Schizophrenia to me means doing fine until I’m not…

To all,

Today I wish to describe what Schizophrenia looks like for me.  Others please chime in! My inspiration for this blog came today in this cute blog about a dog.

You can check it out here!

I’ll be doing fine, living my life symptom free, enjoying myself immensely in small and big pleasures…

and then the crash, back to the reality of my disorder

All of a sudden I will not be ok, I will be off in too many ways to count and I will not be ok, I will spiral back into delusional thinking, psychotic state and all of a sudden I won’t know what reality is anymore.

Working does this to me, which is why I am on permanent disability.

I am so glad I have learned my lesson.  I have written about this before but the world and in the past my spouse have encouraged me to try to work again.

But try again no more!  I will take care of the house, get back to gardening and live the life I describe in my book, “Loving God, suffering and being in His will for all”.  It describes the life of one who does not work but still finding fulfillment in small and big pleasures.

Pax

Victoria

Marriage and Schizoaffective Disorder

Dear readers,

My husband knows very little about my disorder and that is an understatement.  He doesn’t even believe in mental illness which is a part of his culture and upbringing.  This is unfortunate at some levels because he doesn’t understand why I do some of the things that I do, from lack of interest in life to side effects of medications.

But he is committed to me, as am I to him, and some how we seem to have made it work for almost 27 years now, with the past ten being diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder.

The good news is that the positive symptoms (hearing voices and seeing things that aren’t there) are gone, but the negative symptoms are where we often don’t see eye to eye.

He is off work this week and next and yesterday we had an argument (we never argue anymore hardly) and in front of our adult children he criticized me for not doing much. I actually had, just not when he was around, and I fought back defending myself for once and my adult daughter interrupted us and made me go outside to the car (we were on our way out anyway) to take a break.

We went to dinner at my sister’s and I was so angry the whole time but I got to play with a grandnephew so that was cool and the food and people were family so it was a good time.  But it made me realize what an opinionated person he can be as he was describing a work situation (he and my sister are in the same business, flooring).  Maybe it was because I was angry with him but I just really didn’t care for his racial slurs and lack of sympathy for one culture in particular.

We left and didn’t speak and he went outside to his garage or estate as he calls it (it holds 8 cars, wait now ten as he raised the roof last week).  He was with a friend and drinking his beer and I was inside still steaming.  I sent him a text saying “things are not good with us, I am very angry with you”.  And then I turned off my phone and went and took a bath, praying to get over it but I was just so angry as I actually had a very productive day.  I have been making lists and crossing off all I accomplish and I had quite the list with things crossed off that I was proud of because since my relapse, which he knows little if anything about, I have not been as productive as I was as yesterday.

I took my bath and after he came in acting as if everything was ok.  Well to be honest I was looking up apartments to rent online.  I knew I  was overreacting, so I finally checked my phone and he responded that he was sorry which is huge for him.  Well I didn’t email any rentals and took some space sleeping in the guest room and when he woke up late (I woke up at 7), I brought him coffee and we talked a little and he actually said I was acting weird.  He didn’t elaborate but it hurt and then today he has been outside all day working in his estate with lots of beer and friends coming by.

I don’t know what the point of this blog is.  We have made it through so much but there is so much he doesn’t know about me and I really wish I could talk to him as I share on here my ups and downs, but I know for a fact that he just wouldn’t get it, just be more confused.

He has pushed me to work our whole married life together but now that I am finally on permanent disability he seems to be content with me just receiving my monthly check and helping with some of his work and car paperwork, keep up the house and maybe one day soon I will get back to gardening.

The truth is I am not sure I want to stay married to him like this.  He admitted to me that he is an auto-alcoholic and we don’t have much in common really, except sex when it happens and eating which I need to stop indulging. Might suggest therapy to him but we did that once and although it helped us stay together, I didn’t enjoy it because the therapist took his side for the most part but helped us to get along better so that was a good thing.  We don’t fight because I just go along with him and try to please him, but I do hide things from him.  It is my survival mode but what kind of marriage is that?

We’ll see what this week brings with him being off.

Today was an ok day, resting and relaxing because it’s Sunday but didn’t go anywhere even to see my dad, because lately that just makes me sad.

I see my pdoc tomorrow and then my therapist on Tuesday so looking forward to processing some of this stuff with them as that really does help!

Have a great week!

Pax

Victoria

Stuck!

Dear readers,

My thoughts are all over the board today but I want to talk about something that is very hard to talk about, what stigmatization means to me.

One recent reader commented that it is a fine balancing act and that is definitely the case.  In many instances it is true and I don’t ever think it will be an easy thing for sure.

I went to see an intense movie by myself yesterday which brought up some familiar feelings for me after the movie.  I wanted to run away…

To go where no one else knows me and start over.  I had these same feelings when I was a teenager and acted upon them, going to New York to live on the streets and hang out with other punk rockers in a squat until a friend of mine, Carrie a 14 year old runaway from New Jersey, died in a fire in the squat which was arson from a rival gang.  I was supposed to meet her to do our hair the day before the fire and flaked, and I blame myself for her death, that if we would have met that day we had plans she might not have been getting high and been able to escape her death.  I dedicate this blog to her today.  May she rest in peace.  She was just so young and lost.  It caused such distress that I decided to go home and my parents bought me a plane ticket and I went back home with my tail tucked between my legs and went into rehab where I got clean and found my higher power.

Yesterday was scary to me as I have never felt that way before about my current life and my mother has always said since my diagnosis that it was a red flag for the beginnings of schizophrenia.

Fast forward till I was 36 and I received schizophrenia to a much fuller degree and wow how my life did change before I was diagnosed.  Now my mother blames every decision I make that she doesn’t agree with on the schizophrenia and I just can’t hear it from her or anyone really.

This is the part where i am very confused.  I am starting with a new therapist and will definitely be discussing that feeling I had yesterday which I just wanted to run away.  My life right now with my daughter who has been my main emotional support is very precarious and difficult.  She never stigmatizes me but just can’t be my emotional caregiver anymore which makes it hard to live with her because here I sit with all these feelings of confusion and she has no idea how her moodiness affects me.  I keep having the thought that she should live somewhere else but I could never do that to her, at least I think.  We are supposed to go to lunch today and hang out but I don’t know if she is going because she doesn’t want to tell me no or if she sees no problem with our relationship.

Now my mom on the other hand is more defined.  I know she can’t help me with my disorder where my daughter can but I’m not letting her in right now and she seems to be fine with that.  But my mom just always says things in a way that make me feel like I am very ill.  She is being very nice to me right now but that is because i am in the middle of a psychotic break but can’t see my pdoc until the 26th of November.

Ah, the suffering I feel right now is immense.  Don’t have my daughter, don’t have my mom and tomorrow seems like so far away which is my next appointment with my new therapist and then forever until I see my pdoc.

I tried reading last night, my sociology book, which took my mind off of things like the movie did.  But I just feel like I am barely hanging on and have actually had some thoughts again of passive suicide, but I know I could never do that to my kids or husband and family.

I am not giving up but these things take time and I feel like I have no one to talk to except my dear friend Julia who is a constant support and friend.  But I feel so bad that I need so much help right now.

In the past my daughter has always said she wants to know how I am doing but it feels like right now I need to just let her be.  I secretly hope we won’t go to lunch as I don’t want to let her know how I am doing as she is so fragile right now herself.

Oh, God, who made heaven and earth.  please help me to know what to do right now as I am so lost and confused and stuck.

Here’s to better days ahead.  I wait upon God to fix things.

Pax

Victoria

Taking another break from blogging…

Dear readers,

I pray this blog finds you well.  I am recovering slowly from my stressful work situation.  My meds were increased again and it is helping but still trying to get back to a healthy balanced place so I am taking a break from blogging for a season while I ponder what The Divine wants of me.

I read my book Loving God, Suffering, and being in His will for all, which is the first time I have read it since its publication.  It actually helped me quite a bit as much of it is what to do with your time when you are not working outside the home along with spiritual lessons which I did not realize would help me so much at this place in time.

I feel like I had to try my hand at teaching and am glad for its experience as it taught me many things.  It taught me first that I am a good teacher and have a lot to offer the world, second it taught me that I cannot work with people as their stress and problems cause me much anxiety and who knows what the next class will bring in the way of students struggling with emotional problems.  Just like therapy, which I was a therapist for 5 years and a pretty good one may I add, I couldn’t control the parents but the children I helped as much as I possibly could and to this day do not regret this decision

So teaching to me was rewarding and I got to say goodbye in an email and received many uplifting emails from several students who shared that I had given them a passion for learning of which I responded my thanks and was grateful for that opportunity of closure.  I do not regret my decision to leave my position and it showed me that working with the public is not what God wants of me.

So instead I am taking on a new project of which I am very excited.  I will be writing for peer reviewed articles about sociology of the family, education and aging.  My daughter, who is has her bachelor’s degree in English, will be editing my papers and I will be doing much research and writing and really want to focus on that for now rather than promoting my book or blogging.

My brain needs time to heal once again so I will be easing back into this non paid writing position and take my time to see how God guides me and my work.

I am finally on permanent disability so that is some source of income to supplement my husband’s and also help him with his paperwork which is never ending.

The ways I am coping right now to get back on track is good reading, long hot baths, essential oils, healthy eating (back on Sparkpeople), walking 2-3 miles a day, cooking healthy and yummy foods too (tonight baking an apple cobbler for my oldest son’s 27 year birthday) and spending time with family, a few good friends and my pups who all bring me much pleasure.  I stay away from negative people as much as possible and choose my reading for pleasure wisely.

So not sure how long a break I will be taking but will be back I am sure as blogging helps me too!

Not sure if anyone is interested in my sociological writing but if you are comment or email me at: victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com and I will share with you what I am currently working on.

Blessings and peace to you all!

Pax

Victoria

Stress, relapse and moving on….

Dear readers,

I hope you all are doing well and that the sun shines on you brightly today to make your day just a bit brighter and hoping for the same for me.

I made a decision yesterday that is only so familiar.

I resigned from my job due to stress involving two students fighting in my class and the ongoing investigation which does not end yet they are still allowed back in my class!  The thought of them erupting again especially one student in particular who is emotionally unstable just sends me back to that dark place.

I hope they will accept my resignation and that I will be able to help the transition of a new teacher coming in post mid semester.  I feel bad for my class but attendance has been very low since the incidence and I feel like my lenient style will not benefit anyone.

I see my psychiatrist today so that is good news and I am sure he will be fine with my decision to quit, again.

Having much angst, anxiety and worry but the symptoms of schizophrenia have not reappeared so that’s good news!

I will now have time to pursue writing scholarly articles especially focusing on sociology of the family, aging and other sociological issues that affect our country and world today.

I have decided I am not fit to work directly with the public as you never know what issues involve other people and that is a good realization I believe.

So, once again I am putting my mental health first and learning along the way all the time.  My family does not know yet and my biggest fear is that they won’t understand and may view it as giving up so I ask for your prayers in full force.  May lie to them but still deciding….

I will also now have more time to focus on other things in my life that I have neglected this semester like going to the gym, walking, gardening, doing podcasts and the like.  So much I want to do but have been unable to do so due to working.  Glad I am receiving permanent disability so have a thousand dollars a month coming in to help us out financially.

God is so good, even though I loved teaching and received great evaluations from my students and a decent evaluation from the full time instructor who observed my class post crisis, so I feel good about that.

God bless you all,

Pax

Victoria

Stress brought on new relapse, going to start Clozapine Monday!

Hello to all!

Stress, as I have written about before, is my biggest enemy with this disorder.  This time it was helping a family member that caused me to relapse into a world of my own.  Oh I look fine on the outside except I am dressed very warm because I am need the warmth right now.

So I went to see my psychiatrist last week and I asked if we could try Clozapine.  He said, “oh the big gun”.  I never knew it was called that.  I wonder why he didn’t try it before after all here I am and I can’t even hold down a job.  But after all the rigmarole I understand now why he did not prescribe it sooner.

First you have to do bloodwork every week for a period and then biweekly and then I believe monthly.  They have to monitor my white blood count to make sure it doesn’t go too low.  So I did that the next day.  Then I go to the pharmacy and they didn’t have it in stock so they sent it to another pharmacy I have never dealt with and they shall be nameless but their service is less to be desired than my regular pharmacy Walmart.

So I am working with my pharmacy and they say I have to be in some registry for this special drug… I had to wait for my busy doctor to enroll me and by the time he did it was too late to get my medicine on Friday and they won’t update the registry until Monday so Monday it is.

I am staying close to home, trying to use my coping skills right now because I feel so unwell.  I have had to disclose my disorder to a few people since I had to stop helping this family member who needs a lot of help and attention.  I had to step back due to her negativity.

I am surrounding myself with positive people and vaping my cbd oil which has helped in the past and helped me to get these thoughts out on here in my safe blog.  I am listening to my fave music, Jason Mraz, who is so amazing.

My son and daughter have also been here with me every step, believing in me and supporting me.  My husband doesn’t get it but is being as understanding as he can be.

I haven’t visited my dad since Monday but may go tomorrow if I feel up to it.  I’m taking it easy right now, being very gentle with myself and trying to stay positive.  I have heard great things about this medicine so I have hope that next week may bring some needed relief.

Pax

Victoria

Doing better I think

My psychiatrist really thinks I have a rare form of Schizoaffective Disorder because I basically diagnosed myself back in 2008 which a team of doctors at UCLA confirmed within three days of my admittance to their psychiatric ward.  I knew something was amiss and was right.

This is how it has been for me in these last 8 years.  I know when I am doing well and I know when I am not and even can predict when a relapse may occur, usually stress induced.

This is why I am perplexed this time at my recent development of psychotic symptoms over the past week.   I can’t say it came out of nowhere.  But it wasn’t stress it was amazement at how God definitely answered one of my heartfelt prayers.  It was amazing and so clear and I thank God for the answer He gave me but I don’t understand why it brought on mild psychosis.

I am doing better now I think.  The unwanted thoughts have ceased but I still am in a bit of a daze and am not motivated much to exercise right now.  Because I don’t work I have a lot of free time and what do I do? Sit!  in front of the computer, in the armchair etc..  you get the idea!  I am working on my book some days so that is  a good excuse to sit, but I wish I could get back into a good exercise routine again.

I see my pdoc on Friday which is good it is a few days away while I figure out how I really am doing.  I have hope that he will help me with some of the missing pieces of the puzzle.  Being mentally ill it is not always easy to know how one is doing.  Talking to people doesn’t help.  It may sound strange but it feels like God gave me the best psychiatrist in the world who I trust so much with all my important thoughts and care.

To my readers with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder or any mental illness:  I really hope you all have a psychiatrist you can trust too.  I hope and pray that everyone looks forward to their appointments like I do!

Pax

Victoria

Quality reading and experiencing psychotic symptoms again

I have been doing a lot of reading lately and it is wonderful to be reading some of the greatest classics and uplifting books out there!  I am reading the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi, The Book of Joy by the Dali Lama and Archbishop Tutu, the Portable Thoreau and the Imitation of Mary.  Most of what I read really resonates with my spirit and helps me to understand myself better.

For instance, on sadness, the Book of Joy offers much insight into how it can really help us be better people causing us to be more compassionate towards others.  I have deep sadness right now because of what has happened with my father. He will never be the same, yet continues to live which I am grateful to God for.  But his bane existence wipes me out almost every time I see him.  He often doesn’t make much sense although at times he makes perfect sense.  I take what I can and leave the rest to God to sort out.

On another note, I am slightly psychotic right now again.  I am not sure how this has happened and I have plans to call my pdoc in the morning and I don’t know how I feel about this.  I was doing so well with no psychotic symptoms for years and now that I am again I am just hopeful my pdoc will know what to do.

I am experiencing thought insertion, no voices this time.  It is amazing that I can read right now although I am only absorbing about 25% of what I read and retaining even less than that.  But I have had a virus with much free time on my hands so I read anyway and do my best to not obsess over these unwanted thoughts.

After this gets settled, I plan to continue the job search for a low stress job that will allow me to continue to receive permanent disability.  I had a dream last night that I had a job at a local diner as a waitress which I did for many years before getting my degree.  Perhaps I will do that.  Who knows what the future holds.  Not I, nor do I want to know the future.

Well that is all for now.  It is hard to focus my thoughts so I hope this post made sense.

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