Hope has returned!

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  suffered from the negative symptoms until a year and a half ago when my psychiatrist added Latuda and now live more symptom free of the negative symptoms.

Post diagnosis I received my Masters Degree in Psychology and used to work in the mental health field until stress caused me to go on permanent disability in September 2015.
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 almost 10,000 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:

My last few posts have been rather depressing but I don’t dare apologize for there are times when we will feel bad and it is better to be honest about how one feels rather than to just lie and say I am ok.  I wasn’t ok and do still have days when I am not ok but I am getting through these hard times with a new hope that I believe is answered prayer.

Prayer is never wasted, no it shakes the heart of God I believe and shaking has occurred!

Despite the ups and downs with my dad’s condition I have been able to get off my duff and accomplish many things.  Not only that but I also feel I am doing much better now thanks to a few pro-active things I have done.  Mainly, I have stopped feeling sorry for myself and forgiven myself and others for many mistakes I and others have made.  This is freeing…

We are not human machines made perfect.  No, we mess up, don’t always say the right thing and often doubt our abilities.  And this is for everyone, not just those with a mental disorder like so many of us on here.  I have many friends I have met through my blog who suffer from this disorder or have loved ones afflicted and I cherish that moment when I check my email and I find an email from a friend I already had or when it is a new person either sharing their story or asking me to share mine through many different venues.

I have gotten really good feedback from others that I am making a difference so that is just super.  I have always thought, “if I can just help one person by sharing my story it is worth it”.  And I know I have helped at least one person so I will continue to blog and share my ups and downs on here and wherever else God leads me.

I have new hope that this world we live in will get better because of me and others like me who genuinely care about others.  Thank you for being a part of my recovery!

Pax

Victoria

Sad times right now…

My dad is dying in the hospital right now.  I wish to dedicate this blog to my dad who has been there for me more times than not.  All the good times we have had, our adventures, our outings, our discussions about anything and everything.  I will miss you so much dad but I know and believe you will always be with me in my heart.  You have taught me how to live life to the fullest, to not take love for granted or to waste time on needless tasks.  How much I love you daddy.

I am taking really good care of myself during this hard time.  I am exercising, eating right, not isolating, and trying to keep up with the mundane tasks of life while the whole time I just want to be by his side….

Not psychotic but not doing well…

Ever since my dad’s stroke I have been slowly deteriorating and it is painful to watch since I had made so much progress of recent with a healthy lifestyle.  I am just so sad that I don’t have my dad the way I used to and my mom is needing help too and I feel so stretched thin.  I go to visit my dad at extended care twice a day, once with my mom so we can walk around the grounds in between visits and once at night so I can try to connect with my dad alone.  It sometimes works, sometimes not.

When I am not at the extended care I am sitting at my computer staring again.  I am not psychotic, almost wish I was, more interesting, no I take that back, I don’t want to be psychotic again, that can be scary.  I am just depressed.  My pdoc wants me to see a therapist but no money for that.  I have support but get tired of complaining so I just say I am ok, but I am not.  Not doing the things I previously enjoyed.  Just sit sit sit, click click click.  Not bored just feeling useless.

The other thing is that I have to start looking for a job next week.  My state disability ends next month so it is back to work I go and nothing glamorous mind you, no, we are talking minimum wage low stress job.  I have a degree but will not mention that on my applications.

Here is to better days….

Pax

Victoria

When life happens

There will always be times of joy and times of sadness.  For example, I have great joy that my daughter is here visiting me from Colorado but at the same time my dear father has had a stroke and may never recover the use of his left side again.

So what does one do with these emotions especially when one is mentally disordered like me?  To feel is a good thing for starters.  To feel sadness that my dad almost died last week and great joy that my daughter happened to schedule her trip at this time when I need her most.

I don’t always feel due to the many medications I take so it has been a week of tears and smiles and I finally decided I needed to blog about it.  Today during Mass, I cried mostly while we were singing beautiful church hymns and during Mass.  I was there with my mom and daughter and as I was sitting between them I felt surrounded by people who love me, diagnosis and all.

Later, as I was sitting at the hospital with my mom and dad I felt grateful that they are both still with me on this earth, even though they don’t fully get my mental disorder.  They are alive and love me and that is all that matters really.

I know that one day, they will both die, and I accept that but I thank God for more time with my dad even if he is wheelchair bound, he still has his wits about him and I have a feeling we will have lots of time together having adventures still.

The good news is that despite the stress I have been under this past week, I am dong good mentally.  I am still eating right, getting exercise when I can and sleeping at least 7 hours a day and those things always help with my mood.  I know that I must take care of me to be able to help my mom and dad or I will end up back in the hospital like before.

So the message is that even though life happens, we don’t always have to deteriorate mentally if we do what we have learned.

Hope everyone has a great rest of July!  Here’s to healthy and happy days even though sadness pervades me right now.  I will get through it because I am a fighter.  I have come this far and am not going to let something like this stop me from my recovery journey.

Pax

Victoria

 

A new passion in life is always good!

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 used to work in the mental health field until stress caused me to go on permanent disability in September 2015.
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 almost 10,000 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:

I have recently started hiking again and it has really helped my mood.  Getting out in nature with my hiking boots on, sunscreen applied and a hat to boot makes for a great day.  The best part is I found a hiking partner so I don’t have to always hike alone!

The air is usually warm these days and the views are spectacular.  I hike in the mountains, by the beach and on local trails that have pretty plants.

When one has this disorder it is a really good thing to find something to be passionate about again post diagnosis.  Finding joy in life is just one more step in the right direction of recovering from this dastard disorder!

If you are newly diagnosed spend some time trying out new things to get passionate about and your life will improve!  Trust me.  I have tried many things and some of them I like and others I can do without.

Gardening is another hobby I have which really soothes the demons inside; watching new vegetables appear seemingly overnight is a wonder in itself and supplies me with much gratitude to God for giving us such an ability to help plants grow and produce.

I am grateful today for many things, my family, my friends, my dogs, my garden, the days I get to hike and for finally eating a healthy balanced diet.  These things are important to me and help me on this road to recovery.

Even though I can’t work, I can do more to help myself.  I study Spanish daily, write, read challenging books and articles, try different workouts on Sparkpeople, and cook and eat healthy.  I get enough sleep and practice prayer and meditation every day.

I have a good outlook on life and it is thanks to God and the desire I have to be the best me diagnosis and all!

Pax

Victoria

Hope

 

I used to believe I was the most special person to ever live…

Well the proof is in the pudding as they say.  I can’t even work and my proud accomplishments are mainly having raised three beautiful children, have been married 24 years to the same man and that I take really good care of my parents who are elderly and myself through proper diet, exercise and keeping my house in order.  Nothing that others haven’t also achieved, certainly not much to think one is that special.

I have lingering thoughts that one day I will write a great book that will help many people but again that has been done.  So why do I still even for one second believe this could be possible???

I am no longer delusional nor do I receive messages from heaven like I did when I was psychotic. I used to miss it but now I am used to the quiet in my life and I like it this way.

So I take my medicine dutifully in the morning and at night and just try to get through each day, keeping up my obligations and trying to have a little bit of fun in the process.

But some days are still really hard and to be honest I hate those days.  But I have learned that the next day is usually brighter and better.  I know that I get stronger when I meet my obstacles head on but to be honest there are still days when I sleep in really late and sit in my computer chair and stare only getting up to feed myself and use the latrine.

But those days are fewer and farther in between.  I am learning to prep the night before and write out my goals on google keep and my phone and to not just get stuck at my computer mindlessly surfing the web or watching my favorite show.

So tomorrow is Sunday and I don’t work on Sundays due to religious beliefs to respect the Sabbath.  I actually have a fun filled day ahead of me so I am off to bed even though it is a little later than I should be getting to bed but I just really wanted to get these thoughts out in the universe whether anyone reads them or not.

Here’s to more good days than bad this next week.  I hope everyone is doing well and keeping the hope that sometimes things can only get better one day at a time!

Pax

Victoria

Don’t focus on the negative like I did today!

Living with this disorder is challenging to say the least!  i actually had 6 out of 7 days where I met all my goals, eating right, exercising a lot, taking me time, took care of the dogs etc…  It was a good week but sad to say that all I can focus on is today when I did not meet all my goals.  I must stop doing this to myself.  I must not be so hard on myself for having one day of not doing much!  It is just that the days I am productive I don’t feel disordered and the days like today when I am lazy and unproductive I feel like I have this disability.  Does this make sense to anyone?

As usual, I have a new obsession- gardening.  I see a patch of weeds when I am walking and all I want to do is stop and help the neighborhood be weed free.  That’s pretty funny I think.  Tomorrow I am going over to my oldest son’s condo and guess what I am doing  Yep, I am pulling weeds!  I literally can’t wait!  It feels good to finally have a fun, relaxing, and rewarding hobby!

It’s late so I am off to bed but hope that someone who reads this gets past my mistake of looking at that one bad day instead of the many good ones.

Pax

Victoria