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 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:
Well it has been a little while now that I have been on disability and have not had to think about work. I am enjoying my life for the most part although some days there are new challenges which lead me to negative thinking. I’m not suicidal but rather just kind of feel like life has no meaning. That being said, my spiritual life has been much more active now that I am not working.

I am Catholic and have been going to Mass again every week with my elderly parents. To think I used to hate them saddens me; now they are such a huge part of my life. I spend several days a week with them and really appreciate that my parents are still alive and still active in my life. They love to tell stories and talk about old times which is a lot of fun!

My house has never been cleaner but I still have some work to do mainly keep up with the dog hair and dust from the back yard. I also really need to wash my car but with the drought here in California it is hard to know when is a safe time to do so. That’s my excuse anyway lol. I am trying to watch every dollar I spend but may splurge and pay 5 bucks to just get it watched. The finances are slowly getting better with diligence at not spending any money on unnecessary items. I have been going to the local thrift store to buy clothes and I actually found a black leather jacket which fits me for cheap in great condition.

One thing I want to write about is the importance of regular exercise. I walk and do a few classes at the local YMCA and the days I exercise I definitely feel much better. Mornings are hard though and unfortunately I usually get my exercise around 5pm when it cools down. I still love my walks but recently took two days off and I really felt it mentally. I also have lost almost 30 pounds by walking and watching what I eat so that feels great!!!! The medicine I am on causes weight gain so I wasn’t sure I would be able to lose the weight but it has not been a problem and going to weight watchers definitely is helping me. I still have 20 to 30 pounds to get rid of but it shouldn’t be a problem if I keep doing what I am doing.

I am almost ready to start volunteering so that is exciting. I have been waiting until I get my house, bills and children in order before I venture out. I might even take a class at the local community college to learn something new. My psychiatrist wants me to keep my brain engaged in positive things and I don’t think watching murder mysteries on Netflix fits the bill lol.

Well that is my quick update on how I am doing, pretty good for the most part.
My birthday is next week and I am going to Colorado to visit my daughter. She has all sorts of plans for us so it should be a great time for me and my husband to get away.


Some days are still hard…

Hello to all, Victoria here! Hope everyone is doing well- it’s been a little quiet in the email department but then there are days when I get several emails. I am hoping it is quiet because my readers are leading fulfilling lives and have better things to do than email me, but I welcome all email. It is a pleasure to me to open my inbox and receive many messages from those afflicted, loved ones and professionals!

I have been on disability for one month now and to be perfectly honest, some days are downright hard. I am suffering highs and lows quite frequently these days and although I have not been isolating the way I was afraid I would be I do have a lot of quiet time to myself which for the most part I treasure. And this is all in between helping my elderly parents, going out to coffee or lunch with friends old and new, and going to AA and weight watcher meetings. Oh and of course my walking is still happening although I am not walking as much as I was the first couple of weeks. I was getting in 5 to ten miles a day and it was great because it was free and gave me something to do but now that I am more focused on house tasks, cleaning and such, I don’t have as much time to walk so I get in 4 miles average on most days.

I enjoy these walks, it feels good for my body to move and it gives me time to think, pray, listen to music and meditate. Sometimes I walk with a partner or my doggies, but most days it is just me, my walking shoes and the pavement. I went to a craft store to see about getting a hobby for night time when I am watching tv or netflix with my husband, but I just wasn’t interested in anything I saw. Readers if you have any suggestions I would appreciate it in the comments!

Some days are hard though, like today. I went to my weight watcher meeting, earned my 25 pounds loss medal, shared with the group I was doing well and then went home and watched a new show I am obsessed with on Netflix and then went to the dentist. The dentist discovered that 1/4 of my back tooth was broken off. I thought I had just lost a filling! So I need a crown and it will cost me one thousand dollars! Dang! There have been a lot of these unexpected expenses lately and I am not making as much on disability as I did when I was working along with some other bills. Blah blah blah. I really hate money problems! I am praying a novena to the Child Mary which will end tomorrow. I trust in God and He hasn’t let me down yet but I need like several miracles to be ok financially this month. I even subscribed to a newsletter which teaches how to be frugal. I am really trying!

Anyway, this news about the crown really got me down so I went to an AA meeting and shared about the obsession of the mind and boy was I obsessing over this thousand dollars I don’t have. Instead I decided I needed to focus on the Serenity prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”. It has helped today to remember that prayer and try to live by it. I also reached out to my best friend and dear daughter who is now living 3 states away. They both encouraged me in different ways how to get through this tough time. I have had a lot happen to me over the last few weeks with my elderly parents who I help when I can, my two adult children getting into car accidents and other stuff with friends.

I guess I get overwhelmed easily, but reaching out to my best friend and daughter was pretty huge for me to do and I like the outcome. When I struggle I so commonly keep it to myself but not today and that made the difference and helped the day to turn around.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I wish you all the best!

End of another week and still feeling hopeful

It’s Saturday night and I am watching the movie “Rocky” with my husband. The scene just happened where he is fighting Mr. T and encouraging him to hit him and he does but then Rocky makes a come back and knocks him out.

This is how I feel about mental illness. We must look it square in the face and say, is that all you’ve got? I will not allow this disorder to defeat me! I will not give up even though it’s hard but fight even harder for good mental health.

It is the end of another week and I have accomplished much. I am really focused on my house, family and friends and doing all I can to be the best wife, mother, daughter and friend I can be. And that must be enough. Even though I can’t work that doesn’t mean I won’t stop putting up a good fight for stable mental health and giving back to society in whatever way I can.


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!

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.

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!

Here is to a better tomorrow,


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,