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6 Things I've Learned About Myself and Schizoaffective Disorder a Year After My Suicide Attempt

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For the longest time, after checking myself into a hospital for suicidal urges, after a harrowing drive to the emergency room fighting my thoughts to just drive the car into the other lane or the ditch, I wanted to write about what I’ve learned about myself and what I’ve come to know about the world around me.

A year later, I couldn’t help but feel the need to write my story down as a reminder to myself.

So here is my list of seven things I have learned since my suicide attempt.

1. Stress brings on my episodes.

I have learned that by planning ahead weeks or even months in advance for things I know will be stressful in my life, I can better control when the “voices” come back and how powerful they are. This can be the difference between life or death for me.

2. Focus on pleasing myself before pleasing other people.

As much as I may hate to see others go through what I went through or any variant, sometimes I need to step away for a short moment instead of taking on too much from other people.

3. Stay clean.

If I don’t keep myself and my immediate environment clean, I allow my demons to come in faster. So I make sure to stay on top of that no matter how hard the depression may hit some days. Focusing my mind and body into cleaning can help quiet the voices some days.


4. Symptoms can come back at any time, so I try to always be ready.

Whether it’s one of the thousand voices I’ve heard or it’s not wanting to get out of bed one day to socialize, symptoms can hit even when I’m at what I consider my happiest place in years, so I try to be ready.

5. I don’t want to kill myself. I just want the voices to stop.

I would do anything to have a quiet mind. Just a few hours or minutes away from the thoughts I wish I wasn’t having. Just a few seconds away from the voices whispering in my mind, washing across my brain like smoke. I wish sleep would help, but in my dreams the voices are in control and I play by their rules. It ultimately leaves me feeling like there is no end in sight.

6. The voices do not define me.

No matter what the people I tell about schizoaffective disorder may think, I know I’m always gonna be Cameron. Even if I don’t quite know who exactly that is yet because being so low last year caused me to lose myself, I’m still there, and it’s time to do what’s going to make me happy.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo by hamidrezapirayesh

Originally published: April 21, 2017
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