I don’t like to talk about “it” a lot. My life was going really good before I realized I had a mental illness. I grew up near the ocean and spent most of my life at the beach with my siblings. I’m the oldest of three, one brother and one sister. We are very close.
My senior year of high school, I started struggling with depression when my dad was deported and sent back to Jamaica. My grades dropped from straight A’s to my first C. My mom was so upset, bad grades were not acceptable if you were going to be a doctor.
Pressure. Constant pressure. Nothing I ever did was good enough. I was always pushed to do more.
I managed to snap out of the depression and get back on track in school and even got a pretty hefty scholarship to a great University.
College came pretty easy for me, I was always good in school and prided myself on my intelligence. My parents wanted me to be a doctor so I started college with the intention of going to medical school. I loved college. I had great friends, was doing really well in school and had options. About 2 years in to school, I decided to switch my major and started studying biochemical engineering.
It fascinated me and challenged me in a way that made me want to learn more .
And then “it” happened…
I started forgetting things.
I couldn’t concentrate in school.
My mind was roaming and I couldn’t keep my thoughts together. I thought it was just the pressures of school until the voices started.
Oh. My. God… the voices.
It’s like a room full of people talking directly in your ear when you are trying to concentrate or read. It’s impossible to focus when you’ve got multiple conversations going on in your head.
My grades started to drop, I didn’t understand what was going on and my life as I knew it was falling apart.
I didn’t understand schizophrenia, my family didn’t understand schizophrenia and no one knew how to help me. The pressure was too much to bear and after 3 suicide attempts to end my life, I thought change was the answer. My mom asked my Aunt if it was okay if I came to stay with her for a while and she agreed. So, I bought a bus ticket and headed to Texas.
Remember when I told you I was forgetting things and couldn’t concentrate? Well, I knew my family lived in Texas, but I couldn’t remember where or who, or their phone numbers. I got to Texas but didn’t know where to go. I was in a foreign place, with no family support and no idea how to utilize the resources.
That was July of last year. It’s been 10 months now and I’ve been homeless since I got here.
I can’t remember my mom’s phone number and I don’t have any money to get back home to her.
I don’t know what else to do.
I don’t know where to go.
Can you help me?
Please help me.