Episode 42 – Diagnosing Schizophrenia (Part 6)

Over the next two months, my attendance at school progressively got worse. I stayed home probably 2-3 days of every week. When I did go to school, I spent most of the day in the nurse’s office having mental breakdowns. During this time, I developed bad habits like pulling my eyelashes and eyebrows out. My eyelashes have never fully recovered and are very thin toward the insides of my eyes, where I pulled the most. My eyebrows were awkwardly shaped, and if you look closely, the part that I devastated the most is still darker than the rest. I did this with my fingers, constantly, just like I bit off the surface of my lips. I almost pulled my hair out too, but luckily I never actually got it off my head. The school brought my mom in to tell her that unless my attendance improved, I wouldn’t graduate. I was a sophomore in high school.

I remember leaving school during a panic attack once when there was snow on the ground. I drove like a maniac, way too fast, taking corners way too quickly. I slid on one and ran into a fence. Luckily there was no damage to the fence or my car, but it only made the panic attack worse. I didn’t tell anyone about that.

During this time, my grades in school started to suffer. I had always been a straight-A student, rarely getting as low as an A–. The damage wasn’t so noticeable except in one class, my first class of the day that I missed so much, where I ended the semester with a D. I maintained A’s in math, English, and choir, and I got B’s in chemistry (there were daily quizzes that I missed, which brought my grade down) and band. I don’t remember the last class or what grade I got.

In band, we had an end-of-the-semester individual test, where we went into a room and recorded ourselves playing a certain piece of music. I was a great saxophone player, but I was too anxious to stand up to go take the test, and I ended up skipping the test entirely.

In February, I went to this retreat with my old friends from Havre. While I was there, I felt excluded by them and everyone else, but I met a guy there. As broken as I was, I attached myself to him, in a very unhealthy way, for the next couple years. I wouldn’t have ordinarily been with him, but the sickness caused me to attach to anyone who showed interest, which he did. I was heavily dependent on someone else to take care of me because I could no longer take care of myself. I was still hearing the voices day in and day out. I could barely hear anything else. I had breakdowns, more than one, every single day. It was pure agony. I went to sleep whenever I could, hoping that I wouldn’t wake up. This was an old thought I’d had since 4th grade, but now it was stronger than ever. I thought about suicide a lot. Hit myself a lot. Continued with those self-destructive habits.

To be continued…

Published by Rawry

I'm just a writer and gamer living in the middle of nowhere..

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