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Schizophrenia is a beast in many big ways, paranoia, psychosis, voices, terrors, etc. It is also difficult in some more less known and subtle ways.

When my husband and I are going on a trip, no matter how much I am looking forward to it, I get completely stressed out and have a difficult time sleeping the night before. The reason for this isn’t my anxiety (which can be overwhelming) it is my inability to differentiate between some feelings. I can’t tell the difference between excitement and stress.

Most people get excited when they are looking forward to doing something they love. I don’t know that feeling anymore, it went away many years ago, so long ago, that I can only vaguely remember how much fun it was.

I can think back to Christmas Eve as a child, and remember the magic, joy, anticipation, and delight that I felt knowing that Santa would visit and leave presents in my stocking and under the tree while I was sleeping. It was a wonderful feeling. There was nothing negative or uncomfortable about it.

Now if there is something that I should be excited about, I feel uncomfortable, agitated, and stressed. I don’t know how to tell the difference between expecting something good and expecting something difficult.  Excitement is an unpleasant feeling to me that I no longer welcome.

I’m thankful that I can still differentiate between most positive and negative feelings.  I still experience happiness and joy. The thrill of excitement has been removed from my experience, and although I think that is sad, it’s not the worst symptom of an illness that steals so much from so many.