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How To Be Resilient

resiliencyI’ve been living with schizophrenia for about nine years now. In that time, I’ve been subject to intense crippling moments of depression, paranoia and delusions. There have been times when it’s gotten so bad I just about broke.

I’ve thought about killing myself more times than I can count and I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a struggle.

I know what it’s like to lie awake in bed at night, staring at the ceiling, brain buzzing, feeling like you can’t breathe because it’s just gotten to be too much.

Eventually though, sleep finds you and in the morning, things usually don’t seem as bad.

My stability has been shaken more times than I can count but every single earthquake I’ve sat through has helped me fix the faults that were there before and has allowed me to build a foundation that can weather anything.

Love can shake the foundation, depression can shake the foundation and paranoia and delusions can shake the foundation.

The main thing is though, that that stuff passes, it may take weeks or months but eventually the hard stuff fades.

That’s resiliency.

It’s the simple act of sitting still and waiting for things to pass.

I realize that while you sit still and wait you may feel as if you want to claw your eyes out, that your heart feels like it’s going to explode and spiders of invasive thoughts may be crawling across your skin and face but if you just sit still and wait, just go through the motions on autopilot and just keep waking up in the morning, the nastiness will fade and you’ll eventually feel ok again.

There’s always the advice of accepting the circumstances radically to ease the fight mechanism, to embrace the nastiness for all it’s worth and sit with it and grow comfortable with it.

That helps but it will still be there.

Faith, although sometimes looked down upon can help too. Believing in something greater, a plan, the universe, God or whatever can slow your breath and give you a moment to relax as you feel the weight.

The crux though, is that you have to sit still and wait and wait and wait until the pain starts to fade because I can promise you that it will.

It will be a long slow process but sitting through it will give you strength, it will prove to you how mighty you are to be able to take it without breaking.

My friend once remarked to me that life is a river and we’re on a raft floating down it, there will be rapids and there will be turns but if you spend enough time on the river you’ll eventually become a guide and will be able to navigate those rapids and turns with stability and grace.

The point is, I know what it’s like to have the stability you’ve worked so hard on to be shaken and to watch it crumble, you will climb back up though and find a much more stable foundation on which to sit and watch the world do what it does.

Stay strong, you can take this. It will be over soon.

How To Be Resilient

Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2015). How To Be Resilient. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 10, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Jul 2015
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