Schizophrenia.com

The importance of family for recovery

#1

I have been spending more time with my family lately. My sister’s fiance and I get along very well, he and I step outside to smoke a cig at family gatherings and we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well and honestly he and I have a better relationship than my sister and I do. My uncle talks to me about stuff, he puts great importance in confidentiality so I cant really say much more than that, but he has been there and done that aside from being psychotic. One of my cousins just graduated high school and is going to William and Mary, he’s a smart cookie, and his older brother is back home from Loyola Marymount in L.A. and he and I get along great, he also clicks with my friends.

Aside from that, I started going to AA. I received tons of support, there were three other people with psychotic disorders in the room, two of them approached me and were like “so you’re a paranoid schizophrenic. Me too buddy” and one of the leaders sat next to me at lunch afterwards, they go out to lunch sometimes and invited me and we had a great conversation about psychosis and drugs and alcohol (she has a psychotic disorder).

I have been doing pretty well with the sauce, it’s just I find myself reaching for a beer or two or three lately when I feel good or when I feel bad. That’s not good since Im on meds- alcohol’s effects are multiplied by each med and alcohol invalidates meds. I will be 21 soon and I need to go to AA so that I dont buy a handle of fireball whiskey on June 11th and drink the whole thing and completely relapse and end up drinking a fifth or more a day like I did at this time a year ago. I start fantasizing about booze and how it just makes me feel no pain and calms my innate rage that I find outlets for, I think it’s better than sex.

Sex is overrated. I think drugs and alcohol are more tempting for me- sex is OK but I have had enough of it to know that even the best sex is just a legal drug. I’m not talking about couples making love, I am speaking from a 20 year old powerlifter’s perspective (uhhh hit it and quit it and dont pay for it). I mean to quit having meaningless sex as well as not drinking again. Meaningless sex is just like doing drugs but it’s dangerous (STD’s) and not psychologically healthy for someone who is has been traumatized like me. I didn’t think that way until my third meaningless sex partner, that made me realize that the behavior I was engaging in was just like drug or alcohol seeking behavior from my teens. (Stop what you’re doing, dont pay attention to time, just have sex right now, get endorphins and dopamine and oxytocin flowing, hell do it in the fourth floor bathroom, we dont have time to get a room, oh you have a boyfriend? But you dont care? Good!)----Just no. NO. BAD MOUSE. STOP.

I am talking to my ex from high school who ditched me because I was not physically close to her, in fact I was afraid of physical contact back then, I had no insight to my psychosis back then. She messaged me an essay on how sorry she was a few months ago and I told her that it was my fault, and that sort of brought her back into the realm of possibilities, I asked her if she wanted to see me again sometime and she was like yeah and last night I texted her and she was pretty responsive, said thanks for checking in and goodnight with a smiley face after a little conversation.

A while ago she said I was really sweet and surprisingly gentle for being a brutal martial artist at the time, she also said she remembered me saying that I thought something was wrong with me but I couldnt describe it well. Now I know I was a budding schizophrenic at the time so that makes perfect sense- she knows about my condition and recovery too. I made a post about it on facebook and she messaged me shortly afterwards.

But anyways, back to the point, who here really feels like family is important to you and is crucial to well-being? I myself find certain members of my family to be very important to me, some don’t like me, whatever, the ones who know me well love me for who I really am- and they know all about my dark side.

Someone close to me points out that I am winning my fight against my demons and that my struggle against mental illness and all of the other factors which make me a “■■■■ mess” is heroic in that I blame myself and keep to myself when I give in. He points out that above all, I actively pursue a life of service to others by going to school, studying psych and making all A’s with the intention of one day getting a PhD and either teaching or being a therapist. It does me a lot of good to have an outside perspective on my ■■■■■■ up brain.

I think I might be going on way too long. Time for me to shut up. I just wanted to get my ■■■■ out.

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#2

I do not have a great relationship with my family. However the support from my fiancee is defiantly the reason I was able to start building a foundation to stand on. I still rely on her for many things at this point but I am attempting to strengthen my own legs to stand on.

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#3

My recovery has been like learning to walk without having someone to teach you. There has been much trial and error and I have fallen down many times only to have my partner pick me back up. Despite the issues that I have been having recently, my goal is to be able to pick myself back up and be independent – not having to rely on others for my emotional well being, strong enough to survive this illness with no help if necessary. I don’t like the idea of needing others for anything. I enjoy having a partner there to help and I appreciate the help from time to time, but i don’t like knowing that right now I need her help.

Sorry to kinda wander off topic there. In summary I would say I have found loved ones helpful in my recovery. I would call my partner family, but I took your question to mean mother, father, brothers and sisters – in that sense I have had no support for my recovery from my family.

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#4

You already know if it wasn’t for my family, I would have been 6 feet under years ago. I bet you and your sis will grow and heal from past hurts and family dynamic as you both get older and more settled in life.

One of my brothers cut me out of his life and I took it very personally. I had NO idea he was battling his own depression and addictions. When he was stronger and more healed up, he could handle me.

Now, we’re becoming pretty good friends. I’m in flux with my very youngest brother but he’s in hospital in and out of lucid at the moment. But he’s getting better quickly and healing up. My sis has been by my side since the day she was born. So that dynamic duo is still as strong as ever.

So Three siblings on my side. One to go.

I’m glad you took a chance on AA. Many of the guys in my AA are also Sz. That good old Co-morbid diagnosis.

My parents? Wow, have been on my side and put up with my anger phase and still they are on my side. I needed my family to get where I was today.

I’m glad your finding some contentment and a deeper level of peace. It’s nice when it happens. I’m glad you gave up quick public sex and decided to opt for something different.

I keep telling my sis, a relationship is like a garden, it takes time. You can’t rush into it, rush through it and rush out of it. You miss the flowers.

Of course I have to go with my old and tired mantra… when I look for sex, I find chaos, when I look for friendship, I sometimes find love.

May peace stay with you and I’m glad people are coming back into your life. It’s one of the best signs of recovery there in my humble opinion.

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#5

I long for an actual relationship. Unfortunately I am only 20 and not many people my age are mature at all and I need to find someone who can handle hearing about my condition and my past. My shrink tells me that the key to relationships is being vulnerable, but I am a walking talking powerlifting example of Reaction Formation, one of Freud’s defense mechanisms, I feel weak inside and so I over achieve and over compensate to make myself feel the opposite of how I really perceive myself to be.

The truth is that I am psychologically and emotionally scarred and scar tissue is stronger than normal tissue. Like the scars on my right knuckle I got from punching a glass covered portrait on the wall when I was 14 when my parents told me I was getting confirmed a catholic and going to an all boys catholic high school— when I became a martial artist, the scarred knuckles didnt get raw from training.

I find myself in pain and I find that my family helps a lot. They know me, and they are there for me. Unconditional love.

But I get hopeless about finding a partner. I do feel pretty lonely. I look so strong on paper but that’s just my idealized self made real. There’s psychological theories about our real selves, our self we present to the world and the problems when they get mixed up. I need for someone to know my real self. Like a wolf without it’s black fur standing straight up, if one were to shave the wolf, it would look pitiful

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#6

I don’t know if this helps… but any meaningful relationship I have ever had required me to make the first move and I was always terrified when I did it. I hate rejection but i think that makes it even more sweet when you get the one who says ‘yes!’. Don’t give up hope, there truly someone (or in some cases many people) out there for everyone. It took me 8 tries to find the right one but it was worth it.

Also (assuming you looking for a female) I know I don’t speak for all females but we are likely just as scared as you about approaching and opening ourselves up to be vulnerable. If you are looking for a man I have to apologize as I am not experienced in that at all.

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#7

I’ve been told by kidsister (surprised J’s sis) that my appearance, skulls and black and muscular might scare people off. I have tried and failed with so many females, its depressing. Gay men love me but I havent found a classy guy who I find attractive, save for one who is really flakey and spends all weekend hitting bars (Im in fucking AA that cant work).

I have dated and asked out a ton of females. Way more than 8. more like 24 since I was 12. Some of them did date me for a few weeks, one of them just wanted to be sex buddies, I was horny so I accepted, most of them either quit responding to texts after I met them and got their phone numbers and the rest either stood me up or cancelled dates 30mins in advance.

My problem is getting angry. I go from hopeful and infatuated to hating their guts.

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#8

Sorry to hear that ((( If you need someone to talk to feel free to message me. I know it can be tough finding someone. More than a few of the women I dated met me because they liked my art, I am not a bar going person either and if I was single again I guess I would start looking on the internet first. OkCupid seems like an ok place, perhaps you could give that a shot?

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