When I was ill, I made a lot of mistakes in life. I would say things that in my right mind I would never say. I would do things that in my right mind I would never do. I smoked cigarettes, for goodness sake, me, the person who would never ever touch a cigarette in her life, who made her father quit, smoked cigarettes. I smoked to ease the pain I felt with my illness. Looking back, I still cannot believe that I smoked. This illness seemed to take over my entire being.
With time, I started to recover. My doctors said I was recovered long before I truly think I was. I do not think I fully recovered until my early thirties. To be honest, I do not think I will ever be fully recovered. We forget sometimes that mental illness is a chronic illness. I still have anxiety and paranoia, even though the voices and hallucinations have been gone for over 15 years.
I knew from the minute I was diagnosed, that I would not let this illness define me or the person I want to be. I said to myself that I will always strive to be better in life. I will be open to growing and changing and learning, because I knew the person I wanted to be, and I wanted to be better.
Every day I strive to be a good person, to be kind, to be non judgmental, to share more love and hope and joy. I still make mistakes in life, but I am open to learning from my mistakes and being better. I feel like all of us should always want to continue to learn and strive to be better, to try to make this world better by being better, by leading by example.
I embraced my madness at a very young age because it did make me who I am, most importantly though my illness made me want to be a better person, a person that the universe and world would be proud of and most importantly a person that my family would be proud of. I know that I will probably continue to make mistakes in life, but I think now I am more aware of my mistakes and I always seek to improve myself and handle situations differently and maybe handle situations a little bit better.
All I know is that in life, I will never stop growing, never stop learning, never stop trying to improve and I will never stop pushing everyone, including myself, to be better.