Holidays, Friends, and Family with Schizophrenia

Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving in my country.  I’m currently at my parents house and it’ll be a real small gathering.  It’ll be just me, my parents, and maybe an aunt or two.  My brother and all my cousins will be at their spouses’ families for the holiday.  I spent last Thanksgiving alone as I was having bad flare ups on and off for weeks before.  My brother had his four kids at my mom’s house and I didn’t want to risk having problems around the kids.  I may have had breakdowns on my parents, doctors, counselors, and friends but I’m not about to take my illness out on children.  I know my flare ups wear on my friends and make my parents and extended family sick with worry.  But even in the worst flare ups I ever had I never completely cut off family.

The holidays can be rough time for people.  In many families past grievances are brought up and cause divisions within.  It wasn’t until recent years did I realize just how unique my family was in that we never got to where we stopped talking to people.  I think my situation is made easier by both of my parents spending their careers in the medical fields and most people on both sides of my family being above average smarts and pretty accepting of my mental health problems.  My father has a cousin with bipolar I believe.  He lives on his own but I don’t think he holds a permanent job.  It helps that most of my extended family had previous experience working with mental health problems because of my father’s cousin.  My family has had it’s disagreements and problems but we never got to where we just cut communication.

I’m not going out shopping on Black Friday.  Did that probably twelve years ago.  My father and I went to a home improvement warehouse and I was cured of ever wanting to do Black Friday again after about thirty minutes.  And that place was quite mild compared to many places.  I do most of my shopping online anymore.  I wonder how the whole Black Friday madness ever got started.  I worked in retail one Christmas and it certainly gave me a renewed appreciation for retail store clerks and what they go through from late October to late December.

As far as my Thanksgiving plans go, I’ll probably enjoy my parents company, maybe help them decorate their house with Christmas lights, and be appreciative that I weathered another year while fighting with schizophrenia.  I’ll also be thankful for the science and tech advances made this year, some of which I have outlined in previous blog entries.



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