But as I navigate the waters of our overburdened and underfunded mental health system, there is a wall I keep butting up against. It is a specific limitation which needs to be addressed: Why does the medical establishment seem to stop caring about schizophrenia once the patient is medicated and compliant?
Considering that I lived in a world of my own, replete with sights and sounds that manifested sparkles and colors by the nature of my young life on the spectrum, that was enough for me. While the rest of the year held little intrigue if there wasn’t a parade or Frisbee in sight, Independence Day always delivered.
Like millions of other people whose only connection to the life we might have known once is an online conference call or video chat where a familiar face is only that and nothing more. No actual contact, no handshakes or hugs, no fascia or pheromones. Something’s missing. Something human.
What a mystery, this thing, mental illness. But what exactly is the critical issue? Just how horrible it is? How ugly, how dehumanizing? Or is it something more intricate, more profound than that? A thread throughout the historical narrative of this disease is that the afflicted one believes he is talking to God. Or God is talking to him.
I have a different perspective on life today. I’m less concerned with being normal and more enthusiastic about the integration that medication and wellness has afforded me. My self-conscious behavior and subsequent social awkwardness seem to have waned; life feels more easily manageable. My confidence has returned to a degree that I felt compelled to meet new friends, and with new territory to explore, I feel inclined to take chances that I wouldn’t have—or couldn’t have—when I was living in psychosis.
Go easy on yourself and hopefully when life goes back to normal for many of you, you will find a new understanding, compassion, and appreciation for every level of human functioning.
Almost a decade ago now, I realized the price of “having it all” was far too high for me. Not only did it require me to live life at a pace that felt impossible to maintain, it required me to ignore who I really am and what I need to be healthy and happy, in all my messy, misfit imperfection. It required me to ignore that my mental and physical health could not actually bear the weight of “having it all”.
take care of your mental health, and I will too. We might be feeling isolated but we can go outside. We can talk on the phone. But I think what’s most important is limiting our news intake, getting exercise and simply toning down stress by finding activities that kill stress. Let me know how it goes!!