An honest blog…

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 try to go on permanent disability in September 2015. I was off for one year on disability but it took so long I found a job 2 weeks ago and it is low stress but not in the mental health field.  I am doing sales and doing well so far in my training.  I go live November 1st and look forward to making some good money as well as help people with products I believe in that are good for their health. I have since been fired by my work and am not able to work right now due to anxiety.
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 11000 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:

This is my rant to cyberspace.  If anyone reads this please be aware that I am ok just want to share with my readers and anyone where I am at…

Today opened my eyes to something.  I am not the same person I was prepsychosis.  I used to be a very able bodied person, could handle a lot and get the job done.  Well I still can get the job done but it wipes me out at the end of the day and sometimes the next day.  I can’t even imagine working again, as I look at all the job descriptions with the degree I have I think no I know that I can’t do the job.  I may be able to do it for a while but not long term.  This is ok.  I am content being a housewife, mother of a teenage child and two adult children, daughter of two frail parents who I do help a lot, blogger and dog lover.  But I fail so much because of this disorder.  I don’t finish what I start so often and I often don’t start things because I don’t want to fail yet again.

I have self medicated with alcohol (been over 2 years though since I had a drink), marijuana (been clean almost 2 weeks) and food is my worst and best friend although I have managed to lose most of the weight I gained since starting on anti-psychotics through proper diet and exercise.  So I guess I should be proud of that.  and I succeed at other things too like I made a thanksgiving dinner for six people the other day and it was a huge success.  So it is not that I am inept, I just can’t hold down a job or finish some projects out of fear of I don’t know what.

Thank you to all the people who have encouraged me on here, it did help when someone commented that I should look at my blogging as a form of work, helping others.  I guess that is why I am blogging now because I want my readers to know that I struggle every day because of this disorder and I have very few people I can talk to about all my struggles.  Today I was talking to my brother who is not mentally disordered and he was sharing with me all that was going on in his busy life and I was very proud of him and a little jealous because my life consists of so much less.  I used to have huge aspirations, even got my Master’s Degree but now when I dust that large framed certificate I just cringe because I know I will never use it again.

I know I need to be gentle with myself and to accept my plight but it is hard to imagine another 40 years like this.  I wake up every day and struggle to get going and some days are better than others.  I need and do appreciate the days when I am able to get things done.  But some days like today I just sit at my computer for hours and surf the web for something interesting to read and visit my favorite pages and sit and sit.  I use music a lot though and that helps.  I am a huge George Michael fan I must admit!

So I guess what I want to say is that sometimes life just isn’t fair.  I am happy but still discontent because I remember the days when I was able to do so much more.  I wish I could be that way again but that isn’t helpful.  So I pray the Serenity Prayer, God grant me the ability to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.  Amen

Pax

Victoria

Going to finish my book!

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it and to those of you who don’t Happy Thursday (I am stealing this from another blog I read today because I think it is cool!)

As of right now I have stopped searching for work, some financial help has arrived, so I am going to be dedicating 2 hours a day to finish my latest book.  The title appropro is “Finding fulfillment not working”.  I have already written several chapters so I am going to reread them and then go for it!  I will let you all know my progress as it comes.  I am excited to finish this book for many reasons.

Today I woke up in a really good mood and realized that I am the author of my life.  God has my back but it is up to me to make the necessary changes to those parts of my life which are either out of balance or that I am unhappy with.  No one is going to do this for me, no, I will repeat that- no one is going to do it for me.  I have to make the change I wish to see in the world as Gandhi wrote so eloquently when he was alive!

Pax

Victoria

New medicine is working great!

 

Well I am happy to report that the new anti-anxiety medication is helping already.  Once again medicine and my awesome psychiatrist have saved the day!

My anxiety is much less and I feel like I could possibly work at a low stress job but I am not rushing into anything.  If we didn’t need the money I wouldn’t even bother but I am still waiting for permanent disability to kick in.  Since I got fired from my last job that will help my case and hopefully will speed things up.

What is really helping right now is my walking and work outs at the gym!  I took the day off from exercise yesterday and could feel the difference mentally.  I am like many people I need to fight my depression with medicine and movement!

Nothing is easy right now but I am pushing through and getting things done anyway despite how I feel.  I will make it to the gym today even if it is in the afternoon.  I am excited about using some of the new machines that staff showed me on Saturday and because it is cold outside I am going to use the treadmill to get my miles in and use inclines to get a more intense work out!

Surrounding myself with positive people and inspirational quotes helps a lot too lately.  I have a few good friends on FB who really post some neat things and I get a lot out of them and other things I read online on blogs and other sources.

I am just happy that the anxiety has left.  Mentally I feel more with it and more motivated to keep my house in order.  Having this disorder means so many things but I will not give up.  Every journey starts with a single step and I am putting my best foot forward to make a difference in my life and that of others.  Being charitable is hard when one is down but I try to help others as often as I can and it does help with my mood too.

The really great thing is that I am not psychotic right now despite the stress at my last job.  I don’t want to be psychotic ever again.  I want to be sober all the time and don’t even drink.  I do use nicotine lozenges throughout the day but don’t see myself giving them up anytime soon and do smoke a few cigs here and there..

My journey has brought me thus far; it is amazing the progress I have made and I hope that I can encourage others who also suffer from Schizoaffective Disorder.

Pax

Victoria

p.s. write anytime, I see I have some new followers, thank you for your interest.  Drop me a line anytime and share your story too… We all matter.  I blog a lot about how I am doing but as I see others check out my blog I wonder your story too and hope that my blog has made a difference in someone’s life other than my own!

 

 

Doing better again…

 

Nothing has really changed that much with my life, my dad is still dying and I am still unable to work but with the good support of family and friends I feel much better about all that is going on.  I am especially grateful to God for so many things.  I have new hope in the future.  Financial doings are even looking up so that is great especially at holiday time.  My daughter is coming home for Christmas so we both decided to decorate early this year.  My tree will be trimmed tomorrow evening and my daughter already has hers done!

I fill my days with pleasurable activities, shopping a little, coffee a lot and eating out with friends.  Walking 5 miles a day every day almost.  Took today off because it is Sunday though.

Anxiety is better at last.  I have several ways I relieve my anxiety naturally and as long as I maintain those things I am ok.

The Schizoaffective Disorder is under control because I take my anti-psychotics daily (2 kinds) and take good care of my physical health.  I exercise, sleep 8-9 hours every night, eat right 80% of the time and maintain contact with friends and family I choose to talk to.

I have lost 38 of the 50 pounds I gained when newly diagnosed.  I am happy where I am at and if I lose more I lose more.

I have accepted the fact that I may never work again.  Permanent disability is probably what I will end up on.  Se la vida.

Pax

Victoria

 

Not doing well…

 

Since getting fired I have been trying to keep a chin up and accept my limitations to be able to work and have tirelessly tried to deal with this anxiety.  I await disability to view my situation and it helps that I got fired, but it still be another half year prior to settling.

I smoke and chew nicotine lozenges endlessly throughout the day.  But I am managing my house and cooking for my mom and son and me.  I shower but unwillingly.

I suppose I should call my doctor but when he tried to change my anti-anxiety medication I had terrible side effects and had to discontinue its use.  Afraid to try anything else.

I am not suicidal which is good because sometimes it does get to that but I want to live and just struggle to get through each day.

But I will not give up!

Pax

Victoria

Research study opportunity

-BEGIN ANNOUNCEMENT—–

California State University San Marcos

You are Invited to Participate in an Online Research Study

Scale Validation Survey (IRB Code Number: 893513-1)

A new scale is being developed for people with various psychiatric diagnoses including depression and borderline personality disorder. The purpose of this online study is to test the validity of the scale among people from diverse backgrounds. It is hoped that this work will lead to further research and potential clinical applications. This online survey will involve completing a series of questions for approximately less than 45 minutes.

You must be at least 18 years old, fluent in English, a resident of the United States, and diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder to participate. You are not eligible to participate if you participated in our recent interview study.

To participate in this online research study, please visit:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FV7MTFL

To learn more about this research study, please contact the researcher, Stephanie Price (price049@cougars.csusm.edu), or the advisor, Dr. Heike Mahler (hmahler@csusm.edu).

—–END ANNOUNCEMENT—–