Guest Post: Life With Schizophrenia


Just like the bird in the picture, anyone can soar.  
The recent blog post of What Mel Wants about Asperger's Syndrome was a story of diversity that some people really identified with. Greg, a friend of my parents, identified with the story because he has a condition that affected his life. Greg was keen to share his story by saying this:

I suffer from schizophrenia, and most of my recovery I credit to Mount Pritchard Toastmasters. The turning point came just after I turned 40. I also owe success to my church and my faith in Jesus Christ. I was brought up as a child in an area where there were no boys my age. I didnt interact with others-I mainly watched TV and listened to radio. I had few friends at school and was constanly bullied. I knew my school work and lots of trivia, but lacked life skills and social skills. I left school with no goal. I didnt want to be a lawyer or a teacher or anything like that. I agreed to go into insurance of get my parents off my back. I was no good at it, and in one case was sacked from a job on day 6. I enjoyed my public service job because it was such a bludge. But with job cuts I was redundant after 10 years. I joined Mt Pritchard Toastmasters in 2001. I was good at public speaking, but had no employment prospects. One day while discussing it before a meeting, I lost my temper with fellow Toastmaster. At that point I thought about my life, my attitudes to work and customers. I am still on the disability pension, but I rarely get paid much DSP. I work at market research, for which you have to be thick skinned, but I love it. There are things I am good at and things I am lousy at. This is much the same as anyone else. Overall, I know I am not in this world to live up to anyone else's exceptations. In life, I do what pleases me, as long as it is right by God and does not harm or annoy anyone else. I have my own circle of friends, including your parents. A lot of my parents friends dont like me, but who cares. My mother has a low opinion of me, but she doesnt really know what I am capable of. 

It is inspiring to see someone with Schizophrenia, which I knew little about, living life with as much optimism as possible. Greg is as social as anyone else, and has known my family for years. His work in market research shows he is keen to participate whenever possible. He doesn't let anyone else define his capabilities. Thank you Greg for sharing your experience with Schizophrenia.

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