How I'm Resetting My Survival Tools for the New Year as a Woman With Schizophrenia

I live with paranoid schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from childhood experiences. I have had success stabilizing my psychotic symptoms, but childhood issues threaten once or twice a year to trigger a psychotic break even though I’m 59 years old and have had extensive counseling. The medication enables me to keep myself in check, but overall my approach is not working. Something has to give! Here are some new year’s resolutions I will try.

1. The current isolation I find myself in when I’m not at work is not an answer. Volunteering will be my first choice for correcting my loneliness.

2. Begin journaling as soon as I feel reality is slipping away.

3. Accept that if I lead a life I can show to anyone, paranoia has little power.

4. Try to trust people more.

5. Ditch alcohol.

6. Don’t be too smug to seek counseling.

7. Accept that it is my duty to improve my lifestyle.

8. Accept that when a childhood flashback panics me, it’s better to ask for professional help than to reach out to inexperienced people, be they friends or strangers.

9. Do not be ashamed to be happy! I love a simple life with lots of routine. Ignore those who belittle my lifestyle.

10. Do not try to please if it goes against what you believe. Stand firm and reality will be clearer. Don’t sell out!

11. Be more conscious of the stress I put on my loved ones and strive to help them manage it.

12. Remind myself every day that my husband loves me and that it is God’s greatest gift to me!

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