I wake up groggily from a nap, and bolt upright, running to the bathroom. I’m gonna throw up. No I’m not, yes I am, no I’m not. I’m hot, burning up. I’m never hot. I always have ten pounds of clothes on. People in the office are always making fun of me, saying I’m ready for a blizzard. I grab a paper towel, and soak it with cold water. Dab my face with it. A knock comes at the door. “Are you okay?” he asks, and I answer that yes, I’m fine.
I had an essay due on Wednesday. I had an essay due, and I didn’t do it.
For those of you who don’t know, I attend school part time in the evenings (and online). I also have a full time job that keeps me out of the house for about twelve hours a day (a full day plus traffic). When I told him about my stress levels, my dad told me that it’s too much for me, school and work. He says once I start a new semester, after a few weeks, I start to have a really hard time with hallucinations and suicidal thoughts and things. I thought I could handle it, but this week taught me a whole new lesson.
I’m so afraid of getting sick. More specifically, getting poisoned. I’m afraid of getting sick too, but the fear of being poisoned is debilitating. That’s really what schizophrenia is for me: living in fear. I live in fear of so many things on a daily basis.
In school, when we have a mid-class break and I have to go use the restroom, I put my water bottle in my bag. Not only that, but I memorize the exact position of the water bottle in my bag so that when I come back I can be sure it hasn’t been moved. I’m afraid my classmates are going to poison me. There is no reason why they would. I haven’t wronged them in any way. There is no reality in which they go around poisoning people; they’re good people. But no matter how unrealistic the notion may seem, I can’t shake it. So every Wednesday night around 7:30 I hide my water bottle in my bag and very carefully examine it when returning from the restroom.
I haven’t written in a while. I’ve written about 10,000 words in a new book I’m working on, but I haven’t written anything publicly. No blogs or articles or anything like that. There’s a reason for that.
Depression has debilitated me lately. It has convinced me that I have nothing good to say, nothing notable; it has convinced me that my voice isn’t worth anything. That the things I write don’t help anyone, so why bother? Does anyone care?
People are always surprised when I tell them I have schizophrenia. They even go as far as to argue with me as if my doctors have no idea what they’re talking about. “You can’t possibly have schizophrenia,” they say. “I know schizophrenics; you’re nothing like them.”