Why Having Mental Illness Constantly Feels Like Being In Survival Mode, Part 2

Back in February 2021, I wrote about some of my experiences of feeling like mental illness = survival mode.

I talked about reevaluating my medication regimen, as well as lowering my caffeine intake—and, all of this was six months ago!

Now to today…

With the help of my psychiatrist, I spent time lowering/raising my antipsychotic, adding/subtracting a second antipsychotic, and playing around with my caffeine intake.

All of this took time!

And, what I discovered is that “having a renewed perspective” has been key to my finding some level of peace again.

Like so many people, I find the cousin of peace—happiness—to be fleeting.

I’d much rather focus on my diet, my sleep, and my breathing—as those things do far more for me in the long run.

So, this is my way of not feeling like I’m in survival mode in August 2021—Focusing on my diet, my sleep, and my breathing!

What are some changes that you have implemented in your life—in order to feel more focused/less overwhelmed?

What I’ve Realized About Suicidal Ideation And My Medication

Sometimes—a lot of times—I am down.

I have suicidal thoughts—with no plan—never really a plan—Just intrusive ideations!

I know, because I went some time without medication (while in the trenches), that even though I am treatment resistant, the meds keep me alive!

I repeat… the meds keep me alive!

Life is not necessarily great (there are moments though), but I do what I can, when I can, to make the most out of my life!

Oftentimes, making the most out of my life involves quite a bit of self-care.

And, even then, things are tough—very difficult to share/describe even.

I wish that I didn’t require all that I do to stay alive, and that my bad thoughts would just go away—Forever!

But, that’s not happening—So, I’ll take my life for what it is—and, do my best to make myself proud.

How do you relate to what I’ve written here? Do you care to share?

Another Update On My Mental Health

Recently, I wrote about how I am really struggling with my mental health.

Per my psychiatrist mainly, I’ve learned that the meds are not fully doing their job anymore.

I’ve also began really dissecting my thoughts, like never before.

And with all of this, I’ve come to realize, yes, I am doing better with medication; but, there is some resistance to treatment with regards to the efficacy of my meds.

This has been a long time coming.

So many people with severe mental illness struggle to be on meds that work.

I’m seeing that now more than ever before!

Thus, I know that the medication is why I am having such a difficult time overall.

What do I do? I mean, what can I really do?

As I’ve written previously, I am expecting to discuss my situation soon with my doctor and my wife.

My wife and I and other support people have already discussed this matter, so I have a lot to take to my psychiatrist in a few weeks.

I will keep you updated!

In the meantime, I will just say that I know the meds protect me quite a bit… but, they don’t clear up my instance of severe mental illness much at all.

I just want to feel better and I am afraid I’m going to continue to be stuck. For years possibly.

I hope I am wrong!

Have any of you ever felt stuck? What did you do to become unstuck?

The “Horrors” Of Pre-Psychosis

As a teenager, I watched horror movies.

I used to enjoy them. And, I think I thought parts of them were real!

As an adult, I confessed that in some of those movies, I actually believed there were actors who lost their lives (during the filming process).

I know it’s silly to think that! But, that’s what I thought for quite some time!

I no longer watch horror movies anymore (I barely watch movies at all, and only some television)!

I think so much time spent watching strange movies and tv shows when I was younger, had a definite impact on me.

At least, that’s what it felt like in retrospect!

I know I was (and probably still am) impressionable!

So, “turning off the tube” is how I do business today.

Do you watch a lot of movies and tv shows? Was there ever been a period of time where you did? What are your favorite genres?

What Are You Good At?

I am unusual for someone who deals with schizophrenia, in that in many instances, I am good with people.

It hasn’t always been this way, and things were a lot tougher, when I had next to no awareness that the way I dealt with people was a strength.

In the past, I’d attract all sorts of people, and many of them, I didn’t want as friends.

People were drawn to me, and what I often thought was, “hey, I made a friend!”

After years of working to be more assertive and create boundaries, I can now safely say, that I am no longer a pushover.

It continues to remain difficult, however, to maintain relationships due to the volatile environment of today’s society, and also due to my having trouble communicating (even though it is oftentimes a strength).

I don’t know if that all made sense, but my issues with communication have everything to do with my mental illness.

And with that, please tell me more about what you’re good at.

How Personal Development Has Been “Forced” On Me

NOTE: When I say “forced,” I mean that I elected this path of personal development, which has much to do with how I process the world around me.

Personal development has been something I’ve been doing for 25 years, with varying degrees of success!

What I am beginning to figure out is that much of my progress is not only “slow,” but the process (for me) serves as more “motivational” than anything else.

Since I’ve learned that motivation doesn’t last… a lot of what I am hearing from listening to personal development audios, is not really helping!

Again, I get the benefit of being motivated… for a little while… maybe a day at most…

And, these are my observations!

Now, how has personal development been “forced” on me?

From my earliest days of getting doused with motivation (at 20/21), things were not “right” with me!

I didn’t know it at the time… but, for much of my life up until and after this period of personal development dousing, I was highly anxious!

My entire life, in fact (and in retrospect), I had a lot of anxiety… A lot!

I can remember being questioned about my life “privately” in elementary school, by social workers.

They asked me questions about my home life, and accepted the answers I gave them. At face value even!

If I were a school social worker, and I was questioning kids about their home life… I’d probably have done my homework prior to speaking to them!

Anyhow, I know about budget constraints and about kids falling through the cracks… plus, this was in the early 80’s!

In other words, I was likely doomed from the get-go…

So, personal development was my earliest “go-to” for anything I needed to understand (and, “explain” this mad life to me)!

What are some important ways in which you’ve grown, through having mental illness?

Reliability And Symptom Reporting

I don’t know about you, but I am not always reliable with my accounts of things.

I do my best, to the point, that I think I know what I am saying… but, clearly all of us are wrong from time to time, and I’m no exception!

I am sure this happens with symptom reporting too!

Also, I am talking with my doctor more regarding my medication concerns, which is good.

As always, I start with “one day at a time,” and go from there…

How are you at reliability as it pertains to symptom reporting?

BTW Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it.

Blogging Helps Me, Even When I Can’t Help Myself

I like to think about the items I can do to make my road easier.

And, I am still confused about the processes of many things.

For instance, I now know that a checklist helps me.

…When I have the energy to follow one!

In one way or another, I am convinced of my checklist’s effectiveness.

Again, when I’m following it.

What are some things you do that are helpful, but that you can’t always follow through on?

Much Of The Social Media Positivity Out There Is BS

As someone who has worked on themselves for 25 years, I can tell you that, a lot of this social media positivity, is bullshit.

I am better at spotting it than I used to be.

I am better at following things that do matter.

One day at a time and I try to have some semblance of peace, of happiness.

It’s not easy, but I persist nonetheless.

Something that helps to keep me going is that I know I’ll die anyway someday. And, I may as well do all I can while I am here!

What keeps you going in life?

Four Ideas That I Find Helpful, Part Two

Music.

Everything is music to me!

Whether it be a tune or just something that is music to my ears!

Music. Music. Music.

Or, sound actually…

Let’s make a beautiful sound and get the band back together!

Why not? 🙂

So, everyone’s taste in music is different no doubt!

But, if you like popular music, I am going to share a list with you of some of my favorite songs!

As with anything, take what you want and leave the rest…

I made a playlist of some songs from my collection of music.

Do you like any of the sounds on the following list? Which ones? 🙂

Million Years Ago (Adele)
Sweet Emotion (Aerosmith)
When The Party’s Over (Billie Eilish)
Human Touch (Bruce Springsteen )
Clocks (Coldplay)
Rebel Rebel (David Bowie)
Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode)
Strange Days (Doors)
Come Undone (Duran Duran)
Society (Eddie Vedder)
Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac)
Come Alive (Foo Fighters)
Hold on My Heart (Genesis)
Til I Hear It From You (Gin Blossoms)
Better Days (Goo Goo Dolls)
Wake Me When September Ends (Green Day)
Perfect World (Huey Lewis & The News)
Whatever It Takes (Imagine Dragons)
Gravity (John Mayer)
Get A Leg Up (John Mellencamp)
Lights (Journey)
Roar (Katy Perry )
Because Of You (Kelly Clarkson)
Telephone (Lady Gaga)
We Deal In Dreams (Live)
Make It Happen (Mariah Carey)
Daylight (Maroon 5)
3 am (Matchbox Twenty)
Said I Loved You… But I Lied (Michael Bolton)
In This World (Moby)
Part of the Process (Morcheeba)
When We Stand Together (Nickelback)
Lithium (Nirvana)
Hella Good (No Doubt)
Gone Away (Offspring)
I Am So Ordinary (Paula Cole)
Just Breathe (Pearl Jam)
Sour Times (Portishead )
Californication (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Everybody Hurts (R.E.M.)
Streetcorner Symphony (Rob Thomas)
World On Fire (Sarah McLachlan)
Love’s Divine (Seal)
Strong Enough (Sheryl Crow)
Fields Of Gold (Sting)
Lounge Fly (Stone Temple Pilots)
Blow Up The Outside World (Soundgarden)
Someday (Sugar Ray)
Jumper (Third Eye Blind)
Drops of Jupiter (Train)
Beautiful Day (U2)
One Headlight (Wallflowers)
Stand By Me (Weezer)
The Hardest Button to Button (White Stripes)
The Good Old Days (Yes Man Soundtrack)