Moments of Clarity

I would never wish this illness on anyone. It is a pain that should not be burdened by anyone. However, what I hope for and what I actually get, like anyone tends to be very much removed from each other. There’s cynicism in me, but also hope.

Because though I never have wanted to deal with this, there are many silver linings in this illness, all of them making me extraordinarily grateful for the life I live and the extremely special people within that make this journey amazing.

One thing that I am extremely thankful for is that my illness has taught me a lot about myself. Most importantly I can look myself in the mirror and (mostly) see who I really am. Yes I have flaws. Yes I make mistakes. But when push comes to shove, even in the most darkest of moments I try and do the right thing.

That phrase is so often misused in our language. Often we say those words and mean “do what we want.”  But what we want isn’t always what’s best, not for everyone and not even for our own selves.

It can be hard to see who you as a person are. As people, a lot of us are used to hiding things about ourselves. We don’t want our friends to know we like that band or they might lose respect for us. We’re afraid if we show our flaws to other people, that they will think less of us. We’re afraid to show what we truly desire, lest we get laughed. Often our imaginary version of us, you know, the you that always wins the debate, who always is in the right becomes confused with who we actually are.

My illness, though it has taken me places darker than most people can possibly imagine, has also forced me to meet and face myself, sometimes even in those dark places. I’m not perfect in being honest with myself. No one is. But my illness taught me that if I want to be healthy with myself, I have to embrace who I am and if I don’t like certain parts of who that person is, it is my responsibility to self improve.

I am not sure I would have ever had such a moment of clarity and purpose if I hadn’t had schizophrenia.


About Neil

I happen to have paranoid schizophrenia. But that is only a small part of who I am. I define me, not my illness. I always try and choose hope and choose to be a better person, though like all people, I have more than a few failures. Some have been rather spectacular.
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