A surprise at work

Victoria here,

Hello to all!  Well after being back at work for a short period part time they have asked me if I can go full time if we get another grant!  I am not jumping into it but am so grateful that they like my work so much they want me full time.  I am grateful for a number of reasons.

1. That they consider my work to be quality

2. That I am able to work again

3. That I feel like I am making a difference in peoples’ lives again

4. That I am not psychotic or depressed

5. That I can handle this job thanks to excellent management

6. For all of you who continue to support me on my personal recovery from Schizoaffective Disorder

If that isn’t a good list I don’t know what is.

Back to my work, I like the idea of going full time but it will be a challenge and I have to consider what it may cost me.  I will need more help around the house and I must not let the bills go like before.  I am motivated to do this because currently I am working 3 days a week right now and the other 3 days I am at a loss what to do.  I get bored with hobbies I have been into in the past and can only blog so much if you know what I mean.  I hurt my back a month ago but prayed to St. Philomena and was healed.  Now I have to get back to exercise, I have no excuse really and have put on a little weight in my sedentary month.  Man if I look at a cheeseburger I seem to gain weight.  I must accept I cannot eat like a normal person does.  I must do my 2 shakes a day with a light lunch filled with fruits and vegetables and one snack which I enjoy.  I am a foodie but lately haven’t been obsessed with eating like in the past.

For my spiritual fulfillment I have really been enjoying Eckhart Tolle.  He has written several books the one that got me hooked was Stillness Speaks.  I highly recommend it as it quiets the mind and helps me to be more in the present rather than chasing every thought that comes in my mind.

Here are a few quotes from this German/Canadian spiritual teacher~

Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don’t realize this because almost everybody is suffering from it, so it is considered normal. This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being.

ECKHART TOLLE, The Power of Now

When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective human conditioning.

ECKHART TOLLE, Stillness Speaks

Read more at http://www.notable-quotes.com/t/tolle_eckhart.html#X7GoWQYIlV8reqb8.99

He also has an online tv which you can get a free trial.  He is quite amusing and often laughs to himself which really cracks me up.

I also read a really good blog today on Tumblr from someone who is active in Nami and is doing really well sharing with others.  Does anyone know how to get more involved with Nami?

Thank you to all for reading my blog, making comments and all the emails from around the world.  I know this little blog has gotten over 5,000 views which may not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of the internet but it is a lot to me and I appreciate it so much.  I have heard from doctors and practitioners like me, people struggling and doing well, college students writng papers, and loved ones of those afflicted.  I appreciate every single email and comment.  There is not one comment I have not allowed which really says that this is a stand up audience and a great forum to share and comment safely.  Through this positive experience I have been so blessed and it has provided a place for me to share what is on my mind and has helped me in my recovery as a sort of outlet.  Many have shared that it has helped them too so it is definitely a symbiotic relationship:)

Bless you all,



P.S. If anyone is interested why I sign my name with Pax please ask me as I do have a story to tell about it, which I may write about in the future anyway but will sooner if anyone is interested.


Back at work and doing well!

Well, it has been another difficult journey the past 3 months.  I have been on disability and had to quit my job due to it being high stress.  But amazingly my old work contacted me two weeks after I quit and offered me a part-time job that is less stressful.  I took it and started this week!  My psychiatrist will be happy as he only wanted me working part-time anyway.  The positive symptoms are at bay and I am doing really well.  I still work in the mental health field but the cases I see now are much less intense than my other position.  I actually have an office of my own and work with the population I have come to love, the Hispanic community.  Recovery is not only a process but it is a commitment to well being.  I have been eating healthier than ever and have lost some weight and even though my back has been hurt, I plan to incorporate light exercise into my routine again next week.  Self care is huge for me.  Lots of down time, and help from everyone in the house including my husband.  He really doesn’t understand my disorder but has been mostly loving and kind through the difficult time when I wasn’t working and on disability.  We have a good marriage but don’t really talk much about my disorder.  I am glad I am no longer passively suicidal but am really enjoying life again.  Planning a trip abroad soon, so that will be awesome to go with my daughter and see parts of the world where some of you live.  It will be my first trip to Europe and I have wanted to go since I was a little kid, so my dreams are coming true.  We almost had to cancel the trip due to my not working but things have worked out that I can go and not worry too much about the money.  It is nice when things work out!

Have a great weekend and please write to me if you like my blog!  It is so much fun to answer questions and talk to other afflicted with this disorder, especially from different parts of the world! If anyone is from Italy please write before June which is when we will be there.



The process of recovery


It isn’t easy having schizoaffective disorder, at times it is downright painful.  Dreams lost, inability to do as much as I once could, and always trying to find that balance between spiritual, physical and mental health isn’t easy.  But I keep pushing on despite the many barriers to my well-being.  Right now I am forcing myself to walk to get my double expresso around 5 miles.

The many ups and downs keep life interesting but can be tiring.  One day will be fantastic and I won’t want to go to bed it is such an awesome day.  Other days I can barely get through the day and go to bed early.  I need to keep a schedule, much of what I do is according to my mood although I do force myself to do certain things, like walking to get coffee just to get out in the sunshine and get some exercise.

As far as my work, I do not know what I am doing right now.  I am off work for 6 weeks so far and do not feel ready to get back to the same job although I do very much miss several of my clients and hope and pray they are doing well without me.

I eat well, exercise daily and keep myself socially connected with family and friends.  These things are important to my recovery and I thank my therapist for encouraging me to keep a mood journal to show me the benefits of following it to see my patterns.  All of this and taking my medication daily faithfully helps me immensely.

Acceptance is key too, accepting I have this disorder with limitations.  Fighting it doesn’t help anything.  Not using drugs or alcohol is also very important to me.  When I alter my mind with some substance I risk psychosis and that is not a place I want to ever be again.

The days that are hard I look in the mirror and assure myself that I am ok and that is enough!



New outlook

Coming from wanting to die recently to now has been quite a journey.  I have a new outlook on life, one of hope and recovery… again.

I get up each day and look at my plan from the night before and get busy after some coffee of course.  I work a little bit at each task and reward myself often with breaks.  Today it was the roses in the front.  It wasn’t working out so well, but I kept going despite the thorns that were attacking my hands and pushed through getting through pruning 2 rose bushes.  My son will pick up the cuttings and tomorrow I will shoot for two more.  Each day offers new opportunities to do the things around my house which I have let go of with my recent hospitalizaiton.  The list is long but I feel as long as I plug away at each task diligently it might all get done before I return to work in Feb hopefully if my psychiatrist releases me.  The first part of my time off I just exercised but am now extending my well being to these mundane tasks.  Music helps too and making time each day for family and friend connections is also important to my well being.

My therapist has me keeping track of my moods with a daily journal and I find it to be very helpful.  I am also working on a new article on my recent hospitalization which I will share on here as soon as it is done.  I will start with an outline and just work at it each day until it is done.  The hard part for me is getting started.  Well I am off to shower and get ready for sushi with my oldest son who I have not connected with for a while.  I am excited to hear about his new job and how life has been treating him!

There is hope for those of us afflicted with this disorder.  The most important thing is to NEVER give up, no matter what.

Peace and blessings to all of you!



The dangers of comparing…

Welcome to my new readers from Brazil, France and India!

I caught myself recently comparing my situation to others.  I was doing really well for a while and now am in a rough patch, off work on disability for a while and just waiting to feel like I can work again, which I think will be soon hopefully.  I just hope my doctor agrees.

So I have found that mental illness is a lot like a roller coaster ride, lots of ups, downs, curves and straight spots.  I must embrace those straight spots and shoot for the even keel.  In the past I have reached out to others who were struggling and right now others are reaching out to me.  This is the great part of life, never boring for long.

I actually thought about this at the gym.  Some of the people were skinny and fit, others had a way to go.  I am somewhere in between.  I must be content with who I am, always working to get better and not be so hard on myself when I am not succeeding the way I plan.  Mental illness is the same way I find.

It can be dangerous though when I see someone doing really well and become envious in a negative way.  This serves no purpose.  I must try to be happy for them and hope that one day I, too, can be back at work at a job I love.  If I sit in jealousy and discontentment, this will encompass my mind and can be very bad for my recovery.

Please share your experiences too!



Happy New Year 2015!


It is New Year’s Eve and I thought I would take a minute to let everyone know how I am doing after my most recent hospitalization.  I saw my psychiatrist yesterday and he wants me to be out on disability for another month while the increase in medication takes effect.  This was devastating news as I really want to get back to the working world.  I miss my clients and wonder how they are doing.  But I must heed my doctor’s recommendations to take a month off work and not even think about it.  I am a very high functioning person with SA so it is hard when one is told to stop and see a therapist twice a week and even join an outpatient program for at least the next month.  I also saw my new therapist today and she has assigned me quite a bit of homework.  In addition to seeing her twice a week (I am glad I feel comfortable with her), I have to keep a daily mood journal and make sure to exercise to beat this depression that is often encompassing my soul.  After leaving the doctorate program I began to lose hope that I have a special purpose in this life but my hope is being instilled slowly that I can continue at my current job in February and do what I love, work with children and their families.  There is just so much to this disorder, if I am not psychotic I am depressed and vice versa.  I do think the depression is worse than being psychotic but I don’t wish either on anyone.  The best part of my journey is that I have an awesome support team which includeds my amazing daughter, other family and some good friends along with my therapist who I feel I can shared almost everything.  So I will practice what I preach and aim for peace to return while I do my assignments and trust the healing process.

Happy New Year to all my readers, old and new! Here is to a better 2015 one filled with hope, happiness and life!



2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my readers, new and old.

I got out of the hospital on Saturday am trying to figure it out.  It was a good hospital stay, things are so structured there.  I am now at home recuperating.  Mental illness sucks!  I am thinking of sharing my disorder at my work.  I work in the mental health field so there is definite fear of stigma but I feel like no longer hiding behind this blog and being free.  My family disagrees with this decision.  Any thoughts on this is appreciated.    I would love to hear stories of others who have made this big jump of faith into the unknown.

I don’t feel ready to work again and have 2 weeks off so that is good.

Here is to a better 2015!





Dear readers,

Thank you for being patient with me while I took a needed break from blogging.  I just got out of the hospital today after severe depression set in with suicidal ideation.  Medication and excercise have been key to my recovery along with prayer and awesome doctors!  I am also thinking about “coming out” at my workplace with my diagnosis.  I have heard this can be exhilarating!  But we shall not make any hasty decisions in this regard.  Well, it has been a long but good day.  I wish you all the very best.  This disorder can kick one in the ass.  I will write more soon about my hospital experience.

Happy to be home with family for the holidays!