Best decision ever…

When I was drinking… really drinking, my next thought was always: when is my next drink. Nothing else mattered. I always had some excuse to go to the bar during the day, at night… anytime.

It was all I could think about. When can I have my next drink(s)? I was mentally obsessed with alcohol. For a while, drinking worked… it took my anxiety away, it took probable symptoms of bipolar disorder away. In a way, drinking made me feel normal. I drank when things went wrong. I drank when things went well. I drank anytime I could.

Then drinking turned on me. Drinking became not only an obsession, but a daily necessity. I could not stop even though I desperately wanted to. It was then things got out of hand.

Fortunately, I know a better way today. I live life on life’s terms, without resorting to abusing alcohol to make myself feel better. Today, I deal with the effects of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia without resorting to anything beyond medication that a doctor prescribes for me.

The medication isn’t perfect, but it does its job. I sometimes miss the euphoric highs of mania and having endless energy. What I do not miss are the depressive lows. Today, for the most part, I am balanced. Thankful for today. Hopefully, prepared for what tomorrow might bring.

The battle continues…

I used to be able to do so much… and it was probably that I was experiencing mania all through college and my first time in graduate school.

Now, with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, and being fully medicated to treat it, I am constantly battling the feeling that I am tired and have a lack of energy. I have been losing weight lately, so that is a plus. Hopefully some energy will come from that alone.

I know I am not alone in this schizoaffective disorder or mental illness battle. Across the board, it is a very tiring fight for everyone. Not only to constantly deal with symptoms like depression, but to also fight back the side effects of the medications prescribed to treat the disorders.

One Day at a Time. It’s the only way for me and countless others who fight this battle.

Recovery Month

In honor of National Recovery month…I have not picked up a drink or a drug since 09/30/2010. Let’s share our hope, so that those who suffer can recover.

I talk about my recovery openly because I don’t believe alcoholism, addiction, and mental illness should be stigmatized. The shame surrounding these diseases kill people. If you’re struggling ask for help. Life in recovery is more fulfilling and joyful than I ever imagined. We are here and we’re not hiding.

Going with the flow…

My anxiety is really high, and I’m not sure why. It might have to do with an experiment that I am running at work… that I won’t know if it worked until tomorrow. We’ll see. My anxiety was high all day. Not much I can do about it. The medication that I was given for anxiety, I am not supposed to be driving vehicles when I am on it, so I don’t usually take it unless I am going to bed and need help sleeping.

So not much else is new. Just plugging along for now…

Some down time….

I have a family gathering in about an hour, since we weren’t able to get together for Labor Day. I am looking forward to it… and hopefully will be a chance for me to relax a bit.

My anxiety is rather high right now, so hopefully it subsides shortly. I am writing an assignment for tomorrow, so that might be part of the cause of my anxiety. Hopefully, I do well on it.

The work goes on…

One day at a time. I have to live by that motto. For if I don’t, I might get discouraged, I might use (alcohol), I might fall into defeatism.

I have been thinking about the enormity of work that I have to do this semester… and whether or not I will be able to pull all this off. It’s not that I am lazy, it’s not that I am not motivated… it is a question of whether or not I am mentally capable of completing a second Ph.D. degree. So far, my progress has been more then satisfactory… I have passed all the classes required.

This semester, due in December, I have a qualifying exam… focused mainly on a 12 page document proposing a research project in an area which I do not have a specialty, and not on a project that I am currently working on. I do not know if I will be able to manage this ‘rite of passage’ on a entirely new area I need to learn. Time will tell how this all goes and how I make out. The analogy of teaching an old dog new tricks comes to mind right now.

For right now, I am working part-time at worst and full-time at best. It is a struggle dealing with not one, but two mental illnesses. While I am usually a step ahead of the schizoaffective disorder game, the dual whammy of trying to remain sane battling both the effects of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can be quite tiring. As to be expected, some days are better then others.

Today was a good day. And because of that, I am looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Hopefully I will continue to make sense out of the chaos and bring order to my seemingly never ending workload.