My story started when I was young, after being molested by my uncle for years. I learned to hide my pain, fear and awkwardness. As I grew into a young man I learned to hide “issues” and learned to act like other people. I would smile, tell a joke, and be the person “they” expected me to be. My first psychotic episode occured in 2009, and it was terrifying, at first. Soon schizophrenia became a realty I could not hide from. In and out of hospitals, heavy tranquilzers, and an attempted suicide, my world grew very dark.
Then everything changed. I found a doctor who diagnosed me with bipolar and schizo effective disorder, and changed my medication. With in days, my dopamine and serotonin levels balanced out, and a new man emerged from the darkness, a better man. Within weeks of moving to another state I became a domestic violence advocate, and in a few months I became the Manager of a domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center for women.
My life has literally spun 180 degrees, and in no time at all I have become a person I once only dreamed of being. I take care of myself now, but my life is now dedicated those our society would prefer not to “deal” with. Mental illness is no different than any other disease, it requires treatment and management, but it also takes the compassion of others.