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?

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?

A Bit About The Spoon Theory (And How I’m Practicing It)

Not long ago, I shared a generic daily checklist with you, here on my blog.

It was something I put a great amount of effort into, but at the end of the day, it held too many options.

Sure, it was nice seeing all of the daily possibilities in one place, but I have nowhere near the energy it takes to fill up that checklist!

So, I started looking more into the Spoon Theory, that Ashley from Mental Health @ Home has shared with all of us.

Turns out, not only was I basically reinventing the wheel with my daily checklist, I was being ineffective in getting the most important things done!

The Spoon Theory isolates those things that are most important and gives them a ranking system, allowing for you to choose where you spend your energy, day in and day out.

It just keeps things simple, which I like very much.

The originator of the Spoon Theory created it for herself some time ago, to share with friends and family, how she deals with lupus.

She once said, that the Spoon Theory is for anyone battling an illness, and severe mental illness would definitely fit into that category.

In the spirit of sharing more of my day to day with my readers, I am including a snapshot of my spoons.

Thus, I hope others can find inspiration on the Spoon Theory. And, a quick google search regarding Spoon Theory will tell you all you need to know to get started.

For reference purposes, I have been trying to allot myself 15 spoons every day. And, many days I work with that or a little bit less.

I am interested to know. Who all out there is practicing the Spoon Theory (or any variation of such)? And, what have you found is a good number of spoons to deal with, for your situation?

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?

My Life’s A Mess

But, you know what?

I keep trying and doing my best.

My only concern is that it would be great to be more on-the-ball!

I feel sometimes I am going down the same dead-end paths.

What can I do though?

Aside from continuing to challenge myself, I don’t imagine much!

Do you feel as though you are making traction on your goals? Do you have a difficult time with consistency? What have you done to do better with being consistent?

More Transparency With My Condition

On some level, I am treatment resistant.

When I hear the tales of others being symptom free for a long time, in some cases, years… I am reminded that at least in my case, that is not the situation.

It’s okay though, right?

I mean, we all have something to deal with.

It’s just difficult having any chronic condition—especially one that isn’t being treated with a high degree of relief.

I think, for me, I sometimes employ high expectations of the people, places, and things in my life.

Because I am not asymptomatic. I have a plethora of mental health nuances, so I just have to deal—as does anyone else.

And, that is what I do.

Is being treatment resistant your reality? What’s the next step for medical technology? And, how do you reconcile your chronic conditions with the notion that some people do go a very long time and do quite well with their so-called chronic illnesses?

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?

Doing One’s Best And Being Symptomatic

I used to believe I was doing my best by holding my thoughts captive.

And, now I believe this philosophical approach is not so good for me.

But, how do you change the very thing that made you who you are?

In terms of my personality, I’ve always been “deep.”

From adolescence to present day, I’ve always been a “thinker.”

But, now I’m tired of “thinking…”

I’m just tired of mental illness to be straight!

I’m bothered by some of my behaviors, which I’ve began viewing as symptoms of the illness (rather than my being witty, intelligent, or clever).

During the half dozen or so times I was inpatient, I can recall a range of these behaviors:

From not talking to talking, from being polite to being belligerent.

Simple, yet revealing (at least to me)!

This was and is my illness. And, it’s still the pattern I’m involved in today (although I’m not belligerent anymore).

I’d love to end this post by asking some witty, intelligent, or clever questions… but, my tolerance level for my own bullshit has pegged the V/U meter.

That, or as I’ve already said, I’m just tired!

Where Would You Be…?

Where do you suppose you would be, had you not become ill?

I think the question is interesting, because I really was heading downhill and quick like when I became full-blown ill.

What I know now is that had I been able to tolerate antipsychotics earlier on in the treatment process, I might be a bit better off.

While not complaining, I do take into account the experiences I would have likely missed out on, as I did manage to squeeze in a few things, that I probably wouldn’t have been able to, had I been on an antipsychotic regimen.

But, it may not be helpful to compare where I am today to where I was yesterday, except to note that I am much more stable than the times I “broke,” and as I’ve worked hard by “trying” for better experiences.

So yes, I am more stable today because I am taking all of my medication. And, I won’t mince words for that.

Do you ever think about the old you, and have some thoughts about that person?

Living Day-To-Day With Severe And Chronic Mental Illness

I don’t think I’m too far off when I say, that there is a range of functioning capabilities among people who have schizophrenia.

And, that no matter the level of functioning, things do change (but not always in the best of ways).

We go from very bad to good (and, everywhere in between).

And, I am someone who has had this illness (schizoaffective disorder to be exact) for 20 years, and who has been able to learn over time, how to deal with it in the best manner (for me).

I am affected daily by my symptoms. And, I am reminded that, for some, they are able to “forge on through” despite being symptomatic.

I am able to do that to a degree, but certainly not always.

I have pushed myself (and, continue to push myself) to be able to do more than what I’ve traditionally been doing (since the time before my diagnosis).

And, what I’ve learned is that I may speak well/eloquently, but my functioning in terms of chores and responsibilities, is “not good!”

My functioning in terms of thwarting off the voices, escaping the delusions, and in keeping my anxiety and depression at bay are all “not good.”

I keep trying though! And, what I’ve found is that trying is something I’ll be doing for the rest of my life!

Things have never been great mind you! And, it steadily got to this point, in the three years (likely longer) leading up to my diagnosis.

So, I just make the best of my situation and don’t expect more than what I’ve learned I’m capable of!

How about you? What have you learned about your illnesses? What expectations have you set for them moving forward?