Monday, October 11, 2010

This desire to be what others want me to be...

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that affects about 1.1 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. People with schizophrenia sometimes hear voices others don’t hear, believe that others are broadcasting their thoughts to the world, or become convinced that others are plotting to harm them. These experiences can make them fearful and withdrawn and cause difficulties when they try to have relationships with others.*

You know that feeling when you've got moisture in your nasal cavities and lungs, like after you've been swimming all day, or after a really good cry?  That's how I feel.  I am a relatively healthy person, aside from the lifelong diseases I have and the injuries I get when I play soccer.  I get SICK really only once a year or so, and this might be it.  I have a cough.  That's pretty much it, except that my lungs are super healthy (which is wildly different from the rest of my family), so when I have a cough, that means I'm sick.  Hopefully it only lasts a couple weeks and I don't have to go to the doctor, because my insurance is pretty much terrible and each doctor's office visit costs me roughly $125.  So I opted not to go to work today, mostly because Holly has a baby and I don't want to give this to her and have her give it to the baby.  Also, I would have probably left germs all over the copy machine and door handles, and any other community surface.  As someone who is aware of the presence of germs, everywhere, I'm saving a lot of people, believe me.  I wouldn't go so far as to classify myself as a germophobe, but I'm in proximity to it for sure.

To review, I feel pretty good today, mentally.  I think I needed to "sit" with my despair and sort of make my peace with it, in order to understand it and be able to move on from it.  It doesn't take a whole lot to send me into a spiral of deepening despair, but I'd classify this one as pretty bad.  I was thinking about it while I was trying to fall asleep last night (a losing battle, I had to take some Advil PM), but I wish I were better able to describe my feelings.  My mom and I love this series of books called Outlander, they're by Diana Gabaldon, and I can precisely point to the sublime use of adjectives that she uses as one of the main reasons I love the books.  They're so consummate that the reader can actually see, or feel, or smell exactly what it is that she's describing.  I wish I could do that for my readers!!

I'm not sure why I'm feeling better today, and I would really like to put my finger on it, so that I can capture whatever it is and utilize it next time.  The best that I can come up with is that I read my "go-to" book for when I'm feeling low, The Girls' Guide To Surviving A Breakup, and it helped me to gain some perspective into my situation that's a little more objective.  Taking a step back and visualizing what I would do or say to someone in my exact situation is a very helpful trick for coping.  This book is useful because it focuses on rebuilding the self-esteem of women who've been broken up with by their partner or spouse, and it works towards not placing blame on oneself as a reason for the breakup.  I read it often, not because I go through a lot of breakups, but because I need to hear the things that this book says.  There's a lot of "you need to treat yourself well" and "you're worth the love and affection the next man is going to give you" type of things in this book, and it's useful for me to read it over and over, because I never think those thoughts for myself.

This leads me to one of the things I've been wanting to write about - how hard I am on myself.  I'm very, VERY hard on myself.  I'm super critical of my appearance, and I'm a perfectionist, so it drives me crazy that I'm nowhere near where I hoped I'd be by this point in my life.  I'm constantly comparing myself to others, and not just others in my life, but just about everyone.  My therapist pointed out that I almost never make a comparison with myself and someone where I come out on top.  I think that's because I always look for the good in people, it is my fatal flaw.  When I'm watching true-crime shows like The First 48 or Cold Case Files, I feel sympathy for the criminal!!  Every time!!  I'm not exactly sure where this comes from, but I have a very difficult time getting angry when I am wronged, I always just sort of accept (as fact) that I deserved whatever I got.

I've had more than one person tell me to give myself a break, and I can never seem to remember to do that.  I don't think I ever let myself really relax.  When I'm vegging, I think about all the things I should be doing.  When I'm doing some of those things, I tell myself I should do them more often, because they're not so hard!  I'm never just satisfied with myself as I am.

I'm in a good place at this particular moment, mentally, so I'm going to attempt to enjoy it for the remainder of the evening (which includes watching Bones and reading).  Thanks for reading!!

*"NIMH · Schizophrenia." NIMH · Home. Web. 11 Oct. 2010. <>.

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