My support network

Asking for help
11 Nov 2023

My name is Renata and it's likely I have schizophrenia. At least the doctors tell me so. I had my first episode 25 years ago and have struggled since. The worst struggle is lack of understanding in society. Common myth about the condition is that some mysterious voices direct a schizophrenic person. No way any voices have told me what to do! I'm a strong and independent woman who likes to decide about her choices.

Even my blood family doesn't understand my condition, especially when I relapse. Many years ago my younger sister told me: “You went crazy, because you wanted to.” - I didn't comment, but meant to say: “Thanks for your summary. I had always dreamt of being marked as officially mental.” ;) 

My parents see me as either their pride or shame. No doubt I had made some choices, putting dark shadows on my family history, but I blame it on my condition. 

My husband seems to be one of my two besties. He loves me unconditionally and understands on levels that others do not. We're a happy couple with two kids, also known as challengers. 

My other bestie is Magda. She is a night owl and I’m an early bird. She is an optimist and I a pessimist. She likes dancing and I like running. She lives locally, so we're in touch when needed and catch up at least once per school term.

Lately I had told my manager, that I have bipolar. It's a white lie, as I was afraid to terrify her with the truth. She gives me one hug per week when needed. 

When a couple of weeks ago I announced on messenger to my blood family that I have bipolar, my sister wrote: ‘What a relief. It's much easier to understand bipolar than schizophrenia.' 

I didn't comment on her comment.

Another support source is my running club, where I'm feeling safe and supported. They are a bunch of individuals who never leave anybody behind. Many of them have poor mental health and openly talk about it. 

After years of pretending to be normal, a few years ago I announced on social media my struggles. I was afraid of reactions, but it was mainly positive and liberating. 

Currently I struggle with anxiety connected with my rebellious teenage daughter. It wakes me up between 2am and 4am. 

The best support at hand in darkness is Beanz, our cat. When everybody is asleep, she sits on my laps or on chair and keeps me company. She is my zen teacher and she understands. There's a mystical bond between us.

I'm having a follow-up meeting with my manager today which is stressing me out. Shall I tell the truth? I'll tell her that my appointment with a psychologist was alright, and an appointment about medication with a psychiatrist is to follow. 

She would understand, if she were my friend, but she is my boss, though we like each other, need to stay on professional level and not too personal. We shall see how it goes.

It's time to make a cup of coffee for the hubby.

Hope my blog isn't too gloomy!


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