I’ve lived in hell. For nineteen years, the voices and visual hallucinations haven’t turned off. I’ve lost my kids, my wife, my friends, my career, my fraternity brothers, my home, my dignity, and of course my mind. I’m putting together the shattered remains of my life piece by piece despite the constant struggles I face daily. Schizophrenia is a lonely disease.
One year ago i bought an electronic piano (synthesizer) and a self-taught book. Reading the notes, working my fingers, hearing the tones, the music, I felt a peace I haven’t felt in decades. Though temporarily, my symptoms subsided. I enrolled in piano at my local college and took some lessons at TakeLessons.com. It’s my therapy.
Since then, I’ve come out of my reclusive shell and shook some hands at school with classmates, received encouragement from professors, advisement from counselors, and direction from mentors. I’ve decided to return to college full-time and finish my degree in psychology to become a therapist for those too suffering from a mental illness at an agency level (government assisted).
I feel as if those hurting would appreciate it more hearing advice from someone who’s been in their shoes. This is what I call a full circle recovery model; returning the service I received and giving it back to those needing it now. If I can win some individuals back from the dark stigma of mental illness as a service to others, then I believe I have found my purpose.