Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Madison Summarizes Schizophrenia

I was approached by a Caramore staff member and they asked if I would be willing to publish my story for the Caramore website.  I pondered on it long and hard and finally decided to do it. But I also struggled with what to write. And I have decided just to give it straight.

If I was to sit here and tell you that living life with schizophrenia is easy I’d be lying. In fact each day is a struggle to live life as normal as possible. Unlike the average person there are strict medicine regimens which also include getting blood work done every week, therapist appointments, counseling sessions, meetings with vocational rehab and so on and so on. These are things that most humans may never see in there lifetime but as a person with mental illness this is LIFE.
Along with the everyday struggles of my mental illness I also work 30 hours a week in the culinary field. Not only do I have a life altering illness I also work in one of the most intense, and mentally demanding fields known to man. And to be honest If I had never found the culinary arts I would probably be dead.  But now, not only am I conquering my mental illness I have also found a new lease on life and that lease comes in the form of working with food. Yes I get tired, and yes some days I want to quit but it is in that moment that I recall all of what I have been through with my mental illness and life itself  and I see where I have come from and where I am going and I find the strength within to keep pushing.
In saying that there is no way that I could have accomplished this all on my own. In fact If I hadn’t have found the people at Caramore I would be doing just good enough to get by, BUT I wouldn’t be doing great like I am today! The Caramore program has added tons of help on getting me to the point that I am at today. The greatest thing that I have found with being in the Caramore program is that the staff helps you out tremendously but they DO NOT do the work for you. They make you strive to find ways to overcome your illness and also help on ways to becoming a functioning member of society.
Like I said to begin, living life with mental illness is an ongoing process that takes time and effort to overcome. It is not conquered in a day, a week, or a year, it is an uphill battle your whole life. But with the help of the Caramore staff and the dedication to overcome your mental illness anything is possible!