Me again. This is a Praise Report (!!!!). I have an alphabet soup of a pscyh history from 17ish to my mid-20s. ADD, ODD, NPD, OCD...blah blah blah. Turns out, a lot of these "professionals" saw a dorkus from a "rinky dink middle class family" with good insurance, and figured they could label me, control me, etc...and make some $$$ doing it. So, they did. Sad times :-( I'm 32 now. My current counselor is a Born Again Christian, masters of divinity, etc. He says I was mentally ill for a long time, and it got extra intense after my 1st (of 2) hospitalization. Psychiatrists can make people "sick" just as surely as they can help the sick, or so it seems. Anyway... ...now, I'm doing much, much better. The Miracle Meds are a part of the solution, but Jesus is the real mover and shaker in all of this. When someone is miserable, sick, in pain, living in sin and darkness, pills don't do much. They can actually make things worse (trust me on that one). But now, I live with my (loving, long suffering, kind, patient, generous) family, don't live all crazy, pursue some of my interests and...well, I'm getting on with things. The current diagnosis is (severe) Bipolar I. I dunno. I had a nervous breakdown or...something...at 23 that ended in heavy, involuntary shock treatments. Not fun. I think its been re-coded as "psychotic mania," or...something. At any rate, it was terrible, all consuming, nearly lethal madness. I don't want that again, so sir-eeee. But, yeah: "recovery." To me, "restoration" is a better word. Despite the uppers and downers and psych drugs and shock "treatments," I'm now up to snuff in terms of mental functioning, including the oh so important (apparently...) IQ estimate. I even have social skills, which is a miracle in and of itself. My premature aging is gone now. I look a little younger than 32, or so people say. This is a welcome change from a lifetime of being sickly, prematurely aged, etc., even before drugs. --sigh-- And my parents love me, and I love them. God is good! Our God is a God of restoration. There's some distance there, I get that, I see that, but...they spend time with me. They talk with me. Tomorrow, my dad and I are going for our Sunday drive around...wherever, lol. Lucidity. --Reality-- . I don't know if I"ll ever have a j-o-b, but then again...I'm blessed. Low wage, insecure work would just make things worse, especially since "crazy" people are often passed over for promotions and fired at the drop of a hat (take my word on this one...I've been there...). Disability helps my parents support me and I get health coverage, so The Miracle Meds (drugs I can actually tolerate and that don't make things worse) are available to me. Life is good, and getting better all the time. Its weird. "Sick." "Mentally ill." What does it all mean, really? Not that it isn't real; it is, I know. Just...where is the line, between mad and well, or even between simply bad and truly mad? Is there a solid, easily recognized line? Is it all in the eye of the beholder? God is good! Here's the thing...if it wasn't for my people, and really God's work in my life, I'd be dead. In prison (dead). Jail (dead). Homeless (soon to be dead). On and on it goes. "crazy" people don't generally do well in fast paced, capitalist societies. Its strange...there's some research that shows that people with Schizophrenia do better in less affluent societies with stronger family and community bonds. And then...well, there's America, circa 2017. Not exactly the friendliest place for most of us "mentally interesting" folk. But I have my family. I have Jesus. I have hope and a future. I'm learning to be appreciative, grateful, even for things that were horrible, like the shock "treatments." Downside: I was a semi-vegetable. Upshot: now, my IQ is back up and most of my life (which was mostly spent in varying degrees of sickness and general misery, it seems) is shrouded in a heavy, heavy fog. Put aside that which is behind and press forward... So, yeah. I'm pressing forward, as best I can. Life as a "Schizophrenia, from a 'good family' " isn't always fun and games, but its easy, quiet, uneventful...peaceful. Serene, even. Very few people get to live as comfortably as I do with my backstory, my past sins, my ongoing .... "problems." I'm alive, healthy, smart, normal, and --forgiven-- . Washed and made clean. Maybe my testimony is just kind of an extreme version of everyone's story? You come to Jesus wretched and nasty (even if only you and Jesus can see it), you're washed and made clean, you become real (think Great Divorce), you become...a New Creation in Christ Jesus. Boom. Another Born Again Christian, another little light in a dark and dying world. That's me, that's you, that's...on and on it goes. So...yeah. I'm increasingly, miraculously...grateful. It is, in fact, good to be alive, healthy, smart, normal, bright eyed, of sound mind, etc. etc. etc. Best of all, for all my flaws and ongoing sins and sin patterns, I think I am showing a little bit of Jesus to some people around me. I'm hoping my parents can have an encounter with Jesus, sans Calvinist theology, sans OSAS, sans...all that. Just Jesus and the 'rents. OK. I'm finished (for now). I Praise God (!!!) for His mercy and goodness. I'm finding reality to be...interesting. Nuanced. Somewhat complicated, but nothing too...(hehe) crazy.