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:firstname.lastname@example.org
Other mental health providers or researchers are welcome to ask any questions, as well.
Why is this I ponder? I am an able bodied woman in her forties who can’t work due to my condition schizoaffective disorder. People look at me and don’t understand why I don’t work but I find most people are polite and don’t get into it and I am thankful for that. But there is always that awkward silence when being introduced, when the question comes up, what do you do? Right now I am able to answer that I am a stay at home mom who helps her elderly parents. I don’t mention my vast education that is unused at this point in my life, nor my former work as a therapist intern which I worked at for 4 years after earning my Master’s degree in psychology.
That seems so long ago but it was only last year. I have learned much in the time I have been off. I have learned to be more present for my family and friends and that I love to entertain. Getting the house and lately the gardens in order gives me a sense of purpose and excitement for the upcoming event. Gardening has become my new passion and the class I am taking currently helps me to do it right. I have some days when I spend the whole day looking after the yard and my gardens and at the end of the day I am tired but satisfied to play with the earth. Spring right now is beautiful with all the flowers and greenery surrounding us where we live in California despite the drought.
My dogs also are my constant companions at other times of the day. They lay next to my feet and are much happier now that I don’t work. House cleaning hasn’t been as much as a painful chore and I like the days when I get to cross off my google keep list another chore done!
I go to my AA meetings too and get inspiration to keep going without using drugs and alcohol to deal with stress although I don’t have much these days except now and then. I read and watch my shows throughout the day and even joined a book club which is stimulating for the mind. Right now I am reading Stephen Hawking: the unfettered mind. In all his disabilities he kept going and really left his imprint on this world. I am really enjoying reading about his life although the science is over my head for the most part.
So back to my original question. Why do we feel defined by working or not? I don’t anymore but others may not feel the same way. The only reason now why I would try to work again is because we really need the money but at what cost would that take place if I end up in the hospital again with another hefty bill? I am going to try to write a book like Stephen Hawking did and solve all my financial woes although right now I am actually doing ok with the finances but that is because I am still receiving disability. I am going to write a book about fulfillment outside of working I think. Something to do anyway with some of the free time I have left!
Some of the brief benefits are easy to notice as I have shared on here.
Have a great day everyone, I am going to start my book and see where it takes me! If anyone has any ideas on how to get published will you let me know? I self published through Create Space and didn’t sell very many copies. I would like to reach more readers not just through Amazon.