Sometimes when my thoughts are jumbled, I like to take a step back to put things into perspective. One of the things I think about is, where would I be today had I not developed schizophrenia. In a lot of ways this illness has changed me, for better and for worse. One thing I feel is that I wouldn’t be the person I am today. For obvious reasons I had to adapt, contouring my life around my illness.
Living with schizophrenia is much like living with yourself as a child. You protect yourself against things that might influence your disease. Possible triggers are a big one to look out for. Much of the time trying to take care of yourself is like trying to get your toddler self to take a bath or brush their teeth. Self care has been a problem of mine since my early teenage years. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s kind of gross sometimes. Believe me when I say that I want to take care of myself, I want to get that feeling of a million bucks after the shower. Sometimes it’s not always in the cards for me. So one things for sure, if I didn’t have my illness I would be A LOT cleaner.
Another trouble I have is maintaining a job. I’ve been through a few jobs in my life, only two lasting more than a year. Considering I started working at age 12, that’s not very impressive. One thing I feel resentful for is the fact that I want to work. I want to work so hard and achieve my dreams yet I’m held back by schizophrenia. Without this illness I’m sure I would be a lot further ahead in life. The bright side of it all is had things been different, I wouldn’t have met my wife. The woman who I love with all my heart and thankful that I spend each day and night with. Massive silver lining right there.
So dealing with this illness has held me back in some regard but so far, the pros out weigh the cons. I’ve changed as a person and in most ways I think it’s for the better. Dealing with hardship always changes us as people. For many reasons I think I’ve become a better person. I’ve become a more caring, empathetic, loving, and patient person. I look at my life and the struggle I hide and think, who’s to say that person over there isn’t going through something of equal hardship. This thought often crosses my mind and has caused me to develop a sense compassion for anyone or anything. I’ve been treated like dirt and had the person not dehumanized me and thought just maybe I was going through a lot, maybe they would’ve treated me better. So this is how I try to see things first.
So where would I be had I not developed schizophrenia? Honestly, I don’t care to know. I like who I am and how I’m more able to see the beauty in the world. How time is even more precious. Perspective is the key to my happiness. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the world from different ways. I think I’ve settled on one that’s made me a truly happy person.
I hope I’ve helped you in some way. Whether you have a illness or not, I hope I’ve helped you see some light in the darkness. Happy Holidays everyone!