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Experience is Key

Since 2007, I learned how to regroup, develop coping strategies, and to hold on to hope. Still, I am studying myself and ways to manage. Living with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder takes work, and it is also rewarding.
In the past, I loss myself to catatonia, delusions, psychosis, paranoia, anxiety, fear, and hallucinations. I am grateful for access to treatment, support, and mentors in recovery. I've  seen the end of the world's spiritual war in my head. I've anxiously ran away from the people following me. I lost my sense of reality, rationality, and ability to problem-solve. My faith kept me grounded but also led me astray on the road to mental confusion. Prior to my diagnosis I rationalized my hallucinations and delusions through my faith. I heard the voices in my head talking about you and me. I saw the shadows and spirits from the corner of my eye. I read their minds as they read mine. I experienced the many symptoms of schizophrenia, and rediscovered myself, developed my new identity, and perspective on life. I am not my mental illness.

I learned how to overcome and to bounce back through many struggles, the subtle stresses, common stresses, and significant setbacks. This condition is challenging and due to its severity I know I have a higher chance of becoming unstable again. However, I believe I can get better. This hope- this understanding and vision sustains me through difficult moments. I have come so far. I cannot let go.

Although my mental crisis led me to be institutionalized in jail and the psychiatric hospital, twice. I am hopeful. I am mindful of my triggers and daily stressors. I am a survivor and equipped with something greater than a pill, dollar, book, and friendly gesture. I have experience. I have hope. I have the key to master resiliency.

Living with any mental illness is difficult. However, experience is an asset that nobody can steal. Through symptoms, medical setbacks, and dark moments I encourage you to remember your loss, your support, your hopes, and to believe that you can come back stronger than before.


I am genuinely impressed by the way you detailed out everything. It's genuinely going to help me lots. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so clearly.
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Unknown said…
I have a 28 year old son who suffers from schizophrenia. I am following your blog because even after 10 years, he will not stay on meds. Hopefully, prayerfully your blogs will make us feel like we can still help him lead an enjoyable life. Thank you.
Ashley Smith said…
Thank you, both. I am glad my experience is helping you. Warm regards, Ashley
Jasmine Jones said…
Great Blog! I really appreciate you sharing informative post about the Health Brain and Health Mind
Ashley Smith said…
Hi Jasmine,

I am glad my blog is informative. I believe sharing my lived experience will help reduce stigma and promote wellness. Thank you, Ashley

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