I thought I’d share a bit about my life and maybe we can all learn from each other if we all share. I was born in 58 so I’m pretty old. Had a pretty good up bringing other than the fact that my dad was a bit violent hidden in the form of discipline. My mom was amazingly supportive and loving! Maybe too much so! Anyway I loved sports and school. Went to college and then my third year as is customary with sz it hit. I was 21 and thrown into a BHU for 30 days. Probably a smart move but at the time I didn’t like it! Got on Haldol and spent about 20 years on that drug! In the meantime I finished up an AA degree in Liberal Arts and became a peer support specialist. But first I worked at a TJ Maxx for 5 years.
But to jump back a bit I stopped taking my meds for a while and had to go back into the BHU to change meds and I started taking Abilify which was a God send. That drug has worked well for me. I must say here that we all have different brains and that different meds work differently for different people. I was in the hospital for the second time for about 10 days and my recovery has gone well since then.
Moral of my story is for my process of recovery I had to find an appropriate med and then work on my recovery. I’m now in a happy relationship with my girlfriend going on 6 years and I’m working full time as a peer support specialist helping people with their recovery!
Life can be wonderful if we want to take control of our destiny and work on it. We can have a full life with SZ!
I had to accept that I had SZ and then work on the it by finding hope, empowerment, purpose, making my own choices and self-determination.
And finally I had to realize that the answer to recovery isn’t just in a pill
Yes. Abilify works for me too. Glad you’re doing so well.
Thanks hopeful! Good to hear your mental health is going well too!
This is a great life story! I’m so happy for you!!! Tell me about your experiences as a peer support specialist. I’ve thought that if I get better I might want to do that job. Have you ever been in danger doing that job?
Very inspiring! I would love to be a peer support specialist, but my mental health community services board requires a certification and I don’t want to go back to school.
Tell us more about that!
Let me tell you more about peer support specialist and what I do. In order to become a pss in San Diego you have to take a WRAP class and then go through a two week class room situation at RI International. It’s not too challenging. Here in California they don’t have a certification process yet so we don’t have to take a test through the government yet. But we’re working on getting that certification process done so that we can get paid more and the position will be more professional I guess you could say. In most states in the USA there is a certification process and one has to take that test to get certified. I don’t think one has to go back to college to get trained to be a pss.
Hope that helps. If you have any questions let me know.
What kind of schooling do you have to get in your community to be a pss?
Yes, I’ve seen my share of people with sz through support group. Those with fewer episodes and earlier treatment can sometimes do really well. I suffer quite a bit due to sz but overall life is good. I will go back to working as a substitute once the school year starts in August if my mental health holds up!
@simpjeff1 I don’t know what the schooling requirements are, but you have to be certified through the Virginia board of counseling, and you have continuing education requirements each year.
All we had to do here in San Diego is complete a two week course of eight hours a day about what we do as pss. And one has to take WRAP. Looks like we’ll have to be certified too once the law is passed. But that’s a good thing. Just have to pass a test and then you can become a pass. You might want to pursue it!
what’s ur job from your 20s-50s?
We serve the 60 + population. I don’t think there’s a limit on how long I can work. I’ll have to work as long as I can n my life as I have to to afford expenses.
Teaching can be stressful putting with the kids and all. But go get um man! I hope it goes well!
I worked at a store for about 5 years. Worked for my dad’s engineering company off and on as the symptoms would allow. But for me after learning the recovery concepts I took off. I had to work hard at it but it is paying off in my degree of happiness. But in my 30s and 40 I spent a lot of time going to groups, therapists, psychiatrists and going to classes to learn about the sz. It’s been a long journey but I think the point is to learn the recovery ideas,apply them and work or volunteer or go to school. I spent too much time just living on disability checks and thinking that sz is a disease where I have an excuse not to engage in life pursuits. Go for it!
Also, I wanted to say that the basic recovery pathways that I learned were the following:
- Recovery Environment
- Finding a purpose
I would encourage everyone to check out the RI International website.
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