Coping Skills

How Do You Know When You’re Stable?

There was an interesting question I came across on the internet this week about mental illness that made me think. It was an honest inquiry into stability and what it means to be stable after recovering from a mental illness.

Simply put, this person wanted to know what stability was, they wanted to be able to gauge their recovery in the frame of other people’s experiences and seeing as how I’ve been stable for a while I figured it would be a good topic for my blog.

First and foremost, there’s no set point of stability, living with mental illness is nothing if it isn’t a humungous grey area. You can be doing well in one regard but still struggling in another. You can be doing well for a while and fall back into a place of instability just as easily.

Coping Skills

It’s Not Lack of Empathy, It’s Resilience

I don’t know if it’s my body language, my words or the things that I say but I feel like I don’t react well to people. It’s some insecurity mechanism I have where I feel like the way I react to sad or shocking news isn’t the way I way I should react and I feel like a lot of people have this problem.

It’s as if my reaction doesn’t match the reaction they are expecting and I can see that I haven’t satisfied their expectations for how I should act following certain news. This is only a point of contention for me because I feel like the reaction I’m giving is false and fake and that makes me question my degree of empathy.

I’ve wondered many times whether there was some degree of psychopathy going on in me because I’m not shocked by things that happen. I wonder whether because these things aren’t as impactful for me as they are for them if I lack empathy. I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling either and I’ve made the same remarks to several people who feel the same way.

Coping Skills

It’s Easy to Fall Into a Social Media Hole

It’s probably not a good thing that I spend so much time on social media. If it’s not Facebook it’s on Tumblr. I update my Tumblr pretty much everyday with stuff I find interesting and it can be fun but there are also downsides to spending time with it.

First and foremost it can give you an inflated ego. Having likes streaming in on a selfie can seriously boost your self-esteem but you have to wonder if those likes are contributing to an inflated sense of self.

It can be so easy to fall under the delusion that you’re better than everybody else and it cause some serious problems when it comes to interacting with people.

Coping Skills

Cultivating Calmness

In our day-to-day lives we’re faced with myriad frustrations and complications, everything from pressures at work to our car not running right, to more serious things such as trauma and family pressures.

The point is there are way too many things in this world that have the power to throw us off our game. We so rarely take the time to just sit still and be calm.

We’re constantly worried about things that we may or may not have any control over, and we stress ourselves out to the point of illness.

At what point do we decide to just find that calmness, that quiet that we’re so desperately missing?

Coping Skills

It’s Important to Get Out and Try New Things

This may seem like a funny topic but I think there’s something to be said for getting out and exploring, especially when you have a mental illness. It can be a road trip or it can just be trying a new restaurant but it can be good to experience new things.

Over the last few months I’ve had a growing unease in my gut, I want a change, I want to do something new,...

Coping Skills

The Burn-Out Point

In my ten years of living with schizophrenia, I’ve become acutely aware of a phenomenon I’ll call the burn-out point. It usually happens when things get to be too much or when the thoughts that are careening through my mind become more of a weight than I’m willing to bear.

A lot of people are familiar with the idea of burnout, of not feeling like they want to continue with what they’re doing because it seems to have gotten old or it just feels like nothing is progressing.

The mental illness burn-out point is a little different though. Instead of feeling like you don’t want to do things anymore, you’re still highly motivated to do them but you know you can’t handle it with the state of your illness. You know that if you take on additional stress, things will start to go south and that’s not good for anyone.

Coping Skills

Journaling Can Help De-Clutter Your Head

The weight of the world can get the best of us sometimes. That’s where I’ve been for the last couple months. I’ve been worried about life, about relationships, about money, about moving, all of this stuff.

Suffice it to say that things have been heavy.

It seems like every few months this stuff has a way of compounding on itself to the point where you can’t really think straight anymore and where you can’t do the things you want because you’re so preoccupied by the fact that there’s so much to do, and you’re just sick and tired of it all.

Things had been going alright for a long time and I was doing pretty well for a while and then I got it into my head that I wanted a change and I wanted to move but money was a problem so I had to find more writing gigs, and so on and so forth until I was at a point where I was so tired I was even questioning whether I wanted to write at all anymore.

Coping Skills

Making a List of Your Worries Can Help

Things have been getting heavy recently, It seems like I’ve been bogging myself down in stress from my desire to move, from my inability to find more writing gigs and from personal stuff like relationships.

The fact of the matter is that I’ve been worried about a lot of stuff, and it hasn’t been good.

It starts pretty simply, a passing thought here or there that sits in your head. It has a gravitational pull...

Coping Skills

Social Interaction is Ridiculous

I’ve long been extolling my thoughts on how ridiculous I find the rules of social interaction and no matter how hard I try I can‘t stop thinking about it. I guess it’s because I face it every day of my life and I’ve had no choice but to learn and master the rules so that I make myself known as a confident stable human being.

It’s so ridiculous though, so completely absurd. Take for instance eye contact, if you make too much, that can mean something and if you don’t make enough that can also mean something. You have to find the prefect balance and it’s only after years of practicing that I finally feel like I’m ok at it. I still mess up sometimes which makes me wonder what the other person thinks of me and then makes me guilty for doing it wrong, as if there’s a correct way of doing it.

I don’t know, I just feel like after years of living with schizophrenia I’ve had to relearn all these social cues. I don’t know what caused me to forget them other than the intense emotional weight of being told that you’re crazy, the point is though, that I’ve spent years trying to master social interaction in an attempt to be perceived as normal as humanly possible and it’s only led me to glaring conclusion that there is no normal.

Coping Skills

What To Do When You’re Caught in a Delusion

I’ve been having some delusions lately. These delusions are primarily manifested in the notion that people I don’t know on the internet deeply care for me. That they love me. They post things on their social media accounts that are pretty ambiguous so sometimes it leads me to believe that they are sending messages to me this way. I’ve only ever asked one of them about it and they were more confused than...