What path did this circus take you from?

Even though I was pretty far gone by 11, at 16 I passed the lifeguard class and the Northwest test and the CPR/First Aid and the rest. I was going to become a beach lifeguard like my Dad and my Uncles. I was also in the school writing projects, when I could go. College was more of a “Wait and see” topic.

My parents knew something was up. They didn’t discourage me, but I have a feeling as far as me in college, they were being realistic. I was put in a lot of art and writing classes.

But 17 happened and my plans had to change.

If you didn’t have SZ or a loved one didn’t have SZ what might you be doing right now? If I didn’t have SZ, I still have no idea what I’d be doing. I’d might have strived to become an art teacher… I can’t picture it.

I would be wearing BDU’s, in Navy ROTC. I was hell-bent on becoming an officer in the Navy SEALs. It’s how I got into weightlifting, actually, and today I am stronger than ever, but I will never be allowed in the military.

Now I’m studying psychology and hell-bent on working in the mental health field, helping other people who have mental illnesses.

It was perhaps a blessing in disguise…my psych evaluation said I wanted to join the military for the wrong reasons.

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I swore into the US Army right around the time I got diagnosed.
Recruiter found out about my meds and they held me back.

Breaks my heart everytime I see a servicemember, as I was in ROTC and a lot of my friends went on to the military.
I was second in command in Rotc and scored a 92 on the asvab so everyone thought I’d be shooting nukes on a Navy sub at this point in life.
God had some different plans…

Anyway I would have been a 68-whiskey, combat medic

I guess I would be working or not, I don’t know. I wouldn’t have delved into the world of mental health and awareness and I think this journey has opened my eyes and helped me to become a better person. I may not have given up marijuana and alcohol to put my family first. I probably wouldn’t be thinking about a career change.


Yeah when I see kids in ROTC wearing their uniforms, it sometimes gets me…like “that’s who I should have been”

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Don’t let it get to you though, that monster will eat you alive!
Always remember, we would have been freaking shamans 600 years ago!

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I was going to be a Studio Arts major concentration ceramics. I was afraid to pursue my dream and I switched to art history. I don’t know if the sz caused it. Anyway, I have started to look at plan A as being my new plan B (actually plan C now). I keep trudging along with my Art History (now art management) degree. I still like to dream. I might even want to be a paralegal or attorney(I’ve heard that law school can be like it’s own level of hell). I still don’t know.

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I would have gone to college and done performing arts and written books. Whether I would have succeeded or not ill never know. But one of those dreams is still alive. I would love to write a book and b published. Who knows maybe I still can.

I was in school and working before i got sick, if i hadn’t graduated from college in computer electrical engineering i could have at least still had a job at walmart.

My life has been pretty complex. I try to make the best of what I have.

If I don’t has SZ but a healthy body, I probably will be doing one of the following: a practicing psychologist, a university professor or a MD. I would have my own family, my own home and my own kids.

Now that my life has left the usual trajectory. I don’t know what to expect.

It’s hard to say where I would be. I first got sick when I was 13. It started with depression and I had psychotic symptoms here and there. It wasn’t until I was 26 that the psychosis took over my life. I was delusional, hallucinating, and paranoid. When it first started in 2010 I tried to take an officer’s gun because God was commanding me to choose whether I lived or died. I was so sick at the time I couldn’t even function. So I started getting ECT treatments and it saved my life. I’m doing school online with Colorado Technical University studying for my B.S. in computer programming, I only have two more years to go. But where would I be if I never got sick at 13. Interesting question. I probably would have followed the same path as my best friend. College right out of high school, getting married and having some kids. It’s the life I’ve always been envious of. My PO brought up an interesting point about the time period I got sick. He said that most people are learning how to socialize in their teens and by me always being sick in and out of hospitals I never had the chance to hit the milestones I should have hit.

I used to teach a first year engineering mathematics course in a community college here in New Zealand. I ended up quitting teaching there because I just didn’t want to be there. It was a function of my mental condition - I had issues waking up in the morning and going to work. I ended up not showing up to work one day and that was the end of it. If I didn’t have a mental condition I could easily be teaching again or at another institution. I did a single post graduate course in Mathematics at my local university in 2010 while having a mental condition and achieved an “A” grade. Without my condition I could easily have done a Masters or PhD. I also used to do IT work in America. I would still be living there were it not for my condition.

I’d be an illustrator or an archaeologist. I haven’t been able to do schooling since age 12 when my behavior began to change. I’ve tried college a few times but either backed out or dropped out.

I had late onset when I was 35, I was two years away from becoming licensed as an architect. It took me a long, long time to wrap my head around the fact that the career I had worked so hard for would never happen. I tried many times to return to my field, but failed every time…I accept my illness now as something that was meant to happen…thank God I never married back then and had to lose a family or something like that…