Updatages

I have been a bit negligent in maintaining this site, although I had anticipated it due to the big move and the starting of the Ph.D.

Unfortunately, that did not start well. It was a bit stressful to move and to take care of myself all alone. I also took on more course work than I think I could handle. I realized I was in trouble and sought help and sought to compensate, but my symptoms started reappearing.

What was most alarming was that I was at a weekend getaway with my closest friends and I had a breach with reality. It’s a hard thing to explain. Everything starts having a dream-like quality and I started wondering if my friends were even real. There’s also this surreal feeling that you are looking down upon yourself, almost as if you were outside reality along another dimension looking at yourself while at the same time processing what your eyes were seeing.

I’ve probably failed to explain that. Oh well.

The good news is that the mechanisms I put in place worked and I was able to go to my doctor change my medication. The not exactly bad is that my Ph.D. is now delayed. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to do it now, but part of that is fed with my frustration of going through an unpleasant time combined with a wariness of putting myself through that for several years.

I know, it isn’t the end of the world. The important thing is that I am safe, am recovering and will try again. If you don’t try and learn from your experiences, what point is there in having them? Right now, the drugs are making me quite sleepy and I am not up to much in the Canadian winter. I hope that the rest will do me good (I wasn’t sleeping well in Toronto) and that I can continue down a new exciting path soon.

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About Neil

I happen to have paranoid schizophrenia. But that is only a small part of who I am. I define me, not my illness. I always try and choose hope and choose to be a better person, though like all people, I have more than a few failures. Some have been rather spectacular.
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5 Responses to Updatages

  1. Kristi says:

    Neil, you do a wonderful job explaining your experience and I learn each time I read your blog. Thank You

    • Neil says:

      You are welcome Kristi and thank you. One of the reasons I write in this blog is to try and explain things. It is a difficult process because schizophrenia is so unlike my other life experiences.

  2. kevinkesseler says:

    Regarding your PhD being delayed, I’d like to share a story… After 4 years of grad school at 3 different universities, I left school with a master’s degree and spent 18 months in a failed experiment as a househusband and another 18 months in a job that didn’t really challenge or excite me before my marriage fell apart and I returned to grad school. After another two and a half years (at two different schools) I was dealing with depression (badly) and on the verge of flunking out. Fortunately, I got help that I desperately needed and a decade later I’m working to combine what I learned in my 10 years in three different grad schools (five counting multiplicity 😉 ), my five years of postdoctoral studies, and my work experience into a business. At this point I don’t yet know whether I’m a genius or an idiot, but I know I’ve tried my best and won’t have any regrets if I can get my work to succeed or fail on its merits. You’ve already proved that you have the math chops to get a phd – now it’s just a question of determination and desire. Whether you get your phd or not, as long as you stay true to yourself you should be proud of what you you’ve accomplished. I don’t think many people understand just how hard it is to do what you’ve already acomplished, but as someone who fought through smaller versions of the hurdles you’ve already faced and surmounted, I find your story to be both amazing and inspirational. My path may not have been the one I had planned on, but it made me who I am today and I belive that the path you have walked has already made you into someone that anyone would be proud to call a friend – whether you end up with a phd or no. Remember, it’s how you walk the path that defines you, not the destination. Good luck wherever your path leads and thank you for allowing us to share a little of it with you.

  3. John Roswell says:

    Hi Neil, Sorry to hear you’ve had difficulties continuing with your education. But I want you to know that your blog encouraged me to return to school. Unlike you, I don’t have a undergraduate degree — I dropped out of school in grade 10 when my illness began to express itself — so I have gone back to a community college to obtain a diploma in business administration. I, too, had a bad time last semester, and almost dropped out. Thankfully, most of my instructors were understanding and gave me enough support for me to finish their courses. In any event, when I get my diploma, I plan to use my education to start social enterprises that employ people who have been “disabled” by their mental illnesses, particularly psychotic disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Anyway, thanks a lot for your story, and I hope to hear more from you! Cheers, John Roswell

    • Neil says:

      John, thanks for the encouragement. I am glad you decided to go back to school and even gladder to hear that you got the support from your instructors you needed especially when you were in great need. Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. Your plan for a social enterprise sounds wonderful. Good for you!

      I’ll hopefully be back to blogging on a part time basis this fall. Good luck with your studies!

      Neil

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