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    From Existing to Living Intentionally in Recovery from Schizophrenia

    Living with schizophrenia is the most challenging experience I have ever been through. Today I’m living intentionally in recovery, but for years schizophrenia defined me in a very negative way.

    In my experience, schizophrenia is a domineering and abusive mental health condition and for years, I had no way out. For a decade, I was not living, or thriving, I was existing. Schizophrenia destroyed my identity, my sense of hope and my will to live for a long time.

    My mental health challenges started when I was 11 years old with major depression. I saw the world as an incredibly dark place where only misery thrived. The darkness in my mind gave way to paranoia and voices and when I was 17, I attempted suicide. I ended up in the emergency room with a concussion, I lied about what had really happened and was released that same day.

    As the years went on, my psychosis continued evolving and obliterated reality. I was hearing callous and angry voices 24/7, I could not sleep, I was seeing things that had no foundation in reality and I believed things to the core that had no tangible evidence of being true. My mind was overtaken by paranoia and constant fear.

    The biggest source of fear came from my belief that I was being targeted because I was pregnant with the second coming of Christ. For this reason, I believed that the government was broadcasting my daily life to the world and had implanted a chip in my front tooth in order to monitor and record my thoughts. I felt threatened by most everyone and constantly watched my back.

    At the time and for 13 years, I was also in an abusive relationship. As terrible as schizophrenia is, I often hid in my mind to escape the pain I called my life.

    When I was 27 years old, I was rescued by the local fire department. I was hospitalized for a month in the psychiatric hospital. From there, I was hospitalized every year for three more years, always staying for a month.

    The last time I was hospitalized was in 2017, and this is when I left my ex-husband and went to live with my aunt.

    In my experience, with each break, the schizophrenia became worse. I was battling something that I was not aware of and had no tools to fight with. I was living with anosognosia, or lack of insight, during that period in my life.

    After I was released in 2017, I struggled significantly for a year. I had been over prescribed antipsychotic medications and my brain felt fried. Beyond that, the psychotic symptoms were more powerful than ever. I believed many illogical things and specifically that metal was a living being and from a spiritual plane, which existed in another galaxy that I was originally from prior to being sent to Earth. I believed that most of my family were demons disguised as humans and had been tasked with monitoring my every movement because this time around, I was the second coming of Christ.

    Everyday was a nightmare, particularly because of the voices that constantly tormented me and made me question whether I was a good person. The nightmares I was also experiencing during this time resulted in many sleepless nights. When I could not sleep, I would leave my aunt’s house and pace outside for hours. I also walked around outside endlessly most of the day yelling at people and cars.

    The turning point came when I was given the right medications. From there, all but one of the visual hallucinations disappeared, I no longer experienced external voices, only internal voices and the delusions lessened in their grip over me.

    Over the last few years, I have been doing a lot of growing in my recovery, particularly in the last year. Last year I met my husband, Alejandro, and he also lives with paranoid schizophrenia. We share unconditional and genuine love and support for one another and it’s a beautiful thing that I’ve never experienced until meeting him.

    With Alejandro’s continuously flowing support, I’m working full-time with a nonprofit, The San Antonio Clubhouse and specifically, the Connection Center program. I get to work from home doing what I absolutely love and feel fulfilled by. I’m a mental health peer specialist training coordinator and certified mental health peer specialist.

    I also founded a nonprofit, in 2021 where I educate others around #Schizophrenia in the Spanish-speaking Hispanic community.

    Looking back into first starting my recovery process, I never imagined that I would be where I am now. I know who I am, I have an overabundance of hope and I am genuinely happy to be alive.


    #PTSD Nightmares-What to do?

    I don't have nightmares of the trauma very often but I had one last night that really scared me. What relaxing activities can I do before bed to reduce the likelihood of having another one? I listen to calming music before bed and last night I had a cup of calming tea but do you guys have any other suggestions? I am Prazosin for the nightmares. Your input is appreciated. Thank you.

    #PTSD #Abuse #AbuseSurvivors #Nightmares #help


    When having nightmares how do you deal with them?

    I haven't been sleeping alot lately and could really use some advice. :)
    Thank you.


    So frustrated #Migraine #MentalHealth

    I'm so frustrated because I'm more than one week with migraine and I only have this crisis every 5 years or so on but I usually have other health problems everyday. I'm questioning myself what I'm going to do with my life. I don't have a job and I feel so useless. I feel that I can't continue my life like this, but I can't do nothing to change it. I tried to keep a positive mind, but sometimes (like now) I fall down.
    Now I'm with more medication because of the migraine so I think I'll be sleeping for a few days. But I have nightmares of all my worries. I have no rest 😔


    24 months

    Part 1 of 2 It’s been 24 long challenging months. I’ve grown and declined at the same time. I’ve grown because I’ve learned never to take a minute form granted. I learned how fast just 1 minute can really change your life. I’ve cut people out of my life who don’t deserve my care and love. I’ve opened my heart more to those that cherish the care and love I have with them. I’ve learned to not always let things get to me. I learned to love myself a touch more and to take care of myself more than I have ever in 28 years. I even learned how to talk about my feelings and my mental health. I rarely but occasionally will ask for help to make it through the day.

    I’ve declined because I’ve gone down a dark hole. I’ve lost myself more times then I can count. I’ve cried and wished I was with you. I’ve said things to the people I care about most out of anger. I’ve been “feisty” as my coworkers say when I’m depressed and think about you. I stopped caring about myself, my physical and mental health because I figured what’s the point. I let my mental health take a toll and the anxiety and depression break me down to nothing. I still haven’t picked up all the broken pieces of my heart that shattered the day you went away. I deny the comfort I some days need because it’s just to hard to get through the day. I still blame myself and play the “what if” games in my head if you didn’t fall and decline. I can’t change it now but that breaks me every time I start playing that game.

    There are so many emotions. During certain times of the year I miss you more than you know. The holidays, your birthday, my birthday and the hardest of all is the day you were called to heaven. There are days where I think and think without stopping and wondering what you’d saying to me. Your advice, compliments, knowledge and just your voice would comfort me. Every time I get a migraine I can picture you saying, “Amanda get some rest and feel better.” I think back to the days when they first started and you’d always get me a cold wash-clothe then rub my head until I fell asleep.

    730 days have gone by dad and every single one of those days I’ve thought about you, wether a lot or just picturing your smile, your always on my mind. All the days I could have used your advice and guidance to help me continue in the right direction. I’d do anything just to hear your input on everything.

    I don’t know how the rest of my life will be without you by my side. I know deep down that you’re always around but not physically seeing or hearing you eats me alive. The saying goes that time heals all wounds but this one will never heal. It’s the greatest loss I’ve ever endured and I wish I didn’t have to. I look at your writing that says “love you” every day on my arm and I could see and hear you saying it. I hear your voice clear as day. I prayed and cried for weeks after you left to wake up from the nightmare of not having you here. I had nightmares of your last moments which I wish you never ever had to endure, from the pain and everything else, I still sit here and wish I could have changed how it all went for you. I still cry and I know you’d be telling me that everything will be alright, but the fact of the matter is, it will never be alright. There will always be a hole in my heart for you and pieces that shattered that will never be put back together.

    The rest of my life has changed and I don’t know how to handle it. We were both supposed to have so many more memories, laughs, hugs and time together. You were supposed to be a grandparent eventually, you were supposed to have more birthday gifts, more Christmas decorating which you loved and just so much more. You left me way too soon. I know neither of us were ready to part our ways. I don’t take it for granted though that I got 13 extra months with you. From the moment you were told you had 6 months with chemotherapy, you fought like hell and made it 13 months. Every day we spent together was fun, as we always had, but I wish it was longer.

    Some days I envy the way people don’t appreciate their dads because I’d do anything in this world to have you. Some people don’t care about them and others don’t talk to them and some even take them for granted. I hate it! I’m jealous of them for being able to still have time with their dads and I don’t have that time anymore. It’s not fair. Why do I have to suffer like this when there are others who don’t even care? It gets to me every time.

    I will always think of you every day wether it’s a big or small thought, a smile that comes across my face, a flash back to a memory or just hearing your name. You mean more than the world to me still and that will never change. I will have my good and bad days but try to have more good than bad for you. I promise to do better on taking care of myself both physically and mentally for you because you’d want me to do tha



    Can someone help with coping skills for nightmares and ugly coping skills that I want to get read off but under a lot of stress I am not able to



    How do you manage your thoughts and nightmares and ugly coping skills that help you cope with stress

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    Crowds of Fears for Comedy

    My social anxiety and OCD have been beating me up in anticipation for a one hour LIVE comedy performance in Brooklyn, NY.

    The main concerns are getting there and the crowds. It is not an easy commute. I have to take the LIRR to the MTA (NYC subway). After the trains a 20 min city walk. Rounding up it should be close to 90min travel time each way.

    Next is the crowds, Walking to club. (don't know area at all). Getting something to eat along the route. All of worse case scenarios running in my head, keeping me up at night or distracted during the day.

    I have nightmares of having a panic attacks about getting on the wrong subway going in the wrong direction, missing my stop, getting lost in the neighborhood, or even being thrown out of club.

    Yes, it is worth it. I want to beat through the crowds for the laughs. I just have to find a better way to handle ALL of the anticipation. Working on it in therapy.

    If you can relate hit the like or share a story or comment.

    Be well!

    #PanicAttacks #Anxiety #MentalHealth #selfcare


    Stuffed Animals - Another Thing

    Something else I've learned about having a stuffed animal. In respect to those inner children loving it. It calms them and helps them to feel safe. In recovery we learn to be foster parents to our traumatized inner children. But no amount of reassurances can really sooth a being who has faced annihilation. Nothing like a stuffed animal. I found since having one. Since my many little ones are feeling safer than they ever have been. I'm seeing into my traumatized past like never before. Which is painful and horrific. The things ive felt and experienced. I thought the nightmares were bad. But it's where I need to go to heal.
    Not bad for $30.

    #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #DissociativeIdentityDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder