November 01, 2005

The Way of Life

I finally understood today, after going back to my past memories, the reason why, within a year of their diagnosis, schizophrenics go into depression, and kill themselves even when they are on the road to recovery.

After a year of being on meds, and living in hostel, I had recovered to the extent that I was functioning well, could utilize my time efficiently and productively. And I realized that I had my limits of functioning without getting stressed out, the feeling that brings with it a degree of 'tuning out' from the environment, but with enough of my own thoughts (not the voices), so that I knew and wanted to do more, but couldn't make myself do it. My depression had started. I also found out that I had schizophrenia. I had already seen 'A Beautiful Mind', and tried to make sense of my past which I couldn't believe was a fantasy world, a nightmarish fantasy. I would lie in my bed the whole day and not attend classes. My roommates would ask me why I wasn't attending classes. They would go out in the evenings, and I would still lie in bed, staring at nothing, completely tuned out, but still having the urge to do things that I still wasn't able to do. In one incident, I remember how my friends knew how fast my reflexes were, and how I still didn't move when one of them threw a huge padlock at my face. He suggested that someone should stay with me in case I tried to kill myself.

A year passed by, with my anti-depressants being increased from the minimum to the maximum allowable limit. I had made a lot of sense of my own 'thoughts', and realized the fallibility of my senses, the inconsolable truth of my illness. I failed my academic year, which resulted in another constant cycle of stress, paranoia, and depression, and going in and out of my suicidal mode. It was only when I changed my doc, and he started adjusting my dosages every week, that I finally started getting better.

I'm still on a high dosage of anti-depressants, but functioning well. Support from my friends over here and offline have played a major role in getting me back on track, as has reading Krishnamurti. That feeling of not achieving anything, of not passing my own expectations has died down, (not suppressed), with the help of my doc. It doesn't matter whether you have to live up to your own expectations or not, leave aside others'. The futility of this existential dilemma is so clear now. As they say explicitly in 'Art of Living', (though not with as clear with an explanation, for it can only be experienced, and not understood through logic), "Expectations reduce joy". Up till a few weeks ago, I was still living this existence which I knew was worth living, but in which I was still feeling isolated (not lonely), and the seminar I attended, (which I mentioned in an earlier post), and the friends I made over there, rekindled my passion for life, which had been obscured since my depressive episode. I must leave abruptly now, for I don't feel like writing anymore. Carpe Diem! In Liberty.

Posted by puzli at November 1, 2005 12:39 PM


Dear Puzli,
The road back to a stable and dependable "state of mind"(that sounds familiar, doesn't it?) is long and loaded with land mines that might set you back with just one wrong move. Happily it appears that you have found a doctor with the intelligence and medical knowledge, combined with sensitivity,(a rare find in the morass of the psychiatric world) who is restoring you to your former self. If he were standing before me, I would smile at him beatifically. As for your quotation,"Expectations reduce joy", I could not agree more, and I have a little story from my past as a teacher to ilustrate how deeply I feel about this. I was teaching the concept of a stereotype to my students. They all agreed that the stereotypical librarian, for instance, was old, female, wore a tight bun in her hair and little glasses on the tip of her nose. Our librarian was a young, petite, blonde woman who wore her long. flowing hair loosly down her back and never said, "Hush", to anyone. They soon understood the concept, and for homework I asked them to give the typical steroetype of a list of people in different professions. One profession that I included was the teacher. As I read my students papers, I stopped abruptly when I read, written on the paper by a shy, sweet boy in my class of whom I was very fond,"Teachers are expectors." Then I began to weep.
With care and understanding,

Posted by: Paula Kirkpatrick at November 1, 2005 02:49 PM

awww...thats so touching paula :) (sniff) take care, love

Posted by: puzli at November 1, 2005 04:19 PM

Recently i got better and got better look on the picture. You are definitely better than me i still can't work as efficiently as i wish. Because of that i missed very essential things in my education.
All that matters in that battle is not to lose the will and energy to fight.

Posted by: John at November 3, 2005 07:03 AM

Hey John,
I wanted to point out to u that it doesn't matter how well I fare in my exams or not, for I don't keep any expectations, any level of achievement that I have to make. I don't even set the mark for barely passing the exam, for I know that if I'm sick, that might not even happen. So don't worry about all those things you could not do. It just wasn't possible to do that (that is how I take it). Just give it ur best. take care, love, puzli

Posted by: puzli at November 3, 2005 09:51 AM

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