Daring to Dream

The third value I espouse as an author in my books is this:

Getting off the SSI dole can allow you to have a better life than you thought possible.

Today in 2015: permanent disability doesn’t have to be the norm once a person is diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar, or another mental illness.

Instead, most people diagnosed with schizophrenia can and do recover. Upwards of 85 percent of individuals with schizophrenia reach the stabilization, stable, and recovery phases of this illness. Fifteen percent have a refractory version.

The good news is that we don’t have to suffer in vain or suffer alone. With the right treatment and support, it’s easier to envision having the kind of normal life that a person who doesn’t have a mental illness lives.

The SYMS clothing store TV advertisements in the 1980s boasted: “An educated consumer is our best customer.”

Educated patients are the best customers of medical services as well. Research with due diligence the treatment options available to you.

I’ve been employed at full-time jobs since 1990. I’ve been a public service librarian for over 14 years now.

Your own idea of what you want to do with your life is all that matters. Collecting SSI or SSDI and working part-time at Rite Aid might be an option for some of us. Others might be able to go to college and get a degree and work at a professional job.

I take this imperative stance:

No one on earth has the right to judge another person for what we’re capable of doing or not doing.

I regret that most people buy into the myth that a person is only successful and worthy of praise if they are contributing to the economic stream in society by working at a prestigious full-time job like a JD.

Finding your niche might take time as it did for me. The first 13 years of my recovery from the diagnosis in 1987 to finding my library job in 2000 were not the best years of my life. Yet I prevailed, and that’s the secret: nothing succeeds like persistence.

It can take time and it often more so than not takes time to find your niche in the world.

Yet once you do you will be a lot happier and achieve emotional freedom and yes clarity of thought.

Collecting SSI the rest of your life is NOT a guaranteed outcome today in 2015.

You have options for what you can do and it all starts when you research the things you might want to do that you would like and be good at.

Giving up isn’t an option.

Numerous long-term studies of individuals with schizophrenia that review their recoveries at the 25-year mark or 30-year mark find that we are living in society with great success doing things that so-called normal people do with jobs, romantic partners, and satisfying lives.

Search for and seek out members of your treatment team who believe that recovery is possible and who wholeheartedly support you in your goal of living a full and robust life.

You don’t have to settle for less than full inclusion in society.

Next I’ll talk in here about the fourth value.

4 thoughts on “Daring to Dream

  1. Excellent post, Chris. Thank you!

    (and I remember that SYMS advert)

    Thank you for being YOU.

    your cyber friend,
    Leslie in Baltimore

      • Chris: thank you from my heart……

        I am up against a tough depression right now, that I have not been able to shake.

        I see my psychiatrist today, and that will help.

        I am looking forward……..

        Leslie, gratefully

  2. I understand how a person can be so depressed they can’t get out of bed the next day until three in the afternoon, or at all.

    Then you can dress in elegant pajamas or put on some lipstick at least if that is possible.

    Sometimes, real life causes people to be depressed. To me it isn’t such a stretch that one would “staycation” inside their bedroom when the going gets tough.

    I advise that if a person engages in “retail therapy” on the Internet when they’re at home: not to go into debt.

    Yes: I understand how hard the simple act of getting out of bed can be when a person is depressed.


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