In 2013, I had a job in a financial call center that paid well but I absolutely hated it. Every time I went I had suicidal thoughts. I couldn’t handle the callers screaming at me. I knew it was only a matter of time before I got fired because I often called out of work. I took medical leave and it was denied. I knew in my heart I couldn’t manage to keep a regular nine to five job anymore. One night, I was crying before my husband George had to go to bed, as he had work early the next morning.
“I don’t know how to help you, but maybe they can,” he said. He passed me the computer with a suicide hotline pulled up, and my cell phone.
Just wanting to talk, I called the number. A woman answered, and she listened to me. It wasn’t a great experience. I don’t remember much of the conversation because I was so upset, but I do remember her saying “Thank God you don’t have children, imagine how much worse it would be.” Even though she was a bit of jerk, I felt better after talking about my issues.
I never ended going back to that job after that. I tried to get a bed in the hospital but they wouldn’t admit me. It was the beginning of a long battle with what would become a Schizoaffective Disorder diagnosis.
My husband has learned a lot in the last couple years about mental health. He’s been an advocate for me with my doctor and has been through more than one inpatient hospital stay. He has adapted because he loves me.
Even though I don’t work anymore at a regular job, I try my best to keep the house clean. I try to make dinner most nights. I try to take care of him the way he takes care of me, just in a different way.
Medication has made it so I don’t hallucinate very often, and when I do, I am aware I am hallucinating. I deal with some depression, but I know to talk to my psychiatrist about it before it gets overwhelming. My anxiety and paranoia come and go. I would consider myself relatively high functioning, but I am still on the schizophrenia spectrum. People don’t really know how to handle that when you tell them. The truth is, I’m still me, I’m still the same person I was before this diagnosis.