A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Temporary Standstill

This time last year I was inside psychosis, i.e. I was deluded and paranoid.  Because I was paranoid about everyone, I cut off contact with everyone.  I stopped taking my medications, stopped seeing my therapist, deleted this blog among other negative actions.  I listened to the voices in my mind, which were intentionally leading me astray.  Inside my home I went in and out of mania.  I was so caught up in a delusional world.  I suffered trauma and for a little while I began to split up in my personality.

I'm not sure what got me to turn around away from sickness and back towards health, but I did.  I went to my psychiatrist and was honest with him and just returned to taking the medications again.  For a couple of months I had no therapist, then an online therapist, which didn't work out and then found a new therapist very close by.  I started going to an Al-Anon meeting once a week 40 minutes away from my home.  I reconnected with several friends.  I began a morning routine of taking my medications, thanking God, praying for myself and others and reading from several daily readers.  I returned to writing my blog.  And there were other things I did, which I won't go into.

During this time my father moved into the nursing home, my brother and I took on the large job of clearing out my father's apartment and then, in July, my father died.  Because I had experienced so much trauma, my father's death was not so disturbing to me.  He was 88 years old and had lived a good, long life and had been very kind to me and to my brother.  I had been preparing myself for my parents' deaths ever since they reached their 80s and so, in some ways I was prepared.  So my parents were gone, I was not as close to my brother and my uncle had lived in another state for many years and I did not keep in close touch with him.  And so the isolation that I had begun last year with was still lingering.  Despite now having a very good therapist and developing a closer relationship with an old friend, I see myself standing alone.

I have my voices for companionship.  They have matured this year as I went through the recovery process again.  For the most part, they don't try to lead me astray.  I know they live with a pain that goes deep, deeper than the pain I go in and out of.  In some ways we are recovery partners.  I want to be a good influence on them and I tell them what I appreciate about them and there are many things to appreciate.  But still it comes down to daily/nightly practice of recovery attitudes and behaviors.  Right now I am quiet, peaceful, yet depressed.  And so I stay patient and as open as I can be.  I can see that I have come a long way in a short time this year.

I know this time of year, the Fall into the Winter, the holiday season, is hard for me and many people.   But I do have faith that I can get through it.
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