Oh boy…you had to ask! When I was 17 I was a straight edge honors student at a prestigious high school, and earned two belts in Krav Maga. I was obsessed with becoming a Navy SEAL and had already planned out ROTC in the Navy. The next year, I started breaking down, was failing a class at one point, had a testicle injury and coudnt move without pain so I just smoked pot every night after school and lost about 40lbs (I had been a bodybuilder at about 180). I was told by my shrink that I would have to wait to join ROTC, and right when I recovered from the testicle infection and got back in the gym, I had already entered my descent into paranoid schizophrenia.
One of my voices was 17-year-old Me. He was often the voice of reason and I almost miss hearing his comments on my behavior and his instructions. I havent heard from him since my meds got figured out, but I also said good riddance to the two malicious voices I heard.
If I often see kids in ROTC wearing their BDU’s walking across campus. I sometimes wish I could be one of them, that was all I wanted at that point in my life.
Now I have changed a whole lot. I am settled into being a psych major and I now plan on going as far as I can in grad school and working in the mental health field, I actually want to give evaluations, so maybe I will just get a masters and work as an intake evaluator or maybe I will do well enough in grad school to enter the Ph.D. program.
My 17th year was challenging and satisfying. It was probably the most productive year of my life. It was a high place to fall from, however, and my next two years were a bitter struggle. My 20th year, which I am in the middle of, has been a year of recovery…medications, back to all A’s, powerlifting, dated a couple girls, a growing interest in my major, it has been good. I really snapped out of it when I got on this new meds regiment…I made all A’s and I stabilized completely. No more symptoms, no more freakouts, no more drama. It’s been a textbook case of self-medication, denial, then insight, compliance and recovery.
I know that I am fortunate to get my life back on track within 6 months of trying medications. I wish it was that easy for all of us. It’s not fair that I am in remission and so many of us aren’t.