What to do when a loved one is suicidal… Guest Article

The Mypersonalrecoveryfromschizophrenia blog walks through the journey of living and coping with Schizophrenia. Read more informative posts today!

What to do when a Loved One is Suicidal

A Prevention Toolkit

According to the World Health Organization, more than 700,000 people across the globe commit suicide every year. What can we do to curb this tragic statistic? One thing was can do is understand the link between Schizophrenia and suicide, and do some homework on what the mental illness is all about. Mypersonalrecoveryfromschizophrenia provides steps you can take if you’re concerned about someone you know hurting themselves.

Assess the Situation

If you’re worried a loved one may be considering suicide, step one is assessing how immediate the threat of self-harm is. Don’t beat around the bush — instead, ask these questions to find out if you need to call 911.

  • Are you thinking of killing yourself? Asking directly if someone is thinking of suicide may be uncomfortable, but it’s the best way to get to bottom of the situation. If the answer is anything but a strong “No,” it’s time to dig deeper.
  • What are you unhappy about? This may include work, among other things. Many things may factor into this malaise and discontent at the workplace, including boredom, stress and perfectionism.
  • Are you using drugs or alcohol? Psychology Today notes that alcohol and drug abuse is one of the top risk factors for suicide, second only to mental health disorders. If your loved one is abusing substances, it can be a big indicator that they’re in danger.
  • Do you have a plan? If someone not only has considered suicide but also has a plan for how they can do it, it’s time to be very concerned.
  • Do you know when you’ll do it? On the surface, this may sound like an insensitive question. However, someone who is planning suicide may freely admit their timeframe for taking their life. If they do, you’ll have a better idea of how urgently you need to act.
  • Do you have the means? If the person has a suicide plan, ask if they have the means to follow through on that plan. This could be access to prescription pills, a gun, or some other method. If someone has both a plan and the means, it’s time to call emergency services.

If the answer to all five of these questions is “Yes,” there’s no time to waste. Call 911 immediately. Emergency services will arrive to take the person to the nearest emergency room, where they’ll be evaluated by a mental health professional. Depending on the outcome, they may be referred to an inpatient facility for psychiatric treatment. If they’re deemed to be at imminent risk of suicide, they’ll be placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold at the hospital.

If the person is thinking of suicide but has yet to formulate a plan or acquire the means, a call to a crisis hotline is the best approach.

Call a Crisis Line

It can be frightening to know someone you care about is thinking of ending their life. Instead of trying to handle the situation on your own, turn to a suicide hotline. Trained staff and volunteers on the other end can help you find out what to say, what to do, and what resources to turn to in your region.

Try to convince your loved one to contact a crisis line themselves, too. A helpline can keep a suicidal person off the ledge while you wait for emergency services to arrive and they can be a valuable source of support when harmful thoughts reemerge later on. A person in crisis may find it easier to open up to a stranger than to a friend or family member whose judgment they fear, and the hotline worker will be able to quickly research mental health resources in your area.

No matter where in the U.S. you live, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline also has a Spanish language helpline (1-888-628-9454) and a TTY helpline for people who are deaf or hard of hearing (1-800-799-4889). They also have an online chat option for people who are struggling with their mental health and need someone to talk to.

Plan the Next Move

A person considering suicide has likely been dealing with mental health issues for a long time, and the problem doesn’t go away as soon as the threat of suicide has dissipated. To prevent self-harm and improve overall mental health, direct your loved one toward resources that can help them learn coping mechanisms and improve their well-being. This could mean therapy, medication, and tools for staying calm in high-stress moments, like an emotional support service dog. Whatever path forward they choose, be sure to continue to offer nonjudgmental support and a sympathetic ear.

Image via Pixabay

Thank you June Duncan, author and caregiver for this excellent article and toolkit. Feel free to write for my blog more. I think this is my favorite blog of all the almost 10 years of blogging due to my own experience of being suicidal, while wanting to live, but this would have been helpful for my loved ones in any case.

peace love light and joy to all of you

Feel free to reblog this insightful article. Let’s together spread this message of hope and love to all!

Victoria

Out of my hands 🙌🏻

Aahhh! Life is so strange often…

But I’m doing the best with all that is on my plate as my dad would say quite often… I like quoting him. He had great wisdom. Thanks dad!

While I recover from my recent psychotic episode and deal with thyroid issues I have more time on my hands and feel inclined to blog.

Upcoming is a guest article on how to help someone who is suicidal, it’s wonderful and well written and will be posting it soon. Also I am going to be sharing more stories of my crazy teenage life and how a lie from my dad when I was living on the streets of New York City circa 1988 saved my life from drug addiction! I just found out about the lie he told from my mom! Thanks mom♥️

This blog is going in a different direction I feel inclined to write about addiction and recovery because that’s where I’m at. And that’s what I’ve always done since starting this blog in 2013!

I just celebrated 6 months off weed and 7 months off alcohol! A miracle from God or my Higher Power I prefer the term nowadays. Life is much better off the drugs for sure.

Peace love and light to all ♥️

Michelle aka Victoria

finding the answer in the most unlikely places…

Dear readers old and new,

Tonight I am blogging about how we never know when or where our help will come from.
First allow me to backup to the start of my day and last night, I have been dealing with a very difficult situation in my family of nucleus. I won’t go into details but basically there is strife, hurt feelings, taking sides, 🖤 emotional outbursts, demands for apologizing where no apology was due, lack of response when apologizing wasn’t recognized and I hope you get it so far but lack of compassion and understanding with differing belief systems within my family.

There have also been son cutting off father and sisters on both sides of the situation. I’m in there somewhere but it doesn’t matter; all that matters is that I was perplexed today and last night and didn’t get much sleep. Searching my phone for who I could talk to. Tried many people of all walks of faith to no avail. My answer was yet to come from the most unlikely place in someone who is not spiritual.  But unlike the people of faith who I have leaned on before with good results today none of them measured up. But my secular friend did. I have prayed very hard about this situation and although it hasn’t been resolved to anybodys’ liking, I Am at peace with what to do. To let time be the healer the miracle I need. And to have compassion to all in the family. I still may not know what to do so I will do nothing.  There is no easy answer here. 
Shifting now away from the situation at hand to my belief system. After this kind friend said the words I needed to hear I kinda wish I could be secular too but alas as a bird can’t be but a bird I know today that God has touched down in my life in little and big ways. It is how I was raised and my schizophrenic mind delights in the many miracles of God. 
So I will stay my spiritual course and be happy to have secular friends to check in with when it is quiet from heaven. 
Wishing you all peace love light and joy 🥲 Victoria 

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!

Update and upcoming guest article on staying out of debt when in school…

Greetings! Been very busy with disaster after disaster but still looking up!

Had a very successful baby shower with 60 people! Was a lot of work but worth it and lots of fun!

The week of the baby shower, that I was mainly in charge of, we suffered through fraudulent activity on my debit card from a scam my husband fell for, and of course the bank was out of new cards due to covid blast it! So had to pay for everything with cash since we are out of debt and don’t have a credit card anymore.

Speaking about debt, I will be posting here shortly today or tomorrow a guest article from Ed Carter who writes helpful financial articles for just the good of it. So watch out for that coming soon if you are a student or are thinking about going back to school!

Back to my update, so anyway major hassle with not having a debit card. I was able to borrow my daughter’s for important things like my MUSIC! lol still waiting on new card, hopefully today will arrive. Then had to have emergency oral surgery last week 3 days before the shower! Then my dog sprained her back so needs special care while it heals. At the same moment I was dealing with baking 72 cupcakes, and my dog Butter, I get a call from extended care that my dad was about to pass! I was so upset I smashed a cupcake that wouldn’t come out of the tin lol.

I have had some anger problems lately, twice in same week. When everything happens at once I get so mad. When I was smoking weed I was so mellow and now that I am feeling my emotions have to learn better anger management skills me thinks…

But life is definitely much better off weed, feeling the sadness over my dad (he is still barely hanging on), and joy of becoming a grandma in October!

I did promise my faithful followers I will explain how I integrated from DID disorder. I will get to it but to be honest I am not quite sure how it happened lol but I will share soon:) Thanks for your patience!

Peace to all of you who have remained with me during this exciting transition to better mental health.

One last thing, if I may. I started taking Omega -3 fish oil about two weeks ago and have noticed a significant improvement with my depression and overall mood. it’s a cheap fix worth trying if you struggle too!

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!

No one knows how much I suffer with my schizophrenia daily…

Not going to complain but have realized that right now I am still delusional about certain things. Spirituality is not what I would say hard but seeing the hand of God a lot lately and some of it may be coincidence. Maybe all of it is. I probably need to check in with my daughter about a few things or perhaps my old therapist. I am finding it hard to touch down lately. Always floating in my own dissociated delusional world where no one but me can enter.

Paranoid about many things too. Taking things very personal. Lack of follow through. This is my life. Surrounded by many failures, many reminders of who I was before this fucking disorder.

Socialized today with my mom, brother and sister. It was fun! My mom treated us to dinner and drinks and I had a fun non-alcoholic one. Too much food though. But the best part was that this was so rare for us to eat together again. The one thing my parents did right was dinner every night at 5. It was cool when my brother tossed his eaten shrimp tail on my plate. So comfortable. And I stole some of his fish n chips. My sister goofed off with silly photos and we all had a good time. Didn’t even feel disordered for a few hours. Then I came home…

To face my reality. I wish I could be with people more. It is nice to socialize again.

I have stopped watching netflix. The dramas are just not where I want to spend my time when I eat alone, which is pretty much all the time. So instead I am watching documentaries. Current one is on King Tut. I might have done a report on him in grade school. It’s fascinating to learn cool facts I am re-remembering or learning brand new.

So even though I am pretty good right now despite this disorder, I have been having my breakthrough last. When I remember what I learned Monday I smile a little smile. It is a smile towards God for new beginnings. Do you ever wish you didn’t have a memory? I remember the stupidest things that haunt me. Mistakes, missteps. roads I shouldn’t have taken. But in all this God I believe still has a plan for me and all of us. What it is I still know not…but trust in the Source that is all good and almighty!

peace love light and joy

Victoria

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

The ebbs and flows of life…

Am I numb now? I think not. Visited my dad today with my mom and was a good visit. Yesterday was the 5 year anniversary of his strokes…that is all I wish to say about that. Haven’t found comfort in the bottle lately over the past five years of his almost dying many times. I’d rather be sober lately which is much better…

So even though I am very sad about my dad I am in the middle of planning a huge baby shower for my daughter in law and it is going well. As she is growing, and many wonderful changes are occurring to her body, I am also adjusting and trying to accept myself more to be the best grandma I can or know how. I’m pretty good with kids I think and they like me so can’t wait. Today was spent washing a large box of baby girl clothes. Some really cute clothes I found on facebook that were given to me for free.

I have been watching old videos of my kids when they were young and seeing myself before I got schizoaffective disorder is trippy! I am learning to accept myself in many aspects that have been a struggle for most of my life. This includes accepting my body. I would rather be happy and chubby than skinny and psychotic. So I accept that I just have to take this medication that helps but causes these side effects.

I am also sometimes loud and obnoxious although I think I have mellowed with age and being on meds.

So I accept my life for what it is; imperfect yet fun, challenging but interesting. Good and bad and everything in between.

Wishing all my American followers and happy 4th of July! And I also believe it was Happy Canada Day (hope I got that right).

For further inspiration check out this newer blog started during the pandemic of black and white photography. It’s really cool so check it out here to be inspired.

Peace love light and joy

Victoria