May 2020 Series~

mypersonalrecoveryfromschizophrenia

Welcome to this series, which may be the first of many. I am doing extremely well during this pandemic; been working on my mental, physical and spiritual health to a great degree. I wanted to share with all of you how my life has changed during these most difficult times. I look forward to each day and although I am mainly very focused, I still have my moments of difficulty but am symptom free.

Prior to this pandemic, I would just sit for hours all day long and maybe get the dishes done. But now, sitting isn’t what I want to do anymore. Ironically, writing about all these topics of what has benefited me, has been beneficial.

Here are the topics for the May series. Feel free to click on the link to go to the page. Any comments are welcome!

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How does it feel?

A poem of sorts today after hearing a sad story of addiction at its worst, an od (overdose)

How does it feel to be dead inside of you?

So dead that drugs overcome you

an empty searching for nothing that will truly help

Only bringing pain and loss and pain to those that love you …

Death comes welcomed to those who are dead inside

Hope is elusive

Hope is in an afterlife

Hope is in relief from the pain of living in addiction

Hope is all I have tonight that I will never use drugs again

Hope in God, Hope In me and mankind and all that is good in my life and this world

Hope that I can pursue my dreams and even when I fail, Hope that I will try again and again and again

Peace to all

RIP dear drug addict who might die tonight and all those who have already died of drug addiction

There but for the grace of God go I

V

Happy Mental Health month! Upcoming

Great to be back home after a nice vacation and a relaxing weekend!

My usual series for May is in the works!

I will be exploring the body, mind and spirit connection focusing on the work of Viktor Frankl’s insight on how man is unity yet multiplicity. And how taking it beyond that can affect the world benefiting us and others.

My self study on philosophical ideas is causing me to turn this blog into a little different posts.

Hope will also be an ongoing theme for my writing and all it encompasses. Without Hope we are dead inside. Hope keeps us going and when it is lacking reading and writing and mindful activities provide it.

May you all have much hope today and every day, to live your best lives and embrace your humanity!

Forget any diagnosis for now but keep taking your meds as I do or keep trying to find the best cocktail for you! We are all different yet the same in many ways.

Peace love hope and joy be with you all!

Victoria

Feeling every emotion today…

Back from vacation day one. Stayed sober by the grace of God, not even a desire as my companions drank beer and mai Thais all day and night. Could have got a contact high from the locals at the park but ran the other way!

I like being sober but today I think it all caught up with me.

I felt every emotion I used to drink and get high over. Anger at the atm, cursing at it because it wasn’t accepting deposits, really? I’m still pissed.

Sadness over my dad’s passing and how he was the only person alive who truly supported me!!! I miss him so much and can’t wait to die and be with him again.

Confusion much with the time lag. Too many examples to share. but at one point some dude honked at me because my gas cover was open all the way lol after leaving a crowded gas station that after much waiting had parked on wrong side to put gasoline in. Left without closing cap.

Anger again at my husband but I got some shopping money out of it so there’s that!

And lastly love and joy because of my children, mainly my daughter. They are who I missed most on my vacation And of course my granddaughter ❤️

🖤🖤🖤

Grateful today to be in a place where I can be emotional 😭 😌🥰 and sober and not psychotic.

I studied quite a bit on vacation as well and excited to once again be in learning mode with Viktor Frankl’s books. So many new words and all very resonating with my mind, body and spirit!

Rest In Peace my new favorite author 🙏🙏🙏

Paz

Victoria

Schizophrenia and Logotherapy

Upcoming blog post on looking at Logotherapy in terms of Schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder.

Studying Viktor Frankl’s books on vacation, mainly Man’s Search for Meaning and The Will to Meaning. Light topics on Frankl’s theory and practice of Logotherapy he wrote from his experience in Auschwitz’s concentration camps.

He wrote Man’s Search for Meaning in ten days and its ways of giving meaning to the other prisoners who had lost hope is just incredible.

I would like to briefly interpret it in terms of Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder or any heavy mental health diagnosis.

There are 3 stages to explore. The first stage is shock, disgust and delusions of reprieve. The second stage is acceptance, apathy and routine and the third, which is where I am, is freedom, release and liberation.

I have been examining my stages and the hardest one was the shock I realized I was first diagnosed in 2008. It was a turbulent time of recognizing that my mental health was and continued to be precarious up until recently.

The second stage of routine, apathy and acceptance was the longest by far. I felt like a robot and that this was how it was going to be forever on heavy antipsychotic meds, many hospital stays and an apathetic existence.

Now that I’m in the third phase of release, freedom and liberation, I can use my experience to write about it. I can easily revert back to old patterns though with stress, lack of sleep and/or exercise and poor nutrition.

More to come in May as we prepare to celebrate mental health awareness month.

“If man has a why to live for he can bear almost any why” Nietzsche

Aloha

Victoria

Rainbows 🌈 abounding today…

After a difficult day yesterday here in Maui today was a breath of fresh air and rainbows 🌈. I was proactive with my choice of music 🎶 and what I spent my energy on.

It worked!

I relaxed in the morning with my husband and then we went snorkeling 🤿! It was the best day yet on vacation.

I was out in the ocean 🌊 and there was a turtle 🐢 swimming nearby but as hard as I tried and prayed I couldn’t find it. I finally decided that if I was supposed to find it I would and stopped obsessing over it. I stumbled upon a underwater reef with a plethora of fish, some exotic and some schools of fish 🐠 . It was glorious!

I learned a valuable lesson in this to continue to trust the process. I didn’t get to swim with the turtle 🐢 but found something else spectacular.

I also walked 4 miles today! I’m feeling great and hope to go snorkeling 🤿 again tomorrow and the next day and then home.

I was homesick yesterday, tired and cranky. Today I don’t want it to end. Finally ok without my kids here and enjoyed the sunset tonight along with rainbows 🌈 and Hawaiian music.

It’s funny because when I feel disconnected from God and myself I revert to old patterns that do not serve me well. Music is a huge part of my day and night.

It has been hard to be around my sister and husband with their constant need for alcohol but at least today got to enjoy a beach view while they drank. Has anyone else ever gotten a contact buzz just being around people who are drinking? It happens to me all the time! I have fun mostly.

Some days will be hard but then a new day comes and I get grateful again. Grateful for God, my marriage my sobriety and everything God wants me to experience. I’m learning you can’t have fun all the time but I’ll take it as often as I can.

Peace

V

Deep pain…

Yes, I’m on vacation in Maui but missing my home and all my kids and granddaughter.

I’m here with my husband and sister but their drinking matches are getting boring.

Today a wreckless stranger attacked 2 gay men right on front street in my favorite town in Maui. This upset me very much. They were defenseless in his beating them up. It hit me right now how those two men are feeling tonight. Nobody stepped in to help is the worst part. I didn’t watch but saw everyone run over to witness this unprovoked random act of violence.

The world isn’t safe and there is nothing I can do about it.

Last night I was in heaven working on a new writing project after a wonderful day and today I find myself at a loss for many reasons.

My pain is heavy tonight. One of my readers just wrote about pain and how we must know our own pain before we can be empathetic to others.

I agree and still have my deepest darkest secret which I only share with my therapist. I actually wrote a long essay about it and will discuss it in our next session.

This pain leaves me at times but tonight every part of my body and mind feels it.

Perhaps because of the attack, feelings of low self worth, and some new physical problems which I seriously would rather have than mental health problems. I’m currently in remission of my schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder on meds.

It is wonderful but this secret doesn’t help. I haven’t killed anyone or anything like that but not feeling very spiritual today.

I pray now for those who were attacked and the attacker and those who could have helped but didn’t…

And I pray for me too, for what I’m not sure but for release of whatever is bringing me pain.

Peace and love

Victoria

Maui vibes

This is me taking in the aloha spirit of Maui, my heaven on earth. Never have I felt such peace and tranquillity to my very core as on this island.

It is a different vacation here this time…

I’m content and blessed to be surrounded by my sister and husband, enjoying nature and all that my God wishes me to experience.

Last time I was here in September it was a different story which I will not tell tonight.

I am at the best place mentally, spiritually and accepting my physicality limitations but embracing every part of me.

It is times like this that I imagine myself doing great things here and when I get back home. But also a lot of rest and recreation.

I’m planning to compose a journal with daily writing prompts among other writing adventures. I have been remiss to find one that is inspirational for my personal use so will try my hand at writing my own.

I’m also inspired to finally create a secret Japanese garden where I usually plant a veggie garden. I weeded before leaving for Maui so all I need is plants, stones and some type of bridge or small pagoda.

Off to take a bath and relax some more.

Aloha and mahalo for joining me in spirit to be open to new possibilities in life.

Victoria

Wrapped your love around me like a chain…

Love is all that matters!

I am in Maui with my husband and sister; my sister is a recent widow whose husband passed away November 7, 2020 and today is their wedding anniversary a very special occasion for her.

We never know when our spouse will move into the next realm.

Last night I spent the evening with my husband talking about death. We both are not afraid of it. That is good but makes me appreciate him all the more.

I’m recent months our marriage has come under attack but I choose him again and again. I wrap his love around me like a chain. I want us to continue in our life on earth in awe of our love and life together. Nothing can be taken for granted…

I actually have a sort of ministry for widows. I am blessed today to be in Hawaii with my sister on her special day and listen to her many stories about her late husband that I never tire of hearing. My thinking 🤔 is that quite often widows need to talk about their late husband fully and that it helps them greatly.

So off I go to her room to be present for her.

There’s a thousand things I could write about her late husband Jim but the one thing I wish to share is his spirituality. He is a very spiritual man and I’m finding myself following in his footsteps. He was not religious but deeply moved by the kindness of mankind and had much beliefs in God.

There have been many signs that he is still with us. I like to think that he is guiding my spirituality as I find much peace and contentment in nature and the love of my husband, sister and family and the occasional stranger.

Here’s to you jimmy. Happy anniversary in heaven and may you guide me today to be the best sister I can for my sister who misses you so much ❤️❤️❤️☺️

Marriage and schizophrenia

I’ve been married for 30 years and it has definitely been the hardest and best thing to ever happen to me/us. As I listen on loop to Ed Sheeran/Taylor Swift song, The Joker and the Queen, I am reminded how much we have been through. From humble beginnings, I was a waitress working night shift, he was my boss, the night manager. If I had known when I met him the first time, I would have been different somehow. But the clenching time came a year later when he crashed his motorcycle, which he got rid of after, I nursed him back to health and fell in love with his caring yet gruff nature and soul…

The hard times have made the good times even more rich. Right now it is a rich time of trips, time at home and exploration of much.

He doesn’t understand my disorder but accepts me for all of it and sometimes it can get pretty rough. Dealing with me psychotic, meeting with a team of doctors at UCLA in 2008, not knowing then how hard the next 16 years would be. Meeting with therapists, learning through experience that we are meant to be together with our quirks, mine more than him haha.

Now that I am stable in mind, body, spirit and our finances, it is even better. Last night and this morning were perfect examples of our unbreakable union.

We don’t sleep in the same bed for various reasons, his snoring, my late night habits etc.. it works for us. But most nights we spend time together in our marriage bed with me massaging him as he falls asleep. We talk about our day and the next, make jokes, make fun of ourselves and discuss our children and granddaughter. It is a good practice we have done for years. He has tried to massage me but he’s too strong and i’m too sensitve so I don’t mind giving him this gift most nights. He says it helps him sleep better:)

So last night we just held each other for an hour with our heads together on the same pillow. I enjoyed this very much. He fell asleep with me in his arms and I started to doze off too but hadn’t taken my night meds so ended up getting up at midnight as he wakes up at the disturbance and asks “where are you going? I love this, he didn’t want me to go away even after an hour of us just being together in embrace. I might have slept there but must have my meds to help me sleep. But the fact that I was tempted to stay was a good feeling.

His energy can be very strong and critical and me being an empath as well makes it difficult and strange at times, wonderful and pure bliss at others. He is also a big softie sometimes and acts like a big baby with many needs which I sometimes meet happily most of the time.

Then at 6:30 in the morning he’s running around the house waking everyone up because he thought there was an earthquake. I remembered that there was a shuttle taking off from Vandenberg airforce base taking off this weekend in the am so he checked on the two adult children who live with us still and went back to bed. In less than 5 minutes he was back to our side of our small home because there was another loud noise. By this time I was awake and got up with only 5 1/2 hours sleep:( He’s back in his bed snoring away undisturbed by anything.

Once I wake up I cannot go back to sleep so I’m like trying to figure out what to do. I journaled about him and now chose to blog about marriage and schizophrenia.

We don’t discuss my disorder much. But he knows when I need my space and when I need to be with him or others. But when I am at my worst, he wishes it all away sometimes with unkind words like- just pick yourself up by your bootstraps, ignore it, you’re fine, don’t think as much. These words are not helpful at all and make me try very hard to be stable at all times, at least as much as possible.

I can write about it now that I am doing well but in the midst of the chaos of my mind, things have never looked bleaker…

That is all I wish to share about marriage and schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder except for the wonderful newest development in our marriage~ he has accepted that I cannot work and I am at peace in knowing this.

Peace

Victoria