It took me years of being ‘That one awkward girl’ before I even got the hint that I was different. Sure I knew that I wasn’t one of the popular girls but I just figured not everyone could be, and I was content with that. It wasn’t till late teens early twenties that I started really seeing that I was an odd ball. It’s when I got my first job and was being critiqued on my performances that I understood just how different I truly was.
I had been seeing and hearing things for a while before I had gotten the job, and I wasn’t very social due to having little to no understanding of how to even start up a conversation, let alone keep one going. So that being said, I was in my own little world and that’s what I knew, that’s what I liked. I had my own set of little things that I would do to calm the voices and to ground me when it came to hallucinations. My life was pretty forgiving in that I had a set method to my life. But then I got the job, and my whole tiny world was turned upside down. I was not only learning everything there was to the job, but it as a customer service job, which meant I was dealing with tons of people, learning, voices and hallucinations. Which for me, was so overwhelming that it made my symptoms worse. I didn’t have any coping skill for that situation, and thus desperately trying to find some.
I ended up staying there three very long, very difficult years. I don’t even think I could ever manage to do it again. I had a boss who was very unforgiving and very rude. She was the type of boss, and the type of person in general, to point out everything wrong with you, even if it wasn’t seemingly work related. She would comments on things that had nothing to do with work at all. She made me realize in a very short time that I was very different and made me feel ashamed of it. I cried nearly every day after work because I felt so much anxiety while working because I knew I was under a constant harassing eye.
It was working that brought me out of my comfort zone, and not in a good way. It forced me into society too quickly and I wasn’t ready for it. I had not gotten any diagnosis’s at that point, so I was on my own when it came down to figuring things out. It wasn’t till after I left that job that I started seeking help. I had started cutting and had taken, or tried, an overdose, so with the help with my then boyfriend (now fiancé:)) I started going to doctors regularly and seeing a biweekly counselor. It took very little time to find my diagnosis’s, though treating them is where it has taken it’s time. I have been going to therapy for about two years now and seeing my GP for about the same and I am still getting my treatments in order. I used to hate going to doctors, but after finally getting answers for why I functioned so different from others, it took so much stress off of me and now I am living a happier life because of it.
My mental illness diagnosis’s are Schizophrenia, Asperger’s Spectrum and Tourette’s.
My physical illness diagnosis’s are Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis.
I encourage anyone who is struggling with any illness to seek treatment, it can be hard to start, but just making to first step is a step in the right direction. I found that my treatment and medications are a lot like rain boots. Yes it may be wet outside, but if you go outside prepared with what you know you need, you’ll stay dry; it may not seem like it at the time but at the end of the day you’re better for it. Everybody deserves to be prepared and feel safe. Even if getting to that point is hard, you deserve it.