Update on my life with schizophrenia

After 5 happy years being friends with my BFF who I met at support group and has schizoaffective disorder, she will be moving to another state. We currently live in Hawaii, and she will be moving to Las Vegas end of the month. But I’m starting to feel that it won’t be the end of our close friendship, we just won’t be able to hang out in person anymore. I am trying to get into a day treatment program for high functioning individuals but I’m worried they won’t accept me due to my mild psychosis. I called them, then changed my mind, then called them again and now they aren’t calling me back to schedule an intake and it’s giving me anxiety. I feel like life has taken a turn for the worse. I am tired of my psychosis despite taking the prescribed amount of meds but I’ve learned that it’s common for people to be sick for a while and most will eventually recover. I’ve been having mild to moderate symptoms for about a year now. After day treatment, I might consider applying to be a peer coach. It’s probably the only job I qualify for since I accidentally wrote over my resume to help my mom write hers. I really wish I could be mentally symptom free but my psychiatrist says it’s best to stay on my current med. Before my BFF leaves, we will pay a visit to another friend also with schizophrenia at her group home. I am suddenly left feeling as if there is nothing in the near future that is worth looking forward to. But I hope this is just a phase.

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Hello Tukey, it is nice to hear from you, I do remember you from such a while ago. Life unfortunately doesn’t usually stay stably the same, and changes, especially big changes, are often hard to deal with. I hope you are able to get through the change from in person BFF to phone call / text BFF. I hope that something new will open up in the future for you. Maybe just the idea of something new coming might be worth looking forward to.

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Tukey,

Sorry to hear you are anxious about changes in your life. While a natural part of life, change and especially change in friends and family can be tough for people living with SZ/SZA. Finding and keeping friends can be more challenging, and especially finding rare empathetic and accepting ones. Bear in mind that your friend will be in the same boat, so this is yet another experience you will share even when you aren’t in the same place.

I’ve recently moved back to my home state and had a double-whammy of feeling of being disconnected from my “new” friends, and struggling to reconnect to the old— many of which have moved to outlying areas or adjacent states. Technology and social media bridge many gaps, and having friends in further-flung places can facilitate travel or otherwise broaden horizons. I’ve often used Las Vegas as a travel hub to visit Utah, Arizona and California and look back on my trips there fondly.

I recently helped-out with a theater production many hundreds of miles away through technology and contacts I’ve made over the years. And reconnected with a work colleague I first met over 30 years ago, because of a chance meeting between my mother and his wife. Turned-out he lives less than a mile from me and I’ve lived here six months and didn’t know. I know it can be scary to navigate new realities when even the old ones were tough, but that’s how we grow. Hope you and your friend find ways to continue to keep in touch and new opportunities open for you.

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Thank you. Maybe my friend thinks as you do that we can share experiences while being in different places. Lately I constantly deal with mild/moderate psychosis and I’m not as high functioning as I was when I last attended the day treatment program. You’re lucky you can travel so much. My friend really wants me to do day treatment after she leaves but they don’t tolerate psychosis and mine has been treatment resistant. Hope you make new friends.

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Hi Tukey,
Hope you are doing okay. If your psychiatrist says it’s best to stay on your current med, then that is what you should do. If you feel that it is not helping enough, please contact your psychiatrist with the feedback. I’m sorry your good friend moved away, that is certainly a big loss. Video chatting and texting is helpful, but not a replacement for in person. However, our hearts are big and can expand to include others. Hopefully things will change and you will find someone you connect well with in person while still keeping your other friendship. In the meantime, I hope you pursue the peer coach or another position. It’s often through helping others, that we feel better ourselves. Just pace yourself so it is not overwhelming. Try and get out in nature, even for a walk. Focus on eating well and taking care of your health. The rest will come. Best wishes to you.

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Thanks! You’re probably right that we will have to overcome the challenge of not seeing each other in person. I’ve made other friends but I’m hoping to prioritize my BFF. This friend has been encouraging me to do day treatment (a weekly therapy/class/program) and do some very light work as a peer coach after she leaves but says the whole situation might be temporary for me. It scares me that I will probably relapse and have to start over, because I’ve relapsed many times already… but it might be unavoidable and I usually end up getting out of it. I just got my day treatment intake scheduled today and it will be my third time there.

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Thanks! Yes I have many other friends from support group but they aren’t really as close as my BFF. Tomorrow I have an interview for peer coaching so fingers crossed that I get hired. First I have to complete a day treatment program, though. It feels like everything is changing around me. I hope that I can pull through because my friend really wants me to do this. I am cautiously optimistic about the future, unrelated to work or therapy.

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Here’s hoping that there is no relapse coming. I hope you can manage OK. Being cautiously optimistic sound like a good way to be.

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I feel like I’ve somewhat accepted the fact that I sometimes relapse and there are good days and bad days. For now, though, I guess I will not let this hold me back from starting something new. This day program has really helped me in the past so I would recommend it to someone with mental illness who is in recovery. Tbh, I’m not that good at bluffing but I genuinely care about my friends with mental illness and I’ll just take it one day at a time.

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