Successes and Failures

Received August 2005

My life with schizophrenia is a series of successes and failures but I think the real success is just being here today and not giving up and killing myself as I wanted to do. Many people tell me that they have no hope in the low points of their illness and wanted to kill themselves but they didn't, or someone saved them and that is a success. As a child I had one schizophrenic break when my aunt was raped and my mom's friend was killed all in the same month.

My thoughts didn't make sense and I thought my mom would kill me. Schizophrenia did not reappear until graduation from college. I took psychadelic mushrooms and lost touch with reality. I recovered somewhat after 2 years and went to medical school. I thought the structure would help me but being alone in new surroundings (and an increasing need for marijuana) was not good for me and i had a major depression and left medical school. I stopped taking my medicine (navane) and had a second break in 1996. after recovering from this break I went to work part time as a library assistant.

Then at the end of 1997 I worked for AmeriCorps (like the domestic peace corps). In 1998 I was hired full-time by a local non-for-profit organization. I worked there for 2 years. I would say the trigger for my third break was an immense fear of the future and despair over my own capabilities. I was is an emotionally abusive relationship and after this ended I lost my will to live.

This last break was very difficult. I only hung on to life thinking about how inconsolable my parents would be If I killed myself. I am an only child and a very loved child. I was hospitalized for a year and in 2001 I came out of the hospital. I faced depression hopelessness and paralyzing greed which I don't know if it's from the medicine or from the illness.

I would be in physical pain that noone could abate unless I ate a large amount then slept. I gained 50 pounds during this time. The caring doctors and therapists I had at the day program and at a school for therapists in New York helped a lot. In Nov. 2002 I began working again as a library assistant. I am still at this position today.

My friend, who also has schizophrenia, helped me with my depression when she said quite simply, "there's no use sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. Get up and do something to take your mind off of your problems". This helped a great deal. I still suffer from time to time with greed but it has abated somewhat.

Getting up and going to work has helped with my self-esteem and kept me occupied. I am thankful to God that I am doing much better now than ever before even before I was schizophrenic. I still hear small voices and I have bad days, but now I have good days too which I couldn't say I had before. I just kept praying to God to guide me and praying to God to show me and although I am not free of schizophrenia I can bear it. Also clozaril helped me too. If you are in a low point just hold on and know it wont be that way forever. God loves you and he'll help you in His Way and His Time.



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