New people and rekindled social skills

So I have been talking more to new friends lately, and I seem to have regained my old social skills. I’ve been on dates and such but it used to drain me, now I feel comfortable and I actually enjoy dating instead of forcing myself to do it. I have long conversations with kids from school, they want to hangout and stuff, and I have been finding myself in their company on the weekends, and I also have rekindled by ability to talk to strangers, I met a few people at a club and they’re all interesting, one of them I had a 2 hour conversation with over coffee yesterday, we really hit it off well. It helps to be attractive, as I am 20 and an amateur powerlifter so I have a very athletic and muscular physique, but I have had my body for a long time and didnt have as much social success until rather lately. I am getting used to socializing and I dont just stick to my old friends from high school, I am branching out to new people, not that theres anything wrong with my old friends, I still spend time with them too.

You might dismiss me as just young and beautiful, but I have had this body the whole time- yes, even when I was psychotic I was a lean 165lbs, 5ft7in and hitting the weight room 3x a week. I spent my time drunk in my room playing xbox or drunk with my drinking buddies slurring words until we all passed out. Not exactly a healthy social life there. Pretty sad actually. I was in pain and chugging self-medication (vodka and fireball whiskey), my friends knew what I was doing, they just felt sorry for me.

I think that just having confidence and not dwelling on our condition is the most important thing. Yes, most of my friends know about my schizophrenia, but I don’t tell people I date. I can talk about it in the past tense and laugh about it, I am getting further away from the days of complete unmedicated psychosis, in two months it will be a year since I first swallowed an antipsychotic. I am a little haunted and always prepare for the worst (relapse), I carry my meds with me in a little pillbox everywhere I go.

I think we all have to start experiencing a reward for being social, having someone to talk to for well over an hour is really good, I had three hour+ conversations in person yesterday (class was cancelled) and I really felt like I enjoyed it and didnt want to leave. It’s really good to feel like other people are interesting and fun to talk with because it keeps us from dwelling so deep in our own heads, something I still tend to do if no one stops me. I sometimes pace around smoking a cigarette just trying not to remember the horrors of schizophrenia and trying to remember the great strides and moments of personal growth I have experienced in the past year.