Thank you for letting us know how you are doing, Shep.
It sounds like you are very slowly healing. You gained some remarkable insights through that re-experience of trauma. Thank you for sharing that with the community.
Are you able to work with a therapist at all? You might find it productive now.
Are you able to find a social group, such as a group that plays games through Meetup? This may give you more confidence socially.
You sound like you've found a lot of strength, too. I wish you a better job, kittens, and all good things!
Please continue to post updates, I am sure you will continue to heal.
Thank you, Altostrata. Yes, the healing is definitely very, very slow. It took about 2.5 years to come off of 5 drugs which from what I'm reading, was probably too fast. So I'm being very careful with my diet, exercise, and trying to keep a positive outlook, knowing it may take another year or so to really feel better.
I've read that people with my diagnosis (bipolar / schizoaffective) are dying 25 years younger than everyone else and according to Mad in America, it's the drugs. So I'm feeling hopeful about living a long life now that I'm off the drugs.
No, I haven't been able to work with a therapist, at least not in the last few years. I'm afraid I have absolutely no trust in psychiatry or psychology and probably never will. Over the years, I tried talking with varous psychologists, but with the drugs, nothing really was processed.
Psychologist have done almost as much damage as psychiatrists because they always made me think something was fundamentally wrong with me. It was a psychologist who added the schizoid personality disorder to my record. They never helped me improve my social skills - just slapped a label on it and told me to work with my psychiatrist on the medications because most of my problem was related to the visual hallucinations or the depression and that was a chemical imbalance. And until that was fixed, there wasn't anything they could do for me.
And since all therapy is verbal and I'm not very good at talking to people, it really doesn't work.
I've gotten a lot better by writing it out in a journal. I also like to play classical guitar and go for long walks through the city.
I googled "Meetup". Thank you for telling me about that! There are several hiking groups that look good. Once I get my energy back, I'll have to check that out. There's also one for accoustic musicians that meets every Sunday. Wow, that's really cool. Thanks again!
I'm thinking next summer is going to be much better and I'll feel like joining one of these groups for their weekend hikes outside the city. Or to play guitar.
I really think life is going to be much, much better going forward.
Thank you for your advice. Very much appreciated.