Won’t give up

I won’t give up [Jason Mraz]

This is my fight song [?]

Shake the disease [Depeche Mode]

Music helps me to cope and these three songs I listen to often because honestly having this disorder makes me want to give up at times.

Some days I am really good mentally but some days are still really hard mentally…  I can’t figure out what makes a good or bad day.  I exercise regularly and eat healthy most days, sleep enough, pray and use my coping skills.  But sometimes it just isn’t enough.  My mind is very unstable at times and I don’t know what to do next.

I am tired of starting new things to entertain myself and then quitting them when it gets too hard or I lose interest.  But yet I still love starting new things.  It gives me purpose and reason to keep going.  And keep going I go.  I wonder if my fractured mind will ever settle down and just be ok???

Lately I have been having some tough days and I just want to cry.  I did cry today.  No one will ever understand what it is like to be me so I will stop trying to explain it yet here I am blogging and trying to explain it.  Ah, the mind is a terrible thing to lose.  My dad suffers from dementia and when he remembers me and something simple like my dog’s names I just get so happy.

But what it is like to be me…so difficult to explain.  And soon I will go before the hearing and try to explain why I can’t work.  I am not nervous.  I will just be honest.  Work stresses me out, following instructions is difficult and even though I am at a loss some days what to do next, I know I am better off not working  I often enjoy my days when things are going well and when they aren’t I just veg out and surf the web or read a good book.

Today I went cruising with my husband in his 21 window vw bus.  It was fun.  We had an early dinner at a cheap Mexican place.  I was present for him enjoying just being in his company with his favorite hobby, Volkswagens.  I love him and he has stood by me through all of this for ten years now.  He notices when I am out of sorts and lets me do my thing so that is good that he is supportive like that.

My faith has been a comfort to me lately… I remember what it was like to not believe in God, such a sad existence.  But I believe in God now and pray to Him often for help to get through each day, to be the best daughter, wife, mother and friend that I can be.  He gives me strength often and for that I am grateful.

Pax

Victoria

Today was a good and bad day of sorts…

The day started off all right, went to my women’s aa meeting, spoke with a dear friend, ate healthy, got my sleep, got some resources to help my depressed mother, visited her and she was doing poorly, visited my dad who had a stroke in July and is in a care facility, got some good coffee, visited my son at work, and then it hit…

A panic or sadness attack of some sort.  I remembered later that I didn’t take my attivan in the morning because I have been doing so well.  I felt like I shouldn’t drive.  It crept up on me when I visited my son at work I was thought I was picking him up and was going to ask him to drive home because I was beginning to feel unwell but he had to work late and had secured a ride so I decided to go for a walk on a local trail.  I was praying the rosary and saw a bench in the shade.  So I sat for a while and waited for whatever it was to pass.  I was texting my daughter about my visit with my dad and didn’t want to bother her with how I was feeling but did share with her later.

I don’t really know what it was or why I don’t let people know when I am not doing so well at the time I am not doing well???  This confuses me, my disorder confuses me, my moments that can last up to a couple of hours confuses me.

I don’t see my therapist until a week and a half and will surely share with him this day.  I do have lots of support.  I talked to my aa sponsor soon after I finally drove home which helped.  I made a nice dinner for my husband and hung out with him for the evening then just finished a relaxing hot bath.  I didn’t work out today and that’s ok on days like this.  I know when I feel this way that even a workout won’t help me feel better.

I guess the best way to describe it is as being mentally unwell.  I am under a lot of stress with caring for my parents so I need to be sure to take my meds every day.  My psychiatrist told me I only had to take the attivan as needed.  I guess I need it!  Ha ha.  If that was all that it was then that’s good news.  I am glad I didn’t drive when I felt that way.  I guess there is a lot to be grateful for!

Hoping for a better day tomorrow, I am going shopping with my mom so that will be good for both of us.

Pax

Victoria

Starting again with a new therapist can be daunting…

Explain the progression of the disorder, timeframes, feelings, observations, connections, relationships, feelings etc..

My old therapist was just someone that I connected with so well that it was hard to let her go but the distance was too much and my insurance didn’t cover her so this is not only right down the street but also is covered.  He is also very experienced with treating individuals with Schizophrenia so he has a world of knowledge one doesn’t find in other therapists.  His therapy will be brief where with my other it was more like someone I could just talk to.  I actually have to come up with some goals which I am terrible at.

I mean what are goals really? Hopeful desires that may or may not come to pass?  Yearnings to be different?  Desire to change my thinking which is so set in place it seems impossible.  But he has hope so perhaps I will be lofty with my goals.

How do these sound?

To not have to take so much anti-anxiety medicine, to no longer have days when I feel bad, to not suffer so much from the negative symptoms of this disorder.  To avoid the highs and lows and not allow others to guide my good or bad days.  To not be so sensitive…those are just a few.

Bring on the healing Geoff!  Let’s do it!

Pax

Victoria

 

 

i’MPOSSIBLE Project book pre-order available

I am proud to say I am a part of this book and after reading it can highly recommend it to anyone with a disorder, a loved one or anyone interested in mental health.  Josh Rivedal has done an excellent job putting this book together and his passion for finding people with compelling stories shines on every page.  See pre-order details below.

Changing Minds, Breaking Stigma, Achieving the Impossible

Volume 2 in The i’Mpossible Series

Overview

Storytelling is one of our oldest and greatest human achievements. Stories can enchant, empower, inspire, motivate, and even change the course of humankind. Volume 2 of the i’Mpossible Project–Changing Minds, Breaking Stigma, Achieving the Impossible, offers another 50 life-changing stories These are true tales from real people who have achieved incredible feats in the face of overwhelming odds, showing that impossible is just a state of mind—and that anything is possible. You’ll read about: an entrepreneur using his battle with alcohol abuse to empower others; an award winning high school student who battled bullying, self-harm, and an eating disorder to become her best self; and an actor who calls his depression “my frenemy Dewayne.” If you’re looking to turn “impossible” into “possible” in your world… you need to read this book!

to pre-order go to:  http://www.iampossibleproject.com/preorder/

Pax

Victoria

A response to a University student request to share what it is like to have Schizophrenia…

Living with Schizophrenia is extremely difficult at times and in my case has been confusing and heartbreaking.  I have lost my ability to work outside the home and am riddled with thoughts of my psychotic days and what it all means.  I remember the precise moment I was given the gift of Schizophrenia and from that point my life changed drastically.  I heard the voices of God and Mary and when nothing worked out according to what the voices directed I knew it was mental illness not a special connection with God which is very hard to accept.  I take a lot of medication every morning and every night which helps me to function but I suffer so much and few people understand.  I am currently awaiting permanent disability to come through which I have been waiting for a year and a half without an income which adds to the stress of my already bleak situation.  STress is my worst enemy and I have actually relapsed into psychotic behavior again due to stress so I avoid it at all costs.  But I take care of my elderly and frail parents which is rewarding but has its challenges as well.  Exercise helps sometimes and some days I walk ten miles to just feel better and fight off the moods of depression.  My full diagnosis is Schizoaffective Disorder bipolor type which basically means I suffer from Schizophrenia plus depression alternating between mania and depression.  I also suffer from anxiety which is worse when I try to work.  So that is my illness in a nutshell.  I have hope some days more than others that I will be able to continue on and be there for my family at least…  I have three amazing children, a husband I adore and who provides for me as best he can and my parents whom I love with all my heart all of them.  Some days I have more hope than others so that is good when that happens.  I also have a therapist who is wonderful, a few good friends and two awesome dogs who help me when my mood of despair hits hard which lately has been more often.  

Pax

Victoria

Anniversary of being mentally ill

It has been 10 years this week since I received the gift of mental illness…..

Last night I spent the evening and this morning reflecting on this milestone of mostly sadness and confusion.  And I still can’t make sense of it all but I do know the exact moment when I was given it.  I have shared my story of this incredible event before so won’t share it again but it is in the archives if anyone is interested.  But the hardest part of all of this confusion is that some of it makes sense and other parts are still very mysterious.  I believe in God and when necessary He touches down in my life to guide me into His will and other times he lets me coast and falter.  But I do know that He likes me blogging and encouraging others on their mental health journey.  I have made many friends on this blog and have been told by many that I am doing a good service by keeping this blog, sharing my story and helping to advocate for the mentally ill.  So I will continue to blog and share where I am at in the hopes of helping others.

Right now honestly I am not at my best.  I have many stresses in my life and it has been hard to exercise again but I know I will get back on track because it does help so much with everything.  Holidays can be hard for me because I tend to eat a lot and not exercise.  But I will not give up!  I am not suicidal just confused at how my life is ending up.  I am only 47 years young and wonder how long this will go on with taking care of my parents.

The good news is that my youngest son with mental health problems is doing very well off his medicine.  He might go in the army and had to go off his meds which weren’t really helping him and wow he is doing great.  Not sleeping as much, exercising and working!!!  So although I wish we would have tried this sooner, it is what it is like everything else.  Maybe he doesn’t suffer from mental illness like I had thought?  He did have depression as a kid but maybe it has passed and he will not need mental medicines.

So I will continue to blog my journey and love doing so.  I have an announcement coming up about a book I am a part of that I will be posting soon so stay tuned.  Until then take care and God bless and protect you all…

Pax

Victoria

Meeting one’s emotions

I have been touting the benefits of exercise so much but what to do when one can’t exercise due to weather, illness or busyness?  Take today for instance, I am home sick with a virus and binge watching Call the Midwife on Netflix and reading and unable to get in my usual miles of walking or my other exercises.  I feel absolutely helpless again…

I have been using exercise as a distraction from my emotions which still come just less often when I am exercising.  This is a tremendous realization and I am meeting my emotions with grace where before I ran from them through drugs and alcohol.  I don’t have to run anymore….

So I am watching Ted talks, reading uplifting stories about people who have struggled with mental illness and are doing well, blogging, eating a little, listening to Christina Perri and trying very hard to not feel sorry for myself.  LIfe is good, I am just sick at the moment and will be able to get back to my exercise again which helps so very much!

I still have Schizoaffective Disorder and even though the positive symptoms have subsided, the negative symptoms still affect me greatly especially at times like this when I don’t have the endorphins at my service when I exercise.  I have almost 3 months off of pot and alcohol which is great to be living life sober once again.

So much has happened in these three months.  I have had a lot of time to reflect on my feelings of inadequacy from having a very critical mother, being adopted, and growing up feeling unloved.  I am seeing a therapist again and it is very helpful to dig in to areas of my life which are untouched.

We all have them, times in our life when we felt disconnected and that occurred for me when I was abusing pot and alcohol.  Now that I am sober and in recovery I am meeting my emotions and accepting them for what they are and guess what?  It isn’t that bad.  Oh the feelings are very deep and there have been many tears, smiles and everything in between.  But it is all worth it on this journey of recovery which will never end.

Pax

Victoria