It’s the 2nd of April, 2017 and I sit back to take a look at my hospital card. At least that is what I have been doing for the past 4 months after a diagnosis of schizophrenia was made by my psychiatrist Dr. Banda. Current sound track is Here I Am by Marvin Sapp. One of the few songs I love so much.
What led me to the hospital on that fateful morning? I still have no idea. A combination of familial friendly voices calling out to me to return home and a stolid strong voice telling me to keep running because someone was working against my head.
Schizophrenia is not a split personality as most people tend to think of it but a disorder that can hamper one’s quality of life and drag you into quicksand without leaving a single trace.
Close friends have wondered why I have been ‘off’ for the past few months and my reply has always been “God is at work in me”. By ‘off’, I mean almost creating a new identity for the sake of escaping a constantly following eye. I had changed my contact number, created a new social profile on Instagram and almost lost the Bernard in the middle of name including some cherished friends.
My life shall never cease to be a testimony because it’s been by God’s grace that’s the main reason why I’m still standing and typing actually. To spill a secret, it actually took four strong policemen and a worried daddy to send me to the hospital that morning.
I had walked a total of 6km from my house to a friend’s because I believed I couldn’t spend the night at home – something I had never done before. In the end, I had troubled my agitated friend by spending the whole night, reading and dissecting the book of Genesis because there were ‘waves’ in my unkempt hair which kept me going even my friend’s drooping eyes were signaling me to stop.
During one of my escapades, I almost jumped off a 3 storey building if it had not been for the timely intervention of my dad’s hands which held my legs and my mother’s comforting words because I believed a Catholic priest we had gone to see had the intention of stabbing me with a knife. Just because he had remembered to dart for his praying oil before He laid his hands on me. This classic delusional symptom nailed me in the head when I tried to defend myself in front of the man with the pen – The psychiatrist.
Just about that time,school began with classmates rushing to school to finish what they started – The final lap, as I battled to stop the positive symptoms that flanked schizophrenia. Delusions on its left and Hallucinations on its right. It took 2 months with different pastors before I could sanely get back on my knees without seeing everyone as evil.
I don’t know why I loved running away so much but it felt so good just to run away from loved ones while my future stared at me blankly and wondered why I was behaving as such.
Currently I’m battling with the negative symptoms of the disorder after I was injected with haloperidol to control the positive symptoms. The negative symptoms of schizophrenia describe normal aspects of my behaviour that I’ve lost and aren’t part of my psyche anymore.
The negative symptoms include lack of interest in activities that were previously important to me, my friends tell me I tend to display no reaction to good or bad news and I have noticed I have shunned contact with people as I spent a larger part of the day and night sleeping.
I display total absent mindedness in my sessions on the ward and I wonder where all this is coming from especially when I have a few more weeks to go before my finals start. I feel life as grey and empty and I seem to have lost profound energy to do any activity which includes studying.
I can’t remember anything I study and I spend a large part of my days in bed but I am still hopeful and trust in God because I know a lot of people are praying and keep praying for me and the Bible says the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
I would like to thank my family particularly, my big sister Ernestina who has been with me through thick and thin. I would also like to thank my friends for their prayers throughout this period. May God bless you all and reinstate you in everything you have lost. As we prepare for our finals, It is my prayer that He shall quicken us with the speed which made Philip outrun the Ethiopian eunuch to baptize him in the remote desert.