Welcome back me…

It’s been a little while since I have blogged because I have been very busy working on me, being a new gramma, and just keeping busy with some very cool stuff.

I’m doing really well this past season, very focused, very helpful and lots of me time.

Tonight picked up dinner so have a little extra time to share my thoughts on here.

I have been very touched to receive likes on many of my past posts and when I do I read my own words in the blog and am amazed how much things have changed over the last year! It’s weird but it really helps me a lot. But I have decided to get back into blogging to free my mind and share how having a very organized life can really help one with this dastard disorder.

I have been clean and sober for almost 6 months now and it feels great to not be using drugs and alcohol to cope with my feelings of sadness over my dad’s passing in September and happy to be free of it all to be there for my granddaughter. Being fully present with her makes me feel proud for all my hard work.

I got clean with the help of 12 step programs, and got a sponsor right away and am currently on step 6. It is good to have someone to share my ups and downs with and to be very honest I have rare cravings to return to a life of weed and alcohol. It’s such a different life but one that I am embracing fully.

I still rely on coffee and cigarettes but am working on that too and have learned that I can go a long time without a cig. because I never smoke when I am with my granddaughter and that is a lot lately.

My husband bought me a 2014 suv to safely take her on her appointments so it is nice to finally have a reliable clean and safe vehicle. I don’t work still and have no plans to because of my Schizoaffective Disorder so it was not imperative until recently to get a new used car. It is beautful with all the bells and whistles.

I must also mention that I have finally found a trusted therapist who is helping me to deal with my traumatic upbringing and is teaching me ways I can check my own reality through journaling and stepping outside of the situation that may be causing me angst to see if my feelings are valid or if I am just running on self will run riot. It’s expensive but we are making tremendous progress so going to continue as long as we see fit. It is amazing how one can heal with the right therapist. He asks me questions often that I think about through the week and it is helping me greatly.

I have also stopped using my dear daughter for emotional support. This is huge and I do feel guilty that I used her for so long since getting this disorder in 2006 when she was only 12 years old. I shared way to much with her and she grew up fast supporting her mom, me, all these years. She is 27 now and we get to have adult conversations where I am supporting her instead of the norm of the past 15 years. I had no one else, but now I do, and since my epiphany realized through therapy I get to just be her mother which is wonderful. I try not to focus albeit hard not to do on the way things have been but instead am very careful how much I share with her. This came about through my therapy.

It has been quite the year for me and for many. I would like to recap briefly.

If you are still with me, thanks for reading this far. For those of you who are new, some of this may be surreal to imagine how this year has unfolded but it is not fiction. I couldn’t dream of making it up.

2021

January got out of credit card debt

February found out I was going to be a gramma! Elated naturally but this made me want to improve my habits to be the best grammy I can be

Some time after that, realized I had not only Schizoaffective Disorder but also DID disorder, which is dissasociation through having different identities ( I had 15). Once I realized this I worked very hard to self integrate and become one again. I was successful albeit painful almost through sheer will, research, and lots of prayer. One gets this disorder often through trauma in childhood and I certainly qualified. I did see a therapist briefly but decided to self integrate because I knew I couldn’t possibly care for a baby while suffering this condition. I am one now and although still dealing with the trauma of childhood and beyond am happy I no longer suffer this condition.

Soon after self integrating I got sober and then clean off of my daily habit of vaping weed. This was hard yet simple with the help of 12 step programs.

My father who has been sick for 5 long years passed on 9-11-21. Again a very hard thing to go through when he finally passed.

A month later my granddaughter was born the day after my birthday, the day before what would have been my late father’s birthday. A very special trio of days to celebrate, 10/16, 10/17 and 10/18.

My heavy grieving for my father ceased the night my granddaughter was born as I was so full of joy.

Soon after her birth I started therapy to cope with the grief and to learn boundaries, communication and how to do my own reality checks. It is a learning curve but I know I am on the right path.

All caught up for now!

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving if in Usa and if from a different country peace love light and joy.

I hope to blog more frequently in the upcoming months but no promises I cannot keep.

God bless and keep you all!

Comments are always welcome!

Michelle

Guest article on dealing with debt…

Thank you Ed Carter again for a wonderful post addressing many ways to manage one’s money, applicable to all debt but especially targeted to those going to school.

Ed has been a regular contributor to this blog and receives no compensation for his time of writing wonderful applicable pieces. He is also open to suggestions on anything financial and dealing with mental illness.

Email me at victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com if you have any ideas.

Image via Pexels

How to Keep Long-Term Debt Manageable When Going to College

If you are recovering from or living with a mental health disability, how you shape your everyday life is critical. And that includes your career. Perhaps you’re already in a job that brings you fulfillment and purpose. But if not, consider evaluating your career and pursuing something more.

Unless you already have the knowledge, skills, and credentials necessary to excel in your chosen field, going back to school might be a strong step toward laying the foundation necessary. It’s no secret that college can be expensive and saddle you with debt that follows you around for many years after graduation. However, following these tips from MyPersonalRecoveryfromSchizophrenia.com can go a long way in helping you minimize long-term debt as you pursue a degree:

Opt for online.

If possible, take online classes. They are often more affordable than in-person programs, and they typically offer a more flexible schedule. You can complete your degree at your own pace which means that you can more easily fit other obligations into your life such as work, family, and downtime.

For instance, if you pursue a bachelor of science and education, it can open doors for you to teach preschoolers and elementary-aged kids, and you can still live a fulfilled life along the way.

Submit a FAFSA.

This is a must. The Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be easily accessed at studentaid.gov. By completing and submitting this application, you can quickly find out which grants, student loans, and work-study programs you qualify for.

Your main focus should be on grants, as they won’t require you to pay any money back. As far as loans are concerned, you will likely receive a more favorable interest rate through federal loans as opposed to private loans, and they often come with more flexible payment terms as well. Work-study programs will give you the opportunity to work off some of your tuition costs.

Apply for a lot of scholarships.

Similar to grants, scholarships are essentially free money for students. And you can apply to as many as you want. Research the variety of scholarships instituted by universities, businesses, organizations, and individuals throughout the country. The more scholarships you apply for, the more money you will get; it is that simple. If you really want to improve your chances of being rewarded, treat scholarship applications like a part-time job.

Assess each loan.  

Maybe you will get all the grants and scholarships necessary to pay for all of your college expenses. But you will most likely need to take on one or more loans. Pay close attention to the terms of each loan that you consider. This means looking at all the interest rates, APR, repayment options, and duration of the loans. If you need to pursue a loan from the private sector (e.g., credit unions, banks, other lenders), compare the terms to choose the most favorable ones possible.

Borrow less.

Just because you qualify for a certain maximum loan amount doesn’t mean you should accept it. Go through your budget and evaluate your goals to determine how much money you will actually need to get through college and earn your degree. Don’t borrow any more than you need.

One way that you can minimize the amount you will need to borrow is to put yourself in a more stable financial situation. For example, consider getting a part-time job if you don’t already have one so that you can earn income to offset some of the costs of living and school, and live as frugally as you can while you’re taking classes.

If you feel like it is time to improve your career prospects, pursuing a degree in your desired field could be a strong step in the right direction. Remember to thoroughly research schools before deciding where to go, and go for an online degree if possible. Also, be sure to file a FAFSA, apply for as many scholarships as you can, and evaluate each loan you consider. Lastly, strengthen your financial standing, and only borrow the money you need so that you can put yourself in a better long-term financial situation.

If you found this article helpful, you can read more content on mypersonalrecoveryfromschizophrenia.com!

Wow! So many good changes

Michelle here after a break from blogging. And to be honest I may not be a blogger anymore but time will tell.

Victoria was one of my parts with my DID disorder and since fully integrating about 2 weeks ago, I no longer feel her presence so I’m not sure of where I am headed with this blog but hopefully will shed some light.

So much has happened! And yet time passes slowly.

I have been hard at work on myself, my home, my gardens…all the people I love and my pups!

I still have many problems but I wake up each day and take what life brings and try to make the best of it. I don’t always manage well but that’s ok because I am human and not every day can be a great day.

Yesterday I was suicidal with a plan for twenty minutes. It hit me hard because I had had an awesome day prior, socializing with old and new friends and it was such an exciting day that when the next day hit and something bothered me, I just fell apart for a bit. But my daughter helped to bring me around but before that I thought about all my protective factors and knew I could never do that to the ones I love. But it scared me that I got so low so quickly…

Today was better but that was because I hung out with friends again and took really good care of myself ending the day with a hot bath and a blog.

Anyway, I will check in from time to time to explain how I integrated. Yesterday, it was the depressive part of my Schizoaffective Disorder that kicked in.

I am not drinking or smoking weed anymore and my life has gotten much better because of that. I am relying on 12 step programs to do this so it is awesome to make new friends.

I will end with a quote that really speaks to me.

“Fall in love with the masterpiece and also the paint on the floor” I might have messed it up but in its essence I think it means to love all of you, defects and good parts too. I am certainly trying.

~May you feel the source of all that is good be with you all today, tonight and for all your life to come!

My mellow mind tonight…

The stage is set~

Incense burning, dog on the bed eyes half open, Simon and Garfunkel tonight for music, window slightly open for a gentle yet cold breeze, candle burning for my dad and all my loved ones.

There has been a shift today in my favor…

I went to an AA meeting at noon. I have tried it before and it has kept me sober for many years, but I stop going after I get bored and end up drinking again. This time I have a different mindset though. I am sober today but know I will drink again, hopefully I won’t but I have been around the program so long (12 years) that I must be real. Possibly with further integration I will be able to die sober one day. 😊 That is my goal mind you but I am being realistic this time. Cunning baffling and powerful alcohol is and I respect it and anybody who drinks. But for me it is not good so going back to another meeting tomorrow, visit with my mom and dad and a road trip to Morro Bay by myself!

My youngest (22) went on an adventure to Sedona, Arizona for a few days so it inspired me. Tonight, I went with my hubbie to watch the sunset at our favorite spot in Pismo Beach, Ca. Was picturesque. Heck I’ll show you!

This is a pretty good shot for a phone camera don’t you think?

The ocean holds a special place in my heart for it was there that I first believed in a power greater than myself. So it was fitting to spend some quiet time there tonight with my hubbie.

I also joined a new spiritual master class starting this Wednesday. It is 7 weeks long and explores Eastern philosophy with Western psychology! Sounds like right up my alley.

Hope everyone is adjusting nicely as the world reopens. It is nice to get out again I will admit but is also a little scary.

peace love light and joy

Victoria

Healing journey…

I am on a quest, once again. And nothing will stop me unless the Universe demands it of me…

I have much work ahead of me but am piecing it all together and it is starting to make sense. To unravel my brain is not easy but recognizing patterns, coping mechanisms and reading inspirational works really helps. I am also willing to be honest with myself and although I am my biggest critic am learning to be gentle with the parts of me that I am asking to leave.

My past is of no matter anymore except when it serves me to think about why I have one of my parts. My part called Storm, who doesn’t give a fuck about anything, is the one I am really discerning why this part comes up. I believe that it stems from when I was a teenager and had controlling parents. I did things I am not proud of but I was under the influence of heavy illegal drugs and Storm was actively present.

Yet all the crazy things I did were with measure but still extreme at times. I lived on the streets of New York at age 18 and it was insane. I would walk around bad parts of Lower East Side Manhattan at 2am and act like I was crazy so people would leave me alone. I am just now remembering some of it. When a friend, Carrie a 14 year old runaway from New Jersey died in a fire I came home, went to rehab and began my life as a mother and wife. I wasn’t disturbed at all with mental issues raising my children until I got Schizophrenia when my kids were 8, 12, and 17.

But this f’n medicine with so many side effects helps but yet I wish I didn’t have to take it. Weight gain is my current sadness. Today was a fun but sad day. We spent the afternoon at my sister’s, our first time hanging out over there since her husband passed in November 2020. My sister pulled out all the stops and it was an oasis retreat with her pool and cabanas. We haven’t been invited over there for years. Not sure why but perhaps it was because they needed that time for each other and now that my sister is on her own is really enjoying family.

I also bought my first baby clothes for Sofia, my granddaughter due in October! Little pink tie dye onesie and little jeans with booties with lemons on them which my dil loves. Fun times today for sure!

This healing journey is long but I am ready, I think.

peace love light and joy

Victoria

Distractions can be helpful or harmful…

Right now I am fighting the urge to drink. So far I am winning but it is an obsession today when my daughter is away.

Minor annoyances occurring and it seems like a drink will solve all my problems. But I made a reminder card today why I can’t drink and reading it helped but praying for the urge to pass.

Distractions for this can be very helpful. I have been … gardening, which is helping and I made my to do list but right now don’t feel like doing any of it. Gardening in the sun wears me out but I’m never out there for more than a half an hour at a time.

I did visit my dad today with my mom and he was asleep for the most part but had good color. Still not eating. Still knowing every visit might be my last. But it takes a toll and is probably why I want to numb out with alcohol.

Distractions can also be harmful though by not dealing with whatever is causing the urge to drink or to deal with my integrating. It’s all together really as I continue to make connections along the way. Today was going to work on myself while driving but didn’t. I must focus on the road but it was interesting that that was my go to plan because couldn’t figure out my daughter’s car radio. Tonight will use distractions to get the house in order and tomorrow will plan on dealing with why I reach for the bottle and some integration. I am doing all of this on my own and the help of God. I’ve got to figure this shit out.

Tomorrow my hubbie is supposed to start working on my vw squareback that I’m be cruising around town in! We shall see as the bathroom needs attention with the sink. It’s his only day off so hate to push him but I really need a car to visit my dad and bring my mom on her good days. God has a plan and I am obeying.

Yesterday was a hard day because of the scammer. He continued to reach out on Facebook, but I reported it all and they took it all down. Did my part anyway! But was cycling through little one, lost one and saint one. In the end I won. Thank you God!

peace love light and joy

Victoria

Great news and more musings…

“Test results normal”, wonderful news. I don’t want to have cancer and inconvenience anyone. No I pray it is swift when I go and that I will be old. These are my thoughts tonight. I want to live! I want to see my adult kids grow up and be with them as long as I can. I must take better care of my health and am still having bladder issues but at least it isn’t cancer.

My car broke; long story short. Got new keys for my 2003 Mercedes Benz and they don’t work. Going to dump the car and have to call the dealership where I got the keys and get some money back…

I feel I am slipping away. Medical issues and mental which I am pushing away today. I must do the work but don’t feel like it. I do know much of my anal behaviors comes from my mom. I have learned to deal with life in the unhealthy ways she does. I can’t take a compliment without pointing out a criticism. I am working on it though. I want to teach my kids better. I don’t think it is ever too late to be a good example to our kids.

There was an announcement in my email today about the need for mental health urgent cares. Wouldn’t this be wonderful! Have a crisis and get seen right away by professionals. But then I think lately all they wan to do is medicate me. I’m fucking sick of the medication.

Saw my dad today and as usual he started talking when we had to go. Why don’t I learn from this and say we have to go before so he can open up and share how he is feeling. He tells the same story and I shall share it now. When I was little my dad carried me on his shoulders. I still remember the day he told me he had to stop. I was devastated. I would and these are his loving words, “cover my eyes and hold on for dear life” as he couldn’t see where he was going. He tells me this story almost every time I go to see him. I never tire of it.

I am gaining weight again;. been eating like crap. Do I care? yes and no. and that is all I shall say about that.

Baby shower planning on Wednesday with my daughter in law (who is now finally showing) and her mom. It will be fun. Did I mention the coolness that my husband is putting me in a vw squareback? It will be great fun driving a vw and picking up my mom in it and visiting my dad. her first car was a bug so it will surely bring back memories. It is good to visit him often right now. The end for him will just be the beginning of his eternal life with God. I comfort myself with such thoughts…

When he does pass I will have to say to so many that my dad has finally died. How I will miss him even now when visits are what they are. Today he clung to my mum. He loves her so and all of us. How I will miss him. Yet I do not pray that he will die. I learned that from my grandma. I prayed that she would die to be with God but regretted it upon her passing…

Sorry about the lamentations about my dad. But it feels good to get it out even if only a few read it.

Life is short! Make the most of it! Do not let your goals be in the way of your success whatever that means. lol

Tomorrow I am stuck home all day. I will try to make the most of it with gardening and cleaning and maybe maybe I will work on myself. The critical one is falling away.

Today my little returned and at first I was mean to her and then I remembered that I told my therapist I would be kind to her. So I was kind. It was cool because I didn’t let her stay and although it was a hard day after a wonderful weekend, she came out and was all sensitive and shit. I was like oh no and was kind and asked her to leave and she did. Progress…

Yesterday the party was a huge success! Wonderful time with family.

Praying for all of you and wishing you…

peace love light and joy

Victoria

Spark easily ignited, spark easily snuffed out…

The past two days have been amazing. I have definitely made a breakthrough with my mental health all on my own. The answer often lies within…within our minds, within our hearts, within our souls…

I have not been super productive, that is not why I am doing well. It is because I have said goodbye to the parts of me that do not serve me. I have gotten rid of lost one, little one and too foused one. They had names but now that they are gone, it is fitting as such. My old therapist asked me if I would be kind to the little one if she returned and I said of course! There is no room in my life for anger…

I must now say good bye to my critical one and soon. I was parented that way and still am…My dad lives on another day and my mom is doing well. Took her on a short drive today affter visiting my pa, who was asleep, through some fields of strawberries, broccoli and ???. It was fun. There were bright umbrellas with Latina/o vendors selling fresh fruit, peaches, cherries and melons of various varieties. She was happy for a bit as I knew to cheer her up we have to keep on living…

But we also have to pray. Been praying more lately. Forced prayers and just talking to God. I will not give up on God. Even though it can still be a grey day, I choose joy, life and peace. May nothing disturb me now.

Then poof my daughter gives me some bad news about her best friend’s parents and her friend. I’m knocked off balance for a moment and there I go to the old friend. But that’s ok. I will say my strongest prayer for them.

It is so sad when people get sick. I am sick right now with continued bladder problems. Others have died, some have recovered. The ups and downs of life must help make us stronger in all we do. Not just choosing joy for some sort of fake happiness. No, looking for the good in all, people, places and things…

And appreciating the big and little things that go right and figuring things out when they go off track.

IIt is alll anyone can do. And that is enough. We are enough!

peace, love light and joy

Victoria

Extreme action yet trying to balance it…

I’m about to embark upon a new journey into myself and externally too! I’m finally getting it together.

Let me set the stage~

Nag champa burning,, coffee at my side, saying good bye to habits that do not serve me well. It’s a hot day and I have little to worry about at least for the moment. My lightweight sweater hangs off my shoulder feeling the heat although it is cool inside my home, my home my sanctuary. The garden will await until later but it beckons me. Do I dare sit out there a bit in the shade. I think so…

Annoying side effect of the anti-psychotic medication Risperdal. I rock when I am standing and someone captured it on video last night at the gender reveal party at my son’s home. I was excited and surprised that they are actually having a baby girl, Sophie, Sophia. Much to do to plan and have the baby shower but it’s all fun and that is what I want lately!

Last night was fun minus the rocking!

Off to the garden, my pups will follow but will be disappointed it’s too hot for a game of fetch.

I am integrating for those who are following!

peace love light and joy!

Victoria

It’s a beautiful day…

Yesterday, at exactly midnight on June 15th, I opened a brand new owl journal to begin my new life. I didn’t plan it to happen at that time though so I thought that was a sign and pretty cool.

I wrote to the parts of me (referring to my DID disorder) that do not benefit me, saying good bye really. Today one of them wanted to front (be the main identity) but I didn’t let her come out. I’m fighting it with sheer will power by blogging about it instead of lying down or bumbling about the house. It is the lost one and she usually shows up around 2pm every day but today she is wanting to cause me problems and I won’t allow it.

I am pumped! I have a brief therapy session in a bit but I’m going to make it brief. I just want to run this by a professional my plans to integrate on my own. One therapy hour a week is nothing. I need the programs that are expensive but it’s like 5,000 a week! Not rich yet. So I am embarking on this journey on my own.

I am very good at figuring things out!

I am who I am and nothing more.

My choices define me. So I choose good, positive, funny, hardworking activities with leisure along the way.

Here’s to new beginnings and saying good bye!

Off to the garden to spay aphids with a new orange oil spray to defeat them. Ha ha they better watch out…

peace love light and joy

Victoria