Well, I took in the New Year watching a movie I don’t recommend by myself. It was fine. I spent the day with friends and family but decided to go catch a movie by myself. I take this as progress. I never would have been comfortable to do so up till recently.
I love to watch movies. Today I went to see one with my daughter and do recommend it. It is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. I won’t ruin it but will say it has helped me to understand life better. Now, I must be careful when I have an epiphany as I used to have them all the time when I was delusional. But my dear daughter felt the same way about the movie so I know that it was real.
I will describe the epiphany, though, if I can find the words…
Life has its ups and downs. Others sometimes suffer much and while I cannot always help them, I can be the best person I can be, no matter what they may be. I cannot change people but I can be the positive force in others’ lives to the degree that I am willing to be real. So I will continue to be real. I will continue to be me.
My husband thinks I would rather be on vacation than be at home. I love to go places it is true, but I also enjoy my time at home. I love it when I have a good book to read, something to write, a project to work on or people to hang out with. But more than any of this I actually love to be alone. It has taken me a while to feel comfortable to be alone though.
When I was delusional, I was alone a lot and that was when the messages came, never when I was with other people. I have shared about the messages before, so forgive me if I am being repetitive, but I loved receiving messages from heaven or so I thought. It is a super cool feeling to believe that God is speaking to one on earth. I would love to drive and listen to the messages and the feelings I was feeling when I was psychotic, but like an alcoholic who has gone on one too many binges, I also ran out of the good times being psychotic.
I guess one could say that it was time to get help. Being psychotic is like being on really good drugs without the hangover effect. But eventually it began to interfere with my functioning which was pretty high until the end.
It has also taken some time to be able to write again as I wrote endless lettters to my priest and others whom I thought God was giving messages to give to them. I tore it all up as it is embarrassing really, but now I like what I write because loss of touch with reality gives one some pretty strange messages.
Being alone was hard at first too but now I cherish this time. I spent this weekend in San Francisco which is what has inspired this blog. I was with my family, who I adore, for 3 solid days. It was great but now on Monday, when the house is quiet I am spending time alone and I like it. I like to think and ponder many things. I thank God for the life he has given me, and I think about all the great people in the world who make a difference in other’s lives. I think about my loved ones and my good fortune to have a job I love.
Most of all I think about how lucky I am to be me and recovered from a dibilitating disorder that sucked the life from me. As I make plans for the future I know that life only gets better from here and although I attribute my recovery to God, I also know that without medicine I would not be at such a happy place.
Today my thoughts are on challenging those delusions. There comes a time in my recovery when sometimes I must look at the delusions themselves and see to their validity. What is true? What may be true? What is real? Where to begin?
If you have read my book available on Amazon “My personal recovery from Schizophrenia” by Victoria Marie Alonso, you will have a better idea what my delusions were and some stays with me to this day.
In sum, I believed I was very special. This is hard to let go of because of the years I believed this to be true and due to many factors. I felt special from when I was a very young child and I heard the words “you are special” one time coming back from a camping trip with my family. It went on through my teenage days and even now I have some very good friends who believe it to be true. So how can one let go of that idea that may be a delusion? For that I don’t have an answer.
I imagine it is the same with others, who may have different delusions. For me, I start to believe I am not that special when I have a lot of tedious tasks at hand. How can I believe that someone so special has housework or gardening to do? If I was that special I would be solvvng big problems and be interviewed on tv all the time right? Well I have barely sold a copy of my book so this would lead me to the rational belief that I am like everyone else and truly not that special.
I would be interested to hear how some of you challenge your delusions and if you are successful or if at times the delusions come back to haunt you from time to time? Please comment or email me and share with me. I answer all emails promptly and confidentially @ email@example.com
Well, I have been doing really with my goals for the holiday season minus posting here every day. Sorry about that but I have to be in the mood to blog and I have to feel like I have something interesting to say. So here I am Christmas Eve with a house that needs to be tidied, meals to cook (I am actually having my family over tonight) and a few presents still to wrap. But I am in a great mood despite all that I have to do!
This is absolutely the best year of my life! I am symptom free (thanks to Risperdal), have a job I love that doesn’t stress me out, my kids are all doing well, and I have enough family and friends I stay connected with, that I feel pretty good about.
This time last year was a totally different story. I relapsed on alcohol, hated my job and boss, was not in good physical shape and did not have good connections with family and friends. It is amazing how in one year things can turn around. I am doing fine on just the Risperdal. It appears I do not need the Latuda as the delusions are staying completely away. This is the best news. I am so glad I took that chance and that my doctor agreed to try me without it. I really recommend to anyone who has a stress related flair to make sure they need the added medicine after the stressful event is over.
This disorder is hard to understand. I feel much more vulnerable than I did 2 years ago, to stress and to negative people who may be in my life. I literally surround myself with people who are positve to a fault. There is not too much of a good thing in this area, I believe. A friend of mine last night who suffers from Bipolar Disorder was telling me some things that were negative and I smiled at her and told her to “think the best, stay positive”. It helped her I think because she smiled and stopped the negativity. It is a mindset really to stay positive. It takes practice and is not always easy.
I am writing this late at night after an almost perfect day. But let me start at the beginning…
I am often unmotivated to do simple things. I am sure some of you can relate to that. I am not sure if it is my disorder or if I have just gotten lazy through the years or if maybe I am just addicted to my computer, but whatever the reason the truth is I really have to motivate myself.
So for the holiday season I have decided to have a checklist every day of things I want to accomplish. I am off for five days and don’t want to go back to work and be in the same shape I was in before I started. I thought about this today and decided to blog every day my successes and failures, although hopefully there will not be too many failures.
Here is my checklist:
Every day I want to eat right, exercise even if it is twenty minutes, write on my blog, spend some time with a friend or family member, go to a twelve step meeting, do a kind deed and not brag about it, clean some part of my house, chip away at my gardens (right now I am finding it hard to even water) and read something uplifting online or otherwise.
What I am going to try not to do is:
Spend money, as I have several vacations coming up, listen to gossip, eat junk food and sit in front of my computer endlessly checking my email, facebook, and other online sites.
So for today I have done almost all on my to do list, but failed because I went to an expensive dinner with my husband (had a good time though and don’t really regret it), and sat in front of my computer more than I wanted to.
I hope all of you stay motivated as well this holiday season! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah , and winter well wishes for any atheists!
At long last my new book is now available on Amazon, kindle version and book form my personal recovery from schizophrenia
I still have 3 copies left to give away, which is my way to celebrate. Just comment below and claim your free copy, which will take a little longer than ordering it off Amazon but who doesn’t like something free?
Check it out!
Well I am going to go ahead and stop the Latuda on Sunday. I feel like I am doing fine. No delusions, no weird thoughts in sight. Work and personal life is going well so I am going to go for it. Of course I am a little scared. I really don’t want any positive symptoms ever again. It is so nice for my thoughts to be my own, and not to be receiving messages from above (or so I thought).
Work is actually one of the best things I do lately. I feel like I am really helping others and have seen some great progress as of late. It is funny because there was one point in my life when the decision was before me whether I would work or not. I could have gone on permanent disabiltiy because of my disorder, but my husband wisely said “absolutely not, you need to work”. My psychiatrist agreed with him. I again speculated about it after my relapse when it didn’t look like I could find work that suited me. But I pushed forth and found a job that is low stress in a positive work environment and it has made all the difference.
To be honest, I really look forward to going to work- it is more like a hobby that I get paid for. My days off I am sometimes at a loss for what to do. I have my hobbies, but I still sometimes stay in my pjs all day and chill in front of the computer, although, I acutally recently bought a card table to do my projects on. I wrote my Christmas cards last night and completed another collage for a family member. I am now working on a collage for my daughter for Christmas. Last year Christmas, I was at such a terrible place with my relapse and all. This year I am really getting into the season, decorating the house, shopping etc… Last year I didn’t even send out Christmas cards which I do every year.
Helping others helps me. I am not altruistic, although I wish I were, helping others for the mere good of doing good. Perhaps one day…
Just a quick check in to update everyone. I am doing fine on the lessened dosage of Latuda. No delusions and I feel pretty good these days. Soon I will stop it altogether. I am having a hard time finishing my book. Truthfully, I have to be in the mood. The delusions are still very hard to write about. They were such a confusing time in my life. But I will push through. I actually have the whole day today to write so I will force myself. Once I get started I am good.
I met with my spiritual advisor yesterday. He lives 200 miles away so I don’t get to meet with him often. It was very good and answered many questions I had for him. I am still religious just not overly like when I was delusional. I sometimes struggle with prayer but who doesn’t? Many of my delusions surrounded this spiritual advisor but he is so good that he has kept with me through many very difficult times. May God bless his soul!
Happy December! I can’t believe the holidays are upon us! I have many projects underway. Life is good and work is very good as well. Yes, recovery is possible from this devestating brain disorder.
For now I will continue to blog while I write on my book as I miss blogging and it seems I can do both. If anyone has any topics they are interested in feel free to email me at :
Well it has been almost a week since my dosage of Latuda (which I posted again down below) was cut down to 40 mg and I feel fine. Perhaps I am a little more antisocial or maybe I am just choosy with who I hang out with. My rules are: no drama, no drama, no drama. If there is drama I avoid people at all costs.
Knowing that some of the delusions may come back cause me to constantly doing reality checks. That is not normal but I really am the best one to assess my condition. I have a rare form of Schizophrena in that I diagnosed myself and am able to recognize when things aren’t quite right. My psychiatrist agrees with this so I am not just being delusional.
This is how my reality checks go:
As I perceive the world around me I think, am I putting meaning to things outside of me. One example is that when I was actively delusional, I thought the gas prices had to do with how well I was doing. If they were high, I thought it meant that I was needing help. If they were low I thought I was doing better. The weird thing one day was that when I was hospitalized gas prices were at their all time high (at least back then) and then the day I got out of the hospital they had dropped back down below their previous level. Things like this don’t help me when they happen. I even had my psychiatrist thinking. But now I see the impossibility of it, now that I am not delusional. So as I look at the world I think am I beginning to feel like things are directly affecting that don’t have anything to do with me, like an accident or something like the war.
That is one way I decide. Another way is by my social interactions. Are they awkward and I am struggling to find the right words to say? Am I on topic or just talking in a way that doesn’t make much sense? I also gage it by how I feel about reaching out to others and to make sure I am not delusional currently I am keeping up my social engagements with immediate family but I must be honest I don’t really feel much like seeing people outside my immediate family right now so I have to watch this one.
Another way I do a reality check is by deciding if my thoughts are not my own. Do I feel like something or someone else is providing my thoughts for me, sending me messages or inserting thoughts? Right now I feel like all my thoughts are my own, but this is one area that can really creep up on me so I will be watchful.
With all that being written, I do not believe I am delusional right now….
I’ll keep this blog up to date as things progress.
- Stopping Latuda (mypersonalrecoveryfromschizophrenia.wordpress.com)
I remember my time in the hospital like it was yesterday. It was 6 years ago this January.
My delusions included my believing I had special healing powers. Because of this, the hospital staff encouraged me to stay in my room during group times. Usually they want the patients to participate fully, but I believed I was an instrument of God and could help others so they allowed me to be antisocial. I would pray and read in my room and basically wait for the medicine to work.
But I had to eat! Once when I was in the cafeteria with another patient I will call him Phil, he was in excruciating pain in his back. I knew I had to help so I asked him if I could lay hands on him. He readily agreed. He was wearing a thick leather jacket. I laid my hands on him over the jacket and the warmth from my hands was so warm while I prayed that he expressed feeling the heat through the leather jacket. He was healed and proceeded to not only worhip me but to tell all the other patients and staff. Needless to say I got in major trouble from the staff and was asked not touch other patients. They didn’t know what to do with me!
Yesterday, I had a revelation. I do not believe that I had special powers but through the power of intent I was able to heal this young man. If we truly believe in something it may come to be through the power of intention.
I still remember all of this and still wonder at many things about my disorder. I no longer lay hands on people and do not believe I have healing powers anymore. But perhaps it is because I don’t believe that I have lost this gift.
Comments are welcome!