It’s Not Panic, It’s Grief

Monday this week I was discharged from the psychiatric hospital after six days of treatment.  My inpatient doctor literally told me that he is perplexed by how so many medicines seem to just not work for me.  Now I am on Haldol after it was determined that Loxapine didn’t work well enough. I’m still very stressed about graduating.  I go to each of my classes with a knot of anxiety in the pit of my stomach.  If only Sheriff knew how to magically calm me down and tell me that everything will work out.

People ask me if I’m okay lately and my response is usually “barely.”  I am barely okay.  Normally it is anxiety and delusions that are troubling me but tonight, it is grief.I’m just over a month away from turning 23.  I’ve been in college for 5 years.  I have so much passion for my various hobbies.  I have a ton of drive to change the mental health system for the better in whatever way I can.  But at the same time, I have this chronic, neurological illness of schizophrenia.

I function best when accompanied by my service dog.  I cannot work in the fields I always dreamed of because I’ve simply lost the ability to work.  I have to make due with hobbies that are entertaining but really just filler in my everyday life.  My life is full of those shipping peanuts…so full that I can’t even see what they are protecting some days.  Getting out of bed is sometimes a task that seems impossible.  Constantly warring with my brain and trying to stick with the logical side tires me.  My medicine sedates me so that when I’m not busy, I am exhausted and need to nap.  I’ve had to learn to ignore hallucinations, even voices that constantly tell me to harm myself.  I’m sure you get the idea.

When I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia, I was told that I would have to learn to accept it.  Doing so was almost like traveling through the stages of grief.  Denial…anger…eventually acceptance.  But you never stop grieving.  Tonight I sit here in tears because I look at what I’ve lost in life.  I know I’ve gained some amazing friends and allies through all of this but I’ve still lost a lot and that is what I am focusing on right now.  And I have a right to it.  I am disabled since the young age of 20.  Since the beginning of my adulthood.  Where do you go from there?

I think it is okay to be sad about it sometimes.  I think it is normal or typical.  In fact, as I write this and think about all the other people in the world with schizophrenia, I grieve for them as well.  The lyrics of a song by Seabird come to mind.  Believe me, believe me when I say, I never wanted it this way. Believe me when I say, I always tried to do my best.  I gotta get this off my chest.

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One Response
  1. Angelyn says:

    Katherine, I had no idea how much you were going through. Please take care of yourself and know that I am sending positive thoughts your way. ((Hugs))

    Note from Katherine: Thank you very much. :)

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