I’m not sure what I was thinking going public about having a debilitating mental illness two and a half years ago. Maybe I felt I couldn’t hide having schizoaffective (SZA) disorder anymore. Maybe the symptoms were catching up to me in a way. Maybe I was just tired of keeping a huge secret about myself… about why I originally dropped out of the science field and why I was working, at the time, at Target.
Part of the decision to open up probably came from what I learned in Alcoholics Anonymous: ‘If we were to get better we had to possess rigorous honesty’. That may be part of it. The other part was what AA also taught me. And that was to look up, out, and away from oneself and help others. In some way, I thought opening up about having SZA and alcoholism on Facebook and in my personal life would, indeed, help someone else. But not only that. Because I also learned in AA that in helping others, you help yourself out in the process.
Things for me most certainly changed since I opened up about having SZA and alcoholism two and a half years ago. I went back to school. I was awarded a couple of fellowships because of my history, personal ordeal, and medical disability. I eventually passed all my required classes. All that is left for me to do is a graduate board oral in order to be declared a ‘candidate for a Ph.D.’
Despite all the accomplishments that I have made, and the struggles I have had to overcome and face, I am concerned about the daunting tasks still ahead of me. I struggle on a daily basis. And because of this, I am currently seeking out additional help to deal with my schizoaffective disorder, in addition to any help that I am currently receiving.
Schizoaffective disorder is a debilitating mental illness. The medications I am on can only do so much with regards to alleviating the diseases’ negative and tiring mental effects.
Tomorrow, I am contacting a local mental health and wellness organization and requesting additional help. Hopefully, this organization will put me in proximity to people who share my daily struggle with this illness. Hopefully, this organization will be an additional resource in my recovery process.
I need to take things one day at a time, for I have a reprieve from alcoholism and SZA’s damaging mental effects that are dependent on the maintenance of a positive spiritual condition. I need help. Help in order to continue my schooling. Help in order to eventually re-establish my scientific career. Help in order to successfully move forward with my life.