Ah, what a perfectly calm and serene night. It's cool and I have my whole house opened up -- every window is letting in gloriously cool, rain soaked fall air. A moment ago, Rosa and I were sitting on the porch as we watched a lone, solitary storm to the north drift off to the east. A grand show of lightning was displayed for us by one of nature's anomalies -- at least it's an anomaly for this part of the country this year.
"You feeling okay?" Rosa asked. "You are awful quiet."
"I'm fine," I replied. "I am just enjoying the show and enjoying a calm moment without terrible urges."
Rosa has only known me while I was on the medications that work for me and my schizophrenia. She asked me tonight what it was like all those years I wasn't medicated.
"Extreme paranoia," I told her. "I always thought my neighbors were plotting and planning against me. I would think cameras were in my ceilings and that my phone was bugged."
"It is hard to believe you're even schizophrenic now," Rosa said, cheerily. "You're so normal most days."
"That is the nicest thing someone has said to me in weeks," I replied as I turned to look at Rosa and smiled warmly, reaching out for her hand.
So many times in my life I was berated for having a mental illness -- only when things went wrong would my family get involved. No one ever came around to say how well I was doing, or took the time to encourage me when things were good. So many "shit hitting the fan" scenarios played out in my mind as I told Rosa of my mental illness's past, my symptoms, and how my family handled them. I really appreciate acclamations when things are going right. It can make all the difference in the world for someone who suffers from a mental illness. Just a simple, "I'm proud of you. You're doing great," from my father would mean so much to me.
Rosa and Maggie are already in the bed -- Rosa having taken her bath and blow dried her hair. I heard Rosa a moment ago loudly telling Maggie to scoot over and that she was being a bed hog behind my closed bedroom door. The biggest, goofiest grin erupted on my face hearing those two tussle over sleeping real estate -- the women in my life. It's these little intimate moments I most enjoy about living with two determined and incorrigible ladies. I better go get in the bed and referee my two prize fighters before one or both end up sleeping on the couch. I can't sleep without them.