What Is An Empathetic Individual? (A Poem)

For me, an empathetic individual is someone who knows how to express empathy.

It’s someone who can put themselves in another’s shoes (or at least try to).

It’s someone who understands that life is rarely black and white.

It’s someone who feels things and knows that there is such a thing as “feelings.“

“Empathy simply wishes to comfort” is another way of describing what empathy is from my viewpoint.

You are either born with empathy or you are not!

I do not want to know a life without empathy.

My Life Today (July 2022)

I started this blog just before the pandemic hit in March 2020.

I had several things I wanted to address for myself with this blog, and I feel that nearly 2.5 years into it, I have accomplished all of my original goals.

Some of what I was wanting to learn starting in 2020, was how my symptoms stacked up against other people struggling with schizoaffective disorder.

Of interest were my fears of the government, and what I needed to do to see some of those fears dissipate.

Also of note was me finding the sense of community I have found here on WordPress.

And finally, I wanted to share my lived experiences with severe mental illness with each of you.

To date, I have done all of that and more!

So, in this post, my focus is to share a bit about the life I’ve been living this past year.

My wife/partner and I moved to a different home a year ago (while opportunities were still good for both buying and selling a home).

We only moved across town, but at times, it feels like we changed cities altogether!

My wife works in a professional setting while I help to take care of our three dogs at home.

I am disabled due to having chronic mental illness, and life is not all that fun for me much of the time.

I actually live for the moments I get to spend with my wife, and try super hard to do my daily chores, as well as keep up with my personal hygiene.

Living a life with severe mental Illness is difficult (even though I don’t have a lot to do and have difficulty doing it)!

It often feels like I do have a lot though, because the tasks in question are such a challenge for me to complete!

In a nutshell, my life could be defined as my never giving up and trying no matter what the situation may be.

In closing, I like writing for my blog and hope you enjoy reading it!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

My Frustration With Not Having Enough Energy

My not having enough energy to do basic tasks is difficult for me.

There was a time when I had energy, but that time has passed.

It’s a lot to handle to be honest.

I have a lot of suicidal ideations, but have no plan to do anything about them.

I just endure. Endure. Endure.

That is life with chronic mental illness.

I also recognize that chronic illness in general is tough!

Thus, it’s difficult to know where to turn some days!

Lately, I’ve been putting my efforts into discovering new music.

Billie Eilish and Adele each have new music I am listening to!

I love female artists!

Just when will women rule the world?

I think they’re on their way! 🙂

I No Longer Compare Myself To People Who Do Not Have Mental Illness

One of the good things about my first long-term psychiatrist, is that he made every effort to get me to stay awake during the day (as often as I could).

He basically wanted me to be as much like the rest of the world as I could be.

And, I agreed that that made the most sense. At the time especially.

So, I spent years trying to make a schedule I could follow, that had me up during much of the day.

It wasn’t easy, but I now stay awake in the daytime primarily.

Another thing that this doctor did all those years ago, was that he compared me to people who did not have mental illness.

That was okay when I was younger, because it helped me to think about how the rest of the world gets along.

But today, I view any comparison between me and someone who is not chronically ill (for example) as “apples to oranges.”

So, while this first doctor of mine was helpful in getting me to conform ever so slightly, it was actually my getting online and putting myself out there in the blogosphere, that had me see some of my biggest strides.

A lot has changed!

And, that could have much to do with where I am at today as compared to where I was a decade plus ago.

For instance, I used to be single and lonely. And now, I have a partner and am usually only lonely when she’s not around.

In any event, I did not envision the life I now have, but am grateful for it!

Things are still very difficult though, and probably always will be.

I just have to take life a day at a time, and that helps me to get by.

Why do you suppose us humans like to take things a day at a time?

My guess is that we have so many responsibilities, that is would be virtually impossible to NOT do so.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment!

Complimentary And Available Now

STOP OVERTHINKING: 24 Ways of Coping with Severe Mental Illness

© 2022 by Mio Angelo of “MentallyIllInAmerica.family.blog”

This guidebook is the result of my having lived with schizoaffective disorder for 24 years.

It is organized into 24 sections.

You can find the booklet here:

https://mentallyillinamerica.family.blog

My Dogs, My Music, and My Partner

I have three wonderful dogs, I listen to lots of music, and I have a loving partner.

In no particular order, these are the three things I involve myself with every day.

They each help me to be happy.

And, happiness takes work!

Now, to do better with my personal hygiene…

I wish that those of us struggling with severe mental illness had it easier in this realm.

There are other areas in which I struggle with my illness, and for the longest time, my goal has been to close the gap on the struggles that are in my control.

I’ve made some progress, but not nearly as much as I’d like.

For instance, right now I am very depressed. And, have been for a few weeks.

I haven’t been able to do enough to make things better for myself. I may get momentary relief, but that’s about it.

Is goal setting a thing for you when you’re symptomatic? Are you able to do things that bring you closer to accomplishing the things you want to accomplish?

I Am Working On Another Booklet!

And, I plan to make this one into an MP3 audio (with some of my original background music) as well as a PDF.

The goal is to use it for myself when I need a pick me up, and if it helps others, then I know I’ve got a winner!

This one is going to incorporate some of the knowledge I’ve accumulated, since I was first hospitalized nearly 24 years ago.

The project will be of interest to some, but I am unsure at this time, as to when and how it will be shared.

Stay tuned!

Keeping A Schedule, And Life And Death

On days where I’ve gotten a decent amount of sleep, I try to keep a schedule.

When there is a lot going on, I tend not to keep a schedule.

My schedule is something I’ve spent a great deal of trial and error on.

And, my current schedule iteration is helpful to the extent that I know what I should be doing.

But, let me tell you, what I should be doing is the exception by far, over what I am actually able to do.

I am trying to come to terms with life and death as well, and that has not been easy.

I really only want to focus on the day at hand, and getting enough sleep is really the only thing that even makes a decent day, possible.

As for life and death (and having psychosis), I ask myself, what kind of thinking do I want?

For instance, should I worry incessantly (which I tend to do), or should I worry and find some amount of peace, at the same time?

All or none thinking is forcing me to focus “elsewhere,” like in the middle on all things that pertain to my illness.

And, how is striving for the middle helping me?

I actually have a lot more work to do, but it’s a lot better than the extremes, which I desperately want to avoid.

Thoughts And Observations On My Mental Illness At This Time

I sometimes think I’m doing great—and, so much better than other people with my diagnosis.

And, while I believe I am doing pretty good overall, I struggle with basic hygiene, staying awake, getting enough sleep, bad dreams, and anxiety/depression/delusions/hallucinations.

It never seems to end really, but I keep hanging in there!

I also wish to help others who are struggling, since many of my symptoms are being managed (they haven’t vanished—hardly—but they are managed).

Blogging and being there for one another in cyberspace, is what I am here for. That’s what I signed up for.

That’s what this blog is largely about, helping myself as well as helping others.

So, to all those who are struggling right now—do hang in there. Be good to yourselves and give yourselves a hug, plus extra time to feel better.

The Double Edged Sword Of Antipsychotics (A Poem)

They help, but they also stunt.
And, no one does more harm to me than what my illness does to me.
That being said, I know I need what the antipsychotic meds afford me.
I wish for more middle ground though.
I wish for more healing.
I wish for something other than what my life experience brings.
If I had the ability to pick up the pieces without harming myself any further,
That’s what I would do.
But, that isn’t going to happen.
And, that’s largely because of the antipsychotics and my illness.
So, I’m defeated now and ever since my life began.
Defeated on the one hand.
Triumphant on the other (or so I’m told).