Intense feelings in Sobriety along with a story…

I feel deeply, that much is clear to me and all that I know.

I am alive and without drugs or alcohol to calm me down or to escape from uncomfortableness of my intense feelings that happen even when I feel joy. Using mind altering substances as a way to cope is a place I never want to be again.

So I write to ground myself and perhaps to help others?

Today my closest friend, who ironically I met in a twelve step meeting 10 years ago, achieved what many dream of but never achieve, including me. She became a doctor! After 20 long years of ups and downs, all the while she stayed sober and my friend the past ten years, she did it, and I was there online to witness it.

Tomorrow I am taking her out to a special dinner to celebrate!

But I wish to share the story how I met her and what she means to me.

I was working in a crisis intervention unit and we would be on call 24 hour shifts on the phone and going out when needed in person, often accompanied by the police. I had no idea when that phone rang what or who would be on the other line. It could be a depressed teenager wanting to talk or a crisis at an extreme level of needed help, suicidal, homicidal and everything in between.

I was good at the work although my husband complained about the phone calls at 2am and the documentation after would take time and diligence so that everything was clear for the next crisis specialist who was to take over the phone line at the end of my shifts. I worked in this position fresh out of earning my Master’s degree in psychology. This was post diagnosis; I was self diagnosed in 2008 with Schizophrenia, soon after confirmed by a team of doctors at UCLA and fine-tuned to Schizoaffective Disorder by my same psychiatrist who I still see today. Honestly, I don’t know how I did this job in retrospect and left it after 2 years working in the trenches.

I had started drinking because the medication had left me feeling bland and I soon found that alcohol livened me up, but I took it to extreme degrees in and do not recommend anyone to do so. I was attending school and drinking some nights but knew where to go to stop and got 3 years sober under an old school sponsor who was by the book. I got my life back on track, completed school, stopped going to twelve step meetings and relapsed for a day. But God had my back and I resumed my meetings again.

The year now was circa 2012. I was attending 12 step meetings after relapsing on alcohol from the stress of the job. I was identifying as a newcomer, which means in my first 30 days since my relapse. I was trying new meetings and I remember this one young lady (Sue) sharing from the pulpit how she got sober at age 16, but she had so much wisdom and 20 years sober. I wished to speak to her but was shy to approach her. Little did I know that through the intervention of circumstance, God, or the rhythm of the universe, I would become her helper in a dire situation, her sponsee and closest friend for the next ten years! And today she became a doctor! Feelings of joy overwhelm me so I blog instead of picking up a drug or alcohol.

I got the call that night from a mother panicking because her teenage daughter was suicidal with a plan to end her life. I grabbed my packed bag and headed out to respond to the scene. Upon arriving I witnessed a family in the grips of despair, mother and daughter sitting on the driveway with their backs resting against the garage door, in the dark and cold night, waiting for me to arrive. Hoping for a miracle!

As I got nearer, I realized it was Sue (the sober lady I admired from the meetings) who was the mother, arms around her precious teenager who was sobbing and so grateful for my arrival. I was good at my job, and got them the help they so desperately needed. They were ever grateful. I did feel to take Sue to the side to share with her that although I was a newcomer, I had just had a one day slip, and that I was fit and competent to help her out. At this point she wasn’t worried and kept my anonymity safe. I determined her daughter needed hospitalization, found a bed for her a few hours away and began the process of getting her an ambulance ride, all the time checking in with her, teaching her grounding skills and the like.

This teenage girl whose life I saved by the help of God’s grace and power is now married, stable and the mother of twin baby girls. I don’t any credit for it. But what came out of it was that now Sue became a pillar of my sobriety and like I have said my closest friend today.

There is more to this story but I will save that for another day.

Thanks for reading, and celebrating with me Sue’s victory of becoming a doctor and wonderful grandma like me:)

Wishing you all a sober, happy, peaceful and loving night!

Overcoming social anxiety…

Ever since the pandemic hit I have barely gone out for fear of my daughter who is immune compromised. I have used all the service platforms and curbside whenever possible. I still do curbside but have now started going to the store.

At first when I tried I had severe anxiety attacks and a really bad day. Then I learned to go to the store at off times and it is actually feeling good to be out and everyone almost is wearing a mask and social distancing.

Today I did a lot of errands in the morning, got a burrito which I ate quickly and then fell asleep. I missed my therapy appointment because my phone was charging and I didn’t plan to nap so long. But it’s been super hot here too in Santa Maria, Ca and feeling lethargic during the hottest times of the days. Our weather is usually 70’s so we are melting at 89 degrees.

So I finally woke up and actually was relieved I didn’t have to talk about my anticipatory grief with my dear dad. I think I will go to once a month from here on out. It brings me down more than lifts me up but it is helpful to process occasionally what I am going through. I know he will die but he just keeps going which I love but it’s hard and takes a toll.

He is my lifeline right now in many ways…that’s all I will say about that.

I did try a new therapist who was Gestalt. I don’t recommend this type of therapy for people with schizophrenia. I heavily disliked it and canceled my following appointment.

I’m pretty good most days. Still getting fit and losing this dastard weight I gained on Risperdal. Down 35 pounds since Sept 2019.

Hope and pray you are all well.

Drop me a line anytime at: victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

pax

Victoria

What is the delusion?

Ok, I am willing to share this deep secret that I have only told some random therapist about.

I believe I am the cause of the Coronavirus!

God gave me a sign a week before to stop vaping.  Very clear and one other person witnessed the message to me.  And then in a song God confirmed his will

The messages have been clear and timely to what I am thinking about.

So do I quit?  No!  I tried and went crazy.

So I am sorry world.

Part of me knows that the world does not revolve around me.  But this delusion persists and there is nothing I can do about it.

I feel so guilty.

God gave me the gift of Schizophrenia in 2006 and I had no idea then what i know now.  I am on medication but the main delusion at the time of 2006-2008 and off an on since is that I am the most special person to ever live.

Well this delusion that I am causing the virus as some sort of punishment for my disobedience is a lot to handle.  Wondering if I should share it with my psychiatrist in a couple of weeks.

I don’t let it affect my every day life though, just have my moments of regret and justification.

Delusions can be so deep and I haven’t seen any more signs as of late but the world isn’t getting better and here I sit vaping…

Today was hard, I was bored with myself, my music, my life but not my dog.  Dressed her in a red bandanna left over from the large pack I bought for masks.  But instead today drove an hour each way to pick up some nice ones a kind lady made that I met on FB. Was with my son so got in some new music.

But seriously people I need some ideas   I will search my own mind.  It has failed me before but now I am desperate to find a better way to spend my days while in self isolation with my hubbie, and two adult kids.

Did take a walk with my pup which helped.  Sun and wind in the same short walk.  Haven’t felt much like exercising as of late.  But know I must for my mental health.  Must, must , must.  It is not an option no it is a prescription for me from me.  Exercise to feel better even if I don’t feel like it!

Off to walk a little, wait, need to eat dinner first.  Miss a meal, not I!

pax

Victoria

Things that stress me out…

 

and how I cope with a mental disorder.

  1. Money, although there always is some but yet wham, the unexpected or balloon payment is due like say for your taxes.  Mine are due in October.  Think of something else.  Don’t spend a dime.  Save if one can, even pennies add up to dollars.  I have definitely gotten better at saving this year.  I stopped shopping for everything on Amazon and am being more frugal about going to the store for every little item.  My husband was supposed to take over the bills because of my disorder but it hasn’t happened and never will probably.

I don’t work so I have more time to find coupons and deals when we do spend.  He makes a decent income so if I am careful I can really tuck some money away if I’m careful.

I know I am blessed.  I can’t imagine being single and having to rely on my disability income which I get $1,000 a month.

2. Sickness and getting older.  I am not as fit as I used to be but am getting back on track.  But I have been dealing for the past two weeks with a new medical problem surrounding digestive issues and am really trying to avoid going to the doctor right now because of lack of insurance (see #3) at least until October 1.

To combat this stress I try to eat healthy all the time with the occasional goodie.  I also am now exercising 4x a week on average.  I am gardening, walking and doing yoga throughout the week.  This helps my getting in better shape and also helps mental alertness and health.  Today was a rest day and all I wanted to do was to rest but I am in the middle of several projects around the house and rose garden so it was actually harder than I thought it would be to take a day off but my body needed the rest.  So back at it tomorrow!

Although this can stress me out a lot I am learning that the key to my happiness is acceptance.

Now i am much more motivated to do the healthy things that I am doing.  Which in the past it has really been problematic to just sit all day and do nothing, now I do rest in the mornings but do get busier later in the day.  So it is good that I am treating my body better because I have really been sick a lot and it has caused me to make sure I do all I can to be healthy.

I might go to the doctor this week.  We shall see how things go but this relates to #1 the money stress with doctor bills and testing they might want to do.

3.  My parents.  I accept they will not always be around but my dad is paralyzed on his left half of his body and my mom is a fighter but is still very frail yet tough as a bird!

How I combat this stress is by spending as much time with them as I can and appreciating every moment.

4.  Kids and husband.  Kids is easy to combat.  All the work I put in when they were growing up has paid off and although I might not agree with all their decisions I am very proud of the 3 of them.  Interestingly enough, my disorder did not kick in until I was 38 and I was only lost to the world for a year of being psychotic.  Husband is one of my kids ha ha so ditto for him.

I also stress over the unexpected busy day, making sure I take all my meds, doing all I can for my family and friends even when an interruption comes at an inconvenient time.  I used to turn off my phone, which I still do, but I do take calls when I can as needed to be a good friend!

Well that is the main stuff.  What are some things that stress you out and how do you cope?  Comment below or email me at victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com.

Bless you all!  Of  course I pray a lot too and try to trust what God is doing.  But it isn’t always easy to do.

pax

Victoria

 

How do I keep busy while I await….

I am currently at 100 mg of clozapine, and despite the tiredness I feel pretty good hopeful and keeping up with everything for the most part…

I have applied for a job which I might get…

But in the meantime I keep myself busy with light tasks and fun hobbies.

I make bath diy products, soap, hand sanitizer, lotion, bath bombs and use my quite nice collection of essential oils, which I have been collecting the last few months.

Lavender is my favorite for night or when I am chilling, jasmine and yiang yiang during the day hours.  I not only have an room diffuser but I also wear a necklace made of lava rocks which diffuse the oils too that I am enjoying.

I also garden when it is nicer and enjoy my flowers throughout the areas I have been working on.  I also just bought a windchime for the front.  Not windy right now though.

I busy myself also with making DIY Christmas decorations.  This year will be a sad year because my daughter isn’t coming home but will be here in January.  It is because of this that I am doing Christmas very different this year.  I sent a few important cards but not to everyone I usually send to.  Why is it that only at Christmas we remember certain people?

I have been celebrating Christmas for weeks now giving away the bath products I made and little well meaning gifts.  I enjoy giving.  IT’s fun to bless someone that isn’t expecting it.

I have much serenity these days as I adjust to my new medication.  Prayer is at the forefront of every day, and I see answered prayer among my day quite frequently.  I have candles burning for different requests.  One for my dad and mom, one for my daughter and a dear friend for their future spouses, one for Mike my husbands friend who tried to kill himself but didn’t succeed but is left in a poor state, one for all my family and loved ones.  To God do I burn these candles and trust my prayers are being heard by heaven!

I do not have much anxiety right now which is good.  I have so much love and joy and am experiencing these wonderful emotions while I wait for what I do not know what the future will bring.

I have a certain sadness because of my dad.  Hoping he makes it another Christmas…

Pax

Victoria

Update: getting used to deep emotions and finding a good balance on new medicine…

Unfolding before me is a new lease on life thanks to Clozapine.  Since increasing my dosage to 50 mg I have had an increased sense of balance and well being.  I see my psychiatrist next week and am so glad to have a good report.

Getting used to my feelings without drowning them in vices…

Closer to God than ever.  I pray the rosary every day and even now it has new meaning.  Time with God and Mary and all the wonderful saints.

I am willing to continue this new life.  I have been connecting with family too which is awesome.  Family is everything to me.  My friends are right there too though.  It is good to have both really.

Life is so wonderful!  I feel more like my old self every day.  Hate to go to bed lol.

Pax

Victoria

Stress brought on new relapse, going to start Clozapine Monday!

Hello to all!

Stress, as I have written about before, is my biggest enemy with this disorder.  This time it was helping a family member that caused me to relapse into a world of my own.  Oh I look fine on the outside except I am dressed very warm because I am need the warmth right now.

So I went to see my psychiatrist last week and I asked if we could try Clozapine.  He said, “oh the big gun”.  I never knew it was called that.  I wonder why he didn’t try it before after all here I am and I can’t even hold down a job.  But after all the rigmarole I understand now why he did not prescribe it sooner.

First you have to do bloodwork every week for a period and then biweekly and then I believe monthly.  They have to monitor my white blood count to make sure it doesn’t go too low.  So I did that the next day.  Then I go to the pharmacy and they didn’t have it in stock so they sent it to another pharmacy I have never dealt with and they shall be nameless but their service is less to be desired than my regular pharmacy Walmart.

So I am working with my pharmacy and they say I have to be in some registry for this special drug… I had to wait for my busy doctor to enroll me and by the time he did it was too late to get my medicine on Friday and they won’t update the registry until Monday so Monday it is.

I am staying close to home, trying to use my coping skills right now because I feel so unwell.  I have had to disclose my disorder to a few people since I had to stop helping this family member who needs a lot of help and attention.  I had to step back due to her negativity.

I am surrounding myself with positive people and vaping my cbd oil which has helped in the past and helped me to get these thoughts out on here in my safe blog.  I am listening to my fave music, Jason Mraz, who is so amazing.

My son and daughter have also been here with me every step, believing in me and supporting me.  My husband doesn’t get it but is being as understanding as he can be.

I haven’t visited my dad since Monday but may go tomorrow if I feel up to it.  I’m taking it easy right now, being very gentle with myself and trying to stay positive.  I have heard great things about this medicine so I have hope that next week may bring some needed relief.

Pax

Victoria