Posted in Publications on Coffee House Writers, Writing

An Explanation of My Absence

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Photo by Matt Flores via Unsplash

I’ve been silent on Functionally Fictional, on my blog, and here on Coffee House Writers. I want to explain what happened and what I have learned from those experiences.

Everything started in December 2018 on my trip to see my family in Ohio. The symptoms of my mental illness, schizoaffective disorder, got worse starting near the end of May.

By the end of May, I was talking with my hallucinations all day and couldn’t pull myself into reality. I wasn’t writing. I didn’t keep up with any of my responsibilities. I was in survival mode. For a month I didn’t feel like doing anything but sleeping and interacting with my voices.

The voices told me lots of stories I believed to be real. The more I interacted with them, the more I believed they were real people.

Eventually, I scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist and got my medicine adjusted so I could pull myself out of the rut I was in and function again.

The medicine wasn’t the only thing that helped me pull out of the funk. Writing and crocheting again, getting out into the sunshine, and using coping skills like staying busy so I wouldn’t converse with the voices all helped bring me back to reality.

I realized the connection between creativity and healing. I still must relearn it repeatedly. If I don’t get my creative energy out through writing or other outlets, the energy manifests itself as the voices getting stronger; drawing me into conversations, telling me many stories and lies.

To keep the voices from misdirecting my creativity, I must… [Read More]

Posted in Publications on Coffee House Writers, Writing

My Life with Schizoaffective Disorder: A Form of Schizophrenia

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Photo by Pixabay

Many people know about John Nash, the Nobel-Prize winning economist who had schizophrenia. Many know of him because of the movie, A Beautiful Mind. It is a fascinating cinematic portrayal of schizophrenic hallucinations.

However, there is not much content out there about schizophrenic symptoms and coping skills written by someone who has experienced them; this is a niche I can fill.

I was put on prescription medication by my parents as a young child. So early, in fact, that I am not sure when I was put on them. I was at least in the third grade, but it might have been before that. I remember taking my pills in peanut butter because I couldn’t swallow them for three years, which is why the smell makes me ill.

I’m not sure if this caused my current mental state or whether it contributed to it, but I’ll never know. There’s no use worrying about it because it won’t change anything except make me blame my parents, and that isn’t something that I want to be bitter over.

I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at eighteen. It is a form of schizophrenia with milder hallucinations. Usually a better grip on reality, and a mood disorder to go along with the hallucinations, such as depression or bipolar. I have the bipolar type. Even though I was diagnosed as a legal adult, I had been experiencing symptoms since I was fifteen. It is hard to say when I first…[Read More]