The Vacation

That autumn was a jumble of feelings and thoughts, especially about the future. Since I was feeling markedly worse, my dosage of medicine had been increased and yet again I had gained weight, but I didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. The disease had taken over my life, and I was so afraid. Up until then, the disease had only evolved negatively. What if it couldn’t be stopped, what if I ended up like one of those people you read about in the morning papers. That guy who was shot by the police in 7-eleven, didn’t he have Schizophrenia? I needed to do everything to stop the disease now. I needed to do whatever I could to get better. I needed to put my faith in the medicin, even though I hated it, because it made me gain weight.

Just after Christmas, my sweet girlfriend G called me. She needed a break from the darkness of winter, and she thought I might feel the same way. She asked me to go on a vacation with her. My initial thoughts were that it sounded challenging, but I agreed to go. The entire week was planned around my needs and limitations. We found an all inclusive resort in Egypt, so I didn’t need to go out at night and only needed to stay in one place. OPUS were supportive of my decision and gave me additional medicine to bring. The Commune also allowed me to go, but weren’t going to pay me social security for that week. We left the cold, the darkness and a snow storm behind in Denmark and flew to the sun in Africa. I packed 5 books for that week. I thought that would be the right amount for the long days by the pool. From morning until dinner time I was completely absorbed in the books. After dinner I was so tired I nearly fainted from fatigue. It must have been a very boring vacation for G. I honestly don’t know how she spent her time. She must have felt alone a lot of the time, because I read all of my books and one of hers. Furthermore, I slept 12-13 hours a day.

When we returned home, everything was back to normal, but it had been nice to have a break. Especially from the commune. I got a letter from a new department. They summoned me to a meeting. I had never been there before, but they were responsible for granting me an early retirement. Or not. That was also a possibility. I brought MM to the meeting. She had been so supportive that time with Plan & Action and the rubber bands. She knew the system, and she knew me, therefore she would be able to argue my case. We were met by a nice and smiling lady, my new case worker. During the two years I had been on social security, I had never seen the same case worker twice, so I was quite sceptical. I needed to continue going to my meetings at the commune, while she finished up my case. She believed it all looked very promising, and that I met all the requirements. She didn’t see any problems in regards to my case. Her team had to make the final approval, I would hear from them soon. I was so happy and relieved. Finally, they acknowledged that I was too ill to work. I saw no reason for worrying.

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