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?

Why Having Mental Illness Constantly Feels Like Being In Survival Mode

This is something that I started thinking about a few weeks ago.

Mental illness and the struggle that often accompanies it = Survival mode.

And, that sucks!

So, in the same time frame, I asked myself what can I do, to not feel like I’m barely getting by most days?

And, one of my suggestions was to reevaluate my medication regimen (and make any necessary changes), which I started doing a good month ago.

So, that is good!

Another suggestion was to lower my caffeine intake on a day to day basis.

And, that is proving to be quite difficult, but it’s a goal.

I do want to get there, where I’m sleeping well at night, and I’m drinking a lot less caffeine.

Thus, here’s to doing what I can to make that happen… and, for good!

Implementing A New Posting Schedule

In order to keep interested in your blog (and mine), I am experimenting with posting once a week moving forward.

I am grateful for this blog and I am hopeful that I can say what I want to say in that interval, but if I can’t, I will make occasional posts outside the once a week plan.

I hope everyone is doing well!

Be safe!!!

Just How Hard It Is To Do My Chores

Because I am generally tired from the start of my day until it ends, I have quite a time doing basic chores.

The recurring task of putting away the dishes (for instance) usually takes 5 minutes, and that’s hard for me to do!

Getting this chore done is something I must do to pull my weight, and I get it done one way or another most days.

Not always at the same time every day, but I eventually get the dish washer unloaded!

Do you have a challenging time with household chores? What kinds of strategies do you employ to make things easier for you in this area?

Cognitive Dissonance And The Push-Pull Of Severe Mental Illness

Imagine, if you will, scores of people out there, battling severe mental illness, minimizing cognitive dissonance, and finding their way?

Can it be done? How can it be done?

For me, I have become so reliant on specific doses of the meds I take, that I haven’t been able to take anything less and be successful.

Perhaps “success” is all in the eye of the beholder!

But, I would like to function in an even higher capacity than what I am!

I partake of personal development audios from time to time, and those are inspirational, but what would really be helpful, is overcoming this mess of cognitive dissonance.

Some might say it just takes practice, but for me, I believe it is a bit more complicated than that!

Without offering up all the reasons in the world (i.e. sleeping a lot), I know that I experience a lot of push-pull, that I loosely recognize as cognitive dissonance.

So, my best tactic in this area, has been to suppress or try to ignore symptoms, which is not always possible, but I can do it some of the time, which helps a lot!

What are you doing to have more stable thinking amid your illness?

Overcoming Barriers To Living One’s Life When Highly Medicated And Sleeping 12-14 Hours A Day

I don’t know where to begin, or how to make this all-encompassing, but here’s what I feel…

There is no precise way to overcome a lot of what I experience. Most of what I go through!

It will always be there with me.

In varying forms, I will always struggle!

But, how do you go about living? I mean, truly living your life?

Well, for some, they’ve found a way to both work with severe mental illness and manage their illness (usually with minimal medications).

I am far removed from this (as I need maximum doses of my medications).

I suspect people who are working with severe mental illness are struggling in various ways too! Perhaps similarly (or differently) than those who cannot work!

So then, what can be done to overcome barriers to living one’s life?

I am not speaking of specific barriers, although there are plenty.

I am talking mainly about how to function in spite of what is happening to me!

For me, I am often involved in conversation and my symptoms are as well!

And, what makes this particularly difficult, is that I cannot focus as well, around others, when my symptoms are bothering me.

What then, am I to do?

I just press on!

That said, I am not sure I am overcoming anything, except maybe how to carry on in spite of what I am feeling.

And, even then, it is inhumane to live such a dismal life!

I feel as though it will always be this way. And, I am tremendously saddened by that!

That’s why I am desperate to solve the problem of living my life, on some level, before I pass.

And, I am all but convinced that it can’t be done! Not by me… 😦

Have you employed any level of resolve, regarding “living” your life? Can it be done? How can it be done? What are some of your successes?

I’ve Been Getting Into A Few TV Shows Lately

The shows are great, but I am reminded (especially with the reality ones), at just how far and away I am from living!

I’ve written about the fact that I want to live, before.

It is difficult not living, and I don’t believe that I will ever get to a point where I am alive again!

For me, this is a sad thing to think about…

And, when I see these reality shows on TV, it just makes things worse!

Granted, I know that the shows’ contestants tend to be highly motivated individuals.

I get that.

But, aren’t I highly motivated?

It just looks different I guess.

What kinds of things bother you (whether on TV or in print)? Do you feel like you’ve somehow lost at life?