Similarities not differences


When I am reading this forum I see a lot more similarities than differences between myself and someone diagnosed with a mental illness.

I know that it can seem like non-sz or non-diagnosed MI people really have their lives together. That we are obtaining our goals, reaching our dreams, working at jobs of our choice, surrounded by family and love and just overall walking around like we have no cares in this world. Well that is not the case at all. We suffer from a lot of the same grievances like low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, social anxiety, not feeling loved or understood, feeling disconnected, lack of motivation, feeling judged and like we don’t measure up, feeling overwhelmed and even feeling uneducated or stupid to name but a few. We all have stumbled and fallen and have had life deal us some pretty harsh blows.

This is partly motivated by the fact that I cringe when I see references to normies or normal people like we are somehow from a different world with different standards, fighting for different things. We have the same goals of love and family and of wanting to somehow leave our mark on this world so that our lives have meaning. Maybe we do it differently but we are all in this world, the same world, together.

The purpose of this post is not to start a competition on who’s lives are the hardest or who suffers the most but to bring to light that we all suffer a lot of the same things that we think make us different but in my opinion should be bringing us closer together. I want to tear down that wall that separates us and bring us all into the same room. A room without prejudices of any kind but a room of people fighting for and against the same things.

So yes I want everyone to list some of the hurdles they face either about themselves or the world around them on a daily basis. I also want you to list some of your goals or dreams and what is important to you. I’m hoping the results will show that we all are not so different.

I have or have had issues with social anxiety, fear of driving, insomnia, shyness, low self-esteem and feeling judged.
Still trying to figure out my long term goals.
I dream of a nice house to call my own and growing old with my husband, with my children and grandchildren surrounding me.
My family is the most important thing to me.


Well, we are all humans. It would seem then that we would share the same human feelings and needs and desires. Sometimes people forget that the mentally ill are people like everyone else.


Yes we are all human.

What are some of your hurdles, goals, dreams and what is important to you?


I struggle daily with crippling paranoia. And panic attacks as a result. Everyone I come across is out to hurt me, kill me, or rob me. It’s my most disabling symptom.

I’m trying to overcome this. And have faith in the overall goodness of humanity. I NEED to overcome it to reach my goals.

My dream is to get my masters in nursing and become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. To help people at their lowest, and raise them up with compassion and love.

I personally have never thought that the mentally healthy had it any easier than I. I’ve seen struggle in every walk of life. And I have always known that we’re all doing our best to be healthy, happy, and prosperous.




I think it’s human nature to try and put one’s best foot forward when on display to the outside world. Take Facebook - you would think that everyone is beautiful, wonderful jobs, wonderful lives, no family problems. That is only what people want you to see, not what the real deal is. You just never know what someone else’s burdens are.

I have seen the subject of “normies” come up a few times on this site. I guess I have a different viewpoint on this subject than most. I get why someone would use the term since it’s a quick and easy reference differentiating those with sz from those without - easier to say than “those who do not have sz”. In the context of this site they both mean the same to me and I take no offense at all to the term. Lord knows that we all know us “normies” are not normal lol.

I have struggled most of my life with shyness, particularly in my earlier years. I found that as I got older, 30’s and 40’s, I gained more confidence in myself and overcame most of it, but it still crops up from time to time. It remains a work in progress and I suppose always will.

I am also an introvert, and have many times wished I wasn’t. It’s another thing I just had to accept. As the saying goes, I’m not stuck up, I’m not anti-social, I’m just listening. I’m not a big fan of lots of small talk. It takes me a bit to really get to know someone, or should I say to let someone get to know me. But once I’m there I can become quite the chatty-cathy and love to have fun.

I also have social anxiety in certain circumstances. If you put me in a room with people I don’t know that well, for any length of time, my anxiety level goes through the roof, I feel like I’m suffocating. I try to avoid these situations if at all possible. I do much better one-on-one or very small groups.

I think I’m in the later stage of life than most of you, so my long-term goal list is pretty short. I have retired from what I like to think as a successful career, we have a nice home, comfortable retirement, all that. My one and only goal is to see that both my children are happy and successful in life.


Well, I’d like to make a life with my girlfriend. There are a few things standing in the way of that right now but we’re working on it. I’d also like to keep working on my programming, I want to be productive.

I dream of a time when I can be free of any dependence on the system. I want to work and stand on my own two feet, get a house out in the woods.

It’s important for me to be true, to myself and others. I try hard to live a moral life, an honest life.

I’m sort of rambling now so I’ll draw this post to an end.


Too charged with feelings to reply -


I feel that my biggest hurdle… the thing I can’t do anything about, is the years I’ve lost to this illness. I feel so behind on life skills and formal education. But I’m in school, I’m trying to learn and catch up.

I’m fighting back this illness the best I can, but it’s not just the illness, my confidence and self esteem has been completely erased because of this illness, and that is also something I’m working on trying to regain. I am trying to stand on my own two feet, and not rely on my kid sis as much as I do. She really does a lot for me. Everything from getting out of the house, trying new things, and fighting back my paranoia… I get a lot of help from her.

Some of my dreams… I’m in the “family” boat too. I really want to heal, and I want this family to heal. I want the people I love to get through more days of happiness then sorrow and worry. I really want my siblings to be Ok and I really want to know that what I did to them in this life, they will all manage to heal from.

As far as long term goals… my kid sis has made many, but I just want to keep my job, and I really do think that instead of moving up the ladder of city jobs… I’m working to move sideways. Sideways gets me into more green houses and parks planning and creating gardens and green spaces. I like the idea of more trees then condos.

My sis has always pictured a small duplex house on a large chunk of beach in the city of Shoreline just 20 minutes out of Seattle. I like that idea too. I’m getting to know my-self so I can learn to know others. I’m not too worried about a wife or girlfriend. I do have a friendship developing with a person. I like the friendship, and I’d like that to be stronger before we try and amp it up to something more serious.

I think what I’m working on is patience. I’m just trying to find my center. Somethings have happened so fast I can’t really get a grasp. Other things haven’t happened fast enough in my opinion. So finding balance and learning and above all…

I want to Learn enough that I never get as ill, as non-functioning, as negative attitude or negative symptom as I once was.


My life is far from perfect. When I was younger I was extremely shy and struggled with social anxiety but everything seemed to melt away around the time I turned 40 and then I started to feel a lot more comfortable with myself and started opening up to people and became quite outgoing. However, I LOVE spending time alone. I become easily overwhelmed in a crowded and noisy place and even when I am having a lot of fun in a social setting I need my alone time to kind of reset myself. I am in my mid sixties so I’ve had time to feel comfortable with myself. My worse years were the teenage, twenties and early thirties. I felt so awkward and uncomfortable and didn’t feel the least bit attractive and also I felt extremely lonely.

The beautiful thing about getting older is how accepting I feel about myself and others. The bad thing about getting older is that I don’t have the energy I once had and I have the usual aches and pains that comes with age. I like my life now. My daughter lives nearby and I also have a little dog I adore. Me and the dog try to walk daily and I walk between 3-5 miles a day. My three children are the most important people in my life. I’ve never been lucky in love but that is okay and I’d rather live alone than be with someone and feel lonely.


This post brings up so many emotions. The best that I can say at this point is that I would like to find someone-heal my children. Im not very articulate in expressing myself--art says it all for me.Ive also suffered from depression, low self-confidence as a young person. After my son was diagnosed, the world boiled down to only a few things. Family. I want to retire and buy a one room shack on the ocean:))