Lately, I have been participating in a lot of public events. For me, my social calendar is busy. I did a book signing at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago. Not that many people showed up, but my friends, who are mostly social workers, said I did a great job with my topic of toxic positivity and how that related to the mental health guided journal I wrote (available on Amazon).
Two weeks ago, I was on a mental health panel for a large writing festival in my community. Next weekend I am on another mental health panel, and in June I will be making a presentation about my guided journal at the local women’s museum.
If you read all of this and attended the events, you would think that I am on the verge of possibly creating a role for myself (hopefully a job) in the community. What you don’t see is the effort that my husband makes to make all of these things possible for me.
My husband sorts and packs my medication. He brings extra anxiety medication in case of a panic attack. He packs snacks and water for me and carries them in a backpack. He attends every event with me to make sure that I am okay. He listens to my presentations several times so that I will be comfortable and familiar with the material that I present. He helps me get the necessary sleep, meals, etc. that I need the day before and day of an event. He cooks, cleans, drives, and takes care of all the details of everyday life.
What I am trying to point out, is my success (that I feel wildly grateful for) is the work of two people and the backbone of that work, the foundation of it, is the stuff my husband does behind the scenes.
I can’t even begin to tell you all that my husband has to do so that I can attend the occasional writer’s conference. Traveling anywhere away from home is a huge ordeal for us. It didn’t use to be this way, but we have had to adjust to new symptoms over time.
This post is simply a reality check for people who talk about people who are high functioning. My husband is what I would call super high functioning. But me? I have schizophrenia, and we deal with it as a team, a lopsided one, but a working one nonetheless.