First off let me say I’m sorry for not posting for a while. You see part of this disorder is mood disorder, mine being bipolar type 1 rapid cycling. This means I have manic phases and I have depressive phases and they interchange very quickly from one to another. That doesn’t mean the phases are short, however, my manic phases are usually much shorter than my depressive phases, it just means that basically if I not one then I am probably the other. I don’t really have an in-between or normal phase. Lately, I have been going through a very rough depressive phase and I have not been able to write anything. So I decided to try now to see if it helps me break out of this bottomless sea of depression somehow. So here goes nothing.
I’ll tell you about the noise. The noises are hallucinations and paranoia mixed for me. Medication helps deal with the major outbursts that make me want to end my life sometimes but it doesn’t stop the backhanded comments or the chatter of a crowded room nor does it stop the paranoia from hearing someone behind a door or making sounds in a quiet room. This is why I say it’s never quiet and when the voices cease the noises fill the silence.
I’m in a constant state of noise and confusion putting me in an anxiety ridden mental state at all times. Another thing that happens when I have all the noise filling my head is that I forget things. I forget entire conversations and sometimes entire days at a time. I forget things my kids ask about and then I cannot find them temporarily, or my husband will ask me to do something important and I will completely forget and it can mess with his career. As you can see the anxiety is rising in me right now just thinking about it.
So obviously these things can have a profound affect on a person. Seeing as though I am a parent and a wife, I have duties to uphold and most of the time I feel as though I can’t hack it (more so than normal mothers). I also fear losing the memories of my marriage and my children growing up and them being replaced by false thoughts and bad depressive days. My manic days are causing problems because they have been known to cause me to spend thousands of dollars over the course of my illness thus far, which in return creates financial and marital strain.
I can say one thing. I will probably never have more than an entry level job, and that’s on the chance I can handle the pressures of a job. I used to want to be something. Make my parents proud. I wanted to start from the bottom and become the best and say hey I did that on my own. Well now it’s not likely for me. Now I just want to not screw up my entire life and live through the worst days. I haven’t worked recently enough to qualify for disability and the last time I tried to get SSI we had too much money to qualify but not enough money to afford assistance for me at home. We are military and move around quite a bit so we aren’t really anywhere long enough for my paranoia to allow anyone new into my home anyways.
So that’s the noise, voices saying I should go kill myself or simply pointing out how screwed up of a parent I am and how my kids will suffer because of me, or the guy on the other side of the door speaking but not loudly enough to hear what he’s saying, or to the doors slamming in my home but no one is awake except me, or simply the mumble of a crowed office or lounge where everyone’s speaking but no one really says a word, just noise The are the some of things schizoaffective disorder does to me. That’s just the tip of the illness iceburg.
Most of the time I get asked why do I share so openly about my disorder. To answer that I simply say I need a reminders that my disorder is real. Also, I hope someone can see my ups and downs and it helps them to see that it’s not a life-ending sentence they’ve been handed. While difficult to deal with on a daily basis, I have found the right treatment plan, effective coping skills, strong faith, and the will to be my best possible self all diminish the worst aspects of what I go through.
I really try to remember the bible verse above James 1:3. When my faith is being tested, whether by hallucinations, delusions, paranoia or some other dilemma, I must wait for God to decide it’s time for it to pass, and I must pray for his help to get me through the episode. I say this verse because we often forget that we are not on our time frame but the plan that is already in motion is on God’s schedule, and therefore we must be patient.
You see I believe we all have a choice. Either we can sit around alone with our problems, or we can write, talk, video blog or whatever and possibly affect someone by saying what they might not be able too. We can give our problems a voice and show people they are not alone or the only one feeling a certain way. If we do this we can help slow down the suicide rate and fully affect real CHANGE! Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
All it takes is for people to sit around their electronics…..where we know they already are and just vent and show gratitude for the good things they have already. Reach out to a mental health forum if only to show sympathy and support. Heck pick a new group every week and spread the love, because we all know the world desperately needs more love and support in it.
This is the reason I choose to share my issue so openly because maybe, just maybe someone will choose not to become impatient with God’s plan and maybe they won’t proceed with their own plan to take their own life. It’s my choice and no one can stop me from trying.
I was formally diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder in March of 2011. However that is not when things started to get better. For starters, my schizoaffective disorder is essentially a mix of schizophrenic symptoms and bipolar symptoms. In my case it was paranoia and delusions, mixed with bipolar depression and manic symptoms that were rapid cycling. Meaning my mood went from crying over everything to feeling like I could be the President of the United States and solve the world’s problems all within a period of a week to a month. The paranoia and delusions however would last for months to a year or more.
In 2011 I was so delusional I didn’t believe my diagnosis was real. I believed that I had discovered some hidden information and that my doctor and my husband were just trying to convince me it wasn’t real in order to keep the secrets hidden. I refused to accept that I was schizoaffective. So my condition while seemingly began to improve was actually getting worse because I wasn’t receiving treatment. What happened was that I had snapped out of one delusion and my symptoms became dormant, but that just convinced me I didn’t have a problem. The next time it would appear was a lot worse, voices, hallucinations, delusions. At that time I even believed I was talking directly to God himself via my email inbox and junk mail folders on the computer. I believed the headers and file names were in a specific order and the pattern was the message from God.
I heard voices warning me about terrible things that were going to happen what I should do to escape these terrible events. At one point I even left the house believing the pizza delivery guy was coming to kill me or kidnap me and take me somewhere they could cut my head open and experiment on my brain. Then my mother came to visit. As we were driving down the road back to the house from the airport I began to tell her about the emails being from God and the Pizza guy trying to kill or kidnap me and I remember the look on her face being very confused. No matter how much she tried not to look shocked or sad I could tell what I was saying was very off the wall and probably not very possible and I knew what the doctors had said in 2011 was exactly what I was going through at that point. There was no more denying the diagnosis anymore.
What ended up helping me the most was being able to hear myself say what was happening and have understanding however untrue the understanding was from my loved ones. While they didn’t truly understand me because what I was saying was, forgive me for lack of a better word crazy, it was real. They did their best to just listen and show compassion when I felt trapped and scared. Scared to sound crazy, and trapped by my delusions but not judged by the ones who meant the most to me was the true way I was able to begin the healing process. I didn’t accept my diagnosis because I was afraid I would lose my ability as a person to have a perspective on anything. Or that I would lose my children or my husband because of my diagnosis. Those things still scare me to death but they are things I have accepted as possible outcomes should I chose to forget what cards I have been dealt and not continue my treatment. Those are the things that helped me the most.
I woke up and thought today’s a good day, only to find out it was just the start of a week long delusion. I received an email from my healthcare provider and I of course took to the website to check out what I was getting in regards to healthcare for the money we pay to have insurance. Once I see the odd company’s name listed with no provider shown I began to question things. I looked up the company and figured out what they do but somewhere in my reading, my schizoaffective kicked in and I was down the rabbit hole.
Before I realized what was happening my paranoia made it’s presence know and by the end of the day I was convinced people were studying me and companies were tampering with my medication. I didn’t know what to do. I knew everyone would think I was crazy if I said anything, so I didn’t say anything. However hiding a delusion and constant paranoia is more difficult that it looks, and I was beginning to show in everything I did. That’s when I told my husband what my problem was and listened to how crazy the idea sounded. He was super supportive and understanding, reminding me that it was the schizoaffective talking and how things will get better if I just keep reminding myself of that.
I took nearly a week and I still don’t totally disbelieve my scenario to be untrue, but I believe it enough to get through today without it tearing me down. Sometimes I just have to remind myself in the grand scheme of things, I am just not that important, and I have nothing these companies need that they can’t get on their own using a paid research participants. It’s not a solution to my symptoms but it surely does alleviate some of the residual exhaustion the symptoms produce. For me that’s better than nothing.
“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.”— Izaak Walton
Below are some pictures of me to show you a glimpse of what my husband likes to call, “50 shades of crazy.” It’s also a way for you to see the many faces I wear. Hope you find them entertaining or at least educational. 😬😂
I will be adding more pictures as I add to my blog posts.