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What a Day in My Life With Disorganized Schizophrenia Is Like

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I live with a disorder called disorganized schizophrenia, but anyone with any health related issue can hopefully relate to this. I’ve sat hours through different types of therapy sessions to help deal with life. Some sessions and types focus on coping skills. Some focus on life skills. Many have taught me how to attempt stay calm so that my psychotic episode doesn’t frighten others. Or how to identify when symptoms are worse so I can get help.

Over time I’ve began to notice how my day to day may look like yours, but the details are different.

Others wake up and put their feet on the floor to go get ready for the day. I put mine on the floor for grounding exercises in order to convince myself I am real. Others open their closet and plan their outfit for the day. My closet is already open so the hallucinations have somewhere to go at night that isn’t around my bed. My clothes are laid out from earlier this week when I had mind enough to prepare, but they’re under yesterday’s dirty clothes from where I had no motivation or thought process.

Others may eat or may not to prepare their bodies for the day. I don’t eat out of a delusional fear there is poison in the food. Others know to go to the bathroom to brush their teeth and wash their face. By this time I have already forgot, but past me that put out clothes remembered to reset my silent reminders. My phone reminds me to brush my teeth and wash my face assuming I have the motivation.

Work and school are different for me too. I use other people’s notes sometimes because mine turned out to be just random letters. Sometimes I audio record the class so I can remember that I was there and what went on. Or even because I can’t focus or hear over hallucinations. I hear myself accidentally ask the same question twice. I hear the profs long pause after I ask again. I still have the claw marks on my arm from where I scratched out of nervous anxiety because I knew I did something wrong again. Time for more grounding exercises.

Social events are few and far between, but they work different too. I’m not shy. I just wait to see who talks to who so I can identify who is real and who are hallucinations. I keep my back to walls so I know that the voice whispering my name is just a voice.

Most people enjoy dinner in the evenings. I am exhausted from faking it and focusing all day. I convince myself a restaurant where I can see them make the food is safe. I look like a weirdo for wearing my coat inside, but it’s raining on me so I have to. Most people don’t have tactile hallucinations. Maybe I’ll remember to take it off next time. It’s too late now because the timing would be weird plus it keeps me from clawing my arm for the 10th time this week.

Night time is a scary one. The rest of the world has slowed, but my brain is still ticking away. The doors are left open again so they don’t stand around my bed again. The sub titles are on on my show so I can see what they say. My headphones are in but not plugged in so I can block out the radio sounds that come at night. Time to reset the silent reminders again.

This is exhausting. Many people make changes throughout their day that you or I do not have to do. Some are dealing with pain. Some people live with constant emotional distress, weakened immune systems, mental disorders, stress, dietary restrictions and so much else. Everyone’s routine looks different. We need to be understanding of these things and be patient with each other. This world is difficult enough, but if we can be kind and accepting of others then maybe it can get better. Be patient with yourself and with others. We’re all living with daily changes.

Getty image by Victor_Tongdee

Originally published: February 10, 2021
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