Schizoaffective Art

This is something I’ve been wanting to draw for awhile now.  It’s basically a representation of how schizoaffective disorder feels to me, specifically during and after psychosis.  Complete confusion and chaos, and afterwards it feels like my mind has been ravaged and even simple things are hard to understand.

 

Psychosis.JPG

Advertisements

Happy

Things have been going very well in my world.  My meds were tweaked just a bit more and it’s the perfect balance where I have full stability but also have the energy and motivation I need, and am not completely sedated out of my mind like I was for awhile.

I’m drawing much more frequently.  I’m able to focus, I’ve read a few books already this month.  So all in all I’m happy.  My case manager is signing me up with a vocational rehab program so I can get a part time job, I feel ready for that.  I’m keeping on top of checking for when the apartment I applied to get into is having an opening.  It’s looking like it won’t be till after the 2019 holidays because I don’t think anybody’s gonna be moving during them, which is okay.  It will be a fresh start whenever it does happen.

I’m proud to say that October will mark 6 months of eating disorder recovery.  It’s been a long rocky road but it’s getting much easier over time!

 

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Changes

I haven’t been posting mainly because I’ve been going through some big medication changes the past couple weeks, it’s certainly been a heck of an adventure.  I’m happy to say though that I’m starting to do much better, things have been improving a lot.

Autumn is on it’s way!  I’m so ready for it  😀 Autumn and Winter are my favorite seasons.  I’m really looking forward to the holidays as well.  I know they’re still a ways off but I’m excited because I get to actually enjoy them this year.  I really don’t know what happened last year but I felt down and apathetic about everything, which is unusual for me especially during the holiday season.  So I plan on going all out this year with decorating and having fun.

My concentration has improved so I’ve been able to read much more. Right now I’m re-reading a book called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**ck” by Mark Manson.  It’s a great book that I highly recommend.  I think this may be the third time I’ve read it over the past several years.  Has a lot of good advice and insight about having important values and not forcing yourself to be superficially happy 24/7 pushing problems aside until they build up and are too much to handle.

Hope everyone is doing well 🙂  I’ll be posting some stuff related to videogames and art soon, see you then!

 

Favorite Mental Health Related Books

I’m not great at reviewing books but I thought I’d at least but together a list of books that I’ve enjoyed and have helped me in with dealing with my mental illness.

These are non fiction, with the exception of one

reading (2)

Here are some of my favorite mental health related books

Hearing Voices, Living Fully by Claire Bien 

Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life by Melody Moezzi 

Bulimia a Guide to Recovery by Lindsey Hall

The Eating Disorder Sourcebook by Carolyn Costin 

What a Life Can Be: One Therapist’s Take on Schizoaffective Disorder by Carolyn Dobbins, Ph. D

The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

Surviving Schizophrenia by E. Fuller Torrey 

Maintaining Recovery from Eating Disorders by Naomi Feigenbaum

Coping Skills: Tools and Techniques for Every Stressful Situation by Faith G. Harper 

The Soloist by Steve Lopez

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michaelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney (graphic novel)

The Buddha and the Borderline by Kiera Van Gelder 

also, anything by Geneen Roth relating to eating disorders is good 

 

Here are some workbooks that are very helpful:

The Dialectical Behavior Skills Workbook for Bulimia by Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher and Michael Maslar

The Bipolar Survival Guide by David J. Miklowitz

The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook by Carolyn Coker Ross

Thoughts and Feelings, Fourth Edition: Taking Control of Your Mood and Your Life by Matthew McKay Ph. D, Martha Davis Ph. D and Patrick Fanning 

 

Fiction Mental Health Books:

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Low

I seem to have spiraled into somewhat of a depression in the past several days after getting to my ultimate high and feeling amazing for once. I slept for most of 48 hours /Friday through Sunday.  Got up a few times briefly but went right back to bed.  I’m doing what I can to manage it though.  I have a lot of agitation and anxiety as well.  Not sure where this is all coming from.  Today was better in many ways though, I got out of the house at least and I didn’t sleep the whole day.  Slept a lot, but not as much as before so that’s an improvement. I’m doing everything I can to distract myself and stay calm despite the underlying restlessness and depression.  I’m hoping to pull myself out of this.

That Spark

DSCN1512.JPG

 

That spark I was missing for so long is finally back.  I used to find inspiration everywhere, constantly getting ideas and wanting to learn more.  For a long time, probably the better part of the past year I wasn’t feeling any excitement or happiness.  I had tried to get it back for so long, but nothing did it.  It’s not something that can be forced, it’s not just a state of mind, it’s a physical feeling as well.  I wasn’t necessarily unhappy or depressed but I didn’t feel good emotions intensely anymore. Maybe it’s my recent medication changes/adjustment, all I know is I feel like myself again.  I have always been a really upbeat optimistic person, and I feel happiness on such a deep level.  After about 3 months of not hanging out with friends and isolating myself making up excuses, cancelling plans all the time due to anxiety, I started being social again.  Earlier this week I spent the whole day with a good friend of mine and had a lot of fun.  Today I went out to lunch.  I’ve been drawing and writing much more frequently, exercising, staying on top of cleaning my place. Things excite me again, I have goals and ambitions.  I’m hoping very much that this continues, and am definitely taking advantage of it.  🙂

 

Agitation and Anxiety

The spring/summer time is difficult for me.   I’m not exactly sure why but I get very agitated often during these months.  It’s like I’m ready to implode or something, it’s frustrating but I’ve been doing my best to calm myself down when this happens.  I think that I’ve made a lot of improvement over the years.  A long time ago if I was feeling like that I would generally act on impulse and do stupid/reckless things.  I’m able to recognize when I’m feeling on edge now and to take steps to chill out.

Last night it was coloring and videogames.  I enjoy coloring, it’s relaxing, hard to get myself to actually do it but once I do I get lost in it and feel a lot better afterwards because I’m doing something with my hands, coloring different pieces one at a time and focusing all of my attention.  Videogames of course are a great distraction for me.  Right now I’m playing Lets Go Pikachu.  Next game I plan on playing is Stardew Valley, I already own it but wanted to just focus on one or two games at a time.

I took a walk today and it felt really nice to get out and clear my mind.  The weather was beautiful.  Another thing I’ve been doing is turning on my scented wax tart melter.  Aromatherapy helps keep me grounded.

One problem when I get agitated and restless is that I feel so.. I don’t know how to describe it other than crawling out of my skin, so I get aggravated because at first it’s hard to get into any of these things when in the state of mine.  What I do is make myself take a deep breath and give it a shot and most of the time I ended up getting really absorbed into whatever distraction or hobby I’m doing and before I know it I’ve calmed down and feel much more relaxed, even happy.  It’s definitely a challenge but I think the more I turn to these things instead of letting emotions and feelings simmer and build up to an unbearable point the easier it will get.

Here’s a picture of the coloring page I did yesterday 🙂

443ddb05368b751a0825df4c6c8bba6b.jpg

Why I Vanished for Awhile

Hello! I haven’t posted in quite awhile.  I had some medication changes for schizoaffective/bipolar and was struggling pretty badly with my eating disorder but I’m recovering now!

I’m determined to get better, and am working hard at it.  I had a serious wake up call recently.

Anyway, it’s now spring, and I already miss fall and winter but I am enjoying the sunshine I’ll admit.  Thankfully it’s not too hot here yet, I really dislike hot temps, I love the snow and cold weather.

I ended up having to take a break from school and am going to be working on getting a part time job, the plan is to start taking classes again in the fall.

Sorry for not posting in so long, just have had a lot going on but I plan to be more active on here now that I’m more stable 🙂

Awake and Alive

img_2056.jpg

The above image is a sketch I did a few months ago.  I really enjoy nature! 🙂

 

Hello!

I know my posts have been very sporadic and not very interesting.  I had some serious struggles with my mental health the past several months and am going through med changes and adjustments.  I’m beginning to feel normal and actually happy for the first time in quite awhile.  I’m able to sleep too which is always nice!

Right now I’m reading a book called Surviving Schizophrenia by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D. (6th Edition)  It’s very interesting and strange at the same time.  I’m reading about this stuff and looking back and seeing how things progressed over my teen years to the first major episode when I was 18.  I had no clue back then, didn’t recognize any of the signs and symptoms as they slowly crept in.  Even years later I had trouble figuring out how it all happened,  to me looking back it seemed like all the sudden I lost my mind but that’s definitely not how it actually occurred.  There were major signs and problems leading up to the onset.  Things I could never explain or even knew there were terms for.  Even up till now I’ve always assumed in addition to the schizoaffective I was just a really bizarre person but they were actually signs and symptoms I wasn’t aware of.

I don’t feel disoriented right now, I feel peaceful.  I really am hoping this lasts.  I’m feeling motivated to get back into my artwork as I’m able to concentrate now.  Trying to do things to take care of my mental health.  Staying in somewhat of a routine at least with sleeping and eating.  Getting some exercise and going out of the house everyday, cleaning, keeping up with personal hygiene, doing things I enjoy. Yes, personal hygiene.  That’s embarrassing to say but it’s a struggle with many mental illnesses and tends to really decline when a person isn’t doing well.

So, I hope to start making posts at least somewhat regularly.  I hope my readers are doing well!

I also wanted to share two links that I’ve found helpful to refer to when struggling with hearing distressing voices

https://www.rw.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/hvnwa-coping-stratigies-poster.pdf

http://www.hearing-voices.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Hearing_Voices_Coping_Strategies_web.pdf

 

 

 

Still Here

I had some symptoms come back with the schizoaffective.  I did well for almost a year but things escalated recently with hearing a demon talking to me and believing/ and doing some bizarre things.  I kind of was in another world for awhile.  I’ve felt good today and yesterday thankfully, I really hope that is all over, it started building up again around 5 or 6 months ago with getting depressed then went from there.  I don’t want to end up like I was in my late teens again, it scares me how out of touch with reality I was.  I hadn’t been like that in many years, I’m not sure what happened.

Right now I’m just working on getting back on track with my college stuff because I was barely showing up for classes and not doing the work.  Went from straight A’s all through college to getting very low grades recently.  I can get things back where they were it will just take some time.