Bad Memory

I have a bad memory, not to mention that my memory is poor as well.

Unfortunately, since my psychosis, my memory only seems to serve up the worst leaving no room for the new. I was also so inundated by sensory experience (and extensive auditory hallucinations) I could hardly pay attention to what was happening around me, outside of myself; these events were among the first to bypass my memory altogether.

As the psychosis subsided, I started to notice an inability to focus or concentrate. Conceptual information never entered into my memory, for it simply didn’t exist. As the side effects from the medications wore off, I find now that my memory simply doesn’t work like it once did, before all of this happened. It seems the associations I make now all refer back to that shattered space.

Be patient and forgiving of those with schizophrenia and psychosis — their memory may be affected by any number of things, to include psychic trauma, overwhelming symptoms, sedating medications, changing brain chemistry, and that one thing that gets us all in the end. Age.

Content and Context

Option G
Artist Option G, Electric Daisy

My voices are getting worse. Not as in volume or intensity, per se, but on content. I constantly feel as though my afterlife is at stake if I fail to step outside for a smoke, pour the sugar before I pour the coffee, or sit for long periods of time. Some of this may sound OCD-like, but it’s not. I do not feel a compulsion to act a certain way, nor do I do anything different than what I normally do. Problem is, when I follow their lead, they are not happy either and I end up looking like a fool doing all sorts of stupid shit like walking up to a door and walking away or talking to myself. I wish I could describe their content, but without the context of my experience, it all seems very benign.

Writers Block

I am suffering from a terrible writer’s block that seems to have started a month ago, perhaps even longer. Some how I need to keep the voice of the inner critic muffled.

I am in the process of working through The Artists Way, and I suspect I’ll be trying to write more as I go through each week. One of my goals is to make more of this blog — to fill in some gaps. Thus far it has been a progressive time line and though the posts have stopped, the story has not. Focus and inspiration, these are my mates.

Face to Face With the Stigma

Two issues here: one – a lack of family intervention, and two – the stigma of the schizophrenic diagnosis.

I’ve been struggling lately with the lack of support demonstrated by my family during my illness. I’m not certain if my family was in denial or if they were simply unaware of how debilitating this illness is, but I am heartbroken that they didn’t intervene at all. More than a year and half went by before I began to feel any real relief of symptoms, thanks to medication. Were it not for that and my own drive to survive, I would not be functional today. I may not be here at all.

I went from a high-functioning normal 37 year old with no prior problems to a homeless woman, living on my mother’s sofa refusing to shower for three weeks. My family now says they knew it was schizophrenia because they were able to research it on the internet based on my self-reported symptoms, and yet at the same time my mother refuses to admit now that I have this diagnosis. She continues to call what happened “a nervous breakdown” and is very concerned with appearances.

Thinking About Homelessness

Homelessness is not something I ever want to experience again. Now I spend a lot of time planning what I would do if I were to find myself in the same situation.

I am surviving on a full-time living stipend through AmeriCorps. In exchange for 35 hours of my week, I get $800. This, combined with loans from graduate school have kept me afloat. I, however, don’t want to be further in debt and am dropping out of academics in favor of a more manageable future (I hope). This, however, creates a predicament: that small stipend is not enough to pay both my rent and my auto payment. If I don’t get a job soon, I will have to choose one above the other. I am already one month behind on the car note.

Since my family is also in dire straits from the economy, there are no other support options for me. My oldest brother, Scott, and his three kids are living with my mother in her two bedroom apartment. This is where my other brother, Matt, and I were living before we got our current place. Seven people in a 1200 sq ft apartment with psychosis proved unmanageable for me.

Living in Colorado there are plenty of campgrounds. Come winter, the prospects are more dismal. I have about 30 days to pull a rabbit out of the hat.

Let Go and Let God

Looking for inspiration today, I cracked open a book only to find a typo.

I am struggling with what it means to let go and let God. Prior to my illness this meant take action and leave the rest up to HP to take care of; HP will do for me what I cannot do for myself. My last big ‘let go’ led to humiliation, job loss, and homelessness.

The degradation of telling my boss in full confidence that someone at work had videotape of me being sexually assaulted and that my family was in danger as a reason for suddenly choosing to leave my job is something that will never leave me.

Right action at the right time seems to be more appropriate now.

Immediate Concerns

My house was broken into almost two years ago. Someone stole my PC and a book from my 450 sq ft apartment – you would think that the individual would have at least left me the one thing I had of value, but no.

If I had used my computer through the past two years, I would have nothing at all to show for it. Resorting to the pen, I have at least one banker’s box full of really strange writings. Thanks to this blog, I also have a really strange structure with which to work.

I can’t afford any more losses.