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Learning you have schizophrenia can be a long and weird process. I was diagnosed by a therapist I had reluctantly agreed to meet with. At first, we just talked. I wasn’t really comfortable as I am always really anxious around new people. I have a hard time with trust.
However, she kept me talking, asking me question after question. Small ones at first, about hobbies or things I liked, then onto bigger ones about fights and relationships. We kept meeting for several weeks like this until one day she seemed really careful about everything as if I were fragile or about to break.
Finally, she said it. She asked me if I knew what schizophrenia was. I didn’t. She gave me definitions and symptoms with papers to take home and read. At first, it was hard to accept but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. That all those things that make you feel so different finally have a name. It’s like the weight on your shoulders gets a little lighter.
Well, that is until you realize just because your disease has a name doesn’t mean that the problems go away. They are still there and at in some ways, I felt ashamed or embarrassed. I was too afraid to accept the help that was offered. Things began getting worse; I was isolated and miserable living in an anxious world all on my own.
Read more: My Son has Schizophrenia
Soon, it became so bad that someone in my family had to step in. My choice to get help or to not get help was taken away but that was probably one of the best things to ever happen to me. I got help, I learned to cope but most importantly, I learned that my illness doesn’t define who I am. Finding help is hard but it’s out there.
Today, I’m doing so much more than I could have ever imagined. I’m doing great in school, I have a beautiful godson who means the world to me, I hang out with my friends and I spend time with myself. There are bad days but I know I’ll always 81st through them because I have people who love and support me.
Read more: Schizophrenia: From Darkness to Recovery
This is my story of living with schizophrenia.