Having a serious mental illness has taught me a lot about life, it taught me to be kind and empathetic, it showed me strength and courage, it made me accepting and non judgemental, it taught me forgiveness, it gave me a perspective on life that I do not think many people have and a perspective that changed me completely.
I went through probably 15 years of complete hell, I was diagnosed around 21 but was suffering since about 15, and then did not fully recover until about 30 and when I say recover, I say that very lightly. It is not like, POOF, I am better and my illness is gone and I am fine. People look at me and don’t think I have an illness, but I do and it’s hard to live with sometimes, I basically fight with my mind every day, some days I win and others I throw in the towel, but I have learned to cope and live a decent life with my mental illness.
In the worst of it all, I felt lost and alone without truly feeling anything at all. It was like my body was in this world, but my mind was not. Yet this hell actually gave me the greatest gift of all, it taught me about life, about the person I want to be, about the person I should be and it gave me a little glimpse of how life works sometimes and how difficult yet beautiful life can be at the same time.
Life is hard. Period. Most of the time or all of the time, when you think you’ve got it all figured out, life happens and your entire plan changes. I always tell people the path you took and the path you are on is actually the right path for you, what you took was what you were supposed to take. It’s up for debate if you had a choice and that debate will probably exist for the rest of eternity, just take a philosophy course (which I did) and you will see that.
The path I took was the right one for me, I wanted to be a doctor, I did very well in high school, had 97% in my last calculus course, I loved school and the thought that it would allow me to accomplish my dreams, make lots of money, have success or what appears to be success. I thought I’ll get married, have kids, have this amazing career. Well that did not happen. What I thought my life would be like, turned out completely different, and different is not always a bad thing, if you look very closely, and properly take what the universe has given you, different can be a success too.
I was in my first year of university, final exams, when I collapsed, I broke down, my life changed. I was lost in my second year and by third year, I had to give up school and go home, which broke my heart.
I went to counsellors, doctors, naturopaths and had many appointments, I had no feeling whatsoever, I felt nothing, I was there but completely lost. After about two years of feeling nothing, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and on my path of what they would call recovery.
What I needed to do was take control of my illness and realize what had to be done to live a good life while coping with a chronic illness yet still maintaining a decent lifestyle. It took me a very long time to truly recover and take control. And even to this day I do not feel fully recovered and in control.
I wasn’t miraculously cured by medication and am still not miraculously cured by medication. I use exercise, eating healthy, working and spirituality as ways to cope, these have not cured me but they’ve let me manage my illness in this crazy world. It took me a long time to understand recovery and how to live and cope in this world but one thing I’ve learned, is that coping and managing is possible, it can be done.
One thing I’ve learned is that the universe has a plan for you, it definitely had a plan and lesson for me. This world can be awful sometimes, it was completely awful to me, however if you look really close, sometimes you can see a little bit of beauty in it all, and it can show you that life even though rough sometimes, can be amazing.
I’ll explain my story throughout this blog, I’ll explain my perspective on life, what my illness taught me, my challenges and successes, and I will continue and I mean continue to tell you that no matter what life throws at you, you can make it into something amazing, positive and worth living for.