Mental Illness and Friendships

Earlier this week I had one of my best friends from college spend a few days at my apartment.  We went out to eat at a couple of places I had been meaning to try.  We went to Omaha to catch a minor league baseball game, which is a fun way to spend an evening and can be done for less than $25 a person pretty easily.  We had front row seats on the first base line and the seats cost only $13.  I took him to one of the parks I go for walks in and crowd watch.  We also chatted extensively about topics near and dear to us, topics like economics, future tech possibilities, history, our fantasy league baseball teams, dating experiences, etc.  I’m going to see him again in July when I go to the Black Hills of South Dakota as I’m one of the groomsmen in his wedding.  I got remeasured for a suit and, even though the weight loss has slowed for the last couple months, I am actually down a few inches in most of my measurements.  Go figure.

For the few days he was here, I had no problems with the mental illness flaring up.  While I am quite steady most of the time anymore, I still have moments of weakness when the problems come creeping back.  I haven’t completely mastered warding off these flare ups, but have learned not to act on these negative emotions and thoughts.  Even when I have the flare ups, I’ll usually just rant and rave but not actually act out physically.  And my family, to their credit, put up with it and don’t try to argue with me when this occurs.  By now we’ve figured out the best way to get out of a down ward spiral is to often allow me to just burn myself out by ranting for awhile as long as I don’t physically threaten anyone or myself.  The odd thing about having schizophrenia is when I am having these psychotic breakdowns is I am completely aware of what is going on and what I am saying but the impulse controls are not working nearly as well.  Fortunately for all of us involved my bark is far worse than my bite.  And to their credit, my family and friends endure my problems and quirks like champs.  That is why it is important to keep in contact with friends and at least attempt to keep things civil with family members.  They can help smooth things out when things go bad.  They also make living far more interesting.  The most important thing in life is our friendships and relationships with other humans.


2 thoughts on “Mental Illness and Friendships

  1. Its really great that your friends and family can still be there for you when you are not at your best. 🙂

  2. This was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you for sharing. Although I don’t have schizophrenia, my depression tends to take me in a downward spiral, and my friends and family have also been awesome at helping me manage. And, when I remember that they have issues, too, it really takes me out of my own head and helps me recognize how difficult my struggles are for them to deal with.

    Thank you so much for your writing. I admire your honesty and bravery and you are a great example for me to keep going. Thank you so much for big so candid. I hope you have a good weekend. 😊

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