As a feminist, I think that all women are beautiful, except for me. I think I’m ugly. I think I’m ugly because I’m fat. I’m fat because of the medication I take for schizoaffective disorder. I think other fat women are beautiful and that beauty comes in all sizes, except in my case. Yes, I know that sounds contradictory. But think about it this way: How does it feel to be on medication that is supposed to help your mental health but makes you feel ugly, and makes you worry about getting health complications like type 2 diabetes?
The year 2020 is turning out to be very stressful, and stress isn’t good for any of us, whether or not we have a mental illness like schizoaffective disorder. Not only do we have the coronavirus to contend with, but it’s also a presidential election year. Future responses to the virus and the outcome of the election go hand in hand in my mind. Add in my schizoaffective disorder, and I’m really stressed out. But I’m focusing this article on the election despite that.
Because of my schizoaffective disorder, I beat up on myself a lot. Whenever anything goes wrong, I blame myself--or look for ways to blame myself. As a feminist, I want to love the goddess that I am, but this isn’t reality for me.
I’ve written recently that I was keeping fit, dieting and exercising, because of weight gain from the antipsychotic I take for my schizoaffective disorder. But that was before Illinois started to shelter-at-home due to COVID-19. Well, believe it or not, despite the pandemic and the self-quarantine, I’m still at it.
My schizoaffective anxiety is one of a host of factors that make it hard to fall asleep at night. That wasn’t always the case. One of my friends once said that falling asleep on a dime was my superpower. But it isn’t anymore, and this is very frustrating.
It was just your common cold--a slight sore throat, a slight cough, sniffles and no fever. I wouldn’t have paid it any mind if the coronavirus weren’t running rampant. My schizoaffective anxiety didn’t help the situation either, though, honestly, everyone was freaking out.
I am turning 41 years old this April. Getting older is hard for everyone, but it’s especially hard when you have a chronic illness such as schizoaffective disorder. Here’s why.
I haven’t heard schizoaffective voices in almost two months. That’s pretty exciting news. I started hearing voices much less because my psychopharmacologist increased the dosage of my mood stabilizer. It’s so good to be free of the voices and I don’t take it for granted.
I mentioned in last week’s article that sheltering at home with schizoaffective disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t that hard for me because my schizoaffective anxiety keeps me in so much anyway. However, now the extreme isolation is starting to take its toll.
COVID-19, or coronavirus, is definitely taking a toll on my schizoaffective anxiety. I haven’t heard voices because of the stress (thankfully), but this is a case where I can’t tell myself I’m worrying about nothing, because everyone else in the world is freaking out about the same thing I am.