FINDING MY WAY: Living alone


Weight Gain: One of the worst parts of major depression is the sedentary isolation. The anti-psychotic medications also cause an unending appetite. I have been yo-yo dieting for eight years. Right now, my goal weight is nowhere in sight. The weight increases lethargy. Not only am I depressed, I am exhausted by life. Everything that can go wrong in life has gone wrong. But food, feels so right. Ice cream, bagels, doughnuts, pasta, etc. More and more I turn to food as a comfort. My clothes barely fit. If I gain any more weight I will not have any well-fitting clothes.

Sleep: Now that my depression is in total relapse, I sleep 17 hours a day. My home is my sofa. My constant companion is my pillow. To drown the voices out I listen to classical music on cable TV. I use sedative medication to keep me asleep all day. The outside world is foreign and exhausting. I rarely leave the apartment. It is well air-conditioned and cool. Nothing competes with sleep.

Catastrophize: It is the end of the world. My thoughts are constantly focusing on every negative thing I can think of. I hate opening my mail and checking my email.

Emotional Support Animal: My best friend is a female small domestic short hair tuxedo cat. Sophie is her preferred name. She comforts me but she is a horrible role model. Like me she overeats and sleeps all day. Everytime I look at her I am re-inspired to stay in jammies and nap.

Work: I always get the interview but never the job.

Friendship: I have no friends. I have nothing to offer a friend. They likewise offer me nothing. I don’t like people anymore. They are too upbeat.

Voices: In addition to the depression, the voices have returned. More numerous than ever. I prefer them to human contact.

Delusions: I sometimes think I will get a job, a husband and a new car.

Killing Insects: I found six tiny silverfish in my apartment. I mashed them with tissues and threw them away. They resented me and threatened to evolve into a larger version of themselves. The size of a baby seal. I don’t believe them. It’s an empty threat.

Sea Stars: There is always something to be depressed about. Millions of sea stars are dying. No explanation has been found. I think they have given up on life. They are inspiring.

Puppets: I spent $300 on puppets. I am determined to reinvent myself as a ventriloquist.

Changes: Nothing does. I refuse to grow and change. Life is static.

Books: Reading strains my eyes and my brain. I found a translation of Dante’s Inferno that I can comprehend. Just not that much.

Losing Things: I lost my keys so many times I had to purchase a lanyard and wear it around my neck with my keys attached. I have earned the right to call myself “special.”

Manatees: Manatees have a message for humans. “We taste awful. The worst meat ever.” — Manatee in South Florida. USA

Ex- Boyfriends: That’s where I leave them.

Sex: What is it? I can’t remember. My child was the result of Immaculate Conception. Who knew?

Yoga: Too much work.

In Conclusion: Thoughts on schizophrenia by a somewhat healed victim of shame
Please excuse me. Because I have this condition. I am not always lucid enough to explain my illness. My thoughts are controlled by forces fully outside of myself. The one thing I have gained is that I will NEVER take my own life.
Symptoms. Just like with any mental illness, people with schizophrenia experience symptoms differently. Symptoms include:
• Hallucinations, which can include hearing voices, seeing things, or smelling things others can’t perceive.
• Delusions, which are false beliefs that don’t change even when the person who holds them is presented with new ideas or facts.
• Disorganized thinking, such as struggling to remember things, organize thoughts or complete tasks.
• Anosognosia, which means they are unaware that they have an illness.
• Negative symptoms, such as being emotionally flat or speaking in a dull, disconnected way.

Because my mental illness is permanent, I have to cope. I use humor when I can. When I can’t I can’t. My hope is to survive into old age and never re-experience hopelessness. A human cannot survive without hope yet I am fascinated by the Buddhist saying “Hope Causes Pain.” When I think about hope causing pain I can agree with it to certain extent. I could hope for nothing and keep my dreams dead and then I will be in a constant state of “hopeless certainty.” Meaning “why hope? Nothing good will ever happen.” I also see it as endlessly demotivating. One of my career options now that I have resigned my law license, due to racist misogyny, is a demotivational speaker. I know. I know it isn’t what people need but then again, “whatever!” I am a Nihilist now.

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