Hearing Voices Committee 

Greetings fellow humans.

I have the day off work today. Did little yoga and running this morning and it’s a nice evening here now.

Still practising meditation and yoga. Doing a more vigorous yoga class at the moment. I am used to running which is very competitive and your always trying to beat your times in races. Yoga is different your not competing with anybody just trying to get the hang of the pose and be mindful with your thoughts and breathing. It was a bit of shock to system trying more difficult yoga class the sweat was pouring out of me I had never done so many downward dogs in my life (it’s a easy looking yoga pose which is surprisingly difficult.) I am not sure I really want to stay at running it really tough on the body I always have aches and pains from it, yoga is much easier on the body now I am at plus side of forty. Running really was a joy in the past I am just not sure about it anymore.

I went to a comedy show last Saturday, it was funny enough. I plan to keep an eye out for comedy shows in future there quite enjoyable. I was proud I managed to be around so many people in theatre and still be in control of my thoughts and not get paranoid at things. I guess this was me making progress.

Finishing up large job in work hopefully it will be ok on site, there was a bit of a rush to get it out. Work relationships seem to be going ok hopefully stay this way. Sister started new job today hope it works out for her she has been out of work 2 years.

Made a compliant about my GP to HSE in relation to not reducing my meds. They gave me a email to some other body so I sent complaint to them. I don’t really think they will do much but I just want my voice heard somewhere. I also meet with a woman called Mary Maddock she wrote a book and is very against psychiatrists and had horrible experiences at there hands. I plan to read the book this evening. She might know a GP that may be able to help, see what happens I guess.

Meet with hearing voices committee today, that seem nice enough and are happy for me to be on committee. Will just play it by ear and hopefully make a useful contribution at some stage. Hoping to have hearing voices group possiblable set up before or around xmass again be interesting to see what happens.

Saw interesting Ted Talk “the magic off not giving a fuck” worth a look kinda funny. See link below.

Ted Talk

Hope your well

Keep up the good fight ✊🏾

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The highs and lows of my odd little life.

Trigger warning “depression”  “suicide” “foul language” “CSA” 

Have not posted in a while was trying to do one post a week this year. Was having bit of a tough time for a while but I feel much better place now, so I plan to rant on about it below.

Not sure where to start so I guess I will just start writing. I have a few personal issues which I believed stemmed from CSA I survived as a kid. I don’t like to blame everything on my youth but not acknowledging it has had an impact on me just does not do justice to the effect it has had on me and doing my damdest to ignore it for years (seriously if you have any kind of trauma in your past try figure out way to deal with it , trust me ignoring it does not work I tried).

So I basically seem to watch everyone out of the corner of my eye pretty much all the time. Which frankly freaks people out especially woman. On top of this I can stare for few seconds at men and woman inappropriately which frankly also freaks the fuck out of people. Seeing people react to this does feed into my fears (unusual beliefs, paranoia whatever label you want to give it) that I am basically the most evil thing in creation. As you can imagine this is not a good feeling.

In work it felt like I was in a pressure cooker situation and something was going to give. Purely from the inappropriate behaviour I was showing. The work environment was utterly toxic which did not help anyone’s mental health in work whatsoever. I could hear the woman at work discussing angrily with the boss about this behaviour when I was not in the room (since I hear voices not sure if this was real or just my mind warning about my behaviour). I have practising various meditation techniques from the start of the year which are helping but there is still a massive issue.

 I had asked my family’s and friend and previous therapist advice on telling work I have issues with my mental health, I got an overwhelming no from all of them. So I was sitting there and felt I was going to quit and thought fuck it I have nothing to loose I am basically going to tell my boss that I have personal mental health issues.

I basically sent him an email stating, I can act like a right odd ball which I believe stem from childhood trauma and a link to Eleanor Longden Ted talk saying I have some similarities with her life experiences. And if he can’t work with me because of this to please keep this information to himself. 

5 minutes later he called me into quick meeting, which he said my job was safe and he was happy with my work. And that it takes all kinds to make up a work office and that other people in the office have there issues as well and that’s fine and he would look at link later. The office environment seemed to change to some extent over the next week or so it did not feel as toxic but I basically felt I had just bought myself time to figure out how not to act odd. I would have liked to thank him for pointing out it takes all kinds to make up office environment. Up until now I would simply quit a job if there was any drama. I guess drama is normal in work life I just didn’t figure that out.

It was effecting me at home as well I was feeling very depressed. It really is not nice to feel like creepy old guy in the office and in life in general. I went to my councillor which I had not seen in a while to try to discuss but he did not communicate anything useful to me utter than I was not making any eye contact which he said I was very good at before. He also said I should just stop looking at people , it’s hard to describe a behaviour which you do even do you know you should just stop but I was utterly fucked if I could figure out how to stop acting what I would describe as being hyper vigilant and traumatised. I left feeling more depressed than I went in and felt more depressed for few days after the session. I started having thoughts that this is simply not a life worth living (one of my critical voices said she does not want to die at the time). I just felt I was going to continue to act utterly inappropriate around people for the rest of my life and that was that. I currently choose not to interact with people because of this. I knew that these thoughts pattern can go to a very negative place. Around the same time I saw something on twitter from another CSA survivor that you should look for a trauma based therapist.

So I popped trauma based therapist into google and found a woman locally who seems to know  her stuff been to one session. With out going into to much detail she agreed that my behaviour is related to CSA trauma as a kid but it had been going on for over 20 odd years so not sure if it’s habitual as well at this stage. We mapped out various things on paper which seemed to make sense and I have not really been able to communicate to my previous therapists. She also gave me a book . See pic below. I thought I would fly through it but it’s tougher than I thought but I get really good vibes from some of the excercises espically setting boundaries around yourself. I feel it has helped me understand certain aspects of trauma I have never understood.

During this time I spotted something Jacqui Dillon was doing on her web site and decided to contribute.  My story is Under Mike and my odd little life if you want to have a noise. See link here Testimonies .

So that’s me finished ranting if there was anything I learned from this little episode in my life it’s that it’s hard to live without hope.

As I’ve said I feel in a better place know. Also I genuinely feel meditation every morning helped to get me in a positive mind set every morning despite how I felt in general. I honestly thing it helped me through a tough patch. Can’t recommend it enough.

Hope this post finds you well.

Keep up the good fight✊🏾😀

Mind Over Marathon and my meds

Had the 2 episodes of mind over marathon on BBC recorded watched them yesturday. I won’t lie it brought a tear to my eye. After watching it I felt inspired to start training for another marathon. I particularly liked were it portrayed the idea that people with a mental illness are part of society not outside of it. One person also touched on the idea that the label mental illness is bad because it has the term mental in it. Which seems to describe something else in society not someone who is like every one else just can sometime have trouble getting by. It got me thinking mental illness can be changed to someone having a social disturbance! By which I mean they are acting in a way the society there are in would define as unacceptable. Or there having difficulty just trying to cope in the society they are in with the life experiences they have had. Not sure if that makes sense but it does to me 😉. It definitely worth a watch if you can find it. 

Was listening to  Pretty sane (great blog by the way you should check it out) on the radio this morning and it was very interesting. It got me thinking about my medication as best as I can tell antipsychotic meds are supposed to get rid of Phychosis and voices but my meds are not doing any of this. So I guess I am going to question my GP on this. I would suggest either different meds or coming off them altogether. I am currently on a reduced dosage than I used to be and I am managing fine despite being told by everyone around me I would basically end up back in hospital. In the last while or so I have learned that stress is a massive factor in my symptoms. Like when I took on to much extra work and not giving myself a break on weekends my visual hallucinations kicked in , I can only describe them as seeing white light flowing like you would see a fire except its white light.  I cut out the extra work completely and the visual hallucinations seemed to cut out. I see visual hallucinations as a early warning signal from my brain I am under to much stress and need time for myself. I get a range of other symptoms which I gradually learned are just the internal workings of my brain from trauma in my past. The GP can sometimes just fob me off when it comes to meds probably because of my history of none compliance in my past which I understand but I not in the same position I was 10 years ago, I would imagine few would be, anyway I intend to question GP get his opinion.

I also saw some information on hearing voices that basically the society you are in shapes the voices you hear either there violent or playful. The link here is one study on the topic it’s worth a read if you have time, it says it may have implications for how schizophrenia is treated. News report voices shaped by local culture.

I usually struggle to sleep but I get by, unfortunately my father woke me during the week and kept waking me during the night with noise. I was knackered by Thursday and decided to skip my run that night. I also started to monitor my resting heart rate in the morning and my garmin watch has a stress score I think linked to HRV. It was going fine until Friday morning it dropped by a load and the next day it was maxed. My heart rate stress went from about 12 out of 100 to 96 out of 100. The only things I could thing of affecting it was general tiredness possible the effects of my risperdol injection and having my bloods done day or two before. It’s hard to tell. I usually am slower at running after my injection but I have never monitored my heart rate through this before. So if it is my injection that affects my running I am going to have to adapt my running plans around it. I intend to monitor and adapt my running accordingly. It might be best to take a day or two off not sure but heart rate score was 56 out of 100 today so it seems to be recovering.

 I came across a game in which the main character has a mental illness. The makers where in touch with people who hear voices like Rai Waddingham to get the effect of the mental illness as real as possible. Link to YouTube promo here worth a look if your into games YouTube link.

Well I have ranted on long enough.

Hope this post finds you well.

Keep up the good fight.🏃🏼👍🏼

Sensations With schizophrenia and meditation 

Did nice easy Maff aerobic run this morning. It was nice and sunny. Running on an empty stomach straight away in the morning does not seem to bother me but I enjoy my breakfast when I eventually get to it. My pace at going up inclines seems to be getting better by over half a minute in the last week or two. Which makes running much easier. I really am enjoying my running at the moment.

I continue to meditate. Which can give me a very relaxed feeling in my body espically my arms. I continue to get sensations of relaxation in my head during the working day. It’s nice I guess. The only way to describe it is the relaxed sensation I used to get when tipsy just without all the side effects of alcohol. I feel this sensation as I write this. The voices claim they are responsible for this. Not sure if I believe this.

I was watching a film the other day and felt something tap my forehead. Which seemed to cause an intense feeling of relaxation transfer down into my hands. I then sat in a meditative position (I was in my room) and continued to watch the rest of the film feeling content with myself. I did not get the feeling of anxiety I usually get from films, which can cause me to turn off the film.

I woke up the other night , I usually wake around 3, with a very intense sensation in my hands. I would only describe it as raging sensation of relaxation in my hands. I have been woken to strange sensations before but rarely a pleasant type.

I continue to see images when I meditate, but not as much lately, not sure what to make of these so just let them play out as long as they are not to unpleasant.

I have had sensations before with my diagnosis but with the meditation they seen to be mostly pleasant enough. I think the problem starts when I start to put meaning to them like someone else is causing them. I will continue to meditate and just stay grounded as I can and try not to let my mind make connections between things that are not there but I think this is just how my mind works. So I am just trying to sit back and observe all these type of thoughts and just not get swept along with them.

Did my best at work to relax and try to get along with people , I think it’s working but I can be a bit demanding when I am trying to get work out and expect a lot from people and myself.  I think woman who was unhappy with me has relaxed a bit but time will tell. I am still very stressed around here and try to avoid her.

Watched a Ted talk from a monk about the link between great fullness and happiness. It’s worth a look if you have time.  Link to Ted Talks

So all in all I got through the week so I happy enough at that.😅 Now just Need to relax for weekend to prepare for new week. 😉

Hope this post finds you well.

Keep up the good fight.🏃🏼👌🏽🐒

Thought Projection.

                           
Back from my morning run. The day was nice enough there was a bit of a shower early on. Was in a funny mood this morning. Starting out felt like the 7 miles I wanted to do was a bit intimidating. Which is strange considering I have done marathons. Also during the run I felt like I could just stop and go home even do it felt fine. Did 7 miles at Maff and they went fine, it felt good to get it done in the end. Have bank holiday Monday so might go for a cycle, see how the legs feel. I guess you don’t feel every run sometimes ya just need to get the miles in. 

One of my many running thoughts was I like to pay attention to nature on my runs, everything is in bloom this time of year , I seem to pay special attention to different colours like pink, red, white mixed in with all the green. I thought this is how I would look in a crowd of people. Everyone else is green colours and I would be different colour in with all the green. Not sure if that makes sense. It sounds nicer to me than I have a broken brain.

Since difficult encounter with fellow colleague , I have been trying to avoid looking in their direction as I believe they will freak out at me. I believe the stress of trying to deal with this has caused a flare up in what a psychiatrist would call Phychosis. I really believed people could hear my thoughts. If you can imagine everyone around you could hear your thoughts this is very stressful state of mind to be the in. I did my best to deal with it, I eventually tested it on my dog, since he did not react to any thoughts I had , I made up my mind that this is simply a stress response to what I would perceive as a stressful situation. I would also like to note I would trust my dog pretty much more than most people in my life. Along with this I was paranoid in general I also believed people in radio could hear my thoughts. I also started to obsess about certain thoughts. I would imagine my behaviour would be seen as unusual at work but there’s not much I can do about it. I took next Tuesday off as well as Monday hoping to distress and just relax and excercise for next few days. I did wake up this morning and for the most part forgot what I was obsessing about , and don’t believe people can hear my thoughts. I am happy enough in myself again. I would also like to note there was a time not so long ago I would not have realised my thoughts about thought projection is a stress response and let this get out of control. I believe I am about 4000% better at dealing and recogniseing this sort of flare up when they happen.

I did realise there is more or less no one in my life I could tell I was having a flare up in Phychosis. My family and doctor would overreact and would try to medicate the life out of me. I have one friend I don’t talk to much anymore, not sure how he would react if I tried to explain this stuff to him. I did have one therapist who said I don’t know why your telling me people can hear your thoughts there is nothing I can do about it. I think I would like to share it with someone so I guess this post will do. I guess to deal with it I would have to change my reaction to stress or simply remove myself from the stressful situations. I guess learning and dealing with stress differently would help. Hopefully meditation and reading up on mindfulness will have some impact on this.

The voices are still the same but for the most part leave me alone when I meditate. But not always sometimes they join in with mantra type meditation. I believe they find the type where you just focus on your breath the most stressful. They can call me unhelpful names during this. I guess it can make it colourful type of meditation, I usually consider it hard core meditation when I am being blasted with violent names but simply sit there just breathing which can sometimes happen.😅🐒

Hope this post finds you well.

Keep up the good fight. 👍🏼🏃🏼👏🏼

Being called a gobshite.

Back from my morning run. It went well and the weather is nice. The running is going well at the moment hope it continues to do so. It’s great that the mornings are getting bright I can head out earlier in the morning. According to my fancy watch I land to much on one leg. Rang a local coach about strength training to sort out. He said talk to physio so popping in Monday evening to see if can get it sorted out. I continue to slowly but surely build an aerobic base. Have upped my runs to 4 times a week see how it goes for a month and then review.

gobshite (plural gobshites) (Ireland, Britain, slang, moderately offensive) One who engages in nonsensical chatter or unwanted conversation. What’s that gobshite talking about now? (Ireland, Britain, slang, moderately offensive) A person of very poor judgment and unpleasant character.

So at work last Friday and I believe my odd behaviour got me called a gobshite by woman in office. I was not really paying attention at the time and did not react. I guess I could give out about it but I guess people can find my behaviour odd and have reacted badly in the past as well. Also she is definitely not going to another job. So I guess I have to consider is it really worth the bother of working with a person like this. I did obsess about how to try and talk to her and try to explain I really am doing my best to fit in, I guess I just don’t fit in. If they bring it up Monday I decided to explain my position that her behaviour of staring at me as she goes past also makes me paranoid as hell and causes me all kinds of stress. I guess I would just be telling them I am just mad, “in most people’s eyes I am mad but I am just trying to make a living and get by”. I am hoping it will just die down but knowing her temperament I am going to hear a lot more about this. 

As I mentioned I am currently obsessing about how to fix this but working hard on practising mindfulness and keeping my thoughts off the subject and just relax for the weekend. Hopefully jotting it down here will have the effect of getting it out of my head.

Had a new experience with the voices during week. I woke up and they were very agitated nothing new there but I just focused my mind on the silence in my head and breathing. I felt completely calm and would describe it as sitting in the middle of a storm of voices and just being totally calm and happy about the position I was in. I have experienced this a little since when I tried to replicate it. I believe it is a nice side affect of the meditation I have been practising since the start of the year.

I continue to eat healthy and the weight is fine even with the antipsychotic medication. My motivation was down a little this week but got my work done and my runs in so I am happy with that. I believe the motivation is picking up a bit today again. I am still practising meditation at least twice a day and am trying to bring mindfulness practise into my day to day stuff. Had a couple of nights of waking up a bit with one or two bad dreams but last night only woke up twice so hopefully sorting itself out again. I am still getting sensations of relaxation I usually get in meditation during the day when not meditating I think this is normal not sure to be honest.

Hope this post finds you well😀

Keep up the good fight🏃🏼👊🏾👍🏼

  Autogenics or Madness

Back from my morning run it went well. Lovely morning for run, My Maff pace is gradually picking up as I go. Eventually hope to be back running at same pace on my long runs at the lower Maff heart rate. I am really getting back into my running and feeling exited at the little pick ups in pace even if I am still quite slow.

I had an some experiences during the week which I was not sure what to make of. I was interacting with people in the office and realised my social skills were so bad that the holiday I had planned was just not going to work. I was planning to go to Thai land next November or so but realised I would probably spend all of the time sitting in the hotel room. Seems a bit expensive to go on holidays and just sit in hotel room so as not to deal with the stress of having to interact with people. I was looking forward to the holiday and had inquired about prices but decided to give it a miss. I did feel very disappointed at this and could feel my self get depressed but as this happened the relaxed feeling I get from practiseing autogenics seemed to start at top of my head and flow into my limbs. I was not sure what to make of the sensation and tried to just go with the flow. The feelings of depression stopped. I decided to put my energies into training for Cork to Cobh race next October so I had something to look forward to. My mind went onto other matters and a few minutes later I thought I am supposed to be depressed but was surprised to find I simply did not feel so.

A day or so later the idea that my thoughts are being heard by people around me became quite strong. This had caused me a lot of problems in the past. I don’t act on any of this type of thought process as I once asked a boss in previous job can you hear my thoughts . He looked at me as if I had 50 heads and completely mad. I then talked to myself about this and it did not make sense and I had no real evidence to support this. Still 1 minute after I explained this to myself I was back wondering what everyone made of my thoughts. I smiled at myself and every time this thought process popped up I would do most best to just focus on my breathing and not obsess on the thought which I know from experience is just not healthy. This thought process has stopped since thankfully.

Yesturday at work when talking to people I felt the same relaxed sensation I get from meditation kick in without trying to provoke it. I felt very relaxed for the rest of the day at work. The voices I hear claimed they where responsible for this and if I would just interact with people more I would feel more of the same. I go to lengths to avoid people as they are just to stressful. It’s hard to believe anything the voices say as they were back saying there job is to destroy everything  I am a few minutes after saying they made me feel relaxed. I have started to tell the voices my job is to keep us alive and well and maybe get few extras out of life along the way.

I practise one shaman type meditation each night I usually feel energy entering my body and I feel quite refreshed after it. I have not studied it more than this but enjoy the practise of it so will keep it up.

Not sure if these sensations of relaxed states of mind and body are from meditation or just more signs the world things I’m mad. If anyone who practises meditation and experiences these things do let me know in the comments.

I can still wake up a few times a night but seem to get by on what sleep I get. Still get annoyed at things but in general feeling good about the week.

Hope this post finds you well.

Keep up the good fight🏃🏼😀

Link to autogenics if your interested

Link to Maff training if anyone interested