After reading a friend’s blog about her struggle with cancer, I’ve decided I can get a little more “real” with my own blog and bring it down to the emotional level, instead of just staying analytical.
About ten years ago I was struck with what I call “Late Onset Schizophrenia.” I say what “I call this” is more about being educated by and about my own disease. I’ve carried all of the diagnostic labels in the group, including bi-polar with psychosis and schizoaffective because the word “schizophrenic” is so so widely misunderstood, misappropriated, and misused that even doctors don’t want to use the word now. The term “psychosis” is equally misunderstood and misused. Most people, it seems, associate the latter with getting really angry and being hostile and antagonistic. For most of us experiencing psychosis, it is usually about feeling terrorized, scared, and full of uncertainty and anxiety.
Anyway, I said I would stay away from the stump speeches and hit home instead.
I’ve had another break recently. There have been more than I can count now. This blog documents them all in some form or another. Sometimes I am so afraid of my psychotic reality I won’t write about it, but when I do write about what I am experiencing, I can really bring the experience to life. At least I think I can, reading months or years later. Those epic, in-your-face posts, however, are few and far between.
I’m scared and my mom told me the other day she is scared for me when she dies. Mom is dying of Stage-four Lung Cancer and I’ve been her primary support. I will be her only caregiver. Hearing this from my mom really shocked me, and I had to leave her place because I was so upset. I was upset because no one I know has yet to express any real concern for me and my life and how I am doing. Mom must keep her fears tightly capped because she has never told me as much before, even though we had been living together for a number of years until recently and she has really, now, seen the worst of it.
I hate to show it myself, my fears. I don’t know where I will turn when my mom dies. She has been the only one to see me and support me and care for me. Although we’ve had our differences through the years, my mom has been my sole support in my illness. My brothers are present to some extent, but they aren’t around enough to really understand what I am like when I am sick, nor how to help me. And, really, there is no way to help me and this is exactly what doctors, nurses, and the sick already know. There is no cure, there is no panacea. There is hardly any research to that matter. They keep making new drugs, but they’re not much better than the old stuff. For the few who are really lucky, a shot of risperidol or some other drug may help, but for me, only time helps, and in the mean time, I sit and suffer through my symptoms — and it really is suffering. I hate psychosis so much.
But to the degree I hate psychosis, I also love my mom, so I am going to make a concerted effort to really be there for her, to show her who I am as an individual — something a parent may not see, something half my lovers have not seen, something I keep tightly regulated now. I only dole out my love now for, well, no one.
Maybe it is time for me to love again, and I’ll hedge my bets on mom being a good start.