From the outside I look good. I have a full time job, manage a household and keep myself fit, pretty much. But every day is still a struggle. Sometimes it is just getting up in the morning. Getting out of bed is rough. I am not sure if it is the medication I take from the night before or if I am just lazy but it is hard.
Then I finally get myself going but after breakfast I have to sit at my computer for a while and chill. I wait until the last possible minute to get ready for work but I am almost always on time. Once at work I take an anti-anxiety pill in case I run into difficulties. Just being at work is stressful a little bit with all the demands of the day.
I drink coffee throughout the day which helps me to stay sharp, but I often miss important things, things that before I had Schizophrenia I don’t think I would have missed. I have a very sophisticated job (that is what my psychiatrist says anyway) so there are important things I have to do each day. For the most part I am doing very well. For a while I really struggled when I was off on disability. But now it is better.
I think a lot of why I am doing so well at work and life is because I constantly challenge my brain. I don’t like puzzles but I read a lot, don’t watch much tv, exercise at class (just following the directions can really make my brain work), and I engage in as many conversations as I can with people , especially about my work. I can see how just by watching tv all day and not engaging my brain I could easily be doing much worse. But I am a perfectionist so I want to maximize my brain potential.
This is one reason why I put myself into the hospital. The longer one is psychotic without medication the more the brain deteriorates. I read this is several places and from my own experience I really believe it is true. I take my medication every day and have accepted that I will be on it the rest of my life.
But I still struggle especially in social situations. Again, though, I am getting better. There was one group at my old work which I just sat there and never participated. Now at my new work where I feel very supported, I do participate and feel like my contributions are an addition to the discussion. Again, engaging the brain like this is very helpful. I do better one-on-oneone I must admit. The whole group thing scares me. First you have to follow the discussion, then you have to think of something to say, then you have to find the right time to say it. It can be very daunting!
These are some of my struggles. For the most part like I said I think I pass as normal, but the Schizophrenia diagnosis is always right there making me unsure of myself.
- Help your brain stay active (purevitamins.com.au)