Stressors and how I cope having a mental disorder…

  1. Money, although there always is some but yet wham, the unexpected or balloon payment is due like say for your taxes.  Mine are due in October.  Think of something else.  Don’t spend a dime.  Save if one can, even pennies add up to dollars.  I have definitely gotten better at saving this year.  I stopped shopping for everything on Amazon and am being more frugal about going to the store for every little item.  My husband was supposed to take over the bills because of my disorder but it hasn’t happened and never will probably.

I don’t work so I have more time to find coupons and deals when we do spend.  He makes a decent income so if I am careful I can really tuck some money away if I’m careful.

I know I am blessed.  I can’t imagine being single and having to rely on my disability income which I get $1,000 a month.

2. Sickness and getting older.  I am not as fit as I used to be but am getting back on track.  But I have been dealing for the past two weeks with a new medical problem surrounding digestive issues and am really trying to avoid going to the doctor right now because of lack of insurance (see #3) at least until October 1.

To combat this stress I try to eat healthy all the time with the occasional goodie.  I also am now exercising 4x a week on average.  I am gardening, walking and doing yoga throughout the week.  This helps my getting in better shape and also helps mental alertness and health.  Today was a rest day and all I wanted to do was to rest but I am in the middle of several projects around the house and rose garden so it was actually harder than I thought it would be to take a day off but my body needed the rest.  So back at it tomorrow!

Although this can stress me out a lot I am learning that the key to my happiness is acceptance.

Now i am much more motivated to do the healthy things that I am doing.  Which in the past it has really been problematic to just sit all day and do nothing, now I do rest in the mornings but do get busier later in the day.  So it is good that I am treating my body better because I have really been sick a lot and it has caused me to make sure I do all I can to be healthy.

I might go to the doctor this week.  We shall see how things go but this relates to #1 the money stress with doctor bills and testing they might want to do.

3.  My parents.  I accept they will not always be around but my dad is paralyzed on his left half of his body and my mom is a fighter but is still very frail yet tough as a bird!

How I combat this stress is by spending as much time with them as I can and appreciating every moment.

4.  Kids and husband.  Kids is easy to combat.  All the work I put in when they were growing up has paid off and although I might not agree with all their decisions I am very proud of the 3 of them.  Interestingly enough, my disorder did not kick in until I was 38 and I was only lost to the world for a year of being psychotic.  Husband is one of my kids ha ha so ditto for him.

I also stress over the unexpected busy day, making sure I take all my meds, doing all I can for my family and friends even when an interruption comes at an inconvenient time.  I used to turn off my phone, which I still do, but I do take calls when I can as needed to be a good friend!

Well that is the main stuff.  What are some things that stress you out and how do you cope?  Comment below or email me at victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com.

Bless you all!  Of  course I pray a lot too and try to trust what God is doing.  But it isn’t always easy to do.

pax

Victoria

Have it all…

God wants us to have it all!  Heaven, peace, wellness, all that is good and pure.  All that is evil will melt away.  So be it amen.

in heaven there will be no suffering especially the mentally disordered.  Although we do suffer now.  I’m starting to think that mental illness is evil, deceptive, misunderstood and the source of much decisiveness.

Don’t know how to change this except to blog about it.

I have a mental disorder, Schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder.  I am recovered mostly except for some anxiety.

I have fought hard since 2006 to be recovered and God has allowed it through His grace and greatness.

Pax

Victoria

I am a survivor…

Ever since being diagnosed with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder in Jan of 2008 I have had to fight.  And fighting I will still do, because despite the many valleys and mountains and deserts I have had an indomitable spirit and i know it comes from God.

Who is, was and is to come

Revelations 1

I shall proclaim His Resurrection as the women did and say that Jesus lives and reigns now and forever amen.

Pax

Victoria

 

Where am I now?

To all,

So after these hospitalizations, I went to therapy yesterday and to be honest hadn’t really thought much about my mental health much due to the pain I was in and the recovery period.

But at therapy I once again faced the stark reality of my schizoaffective disorder and it was hard to accept once again.  In the past therapy has been a safe place to just talk, but now I am with an excellent therapist who is digging and it is painful.  At the end of therapy we were talking about things I was grateful for and it all focused on me still having my life, not being in pain and having all my family and friends who love me as much as I love them.  But there was a dark moment too which I didn’t share with my therapist because we had already gone over our time.  

The dark moment was the stark reality of my mental situation which faces the fact I can’t work outside the home, the damage my disorder has caused my loved ones and a sadness that I am different and have a fractured mind.

I will share this with my therapist when we next meet but where am I now?

My daughter, who has been up until this year been my main emotional support, was on vacation for a few day and upon coming home shared with me that she might be bipolar.  This would answer several questions I have had about her and her ups and downs since before I was diagnosed.  She is able to keep a job, relationships (non intimate ones) and shared with me something that I would like to relay to you.

She shared with me that she truly didn’t know how her teenage years would have turned out if she didn’t have to care for me.  This made me feel so good.  

As I have shared previously, I believe that my schizophrenia was a gift from God but recently I have regretted praying to be able to suffer for God and thus receiving this gift.  I regretted it because it caused so much suffering for my daughter but after she shared this with me I felt that God knew what he was doing and always to trust in him for all things…

It is good to have answers at least one benefit of receiving this gift of schizophrenia.

Tomorrow my son (who has shown symptoms of schizophrenia recently) and I are going to both go see my psychiatrist.  His appointment is right after mine so I will get a chance to speak with my psychiatrist about my son’s recent symptoms.  My son wants to see him to help with his ADD, to be able to focus more on things especially school but I think he may be suffering from prodomal symptoms of schizophrenia…

I have faith that my psychiatrist will know what to do.

As for me I am doing better mentally I think but still suffer from some delusions but they don’t affect my functioning.

Anyway, I am glad I get to be there for my children.  My eldest shows no sign of mental disorder happy to report.

Have a great day!  

Pax 

Victoria

How my Schizophrenia is cropping up…

Dear readers,

I decided to write down my dreams as lately they have been very poignant and have some sort of meaning to my life.  Even dreamed recently about a dog that pranced on me when I was walking home from kindergarten.  It was a St. Bernard dog and as I was walking by a fence it was peeking over and saw me so I started to run, well it couldn’t not jump over and chase me down.  I was terrified but all it did was chase me down and jump on me and show me love.  A neighbor came to my rescue and took me home and we had a new friend of the family for life.  That is what really happened to me but in my dream I was at a stoplight and this huge gray dog jumped over me but it brought back memories of that incident that happened when I was five.

Kind of weird really.

And lately things are weird again.  My delusions- that I am special, and that God doesn’t want me to work again are alive and well, or not well whatever way you wish to look at it.

One thing is for sure which I believe is reality is that I am supposed to be with my spouse of 27 years (in January) and that we were truly meant to be together.  Why he puts up with me and my weirdness is beyond me, but he loves me as he shared in therapy and lately to me.  All is well, but let’s see when he finds out how much debt we really have!

I have really made a mess of our finances!  It’s crazy cuz he makes a lot of money but we have a lot of bills.  I am just not good with money for sure.

Anyway, it will be hard for me to ever really let go of these delusions as long as I am not working.  It is such a conundrum, how I received the gift of schizophrenia, which I did not specifically ask for but did as to suffer for God.  Oh how I am not sure if I would pray that prayer again, knowing what I know now, how much my loved ones would have to suffer as well as me.

But God is good and I really believe He does not give us more than we can handle but really this seems to be too much for anyone.

I am still recovering from my gallbladder surgery.  It is slow and painful, but hopefully soon I will be getting back to my walking routine.  As that really helps with everything in great measures.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Pax

Victoria

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

Thank you!

A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.”
— St. Therese of Lisieux
Dear readers,
You did not disappoint!  I was hurting tremendously and asked for some interaction and received not only one but two comments which greatly put fresh life in my despondent soul.
So often I see that you readers are viewing my blogs but when it is quiet I have no idea the impact my blogs have and I am human and suppose I need to know that I am not writing for just me if that makes sense.
I have gone through so much lately as have many of you I know but I feel I am getting stronger every day although my mind is still confused from the stress of trying to work again.  I have decided that I am not going down that road again because relapsing and letting down others when I quit the most amazing jobs is too much to bear.
But I have some good news!
My husband is being supportive in his way although he has nary a clue as to how much I suffer because of my disorder~
Reality is subjective for me at times but I look at signs in my life that I am recovering once again.
Here are some of the signs:
I was sleeping in the guest room for about a month but now am back to sleeping with my husband again which makes me feel great about my marriage and I like being with him at night.  Even though he doesn’t understand it all he gives me comfort by his presence especially when he is not being critical.  He never said a word about my leaving this past job but the past two nights I have helped him with his paperwork and for that he is greatly relieved.  It is tedious work but at least I feel productive in helping him.  I just turn on my tunes and work away, interacting with him along the way which is an hour or two.  We don’t have much in common so I am always looking for new ways we can spend time together even if it is work which profits the budget too.
I’ve developed a much better sleeping schedule, going to bed with my husband and waking up when he wakes up which is what he has been asking for in not so demanding terms.
Every day usually at night, I take a hot bath and relax after for about an hour.  This recharges me and brings me much peace.
I am cooking healthy most days but still do eat out which has added some pounds but working on this one.  At least I am not indulging in sugar all the time like last week.
I made it to the gym yesterday, first time in a while.
I spend a lot of time with my pups (ok they’re actually 6 but will always be pups to me).  I love them especially Butter and she returns the love as animals often do!
I use my essential oils to help me relieve my anxiety, mainly Lavender but Bergamot too.  Bought a diffuser and it helps relieve stress.
I spend time with a dear friend frequently so my social life although limited is at least somewhat there.  We walk, talk and drink coffee and often her dog is with us who is awesome!  Toby loves me too and brings me much joy.
Areas I would like to see improvement are:
I would like to be motivated again to work in the gardens.  All my flowers died recently and I have seeds and plans to get some flowers going and keep it up.
I would like to get back to my AA meetings but right now I am sober for 8 months now and have no desire to drink or smoke pot but the meetings right now are just a bit much…
I would like to clean my own house, right now my daughter does it which is fine because she doesn’t pay rent but I have really neglected simple chores like emptying my trash can in my room.  It is such a simple thing but I just can’t get  to doing it right now.
Also would like to return to confession and church but baby steps.
It is good to make lists to see how far I have come, now going to try to work on them one at a time.  Of course would like to do my sociological research papers but right now my brain can’t even wrap around them.
I know i must be gentle with myself especially right now but God has given me so much desire to do more than I am doing right now…
I see my new therapist this evening and have hopes to form a lasting therapist relationship.  Good news is that it is in my town so won’t have to travel far and cost is modest.
Well that’s enough for one post don’t you think?
As usual,
Pax
Victoria

I’m back, hurting and praying for peace for all!

Dear readers,

Short break ha ha.  Couldn’t not share a bit of what I am going through right now…

I am suffering now at a new level due to the possibility of one of my children showing symptoms of this disorder, so much worry and stress involved and that is all I will say about that.

When I prayed to be able to suffer for God, I did not realize it would affect my loved ones as well… So now I change my prayer as without prayer we are nothing. I pray for a healing for me and my children because I know one thing and that is that the suffering of Jesus on the Christ covers a multitude of sin and human imperfections and that includes me.

So I take back my prayer and now pray that I can just live a normal life and be able to work, at least on my sociological research papers as right now I just cannot even begin to work on them due to the ups and downs right now with my disorder which I pray will be relieved.

St. Francis was a great healer and I ask for his intercession in this matter.  Please St. Francis of Assisi heal me, my loved ones and all who suffer in this world whether it be a mental disorder or a physical condition.  Thank you!

So taking a break isn’t really an option right now as blogging is all I have really.

Used to get the occasional comment or email but lately once again things are quiet in that department.  I don’t need sympathy or validation, just hoping for interaction as that I very much enjoyed.  Wondering if this new format allows comments?? Anyway I am always available by email and will always get back to you as I am able.  Feel free to email me at:

victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com   anytime about anything!

I quit my teletherapist and actually had a terrible encounter with him.  So I am starting fresh with an old schoolmate who has shown compassion in my dealings with her and am hopeful that I will be able to finally work on some childhood issues with her in person.  It is so hard to find a good therapist!

Blessings and peace to you all,

Pax

Victoria

Sad to resign, but validated too!

Dear readers,

My recent resignation from my teaching job is not a defeat but yet a victory with my Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder.  Allow me to explain more fully:

  • I stuck it out longer than any other job despite severe stress
  • I made my ultimate decision on my own but did feel led by God and obscure events which were not a relapse of my disorder but a healthy processing of events, which were validated by my doctor, therapist, mentors and daughter all of whom I hold in the highest esteem.  But the fact that I made the decision on my own leads me to believe that my thinking is clear and that my emotions are not guiding me which is HUGE progress
  • They cannot find an instructor to take my class because of the dynamics of the class and the altercation which led to my resignation.
  • I have not lost my faith in God

Isn’t this enough?  I haven’t told my husband yet though because I am afraid he just won’t get it.  I have left so many jobs in the past and he didn’t understand then so I am waiting for the right time to tell him which may never come.  I don’t want to embellish the truth.  I believe that a strong marriage is one where one can share with the other any and everything and that just isn’t the case with my marriage.  Although, it is good and stable, his inability to understand my mental health disorder causes me to be less than honest I am sad to say.

But I am happy to report that I will still be working, just not directly with the public.  I have lots of ideas and will report more on them as I do my research and make some decisions.

The delusion that I believe that God doesn’t want me to work again has realized itself once again.  But I am toying with the idea to become a freelance writer and also write for journals as a way to share my knowledge and challenge my brain as I write and submit papers based on research and my own insight.

I plan to continue to blog my progress so thank you all for supporting me.

God bless you all and if you don’t believe in God I leave you with the quote that I left my class tonight in a goodbye email.  We studied religion to a minor extent in class and the text stated the four main concerns of religion which science cannot prove.  They are: the existence of God, the purpose of life, the afterlife and morality.  But Karl Marx has written these damning words that “Religion is the opiate of the people” of which I have reflected upon greatly through all these trials as I take great comfort in my Catholic Faith, which is but one way to God.

I quote from the movie based on a true story, Song of Bernadette,

“For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”

and I beseech you to open your minds, hearts and bodies to the moving of the Holy Spirit, The Divine, The Universe, Mother Nature etc. to ask for faith that you may be able to acknowledge that we are not here by accident but were made from a wonderful design and that when you die, this faith may be realized fully.

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