance of God almighty.

Tuesday I am being observed in the classroom by my mentor as part of my teacher evaluation and I am not nervous, just going to do what I always do and love teach the class and get them in small groups to discuss the subject material.  They seem to learn best that way, just worried about that one student who has proven to be a challenge at many levels and who caused my melt down yesterday.  I have to give him a low score on his recent paper and the last time I gave him back a paper that wasn’t a good score he crumpled it up and threw it on the floor!  Shocking!  Even though the police have decided he is not a threat to me or the class I still fear him and hate that he is so disappointed with the class and that he affects me so.  Everyone else is doing fine though for the most part so I can rest in the fact that you just can’t please everyone.

For example if you are driving around and more than a few people’s driving irritates you you can blame it on yourself being irritable or in a bad space but if it is one or two you can blame it on the fact that some people just don’t know how to drive.  At least this is how I see it!

Hope everyone has a super Monday!

Pax

Victoria

I thank God even when I suffer…

Dear readers,

Today I was reminded that even when things go awry to always thank God.

Even when I doubt, even when I fear, even when I don’t know what to do next, I must thank and praise God who made Heaven and Earth.

Life has been hard and this one student still continues to be a thorn in my side but as I have called him before, he is a blessing to me, as it is through his challenging behavior that I have been able to see the truth in all matters.

Having troubles doesn’t mean I am less than, it means that God thinks I can handle a lot more than I ever thought possible.

I will finish up this semester but after that I am going to obey the universe and not teach again.

There is  a reason for everything and everything has purpose if we look further than the challenge and seek God’s beautiful face and will.

Through this difficult class I do see God’s face and it is shining and proud of me for not giving up when that is all I want to do.

Some pluses I will realize when I am no longer working are:

I will be free more to go to the gym, Church, the dollar store ha ha and many other adventures.  I can make more money helping my husband with his work and work on my journal articles which I very much enjoy.  I feel like I have a lot to offer this world and for that I am grateful to God.

Obscurities through life often lead our course of decisions and it is through this that I feel more like a normal non-disordered person.  I can make decisions not based on what I think God is leading me to do, although that is still a huge factor, but I can take the facts away from the situation and decide to do what I feel is right and healthy for me and my mental and physical health.

So, decision made.  God help me not to doubt my decision for once we decide something it is good to not be like the moon or waves in the ocean but to go with our gut and continue to trust that life is as it ought to be and that means so much more than constantly doubting our decisions and choices for the day.

Pax

Victoria

Hard day, week and month! But not giving up kind of…

Dear readers,

Won’t rehash it here but it’s been tough and last night I thought I was relapsing with my Schizophrenia due to the recent stress of my teaching job.  Felt like every song that came on the radio was for me but today I am not thinking that way and I am glad.

One of my delusions is that I believe that God does not want me to work.  Well I almost gave up my class yesterday due to lack of support by the college where I work.  But alas, today the dean of students met with me and provided me needed support.  I didn’t say much, just let him explain this one challenging student’s background and stressors and came away knowing that once again I had judged someone unfairly.

The best part is that this student is now addressing by my name, Mrs. Alonso and treating me with respect rather than with rudeness.  Don’t know if I have won him over yet with my continued kindness and respect and time will tell but felt good to be respected and treated in a positive way rather than the opposite.

Not that I need pats on my back or anything but it has been a hard semester at many levels.  Last night I almost gave up, as I was feeling like I have so many times before when I have given up due to stress but my daughter stepped in and helped me to see differently and today I pushed through class, making one big mistake, but also doing a good job at what I enjoy.

It is hard to put into words but in the past I have let people down, my coworkers, my clients (used to be a therapist), parents and although I believe every decision was the right one at the time.  I pushed through this delusion and I believe like I won for once.

It is just so hard to separate between reality and delusional thought.  If God wanted something from me previously, I used to ask for guidance from above and I felt like He would show me His will for me and others.  Now I don’t know how to believe like a normal person anymore and with this I now can see my struggle.  Sure God can speak to us through obscure and clear means and I do believe God wants the best for me and all.  But the devil is out to get me too and I pray to God to help me to be in the now in reality not a fantasy world where I believe God doesn’t want me to work.

Does any of this make sense?

I am a little melancholy after these stressors, mom and dad almost dying, class conflicts involving the police and other stuff too.

But I will fight for my sanity and have decided I am not going to teach at this college next semester for various reasons but God help me I am going to finish up this semester strong and give my students love for sociology.  I will look into online teaching and see if I can make money writing journal articles which I do enjoy doing research.

Hope everyone has a great Friday and sorry that i am a little down but I am just taking it easy tonight and trying to hang on to what sanity I have and live my life  full force!

Pax

Victoria

What does it mean to have Schizoaffective Disorder and be in recovery?

To me it means many things.

Stress is a huge factor and lately I have had a lot of it.

I will start with the plus side.  I can have it all.  That’s if I want to.  To finally be on the other side with my disorder at bay and be able to manage a family, finances, work and to be able to get through stressful times without relapsing into delusional thinking or other symptoms of this dastard disorder.  It means that I still mess up but it is not necessarily because of my disorder just that I make mistakes sometimes and that I learn from them lessons that I still don’t understand.  It also means that I am now able to recognize that life doesn’t have to be so hard anymore.  I can be free to make decisions not based on what I think the disorder leads me to do but have a real relationship with God instead of some hyper special leading from above which is very freeing and wonderful.  I know I am being vague in a way but these are my thoughts this morning and I am happy to report that despite the recent stresses I am on the other side and doing quite well.

I take good care of myself and those around me but I put my needs first because if I don’t do that I won’t be able to help others and this is true on many levels.  Take for instance today and yesterday, I had a pile of dishes, papers to grade and in the morning yesterday I just was sort of feeling all the effects of the stressful situation, having to file a police report on a student who I feel is a potential threat to others and it all sort of hit me.  But then my daughter encouraged me to go to my meeting and get out, which I did, and then came home and although I felt like taking a nap, didn’t, instead just chilled a bit and then tackled a huge pile of dishes, also making dinner and getting the house in order for today.

Today we are again celebrating my birthday by going horseback riding on the beach with all the family!  I love horseback riding and hope my hip is fine through this adventure.  I decided last night that I felt up to the task of making brunch for all which includes my mother in law, all my kids and my son’s  fiance along with my hubbie.  I really thought about this so it wasn’t just an impulsive decision and I had all the food to make this awesome brunch so I invited everyone and everyone is coming to celebrate my birthday!

On the negative side of this disorder, it means that sometimes my decisions are still questioned which is very painful and that I am not always at my best at many levels.  It means that I need lots of down time after traumatic events to take time to just chill and be by myself to just listen to music, watch my favorite show, relax with the family as I have found that I don’t always like to be alone when I am getting through hard times.  It means that I still have to rely on others for support and that I probably always will.  I can pray till my heart’s content but in the end God has given me people to help me be able to handle hard things, which I no longer hate but accept.  I have my therapist, my daughter and sons, my husband who is coming around and my mom and dad to a limited extent.  It means I have to be careful to not overdo it.

Because sometimes I still feel I can take on the world but in recovery I am learning that I don’t have to save everyone but can just be me and help when I am  able and led to do so.

So to summarize briefly, I can have it all but with caution!  For this i am truly grateful and although I may not continue to teach next spring it is ok because this experience has taught me that I can if I want to and do a good job at that.

Hope everyone has a terrific Sunday,

Pax

Victoria

 

A chill day…

Dear readers,

Today has been a chill sort of day although I still got a lot done despite yesterday’s difficulties in class.  I removed that post as some of you may have noticed as I felt it may not need to be posted at a public level despite my continued anonymity.

Brief recap: altercation in my class yesterday, police report, much anxiety and just dealing with what life or the Divine throws at me, accepting His will even in hard moments.

Spoke to police today and there will be police presence at my class on Tuesday, going to explain to sociology students that it is just a precaution, not a reason for alarm.  And my mentor and long time friend and sponsor who is psychology doctorate student has offered her support by coming to talk to my class on Tuesday.  Both students involved in the altercation will not be present so we are going to call it a teaching moment and hopefully be somewhat therapeutic for all, including me.  This is awesome news as I never imagined so much good could come from such a difficult situation but I am noticing that in the hardest parts of life, God often gives support in the most unusual and beneficial ways!

Still in my pajamas today at 6 but bought a new mattress topper for our marriage bed, going to get busy washing sheets and jammies and take a hot bath after dinner and just relax.

Have some papers to grade but will get to them tomorrow as I don’t have much in the way of plans.

Today I did indulge in some of my unhealthy vices but not drugs or alcohol but was feeling really stressed and went to my go to’s.  Have to work on that because I ended up taking a two hour nap and felt like s**t for the afternoon.  Sugar can do that to me and I hate that I am now reliant on it again to get through my difficult moments!

Enough about me and my life!  How is everyone else doing?

email me anytime to share your thoughts or your day as we all have them and it is a comfort now that my blogs are linked up and still going to try to do my podcasts but who knows when.  They may me more like moments which is less intimidating…

victoriamariealsonso@yahoo.com for any correspondence

Thank you to all my faithful followers for the emails and comments.  Some of them are so deep and written so above my level of understanding of my mental disorder that even though it might take me some time to get back to you, know that I will.

Pax

Victoria

The Divine is always at work I am learning…

Dear readers,

Even though I forget about God sometimes and know I am often out of His perfect will, I know with all that I am that He never forgets about me…

These are my thoughts today as I make a few decisions and await His guidance…

To go or not to go, to stay home or get out.  Doesn’t matter at the moment to me but perhaps getting out is what I need so I am going to just go for it!

May God bless each and every one of you and lead you down the happy path we call life and spend each moment thanking Him for His love and unconditional love and acceptance.

Blessings

Pax

Victoria

Some sort of goulash, stigmatize, cheating and dream…

Dear readers,

I hope all is well with each one of you!

It has been a rough week and I feel compelled to share on here.

We thought my mom might die Monday night but after asking for prayer she came out of it and said she was hungry (she hadn’t eaten for  a week).  The next day she was back to her old critical self and got mad at me for cancelling my class (would have been a basket case anyway) and emphasized the importance of me not missing teaching my class.  She also paid me a huge compliment that I had my dream job and how happy she was that I was using my degree in my career.  The compliments are few from my mom so this was wonderful but the daggers she inserted the next day were huge and I would like to share.

She criticized me for driving 5 hours to meet another Schizophrenia survivor and actually expressed to me that it was my Schizophrenia!  This sort of stigmatizing affected me greatly and when she is better I plan to speak to her about it but for now I know she is just ignorant about how to deal with a person with Schizophrenia and in that ignorance she is forgiven.  But I did check in with my daughter if she agreed with my mom and she absolutely did not.  I had planned the trip for two months so it wasn’t impulsive and even though our time was short for a very long drive it was a potent and powerful meeting which I will always be grateful for!

To loved ones, blaming decisions you don’t agree with on the disorder only causes much pain and suffering so find another way to deal with your loved ones affected by a disorder like Schizophrenia rather than accusing them of the disorder being the problem.  I am doing so well right now and am proud that my disorder is in some kind of remission.

Moving on…

I was grading some papers and it came to my attention that some students might have cheated on the ten point quiz.  I have already dealt with plagiarism and this realization made me sad, angry and powerless over my class.  Many thoughts of inferiority came up, did I make the quiz too hard, why are they feeling the need to cheat on a ten point quiz and the like.  I made a decision after discussing the matter with many and sent out an email to the class that there might have been cheating occurring on the quiz and that if I caught anybody cheating on any future tests they would get a zero and be made to sit in the front of the class for all future quizzes and exams.  So sad that at a college level I had to do this but since  I cannot prove this I felt that dealing with the class in a broad way might alleviate future cheating.  But the whole process caused me much angst and right now I am fighting depression and this surely added to it in a negative way.

I do not know if I will teach again in the spring as some of the stress this job is causing is just that, stressful and I must take care of my mental health above all else.  Now that I am receiving permanent disability I have that leisure to not work so I pray God to guide me in all that I do.

After a rough day of staying in my pajamas all day, eating much sugar and not doing very much I had the most interesting dream.

I was a child again but with the same problems I suffer today, Schizophrenia, dad’s major strokes, mom sick and critical and the like.  I was sort of adopted by this very large family.  I was appreciated, encouraged and made to feel like a part of the family. Reminded me of how heaven may be one day…

I know I suffer from much emotional baggage from my childhood and this dream worked out some of the needs I had that weren’t met as a child.

I know that I must not give up, God knows we’re worth it and I won’t give up!  My  new therapist is very helpful in working through these childhood issues and I can see the other side but it is painful and hard work!

Bless you all,

Pax

Victoria

The one lost sheep I am trying to help…

Dear readers,

It has been a rough week for sure and I am pulling out my bag of tricks to feel better.  I know what works and what doesn’t and am seeing a new therapist now which is very helpful.  I am certainly doing well in my recovery because I have got through a couple of very hard things without relapsing on many levels.

My dad (who is in extended care due to a major stroke and is paralyzed on his left side) got very sick and we thought it was pneumonia, which if it was we were not going to treat due to his mental decline, but it was just a bad cough and he made it through.  Even though he is not always cognitively present it still provides comfort that he is alive; everyone at extended care loves him and he still makes sense the first five minutes and I will take that and hope he is still alive for many years despite the cost of 15,000 dollars a month to keep him in an excellent facility.

Then the past week my mom got gravely ill and we thought she was going to die.  I cancelled my class that I love to teach because I was a basket case and witnessed a miracle of her getting better after asking many people to pray for her recovery.  The thought of losing both my mom and dad the same month has been very rough but I taught my sociology class today even though it was hard to focus and I have been relaxing a lot, watching netflix (fave show right now is heartland) and eating some healthy and some not so healthy foods to cope with the stress.

Yet, despite all that I am going through tonight I am focused on this one little lost sheep (student) who is trying very hard but is failing my class.  The rest of my students are passing with high grades for the most part but she is not.  So tonight I referred her to an early alert program which I should have done sooner but better late than never.  I won’t give up on her!  So if you can pray for her to get the help she needs I would greatly appreciate it.

I feel like I know personally what the bible talks about going after the one sheep that has gone astray, leaving the rest of the herd to help the one that is lost in my class!  I don’t see it as a failure on my part because she is the only one who is struggling but I have to do all I can and pray, pray and pray.

Life is good right now!  I have both my parent for the moment, my three kids are doing well and my marriage is strong.  My husband, who does not begin to understand my diagnosis, has really been compassionate in his way and I have expressed my thanks to him.  I love my job teaching sociology 101 and love to challenge my students in new and interesting ways.  I hope they will ask me to teach again in the Spring 2019 but we shall see.  Any way around it, it has been a great experience and very rewarding.  I don’t make much money but love teaching!

My birthday is next week and I have many plans, Morro Bay with my dear daughter, Chinese buffet with family, pizza and movie night and horseback riding on the beach.  I feel spoiled! 49 years young!

I am still taking the CBD oil from GOTERPY which has greatly reduced my schizoaffective disorder symptoms.  I am no longer delusional which is great to know that I am not the greatest person to ever live lol.  Sounds silly but until I started taking the full spectrum CBD oil, I still partially believed it but now I know I am not and it is a great relief!

Hope everyone has a good Friday and thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts for my lost sheep, that she may return with a decent grade and pass my class.

Pax

Victoria

Continued, I won’t give up

Dear readers,

Even though I still can’t do certain things like help my mom, I won’t give up.

I recognize my deficiencies and take great strides in taking care of my mental health.

Today my mom needed help that I couldn’t give her and I called 911 from my home.  They took her to the hospital and now she is going to get in help care because of it.  My sister and I can only do so much and I recognize that and try to not feel guilty.

On a happy note, I am doing very well with my new teaching job and feel like I am reaching many students in the class, engaging them and encouraging them to do better and they are putting forth great effort I feel because I have high expectations and provide help along the way.

I have one student who has been a thorn in my side.  He even went to the chair of social sciences and wrote a two page email about “concerns” with my class.  And I must mention he is taking the class for fun.  The rest of the students aren’t complaining and I asked my chair if he had any concerns with the email which I didn’t even read and my chair said no.  So I am not exerting any extra energy to please this student who didn’t show for the last class and I am secretly hoping that he is dropping it because he is negative energy for the class.

On a sociological note I am having my students who are all doing very well to do a paper on education or religion with a sociological perspective.  It is challenging but I think I have given them much help to choose their own topic and hope they continue to take advantage of my office hours to get extra help and encouragement if needed.  It is a different language for sure but they are getting used to it and doing quite well.  One student who started out struggling a lot even emailed me and expressed what a great teacher she thought I was and that she hoped to teach sociology one day!  Wow, didn’t expect that but really made me feel like I am doing a good job.

I did my first podcast (4 and a half minutes of my rambling) and I am going to add more but was pleased with the first few minutes.  Lately, don’t feel like I have much to offer but sharing my ups and downs may help others so I will continue to push forward and try to get it done.  I’ve been so focused on my class that I haven’t had much creative energy to put forth on a podcast but am now ahead on my lesson planning and test prep so hopefully will get it done in the next few days.

Are there any topics that you as my readers are particularly interested in?  If so feel free to email me at victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com.

Pax

Victoria