Despite my illness, I am motivated to keep going because of my family, online peers, and self determination to not go backwards. Nearly two years ago I was distraught at thoughts of people following me, people trying to poision me, and the voices telling me 'I was a dishonor to my family.' Before all of this, I was a junior in college, an AWANA church teacher, a cross country runner, an intern, a daughter, and a sister. Like many of us with a mental illness, I would not have thought I would have had a mental illness, but something had to explain the paranoia and symptoms. The illness sneaks up on you and snatches away everything dear to you- your career, family, friends, and livilihood.
Now, almost two years after my nervous breakdown I am coping with this illness with the support of family, online peers, treatment team (i.e. psychiatrist and therapist), and medication compliance. I am learning more and more about my illness and ways to cope with it. I accept my illness and am working on how to live with it.
What motivates me to take my medication is the thought of losing control. Losing my family again, not completing my internship, not communicating with online peers and supporters again. I don't want to experience psychosis again, I don't want to live in fear of people, I don't want to hear the deep voices that laugh at me and discourage me. I don't want to not eat because I believe someone is trying to poision me. I don't want a complete stranger to call the cops on me because they believe I seem disoriented and confused again.
I will not let schizophrenia get the best of me. I will live life and enjoy it. I will work hard to remember to take my medication, ask my doctor questions about coping skills and symptoms, and ask for help when I need it, before it gets too late. I will fulfill my goals and dreams of completing school, getting married, having children and getting that house! Schizophrenia may have had me down and out in the past, but it will not dominate my life, I handle it with medication, support, and therapy.
To learn more about schizophrenia and to get support visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada). If you or a friend is experiencing suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.