I know that the unusual symptoms of schizophrenia – hallucinations, voices, and conspiracy theories, are what attract the most attention in the movies, articles, stories, etc. As a society we seem to be more attracted to what could be considered the bizarre or the unusual than the whole picture, or even truth of a situation (in this case an illness, or people’s lives).
I know that reading about the times I thought I was Jesus, or the times I thought that I was a healer, or the times I heard voices tell me to kill myself are far more interesting and sensational than my brother expecting me to contribute to Thanksgiving dinner, or my husband counting on me to help him figure out which insurance policy we should choose.
There are many things that my illness interferes with, but I don’t stop doing those things. I have a difficult time traveling, but I don’t give up on doing it – if I struggle, if I suffer, I still get through it the best I can and try to make the next trip better. If I have a panic attack from spending time out with people, I don’t stop seeing people – I hope for a better outcome the next time.
But the truth is most of what makes up my daily life is the mundane and the routine (it is highly likely that having a routine keeps my symptoms from being overwhelming). My day is not spent contemplating the likelihood of aliens, or who killed JFK, or thinking about being spied on tracked or recorded.
I get up every morning and make a pot of strong black coffee (I take it with 2% milk but as a treat, I occasionally buy half and half), after much thought the day before, I spend an hour or more writing my daily blog, and I make a spinach, banana, blueberry, and yogurt smoothie.
Because both of my parents are getting older, and I don’t see them frequently, I try to talk to them both every day (they are each divorced and married to other people). My parents don’t treat me in any particular way because of my mental illness. They expect me to participate in family functions, pay my part of bills we share together, remember their birthdays, and share their successes, illnesses, and details of living just like I share those details about my life with them.
In other words, my life is unremarkable, and those people close to me have expectations of me just like the people who are close to you have expectations of you. It is true, I can’t always meet those expectations, but generally with the everyday stuff, I usually do.
I know it isn’t exciting, fascinating, or even very interesting to tell you that my life looks very much life an average Americans, other than I don’t work right now (but like many Americans I am in school trying to update my skills in order to be more marketable in a field I can actually succeed at instead of one that is impossible for me to do).
One of my dear friends always tells me I have more in common with her than we have differences. This is just one of those days. I have nothing remarkable to report. I’m living my life, just like you, and there isn’t a single eventful or sensational thing happening.
All I can say is I bet I love the mundane more than you, then again, if you have kids, drama, or an occasional crisis, you may have fallen for the mundane too. Today, let’s be thankful for the mundane, and hope it blesses us through the holidays and into the New Year.