I ruined my own life

This is a sudden realization about something that’s been happening for the last decade. My getting sick and the decisions I made while sick, and even while lucid, have put me in a place at 27 years old that I don’t want to be.

I had such potential, and my family had such hopes for me. Now I clean toilets for a living (if you can call my joke of a paycheck a living). I’ve said before here that I like my job, and I do for the most part.

The struggle is knowing what I could’ve been if my brain hadn’t decided to wage war against me.

Guys, do you feel this way? It’s a dreadful feeling. What can I do to cope?


I can relate to that. Just accept… There are people who born with a worse dissease, or people that can’t walk, or see…

You just can accept your situation, always remembering who you used to be and triying to find it again, and if not, try to be the best you can, because our illness isn’t in our hands, just the things that I can do to have a better life.
I proud of you for be working, I haven’t even try.


I don’t think if I wouldnt have gotten sick I would have graduated from college. I wanted to switch to the business classes instead of the engineering courses but I wasn’t meant to graduate I guess so I got a job. I did great in first and second shift and it wasn’t until I worked third shift I lost touch with reality.

Decide where you’re going from here. ‘HERE’ is simply a starting point.


Don’t let something like a small paycheck or a menial job weigh on you so heavily. There’s lots of things worth doing that don’t pay or don’t pay a lot.

My brother said to me long ago that someone has to do those jobs. While he was right, he was actually using it as an excuse as I saw it to be careless or not caring for his potential.

You have a job at all and that’s something. Your cleaning a toilet just might spare someone of some horrible disease.

Don’t think the small things don’t count. No matter what it is.

You’re reflecting on this so that’s good too.

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” - Aristotle

What do I care for some fancy paycheck or degree if it brings nothing of value to the world?

Just a while ago I had to help some old woman off the floor outside in our backyard. Didn’t know who she was, but in that moment I had to realize it didn’t matter. So I helped to get her in her chair. It was a bit difficult since I’ve never done that before.

The little things…

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Between the damage i did while ill, what vandals have done, the last 20 years have been a waste of time, Sadly for me it never ended and never will. I should have a lot of money in the bank, but nothing much I can do now, Struggle my way to a cheap grave in the end, So much for the Golden years.

I’m cleaning toilets for a little pocket change like you are. I’m 58 years old, and I’m realizing I have wasted most of my life. It’s a bitter thing to know. I’m thirty-one years older than you, so I have less opportunity to redeem myself. You still have time to get your life on track and accomplish things. Don’t write your whole life off just because you haven’t gotten going yet. Look for ways you can be accomplished. Look for ways you want to excel. I know schizophrenia is overwhelming, but you can still beat it.


My pdoc and therapist aren’t encouraging about me going back to school and sometimes even recommend a life where I’m just living off my parents. I didn’t understand them at first but now realize they probably just think my mental health is more important than my career. I think it’s an accomplishment just to be able to stay healthy and live. That said, there are always chances to improve your life. If you have one job, that could be a stepping stone towards applying for a better one. I found a 40 hour a week job with just six months of part-time experience behind me and I feel like the pay is enough to start saving for a car or even an apartment in the very distant future. There are always things you could be doing with your time and money. I’m 26 and I’m not where I want to be, but don’t think it’s too late to start trying to get there, so I’m also going back to school in the fall.

That’s the past. All of us schizophrenics lose part of our potential and parts of our lives, it’s not just you. It was not your fault that you became schizophrenic, it was not under your control, it’s just bad luck. Like people say, accept it, because worrying about it will not bring your old life back. I know it’s hard to face, we were dealt bad cards, but its what you do with them in the present that counts. I’m sure you know all this already.

I’ve worked pretty steadily since 1983. My jobs were not high status jobs except maybe my Park Ranger job I had for two years. I worked in a lot of physical jobs including four years unloading trailer trucks for Sears. I’m actually proud of that job since I was in my mid-thirties when I did it and our truck unloading crew had mostly teenagers and twenty-somethings but I was the best worker and I worked faster, and harder than all the chumps I worked along side.

I’ve worked in several department stores. But those jobs put gas in my car, permitted me to eat at restaurants pretty frequently, the jobs helped me amass my 250+ CD collection, they allowed me to buy my computers, and stereos and other luxuries. I’m a 56 year old janitor now and I clean toilets too sometimes. But I’ve been at this job for 5 years, (a record for me) and it is the best job I ever had. Its easy, pays well, I work in an office building and apparently a lot of people like me there. I get to work on my own 90% of the time which I like because I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck watching my every move.

The hours are great, and one of the best thing about this job is that the time I am there just fly’s by. And there’s other things too. The way I cope I guess is to look back where I came from. In 1982 I spent 8 months locked up in the hospital. I didn’t know if I would ever get better. But I got out and started functioning pretty good. After all the suffering I’ve been through I count any day being out of the hospital as a good day.

Anything in life after that hospital is just a miraculous bonus. I feel lucky I can work and I tell myself I am lucky often. Sometimes I even think that I would done worse in life if I hadn’t gotten sick at age 19!!!

Before I got sick I was just coasting through life doing drugs, drinking, being irresponsible, causing some trouble, getting in trouble with the police, Going from job to job but never lasting more than three months at any of them. No interest in college. Just drifting along in life. But the schizophrenia might have actually motivated me to be a better person and more responsible. When I got schizophrenia my parents helped me in any way they could, so that motivated me to not let them down. It’s all conjecture I guess.

What might have been? Who knows? If I had never got schizophrenia at age 19, I still could have been 25 or 26 and stepped off a curb and gotten run over by a bus and died. Or if I never would have gotten sick I could have done something stupid and put in jail for life. So don’t put too much stock in “what might have been”. If you had never gotten sick it is possible you would have been screwed up in other ways. I am not sure if any of this will help but it’s just a few of my thoughts that I have thought about before. I hope this helped.


If IF did not exist…

If I had had a normal brain I would have had a master in physics today. I wanted to study in Kiruna, space physics and science.

But it did not go as planned.

I try not to think about IFs. IFs make me sad and it makes it harder to focus on what I actually have. I have a job. I have family. I have friends. But I also have my history that I write every day. You decide if your history will be a bitter one or filled with good things. I decided not to be bitter. I try to see the meaningful thing in what I do every day. Not what I have lost due to sz.

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I feel this way too. In fact I know that I ruined y life because Drs have told me that substance abuse causes my illness. I actually did this with my own two hands.
That was 16 years ago and it has only gotten harder with age.
Sorry for your struggle

You are never too old to do something wonderful. hugs

I hate being MI. I was just thinking today how much of a Rock Star I might be if it weren’t for MI, haha.

But, to be honest, my neglectful and abusive childhood impacted me as much, if not more than MI. That’s like getting shot in the leg right out of the gate.

Having said all that, like others have pointed out, everyone has a story and we make the best of our situations. Knowing others are doing their best too (on this website) makes me feel inspired and like I can make it too. I am going to Community College at 48 instead of going to my job as a Cardiac Surgeon which may have happened with a much better childhood. It’s OK! I am doing really good in school and people need Ultrasound Techs which is what I am trying to do eventually. Any work is valuable and noble work. Absolutely that is the truth. People need people. We need each other. I am proud of you for working. Good job. It’s Ok to get down once in awhile. I do it too. Hopefully, you feel a little more inspired with all these folks patting your back :slight_smile:

Good posts here. What helped me was this mind shift: “I am my own worst enemy”. Nowadays I always try to look trough that lens, because too much time has been wasted on being a victim. Too many people focus too much on the external, I know I did. Happiness doesn’t have much to do with outside circumstances. Since I’ve been focusing on trying to uncover the hidden(but in plain sight) negative loops and thought patterns I get into, things have been going better.

Commit to being a life long learner. And I don’t mean history, biology or physics here, though it’s fine if you’re interested in them. I mean reading books about practical psychology, self help, success, successful people’s autobiographies etc. Many people say those books don’t work and are a waste of time, but those people rarely gave the book(s) a good shot, did the exercises and really committed to changing their habits. There are some good youtube channels also that have been popping up. Some good books: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, Mastery by George Leonard, Channel: actualized.org

And I don’t mean success here for the sake of being successful, nowadays you see a lot of people hustling and they’re not even happy, they hustle for the sake of hustling and post things on social media almost bragging about how tough they’re on themselves. Don’t be in an adversarial relationship with yourself. We are taught that you need discipline and constantly being hard on yourself to succeed and be happy, I find this not to be true. Positive motivation always beats negative motivation, rather than thinking what will happen if you don’t do something think what will happen if you will, for example.

Things to also look into: affirmations, creating a personal mission statement, cleaning up your diet(not just for weight loss), yoga, meditation(only IF you can, meditation can be dangerous for schizophrenics and it is dangerous for me so I don’t do it), mindfulness etc.

There’s so much more I could write but I don’t want to make this too long. The last thing I want to had is that more than the low motivation of sz, what prevents/ed me from getting into personal development, bettering myself and becoming authentic and happy was resistance. And this goes for a lot of things in life, that where u feel the most resistance is where you should “go”. So let’s say you feel a lot of resistance about opening up, showing vulnerabilities and being authentic, for example. That means that that’s what you need to work on the most, to be happy, I use resistance as a compass. What you resist, persists.

Good luck!

TL, DR: don’t wait for outside circumstances to change or put your life on hold until the next wonder drug comes out, be proactive while at the same time not forcing things.

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