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alcoholism anxiety Co-occurring Dual diagnosis mental health mental illness peer support politics Recovery

What did I sign up for?

I volunteered to lead one day in my AA group. It is not very complicated. They have a format and I pick a passage from AA literature to read, talk about 5 minutes and then open for discussion. But, I have social anxiety. It is much better than in the past but I am still nervous. On top of that, I told my friend I would speak on her podcast in January. That I am a bit terrified about.

I picked a chapter from the Big Book, More about Alcoholism, and will talk about doubting we are alcoholics. I think it will be good for me to hear others experiences. I just finished step 1- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.

In my youth my life truly was unmanageable. I had rules for myself about when and where I could drink, by the time I stopped, to keep my drinking from getting out of hand. It is hard for me to see my life as unmanageable. I made a list and will continue to add to it, about being powerless and my life being unmanageable. I will refer to it when I have doubts.

As far as the podcast, I am going to be talking about myself, my experience with mental illness. I had an older brother who has passed away, who had a psychotic break in the 1970s. I am going to talk about his story, too.

My friend called to discuss the podcast with me. I froze on the first question. She asked me about being a mental health advocate. I think of myself more as my job title, a peer support specialist, or someone with lived experience. I have written letters for certain bills but am not very politically involved. We are going to talk again and hopefully I can relax. She can talk enough for the both of us. I just want it to go well.

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12 step AA alcoholism anxiety Co-occurring Uncategorized

Powerless and Unmanageable

I am starting to work on the first step of Alcoholics Anonymous. My sponsor has me writing down how I am powerless over alcohol and that my life has become unmanageable.

It is hard. I like to think that with enough willpower I can do anything, but I have tried quitting on my own and that did not work. I have gotten sick, saying “never again” to go out the next night and drink again. I am endangering my physical and mental health, but I did not stop until very recently.

I considered the bottle to be a friend. It was always there, never let me down. I think I was developing a tolerance. I was having trouble getting a buzz. I was letting daily activities go to the wayside. I am terribly shy and needed a drink to socialize.

I was talking with a friend who is very involved in aa. She started telling me rules. You aren’t supposed to make changes the first year and I should be journaling were a couple. She was scaring me. I wondered what I was getting into. I called my sponsor and she said those things can be good but not required.

The meetings I have been going to are over Zoom. I can’t wait to meet people in person. I have just been going to women’s meetings. The ladies have been nice. I have 25 days sober. I am still a newcomer.

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mental health mental illness NAMI Recovery Uncategorized

Why I Support NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

I was first introduced to NAMI when a friend told me about their Peer to peer program. I had heard of family to family, another of their signature programs. I signed up and was assigned to a class when one was starting up.

There were other people like me in the class and the mentors were doing well. That was the first time I had heard of recovery. We learned about relapse prevention, our illness, goal setting, advance directives and much more. We had a mindfulness exercise at the end of each session, I enjoyed it and even though I get really anxious, I signed up to mentor. I moved from that program to In Our Own Voice sharing my story of recovery. I still do those presentations.

I work as a Peer Mentor, but until very recently there was no standardized training. I took a mental health paraprofessional course years ago, have years of volunteer and work experience and recently took the NAMI Peer Support/Family Support Specialist training.

They also have support groups both for consumers and family, a warmline, and other programs.

The OC Warmline is only for Orange County, CA residents

Call or text: (714) 991-6412
Toll Free (877)-910-9276

They have an annual walk to raise money through donations. This year it was a virtual scavenger hunt. Usually it is a 5K walk. I walk to support NAMI because they have so many resources and have been able to help me and others.

Categories
anxiety disability eugenics motherhood pandemic politics relationships schizoaffective schizophrenia virtual doctor

My government is trying to kill me and other news

I have a form of schizophrenia and people have been suggesting my fears are delusions, but some things are obviously true.

I am in the USA. Our president is playing games with state governors for medical equipment and supplies. If they don’t compliment, praise him in the media so he can win votes he won’t order supplies, He buys them up, or tells vendors not to sell to them. I am talking ppe and ventilators, test kits. Even if we have more tests available someone has to obtain sample and needs ppe. He has kept testing low to keep numbers of reported cases low and people don’t take the mitigation policies seriously.

He suggested that our elders and high risk people are expendable. Worth the “sacrifice” for Wall Street. Hospitals are deciding who should get first choice of ventilators, who not to resuscitate, They will choose to give up on the disabled. I don’t know where I fall in those discussions. I have loved ones that would die. All we can do is try to hide from the virus.

Our president only thinks of money and power, has no humanity, I feel helpless and the ones in power are moving really slowly. We let him become above the law.

His followers don’t care he is killing them and us. They are blinded. You would think when it is affecting you, personally, you would wake up, but no. There is so much propaganda, the media perpetuates it. He lies on tv and they still play it.

I feel like I am in a simulation (that is my mental illness) and just want it to end. I worry about myself and those around me. This virus is so infectious. I am in CA. Our governor says they predict over 50% of us over the year. I think it is inevitable I will catch it, just don’t know when. He also said maybe 12 more weeks of stay home order. People complain of boredom. If that is the main complaint that is ideal in a pandemic.

I just go to work and home. I work in a residential mental health facility. My views are my own not my employer, we need to put disclaimers. We take our temp before shift and resident vitals daily. So far the residents are restless but healthy. It is an 80 bed facility. It would be a disaster if we get an outbreak. No visitors, no packages, stay on site.

I am scared. I try to distract myself. I watch tv shows and go on social media. I do not watch our president talk, it just makes me upset. Our governor is calming. It is bad news but I feel like he is a good leader. My mom and mother in law are high risk and stay inside. Mother in law is alone. she gets lonely. We call everyday but I wish we could do more. She has not figured out video meetings yet. I wish I could just go there and show her, but if I could we would not need it. My mom gets frustrated with technology,

My husband is still working, too. He works in communications for the school district. All teaching is online now, so that is important. He goes to grocery store and anything we need. I really don’t want him to get sick. There is a shortage of masks so they told us not to wear them. I think that recommendation will change soon, I see people say how to make them but it is too complicated for me.

My children are 18 and 21. My daughter is home from college and everything is online. My son is a senior in high school. It is hard from him being away from his friends. He is no longer working, youth sports, because it is cancelled. He interacts with his friends online or goes out for a drive alone.

I had a cold that turned into a sinus infection and saw a doc via telemedicine, I recommend highly. there are so many things that are now accommodated for and I hope that continues after this is all over.

I like Biden for President. He has compassion. I don’t care to debate. This is all my opinion,

Men keep sliding into my DMs. I am not used to this. I am happily married,. I can follow on social media without messaging. It makes me uncomfortable. You can message me anything important, like how to protect myself and others, but I won’t respond generally to chit chat.

Categories
corona virus pandemic psychosis schizoaffective schizophrenia

When Psychotic disorders and Pandemics Collide

I have been stable without any major psychotic symptoms for 15 years. I have not been hospitalized since 2005. This week my head is spinning.

I don’t know whether the pandemic is a delusion, everyone tells me it is real, if people are playing tricks on me. I only have what I get on social media, I am staying home except for essentials. Part of me thinks this whole thing was planned but got bungled

I talk to my family and people online. They tell me it was a mutation of a virus. Natural. That I should keep staying home and washing hands. I am scared. Had a cold that turned into a sinus infection that is mostly cleared up. My dr okayed for me to go back to work mon. Now, that i am physically ready I am not sure about mentally.

I am terrified I will get sick and inadvertently cause an outbreak at work or home. I am not sick now. Called my psychiatrist and left a message, hopefully I can talk with him mon. I had just scaled back on therapy because things were going well. I contacted and will make phone appointment

People tell me to stay away from social media, but how would I have known about this. I want to be informed. I feel dizzy. Maybe I am hyperventilating I am anxious.

I walked the dog with my husband keeping distance from others. I ordered a #cameo from a great comedian @DarrenCarter

My plan is to go into work mon until I talk to psychiatrist to get his thoughts. So, this weekend is staying close to home, which I do anyways,

I am scared

Categories
coronavirus pandemic virtual doctor

Virtual Dr Visit

I had a cold that slowly got better but lasted about 2 weeks, then suddenly I was really congested with cough, felt lousy and miserable. Being sick during a pandemic made me panicky. I was scared to death I was going to inadvertently cause deaths by being around anyone.

Fortunately, my sister is a nurse practitioner . When I described my symptoms she said that sounds like a sinus infection. So, the next morning I called to make a dr appointment. Since I had a cough they asked if I would like to make a virtual, through zoom, appointment. They take my insurance, but there is self pay option.

The dr confirmed it is a sinus infection and ordered antibiotics. I am already starting to feel better. It was so easy, there was a long wait but it was much better than being in a crowded waiting room. Highly recommend.

Categories
alphabet game bipolar schizoaffective schizophrenia

Schizoaffective Disorder

I was not sure what to choose for an “S” word, but this disorder affects my whole life. Also, most people have never heard of it.

Schizoaffective is basically a combination of a thought disorder, like schizophrenia and a mood disorder, like bipolar. There is controversy about the diagnosis. It can resemble bipolar with psychotic features except you have weeks of psychotic symptoms while not in a mood state (manic or depressed). Or, it can seem like schizophrenia with depression. There are 2 types, bipolar type and depressive type. I have the bipolar type and have had mania.

I had years of psychotic symptoms, it was either a long episode with periods of insight and lucidity, or a number of relapses. It all is rolled together in my mind. But, once I got on a good medication cocktail (I take several types), I have not had the severe symptoms. Now, I am more troubled by fatigue, anxiety and milder depressions.

Prognosis varies. I am married, have children, work part time. I had a psychotic break at 39. I know nothing about dating with a diagnosis or pregnancy and psych meds. Mental illnesses can be hard on marriages. We were married for 7 years before I was diagnosed. Fortunately, my husband is supportive and understanding.

I see a psychiatrist, a therapist, and go to a support group for mood disorders. Some good resources can be found through the National Alliance for Mental Illness NAMI.org and depression and bipolar support alliance dbsa.org.

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alphabet game reliable

Reliable

It sounds boring and predictable, but I am reliable. If I make a commitment, I stick to it. This has not always been the case. I used to get anxious and back out of things. I was seen as flakey.

I don’t like surprises. I am not spontaneous.

“spontaneity has it’s time and place” – Sure Thing

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alphabet game quiet Uncategorized

Quiet

I like places that are peaceful and quiet. I would rather be alone than at a party.

When I was younger, I would barely speak. They called me shy. I have social anxiety. Now, I can speak in front of groups, although I still shake, but it took a lot of work. I am typically a bundle of nerves. I have a number of coping skills. They all help a little, and it adds up.

I have a list of different coping methods here:

https://lorib.blog/2017/03/20/coping-with-schizoaffective-disorder/

Categories
Therapy

I don’t know how to do therapy

I am seeing a new therapist. I picked her because she has experience treating patients who have experienced trauma. At my first appointment, I told her at the very end of the session that I want to delve into the past because it affects me still. It took me the whole time to get up the nerve to say that.

So, I go in today and talk about my husband, kids, dog, work, anxiety level. Everything is okay. I ran out of things to talk about so I left early. The problem is, there is more, .i just don’t know how to spit it out. I guess I can tell her that next time. Maybe, it will take me a bit longer to get comfortable.

I am going to try to write down things when they come to me and bring that.