LIVING WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA – EXPECTATIONS VS REALITY

Hello, dear followers! (Yippee, finally another post in English! 🙂 )

Here, I have compiled a list of “Expectation vs Reality” one-liners related to schizophrenia! Take them with a pinch of salt – it is far from my intention to insult or degrade; simply to entertain lightly (and hopefully attribute a more human face to schizophrenia than the consistently negative and sensationalist picture the media paints) 🙂 I’m not saying all schizophrenics are exactly like this, not saying that all schizophrenics have to be like this, and not saying I like the use of the word “schizophrenic” (I prefer “someone with schizophrenia”) – I’m simply trying to communicate the experiences I have from living with the illness in a way that’s concise and understandable. And, hopefully, a little bit relatable! 😉

So, yeah – that’s it! ENJOY – and please note: all illustrations in this post are mine! 🙂

The schizophrenic artist’s studio
Expectation: Works in progress everywhere, paint all over floor, messy
Reality: Just messy

The schizophrenic artist’s paintings
Expectation: Dark and dismal, oh and definitely demons and/or a screaming face
Reality: Colourful, naïve, experimental

The schizophrenic artist’s creative process
Expectation: Chaotic, random bursts of manic motivation, up all night, sleep all day
Reality: Random bursts of manic motivation, subsequent exhaustion, sleep for a week

The schizophrenic writer’s … um, writing
Expectation: Chaotic, jumbled rambling, interspersed with detailed descriptions of suicidal thoughts and harrowing voices, tendency towards unstructured nonsense (like this statement)
Reality: Funny, fluent, creative, inspiring, helpful, thought-provoking in a non-macabre way

The schizophrenic writer’s reading habits
Expectation: Reads often, like everyone else
Reality: Finishes one book, subsequent exhaustion, sleep for a week, waits six months to read next book, repeat

The schizophrenic writer’s computer
Expectation: Dirty and damaged (like the schizophrenic herself) plus a million tabs open (to symbolise her unfiltered mind) and a desktop screen completely littered with files (trash bin? What’s that?)
Reality: Regularly gets hot from overuse, R key that jams, thousands of documents that she can’t be bothered to sort through, 11 stickies with reminders … yet a tidy enough desktop!

The schizophrenic friend’s humour
Expectation: Dark (it’s a theme) and twisted, e.g. “Kill me now” with hand gestures or even paranoid, e.g. “They’re out to get me!”
Reality: A bit random – let’s say original, at best – and you’ll laugh because you feel obliged to, when really you’re just thinking “… what?”

The schizophrenic friend’s friendship
Expectation: Paranoid phone calls at 4 am, erratic and unreliable, a bit of a burden
Reality: Prefers messaging over phone calls, can be absent-minded but otherwise a caring and pleasant friend, laughs easily

The schizophrenic person’s social media accounts …
Expectation: *crickets chirping* … Yep, nothing to see here
Reality: Actually quite entertaining, if you take a closer look

… versus social life
Expectation: Isolates herself at home
Reality: Isolates herself at home

The schizophrenic person’s way of handling life
Expectation: Crying, suffering, wailing, suffering, doing shit the voices tell her to do, suffering, smoking, suffering
Reality: Eat, sleep, aimlessly wing it, repeat

The schizophrenic patient’s thought processes while talking to her psychiatric nurse
Expectation: *OMG WHAT IF I SAY SOMETHING THAT MAKES HER SECTION ME*
Reality: *I’m just going to say what’s on my mind because otherwise I’ll never move forward in my life* “Is blinking a lot a side effect of medication?”

The schizophrenic family member’s behaviour at family gatherings
Expectation: Eccentric, antisocial, sits muttering in corner
Reality: Quiet, but otherwise present (if she hasn’t zoned out due to too many impressions)

The schizophrenic girlfriend
Expectation: Deeply empathetic because she knows what it means to suffer
Reality: What girlfriend?

The schizophrenic classmate
Expectation: Planning to murder everyone
Reality: Never speaks, but NOT planning to murder everyone, probably good at written work, a bit eccentric, likeable, enjoys manga

The schizophrenic colleague
Expectation: Never had one
Reality: Probably not in work because their illness struck before they could finish their education

The schizophrenic bullying victim’s reaction
Expectation: Screaming, shouting and ultimately violent
Reality: Sad, reserved, quiet – blaming themselves and withdrawing from others

The schizophrenic young adult’s taste in music
Expectation: Hard rock, thrash metal etc. Anything that conveys ANGER and SUFFERING
Reality: Pop and mainstream hits all the way!

The schizophrenic fashionista’s style
Expectation: Shabby, unkempt, looks like they haven’t washed for days
Reality: Likes colours, unique, comfy but coordinated

The schizophrenic party-giver’s hosting style
Expectation: A terrible host, clueless, inattentive
Reality: Can host a small get-together with plenty of support from family and friends

As you can tell, I had fun with this 😉 I hope you did, too.

Feel free to share!

Love, Georgia

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