I was diagnosed schizophrenic about nine years ago, but that wasn't the start of my troubles.  My mind went awhile before I was diagnosed.  Bouncing from job to job, shop lifting, and a general frightening demeanor that had garnered comment from my parents.

So Cornerstone turned me around, and lent a hand in troubled times, giving me time to get used to my new disease.  It took another four or five years before I was happy again, within myself.  Now, I'm working part time, and have developed a couple hobbies.  My greatest dream is to write a novel or two, but we'll just have to see about that.

It's been a slow climb back to self confidence and living for the moment, but I've accomplished just that.  I try to enjoy everyday as another day on the right side of the grass.  That mindset and the medication  have really helped my attitude.

My goals at this point are to start a resistance training regime, start doing yoga, and developing a healthier diet plan geared towards weight control.  I was also thinking of starting a year long program in Krav Maga, a type of self defence class.

Comparing how I felt then and how I feel now is like night and day.  I can actually concentrate long enough to hold a job, whereas before,  I was constantly badgered by thoughts.  I am not afraid of other people anymore, and I don't hear voices or see things, due to a strict adherence to my medication.  I am still collecting ODSP and work eight hours a week.

I realized three years ago and more that his disability will require some real changes in my life, and I hope I have the strength, focus and the friends to pull it off.