I look back on these past few years with a certain fondness despite some setbacks. Things have come such a long way since my homeless days. There have been some trying times, but life is fraught with such moments. My life is mostly calm, quiet, and serene, whereas it used to be constant chaos. My father says it is because I am taking my medications for my schizophrenia religiously. I think it is a multitude of things.
I was talking to Dad just last night about some of these things. We were sitting in his den as we watched The Weather Channel.
“Do you still want to drink these days?” He asked me.
“Every day,” I replied, honestly. “I will always be an alcoholic.”
“One big difference is that we can talk to you,” He said. “When you are not on your medications and drinking, you are unruly.”
“I can’t see or feel when I get like that,” I replied.
“You’re incorrigible,” Dad said. “And you will do stuff that is not in your best interests.”
I went back to my mother’s bedroom and gave her a hug after telling my father goodbye. I walked home with the path ahead lit by my little flashlight. I thought of how much my parents mean to me and how they have both stuck by me through thick and thin. Despite all that has happened in my short life, my father still takes time out of his busy day to help me and see about me. My mother also does what she can despite her own battles with schizophrenia.
I realize I am one of the lucky few. It is far easier, although expensive, to put a mentally ill family member in a group home or psychiatric ward of a hospital to languish in loneliness and caged solitude. I am afforded a certain freedom not experienced by many with this disease of the brain. I am able to maintain a very good quality of life as long as I am careful, don’t drink, take my medications, and keep social and other stressors to a minimum. My life will always have certain limitations, but it is a small price to pay for a certain sense of normalcy not afforded to most with schizophrenia.