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!!
And that’s what these days are all about now—trying new things. Routines are essential to people living with a mental illness, as many of them will tell you, and unfortunately, with the global lockdown our routines are disrupted. So we need to establish new routines.
With early treatment and care, a good longterm recovery from a first episode of psychosis has a 42% success rate, with an intermediate outcome of 35%. Many people living with schizophrenia experience independent and productive lives through solid community support. It is a matter of working together and understanding one another.
Although I’m grateful that there is more openness and dialogue around making peace with food and our bodies in the media, often what we see is over simplified, prettied up and packaged (often to sell products or services) in a way that I believe is a bit misleading and does a disservice to people embarking on this journey.
I’ve been asked outright what it’s like to hallucinate, what the voices say to me, and if I’ve ever become completely unhinged. I try to answer those questions as honestly as I can, shying away from over-exaggeration, thereby inadvertently feeding into the misinformation delivered through newscasts and tabloid journalism. It’s not always easy.