Today, I make a big decision. I am going to give up on a lot of things.
It has been a year. Throughout this year since I joined UTAR, I have been very dependent on caffeine. Green tea and coffee, I call it. And also Ginseng tonic and medicinal alcohol.
Due to the sedative effect from my anti-psychotics, I need to take all these to keep myself awake. Mental alertness is very important for my Master’s study and job.
Worst still, I have irritable bowel syndrome. It means I am caffeine-intolerant.
Throughout this year, I ignore the warning signs of painful stomach and diarrhea. I turn a blind eye to all these health issues and continue to take in caffeine in order to function well in my daily life.
Recently, my body cannot take it anymore. I start to see some adverse effects. My heart feels anxious after taking coffee/green tea/Ginseng tonic. I can feel anxious to the extent of losing my capability to do just anything. When the caffeine effect starts attacking, I am left paralyzed. Sometimes, I feel like ending it all.
It has been a while since I last had a consistent physical workout routine. My stamina is deteriorating. I easily feel tired.
My mind is preoccupied with many scary, unthinkable scenes. The scenes whereby….I don’t manage to graduate in October…I don’t manage to go for my Candidature Defence at the end of this month. I don’t score well for my KPI at work….I will lose my job….My supervisor will be scolding me…..All these thoughts are so scary and it is hard to control them.
Finally, I give up. I give up for the sake of my happiness and mental health. I remember my psychiatrist’s words. It is not true that if you work harder then you will be better. There will be a point when even though you work harder, you will stay in the same level of productiveness. That’s why you should not strain yourself.
I have schizophrenia. A life-long mental illness. It is like being handicapped. I need to be on anti-psychotics throughout my life. My psychiatrist said it is because of the chemical balance in my brain and it has nothing to do with my personal character. Maybe just 1 – 2% of people manage to live a productive life while being on anti-psychotics. Suicidal is the top cause for premature death among schizophrenic patients. Frankly, Throughout the last three years, I have had countless times when I feel like ending it all.
I make a decision today. I choose happiness. I realize that our life journey is to find and taste happiness. Sometimes, I am too busy building my dreamed future to the extent of losing my day-to-day happiness. I walk further and further away from my happiness. Happiness is my very first goal. If I am not happy, nothing matters more. Happiness is the priority.
I will rather be happy, even though it means I will be imperfect. God has created me in an imperfect way. I am different and I need to be on anti-psychotics for me to go to sleep everyday. If I don’t take it, I can’t sleep. If I take it daily, I need to sleep more hours per day due to its sedative effects.
I make the decision to be with my happiness. I am going to break up with caffeine. Not even one cup occasionally. If no caffeine means more sleep per day, I am okay with it. I will just sleep more. I am going to have some physical workout everyday. I am going to take a break every two hours. It is okay if my supervisor is unhappy. It is okay if I am sacked from work. I am just me. I am not a superwoman who can survive with 8 hours of sleep per day. I am imperfect. God has created me in this way. So, I will live the imperfect way. I shall not compare myself to the colleague who sleeps 7 hours per day and can still function well. I am different. I have special needs.
I know I am slow but my aim is resolute. I will work hard towards the same aim, albeit I am slower.One small step at a time. Not to look too far. The further I look, the more anxious I am. If you focus on your now and complete the current task well, your next step and next step and next step will be continuous and steady. Work + recharge + work is more effective than a journey of endless work. I am not a robot, I am schizophrenic.