I have time to daydream at work sometimes. Today a thought popped into my head and I thought I would write it here. It’s this really a revelation that other people besides us have problems? Because I think sometimes that having schizophrenia gives us tunnel vision of a sorts. And I thought of myself as an example. I wrote this a month ago but I will repeat it. I sometimes go around in life as if the word ‘scared’ or low-self-esteem or no confidence were invented just for me. I go weeks or months concentrating on those things. Even years.And it dawns on me that I’m not the only one. I find plenty of people here who through the years have written that they suffer from these too. But I even forget you guys during the day, and everybody I see in public I assume is perfect and doesn’t have problems. It’s extreme tunnel vision. My dad told me years ago some things he knew. For instance he told me that 90% of life is attitude. Everybody has hardships, faults, things they have to do even though they don’t want to do them. Everybody. It’s the attitude when you attempt something that might make or break you. This is realy true at work. My job is not rocket science. Empty wastebaskets, clean restrooms, vacuum. It’s the easiest job I’ve ever had. But it can get daunting in the morning when I know I will spend the next four hours emptying a hundred or more wastebaskets. But I tell, myself and try to have a positive attitude. I tell myself it could be a LOT worse. I unloaded huge truck trailers at Sears for four years. Now THAT was hard work. Lawn mowers, miter saws, gas grills, refrigerators, washes and dryers are HEAVY. It took three people working all day to unload this truck. Two trucks a week. So I realize my job could be a lot worse and I do my current work with a positive cheery awareness that I could have it a lot worse. And people notice when you have a positive attitude and it gives them a good impression of you. The boss may not say anything but he notices. And he also notices a bad attitude. Bosses don’t like troublemakers. My co-worker was difficult. He didn’t realy get along with anybody and partly due to his attitude and a few other problems they fired him. And for the people at work, they can get to me and depress me but I tell, myself, hey, I’m lucky I can work in the first place and that I’m lucky I can stand to be around dozens of people on a regular basis. And it helps me get through the day. If my boss asks me to do an extra chore, I say OK and force myself to do it cheerfully and as good as I can. And that helps. But my dad also told me that life is all about solving problems.True,right? Isn’t that what we do all day? Everybody has problems doing stuff. You figure out what helps and what doesn’t help. If you think about it everybody on TV shows are trying to solve problems. Like on crime shows for sure. Find the criminal, arrest him, try him in court. Problem solved. Even sitcoms. Most plots are about solving problems. Fumy problems but problems just the same. But yeah, other people are not all better looking than me. Not everybody is smarter. I’m not always wrong. I am not always at fault, AND I am not causing any trouble. Basic stuff we should all have learned in our twenties. Anyway, I just had to get this out there. I hope I made a little sense and someone can relate.
I never looked at it that way, but your right. It’s all about solving problems. Everyone has them in some form or another. I remember helping a friend fix a car for a professor at his school. The guy was amazing with philosophy. But combustion engines? Beyond his ability. Others can do what we can’t. We can do what others can’t. It’s all a balance.
Very cool post Thank you for this one. I love pondering stuff like this.
You’re also right that attitude is everything. I think if I had a bad attitude, or a punk attitude, I would be dead by now.
Nick thank you for starting this thread. I was actually just sitting here thinking some things through and thinking about starting a thread along these lines. Bear with me. Since my son came to live with me 8 months ago I have been writing what I call ‘My Book’ that I would like to one day have published and it is about my research and my journey with my son. Here is one of the paragraphs:
[It also discusses schizotypy, a watered-down version of schizophrenia that consists of a constellation of personality traits that are evident in some degree in everyone. It has positive and negative traits the same as schizophrenia. “Apophenia is a component of positive schizotypy, and involves a general human propensity (tendency) to see meaningful patterns when they don’t really exist. Apophenia is a natural part of human nature. Some examples include wearing good luck charms, seeing Jesus in toast, or mistaking random sounds for someone calling your name.”]
Personally I believe that we all have schizotypy. Another paragraph:
[His insight into his schizophrenia hasn’t changed. It’s rarely discussed. I don’t think it needs to be. Over the past 3.5 months I’ve had to evaluate and re-evaluate my opinions on schizophrenia or psychosis. If you read my previous chapter then I hinted to the fact that we all have certain human tendencies that border on schizotypy. My son doesn’t react, act upon or think about things that the rest of aren’t dealing with. He just does it on a bigger scale. Have you ever walked into a room and for just a moment out of the corner of your eye you thought you saw someone? Visual hallucination. Have you ever turned around to see who was calling your name and there was no one there? Auditory hallucination. Have you ever gotten the heebie jeebies? You feel like bugs are on you because you just saw one crawl across the wall. Tactile hallucination. Compulsive thinking about the afterlife and the supernatural. Maybe if I had done some research in my younger years I would not have spent a good portion of my life being afraid of death. As for the supernatural. I believe there is a world beyond what my eyes can see. I believe in God and ghosts and even the possibility of Fae (humanoid supernatural beings). I don’t think that I will encounter any of these things in my daily life but for some the possibilities are more real or my preconceived notions of reality is not allowing me to see what is in fact real. It’s a matter of perspective. Who’s going to admit that after watching a scary movie they have to resist the urge to look under the bed, just in case. I don’t because under my bed is stuffed full of boxes so what would fit? Hmm perhaps a ghost but I don’t sleep alone and that gives me more security. I do however on occasion make sure my closet doors are closed. No one likes it when their believes are questioned. I’ve had some tough conversations with my son where I find myself in a bind. I can either disavow my own beliefs, pretend I don’t believe in ghosts or psychic abilities, or I can open myself up to the possibilities that what he is seeing, hearing, feeling or believing in deserves more credit.]
I read your guys posts and I sometimes wonder if I understand as much as I think I do or if I’m way off. Or perhaps I for some reason didn’t develop schizophrenia even though I seem to have a lot of the traits that could have brought me there. I have, due to drugs, been in a situation where I talked with my then deceased mother. 9 or 10 years later I can still recall how real that experience was.
Sorry I’ve gone a little off topic. But you are so right in your observations. No one really has it all together. Everyone of us struggle day to day to keep our lives together and to find meaning. Very few people are working at a job that they want to go to every day. Very few people are actually as self confident as they pretend to be. Honestly if they were that self confident they wouldn’t need to prove it… We all have tunnel vision and think that our problems are worse then then next persons. We see them walk by and think wow they seem to have it together but we don’t see behind closed doors or know how much effort it is taking them to get through the day. No motivation… Not as uncommon as you would think.
Sorry if it appears that I am trying to downplay what you guys deal with. You guys deal with these symptoms on a much bigger scale than I do. Anyways my point is that even if you don’t know it I think that you guys are the true heroes in this live. Every day you put another foot forward, sometimes you take a couple of steps back, but that’s ok. Lead the way and hopefully the rest of us will be smart enough to follow. Sorry for the book
Is it really that essential?
I spent much of my life being ridiculously self-centered. I’ve only recently discovered the depth and breadth of suffering that so very many people go through on a daily basis. Before, I guess I thought that real suffering took place in third world countries for the most part… 77Nick77 is right. Attitude is absolutely everything. Why spend time being sad about things you can’t change? Or if you are sad, try to recognize that suffering is part of the human condition and seek to try to alleviate another person’s sadness.