When I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, the hardest part of coming to terms with it was the difficulty of managing the voices that come and go. Medication plays a large role in keeping the auditory hallucinations at bay, but much of the work comes from the therapeutic ways that I cope with it on a daily basis. Having a thought disorder comes with a lot of stigma, and telling people that I am hearing voices initially made me feel vulnerable to being seen as “crazy” or “nuts” or “psychotic”. However, by using humor, coping skills, a strict medication regimen, and being honest with my treatment team, I have learned how to quiet the voices.
As many of you read, I wasn’t doing too well a few weeks ago. A visit from my family soothed the burning wounds for a short period of time, but still they were raw. This slight reprieve encouraged me to head back to Pittsburgh with my mom and spend a few days at home with her, my dad, and my sister. Something which I hoped to be liberating.
The only thing that troubled my mind was that my dad and I bought the wrong sized dowels at Home Depot and we had to make a return trip. Other than that, the change in scenery was exactly what I needed.
A much needed getaway
After a pleasant and refreshing weekend, I flew home. It was a cool fall day, and while waiting at the airport, I had a chance to sit and reflect. I reflected upon how lucky I was (and am) to have such a loving and supportive family, spouse, and friends. I reflected upon the fact that this illness is more serious than I want to admit. I reflected upon the truth that this illness is bigger than me – and that I cannot beat it alone.(more…)