How did you take them, these first steps into the study/workplace? In my own experience, once properly medicated, the challenges that remain for me as a sz are mainly negative symptoms. Passivity, motivation and isolation issues. And then sort of secondary feelings that can arise out of these, like hopelesness, loneliness and the like.
My psychiatrist thinks I have such symptoms only mildly, and I tend to agree. But I notice fluctuations in them. It seems to me that as long as I have plenty of social and study activities scheduled I am doing just fine. But when they are lacking, when I have let these regular activities slip, it becomes harder and harder to pick up doing them again.
It seems to me then that there is a bit of a chicken and egg situation when it comes to engaging in these kind of activities and negative symptoms. Concerning motivation/drive and such activities, it is very much a feedback loop. Doing stuff will make you want to do more stuff. But then again, do I not need to want to do something before I can do it? And the converse also holds: idleness seems to bring about lack of drive etc. Once you have ended up at either side of the spectrum, passivity or activity, you tend to maintain that spot and it becomes a bit harder to slip to the other side. (such feedback loops also apply to other dynamics, like social interaction: meet lots of people and opportunities for new meet-ups arise naturally, isolate and it will take more deliberate efforts to find a way into social life)
The problem seems to me, then, that we SZ’s at some point or another have found ourselves at the bad side of the spectrum, trapped in this feedbackloop it is so hard to get out of. Whether it concerns social, educational or professional activities. Our episodes have swept us out of the good end of the feedback loops and the nature of it all seems to be it is damn hard to get back in.
So how did you working/studying guys manage to break the spell? In my experience, it can be very hard to have to rely on pushing yourself. Taking this metaphor literally already shows that this can only achieve so much… I have much to thank to relying on others to keep things going. My parents have pushed me to do things I (at the time) didn’t think I was able to do at all. (see Any experiences that have made you stronger) Also, I was fortunate enough to have friends I could and did rely on to take initiative in social activities. At one point, I had problems initiating contact with them, even though I appreciated them being around very much. So I told them so and we scheduled weekly meetings. A bit superficial, it may seem, but it helped to keep things going.