Every Monday for six weeks.
Begins April 27, 2020!
The components of this series are:
April 27, 2020: Helpful Forms Of Entertainment
May 4, 2020: Non-Helpful Forms Of Entertainment
May 11, 2020: How You Can Use Entertainment
May 18, 2020: How Entertainment Affects People With Mental Illness
May 25, 2020: How To Create Your Own Entertainment
June 1, 2020: How Entertainment Can Fit Into Your Day To Day
This is a challenging one.
Psychiatrists want you to take their meds, and they expect you to feel great when you do.
They don’t understand, at times, when you don’t feel so great (or at least they don’t let on like they do).
I’ve known for quite awhile that I am not well, but I also know that I’ve made (and am making) improvements.
And, that is one reason I know the meds work, by giving me a chance to manage my illness.
All in all, do you feel well? How is your day to day impacted by your illness?
I don’t know that it ever really goes away. At least it hasn’t for me.
The fogginess is something that I grapple with every day, and I will get moments where I feel like I am really starting to get something, and then it’s time to take my meds again.
I cannot stress enough how it’s easy to feel imprisoned by your meds, yet it’s absolutely necessary to be on a good regimen with them.
It took me quite a few years to get to a place where I could be at peace with what I was taking.
That didn’t change the frustrations I had for needing meds in the first place, but getting to a good place with them, has certainly made managing chronic mental illness a lot more feasible.
What is your relationship with psychiatric drugs? How has it evolved over the years?
That’s a pretty neat thing to think about… Having courage for a particular situation or set of circumstances.
I have always been a fighter myself. For my whole life too!
There were some low moments, like when I had some of my “breaks,” and was all over the place.
But, perhaps the moments that stand out, have dealt with my picking up the phone or making an appointment, while I was in a bad way.
Doing so, as I have, when things were difficult, has been a testament to the fact that, “I will (indeed) fight this!”
What are some of the tools you use, and how/when do you get in touch with your mental health provider?
I think I began facing the realty of my situation as soon as they said I had schizoaffective disorder.
There had been many other diagnoses thrown around in a three year period, and several hospitalizations, that it just seemed like they got it right with this diagnosis.
In terms of accomplishing some of my illness-related goals, my successes have been all over the place. And, there’s been a lot of “backsliding” going on too.
Personal hygiene has been a big issue for me, and it’s likely that it always will be.
No matter though, it’s still “one day at a time” for me. On everything.
How do you take life (and your illness)? One day at a time?
I started out journaling and did this for quite awhile, until I entertained the idea of blogging.
I’ve had close to a dozen blogs and websites over the years, but gave them all up due to my paranoia and “voices.”
I’ve always written about things that interested me, and saved some writings (most were lost), and I’m also very philosophical too.
I went to writer’s conferences as a kid, and studied Journalism in High School.
Writing has always been something I’ve enjoyed, and with any luck, I will continue to write for this site!
What have your writing experiences been?
It took me all of about 20 years to get it right. I’ll start off by saying that.
I had a good life single, but it was awfully lonely, and I was often stuck battling my symptoms alone.
Before the 20-year mark, I had dated some online.
I’d go in spurts and would have a few first and second dates, learning how to better present myself, and various other “techniques” to making a good impression.
All in all, I did OK, but things just didn’t feel right. And, part of the problem with that was, I didn’t know what “right” was supposed to feel like.
So, in time, I was listening to personal development CD’s by Zig Ziglar and Jim Rohn, and I began to figure “me” out.
And, that’s when it all slowly came together.
Today, I am happily married. Neither one of us have children, and life is pretty good, all things considered.
Have you had an interest in romantic relationships? Were you able to find a partner?
It depends on who you ask. I never quite felt stable in the early years of treatment, but I was assured that I was.
I think mental health professionals have different criteria for stability and functioning than us patients do.
To answer the question a little differently, it took about three years before I got the right diagnosis, and was taking decent meds.
And, I was not able to fight for myself in those days. Not at all.
I relied on help from my parents to navigate the system.
I’m just lucky I had someone to go to bat for me. A lot of us don’t have that.
How long did it take you to notice a degree of stability, regardless of what the doctor was saying? And, was there a difference in what they were saying vs. what you were feeling?
Every Monday for seven weeks.
Begins March 9, 2020!
The components of this series are:
March 9, 2020: To Gain A Degree Of Stability And Functioning?
March 16, 2020: To Date With Chronic Mental Illness?
March 23, 2020: To Write About Some Of Your Experiences?
March 30, 2020: To Face What You Face Every Day?
April 6, 2020: To Have The Courage To Say, “I Will Fight This?”
April 13, 2020: To Notice Some Of The Fogginess Disappear?
April 20, 2020: To Realize That You Are Still Not Well?