There Is One Thing More Disturbing Than Your Own Thoughts

The thoughts you perceive others to have.

I wish there were an easy fix to severe mental illness.

Because right now, I’m at a loss for words.

Because right now I feel terrible.

I don’t usually get down on myself all that much, but at present, I’m feeling that between my meds, my illness, and my upbringing, things are quite difficult!

When you have a thought disorder, enter me, the shit is real and the shit is tough!

I want to crawl under a rock, but I have better coping skills than that.

I want to just be told that things are going exactly the way they’re supposed to…

I had a psychiatrist that I saw for close to 15 years, and he was amazing!

I am giving my current psychiatrist every chance, but I have changed so much in the past four or five years, that I don’t think that A) the old doctor would completely know me; and B) the new doctor knows of where I’ve been.

And, the new doctor may very well know all of these things. It is possible.

One thing I’ve got going for me is that I am open, so if there’s a subject or subjects I want to broach with this new physician, I’m going to do it!

Do you have trouble speaking up to your mental health providers? What have the results been when you do?

P.S. I know that what other people think of me is none of my business, but try telling that to me when I’m not doing so well, which seems to be a lot as of late.

I Showered Today And I Felt Good About Life

I don’t know if it’s coincidence, but when I shower, I oftentimes feel better than when I don’t.

And, I will add that it is an interesting phenomenon, not having the energy to do much!

When I think of how I got along before psychosis, I knew there were problems, but not on the level (no where near on the level) to what I experience today.

So, I’ve focused for years on lists and on schedules, and silly me, I keep thinking that’s where my peace lies!

In reality, though… that’s only part of my contentment (when I’m feeling content).

The other part is pushing myself (at least some of the time).

And, I think that is an easy thing to be unable to do… to forget to do as well. Forget in part, as in (again) not having the energy to do it.

Everyone is different, but what has it been like for you when it comes to being chronically ill? Do you push yourself? And, to what degree can you do so?

Reflecting On My Goals (A Poem)

The hardest thing is wrestling with my thoughts.
The second hardest thing is dealing with my personal hygiene.
The third hardest thing is trying to stay awake.

It’s all very difficult to face, but these are my hierarchy of troubles.
And, I don’t have time to wait until things improve with age.
I have to start making things happen today.

For at some point, my teeth will rot out of my mouth.
And, my partner won’t want to come near me.

I must work on the difficult personal hygiene issues I face, now. And, every day moving forward.
This is what is right and this is what is necessary.

Because I haven’t been able to overcome my troubling thoughts (at least not at my present age), and I won’t all of a sudden not be tired.
But, I can have decent personal hygiene today.
And, I will do my best to do so starting now.

A Winter Mental Health Update

Every day is tough!

My psychiatrist is trying to re-build rapport with me, after my meds were notably ineffective during a major life event.

I appreciate his efforts, and we will “get there again,” I’m sure.

More on my difficulties…

I am anxious an awful lot! But, what I describe as anxiety is much more than that. It’s psychosis (as far as I can tell), but I am not a mental health professional.

The people in my life seem to be there because they want to be, and since none of them are causing any harm, they are all welcome!

It has taken me years to fully understand and appreciate a non-toxic life. And, this has included years of learning how to implement boundaries, and know the difference between what is healthy and unhealthy for me.

Interestingly enough, politics has helped in clarifying what I personally believe and what others do as well. This matters a lot when it comes to protecting my mental health.

So, while I don’t discard the people who aren’t causing any harm, I do adamantly disagree with my friends who follow Conservative politics.

But, just because we disagree, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get along.

Some of my best friends and closest family members and I share different politics, and that’s okay!

As I spend every day, doing some kind of reading up on the state of our world, I do consider myself fairly well-informed.

But, that just means I’m not taking anyone’s crap!

Anyway, am I happier this way?

For being informed, yes. For what it is doing to me, probably not.

Are you informed and truly so? Do you consider yourself happy amid the world’s troubles?

Thanks for reading and I hope whatever holidays you celebrate or don’t celebrate, go well for you!

My American Thanksgiving Was Spent With Family

I’m aware that attitude is everything… but lately, I’ve become more and more cynical, due to my continuing education on America, and its general unwillingness to care/change its ways.

Thanksgiving was challenging, in that I wasn’t sure about traveling, nor was I feeling very “well” for at least half my time there.

I enjoyed myself though (and, the time spent with my wife’s family)… but, I am glad to be settling back into a routine at home.

I am joining a gym tomorrow. And, it is my hope that I can continue to be healthy (I’ve been losing weight for the past few months).

It has always been a one day at a time thing for me, and I’m always trying.

What do you have planned for the holiday season beginning November 1 and ending January 15?

Sadly, Things Have Never Been Quite Right

I had a heck of a time growing up.

I never got along with other kids, and the few “friends” I had were just neighborhood kids, that were probably told to be nice to me.

I remember many, many times throughout K-12 being bullied and having to fight.

I was just very different from a lot of other kids.

Looking back, I can see that my parents were just as confused about various things in their own lives.

And, that led me to respect them and their journeys that much more!

It took me most of my 47 years to get to this point, but now I can say… I’m sorry mom/dad and I love you!

I only have one parent to say that too, but I also know that the other parent (who died some years back) would have understood (and did)!

My main desire for myself will probably never come to be, and that’s to remember life at a time when I wasn’t on meds.

While I am a big proponent of meds, I also know that they don’t fix everything. And in fact, they cause troubles with our day to day experiences. Especially anti-psychotic medications.

So, whatever you’ve been through, whatever your plight, please realize there have been thousands (if not millions of people) who have experienced what you’ve gone through, and ended up okay!

I am one of them! Even if I’d like for things to be different.

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.

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.)

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?