Sometimes You Need to Be Talked Down

I’m stable. At least that’s how I usually am.In the ten years I’ve lived with schizophrenia I’ve managed to find a pretty strong footing for my life. I take my meds and go to therapy and practice my social skills and hell, I even have a job, which is more than a lot of people with schizophrenia can handle.

That said, there are times where the stars align for madness and you lose yourself in being overwhelmed with feelings or thoughts that confuse and delude you.

This past week was one of those times for me.

I was so lost in a certain idea that I started to lose my grip on reality. It was almost like a sickness, a fever of the mind where no matter how hard I tried, no matter what I told myself, I could not shake this completely unrealistic idea.

To say it consumed me would be an understatement.

I suffered with this delusion for a good five days trying anything, meditation, self talk, even copious cigarettes to calm me down.

I was lost until two days ago when I struck up a conversation with a friend who’s helped me with this type of stuff before. When she asked me how I was doing I couldn’t help but unload and I told her everything, every gritty detail.

After some back and forth describing things more carefully she, in her unabashed way hit me with the truth, she described a thought I had had many times in my midst of delusion but her saying it out loud and, I guess, hearing it from another person, the thought finally started to put down roots in my mind.

In a matter of probably minutes I came to my senses and realized the reality of the situation.

The delusion was rooted in obsession and it simply wasn’t realistic to pursue it any further.

I won’t go into details because it’s kind of a private matter but my point remains.

Sometimes you need to hear the truth from someone else for it to really stick.

I told her later that I realized I probably needed to hear what she said just to knock myself back down to reality.

Even though the exact thought had occurred to me numerous times during the week, the way she said it and probably the fact that she said it at all reinforced the idea that I had been reluctant to accept.

I was just being willfully ignorant of the truth and hearing it from another person, one that I love and trust as a very close friend helped me regain my grip on reality.

Essentially, we need friends to help us with stuff, if it’s not help moving to a new place, it’s bouncing an idea off of them and learning to see the situation from another person’s point of view.

Good friends know you well, they know what sets you off and they know what needs to be said in order to calm you down.

Sometimes it’s the blunt truth.

All said, I’m feeling better today, I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed by this idea and I’m taking things slowly again.

Maybe it was because it’s been a particularly stressful few weeks or maybe it was just, like I said, the stars aligning for a bit of madness.

I needed to hear the truth though and I needed to hear it from someone I trust. I’m thankful for that.

In essence, where would we be without friends? I know I’d probably be completely lost in my own mind.

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Comments

  1. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees and we need someone else to help us. For me that is often my husband. I suffer from anxiety and can easily get obsessive. Thank God for level headed people in my life when I’m in that state. You are a courageous person for sharing. I also am that level headed person in other people’s lives. :):)

  2. I just started reading your blog. It is very inspired. I have been schizophrenic (schizoaffective, that is) for a few years now and am being medically retired from the military for it. The stress of this uncertainty in career, how I’m going to support my family, a geographic change and an uncertain timeline have me really spinning lately. I’ve recognized the value of a sounding board and friends but have managed to chase them all away except for my wife. I take advantage of her so much this way that she feels more like a caretaker than a partner though.

  3. I get obsessed with things now and again, but I can’t even begin to imagine what your situation must feel like. I’m glad you have folks in your life that can be a release valve for you. Take it easy. And thanks for the follow. I look forward to seeing you around the blogs. 🙂

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