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3. Those who it’s easier with, but impossible without: family care and human relationships

I know what it feels like to face the difficulties of life alone as a sick person. Knowing that my family and friends were standing by my side was a great help to me. Family is who we can rely on and with whom we need to learn to deal with the disease. Family who sometimes must manage conflicts such as the struggles with daily medication or the dilemma of the necessity of hospital treatment.
A lucky turn occurred in my life when I was able to move back to my hometown for a job. I had a small apartment, a car, and my friends jokingly noted that only the big love of my life was missing.
A few months went by and, out of the blue, I met someone called Teodóra. She’s been my wife for seven years now and we’re writing this article together. Our first dates are still lively in my mind, that was the time when I decided: the fair thing to do is to let her know about the details of my illness before we fall in love.
It was uplifting for me that she had already accepted me for being who I am. This year we will have been together for fourteen years. However, our happy time as newlyweds could not last longer than a few months…
The first episode we went through together was the second in line for me. We had to learn to handle this disease together. I was trying to prepare her for what would happen when the next psychotic episode comes, yet it occurred as a bolt out of the blue. One positive thing for me was that we were able to cope with this difficult period under medical supervision at home and without hospital treatment. Our family and friends helped us a lot. As a relative, you must learn empathic communication based on understanding and compassion, which is not always easy. It is important that we maintain patience and listen to our loved ones with compassion even when we hit rock bottom.
Besides the family, other human relationships are also very important. One must belong to a community. It can be a family, friends or a fellowship or any club which is close to our interest, such as a sports club, art group, orchestra, choir or dance group.
It is our mission to travel within Hungary and talk about this problem, and we can see that not everyone is as lucky as I am. There are people who receive help from their family or friends, and we know someone who shares a happy life with a dog. As for me, I went through the hardest times with the help of my wife, my family and my friends, but you may seek help from your parents or siblings. Know that whatever happens, you can count on them, but you must listen to them.
Even now, tears come to my eyes when I think of what kind of strength it would have given me if I had seen such an example when I lived alone, namely, that a fellow schizophrenic can live in a relationship. I’m grateful that now we can be a small beacon of hope in this area.
© 2019 Dániel Oravetz - Teodóra Kulcsár