Monday, May 25, 2015

6 Month Anniversary

Today is my 6-month anniversary of being released  from my last hospitalization after being hospitalized 12 times in the last 10 years.Today is a momentous occasion for me because I am finally learning to deal with my mental health.

I was able to visit with a friend that I have not seen in months and it was a huge blessing to meet up and visit, It made my year.

I have a lot going for me. I am seriously working on my running so that I can do my first Half Marathon in a few months. I have had something that I shared with a few people published. I am working on my second song I've ever written.

I enjoy every day, no matter what happens.

And most important, I have not had suicidal thoughts in over 6 months (my last time was when I was in the hospital). I can deeply and honestly say that I am just so happy to be alive, and I know this is not the mania. This is for real. I still have difficult days but I see that my life has a lot of meaning and purpose.,

Thanks for all the help from those who have supported me this past 6 months.

My next goal is 5 years. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Feeling Content from There to Here


Today is Mental Health Blog Day and here is my post for today's event...
 
 
Where do I begin? Well, let me start at the beginning of my long and in-depth journey through living with multiple mental illnesses...

No, maybe I should start from my experiences dealing with them right now...

I have had 12 hospitalizations from the age of 15, over 30 medications tried, and many diagnoses thrown at me. I suffer, no I struggle, daily with hallucinations, paranoia, psychosis, flashbacks, nightmares, mania and depression. I said that I prefer to use the terminology of struggle over suffer because I don't really believe I suffer from these symptoms. In many ways, I am content no matter if I have the symptoms or not. They are just an extra pat of life that God has placed in my life.

To me, there is always hope. Even on the most challenging days. Even on those rare, bleak days when I feel like I should just call it a day. And despite my mental illnesses, those days are few and far-between.

I choose to remain positive, no matter what that entails.

That's not always easy, but I choose to not give up. I want to fulfill my dreams. I have dreams that I am currently working on, one of them being running in the NYC Marathon. You see, I am a dream-oriented person, even more so than a goal-oriented person. I find that there is a lot of joy in achieving my outlandish dreams. Outlandish to others, but not to me. I truly believe that I can achieve anything I dream of.

I come from a family full of alcoholism, drug abuse, abuse (all types), neglect, homelessness and loss (including my oldest brother to suicide in 2007). Some people wonder how I got from there to here. Although I have attempted suicide on multiple occasions, most of them have been an impulse response to outlandish states of paranoia and psychosis. I do not easily give up. But when my mind goes there, it almost cannot stop.

Currently I am not focusing on getting rid of the symptoms but rather focusing on how to get through life with them. That is the only true way of getting through the hardest days.

Some of my first initial struggles with mental illness was through a long period of neglect by my mother. She was rarely at home during the nights and early mornings. I used to be terrified about being alone on dark nights. This was my first experience with being paranoid. I used to wake up in the middle of the night, imagining that my mother was gone due to a car accident. I used to be frightened almost every night for 3 or so years. I had to get myself up every morning and go to school. For most of my life, I have had to care for myself more than normal since I did not have responsible parents. I believe all of this has made me a strong person.

I think the most meaningful reason for my still living in this world is knowing that I have made a difference in the lives of many around me.

Ultimately, I am a fighter and I will continue to make my life meaningful.

 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Letter to my Future Child(ren)


Dearest future son and/or daughter,

I have heard that being a mother is one of the most difficult but most rewarding “jobs” in the world. But you see, I do not think of it as a job. I see it as a beautiful and wonderful part of life for a woman. I am extremely excited about you coming into my life.

I cannot wait to hold you in my arms and I promise that I will take care of you more than I have ever cared for someone or something before.

I promise that though I am bound to make mistakes, I will learn from them and that I will love you unconditionally, even on the hardest days.

If you are LGBT, I promise that I will love you until my last day here on earth. I will remind you how much courage God has given you to face the challenges of being different. I will remind you that you are always loved by me. I will not judge you. Instead, I will be proud of you. You will always be my wonderful child. I know that nothing about you is an accident and that you are an amazing part of my life,

If you are adopted by me, I will love you as if you are my birth child. I will not look at you differently. I will help you grow and help you create the life you want to have. I will love you unconditionally and I will learn how to be the best mother I can be for you. I will be there for you if and when you find yourself wondering about your birth parents.

If you are disabled, I will tell you that I am disabled as well and that I will help you through daily life meeting the tough times. I will look beyond your disability and help you achieve any goals or dreams you have.  I will teach you that the impossible can be possible. I will not look at you differently. You see, I have worked with hundreds of children and adults with special needs and I will be proud to be your mother. I will guide you through challenging days. I will help you to know your capabilities and not to focus on what you cannot do. Because this world needs you. I need you.

If you are different in any other way, I will embrace your differences and never stop loving you. After all, our differences are what make our lives exciting, not dull.

Now a few things you should know about me is that I struggle daily with Schizoaffective disorder, bipolar 1 type, and PTSD. I daily struggle with hallucinations, paranoia, flashbacks, psychosis, mania and depression. But that does not stop me from loving you or making your life worth living. I face my own challenges and want to help you do the same.

I believe in God. I feel God’s presence when I am running or walking through nature. God is not a distant God. He helps me get through each day and I know He will help me to raise you in the best possible way I can. I learned unconditional love through God’s love towards me. I know that we are all special and loved by Him, no matter if He feels distant or not.

I love to run. Currently, I am training for a Half Marathon. I want to run in the NYC Marathon within the next 5 years. Running the marathon is a dream of mine and I will teach you as you grow up to reach for your dreams. Follow your dreams. They are what make this life so beautiful.  When I run, I raise money for charities. I want to show you how to make a difference in the lives of many and that caring for others Is an important part of life.

I will undoubtedly not be a perfect mother or even the best mother in the world but I promise I will aim to be the best mother I can be for you.

Dearest son and/or daughter, I cannot wait until you enter into this world. I know that you are going to make a difference in all of the lives of the people around you, especially mine. I cannot wait to hold you and hug you. I cannot wait to make you giggle. I cannot wait to let you know that you are beautiful and that you are loved, no matter what. I cannot wait to help you dream and then follow your dreams. I cannot wait to watch you grow.

 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Where I Find God

I started this blog/website a few years ago to help others know what life is like when faced with severe illness, mental specifically. I wanted to let people in on my life as I deal with schizoaffective disorder and PTSD.,

To tell you the truth, somedays are really hard. I graduated with my Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering, despite my illnesses getting worse and worse. However, I have not worked in a little less than 2 years. I cannot even go to work without having paranoid symptoms. Sometimes I find myself even having trouble going to the grocery store.

Along with struggling with parnoia, I have daily struggles with hallucinations (visual and audio), mania, depression, psychosis and intense flashbacks.

Yes, I daily struggle, but to be completely honest, I love the life I have, despite the countless struggles I have faced and face daily.

Everyone on this earth has something that they struggle with. I believe we are called to make the most of the short life we are given.

I do not watch TV. I do not own a TV. I dont want to own a TV, Even still, I hear a lot of news on Facebook. I heard about the recent riots, That deeply saddens me that there is not more peace around the world. Why can't we just love others?

For me, recemtly, I feel that I am called to fulfill my dream to run in the NYC marathon. Running is an escape for me. I love running with Christin music blasting through my ear. There is nothing so powerful. Every time I run or walk I am able to raise money for charities.

As a little child, growing up in a toxic childhood, I quickly gravitated to the woods behind my house. That was where I first encountered God, even despite surviving severe abuse. I feel Gods presence when I run, surrounded by the creations of God. There is something very motivating and inspiring about feeling God''s presence. I can't really put it into words.

I have not felt God's presence in a few months. But when I ran down a triail close to my new home a few days ago, I felt Him in a way that I have not in a long time. Nature is magical like that. It is where I go to meet God. It is where I am remindeed how truly beautiful this life really is.  Nature is where I feel peace within...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Free and Strong

A day in October not long ago could have been a different day. By nearly missing an injury to my spinal cord, I instead had burst fractures in my lower vertebrae. The first night in the ER after falling 30-40 feet/a 4 story building the doctors did not know if I'd ever walk again. After doing multiple scans and tests, they found that I would not even need surgery and I had to wear a back brace for 3 months.

Fast forward a few years when I started running.

Someone asked me this past week how it feels to run.

Every time I run, I feel strong and free. There just are no words to do justice to talk about the great feelings that coarse through my veins as I run. Nothing can stop me. My paranoia and anxiety go away when I run. I love how the wind whips through my hair.

I am training for a Half Marathon sometime this year. I have already begun my search for smaller races (5K/10K).

Meanwhile, I have been running 2-5 milses a day...Running and sprinting. Running a mile takes me about 6:30-7:30 minutes. Sprintig a mile currently takes me 2:30 minutes., although I usually break the mile into pieces.

Free
and
Strong.

Onward I fight my mental illnesses through exercise. Nothing else like it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Coming to Terms

So how long have I been apart from this blog? Enough to notice that there are more than 40,000 views. I started this blog a few years ago in graduate school paranoid as anything. I remember how hard it was to even get out of my apartment.

Since graduating with my Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering, my life has continued to pile on more difficulties, to the point that I have not been able to work..

But I am still here.
That is not a small feat.

I am on a journey now in taking time for myself to come to terms with my mental illnesses, learning steps to deal with my illnesses..

It's not that easy.

I am on a good medication regimen (11-13 pills a day) and I have to stay on these medications every single day. If I don't I decompensate in a matter of hours to the most crazy, terrifying psychotic/paranoid shutdown.

I haven't had many shutdowns lately, but I have to admit that I had a serious breakdown at the grocery store a couple weeks ago. Same old, same old paranoia and psychosis. No matter if it is the same symptoms. It was terrifying. The FBI. The government. They can read my mind, because I hear their voices responding to my thoughts. I see people staring at me. They all are talking about me, watching my every move. What's wrong with me?

Won't this ever stop?
I don't know but I feel good where I am. I get better each and every day.

Coming to terms with life. Coming to terms with my illnesses.

Not easy but doable.

No matter how bad my condition, I hope I never lose the fighter within me.. Because I am giving this life all I got. Setbacks may be hard sometimes but what matters most is to take it day by day. Life is worth it.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

THe Paranoid World

I do not think that most people understand what paranoia is. I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder (schizophrenia and bipolar I) and PTSD.

I am currently on 5 medications and  take 11 pills each day to stay somewhat normalized. I say "somewhat" because there are points in which they do not stop my paranoia., The only way I have found to getting rid of the paranoia (if not severe) is to do rrality checks, although people do not really enjoy me aksing all these questions just to gain back my sanity. For most, they just say "think positively," "get over it", or "thats nothing." Some even laugh at me or get angry at me.

Let me allow you into the world of a parnanoid person.

I walk around campus in graduate school. I have only been living here for a few months. I'm on the phone with my brother saying I think it is time to go back to the hospital. So I go. I am met with a ton of people starying at me in the hospital entrance. Do they know what I'm going through? How do they know about me? Can they see my illness? At this point, the whole university knows.The government is still after me.

Another hospitalization, I thought I was in the Holocaust ansd that the doctors were killing al of the patients. I was running around trying to save evefybody, trying to figure out the puzzle of freeing everyone.

During one of my other hospital visits during my graduate school career, I saw a list of things ona table and I thought the list that I found was a list to free me from an FBI interrogation (I still have paraonoia about the government but not as severe). I kept tying to figure out this list and I finally got to the bottom of the list and I don't remember why, but I kept taking my hospial gown off., They yelled to the other patients to go in their room.

At another hospital, I became entirely catatonic and I did not tak, eat or slep for 3 days. That was in the midst of one of the most terrifying parnoia/psychoti period. Tehy finally gave me a strong medication and it lessened. But I still remember all of what happened.

The littlest thing can set me off on a crazy rant or adventure.

I was hospitalized 3 times in gtaduate school and I sitll received my Masters degreee.

Now my parania is not as bad as it's been while in the hospital. THe majority of my paranoia/anciety is contained by the endless sea of medications that have been prescribed to me. Some may believe that watching people go through psychosis and paranoia, but it's not funny at all. It is one of the most terrifying things I go through. Sometimes I still believe that I am still being watched by the FBI, which are inproportioate to my reason why they would be after me. I have learned that it is possible to overcome the paranoia by talking to myself about the relaity of what's going on.