When I first saw the psychiatrists about my psychotic break, we were told that we should expect a three year recovery. Since then I’ve now been diagnosed with Schizophrenia, and sixteen months on I’m working way ahead of that three year schedule. Yet somehow, this isn’t fast enough…
It most probably makes no sense; recovering quicker than planned but not quick enough? Well it’s not strictly true, but its how it feels in my head. I have days where I just want to cry, or scream, or shout because I’m stuck; stuck knowing that the few ‘normal’ things that I have could be pulled from me AGAIN if I show any signs of getting stressed. To me, the prospect of that, is scarier than that of my psychosis going back downhill. Probably all sounds very silly, I know- I think its something you can only appreciate once in that situation.
I ought not complain; I’m getting to volunteer, study, even go and see friends regularly- much more than I was doing a year ago. But this taste of life, of acting my age, just makes me want more; a proper job, even my own place- which makes being told no, incredibly hard to bear. Of course this is all for the best when thought out logically- my schizophrenia is stress triggered; higher stress= worse symptoms, so its quite easy to understand why if I was to jump back to work or full time study, or do any large jump of improvement it could cause my whole state to go backwards- in theory.
I have tried to voice this a couple of times now, but I don’t think I’ve fully managed to get across what my mind is going through with this- to be fair, I’m not even confident I will manage to with this. So why am I writing it? Because its not stopped playing on my mind for about the last two weeks or so, so I needed to make an attempt to get it out.
Do you remember what it was like to be a child? Not the fun, carefree part; but never being in control, knowing that you don’t get the last say on your own life, that people can stop you in your tracks from anything that you do. That’s what it’s like. I want to state that this would purely be for medical reasons, but sometimes the reason isn’t what matters. It’s incredibly frustrating, not being able to grab life and run with it; instead having to tiptoe everywhere, being tentative with each activity. But the worst part is the idea of the future. The same question runs through my head multiple times each day- is this what life is going to be like? Someone looking over your shoulder all the time, worrying about you for simple things.
For as long as I remember, I’ve wanted to achieve, wanted to be independent- I had life pretty much planned out; move out at 18 to go to uni, from there onto my own place studying for my postgrad, masters, and on to my doctorate. Instead, I’m 19 a month away from 20, living with my parents, and still working on my first 60 credits for my degree. I shouldn’t complain, it could be much worse, I could have horrible parents, and an unbearable home- so I’m glad that I get on so well with my parents, otherwise this situation would be a lot worse. So that leaves only myself to be unhappy with, and by that I mean my personal achievements. I know, I said earlier I’m doing better than expected, but right now, with my mind where it is, it’s not enough.
So I leave you with a question that I keep pondering; what if the thing that could make me worse, is also the thing that has the capacity to make me better?