It’s been many years since I experienced the dreadful nervous fatigue that debilitated me in my mid-20s. The depression I remember from my early childhood is now a stranger.
At age 28, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to Camarilla State Hospital in California. This followed several hospitalizations, each after a suicide attempt. I had numerous shock treatments and medications. While in the state hospital, I was introduced to Recovery International. At last, I had found a program to help me while I had symptoms. I gradually changed my beliefs, from “There is no hope for me” to “Who knows? I could be among those who get well.” I took steps forward and backward, but after leaving the hospital, I never returned.
Strong symptoms of despair and gloomy thoughts still arose frequently, but Recovery International taught me to recognize them. They usually reflected my feelings of inadequacy. As years have passed, these symptoms have diminished, partly because I no longer fear them.
Recovery International has given me my life and it has given me a philosophy to help me cope with everyday living. Today I continue to attend Recovery International meetings because it’s good insurance against setbacks.