Not Trusting Myself Because of Schizoaffective Disorder
Thursday, May 17 2018 Elizabeth Caudy
I have real problems trusting myself because I have schizoaffective disorder. which often makes me feel that I can’t trust my own mind, thoughts and decisions. It’s very scary to live this way and it puts a lot of pressure on my friends and family because I’m always asking for their opinions and advice about seemingly trivial issues. “Do you see that stain on my shoe?” “Do I smell weird?”
Trusting Myself and Feeling Capable Are Not Things I Easily Do
In therapy, I’m trying to learn that trusting myself is okay because I’m capable. I don’t feel capable of much—except for writing. I’ve been writing since I was five years old and it’s just something I feel transcends my lack of confidence. I wish I felt that way about other things.
I don’t feel capable of taking on tasks most people take for granted—cooking, cleaning, even, to some extent, bathing. The cooking and cleaning are things my peers learned in college while I was too busy learning how to navigate my illness while keeping up with my studies. I mostly lived with my parents or in school dormitories before I moved in with my husband. That gave me backup support for cooking and cleaning.
But what’s most scary to me is that I simply don’t trust my own judgment. I rely on “safe” people, like my parents or like my husband, Tom, to weigh in on judgment calls. But I know I run them ragged constantly asking them for advice on minuscule details that my schizoaffective brain may or may not have made up (What Are the Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder?). I just don’t know what else to do besides turn to other people I trust because trusting myself feels out of the question.
Not trusting myself makes me wary of trusting the world in general. I feel that the world is out to get me, cheat me, con me, and I'm too dumb to see through its tricks and lies (The Truth About Paranoia, Extreme Anxiety and Delusions).
In a way, I have been cheated. I’ve been cheated out of a normal life. I could ask, “Why me?” But why not me? And what is a normal life anyway?
A good start to what I would consider to be a normal life would be not having to take a fistful of medication at night for my schizoaffective disorder. But, more importantly, it would mean being able to trust myself. Still, I’m not alone.
Why Worry About Trusting Myself When Other People Don’t Trust Themselves Either?
I know people without schizoaffective disorder or other mental illnesses who don’t trust themselves. So maybe not trusting myself is normal—a state of mind some people simply live with. But even knowing that, I have a propensity to blow things out of proportion. I’m always second-guessing myself, and third-guessing, and fourth-guessing. That’s the whir of schizoaffective disorder.
Sure, other people may doubt themselves, but my schizoaffective disorder makes me take it to an extreme where it feels as though I doubt every single thought in my head. I’m constantly afraid that a crisis is going to occur and I won’t know how to handle it. Trusting myself doesn't seem possible.
I really wish I could end this post with a pretty, positive package tied up in a bow. But schizoaffective disorder is hard. Heck, life is hard, for everybody. And sometimes it doesn’t come wrapped up in a pretty package until I consider the packages of love I unwrap in the warm and reassuring answers from my family to questions they never seem to consider silly.