I woke up to mindless babbling this morning. I heard quiet voices that sounded like they were coming from the ceiling above me. I couldn’t distinguish what they were saying, so I quickly put them out of my mind. I continue writing in my journal nightly so that I can track my progress on a day to day basis. I also make a few notes about any voices I’ve heard during the day. I went to a Buddhist chanting session last night and chanted for almost an hour. After we finished chanting, I mentioned that I’d been asked to guest post on the CureTalk blog by the woman who interviewed me, Priya Menon. I’m very happy that she asked me to write blog posts for CureTalk. I’ll be writing guest blogs for them twice a month on schizoaffective disorder.
Halfway down my blog on the right, I’ve added a search box that allows readers to search for clinical trials in their state based on what type of illness they are suffering from. This search engine is run by the CureTalk website, TrialX. I experimented with the search engine myself, and it is a great resource for those interested in finding out more information about clinical trials for themselves or a loved one. I entered “schizoaffective disorder” as the search criteria, and the search engine took me to the TrialX website. A new page opened up with a list of clinical trials related to schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia, along with additional details about the trial (age, gender, inclusion criteria, exclusion criteria, and whether or not the trial involves medication). Contact information is also provided for the doctors running the trials. Users can also add location criteria by entering their zip code and a search radius.
TrialX provides extensive information about clinical trials around the country. If you would like to learn more about participating in a clinical trial, please use the search box on my blog, or visit the TrialX website.
John and I had a nice weekend. We went to visit his parents at their house in Gilroy, and did a few good cardio workouts at the gym. I am continuing to improve with each passing day. My CureTalk interview has been published. I’ve included the first couple of paragraphs of the interview below with a link to the website where you can read the entire interview. I am very grateful to CureTalk and my interviewer, Priya Menon who published the interview. Thank you Priya!
Jennifer Myers is a blogger/writer who majored in Environmental Studies with Policy & Planning as a special interest. She is particularly interested in international environmental policy. Jennifer was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 2002 and since then has been trying to manage her condition and I should say she is doing a very good job with it. She is a Buddhist and with the help of her Buddhist chants, support from her loving husband, and family, Jennifer is now in control of her condition and courageously ignores the voices that haunt her. She is a writer and writes local news articles, is working on a children’s story and planning a personal memoir.
CureTalk had the opportunity to connect with Jennifer, and interview her. An amazing woman, Jennifer is the very epitome of courage and perseverance in most difficult of all times, her mental health condition. She attributes her normal life to her Buddhist beliefs and the immense support from her husband. Hope you enjoy the interview.
To read the full interview, please click here: CureTalk Interview With Jennifer Myers: Schizoaffective Disorder Survivor, Writer, and Avid Blogger.
Thank you everyone for reading! I hope you enjoy the interview!
I heard a voice earlier today after I woke up and started making breakfast. I had been thinking about my memoir, and how I want to publish it within the next year or so. Last August when I started my blog, the voices objected and threatened me for writing about them. They also objected strongly to my memoir. This morning the voice said, “Whatever money you make from your memoir, we’re going to siphon out of your bank account!” I’ve occasionally wondered about what types of events and/or people to include in my memoir, and what ones to leave out. I want to be as honest as possible, and convey what I’ve been through to the best of my ability. My goal isn’t to become a millionaire by publishing my memoir. I am more concerned about writing well, and sharing my experience with others.
I dismissed the threat, and started reading an article in my June Living Buddhism. The article is a dialogue between SGI President Ikeda and the Harvard Divinity Research Professor, Harvey G. Cox taken from the book The Persistence of Religion: Comparative Perspectives on Modern Spirituality. In this article, Ikeda and Cox discuss the market economy and the role of religion. They state that our culture has become a “consumer” culture dominated by advertising and material desires. The problem with a consumer culture is that it kills spirituality. Cox states, “The consumer culture trivializes and destroys values such as simplicity and compassion that traditional religions uphold. The market does not reward compassion. It doesn’t even know about compassion…Many of modern humanity’s desires are not real needs. In their pursuit of profit, market controllers always have to stimulate false appetites.” This statement is very true, the only problem is that most people never realize it. I want to earn a good living writing, but I’m not out to become filthy rich. I don’t need 3 cars, a television in every room, and a million useless gadgets that I’ll never use. I’d love to simply be able to talk comfortably with strangers, go swimming once and awhile, and enjoy life with my husband.
Yesterday I told John that I didn’t want to spend $60 a week on private therapy anymore. I told him I didn’t think it was worth it. My last therapy session I felt like the hour was dragging on slowly and I didn’t have much to talk about. Partly it’s because I’ve improved so much since I started private therapy last September. Every week I went, I had some new pressing issue to discuss with my therapist. Now, I don’t hear voices as much, and when I do hear them, I am almost able to ignore them completely. This is a tremendous improvement over last year and the year before when I was listening to the voices, having conversations with them in my head, and treating them as if they were real people. Now, the voices are nothing to me.
John & I went to a Buddhist meeting last night at the Buddhist center in Santa Clara. Once a month we have a World Peace Prayer meeting where people share experiences and we listen to guidance from SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. Yesterday I was researching information about Buddhism on the Soka Gakkai International website (www.sgi.org) and found a great quote by President Ikeda. The quote reads:
Cowardice is harmful, for it delights the enemies of Buddhism and obstructs the advance of kosen-rufu (world peace). The fainthearted cannot savor the true benefit of faith; their ability to tap the power of the Buddha and the power of the Law [of the Gohonzon] in their lives is enfeebled.
I really like this quote because when it comes to talking to other people (even just in small social settings or with family), I am always terribly shy and often afraid to engage in conversation. I am easily intimidated by strangers, and I’m always worried about what other people might think of me. I have trouble thinking of something to say, and as a result, I often don’t say anything at all. In this sense, I need to have courage. I need to have courage in order to be able to talk to other people, make new friends, and share my experiences with others (aside from posting to my blog). I also enjoy talking to other people about Buddhism, but my own fear prevents me from sharing Buddhism with others. Even in public places like Target or the grocery store, I see other people shopping, but they seem like they’re living in a different “normal” world. I, on the other hand, often feel like I’ve been living in my own little “crazy” world surrounded by the voices. I need the courage to break out of the crazy voice-world, and leave it behind forever.
Yesterday I received an interview request from a medical website called CureTalk. I’m not sure when my interview will be published on their website, but I will receive the questions next week. I’m excited about being interviewed for this website. I’ve also read a few other interviews on their website, including an interview about a man who also has schizoaffective disorder. His interview is very interesting, and I really enjoyed reading about his own experiences dealing with and managing his illness. It gives me additional insight into how I manage my illness. His interview is also very encouraging, and I recommend reading what he’s said. I’ve posted a link to the CureTalk website on my blog for those who are interested. This website is also a great resource for medical information as well, particularly cancer. Happy reading!
I’m also very excited about another interview I have coming up in July. I will be interviewed by Wendy McCance on her blog Searching For the Happiness. I’ve also included a link to her blog on this website. I recently learned about Wendy’s blog through her posts on LinkedIn’s Women’s Memoirs group. She has a great blog, and also offers her own unique experiences that she shares with others. My interview will be posted on her blog on Friday, July 13th. Please check out her website at www.searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com. I feel that the more I am able to share my experiences with others, the more I can encourage other people and offer a greater understanding of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and what it’s like for people who suffer from these types of illnesses. There is hope!