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When Being a College Student With Schizophrenia Was Hard, I Had Lacrosse

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Editor’s note: If you struggle with self-harm, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

Having Schizophrenia and making it through college was not easy, but I had lacrosse. Playing lacrosse in college saved my life. It did. I know some people won’t get it. But being an athlete meant something important to me. It made me feel needed. I felt like people depended on me. I was someone to look up to. I worked hard to be the best player I could be. When I didn’t perform well, I got upset. When I did something good, I was relieved. I tried my hardest. It wasn’t an easy journey, but without lacrosse in my life, I don’t think I would be living right now. I credit my coach for helping me. She never gave up. She helped me realize I needed to take my medication regularly, which changed my life forever. Lacrosse saved my life. This is my journey.

Freshman year

My Freshman Year

I would run at night. Go out at 11 p.m. and come back at 1 a.m. My roommate would worry about it being so late. I would use running to get manage my mania and my anxiety.
Sophomore year

My Sophomore Year

I go on and off a medication that’s very subduing. I eat a lot of sugar to give me energy because I think the medicine is making me tired. When a senior tears her ACL, I become a starter on defense. The first game I started, we lost to a team we shouldn’t have. On the bus ride back home, I didn’t realize I was in crisis.

Junior Year
My Junior Year

I am under a lot of pressure to work as hard as I can and be a role model to underclassmen. However, I act out at practice and get in fights with my coach. One day, I had a bad game and we lost in double overtime. I then stole a surgical blade from the sports training room. I called my best friend, who had graduated and told her what I had and the plans I was thinking of doing with it. I go home and decide to throw the knife away. Five minutes later my head coach and assistant coach show up at my front door. I didn’t realize I had a complete panic attack that made me want to self-harm.

Senior Year
My Senior Year

I decide I am going to take my medicine regularly when I am supposed to. I am behaving at practice, as well as when I am spending time with my coach. Other coaches are noticing the change in me, in addition to my own coach. I am being a leader on defense and teaching younger teammates how to play effective defense. My coach notices my improved behavior and asks me to be captain. I then realized how my life journey of lacrosse has saved my life.

Follow this journey on Schizophrenic.NYC.

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 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Photo via contributor.

Originally published: March 13, 2017
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