- Write your story and get it down on paper and out of your head. Nobody has to see it, and you don't have to publish it, but that's okay-release it from your mind and body. Alternatively, record your story into a tape recorder and play it back. Finding your voice is the ultimate way to heal from the schizophrenia.
- Instead of making a New Year's resolution, commit to only one specific, achievable goal, and aim for that. It will pave the way for you to set other goals in the future.
- When you see your psychiatrist, be honest about what's working and not working. Now may be the time for an adjustment in medication, or a trip to your primary care doctor to coordinate blood work and find out if you're at risk for any medical conditions, because of the drugs you're on.
- Spend New Year's Day in quiet enjoyment. Listen to your favorite music. Make a list of the things you like about yourself. Even if it's hard to come up with something, pick one thing, such as "I like my blue eyes."
In January, a relationship clean-up could be in order, too. Seven years ago in January I had a falling out with a friend, and I lost her. Every holiday season after that I felt the loss. It wasn't until this year that I understood perfectly that one must think in terms of eras or moments in our life, not in terms of a whole lifetime. Our lives are not all of one piece. My litmus test is this: Did I enjoy myself? Was that time in my life one I look back on with cherished memories? Did I do what I needed to do at that point in my recovery?
All good things come to an end. Now is the time a lot of us feel like going back and trying to resuscitate old friendships. I suggest before you pick up the phone, ask yourself if that would be healthy. Sometimes you have to move on, even if great feelings of loss come on at the holidays. This year, I've decided to do a slow fade from one friendship and keep another friend at arm's length.
Letting go is the hardest part of recovery. Yet to move forward we must let go of the past. You may feel dizzy and lightheaded thinking of clearing out and cleaning up. Enlist a good friend to help you with your apartment. Seek out a therapist if you feel the need to compose yourself and get your thoughts in order.
I wish for you peace of mind now and best wishes always.
May your holidays be blessed with cherished moments that become sweet memories.