Living with schizophrenia is hard. Everything that the average person does is 10 times harder when you are mentally disabled. I am afraid to leave my home. I work at home, I go to school online, and I raise my son at home.
Being a mother
My son is my life. He has my heart completely and I am absolutely in love with him. Some people may think that having a child as a schizophrenic is a bad thing. I understand the stigma, schizophrenics are crazy, I get it. Although no matter what, I have never had an urge to do anything to my son. He keeps me sane. When I have a bad day he makes me laugh, when I don’t want to get out of bed he tugs on my arm and helps me up, when I feel like the world is crashing down around me he is there to keep me grounded. Without my son I don’t know where I would be. Before him I lived on disability, $600 a month, my then fiancé was making $9 an hour. We had an apartment in a bad neighborhood and we lived on food stamps, WIC, and whatever else we could get. I was pregnant and didn’t know how we could make it.
Being a bread winner
I knew I couldn’t live off of disability and welfare forever and I wanted so much more for my son. I went back to work online and at one point I was working 7 jobs just trying to earn enough to get rid of food stamps. My now husband got a different job and started making $14 an hour, things started looking up for us. I know it may not seem like much but going from $9 an hour and $600 a month and trying to raise a child plus live on your own and have a serious mental disorder definitely wasn’t easy. We were so thankful for that $14 an hour.
When I first started working at home I kept an eye on how much I earned so that I wouldn’t lose my disability, that money went to bills and I just couldn’t lose it. Between our incomes we managed to say goodbye to WIC and food stamps which was bitter sweet considering food took a very large chunk out of our monthly expenses. We just wanted to be able to do things on our own though.
One day I found a job doing tech support for a large company and I could work at home, I applied on a whim and got the job. I started out at $14.75 an hour and almost cried, I was able to stop receiving disability. I was a schizophrenic who didn’t have to rely on anyone but myself and my family, it was such an amazing thing. I kept working hard and managed to get a raise to $17 an hour, the most money that I have ever made and my husband was somewhat jealous. On top of that I was working other jobs and own a website dedicated to helping learn how to find real work at home.
Being a schizophrenic
As overjoyed as I was, it was still hard. I am mentally disabled and I do have serious symptoms. Working was difficult even at home but I kept at it. Between depression, delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations, it’s difficult to even think clearly sometimes. I wanted to get rid of the category that I was thrown into by psychiatrists and be normal. I wanted to work, have a family, and have a nice home. I work hard every day to achieve that, although sometimes it feels like I am doing too much. I never let it get me down though, even in my deepest depression I look at my son and I smile, I get up and earn enough money to pay the bills, I hug my husband and feel proud that I am loved and lucky that I have a family. I am a very lucky person and a very hardworking individual. The one thing that I am not is my disease. I never want to fit into a statistic or a stereotype, I may have a disadvantage with some things but all that does is makes me work harder. Being a schizophrenic will never hold me back from being a mother, or a bread winner. I am lucky and I may not have beat my disease although I have learned to live with it. These 3 things are who I am and I love my life!