Then my new recovery specialist came to visit. The mental health agency that owns my apartment let me into their supportive living program which means I have a case worker who comes and visits me right now every week. She is really nice, and we discussed voices and the things that I hear when I get auditory hallucinations because she would like me to work on some positive affirmations to combat those messages. Have any of you ever tried this and found it to be helpful? I think I have tried it, but it was a long time ago, and I can't remember right now. I'm not entirely sure how to combat the messages. What would I say to them? I already say things automatically like, "NO there is no Holocaust happening right now. No, I'm not a CIA spy. No, I'm not going to die in a concentration camp. No, I didn't just give you information about government secrets." But I guess I will need to come up with something more creative than that, because that doesn't really work well.
The good thing is, I haven't been having a lot of auditory hallucinations lately. I think this is because the Navane/Latuda/Risperdal Consta is working and that with my huge collection of drugs in my body, something has finally kicked in and has knocked the auditory hallucinations out of their primary spot. I also think it's because I have gotten into the more "negative symptom" phase of psychosis. You see, there are two types of psychotic symptoms, according to the shrinks. Positive symptoms are things like hearing voices, which I am not having a lot of right now. Other positive symptoms are delusions, visual hallucinations, and olfactory hallucinations, all of which I've had many times. Then the opposite side of the coin is the "negative symptoms" (things that should be there but aren't there), so you have apathy, avolition, all the words that start with "a", basically, and a lot of staring off into space and doing nothing, which I am still doing sometimes.
Last night for example, I knew the recovery specialist was coming over so I should tidy up and vacuum, but I neglected to do so until this morning, and then I didn't have time to vacuum at all. Before I had a recovery specialist visiting me, nobody would have noticed if the vacuum had been run or not, because nobody came over, except for the pest control guy who said he didn't want to come inside apartment anymore, allegedly. But now that she comes every week, I have a reason to care if the place is vacuumed. In fact, I will have to vacuum it by next week specifically because I myself pointed out to her today that it needed to be done, and she said she had already noticed this fact. So, in this manner, getting myself into the supported living program has been helpful for the simple fact that someone is there to notice how I am doing. And when I am left to my own devices, frankly I often don't do too well.
In a couple weeks some cleaning service is going to come out and I'm going to pay them to do some stuff, I'm not sure exactly what all they do. This seems really weird to me, because I have always been one of those people who thinks there is something categorically wrong with people paying other people to clean up after them. But the recovery specialist said that many of her clients use cleaning services because they find cleaning too overwhelming. And in any event, this might just be a one-time thing that I do. Just to freshen things up better than I've done on my own. This is all very embarrassing, but as my friend Kate mentioned recently, I am very honest on this blog, and it wouldn't really be worth reading if I wasn't. So that is that. There will be people I pay to mop my floors. Once a month for a little while.
In other news, if you live in Pinellas County, this week is Crisis Intervention Training, and I will not be speaking this time, but I will be there as a back-up in case anyone can't make it. The graduation ceremony for the law enforcement officers who participate in this 40-hour training on mental illness will be held this Friday at 3 PM at Suncoast Hospice.