What’s Left? (A Post + Poem)

NOTE: The poem is at the bottom of this post.

I am a truth seeker and truth teller and have schizoaffective disorder (which was caught early and I have been taking medication for it for 21 years). And, I am as much of an open book as is possible, without embellishing my lived experiences with chronic mental illness.

With that, I intend on keeping things real for my readers.

A little more about the nature of severe mental illness…

A lot of people with severe mental illness struggle with addiction. It’s commonplace actually.

In my early 20’s, I drank. No drugs. And no meds (although meds came at the age of 27 for me).

At 47, I live as much of a low-stress life as I can, and that is due to the toll severe mental illness takes on me.

Now, there are some bloggers on WordPress who have schizophrenia and are living a fulfilled life (that is their claim). And to them, I say… keep on!

There are also some people here with schizophrenia, who are battling addiction. And, I say to them… stay in the fight!

For me personally, I am somewhere in the middle in terms of what I am doing and what I am able to do.

I require a pretty high dosage of antipsychotic medications. And, every time I try to go down on any of my meds, it isn’t long before I have to return to high dosages.

And, I’m on good meds! They are preventing me from experiencing a high degree of psychosis/instability, which might otherwise land me in the hospital.

The downfall to the meds and this illness though, are that many people (if they even take the meds), have very little energy. Especially those individuals taking high dosages of the medication.

I don’t have the ability to be on the go like I did in my early 20’s, when I was self-medicating, which if you are predisposed to mental illness, only worsens your mental health.

So, while some people on WordPress claim persistence (in fighting schizophrenia) gets you a fulfilled life… that is true, but it also isn’t! And I’m left feeling like there’s more to the story!

Schizophrenia is not an illness whereby people are flourishing or (in some cases) even living a life that is completely devoid of alcohol and drugs.

Schizophrenia is a serious and debilitating disease, that if you’re doing the right things, you’ll get by. Maybe even (partially) make it! And, it’s entirely possible that many of your needs will go unmet as well!

It’s far from easy dealing with severe mental illness, and I for one, will not make it seem like it isn’t an every day battle!

In closing, the content below is a part of my worldview. So, if you want to dismiss it, you’re free to do that if you like.

What’s Left?

I am a liberal. I take issue with nationalism, capitalism, racism, and the war on women. Things in my country are not good. Nor are they going to get better soon.

When the masses embrace anti-intellectualism, and you have to search far and wide for some semblance of peace, health care, and sensibility within your country; then you know democracy is barely standing.

Even when everyone’s rights have been taken away, people will not see the value in science or education. They will never realize they voted for the wrong people.

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.

Genetic Diseases Suck

I wanted to share that I wrote three posts between yesterday and today, while accidentally having skipped a number of psych meds, that affect my disposition. But, at least I get certain things out!

There seems to be dementia on both sides of my family. Not to mention, mental illness, which I already have.

And, while I am obese (which obesity runs on one side of the family), I keep trying to find enough happiness/peace/stability, that I can do better with eating and exercising.

I’ve actually lost about 10 pounds since being sick with a cold. The cold is not Covid, and has helped me to realize I need allergy meds. So, I now have those.

Anyway, genetic diseases suck per the post title.

Some day, it will be within more people’s reach to cherry pick their offspring’s genes.

Since I don’t have that kind of money and have NO desire to have children, this is a non-issue for me.

And, while I’m thinking about it… I am damn proud! I am damn proud of the work I’ve done so far in life. I am damn proud of the awareness I sometimes have. And, I am damn proud that I could give a shit less about assholes (with particular attention paid to those I once knew, who have also wronged me).

It’s all good!

Day by day… 🙂

Have a good one!

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.

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.

How I Overcame Agnosia To Become “Mostly” Aware Today

In the world of brick and mortar business, it’s “Location. Location. Location.”

It’s not much different with severe mental illness, in particular, schizophrenia, except that it’s “Education. Education. Education.”

I am one of those geeks, that cares about my well-being, and who wants to be the best I can be.

That being said, I go through periods of time (i.e. years), that I don’t have the ability to work through my core symptoms.

Maybe I’m under/over medicated, maybe it’s the side effects, maybe it’s because I’m treatment resistant, or maybe it’s a combination of all the above!

Whatever your individual situation, your doctor and you know “you” best. So, I highly recommend seeking out (or continuing to seek out) opportunities to learn more about your condition with your doctor.

Wanting to be educated is generally how I have been for much of my adult life, and having mental illness hasn’t changed that.

If anything, for me, being ill makes me want to learn that much more. To again… be the best I can be!

Aside from blogging (and, all that that entails), what sorts of opportunities have you found yourself getting involved with, in order to raise your awareness of various aspects of your condition?

This Is Treatment Resistant Schizoaffective Disorder I

I do not know where I’d be right now, if my depression wasn’t being medicated successfully. Also, my schizophrenia is NOT being medicated successfully.

Sometime in the past six months, give or take, I became quite worse on the main antipsychotic I am on.

I am not well.

You’ve heard this from me before, and the difference is, things are more dire than they were previously.

Right now, I am hallucinating pieces of conversations, and having severe delusions, oftentimes while in the process of talking to people.

This is schizoaffective disorder—the treatment resistant type.

For me, I am more aware in some ways than others who battle this illness, mainly because I am trying to “fix” the problem.

So, this affords me the opportunity to explain my issues in greater detail, right?

I suppose so, but what REALLY matters is that I get my medications straightened out.

I just want to get back to my version of “good” again!

Just gotta hold on!

How Do You Maintain Connection When You Have Mental Illness?

For me, I wasn’t able to maintain many relationships for the first several years of my illness.

And then, with time, I slowly began to “try.”

It is difficult having schizoaffective disorder without a doubt, and I am in my 24th year since my first psychotic break!

What that means is that I’ve had time to “figure” some things out, which has much to do with my engaging with my doctors.

But, every day (and I mean every day), I am symptomatic!

I am hoping to get on a medication that will augment my current regimen.

Will that happen?

I don’t know.

I may ultimately have to go to something stronger.

What I’ve learned is that I’m going to have good days and bad days.

But, as always, I try… and, take things one day at a time.

Have you learned to slow down to the point that you are now taking your fight with mental illness, one day at a time? What did that look like for you? How did you get to the one day at a time mentality?

The Prospect Of Taking Clozapine

Earlier today, I wrote about possibly having treatment resistant schizoaffective disorder.

I already have schizoaffective disorder, but things seem to have taken a turn for the worse.

What’s getting at me a lot right now is a belief that I’ve held that I am doing “so well,” in spite of being severely mentally ill.

I feel my transparency is causing me mental anguish, in that I am educated, well-spoken, and a fucking delight most days!

And, this causes me problems believe it or not! 🙂

I’d likely do better to get out of my head more.

The only problem with that is that I don’t have enough close family history to try clozapine, which those with a psych background will understand.

With clozapine, you need to not die basically, which of course, is a good thing.

You’re monitored a LOT when you take clozapine!

And, since I don’t know my close family history well enough to say that my father who died suddenly (when he was fairly young), didn’t have a cardiac arrest while passing, I am scared.

I guess the next time my doctor and I meet up, we will weigh the pros and cons of being on the medication.

I really don’t want to die at 47.

Abilify has given me just enough get up and go to not feel totally stuck!

And now, that could all be changing, along with the potentiality of dropping dead.

I hope your life is going better. :/

This is not drama. This is real life and real pain.

And, while I’ll get through this stage of my life eventually… things are not the greatest right now.

Tell me something that’s going well for you if you will.

My Favorite Blogging Theme Has Been Retired

I got the message yesterday morning, but I didn’t see it until late evening. My favorite blogging theme is now retired.

So, I set out to find something with (hopefully) a bit more longevity.

I settled on Intergalactic, as I’ve seen it around for a few years.

Any how, I think my site looks nice on my phone!

I have yet to look at it on my computer, so I will see how it looks there soon.

It should be good though!

Thanks for reading and have a nice day/eve! 🙂