I hate to make some sort of inspirational post like I’m any sort of role model for other people. I’m not, I’m a pretty boring, average person like everyone else. I’m not an inspiration.
However, I’ve been through some suffering with this condition and all the self obsession, self loathing paranoia that comes with that and I think I’m recovered now. I used to be loath to use that word, and viewed it as cheesy buzzword bandied around by professionals that didn’t have a clue what we go through. It is possible, I’ve found out.
I’m now in my final year of university and will be shopping for masters degrees soon. I lost around 12 stone in body weight, ran three marathons and compete in endurance open water swimming events now. I gave up smoking and drinking and started looking after myself. I only surround myself with positive, supportive people that want to make a go of life. Good family and friends are important, I think they all them “social determinants of health”.
Of course, there is no turning point, no eureka moment, no magic pill, no magic bullet.
Just the same old boring stuff. I listened to my treatment team, I had good support, I made sensible decisions. I made plenty of mistakes (and still do) but I learned from them. I also tried not to let them eat at me and destroy me. CBT helped me learn to move on from dwelling on mistakes and negatives and be disciplined in thinking. There are always positives to grab onto.
I heard some sports man say “tough isn’t never falling off the horse, tough is getting back on it”. That’s hardly Bertrand Russel I know but it’s true nonetheless. I’m not suggesting recovery is about toughness, but reacting productively to set backs is an important part of it. Some luck helps too.
It’s said that recovery is a personal journey and that implies you have to set you own goals and determine when you’ve recovered. Schizophrenia may force you to lower your expectations. Your expectations are fluid though, with hard work, the right support and some luck, you may find yourself raising them as well as lowering them, as you go along.