I’m a 54 yr old male who started using drugs at the age of 11 yrs old. I always wondered what came first, the hallucinations or the illness. I came to find out later in life that my family had a history of mental illness. This is when I came to realize that it was not my fault. I had started having problems but having to hear voices at a young age was not normal. I thought everybody had been going through the same thing. Now I know they had not. I had something different that I had to deal with – maybe forever or maybe for just a bit.
If I take meds what will it do to me or what won’t it do to me. It caused me a lot of headaches. It got in the way of my school, my family, my friends. It was one of the hardest things to deal with since I didn’t want anyone to know about my condition. I wasn’t going to let the people and friends know I had this because it would probably end my relationship with all. I told myself “They will judge me crazy not want me around” “I’ll be left alone and no one would want to be next to me”.
So I tried hiding it but it came out anyway. Pretty loud to! I had to go to the hospital. There I started my treatment on meds. Back in the day they didn’t have the meds they have now. They had to give me “Haldol” I went from 5mg to 10 ,to 15mgs to 20mgs to 30mgs to 40mgs to 50mgs to 75mgs to100mgs. They had to keep upping the dose because I had waited so long and hidden it so long cause I was afraid of what people might say. Besides I had been locked up in the hospital and that wasn’t an option anymore,
I kept paying attention to all the people that had no idea what I was going through. They weren’t Drs. I wanted to be what they called ‘Normal’. If they called me that today I know that ‘normal’ is a setting on a washing machine. All in all, I spent a good 29 yrs looking for that setting. It never came and still isn’t there but its ok cause today I’m not hiding. I’m not telling everyone but I’m not letting the illness control my life.
The illness I have does not define me, I define it. I was always afraid to go out and do the things I loved, but one thing I was not afraid of was work. I worked 25yrs with the illness and I worked as a Truck Driver. I took my meds everyday and went to work. I got Married and had 3 Boys along the way. Family was very important for me, they helped me a lot. Meds help me even though I didn’t like them. It was take them or become a patient of the hospital. I went to a few day programs that were very helpful in learning what I had. That my illness was not something I was going through alone. I wasn’t the only person going through this. It made me feel like there’s a chance that this might pass with meds or time, or maybe end.
Today, I still take meds and live a happy life. I’m retired now so I’m finding new ways to deal with my illness cause it never went away or got cured with meds. But I did find I can live with it and live a happy life. My name is Abi. Thx be to God!