But now schizophrenia is taking revenge on me.
The first two and a half years I have to give to schizophrenia. I was probably psychotic that whole time and I felt the wrath of psychosis. So I concede that round to schizophrenia
I had nothing. I didn’t even have myself. But I got out of an 8 month stay in the hospital and a year later I got a job. I was 22. I have been working almost steadily since then at different jobs. At age 56 I am finishing up getting my college degree. I am doing it to make myself happy. I figure a degree at 56 is better than being 56 with no degree.
Anyways, I lived on my own for 20 years. I’ve had half a dozen cars since I got diagnosed and in 1980, now I am tooling around the big city in a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta. I’ve had friends, I’ve flown across the U.S. a few times. I used to drive 180 miles by myself to Sacramento to visit my dad when he was alive, and then drive back. Very little luck with women, most of my luck was when I was in my addiction and I had a drug addled brain. Its in the same vein as “liquid courage” but mine wasn’t liquid, it was powder. NOT recommended unless you’re just itching to wreck your life.
Well, that’s all well and good but lately the schizophrenia is taking its toll in many ways. My symptoms are tolerable, In fact I get happy and content often. I have some peace of mind and my racing mind slows down and there’s quiet and calmness.
But hell, why should I concede the battle? I have the most severe mental illness diagnosis there is and its one of the top ten worst, disabling diseases in the world. But I came out of it more likable then any other point in my life. I get along with people which I could not do most of my life. People in public give me smiles when they see my face. I also get looks from people who seem curious about me, it seems they are curious about what I’ve done in my 56 years of life. I have no grudge against anybody. But when I finally get mad I am indiscriminate in my anger. Teenagers, stupid old men my own age, grown women sometimes.
But I Like people I discovered. I am optimistic that I will end up happy and content. I don’t know if I am going to relapse but I don’t give it much thought. I don’t cause trouble or do anything illegal so there is nothing really stopping me from being happy in the coming years.
So in that sense, I win again!! And I will prove that schizophrenia doesn’t mean the end of a life. It just changes the rules, but even with paranoid schizophrenia for 35 years, I have choices and I will use those choices to my advantage. Anyways, good luck to me and good luck to you.