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When least expected

For a diagnosis of schizophrenia, I haven't lived so badly. To give you an example...


After my bloody fall from twelve metres, due to a failed suicide attempt (no doubt caused by the aforementioned illness), no one would give two cents that, in my circumstances, I could lead a dignified life. In spite of everything, my doctor - a diligent and good professional - took it upon himself, together with my father and a few other professionals, to find me a decent place to live, always taking into account my evolution and my needs.

This place would end up being a centre for people with disabilities, to which I, at first, was reluctant to give my approval, purely out of mistrust. Because if there were to be any objections, who else but me would have to be the first to raise them.

It didn't take me long to confirm that the centre in question was appropriate, and that its employees were fully in keeping with their role, being entirely considerate towards us, the residents.

But let me look back and tell you about the beginnings of this journey.


After my fall, I had a life of bedridden life in which I was moved from bed to wheelchair and back again.

Although progress was slow, at least a plausible evolution was palpable, in which my greatest torment was simply to endure the passing minutes sitting in my wheelchair. Because, contrary to what it may seem, instead of giving me a sense of freedom in an expanding world, what it gave me was a terrible pain in my buttocks.

In any case, my greatest illusion became rehabilitation, and the possible and uncertain future that this half hour a day offered me, in which the physiotherapist who was in charge of me, minimised the silences, and made me feel entertained.

Thus, my hospital stay lasted about eight and a half months, after which I became a resident, for another five and a half months, at the Red Cross, where I learned to ask for help when I needed it, and worked on "transfers". That is, the transition from bed to chair and vice versa.


After another five and a half months, I arrived at the Iza Centre of the Matia Foundation, the place where I learned to have fun despite the limitations.

I went back to writing poetry, and then I entered the world of prose. Maybe out of ease, maybe out of concretism. I went back to eating chocolate with churros, relapsing once a month. Put like that, it sounds like an ordeal, but in any case the ordeal would become, once they were finished, the month after I had to wait for another binge. I saw the film "Life of Brian", which I swear I had never seen before. And I thought it was fantastic. Yes, irreverent... But just the way I like it. And there are many details like that, but in general, the treatment of the professionals shows an attitude of concern for our wellbeing.

In this home we are a total of 78 residents, along with a small group of workers, from management and the psychiatry doctor, to those who take care of the cleaning of our home.

It may sound like the whole team of workers at IZA can be likened to a group of superheroes with no weak points, but they are not a SUPER-GROUP, which makes them all the more human and approachable (feminine because they are in the majority). It could be said that they are simple (in a good way), smart, competent, sympathetic, etc., but that would be like saying that they are all cut from the same cloth. And as they say on Cadena Dial: "quality without variety is useless".

And, touching on a fundamental issue, it can be said that I also made progress at a motor level, since they kept track of my strength and balance, which were on the rise, eventually mastering walking with crutches, which with practice and dedication, would become walking with a single crutch.

In fact, I have now managed to walk without a chair or crutches, only in my IZA plant. Although it is also true that I tread carefully (and why not say it?, fear) because I become a bit dangerous due to my tendency to have cold feet, which become finicky and only suitable for summer. Also the downhill slopes or the wet ground make me suffer hardships.

But it's not all glory. One bad day, for the first time in my life, I had three epileptic seizures (I had never had one before). I don't remember them at all, but when I heard about them, my "bollocks" were on edge. Thank God, I didn't break anything, and I haven't had another seizure either, I say because of medical prevention.

My opinion counts

And now I have been an intern in this festival of surprises for more than twelve years, where my opinions do not fall on deaf ears. One example could be the ping-pong table, which is not a regulation table, but does the same function.

Another idea suggested by me was the electronic dart board, which quickly became a reality. In fact, it was incorporated into the centre within three or four hours of my suggestion. Olé!

We also lead as dignified and normalised a life as possible. One example is that we enjoy a minibus trip every two weeks, for a drink in the old-fashioned way, i.e. in a bar. A place that we repeat when it meets our expectations, and which is voted on by us, its guests.

There is only one thing I miss here at IZA. Since my accident... I haven't been able to get laid again. But I guess there's nothing the centre can do about it. I don't know... maybe if I'm a bit of a pain in the ass, they'll give me a blind date, but it's a bit scary to think about (not out of mistrust, but because I'm a bit of a "special person"). And here too, the most popular phrase is "When you least expect it..." Fucking phrase! (It really pisses me off!).

A mind that pretends to be spirited

This is the story that made its mark on me, the blessed schizophrenia. I'm not going to say that I was glad I took that leap, but I can say that the life that IZA has come to offer me has not been wasted.

Looking back, I can see that my mood has changed dramatically and, thank God, I have had a change of attitude that has completely transformed me. The fact is that my manner has improved dramatically. Let's say I'm more approachable. I have become more communicative and skillful. And above all... humble... very humble.

And it is true that there will always be the possibility that in my inner delusions I will one day say: "Well, if the world won't be serious with me, I won't be serious with the world either". Although at the same time I suppose my new attitude would sing to the eye, because probably, my manner would change from the affable being I have become to that hermit-like version that nobody, starting with myself, misses.

Anyway, taking advantage of the fact that I have been positive for several months now... maybe it is true that "when you least expect it...". 

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