Finding my rythmn being at home full time

In my last post, I said I was taking a break from blogging for a while. Well, I lied. I was feeling very down due to going on permanent disability and didn’t think I had much to offer my readers. I suffer from Schizoaffective Disorder and stress brings out my symptoms so I made the decision to stop working recently, which means I am not going for my MFT license (I have earned 2,700 of 3,000 needed hours). What job is stress free? Just the stress of getting up everyday and having to be at work was much harder after my last relapse of the negative symptoms of my disorder.

So what have I been up to this week? I have been cleaning my house mostly and didn’t realize how dirty it was! I have also been cooking more and paying more attention to my 16 year old son who I feel I have neglected due to being so focused on my career. Amazingly, I have also been hanging out with friends and/or family almost every day which is awesome. Isolating in my home is not good and I am finding much pleasure in having these friend/family dates to look forward to in between my cooking and cleaning.

I have a serious mental health condition and because of that fact, I have limited ability with my attention. I gave so much at work (my therapist says I give 120%) that I had nothing left for my personal life. My hat is tipped to any of you who are able to work, take care of a family/house and stay stable. Not me.
I accept this limitation and have plans to volunteer once I get my house in order. My options are open right now. I wouldn’t mind volunteering at the hospital, or at a local ranch or who knows what will come my way? I remain open to any ideas readers may have, or that you are doing. It seems like most of my readers who have this disorder can’t work much. I am with you now admitting not defeat but rather a conscience choice to stay at home.

So for now I will keep blogging as it does really help me to get it out on here.
If you have been with me for a while, thanks for reading and being a part of my recovery. If you are a new reader welcome and I hope you come back and email me if you are so inclined and share your story. I have some insight and it is always good to connect with others who are in similar circumstances.

I think now that I am not working I will be much more balanced and not have any more relapses. This last one was bad, landing me in the hospital in December 2014 on suicide watch… Never want that to happen again. This time early August 2015, I headed off a relapse because I recognized the signs, dread of going to work, feeling very stressed out during and after work and just not being at my best mentally. So I have new hope today and that is never a bad thing!

Pax
Victoria
Feel free to email me at: victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

I also welcome professionals, students or anyone interested in this disorder to write me as well!

Life can be hard with this diagnosis

Hello! Victoria here! Welcome to my blog on my journey since 2008 when I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia by a team of doctors at UCLA and later rediagnosed by my now psychiatrist with Schizoaffective Disorder. I was 38 at the time which is late in life to be diagnosed but it is what it is. After being diagnosed I went on to earn my Master’s Degree in Psychology and was working in the mental health field up until 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, due to this disorder I can’t handle stress as it causes a relapse of symptoms and brings about thoughts of wanting to die along with sometimes psychotic symptoms. When I am not working (I have taken several disability breaks and one hospitalization since I began working) I do pretty good but it takes longer each time to get back to a good place so I have decided along with my psychiatrist’s help to go on permanent disability. I truly feel like this is the right decision because I don’t know how many recoveries I have and although I enjoy working believe that I can volunteer still and do a better job at managing my home and family while on disability. I will be taking a break from blogging until I am at a better place but will still answer emails and comments. I can be reached at: victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com
Thank you for all the emails, I have truly met some life long friends on here with other people who also suffer with this disorder and many loved ones with family also afflicted.
Pax
Victoria

I’m off my pity pot and lesson learned

I am doing much better now with everything. I am human and at times I am weak and I learned a major lesson. I was wondering where all my friends and family went now that I am suffering, well the truth be known, I hadn’t really let anyone know how much I was suffering. I reread my texts which I thought said how I was doing but they said very little in this regard. Now that people know I am really struggling they are stepping up to the plate and offering me extra support.
As a person with Schizoaffective Disorder I am making a note to myself that people can’t read my mind and I have to be more specific even when it is hard. So many people don’t know what to do with us myself included. There are so many aspects of this disorder which come into play when we get stressed out and one of them is paranoia which I believe was what was happening to me. Nobody cares, nobody loves me, nobody gives a shit! Anyone else feel this way ever?
Anyway, I have lots of free time now so keep those emails coming!
victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

Here is to a better tomorrow,
Pax
Victoria

Loss

Hello to all!

I am not doing so well due to three major losses going on in my life currently.  My daughter 21 leaves for Colorado on Monday for school and I am heartbroken.  She has been a huge part of my recovery from Schizoaffective Disorder and I really don’t think I will do well these next few weeks.  I get to visit her in October but that seems so far away.  She is dear to me and I call her my butterfly because even from her birth she has been my easiest and most loving child.  Her thoughtfulness and ability to make me laugh is a lot of the reason why I do as well as I do.  We will facetime, talk and text but that is 18 hours away.  Seriously, could she get any farther?  We are supposed to have a going away family party for her Sunday and I am not close to being ready.  I hope everyone understands why things aren’t perfect.

But I said three losses and that is my biggest one surprisingly but I shall share also that my adult son is moving out the same month.  He bought a condo with his girlfriend and I am happy for him but today I got emotional with him and he just shut me down.  He is my firstborn child and will always hold a special place in my heart because of that fact.  He is not going far but combine that with my daughter leaving the same month and ouch!  He is also my computer geek around everything electronic but maybe that will give him reasons to visit.  Unfortunately I am not very close to him anymore but maybe with him having his own place he will warm up to me again.

Lastly and sadly, I have to go on permanent disability.  But I was able this time to give two weeks notice at my job with my last day being Wednesday.  I am giving up my dream of getting my MFT license which isn’t that big a deal but to think that I will never work again is daunting.  I do well for a while then all of a sudden I’m not ok.  I didn’t have to be hospitalized this time and am happy for that, but it is a loss just the same.  I wonder what I will do with my days especially with two kids gone at the same time.  Perhaps now I will be able to focus more on my sixteen year old son, my house and myself.  Might even garden I hope!

If anyone has any prayers to spare, I would be most grateful.  My body wants to shut down with all this going on but I can’t give in and do that.  I am not suicidal, happily I write, just have a sort of dread with all the loss going on right now at the same time.  I do have a good therapist who I saw twice last week and that helps but where did all my friends go that were surrounding me last month?  I feel very alone right now….

Here’s to better times to come,

Pax

Victoria

The social aspect of this disorder

Welcome to my blog!  Please feel free to read this short bio if you are new, return readers can scroll down to new post, thanks.

My name is Victoria and I suffer from Schizoaffective Disorder (SA), which is basically Schizophrenia plus depression; this blog journals my progress from fall 2013 to now although I was diagnosed in 2008.  I have experienced both the positive (hallucinations and delusions) and negative  symptoms (lack of motivation, flat affect. social difficulties) of Schizophrenia and while the positive symptoms have been under control with Risperdal, since being diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder by UCLA in 2008, I have still suffered from the negative symptoms until recently when my psychiatrist added Latuda. Post diagnosis I received my Masters Degree in Psychology and work in the mental health field currently.

I started this blog in fall 2013 which journals my personal recovery from Schizophrenia.  The earliest entries chart my psychotic period 2006/2007 with much in between and my current focus is managing the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia. I welcome all feedback and enjoy meeting new people  through this blog and other articles I have written.  I have also written a book which is available on Amazon by me, Victoria Marie Alonso- My personal recovery from Schizophrenia, which is for loved ones or those afflicted with this disorder.  This blog has been viewed over 6,000 times and by over 50 countries!  Bienvenidos a todos!  Welcome to all!

Please feel free to email me to share your story or that of a loved one at:victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

Other mental health providers or researchers are welcome to ask any questions, as well.

New post:

One of the most debilitating problems with this disorder is that in group settings I am often quiet and feel very awkward when I do add to the conversation.  Today was a bit of a breakthrough.  I am forcing myself to get out of my house more and participate in the world.  It feels good to have friends and family that I care about and that they care for me and accept me for who I am, disorder and all.  Many of them even forget I have a mental disorder because I am pretty good for the most part.

My weekend started out rough though because I ran out of my anti-anxiety meds and had an anxiety attack at an AA meeting.  I excused myself and waited out in my car because I had promised a good friend a ride after the meeting.  My best friend came out of the meeting and another acquaintance came too to check on me.  I was pretty anxious but was appreciative that they came cared about me.  We talked for a while and it was a really neat experience to have people genuinely interested in my well being.

After the meeting I went home and cleaned my house!  I haven’t done that for a while because of different reasons but it felt really good to have a clean house that I cleaned not somebody else or just lived with dust and dirt until one of my kids or my mother-in-law would do it.  I decided to spend the day by myself because I could and have been so busy with friends and family that I haven’t had much alone time.  I was ok with myself but wanted to spend some time with people on Sunday because I was afraid I would be bored at home all day alone again, which is what I would do up until recently.

Sunday I invited my dad over for muffins and we hung out for a while with my kids coming in and out.  I received a text from my friend Julia to meet up at a new coffee shop.  I invited my dad and we both went and had a great time hanging out at this really cool coffee shop.  I was out so I stopped by to see another friend who is having a hard time right now but she was asleep and I had some time before a little party I was invited to was going to start so I went shopping and then to the party.  Mind you on weekends I normally would just spend time on my computer and watching shows on Netflix.  It seems that now I get these invites and it is way more fun to hang out with people.

The party I went to had about 15 people and at first I was super anxious but then got really into the conversation.  I asked questions and was genuinely interested in the responses and had a really nice time.  I was nervous about the party but it was great.  I am back at work tomorrow but hope to have more weekends like this where there is a good balance between alone time and time with friends and family.

Have a great week everyone!

Pax

Victoria

I feel surrounded by loved ones, didn’t believe it possible!

For the first time post diagnosis I feel surrounded by people who love and care about me.  I never thought this was possible because there was a time when I felt so alone and I am glad to be on the other side now.

Tonight I  unintentionally hurt my best friend.  I was so sad.  It was a situation which got out of hand because of the disease of addiction (not me, been sober a long time now) but involved another friend I have been trying with all my heart and soul to get sober.  Unfortunately, this disease of addiction can ruin the best people and I had to withdraw my help with tough love and she understood although she was pretty wasted.  My best friend understood too although I couldn’t give him too many details having to protect her anonymity.  I will not stop praying for her though and although it is painful, I feel it was the necessary step.

On another note, my aging parents, who I am so happy they are still alive, have accepted my help to come over 3 days a week to help my mom walk and get back her strength.  I love them with all my heart and soul and feel so blessed to have them as parents.  I am also grateful I can still talk to them and that they both have their wits about them.  They have been there for me every step of the way from birth to now and I love that I get to spend more time with both of them! They understand me better than most and have been the best parents anyone could ever want.  I love you mom and dad if you are reading this!

I also have some other people in my life right now who are great supporters, my daughter, my sons, my husband, my good friend Julia, and several others who love me unconditionally.  This means the world to me.  I know that as someone with a mental health condition support is vital.  I pray for all my readers, that they have the necessary support they need not only get by in life but also thrive despite this tragic disorder.  God bless everyone of you!

Pax

Victoria

Situation, didn’t kow what to do today, froze up

I had an interesting situation today I have decided to write about on here that is still baffling me. A woman with obvious mental health problems was behaving inappropriately and I didn’t know how to help her or the situation. This frustrates me. Having this disorder often leaves me like this where I don’t know what to do especially in social settings. This makes it hard to step out of my comfort zone and respond. So I do nothing and hope that the situation rectifies itself. Today it did not and I felt terrible. But I must forgive myself and try to move on. The problem was that in this situation many other people were observing me and I felt so darn powerless. I can say a prayer for this woman but there are just times when I don’t know how to act or how to help and I blame this disorder. Today I hated having schizoaffective disorder. When it affects other people I am not ok with it.

I get a lot of emails rather from readers. I respond to them all. I know I do not have the answer for everyone and I don’t think anyone expects me to. I am just like my readers and still suffer much from this tragic diagnosis. It can be debilitating. Lately I have had a hard time keeping my house in order. It really needs a good cleaning and I don’t have hired help anymore because I am only working part-time right now and my trip to Europe really set me back. Sorry if I sound like I am complaining but I am very frustrated right now with myself and hope that I can get my house cleaned this week. When my house is in order I feel so much better about myself.

I hope my readers are doing ok. Sorry this is not an uplifting post but I still suffer much and need to write about these times too.

Pax
Victoria