Living with Schizophrenia is extremely difficult at times and in my case has been confusing and heartbreaking. I have lost my ability to work outside the home and am riddled with thoughts of my psychotic days and what it all means. I remember the precise moment I was given the gift of Schizophrenia and from that point my life changed drastically. I heard the voices of God and Mary and when nothing worked out according to what the voices directed I knew it was mental illness not a special connection with God which is very hard to accept. I take a lot of medication every morning and every night which helps me to function but I suffer so much and few people understand. I am currently awaiting permanent disability to come through which I have been waiting for a year and a half without an income which adds to the stress of my already bleak situation. STress is my worst enemy and I have actually relapsed into psychotic behavior again due to stress so I avoid it at all costs. But I take care of my elderly and frail parents which is rewarding but has its challenges as well. Exercise helps sometimes and some days I walk ten miles to just feel better and fight off the moods of depression. My full diagnosis is Schizoaffective Disorder bipolor type which basically means I suffer from Schizophrenia plus depression alternating between mania and depression. I also suffer from anxiety which is worse when I try to work. So that is my illness in a nutshell. I have hope some days more than others that I will be able to continue on and be there for my family at least… I have three amazing children, a husband I adore and who provides for me as best he can and my parents whom I love with all my heart all of them. Some days I have more hope than others so that is good when that happens. I also have a therapist who is wonderful, a few good friends and two awesome dogs who help me when my mood of despair hits hard which lately has been more often.