The process of recovery

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 (lack of motivation, flat affect)  symptoms 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 myself, Victoria Marie Alonso- My personal recovery from Schizophrenia, which is for loved ones or those afflicted with this disorder.  This blog has been viwed almost 5,000 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:

It isn’t easy having schizoaffective disorder, at times it is downright painful.  Dreams lost, inability to do as much as I once could, and always trying to find that balance between spiritual, physical and mental health isn’t easy.  But I keep pushing on despite the many barriers to my well-being.  Right now I am forcing myself to walk to get my double expresso around 5 miles.

The many ups and downs keep life interesting but can be tiring.  One day will be fantastic and I won’t want to go to bed it is such an awesome day.  Other days I can barely get through the day and go to bed early.  I need to keep a schedule, much of what I do is according to my mood although I do force myself to do certain things, like walking to get coffee just to get out in the sunshine and get some exercise.

As far as my work, I do not know what I am doing right now.  I am off work for 6 weeks so far and do not feel ready to get back to the same job although I do very much miss several of my clients and hope and pray they are doing well without me.

I eat well, exercise daily and keep myself socially connected with family and friends.  These things are important to my recovery and I thank my therapist for encouraging me to keep a mood journal to show me the benefits of following it to see my patterns.  All of this and taking my medication daily faithfully helps me immensely.

Acceptance is key too, accepting I have this disorder with limitations.  Fighting it doesn’t help anything.  Not using drugs or alcohol is also very important to me.  When I alter my mind with some substance I risk psychosis and that is not a place I want to ever be again.

The days that are hard I look in the mirror and assure myself that I am ok and that is enough!

Pax

Victoria

New outlook

Coming from wanting to die recently to now has been quite a journey.  I have a new outlook on life, one of hope and recovery… again.

I get up each day and look at my plan from the night before and get busy after some coffee of course.  I work a little bit at each task and reward myself often with breaks.  Today it was the roses in the front.  It wasn’t working out so well, but I kept going despite the thorns that were attacking my hands and pushed through getting through pruning 2 rose bushes.  My son will pick up the cuttings and tomorrow I will shoot for two more.  Each day offers new opportunities to do the things around my house which I have let go of with my recent hospitalizaiton.  The list is long but I feel as long as I plug away at each task diligently it might all get done before I return to work in Feb hopefully if my psychiatrist releases me.  The first part of my time off I just exercised but am now extending my well being to these mundane tasks.  Music helps too and making time each day for family and friend connections is also important to my well being.

My therapist has me keeping track of my moods with a daily journal and I find it to be very helpful.  I am also working on a new article on my recent hospitalization which I will share on here as soon as it is done.  I will start with an outline and just work at it each day until it is done.  The hard part for me is getting started.  Well I am off to shower and get ready for sushi with my oldest son who I have not connected with for a while.  I am excited to hear about his new job and how life has been treating him!

There is hope for those of us afflicted with this disorder.  The most important thing is to NEVER give up, no matter what.

Peace and blessings to all of you!

Pax

Victoria

The dangers of comparing…

Welcome to my new readers from Brazil, France and India!

I caught myself recently comparing my situation to others.  I was doing really well for a while and now am in a rough patch, off work on disability for a while and just waiting to feel like I can work again, which I think will be soon hopefully.  I just hope my doctor agrees.

So I have found that mental illness is a lot like a roller coaster ride, lots of ups, downs, curves and straight spots.  I must embrace those straight spots and shoot for the even keel.  In the past I have reached out to others who were struggling and right now others are reaching out to me.  This is the great part of life, never boring for long.

I actually thought about this at the gym.  Some of the people were skinny and fit, others had a way to go.  I am somewhere in between.  I must be content with who I am, always working to get better and not be so hard on myself when I am not succeeding the way I plan.  Mental illness is the same way I find.

It can be dangerous though when I see someone doing really well and become envious in a negative way.  This serves no purpose.  I must try to be happy for them and hope that one day I, too, can be back at work at a job I love.  If I sit in jealousy and discontentment, this will encompass my mind and can be very bad for my recovery.

Please share your experiences too!

Pax

Victoria

Happy New Year 2015!

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 (lack of motivation, flat affect)  symptoms 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 myself, Victoria Marie Alonso- My personal recovery from Schizophrenia, which is for loved ones or those afflicted with this disorder.  This blog has been viwed almost 4,000 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:

It is New Year’s Eve and I thought I would take a minute to let everyone know how I am doing after my most recent hospitalization.  I saw my psychiatrist yesterday and he wants me to be out on disability for another month while the increase in medication takes effect.  This was devastating news as I really want to get back to the working world.  I miss my clients and wonder how they are doing.  But I must heed my doctor’s recommendations to take a month off work and not even think about it.  I am a very high functioning person with SA so it is hard when one is told to stop and see a therapist twice a week and even join an outpatient program for at least the next month.  I also saw my new therapist today and she has assigned me quite a bit of homework.  In addition to seeing her twice a week (I am glad I feel comfortable with her), I have to keep a daily mood journal and make sure to exercise to beat this depression that is often encompassing my soul.  After leaving the doctorate program I began to lose hope that I have a special purpose in this life but my hope is being instilled slowly that I can continue at my current job in February and do what I love, work with children and their families.  There is just so much to this disorder, if I am not psychotic I am depressed and vice versa.  I do think the depression is worse than being psychotic but I don’t wish either on anyone.  The best part of my journey is that I have an awesome support team which includeds my amazing daughter, other family and some good friends along with my therapist who I feel I can shared almost everything.  So I will practice what I preach and aim for peace to return while I do my assignments and trust the healing process.

Happy New Year to all my readers, old and new! Here is to a better 2015 one filled with hope, happiness and life!

Pax

Victoria

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my readers, new and old.

I got out of the hospital on Saturday am trying to figure it out.  It was a good hospital stay, things are so structured there.  I am now at home recuperating.  Mental illness sucks!  I am thinking of sharing my disorder at my work.  I work in the mental health field so there is definite fear of stigma but I feel like no longer hiding behind this blog and being free.  My family disagrees with this decision.  Any thoughts on this is appreciated.    I would love to hear stories of others who have made this big jump of faith into the unknown.

I don’t feel ready to work again and have 2 weeks off so that is good.

Here is to a better 2015!

Pax

Victoria