That’s me, up there on the cover photo on the right. My name is Robert Smith, and I have schizoaffective disorder. That is a disorder of the mind that affects perceptions of reality and causes other mood symptoms such as manic or depressive stages. It’s causes are unknown, but there have been certain links to genetics, environment, and stress.
So, a little history on me to start this blog off. I was born in Willoughby, Ohio (I think, it was either that or painesville), to my loving parents. I grew up a generally happy child, from what I can remember, and at age five my parents had my sister.
When I was 10 years old, my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. After nearly three years, she succumbed to the disease. I was nearly thirteen when it happened. She was 39 years old.
The tragedy hit my family hard, and it certainly hit me very hard as well. When my dad woke me up the morning after she passed away, and told me what had transpired, I looked over from his lap and saw her sitting there, smiling.
That was the first hallucination I ever had.
Afterwards, as I grew older, my mind constructed a world of great detail and imagination. I was fairly immersed in that world, flipping from reality to fantasy day by day.
The grief counselors just said it was a coping mechanism to cope for the grief of losing my mother at such a young age and that it would go away eventually. They were wrong.
It didn’t go away, and it only got worse. The hallucinations devolved into much more vivid ones, as well as horrific ones. I started writing when I was 16. Trying to put my deranged delusions and thoughts onto paper.
When I was 17, during my chem course… I was doing some homework (an experiment) at home. It involves cutting pieces of fruit and weighing them on a scale. I don’t believe I’ve ever told anyone this, but while I was down in the basement, the hallucinations happened. One person I saw was telling me to take the blade I was using, and cut deep into my skin because it would free me from my pain and allow me to see my mother again.
I had the blade positioned and ready to cut, but then I heard a voice. Looking up, I saw my mother, whom at that point told me not to do it, and that everything would be okay, I’d make it through.
I don’t exactly remember what sparked my step-mom to get my dad to take me to a psychiatrist to get evaluated, but I did. When the results came back, my dad told me they were in, but didn’t tell me what they were. I asked him if I had schizophrenia. He said no.
Then a few weeks later I found the paperwork that specifically said I has a certain type of schizophrenia. It was schizoaffective disorder. I felt betrayed that my dad would lie to me and that I had to find out that way.
I began on medicine, but I was quite resistant to taking it in the beginning, hiding my pills, making it look like I had taken them, when in reality I had not.
As the years went by, and I grew up, my mentality changed. I knew the hallucinations were not real, and eventually I was able to recognize them for what they were.
Now I’m on a steady cocktail of medicine that works for me, and allows me to live highly functional lifestyle with my husband.
My goal with this blog is to help spread awareness to people, and let them know that they can’t continue to sweep us under the rug. With nearly 70 million (est.) schizophrenics in this world, we need help to become fully functional people in society.
The myths of us being violent, and killers as we are generally portrayed as in the media is false. I’m here to help tear down that stigma, and I hope anyone reading this blog does the same.