My name is Edwin, and I have schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (a.k.a. Schizoaffective Disorder). Prior to the onset of my disorder, I was a fairly happy-go-lucky kid. I delivered newspapers and sold greeting cards in my middle-class neighborhood, and I played with friends. I was an excellent student and played the lead in all three plays in Fifth Grade. At age 11, I started becoming suspicious of my classmates and I quickly withdrew from socializing. Sensitivity to sounds and light became an issue at this age, too.
I struggled through middle school and high school. My grades dipped and, except for a very short relationship after Eighth Grade, I didn’t date and wouldn’t until my last semester of college. I was 23.
I graduated college in May 1994 with a B.A. in Biological Sciences and with the intention of going to medical school. I never made it. In January 1995, I drove from my small town in Illinois to New York City. My purpose was to find my purpose, which I thought was bigger than the town in which I grew up. I lasted a couple weeks in NYC before I packed up my little red car and headed west. I didn’t stop until I reached Anchorage, Alaska.
I got a job as a biologist on fishing boats that would take excursions into the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. I grew suspicious of the crew, however, certain they were plotting to throw me overboard. So, I retreated to my bunk unable to do my job.
I joined the U.S. Navy in March 1996 and went AWOL four months later, hopping a bus from Chicago to Seattle where I lived homeless for three months. After a brief stay in a Navy brig and a short stint in a homeless shelter in Boston, I returned to Illinois. Late in January 1997, I admitted myself into the mental health unit of a nearby hospital. Finally, there was a name for the torture I was enduring.
My recovery has been anything but smooth, and although it is ongoing, I have reached a point where I can function well in society. Throughout the pages and posts of my blog, I hope to help you learn about what schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are like — their challenges and bright spots. I hope that my experiences help you and those around you in your journey to wellness and success — however you define those.
Thank you for reading About Me and My Blog. I hope to see you around.