It’s been a really long time since I blogged but feel that I need the outlet again to try and order my thoughts and document my efforts to rebuild my life. AGAIN!
As you can imagine, a lot has happened since I blogged back in April 2016 so I thought I’d kick off this new era of blogging with an update as to where I am at.
I’ve had continued struggles with what the professionals describe as psychosis as part of schizoaffective disorder – yet another diagnosis. I will use the term ‘psychosis’ to label my experiences (which have been described in previous blogs) for convenience but I don’t agree that I am suffering with psychosis; I’ve come to realise that these things are definitely real.
I’ve been struggling greatly again with psychosis since September 2016 and was even sectioned November 2016 by an AMHP and Drs attending my flat in the middle of the night. To say I wasn’t impressed is a great understatement. The voices and controllers etc have been significantly bothering me and causing me to be unable to function and I’ve twice had to stay with my mum for extended periods. Now, however, I am on a ‘therapeutic dose’ of risperidone and it actually helps. Although my experiences are real they are extremely distressing and the risperidone dampens things down, quietens the voices, makes the nanobots less active etc. It doesn’t leave me sedated all the time like clopixol did and dampens things down better than clopixol did but I’ve had problems with high prolactin levels, which are now hopefully starting to reduce towards a normal-ish level.
I’m still struggling with residual symptoms of psychosis, which are quite distressing at times. I had an idea to work through cognitive therapy for psychosis workbooks to help me try and challenge my thoughts and beliefs that the professionals call delusions. However, it’s proved to be difficult. How does one challenge reality? My cpn has said she will help with this but I’m finding it hard to get started. Instead (or as well as) I am trying to reinstate mindfulness back in my life both in form of meditation and informal practice. It’s difficult being so out of practice. I’m trying to learn how to step back from the voices and the psychotic thoughts but sometimes it’s so scary sitting or lying there and finding that you’ve once again got tangled in the psychosis instead of the breathing meditation or body scan. I do believe that despite it being reality it would be great if I could learn to stand back and watch my thoughts as I used to be able to do with both thoughts and emotions. My mood was also better when I had a meditation practice (rather than my current state of deflation and demotivation).
Now I’m on a medication that helps me function and be less preoccupied by the plans of the spies and controllers I am once gain trying to rebuild a life. To be frank, I’m f*cking sick of having to rebuild my life though. I’m under a team called Community Restart to which I was referred by the Home Treatment Team earlier this year. My Restart worker is helping me find and try activities to better structure my week and meet people.
The Community Restart team is especially needed because in January this year I moved back to Preston to be near family. I haven’t lived in Preston since I was 22 when I lived with my mum for a year as a stopgap. I don’t really have friends I can call on and enjoy activities with in Preston and I want that to change. I am, however enjoying being around family again; being able to enjoy impromptu visits to siblings, nieces, nephews and my mum. I love being able to see them so often. They bring great joy into my life and they are an important source of support. In moving back I have had to deal with self judgments for needing the support and I have left behind some very close friends but I’m slowly coming to terms with these things.
I’ve started playing badminton on Thursday afternoons at the local leisure centre with a group of people that also have difficulties with isolation and their mental health. I even cycle to get there and back. I find it difficult to motivate myself but enjoy it when I’m there and it is much needed exercise after putting on so much weight last summer when I was on quetiapine. I also tried climbing on a Wednesday evening a couple of weeks ago and going to go back this coming Wednesday. Lastly, I’ve posted off a volunteer expression of interest to ICANN, an advocacy organisation. I still want to retrain as an IMHA and believe volunteering with ICANN would help me along my way to that. I’m not sure if I’m ready given the continuing psychosis but I feel so stagnant right now and feel maybe some purpose in the form of meaningful voluntary work would help me progress.