Reflecting A Bit On 2020: On Friendships, On Psychosis

2020 has sucked. There are no two ways about it.

This year, I watched a lot of my friendships dissipate over politics.

And, in a lot of ways, that is just unacceptable.

But, you know what… life goes on… does it not?

In the last short while, I’ve also reduced my antipsychotic drug, with the support of both my wife and my psychiatrist.

It really should have happened a long time ago, but I just didn’t have the support I needed to make it happen.

It is unfortunate, but that is the truth.

In short, I am seeing a few things more clearly… and, I have a tad bit more energy as well!

If I could go back in time, I would surrender some of my fears and make the change sooner.

However, that’s just not reality and I must accept that!

And, I do.

I should also mention, that being on less of this medication means I feel/experience more, and this is a real challenge that I am addressing.

Tell me about some of your 2020 woes. I am sure we all have plenty!

More On The Struggle

I’d like to say that all is peachy, but I am writing from the perspective of the “struggle.”

And, I wonder if it will ever just “go away,” knowing full-well that I have life-long issues.

So, why hope? Why care?

Tackling the hope situation…

I am beginning to think hoping is just a waste of time.

So, what then to replace “hope?”

Perhaps, “patience” is a better word.

Okay, I will try and be patient… I have been patient for many years, as it pertains to my illness. So, I can continue with that!

Onto care…

I care. Sometimes a bit too much. But, always with the intention that I want things to be better.

All told… I know that many of my sad feelings are only temporary, but so are a lot of my content ones.

I truly have to take life an hour at a time.

How about you?

When You’re High Functioning, Your Problems Might Get Overlooked

I have schizoaffective disorder, and I am to a degree, high-functioning (whatever that means).

And, I can’t tell you how alone I feel with how I get along in the world today.

For years, family and friends have been all degrees of abusive towards me.

Granted, some of these individuals didn’t know they were being abusive, but I feel as though most of them did!

If you’re somehow jealous of someone with severe mental illness, you have you very own unique brand of stupid going on. And, I for one hope you get schooled.

But, the truth is, that you likely will not.

I have come to learn that there is not a whole lot of justice in the world today.

Some people believe in karma. I do not!

I will not waste a bit of my time, thinking that so and so will get theirs someday.

What’s the use?

If you were unaware of how bad you were being treated (as I was), when you woke up, how did you handle it?

I Am Learning To Double And Triple Check Many Beliefs

I can’t always do this, but I have noticed (as many anxiety sufferers probably have) that many of the things I fear in life, are unfounded.

To elaborate, it is more than fear that I am talking about—it’s my delusions.

I have realized (through speaking to my wife about certain matters), that, if I give it a few days, it is quite possible that I’ll be wrong about something that had previously been troubling me.

For instance, let’s say that I believe that someone has it out for me, and that I can tell by their actions, that I am soon going to be a “victim.”

If I give it a day or two, the exact thought(s) or “delusions” that I experienced regarding said person, will usually come around again, accompanied with newfound knowledge, that I was “wrong” about my “assertion.”

Of course, I am embarrassed (I don’t need to be) when things do come back around, but I am learning to not be surprised either!

If I am going to worry about a plethora of things, some of them are “bound” to be off-the-wall untrue!

Right?

Right!

And, this is just a part of the hell of working through issues related to severe mental illness.

But, at least I am “trying.”

In fact, that is my new mantra—to at least “try!”

Am I at least “trying?”

I’ve always been someone who tries, but I haven’t always had that all-elusive awareness, which many times held me back!

What about you? Is a lack of awareness a problem for you? How do you get around it?

I Am The Exception Rather Than The Rule: Intentionality And My Experience With Psychosis

NOTE: This post is about my psychosis experience, but I also wanted to say that chronic illnesses “in general” cause A LOT of problems for the individuals struggling with them.


Intentionality often drives my daily practice! In addition to having access to good mental health care, a good support system, medications, and a “helpful” set of beliefs—in terms of having psychosis—I am the exception rather than the rule!

I don’t pretend to be anyone other than who I am. And, I just tell it like it is, which I couldn’t begin doing much of until recently…

As many of you already know, I have taken down more than a dozen blogs over the years.

Why?

I took everything down namely because of my delusions and hallucinations!

There’s no work around for severe mental illness, so you just end up “dealing”—which is what I do day in and day out.

Anyone struggling with severe mental illness, “knows” the devastation it causes…

Your whole life gets turned upside down (many times, it seems, in an instant), and never fully returns to the way it was…

And, that’s some voodoo—let me get the hell out of this “arrangement”—bullshit!

But, you can’t and don’t get out of the “arrangement.”

You’re stuck, a lot of times unable to do even the most basic of tasks, such as brushing your teeth or taking a shower…

And, forget about doing a shitload of other things—it ain’t happening—not without A LOT of struggle!

Again, this has been “my” experience.

It’s like I do this dance with consistency, that’s similar to a one-two “forget about you” type thing, and it just plain sucks!

I know that mental illness is my cross to bear, and I’ll get through…

As a side note, I do think that some people with severe mental illness are able to tap into various nooks and crannies of the brain, and just “be” creative.

I know, that I have several ways in which I, myself, am creative. So, at least for me, this theory (though it may not be backed up by science) rings true!

Can anyone comment on the research regarding creativity and severe mental illness?

I greatly appreciate your support!

Struggling? Newly Diagnosed? A Message For Families Of Those With Psychosis!

Disclaimer: This Site is intended to provide general knowledge, and is not intended to serve as medical advice of any sort.  Changes in mental health treatment should never be made without consulting your health care provider.

This has been my doctor’s and family’s approach to helping me with schizoaffective disorder.

It sometimes takes awhile, but my overall message to you, is that psychosis can (and often does) get better!

In the past 20+ years of living with schizoaffective disorder, I can tell you six things (some of these you already know), that have helped the trajectory of my mental illness.

Below are some of the things that my parents were able to do for me…

1) Never compare your loved one’s struggles to anyone else’s hardships, past or present. Their struggles are unique to them, and are more than enough for them to handle!

2) Have your loved one take their medication. It can be difficult for some people with psychosis to recognize that they have an illness. Keep working with the professionals, and depending on how “ill” your loved one is, consider getting on as POA for their health care (for awhile).

3) Validate your loved one’s feelings, but also know that some psychotic symptoms need to be challenged. If you can challenge their symptoms safely and healthily, then you definitely should! Also, it can be quite tricky dealing with religious delusions and hallucinations (with your loved ones), so tread carefully, and allow your loved ones some latitude with carving out a “helpful” belief system.

4) Have your loved one try and follow a schedule. This is a lot more difficult than one might think! I personally have been trying to stick with a schedule for two decades, and with little luck. However, I stay productive (not just busy), so that is important too!

5) Let your loved one know, whether it be through actions and/or words, that they are important in the world, and that they are “loved!” I can’t tell you enough, the difference that this has made for me in my life—knowing that I was loved (while in the midst of so much suffering)—that really has made a difference for me!

6) Don’t preach “recovery” to your loved one—especially if you (and them) are having trouble with some of the earlier suggestions. This could cause a lot of damage to your loved one! Your loved one needs to know the tenets of one through five, and when those are being followed properly, then you can have discussions on where they see themselves in the future, and “they” will formulate what they must do to embark on the road to “recovery.”

I personally am still very symptomatic, but having worked on all of the above, with the professionals, my parents, and a few close friends, I am on the upswing (and, doing quite a bit better than I was when I first presented symptoms).

Best of luck to you (and with time, intentionality, and patience), it will get better…

Blessings!

The Reality Of My Delusions And Hallucinations

There is nothing more disconcerting for me than my delusions and hallucinations.

They occur every day.

When my wife is available, I will oftentimes get a “reality check,” which definitely helps.

I don’t share any of the things I share with you, under the notion that you should in some way, feel sorry for me. I just want you to better understand me.

So, my schizophrenia symptoms happen when I write, too.

They happen all throughout the day.

I often question whether I am in a simulation, or whether I am just living a life that all-out sucks.

I question the existence of a higher power when I see evidence (a whole lot of evidence sometimes) to the contrary.

I guess oftentimes, I just don’t know what is real.

This is schizophrenia.

Also, the more information I get out on the blog, the more I feel as though I am being watched, and I feel persecuted for telling the things I tell.

Schizophrenia is my Achilles heel. I did not ask for this, I would not wish this upon any of my enemies (of which I do dislike a few people).

My condition is not a death sentence, but it is some real deal bullshit.