Wednesday, February 26, 2014

College and Mental Illness

College and mental illness have been in the news lately here is one link I am going to write this blog about when I went to college and some of the struggles I had.  I was released from the state hospital in 1993 around April and was sent to live in a boarding house. You had to be out of the boarding house from nine to three in the afternoon.  So I decided college that fall.  My first day in college I had a relapse because a few months before they had lowered my medication.  And the stress of finally starting what I had wanted to do was just too much.  There were over one thousand five hundred people on campus that day. I am a paranoid schizophrenic person and all those people were just too much for me.  I did my best to walk through them and head to downtown.  I reached downtown and called my mom on the pay phone and told her I could not make at the school.
She said “Call your doctor” I was afraid to because people who went back to the state hospital did not get a chance to come back to the streets for a long time.  I went back to the boarding house because there was no place to go being the way I was.  They let me in even though it was day time.  I gave the program manager most of my money because I was scared I would start drinking and get in trouble and be in worse shape.  A day went by and they called the state hospital and told them to come and get me.  I said fine you people do not have any French dressing anyway.  The state hospital came and picked me up and we drove back to Pueblo.  I thought it was the end of my being on the streets although when I told them they had lowered my medication to low.  They upped my medication and I was only there for a weekend and they let me come back to the boarding house.
When I was at the state hospital they had told me I could go to college half time and still graduate if it was too much for me.  I had a Spanish class and the professor had said that if you miss more than three days a person would fail.  One of the social workers in the hospital had a brother that worked at the college.  I went to him and explained what happened he dropped the Spanish class and put me in an English class that was a beginner course.  Also I was taking computer classes.  Well as the semester finished I did not do so well and they were going to kick me out of college.  This lady who my friend’s brother had introduced me to told me if you had a disability you could stay in college.  I said I have one and I was able to prove it with paperwork. They sent me to the disability office it was small back then.  They told me to ask someone in my computer class if they would tutor me and they would pay them.  I also only took two classes because I was going go to school half time.
It worked I was getting very good grades in computer with the tutor’s help.  He did this for about three semesters than the disability office told me after one of the semesters they did not have the money for tutors anymore.  I continued to go to college without help from the college disability office.  I continued taking English classes but to this day I do not get the hang of it.  One of my professors told me you are always here and you do the work so I have to pass you even though you do not get it.  Another subject I did not get was math and I had been so good at math in grade school.  I started that at CCD also at the beginning to try and learn and I never was good at that either.  Well I will finish this next week how I finally graduate and how long it took me and the changes I went through.

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