I Am Schizoaffective And Too Tired To Fight Anymore.I'm not one to feel sorry for myself, but as I sit here thinking about the mess I've gotten myself into I'm finding it difficult not to. I'm not sure where to begin, so I'll just tell you where I am. My father called me about an hour ago to tell me how disappointed he is in me. Not just that, but he also made it a point to tell me how lazy and irresponsible I've been. Not to mention how it is my fault that my mother has been coughing up blood. The thing is, he hasn't called me in 20 years. No "Hi, how ya doing" No NOTHING! Somehow he thinks he has some influence on me after all those years of neglect. Needless to say, he hasn't a clue what my illness entails.
I'm about to have a nervous breakdown. No one knows this but me and I'm too ashamed to speak about this to anyone but my psychiatrist. I have a very long history of mental illness. My dad and my brother both think I should work, and that I can be normal like the rest of the family, but no matter how hard I try, I always seem to let them down. I want to make them both proud, but it's too late for that. I've given up hope for myself. I guess a sense of peace just isn't meant for some people.
I was diagnosed bipolar (With psychotic features) at age 25. After many years of treatment along with therapy, my doctor changed the diagnosis to schizoaffective disorder. I don't know a great deal about it, but I do know that the better part of my adult life has been a living hell. Not only for me, but also for my mother and my son. No matter how hard I try, I always seem to fall back into a rut, dragging my loved ones down with me.
My mother has been my strength for the last 8 years. She has stuck with me no matter how much she suffered in the process. I never meant to put her through so much, but this illness is a beast that has no regard for anyone. If I thought I could survive on my own, I'd pack up my bags and rid her of the misery that I am. She doesn't deserve a son like me. She's the most loving and compassionate woman Ive ever known, and it kills me to know what I've put her through.
I thought about suicide once. I would have done it had it not been for my son. Even so, as I look back at what I've put him through the last few years, I wonder if it would have best if I had ended it all when I was most apt to do it. I don't know …. He's such a good kid. His mother has raised him well. What have I done for him? I've made countless broken promises, and have sadly been little more than a disappointment and bad example to him.
I keep telling myself that I'll get it back to good, but I've burned so many bridges, it makes it difficult to do so. My brother is furious and thinks that I've been too sheltered. I believe if it were up to him, he'd have me on the streets with only the clothes on my back for what I've put my mother through. I don't blame him of course. I'd be fighting mad too. The only problem is that I have absolutely no control over my illness.
I worry about my future. I don't want to end up homeless, or without a loved one to lean on when I'm down and out. Even so, I am rapidly moving towards that end. If I could change anything about my life, I take back the last 8 years. They have been harder on my mother than any others I think.
They say substance abuse is typical for people with my illness. I've read that we use in attempt to self medicate. I myself think I did it out of despair. I just wanted to escape from my life. I wanted some relief from my hellish reality. But alas, my drug use only made it worse and now I fear it is too late to make amends.
I had landed a pretty decent job a couple months ago at UPS. I've wanted to work there for years, and did all I could to keep the job. I didn't get fired, but I did wake up on day and decided not to go in. The day after the same thing, etc. It's not that I was lazy or anything. I just knew my limits. My grandmother had just passed away because of lung cancer, and for some reason I was asked to give the eulogy. I wasn't about to pass up such an honor, but at the same time, it put a tremendous stress on me. The stress lead to anxiety, and the anxiety eventually turned into uncontrollable mania. The problem with mania is that I run and run and run till I can't run anymore, then I crash into severe depression (Not to mention psychosis).
At this point, I've pissed damn near every one off, so as it has been for years, it is when I'm most depressed that I am severely criticized and made to feel guilty, and told how lazy and irresponsible I am. Not only that, but it is during the come down that it sinks in what I've actually done.
I'm sitting here with tears rolling, without a penny in my pocket, depressed, jobless, my mother coughing up blood and struggling to make ends meet, and with half my family furious at my so called immaturity. I don't know how we are going to get through it this time. I've burned far too many bridges for anyone to help us now. I just want to crawl in a hole and die.
It hurts me knowing that I finally made my father proud by getting a decent job, and that I turned that pride inside out and into utter disappointment and disgust. I'm not sure if he'll ever speak to me again after this incident. You know what hurts more than that? It's knowing how big a burden I've been on my mother. I'm scared to death that her health is so poor that she won't be here much longer, all while the reality of what I put her through the last 8 years slaps me in the face repeatedly. I can't stand the thought of her last years on this earth being spent dealing with my bullshit. It hurts me to think about. All I want right now is for her to be ok and happy, knowing that she will never be neither as long as I'm in the picture.
Yes, I'm feeling sorry for myself. Yes, I'm beating myself up. Yes, I'm scared, lonely, and out of hope. Yes, I feel like it would have better if I were never born. I just want it all to go away. I'm sick of being a disappointment. I sick of hurting those I love and I'm sick of who I am. I'm so darn tired, and I see no relief in my future..
I once thought I had all the answers. I was once happy and carefree. Then reality hit me in the face, and I realized that nothing but the earth itself is beautiful. My son and my mother are the only two people I know in life that I can honestly call beautiful as well. Even so, they are the two people I seem to hurt the most. I sincerely want to help others, but I can't even help myself. It's such a cruel and twisted thing to bear when want and reality mix like oil and water. Such is the beast that is schizoaffective.
My Illness began many years ago ....
I was living with my future wife Rebecca at the time. Things we getting extremely complicated. It was during this time that I found out that I was a jealous man. When I say jealous, I mean a relentlessly jealous. So much so that I completely ripped our relationship apart. I feared so many things, but what I feared most was the thought of her sleeping with other men. I accused her countless times of using drugs, and having sex with others to get them.
My friends and I had drifted apart by then, and my mother was so preoccupied with her boyfriend and work, I felt as if I had no one to turn to. I found out quick how lonely life can be. Despite the complications, I managed to hold on to a fairly decent job.
It wasn't long after my jealous streak that I began to fear for my life. I started getting severely paranoid, and felt like people wanted me dead. I blamed my girlfriend of course, but I'm sure my fears were unjustified. It was the way people looked at me that instilled the fear, and the secrecy that others displayed when I was around. It's hard to explain, but I knew that I was going to die by the hands of another. Everyday it was the same fear, and there was no controlling it.
I decided to ask Rebecca to marry me. While I thought it would solve my problems, my condition progressed. At this point she must have thought I was insane, but she married me nonetheless. Nothing with our relationship changed. I was still the same jealous man I had always been, and she was still the same woman she had always been. The accusations remained. The fear progressed, and our relationship literally became non existent.
As my illness worsened, I began to fear certain foods. I thought the food I ate controlled something aspect of life - although I had no idea what. Even the cigaretts i smoked controlled some big aspect of life in my mind. I didn't have a clue of what mind you, but I just knew it in my heart that they did.
Finally I became so fearful and paranoid I couldn't sleep. I quit smoking, and was nothing less than a mental wreck. I'm guessing I stayed awake for two weeks straight. I could barely eat, and was pretty much living on liquids. I ended up in the hospital, diagnosed with depression. I suppose if iI had been completely honest with my doctor, he would of given me a more severe diagnoses. the problem is that I thought my doctor was Satan at the time, and that my family delivered me to him in hope that he would spare my life.
I know it all seems crazy, but it is true. When I was in his office speaking to him, I kept thinking to myself that I would have to battle him on my own one day, and that he was just giving me time to prepare. I felt important, but I was weak and unable to fight for myself. I can still see his eyes twiching and I can still remember how I felt in his presence. He told me It would probably be best if I didn't read the bible because of how powerful the words are, and that It would be best if i didn't quit smoking.
As i look back, I can see why, the bible scared me and my nerves were shot. Cigarettes tend to have a calming effect, but the bible at time made me feel wicked and worthless, not to mention the fact that it made me fear death and hell.
It is a bit ironic how this life turned into hell for me. I have had times of serenity, but for the most part life has been cruel. Now here I am too tired to fight, and unable to make my family proud.
It wasn't till years later that I opened up to another doctor who diagnosed me with bipolar, and then several years after that I was diagnosed with schizoaffective. I'm a complete mess even after all these years (Even with medication). My strength has been my mother, but she's tired too and in bad health. My only refuge now is God, and my only hope is in his son.
May God shine His light upon my soul and upon every other person who must endure this illness.....