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I am schizophrenic. My last hospital stay was in 1980, in the state hospital for six months because my husband would no longer bring me home; he wanted a divorce after 13 years and two small children. With no home to go to, I waited at the state hospital for a bed at an adult foster care home.

After six months, I was placed in a very nice home. Michigan Vocational Rehabilitation sent me to a business school while I was there. After two semesters at the business school, it was time to find a job. By July 1981, I had a job as a bookkeeper for a small company and worked for one year while still living at the foster care home. It was time to try living on my own. I was afraid of everything. Living alone, having relapses, and just taking care of myself. I moved into a rented home and continued to work and support myself.

While I was at the foster care home, I read a pamphlet that described my symptoms perfectly. Before I read it, I did not know I had schizophrenia. The pamphlet said that schizophrenia was incurable, but could be controlled with medication. All of my relapses were from going off my medication. From that time on, I have decided to be well. I never go off my medication or ever have it adjusted and I have been stable since 1980. I know I still have the disease, but am controlling it with medication.

In 1983, I bought my own home and have my children every other weekend (my husband has custody of the children, but I am still part of their lives). I also started to attend college at night. I have been taking one class a semester for these past six years and will receive a Certificate in Accounting this December.

Because I took accounting courses at the community college, I was promoted to Accounting Supervisor in 1985. I have a very good job and enjoy it very much. In the eight years I have been working, I have not had to take time off for my schizophrenia. It has not been easy. I feel very tired in the mornings and force myself to go to work. My life is low keyed, as I cannot take much stress.

My social worker heard about Schizophrenics Anonymous and suggested I get involved in it. Since I have met Joanne V. and the members of her group, my life has been transformed. I am a SA leader and now have a group of very caring and friendly people to meet with once a week. As a leader, my life has been enhanced by the possibility of helping others and myself toward recovery. Thank you, SA.