Feeling within me…

I’ve been at a loss this week in many ways. Too many to write here. There’s been a lot of good too but today is hard.

My daughter is sick, I’m her caregiver when she gets sick 🤒 even though she is 28. and others in my life are not doing great right now so like usual I’m allowing other’s stress to affect me which I’m fighting with all that I am.

I just want to escape from it all. But am choosing instead to blog about it.

And then clean up the kitchen because I made an awesome dinner tonight which nobody except me ate.

I’m the one in recovery from schizophrenia but all those around me are falling apart. I’m not sure how to pick myself back up. I need a new day and am going to use my coping skills to manage my schizophrenia.

Cleaning and healthy smoothie are old favorites which worked tonight 😊

My schizophrenia has been under control thanks to God and my hard work that I put into every day.

So looking on the bright side of things as my dad taught me today was a very productive day despite all the lack of control I have over the people in my life…

I walked 3 miles, cleaned my house, took care of my daughter and pups 🐶. And took care of me! I also didn’t buy anything when I went to my favorite store to pick up an order. Progress!

I was thinking of trying to work again but know that the reason why I am doing so well right now is because I don’t work outside the home. But it’s hard to accept some days when I have so much to offer. That’s why I’m not going to pursue my doctorate. What is the point if I can’t work.

I will continue to write and blog because that helps me greatly. I forgot to mention that I also couldn’t use my laptop today the way I’m used to. It’s being funky and won’t go online. Which meant I couldn’t work on my Nature Thought Journal I started in Maui a few weeks ago. It’s coming along nicely so another frustration in my day.

I won’t give up is my mantra in all that I do.

I won’t give up on finding meaning in my life despite my diagnosis. It’s hard to believe that I earned my Masters degree in psychology post diagnosis! But I find meaning in helping others so feel free to drop me an email at Victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

I answer all emails and have met some great friends on here. Also feel free to ask me any questions you may have about my experience with schizophrenia and check out my May series 2020 and 2022 above this blog. Tomorrow will be working more on May series 2022 and the mind, body spirit connection in psychiatry and psychotherapy.

I Truly feel a more holistic approach is needed to treat this disorder for people to recover.

Pax

Victoria

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

Does anyone else see defeat as feedback?

Like the fact that I can’t work because of my schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder? Yet there is always enough money… and more even?

To do as I wish along with my duties and much joy even as I relax tonight with restful yoga and my dog at my feet. I’m doing a 30 day challenge for yoga 🧘‍♀️. I’ve done 4 out of 8 days which before was 0 out of 4!

I’m learning how to love myself as I am, learning what I enjoy, need and figure out how to be.

This is feedback my friends. This is real. If I was working I wouldn’t have time to reflect on all of this. Music is always my companion. As I look into myself for answers within placed there by the rhythm of the Universe, some of it love, and some assurance I am in Gods Will.

When I speak of love I do not mean attachment to people but rather obliteration of self and all beliefs that do not serve me well in this moment…

That is all;that is enough

Stay tuned for our next guest article I have requested a specific subject of interest for those with mental health disorders. We shall see 😊

May Series 2021 line up…

It is still April here but excited to start working on my May series 2021. May is also Mental Health Awareness Month so it is appropriate for May to be my theme month for a series. Kinda cool to me:) For last years May series 2020 you can click here. It is about how to survive the pandemic at home…At the end of the lineup I will include a short summary of what mental health awareness means to me. Feel free to chime in also. Safe Haven where I receive services asked me to type something up and send it to her to share anonymously of course.

Each day I will blog about one aspect of my diagnosis- I am including some descriptions and will tag all posts in case you miss one. I plan to use the newest DSM manual. Allow me to get some use out of my Master’s in psychology and dazzle you ha ha. Not sure yet but will probably be my typical storytelling along with information gathering to share.

  • Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective disorder- I have been diagnosed with both, originally Schizophrenia but when depression set in was finetuned to Schizoaffective Disorder and fighting depression again lately…
  • Depression- will discuss the intricacies of my personal experience with hard to treat depression and stories of others I have known since 2008 who have also suffered from it.
  • Bipolar tendencies- my many moods or is it something else?
  • Anxiety- how I cope on a day to day basis
  • OCD DID disorder/OSDD
  • The importance of a care team
  • Fighting the stigma right now!

I’m very open to topics and nuances others may wish explored along these titles. Feel free to email with any suggestions (see below for email).

Mental Health Awareness to me means being heard and having doctors and therapists, friends and family and sometimes strangers realize they are not in our head and can never be. For them to understand that sometimes it is super hard to put into …words what is going on with me. It also means fighting the stigma. We are not to be feared but respected and treated in a way that is not condescending or dismissive. It really means so much. I have been on the other side and have done my share of judging. But no more…

Please feel free your thoughts on Mental Health Awareness Month to share in the comments or I can be reached at victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com I respond to all emails so far. Might take me a few days but I think about it and answer when I feel like I can.

I had my “big appointment” today but sadly he didn’t know much about DID disorder and had never heard of OSDD disorder. He did refer me to a specialist (for me to find which I did) and basically when do I want to see him again? I am a little disappointed as he knew what I was seeing him for but it is what it is. I am throwing myself into my gardening, writing and cooking this weekend.

peace, love light and joy

Victoria

Upcoming May 2021 series…

Last year one of my greatest accomplishments by far was May series 2020 and how I learned to navigate being at home while having a serious brain mental health disorder. This May I find myself at a much different place than last year in terms of my mental health.

So I have decided to blog about these many changes. Ideas are welcome but the focus is on dealing with the many facets of having multiple disorders within my system. My official diagnosis so far is Schizoaffective Disorder (Schizophrenia plus depression) with bipolar tendencies, OCD and anxiety and now DID disorder or OSDD disorder.

I will be blogging as much as I can to have a compodium of information relevant to anybody interested.

I have put writing the books on hold for now but they are there when I have the desire to work on them some more. Shifting always.

peace love light and joy

Victoria

May 2020 Series Finale…Self-care: physical and brain health~

It is a good day to complete this series of May 2020. In writing about my coping skills, I have been busy practicing them as I write. I have more motivation than ever to continue to improve on my daily routine, taking care of my spiritual, physical and brain health.

This whole series has been pretty much about self-care but there are a few areas left that I have not touched on and I am sure there will be more to come but I do hope some of you have benefited to at least a small degree of shift in the right direction for you. I still get stuck sometimes but am excited about the journey.

From being passively suicidal in 2018 till now my life has shifted dramatically. Part of the pressure is from above albeit gentle, but the real driving force behind my desire to be a more productive person has come from my husband. He is very pleased this month!

The benefits of self-care~

Physical:

Healthy eating is important because without food you won’t have energy for anything.  I guess any kind of eating in moderation is good but make sure to get plenty of protein and fiber.  I find if I am hungry I cannot focus so I eat every 2-3 hours mostly with an occasional large meal followed by fasting.  That is just what works for me.

I eat pretty much the same foods every day following WW blue plan and find myself full and satisfied and have lost 30 of 70 pounds I gained because of Risperdal.  Nonfat Greek plain yogurt with stevia and vanilla extract, eggs, beans (love chili), cheese (small amounts), tomato soup, beef, chicken and fruits and veggies are my main foods. 

Find what works for you but you may find that frequent meals throughout the day might help with energy levels and brain function.

Exercise!  Move your body each day possible and every day is possible!  It often improves ones mood, is good for the brain and will help us all to be in better shape.  A short or long walk, an arm workout, yoga, gardening, dancing, playing with kids or pets, cleaning, the list is endless.  Find what you like and then set it in your schedule and cross it off when you are done if that helps. 

I wear a Fitbit which helps track my steps and sleep. Daily, I aim for 5,000 steps and 7-8 hours of sleep.  Some days I will just lay on my yoga mat with a pillow and lay there a while in corpse pose and then do some simple stretching with my arms (I use 3 pound weights), and legs; I mix yoga with stretching and if I’m tired I just lay there.  I don’t judge how much exercise I get.  I just prefer to be active. 

Water drink it!  I have large Starbucks water cup next to me throughout the day and keep refilling it with ice cold water which is just how I like it.  You can tell from the color of your pee if you are getting enough, should be a pale yellow.

Me time!  Take some throughout the day!  Do something you enjoy as a reward.  Listen to your favorite music, take a bath with candles and lavender or ??? whatever is fun for you save it till you have completed your list however small or big, or better yet, do something fun or relaxing every time you complete a task.  Call a friend, pet your dog or cat extra and spoil them just because, sip some tea, google ideas for activities you might enjoy. 

The internet is awesome for anything you may be interested in to take things to the next level, start something new or getting ideas.  I’m still waiting for my peacock paint by numbers to come in the mail and I just started learning to play guitar with my adult son.  Life should be enjoyed so do the hard things first and then relax into your entertainment. 

Brain health:

Find a psychiatrist and therapist you can trust, keep looking if you don’t already have one. This is imperative.

Write down your appointments in two places if needed.  I use my phone and day planner and also get a reminder from them.  Especially now with tele-health being the only option where I live, it’s easy to forget so make sure you have some way of reminding yourself. 

Take your meds even if you feel well; the meds are why you feel well. If you are still hearing voices and having positive symptoms, try a different medicine. CureSZ founder (cure Schizophrenia) and my personal friend- Bethany Yeiser writes about her success with Clozapine for resistant Schizophrenia. CureSZ is also a great resource for anybody with Schizophrenia. It has treatment checklists plus more and you can sign up for their newsletter. Also if anyone reading this has a success story in recovery from Schizophrenia, contact Bethany Yeiser and she may feature your story in one of CureSZ newsletters!

Lastly, check in with your psychiatrist and loved ones if you need help with taking your meds or getting back on them.  I take mine at the same time every day so that helps.  I also use a pill organizer so I can tell I have taken them.  Whatever works best for you but for me just talking about it with my psychiatrist and brainstorming together has helped me find the right medication cocktail that works for me and helped me to develop a good routine so I don’t need anyone to remind me. I highly recommend supplements, too, to support your brain health as I wrote about here.

Conclusion:

I am learning to listen to my body, to rest when I am tired, to eat when I am hungry, to drink water, to work around my home and gardens when I can and to take care of myself first and then I can take care of others. 

It’s all about balance I am finding. I am also learning to be gentle with myself if I have a hard day and to not judge anything as bad or good.  It is what it is.  If I’m busy, I’m happier (written with a sigh) and if I don’t get much done one day or more, then I needed to rest.  No judgement.  Days come and they go, and tomorrow isn’t promised, so I will do the best I can today to take care of me.  I am not afraid to ask for help but am grateful that lately I haven’t needed as much as prior to this pandemic.  God speed…

Dedication~

Today is the feast of the Visitation of Mary and May is the month of Mary.  So in proper honor and respect, with all glory to God, I dedicate this May 2020 series to Mary, Queen of Heaven!  Always ready to lovingly take our prayers to Jesus. 

Stay tuned for June 2020 series, Caregiver support!

I can be reached at my private email at: victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com for any comments or questions. Please feel free to share this series with others! To access all the topics in this series, click here- May 2020 Series.

Pax

Victoria

May series cont… connecting with others~

Connecting with others is a hard topic for me because I don’t always feel like it but I do every day to different degrees. I like my alone time and need it throughout the day.

But connecting with others is important because being isolated is not good. Simple texts, a phone call to my mom and dad, a socially distanced visit, therapist (weekly) and psychiatrist (monthly) are all a part of my life. I know I need to check in for me, and for others, especially right now during this pandemic.

Some of us have family, spouses, children and the like and some of us are alone. But please know you don’t have to be alone on this journey. There are tons of ways to connect with others; I am fortunate in many ways but my way isn’t perfect but I have learned to be adaptable and that really helps.

First thing in the morning I check in with God, thanking Him for another day of life and praying for my loved ones, all my readers and those who have no one to pray for them.

After some coffee I text a few people to check in, my daughter is at the top of my list but she works from home in her room, so I send her a good morning text every day I can. She likes it and it feels good to get her text back as simple as good morning can be. She is my soul and cornerstone and even when she is struggling, she makes time for me.

I also do connect on social media sparingly. I don’t get a lot of satisfaction with that but for some that may be a huge part of your life. If it is that’s great if it works for you and have surrounded yourself online with positive people and energy. Examining our usage of social media can be beneficial. Does it drain you or does it uplift you or leave you ambivalent? Worth thinking about…

Churches are great places to connect with others. Sports, hobbies and AA or any 12 step group can also provide much needed connection…

I hope you connect with at least someone and I mean that! You can always email me at victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com and I respond to all emails and it is a private email so it’s very safe.

I found a new way to connect this week. I went to a virtual healing circle for “Healing for Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons”. No belief in God is needed to belong and it’s by donation if you can. It was put on by Dave Markowitz, the author of the book that recently changed my life. It was a wonderful experience. To learn more about his books, free consultation and healing circles click here and if you’re interested in the healing circles and want more information just email me.

This is just one new way I connected this week. The important thing is that I challenged myself and it paid off!

I have decided to do a theme with topics every month I feel inspired. June will be Caregiver month in honor of my daughter’s birthday in June, who has been my main caregiver since she was 13; although, I don’t need her as much anymore!

Tomorrow I will be posting my final blog of the May 2020 series, Self-care: Spiritual, physical and mental.

Pax

Victoria

Coping skills are sometimes slow to work…

So yeah, I have been doing great but when I have to go out it really stresses me out and takes me a little while to recover…

Puts me in a place of not wanting to do anything. But the busier I am the better I feel so going to drink more coffee and hope I can get back in the groove.

I have really organized this site and the May 2020 series. I still have self care-healthy eating-connecting with others-brain health and maybe journaling…

I have put some of the past blogs to a link on this page. I will be doing more later and hope to have it all ready by May 31, 2020.

May is the month of Mary. So I dedicate this whole series to her. She is our mother, advocate and the Queen of Heaven! Thank you Mary for bringing my many prayers before Jesus, where He is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Pax

Victoria

May series cont… Mindfulness~

The state of being present in the moment at whatever one is doing…

So many examples and to me it is a way of life these days. I take my time with everything. Rushing is no longer a part of my days.

Tonight it was a small bowl of Rockie Road ice cream with milk. I tasted the texture of the nuts, marshmellows, and chocolate ice cream with each bite and used a small spoon to make it last longer. The chocolate ice cream melted into the milk which I sipped with the small spoon…

I enjoyed it very much and I also enjoyed cleaning up my kitchen this evening after cooking a healthy meal. Taking my time to wipe down every counter space and appliance after doing the dishes and feeling the hot water with soap on my hands, a little bit burning but I like it that way because I am sanitizing my dishes. don’t get me wrong, I have a dishwasher which I use but still like using hot water on the dishes I wash by hand.

Taking a drink of ice cold water and holding it in my mouth for a bit feeling the cold sensation…

Doing yoga tonight but first taking my time to wipe down my mat and just lying there on my back, feeling connected to Mother Earth and God. Feeling every pose. Resting in between…challenging myself a little to lift weights while on my back. Sitting in lotus position, releasing energy and keeping what is mine…

Soaking my feet in warm water and epsom salt (toes still recovering). Feeling the injured parts of my toes underwater where it is safe to do so. Glad they are finally showing improvement. Taking my time putting on the bandaids being careful to dry my toes well and massaging my feet with scented lotion, carefully putting on my socks and sandals and stretching my feet…

All of this done with and without music.

This to me is mindfulness. Living in the moment, not the past, not the future but the now and being excited about the next part of my day albeit hard…

Pax

Victoria

May series cont… the benefits of supplements~

Daily supplements

May is coming to a close in a few days… crunching to get all my topics in.  Not sure why this needs to be done in May 2020 but it is a goal.

Supplements are not my favorite topic but I have seen dramatic results with these 3 products these past years or so.  This is in addition to (not a replacement for) my anti-psychotics, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and Vitamin D, which I try to get outside to get some fresh air and sunshine every day I can.

I will list them in order of usage and how they have helped me.

The first one is GOTERPY which is a full spectrum hemp oil combined with their natural terpene blend and precise combination of CBD infused into MCT oil.  I will quote from their printout what full spectrum hemp oil is: Unlike isolated or synthetic cannabinoids, full spectrum hemp oil refers to pure hemp oil that features all the same cannabinoids present in the original hemp plant.  Providing an all –natural cbd hemp oil supplement that allows the cannabinoids to work together in what is called the entourage effect. 

I have used it for a couple of years now and have started selling it too.  It has greatly reduced my remaining schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder negative symptoms and delusions.  It helps me to feel calm and sleep better.  I take 2-3 droppers a day, which is why I started selling it to get the distributor price.  I don’t need the money so will sell for $25 a bottle  of Goterpy, 250 mg, 15ml, plus shipping $8 in US.  At this time will not ship internationally unless it is a large order (5 or more bottles).  Can also get 500 mg or 1000, plus salves are also available, which I also use for muscle soreness and pain, which is also magical stuff.  Learn more at GOTERPY.ECWID.COM for a full list of prices and products offered.

 I only sell the 250 mg so if you are interested in the higher mg you can buy directly from the above website, which oddly my cousin runs.  She’s awesome and I can never thank her enough for introducing me to this product.  If I miss a dose I can feel it but I am very sensitive so that’s just me.  Now that I have a good schedule, I never miss a dose and the midday dose is optional depending on my stress level for the day.

Other potential benefits of CBD are: reduce blood sugar levels, inhibits cancer cell growth, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, suppresses muscle spasms, useful for soothing and massage and helps with restorative sleep.  Hope some of you check it out!

Next, is sublingual B Complex supplement with B12.  I have been taking this for a year or so now and it has greatly increased my motivation and energy levels!  Available at Walmart for $4 lasting about two months.  I have missed a dose when busy and had no energy that day despite lots of coffee.  Put liquid under tongue for 30 seconds and then I drink water.  Love this energy giver!

Lastly, I started taking Shaklee+ Mind, Mental Acuity Plus for memory, focus and mental clarity.  I have been taking this for 3-4 months and the difference in my memory and focus is amazing.  I am more clear- minded and able to focus on things that matter to me and the rest of it that I have to do it helps me to do it quicker because I am so focused.  This is also a life changer!  It’s $50 for 90 tablets and I have been taking one a day but just read you’re supposed to take 3 a day.  I’m sticking with one because it is working for me and who doesn’t love to save money? 

Well I can’t say enough how much these 3 products have changed my post diagnosis life.  Hope it helps some of you too! For ordering Goterpy from me email me at victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com I accept Venmo and Paypal only.

Pax

Victoria