The Reason I started this blog…

Second blog today, I know, but here I am all alone, without a care in the world except which Christmas movie I will watch next.

Oh, I have family and loved ones who love me too. I am fortunate for that and spent last night and most of today with them but felt compelled to reach out to my readers, old and new, to try to explain why I maintain this blog since 2013.

I want to help others who share this same affliction, Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder rather and their loved ones. I want to give hope to all and to help the world better understand people like me who suffer with this dastard disorder and provide this “hope” so that they or you all, too, can live normal lives and not be scared and even if you are alone too but to feel some connection with others like you.

This blog has had a steady flow of visitors and views the past couple of weeks which is awesome. I don’t know your stories, I only share mine with its ups and downs and my free pass right now to good mental health. I am fortunate for I have an excellent psychiatrist and awesome support at many levels.

I urge you all to continue this fight and never give up. Yes I want you to Have it all as Jason Mraz sings so freely. May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows. All you can imagine. If you believe it anything can happen. You, too, can have it all.

Keep up the fight and don’t stop believing in yourself above all. Don’t stop trying to find the right medication and when you find the right cocktail as I have found after ten years, don’t stop taking it even if you feel somewhat normal again. Find a good therapist you trust and build your support team. Stick with positive people and never give in to suicidal thoughts no matter how bad you feel. It will get better if you just keep trying to manage yours or your loved ones disorder. Believe and believe me that God wants the best for you no matter your color, size, sexual preference or religion or anything else which may seemingly separate us from each other!

May God bless and keep you all.

Email me anytime especially if you are alone this holiday season. I am on bedrest again due to my hospitalizations and would like nothing better to do than receive and answer a few emails no matter your circumstances or where you live!

at: victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

Pax

Victoria

What are some of the benefits of having Schizophrenia?

To all,

Today is a new day and I have much to be grateful for.

When I received the gift of Schizophrenia later fine-tuned to Schizoaffective Disorder I thought my world was ending, but now I realize on the other side of my diagnosis that it was only the beginning.

There are many disadvantages of being afflicted with this, too many to list but there are benefits as well which I would like to share today.

I don’t have to work. I can spend my days in prayer for my loved ones, my neighbors, and for those who have no one to pray for them. I don’t spend the whole day in prayer but I do pray a few decades of the rosary for the previously mentioned and kick back in peace and trust God to do the rest.

Now that I am doing better once again and that I don’t have to work another benefit is the support I receive from my loved ones and the occasional compassionate person who I share with my diagnosis. It used to be just my daughter but now it is my husband (may God bless his soul) and people like the kind nurse Stephanie I met while I was in the hospital. I gave her my website as she was interested in my story and if she is reading this I just want to thank her for being so kind and non judgmental with my diagnosis and being sensitive to my needs while being in the hospital. It’s people like that that don’t make me hate my disorder.

Along with this same breath is the wonderful readers who read this and say a prayer or send an email or comment that brightens my day. I am praying for each and every one of you as well as we journey together. Where there is suffering there is much joy and now that I have accepted the fact that I can’t work, I can refocus my efforts on my house and hopefully after I recovery from my surgery and hospitalizations for my gallbladder I will get back to gardening which I very much enjoy!

So life is good once again! And I thank God especially for carrying me through the dark times as I continue to recover from this disorder. If you are new to this blog you can read about my gift of schizophrenia here. https://schizophreniarecovery.us/the-gift/

May God bless each of you all as we continue on this journey together, the road to recovery from Schizophrenia. Praying especially for an awesome new year 2019. So much to be grateful for really.

Pax

Victoria

Vacillating on doing interview or not…

Dear readers,

I am torn right now between doing the SAMSHA video or not for several reasons..

I think it is an amazing opportunity to help spread awareness but at the same time putting my face out there for Youtube and other digital outlets may not be the best thing for my marriage. My husband has asked me to not ever speak about my disorder but to remain anonymous.

This blog and my book is under a pen name and it is a safe place I can express myself fully without judgement.

But putting my story out there in this fashion might not be the best decision.

And also going through my story again is very hard and there are so many aspects of my disorder which I do not understand and that are impossible to explain. Am I the best face or person to represent the mentally disordered population really?

I am planning to discuss this with my husband prior to the interview next week. I was just going to do it but my marriage is fragile at times and I don’t want to do something that goes against his wishes. I believe God can speak through him but I already know what his answer will be, to not do it.

I haven’t even been chosen yet but why waste their time doing to selection of the spokesperson if my husband is not agreeable?

The other day my husband expressed to me that he did not want to add on to the house with our inheritance money because he isn’t sure if I’m going to have another episode and leave him. This is the harsh reality of my marriage. I cannot guarantee that I won’t but hope that God will continue to heal our marriage and help him not to feel that way.

I am doing better these days on the new anti-depressant meds but still haven’t gotten out to garden yet. It is enough right now to just keep up with the house and paperwork, keeping track of his 25+cars and the taxes and bills. He promised to take over the bills but hasn’t and isn’t going to. But he is giving me more money now so that makes doing the bills much easier.

I feel like I am walking the tightrope with this decision.

As usual prayers are appreciated and if anyone has any comments on this major decision they are welcomed.

Have a great Sunday,

Pax

Victoria

When symptoms first started…and what I did

Dear readers,

My blog yesterday really wiped me out most of the day. Talking about the people who have stigmatized was really hard. I want to try to understand their reasons but it is hard to be at that place. I am passionate about this and hope I will be able to do the interview and be able to shed some light on this terrible injustice. Just sayin..

So the interview question today I am going to blog about is, When did you first notice you were having symptoms, what happened and what did I do?

Well my mom would argue that I had symptoms all my life. I ran away from their iron grip on my life at 16 to Arizona and then moved to New York when I was 18 to become an actress. But I was too caught up in drugs to do any auditions and ended up living on the streets. But God protected me even as I walked around at 3am on the streets of New York City by myself. I had the idea that if anyone tried to attack me I would just act crazy and thought they would leave me alone. Ha ha. No one attacked me and I was saved from a fire at our squat where a dear friend died in the fire which was arson from a neighboring gang. My friends name was Carrie and she was a 14 year old runaway from New Jersey. I have always blamed myself for her death because I was supposed to meet her the day before to do our punk hair and I didn’t meet her. I believed that if I had met her it somehow would have ended up different for her. I forgive myself and God used this death to send me back home to my parents where I began drug and alcohol treatment and found God or He found me.

But how I feel was those were just tumultous teenage years. I have always been an extremist and still am today although the medicine has mellowed me out a bit.

The real symptoms of my Schizophrenia began when I was 36. I was stressed from taking care of my grandma who lived with my family for 3 years. I remember coming off the freeway and my brain just sort of popped and I knew something was happening to my brain. Fast forward a couple of years and her death which I got to be there with her along with my parents was peaceful but affected me greatly. She was the one person in my life who accepted me for who I was and even though she lost her mind at the end I still suffered a great loss through her death.

Soon after that I received the full dose of Schizophrenia at Mass one night and soon began hearing voices of Jesus and Mary. I was 36. I had much emotional turmoil up until I began anti-psychotic medication. I was like this for almost two years when I went into UCLA psych ward and upon entering I told them that I had Schizophrenia and the doctor who was mean said there was no way that I had Schizophrenia because I was the wrong age and other factors. But three days later after observing me with the other patients I received the diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Prior to antipsychotic meds I was receiving messages from God all the time. I wrote prolifically to priests and others who I felt that God was telling me to give them to. When things weren’t working out I decided to do a search on line for what might be causing these strange happenings. I began to question if I had some sort of mental disorder. After reviewing my symptoms I came up with the diagnosis of Schizophrenia and began to seek treatment.

There is much confusion about this period in my life which I believe will always be a mystery until I am in heaven with Jesus and Mary.

That’s is just tidbits of my psychotic experiences. I could write a book and have called “Loving God, suffering and being in His will for all” which is available on Amazon. I am proud of finishing my book but can’t read it as it has much that I would take out in hindsight and add more too.

Our brains are complex organs and mine does not function fully. No it is fractured and today I have the whole day to do what I please. Going to soak in a hot bath and relax but the dishes are piled up again lol. My patterns repeat but I am sure I will get them done but for now Calgon take me away.

Hope everyone has a nice day!

Pax

Victoria

Why do people stigmatize?

Dear readers,

Allow me to qualify. I am an excellent student but can’t work which I accept now that stress causes me to have a relapse of my Schizophrenia. But school I was able to manage,even going on to earn my Master’s in Psychology in 2012 post diagnosis. So I understand much about how people think due to my education and also with the gift I have of being able to read people. Also my personal experience with being stigmatized in the workplace along with other people in my life for the last eleven years.

My beliefs are just that and while I may be unable to exactly pinpoint the exact reason why people stigmatize people with Schizophrenia I feel like I have a pretty good idea.

It is lack of education or if I were angry about would say ignorance. But I am no longer angry at my sister but feel she will never understand and always think that I am mentally ill rather than being disordered.

People are the way they are and many people are not open to new ideas but hold onto old ones including many hot topics such as homosexuality, global warming, mental disorders, politics and the like. They often are not open to understanding other people’s points of views mainly due to fear of what they do not understand. This is especially true to the mentally disordered population.

This fear that they have is caused by lack of understanding and sometimes pity. I may have a broken mind and at different times it manifests itself in different ways. But I am not sick. My thinking is still delusional at times but these delusions are easily ignored now that I am on medication. But many people won’t take their medication because that is one of the difficulties of being disordered is that once they start feeling better they stop taking their medication. Not me. I know I will need to be on medicine the rest of my life so no lack of judgement on my part on that matter. I am also continuing to learn what I can and cannot do with a mental disorder.

So back to my original question~ why do people stigmatize and how can it be prevented? Lack of education is key, blame is another reason and out of it just being easier to blame our judgement on many things on our disorder rather than just because people make decisions that they don’t agree with.

It is hard for us to speak out against preventing stigmatizing because of our disorder but I hope to shed some light on this if I am picked by SAMSHA to do the interview.

Bottom line is this: people will possibly always continue to stigmatize us so we must always be proactive in our mental health care. That means seeing our psychiatrist on a regular basis, going to therapy to process our disorder and taking our medication faithfully. And if one medication doesn’t work or causes uncomfortable side effects to keep trying to get on the right cocktail combination. By taking care of our own mental health care is the first step in improving this situation. And active learning of our mental health disorders on their part is how this bridge gap can come together.

If you are mentally disordered and not doing well, get the help you need; keep fighting for yourself and others. This video is the first step towards fighting stigmatization for me. I promise to do my best if selected and in the meantime try through my blog to educate others as best I can. I do not have all the answers obviously but the conversation has begun. This blog was the hardest to write for me.. just saying.

More questions from the interview tomorrow as promised.

For now take care and know you have the choice right now, right here to improve your mental health.

Pax

Victoria

This is me… fighting stigmatizing through this blog…

Dear readers!

One of my favorite songs on this day (ha ha) but one that I will play when I am stigmatized again by my sister, mother or a stranger, is This is Me from The Greatest Showman. Lyrics are below and song is here~ This is Me

I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are

But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me,

Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away ’cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in

Being a survivor of Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder I must be me and not apologize for it. I may not be able to do many things that I used to but I do a lot. I wish I could share this blog with my sister. We are speaking again and I shared with her today that when she said I couldn’t possibly be on my mom’s accounts because I was “mentally ill” that it really hurt and that rather it is because I am poor at managing money and always have been. I don’t want to have to bother with it anyway and at least I said my peace but I wish I could say so much more.

The difference between being mentally ill and having a mental disorder is huge. It is not just semantics. Being ill indicates an illness like cancer or a common cold. But we are not sick, we are disordered. Our brains are fractured in a way which is different to all, no two people are the same with this diagnosis; we may share similar symptoms but the bottom line is that we are unable and able to do a lot. I will write more about this tomorrow as I still want to explain why I believe people stigmatize us. But just wanted to get this initial blog out there to the universe.

Pax

Victoria

New inspiration after short break…


I know I said I was taking a break from blogging but my plan was partly due to the fact that when I blog I get stuck in my dungeon and just sit half or more of the more of the day at the computer. I tried yesterday to break up my routine by not being on the computer at all till the end of the day. But in the morning all I did was sit on the sofa anyway so I’m back and have a new direction for my next several blogs which is another reason why I wanted to take a little break because with all that is going on with my mom I feel like I am just on the pity pot. Also having much difficulties with my sister who is not acting very nicely right now but she is there for my mom so that’s great and I will try to focus on that instead of the bitterness I feel towards her in my heart… which I know as a Christian is not an ideal state of mind. Your prayers are appreciated…

So, I got an interesting offer be considered to do a video interview through SAMHSA, which came through my old blog which does still get views and I see a few new followers.  The video if I am selected will be on their website, and on some social media outlets like Youtube as a commercial before the songs play. How cool is that! I hadn’t realized my old blog was still getting views so will be blogging on there at least every month to catch any new followers that may not know about my new site. Anyway this offer from SAMHSA sent me a list of interview questions which I will be blogging about these thought provoking questions as topics for my blogs. Excited to share more in the upcoming weeks…

This blog is answering one of the interview questions in the selection process (they are interviewing several people and honestly I just want the one with the most hope to be picked even if that is not me) and I will be answering at least one every time I blog on here.  I want to reach as many people as possible that there is hope for those who suffer from a serious mental disorder as I do or their loved ones or any new projects that may come my way via this blog or the old one.

I am pretty excited about my trip to Boston end of this month and will see how I can bring my blog to the next level and spread the message of hope that I share through my ups and downs of living with a mental health disorder.  Life is not easy for sure and some days I stay in my jammies all day or until noon more frequently as the medicine I take makes me groggy in the am.

So… the first question that I would like to answer is “What would you like people to know about you?”.  The answer is simple but complex like many of life’s oxymoron’s.   I wake up each day not knowing what my mood will be and what I will accomplish as that is my measure of how I am doing.  I’m not always talking about crossing off a list of to do’s; no I am also talking about making connections with my family, friends and anyone who God puts in my path that I am meant to interact with.

I would say I am pretty successful most days in fact every day because even when I don’t feel like it I get stuff done (my biggest challenge is the dishes ha ha) and  always connect with people whether it is though my blog or my family and more.  I have found a new cafe where most of the workers are autistic and every time I go there and get a hug from Deano I am happy connect.  I have wanted a place I can go to be me and although I go there by myself I make connections with all the staff and sometimes the other customers.  I have always wanted a place I can go to where they know my name like in Cheers and I think I have found my favorite hangout place.  I have been going there for a few weeks now but have wanted to go there for many years.  A big step but one I am glad I took.

That is just a little bit about me.  There is much more but will share more as I have time and feel free to comment or share with me via email something you would like people to know about you at victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

Pax

Victoria

Busy these days, a welcomed distraction me thinks…

Dear readers,

It’s funny how much more I suffer when I have time to think about it.

Yesterday was a perfect example~ I awoke with many plans for the day but didn’t feel like doing any of it.

I had a birthday lunch scheduled with a dear friend, who has been there for me as I have also been for her too. We share many similarities and differences and it is awesome that God has allowed this friendship to continue. I went even though I didn’t feel like it and was truly blessed.

I am fortunate that I can get out of my house and do things that are hard to do to start with and then once I get out I am blessed to have great conversations that are not only meaningful but that also bless the Lord…

After our lunch I went to the extended care to visit my parents and the timing was perfect. I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me fully as I went back and forth between my parents as they are in different wings and was truly blessed to be with them both and also got to see one caregiver who has become very close to my heart through the years I have known her through visiting my dear father. I also had a chance to meet with a few of the residents who have also become dear to me. It truly blesses me to hear how much they love my father as he was and is such a great man. Words cannot express enough how blessed I was to hear that other people love him too even in his diminished state of mind. I love just holding his hand and kissing him and making sure he is comfortable.

When I was suicidal a year ago and was hospitalized I would go to see my dad every day because it really helped me out a lot to see him. Then I got better and it became hard to visit him so much. It was like as I got better I needed him less and it was painful to no longer have him as the dad I knew 3 years ago before his strokes.

Well now that my mom is there too I get to go almost every day again and once again I am truly blessed to be able to spend time with both of them.

That is not to say I am not suffering, but it gives me something constructive to do and for that I am truly grateful to God and the saints who intercede on our behalf all our worries, sadness and joy.

I have a lot going on right now and feel I may be taking a break from blogging again at least as much. But who knows how the Spirit will lead. I not only have Boston for the bloggers of Schizophrenia to get ready for of which I found out I will be compensated for my time but also have an opportunity to be featured in a vlog which will touch on not only living with Schizophrenia but also stigmatizing which I have shared I have experienced recently. It will be end of February/early March and I am excited about this opportunity as well. I have really wanted to fight stigmatization after experiencing it in full force recently which leaves me feeling helpless and very affected.

I also have been recently challenged about my Catholic Faith. I am open to discussions about my faith when there is a two way street not just an attack of some sort. This has been very hard too but I am on the other side now and am appreciating that I have my faith to turn to in all my sadness and almost despair about my current situation with my folks.

Lastly, I found out that my son who is getting married in April in Hawaii will be planning for him and his soon to be bride to start having children on their honeymoon. I am elated over this and the fact I might be a grandma some time next year!

So though the sadness there is much to be joyful for and for that I am eternally grateful to God!!!

Praying for all of you that you have happy productive days. And if I do take a break from blogging know it will be short and that I remain faithfully praying for you all!

Love and blessings,

pax

Victoria

At times the suffering is unbearable but God sees me through it all…

Dear readers,

After coming back to the Catholic Faith in 1999 I had deep spiritual experiences that led me to pray to be able to suffer for God as He suffered so much for us on the cross and the time when He was separated from God the Father. I prayed sincerely and God not only heard my prayers but answered them in full force. I did not know what this suffering would be and little did I know that it would be the gift of Schizophrenia.

This suffering at times has been unbearable but it has been said to fall down 7 times but to get up 8. Well I have fallen frequently since receiving the gift of Schizophrenia in 2006 but always get up with gratefulness to God for allowing me to share in His glorious suffering.

The mind though is a tricky thing as it is hard to know how much is delusional and how much is true.

Take last week for example. It was the hardest week of my life yet I got through it successfully and give all glory to God for holding me up when all I wanted to do was to stay down. I do not hate my suffering but hate that others have had to suffer because of me along the way due to my disorder.

There is no suffering that is without merit I believe and in all my suffering I pray for all my family, friends, followers and readers, the souls in purgatory and those who have no one to pray for them. I do not know how much my prayers are worthy but I believe that God is a God of mercy who honors my desire to please Him in all I do so that my prayers are heard as they were heard to be able to suffer for Him in 2005.

I am still confused about much of my disorder and the times when I was psychotic. But I have come to rest in the fact that I do not have all the answers just the desire to please God.

I pray not for this suffering to end but for the ability to hold on to God’s promise to us all that He will hold us up when we can’t and always be with us. Last week was so so hard and I could hardly pray and it is then that I believe that the Spirit prays for me and honors all my prayer requests even if at the time I am unable to even look up to God and look up to the Heavens.

Suffering with Schizophrenia is not easy for sure but the road to my salvation is just that a road of which at times I feel I have no control over where I am going. I am led by the Spirit at times and when I am cognizant of this I am at peace. Please pray that I never give up because that would mean suicide which I believe would be the cowards way out of all of this and today I want to live as hard as that can be.

Wishing you all a wonderful peace filled week!

Pax

Victoria

Love is the answer…

Dear readers,

I choose love over hate; love over greed; love over sin.

I am in a better space today with everything although the sting of my sister’s words that I can’t possibly be on my mom and dad’s account because I am mentally ill still stings. But I am no longer angry and reeling…

Yesterday I felt like I shouldn’t even be driving because of my mental disorder. I rather call it a mental disorder because mentally ill indicates that I am sick and it proved to be true by my sister’s labeling of who I am.

I am not sick. My brain is fractured, partly broken but I am not sick, no I am disordered, have delusions and obsess over many things. But it is not who I am. No I am much more. I am a wonderful wife, mother, daughter and friend. I am more than my disorder and can do many things which proved to be true yesterday…

The new anti-depressant medicine is really helping me to not be depressed and I will take it. Although I am not gardening yet I was very close to pruning my rose bushes yesterday. I have dealt with much these past few weeks and am much more sane and healthy in my thinking about everything.

I must pray for my sister that she will no longer stigmatize me but come to understanding about mental health conditions. The fact that she has been patronizing me the past few months doesn’t make me angry it just makes me feel like doing more to counteract stigmatization.

When I go to Boston end of April I hope to come to a better understanding of how I as one person can spread the message to others to decrease stigmatization in the world. Having a mental disorder is hard enough but when others put us down because of it it really hurts.

I must choose love and the way of Jesus and Mary praying for a share in their glory in heaven.

I am hoping to go to Mass today after several months since going. This spiritual piece of who I am has been absent and I decided yesterday that I really miss it. I make spiritual communions for all my loved ones but I want to go to Mass to be with others to praise God, hear the Gospel and sermon and partake of the body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist which will strengthen me…

Pax

Victoria

as we forgive those who trespass against us is my prayer today…

I am in complete shock right now. In addition to the pain I am experiencing with both my parents being ill I have to deal with my sister who made a very stigmatizing statement to me a couple of days ago. I am so hurt and angry and I know I need to forgive her but it is the hardest thing right now to let go of.

My mom said recently that she wanted all three of us (my brother, sister and me) to be on her account because we could watch each other. My parents have a lot of money. Well I let my siblings know her wishes through text and never heard back from them. When I brought it up to my sister the other day she said “there is no way you are going on her account because you are mentally ill” and then she said it again. She has been really nice to me through all of these hard times with my mom and has been there for my mom every day to help. I now realize that she has been patronizing rather than genuinely nice.

Originally my mom had wanted my brother to be in charge of everything as my sister has proven not to be trustworthy in several areas throughout our life with my parents. Well after she said that comment I was in such shock that I just said well it needs to be you and my brother. I thought a great comeback later, I might be mentally ill but at least I am honest.

I am in such pain over this and immediately got my brother involved. I just want my parent’s money to be protected from my sister. She has made other comments since then that just don’t sit well with me. She wants my mom to go home after she is better and get a full time caregiver. Well I know that this is not the best thing for her and my brother agrees that she needs to go into a home where there are activities and the like. I have been secretly looking at places for mom and my brother is here today to step in and take over all the decisions.

I just want the best for my parents and my sister is not to be in control! Forget her insensitive comment about me being mentally ill the bottom line is that if we use all their money to keep them as comfortable as possible in their declining years then so be it. If there is nothing left for us then so be it. I fear my sister thinks differently so am so glad my brother who lives 5 hours away will be here to get the very best care for my mom and dad.

Whew that was hard to write. My brother wants me and my sister to stay in touch after our parents die but I really don’t know if that will happen.

I know I need to forgive her but it is very hard right now as it is so fresh.

I am venting my pain and dismay. Thank you for reading this.

I know I am obsessing but it is where I am at and it is consuming me right now.

Bless you all,

Pax

Victoria

Stuck…

Still in pain and still feeling numb. Is that possible really? If I feel this pain but say I am numb am I really feeling the pain?

I guess I am just so sad again today.

And it’s ok to feel sad me thinks.

Losing both my parents to strokes would be hard for anyone.

I am wondering what God will do next~

We, the three of us, have a very special bond which I know is unbreakable even with death or now with diminished capacities. We have been through so much and the good part is, although all three of us have made many mistakes, that we always come back together..

Other people are special in my life too, but God has seen fit to put me with these two people and although I don’t know exactly why I am grateful for my relationship with both of them. I am now the good daughter and have much to offer them both still, being there for them although right now I am not visiting them because I need a little more time to process all of this.

God has intervened many times during our lives together and I know He will intervene again when the time is needed. I am grateful both my parents are still alive although not well.

I truly believe that these bonds with people in life are what keep us going.

Praying for better days for me and all of you if you are struggling too.

Thank you Jesus and Mary!

Pax

Victoria