I can distinctly remember the first time I was told I was schizophrenic. I was scared, but relieved at the same time.
"Your schizo-affective," the doctor told me as I frankly asked for my diagnosis.
I slumped down in my chair as it all sunk in. It made sense. I always thought I was just a terrible alcoholic and that explained the paranoia and strange thinking -- just mere drunken symptoms.
I was on the phone this afternoon talking to Mom about our day this morning. We had a good time together and she was so relieved I had driven her all those miles to the doctor. I asked her what exactly was her diagnosis.
"Schizo-affective," she said which means you have symptoms of both schizophrenia and bi-polar disease.
"It has got to be genetic," I replied. "Your mom and your grandmother suffered as well."
"I am so sorry," my mother said heartfeltly.
"For giving this to you," she said.
"You all didn't know what you know now. You wouldn't have known I would become schizophrenic as well."
I told my mother good night after making sure she had something for supper with my father gone. I often deeply lament and regret my station in life. It can be all encompassing if I let it. I take some solace in the fact that we now have effective medications. My life would be unlivable several decades ago.
I hear so much feedback about how I should live and how my life should be. "Stand up to your father," was Rosa's favorite saying. "You need to be financially independent," was another. It was like asking an alcoholic to sit in a room full of cold and free beer. I don't regret these days how my life has turned out. I am lucky in so many ways. And that makes me stand out amidst all the naysayers. I have a full and rich life with a wonderfully supportive family. What more can a man ask for? Not much.