|Author of Coping Takes Work|
Thursday, January 23, 2020
"It seemed as if everybody was obsessed with me and everywhere, I went, somebody was watching. Every comment I made somebody was listening. Every step I took somebody was monitoring" (excerpt from Coping Takes Work, "Introduction" by Ashley Smith).
I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 20. Common symptoms of my condition include: severe suspicion and paranoia, seeing and hearing things that others do not, false beliefs, anxiety, and loss of reality, etc. Fortunately, my mental illness is manageable. I am a single-parent and still enjoy life despite living with mental health challenges.
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Monday, January 20, 2020
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was our light in spite the nation’s dark existence. Dr. King fought for several human rights campaigns, and stirred American society to consciousness. He led the civil rights movement against the systematic oppression that the notorious Jim Crow culture and laws executed.
He was more than a minister, human rights activist, father, husband, and brother in the struggle, and in the spirit. Dr. King became a legend because he fought for what was right; equality for all. I appreciate this holiday in his honor.
Monday, January 6, 2020
In the past, somebody criticized me for being too positive on my blog. The truth is I write blog posts when I am in a good place. I have highs and lows just like everybody else. I choose to practice optimism and to envision a hopeful outcome. Applying a hopeful attitude is intentional. I work very hard to stay hopeful. As you know, this condition is life-long and can be saddening when compared to other conditions.
Recently, I reflected on the idea of not having this medical challenge. If I did not have schizophrenia I would be able to work full-time. If I did not have schizophrenia I would not have to endure question and answer sessions about my health when I get involved in a romantic relationship. If I did not have schizophrenia I would enjoy life more...
Fortunately, I cut myself off this downward spiral. I reminded myself that everybody has challenges; they may not be severe such as a mental illness, but yet, and still severe. I am grateful for this life journey; challenges, blessings, lessons learned and all. I have my five senses. I am physically mobile. I have stable housing and food supply. I have a beautiful child who is in good health. I have family and friends who genuinely care about us. I have a strong support system. I have access to treatment and healthcare. I am very fortunate for all of these things and refuse to take them for granted. Therefore, I have a serious health condition, but I still have a wonderful life.
In short, I hold on to hope by reconditioning my mind daily with positive messages. I listen to motivational speakers who remind me that I am enough. I am important, and that I can apply my whole self to experience life to the fullest, like you. I read affirmations and principles such as the 42 Ideals of Ma'at. I remind myself that I am loved, powerful, important, and amazing by how I choose to live and to view the world. I choose hope. I aim to embody hope by acknowledging my higher power and giving thanks for restoring my mind, livelihood, and peace in that I have another opportunity to be appreciative, correct mistakes, practice wisdom, love life, and everything along the way.
Lastly, I encourage you to choose hope. Continue to learn, connect, and to hope for a better future... It may be difficult, but so is life. However, hope in spite of living with schizophrenia or any challenge is possible.
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