Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lightning on the Horizon

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.


SOUL: said...

you are sounding MUCH better here andrew my brotha!
GOOD for you.
hope you really feel as well as it seems. :))

Josie Two Shoes said...

Beautiful post, Andrew - I love it when you spend time telling us so eloquently about the simple things that make your life good! You deserve these treasured moments!

Cheryl said...

Thursday was a good day for you. It made me really happy to read your upbeat posts. Josie said it well.

I got a good chuckle from your comment to me. Of course I'd adopt you!

Anonymous said...

When are you going to make an honest woman of Rosa??????

Anonymous said...


I have been following your blog since April 2007 and I have never commented before but I finally found the courage. Your writing is so poignant. You make me feel what your feeling with only your words. My family has struggled with mental health issues as well. My dad and my sister are bi-polar and alcoholic and your blog has given me real insight on what they go through everyday. Thanking you in Arkansas

Portia said...

we had a beautiful lightning show last night as well. though if it stormed, i didn't know about it.
i'm big on the postive reinforcement too, and i think it is overlooked too often.

mago said...

Ya did a little clean-up, didn't you?

Gaviota_mx said...

I know "making someone an honest woman" means marrying her, but taking the phrase literally, I can't think of anyone more honest than Rosa. Being with her is a credit to you.


You are overcome the minds hardest weakness-the tricks it plays on you...and you still stand!
I'm honored to know you. :)