I had my first psychosis when I was 19. Spent a month in the hospital drugged to the max with haldol. A year later I stopped my meds and had another psychosis and month long hospital stay. Both my hospitalizations were involuntary.
Over the years I’ve run into people that have family members with schizophrenia. When they find out I have it I always get “asked how am I so normal?”.
If you put me in a room with 10 people and play guess who has schizophrenia chances are most wouldn’t guess me.
After my last hospitalization I would go down to the lake and toss a fishing line in on the pier. I would sit there for hours and just stare at the water.
I wanted to work so I went to state run rehabilitation services. They did a psyche evaluation and deemed I was unfit to work. That didn’t stop me and I found a job.
Thankfully I found a medication I could tolerate. I fought with hallucinations for years. At my first job I didn’t talk to anyone for 6 months. I had to relearn how to commutate. People didn’t react well when I told them I had schizophrenia so I learned to hide it. I often feel like a chameleon I hide it so well. It tends to lead others to believe there’s nothing wrong with me.
Because people think I’m normal they place high expectations on me. I have a very low tolerance to stress and I have a tendency to self destruct under pressure.
My dentist has a daughter with schizophrenia and I put it on the paper for pre existing conditions. He asked “how are you so normal?”
Guy at the pet shop mentioned he had a sister with schizophrenia. So I told him I have it. Again I heard “how are you so normal?” I knew the guy for a year before I told him.
I stayed on my medication and haven’t had a relapse for 24 years. The last time I had a relapse I was told by the doctor every time I have one the harder it is to come back. My mom forced me to take my medication. She would watch me take it.
Over the years I gained enough insight to know I need meds. Psychosis is my biggest fear. I never want to end up in that state of mind again.
I just want to give hope to those out there suffering from this illness that with the right meds and dedication you can overcome this illness enough to where you can find peace in life.