I was feeling a little moody and up and down while I was on a powerlifting team at a rather cult-ish gym. I was feeling tired and sore and then pushing myself to do extremely hard training sessions. It just wasn’t healthy and the people in that environment were toxic to me. So I got kicked off the team and decided that I was done with powerlifting, done with the sport all in all, and done with that gym and the people there. I feel a lot better just doing bodybuilding at the YMCA with some guys I know from junior high who are all in college like I am. I actually got bloodwork done to see if everything was normal when I was consistently getting stronger, much stronger very quickly while on that powerlifting team. I came back normal with below average testosterone.
Anyways, I found what was making me feel funny- it was powerlifting. It’s an extreme sport and it is known to consume people, great powerlifters are powerlifters first and people second. It’s a sport that is about as extreme as sports get. That’s not good when I am first me, who my friends and family know, then an honors student, then a recovered schizophrenic. Athlete comes in at fourth place.
I am able to be social and feel at ease. I went around midtown with some friends last night, which is a small little area where bars, restaurants and shops are all within walking distance and you need to get there early to find a good parking spot. I went to the LGBT community center and parked there at 8pm and then stayed until the meeting was over and then went to a Celtic pub with a few friends. It is a very popular place with college kids and young adults, I asked for a big table and they led me to the last round table on the patio outside. My friends showed up and it was nice and private, away from the crowd, which was nice because we didnt have to yell to hear each other. I ordered my favorite beer and one of my friends who also likes that beer (Guinness stout) got one too, I had a Celtic dinner, it was really nice. After my friend and his girlfriend and I had been there for a while, two of my other friends came, they were late. I took my medication after I ate my food and realized how much of a miracle that white capsule is- I never thought I would be able to do things like spend a night out in the popular part of town. I had different things going through my head when I was 18 and 19 and psychotic. Being normal was not one of them.
Anyways, then a guy from my grade school came over and said hello and that he had seen my facebook stuff, the powerlifting, bodybuilding, my status about being well a year after my diagnosis, which like 90 people liked, and he was saying that he was really in disbelief of how well I was despite what a ■■■■■■ up disorder I have. I guess to see me sitting with a group of friends late at night in the happening part of town is the last place to find a paranoid schizophrenic, a very muscular schizophrenic at that. He is a pre-med student, about to go into med school, so he knows what the two words “paranoid schizophrenic” actually mean. He basically congratulated me on doing well and wished me luck, I wished him luck as a med student too. He saw that I had a beer and asked me if I drank and I said “just one in social situations.” which felt great to say, as I was physiologically dependent on alcohol less than two years ago.
It’s a small world I guess. I saw a fair number of people I knew when we went bar hopping after dinner. I only had that one beer at dinner with my friend. My other friends got drunk and were acting silly, we ended up talking to strangers at a crowded deli/bar which is very popular.
Being able to go out in very busy places full of people is something I have been used to by now, I’ve done that since December, but to have had someone notice my story just on facebook and to remember all of it and wish me luck was a great feeling. It happens at least once or twice at parties hosted by old friends where old acquaintances show up and also tell me they have seen my story and cant believe how well I am, how healthy I look and how normally I behave. But for it to have happened randomly in public, for someone to have noticed me sitting in the very back of the patio of a pub with a table full of people was different.
I had a few instances of symptoms last night. Just a few. A few beats a few thousand instances of symptoms. I do believe that I am virtually symptom-free and completely functionally recovered. I stayed out till about 1am with my friends, I have stayed out much later before but had to take a nap the next day so I dont like staying out seriously late, like until 3 or 4.
I have been thinking lately that I am pretty much past schizophrenia. I think I have it all sorted out, I know how my medications work and take them all exactly how I should, and they work. I stay healthy, I recently quit smoking and have stuck to it. It has been a year of remission now, I have been on a therapeutic and effective dose of Geodon for over one year. The past year was full of great things. The list is too long to post.
Anyways, I feel like I am past schizophrenia now. It is no longer a controlling factor in my life, I have recovered to where I was before all of this ■■■■ happened. I am not smoking, I dont really drink, I am a straight-A student in the honors program at my school and very muscular. My personality test comes out as an ENTJ, like it did before schizophrenia. I have lots of friends and have been dating people.
It’s all behind me. The only reminders of it are tiny little instances of symptoms, like one word hallucinations once an hour after the sun goes down. That and taking my medications. The caffeine habit is also a reminder that I have schizophrenia, I am sedated unless I have strong caffeinated drinks twice a day. I had my morning double cup of coffee after I woke up, I feel alert and capable now, I was slow and tired when I woke up.
I have a unique case, but we all do. My case is the treatable kind- without medications, I have very strong hallucinations and delusions- so strong that I cannot shake them with insight alone, I require medication. However, I had negligible negative symptoms, amotivation, alogia, ect. I just came off as quiet and awkward unless I was drunk, then I would speak, a whole lot actually. I am extremely fortunate to respond so well to my medications- I know lots of you have tried many medications and still suffer.
I hope that the new generation of antipsychotics which are in development can have you all saying the same sorts of things one day. Never lose faith in medicine, it saved my life, as you can tell. And never give up, you have to survive this illness before you can recover from it, it is life-threatening and people DO die from it, by suicide, by being murdered, by accidental overdoses of self-medications like alcohol, ect. There is a high suicide rate in schizophrenics. I attempted suicide when I was 19 years old, and I drank so much that I am surprised I didnt get alcohol poisoning.
I think I have reached the forgetting about it stage in recovery. It was just a bad dream, a waking nightmare for about two years.