Mental Illness affects me 24/7/52 weeks a year. In order to cope, I have developed a highly aware sense of self. I carefully monitor the side effects of my medication, how productive I am and my general mental state. Though I am stubborn, I do realize that I need to be aware of how my illness is and may affect me at a given time in a given situation.
I am not perfect in this. My relapse was mainly caused by my stubborn inability to admit that I needed help, much less ask for it. Of course, all I can do about that is try and learn from my mistakes and be a better person.
Of course being aware of my illness, how it affects me, and who I am as a person, while very helpful, does have it’s drawbacks. Chiefly among them, I see my illness when others can’t.
You might say I am hypersensitive.
But it also that I am just used to dealing with it daily. I see my little quirks, feel my hesitations. Most of my friends though tell me that they can’t tell. Some of it is a natural wish to hide the illness from others. Some of it is simply a lack of understanding of the illness. They aren’t paranoid schizophrenics, so it can be hard to relate. But some of it is simply the fact that I am so used to dealing with the individual trees of the illness, and their many quirky and unpredictable branches, that I don’t see the forest.
So that’s one thing that my friends and family have always been good at, helping me see the forest. That way I don’t get too tired dealing with all the trees.