Hold My Hand in the Darkness

Community support for people with schizophrenia.

Posted Oct 17, 2020

 Demi Kwant/Unsplash
Source: Demi Kwant/Unsplash

I'm so tired of struggling. 

You know, I was doing well for a really long time. I was happy. Every day. And this happens, every couple of years, where I'm well for a while, and it gives me a false sense of hope. That everything is going to be OK. And then something happens, or nothing happens, and I'm in the deep well of schizophrenia again. 

You know, I used to try to look at the positive side. Good vibes only type of thing. That very toxic kind of positivity. I would tell myself that the mental health community is so supportive and lovely, I've met so many great people because of schizophrenia. Or schizophrenia has given me art. I wouldn't change my life if given the chance. 

But I don't really care about art anymore. I haven't written anything at all in so long. My mind is just ... full of things nobody cares about. People expect me to write about schizophrenia and I fear that no one wants to read anything else I have to write. As if without my schizophrenia I'm insignificant. 

It's a hard life. When schizophrenia punches you in the face. I've spent weeks drifting through the air, like a ghost. And I don't know what to do. Even my doctors say that I am so good about my self-care. I do everything I'm supposed to do. But that's just how schizophrenia is. It fights back and it fights back hard. 

I'm 34 and I'm wondering if this is what the rest of my life will be. I look at other people with schizophrenia and they seem to thrive. Of course, I have a full-time job and I'm in college full time; that's difficult for anyone. But there are things I want to do. And schizophrenia wants to stop me. It's an evil thing, this disorder. A grim reaper of a thing, sucking my whole life away through the empty holes of its face. 

I'm in the thick of it now, and later I'll be disappointed in myself for publishing this. For feeling this way. For not looking at life more positively. For not laughing more. But then, when I'm doing better, I'll be looking at my suffering from a place of privilege. There will be a then, though, when I'm doing better and laughing all the time. Buying plants. Collecting baby blankets (even though I don't have a baby). You should have seen me at the park with my baby blanket today. Soaking up the breeze under a tree. All the moms with their kids thought I had lost my mind. I have, but not because of the baby blankets. 

Life is never going to be good for me for the rest of the time. I'm going to have some good times and some OK times and some really, really bad times. Like I said, I do everything I'm supposed to. I take my medication and I go to therapy and I eat well and I go outside and I go to work and I get A's in school. That's the most difficult thing about this disorder. You do everything right and it finds you again. It will always find you. 

Enjoy the times that are good. Collect your positive memories and save them for later. You may need them between one good time and the next. That's true for everyone, mental illness or not. Life is hard for many people, I understand that. And I try to keep that in my mind when I'm struggling. I'm not the only one; I know I'm not. If there's one thing I've learned it is that difficult times can be made less difficult if we go through them together. And despite my better judgment, that is why I am writing these raw feelings down and sharing them with all of you. It's my way of reaching out and letting people know they are not alone. 2020 jokes aside, a lot of years are hard. For some people, whole lifetimes can be hard. Reaching out is the biggest message I can offer. Not only to those who are struggling but to those living happy, fulfilling lives. Don't be afraid of people like me with schizophrenia. I'm just a normal person with an apartment and hobbies and a boyfriend and cats. I do regular things like go to the beach on Saturday. I have a regular job. I'm totally boring, not scary. Schizophrenia is scary, but I'm not. 

So please, love us, the schizophrenics and the people with schizophrenia. I know we can make it hard on you to do that, but don't give up on us. We're trying our best with the life we are living, with a darkness following us wherever we go. Like I said, schizophrenia is an evil, evil thing (please don't contact me and ask me if I'm possessed by demons; that's not what I mean). It's just angry and cruel and dark, schizophrenia. Love is light, unconditional love is light, and I know that because I have that in my life. Not everyone is so lucky. 

Hold our hands, and help us get through this. Together. It's the only way.