Posts by Mentally Ill In America

He/Him. I write #poetry and #blog about #mentalhealth. We are only here for a sliver of time #lifelonglearner #helper #schizoaffective. Opinions are my own.

Do This When You Can – “My Daily Checklist” (For World Mental Health Day)

Hey all,

I’ve been working on this template for the past year and I hope you find it useful!

It is quite difficult for me to complete many of these items most days; but, having a place for some of the most important items to me, can sometimes afford me a wonderful sense of accomplishment!

Alter the content in any way that helps, and please be sure to add plenty of inspiring images as well!

Also, consider returning to this post in the future, to let me know how the checklist has helped you.

—Mio Angelo

Today Is World Mental Health Day

I have access to mental health care and treatments.

I have good support systems.

I have a partner.

I have good financial resources.

But, I am in the minority of the schizophrenia population with these things.

Better efforts need to be made to help everyone!

Because even though I am comfortable in some ways, I deal with severe symptoms nearly every day.

The fight for better mental health care is only complete when there are better treatments with fewer side effects for all types of severe mental illness.

Alone With Myself And My Thoughts

NOTE: I thought about labeling this poetry, but I couldn’t decide.

All too often, I am alone with myself and my thoughts.

I can’t unload on friends and family every time.

I have to bear some of the load too!

But, I don’t do well unless I am sharing something with someone.

The pain becomes too bearable to handle otherwise.

Sometimes, I can distract myself with hobbies and with contacting a friend.

Other times, I would do good to leave the house.

But, I don’t. I stay put. Unless there’s an appointment of some kind.

How sad is that?

It’s not that I am afraid to go out, it’s that I don’t have the energy!

A song that’s sung all too often, I know…

Whatever it takes though, to get by in life, is what I will do!

It’s not over until I take my last breath. At which point it will be done.

Until then, it’s sharing my woes with all of you good people. And, trying to find better ways to cope.

The Basics Of Dealing With My Severe Mental Illness

My responsibility in life is to firstly, take my meds.

Taking care of myself is difficult.

But, how much more difficult would it be without any medications?

I want to say that taking care of myself to the best of my ability is what I have to do!

For me, there have been many moments, where I question my ability to do more, and those moments are typically followed by my having great difficulty doing even the basics.

Thus, it’s a cycle—whereby I want to contribute more, but I can’t.

It’s a reluctant, but necessary “NO” to a world and to people who do not understand.

And, some will say… what can you do?

Aside from sometimes forcing myself to have and to work on hobbies…

I can sleep too little or too much and not be rested.

I can follow a checklist and not make any real progress.

I can be concerned, panicking about my future as I age.

So, I can do several things, including thinking that I am not depressed, when I am actually quite depressed.

And, a lot of this makes me think about others battling chronic illnesses—do we ever really get out of survival mode?

Or, is there another term to describe the challenges we face?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

A Reflection On My Past Attempts At Suicide

Until recently, I could not grasp the consequences of the pain I was going through the three times I tried to end my life, 20 years ago.

I couldn’t even categorize my attempts as “suicide attempts” until lately.

It has taken me most of those 20 years to get clarity on what it would have meant, had my actions resulted in something I seemingly wanted at the time.

What happened:

Three different times following three different hospitalizations (throughout one summer, during the early days of my deterioration, before I got the schizoaffective disorder diagnosis), I tried to get out of a moving vehicle.

One time, I even took the wheel of my dad’s car (thankfully, not hurting any of us), and totaled the vehicle. I was then rushed to the hospital—this time by ambulance.

I don’t ever want to experience that kind of helplessness again. I do experience a lot of hopelessness—but helplessness—no thank you!

And, now:

I’d like to think that today I’ve built up a pretty good set of coping skills.

Nonetheless, schizoaffective disorder has quite a hold on my life.

The illness and the side effects of the meds, make normal living a kind of challenge I have not been able to overcome.

So, I just do my best, which looks different—depending on the day.

It’s always one day at a time, with an eye towards building up my resilience!

I still think a lot about death, which is different than being actively suicidal.

Part of what was so troubling for me 20 years ago, was dealing with what severe mental illness was going to mean for me and my future.

A lot of what I dealt with then, and from time to time, now, are the stages of grief.

How about you?

Please share some of how you cope with adversity and your illness-related challenges.

(I appreciate the dialogue.)

I Am Struck (A Poem)

I am struck.
I am struck by my feelings that life is difficult.
So very difficult!

And, what if you DON’T have a chronic illness?
How is life then?

Oh, I just want to be well!
The way I feel just sucks…

I only see managing.
Management of a mental illness.

So yes, I am forced to deal!
I am forced to accept…
And, the like.

I think I’ll just sleep!
Sleep makes everything a little better.

Life Before Medication (A Poem)

The person I was before medication, is lost.
I am no longer “hanging out” like I once did.
And, when I look around at examples of people I know
who do not take meds,
I think that I am better off today.

Surely, there are those individuals who
won’t come around to my way of thinking
And, I understand that.
But, I can’t help my time-to-time thinking of the old me.
I miss that man.

I Went To The ER Last Night, For Pain That Needed To Be Addressed Right Away

Some tests were ran, I was diagnosed and given some medication, and I was told to come back if my condition worsened.

Long story very short, I was one of the lucky ones here in the U.S.

I did NOT have to stay parked outside, wondering if my credit was going to be ruined, or if bankruptcy was just around the corner. All because I couldn’t pay the outlandish bill!

I did NOT have to worry about substandard health care either.

My health care experience, as a whole, makes me a part of the minority of Americans these days.

I already know that a cat scan (which was required to diagnose my condition) costs about $5,000 USD, and that tonight’s treatment (and subsequent bill) will likely run close to $8,000 USD.

How would you have handled the situation where you live? What would it have been like for you? Whether you are insured or not, please walk me through your experience with going to the ER for pain that needed to be addressed right away!