I’m a firm believer that we know our mind and body better than anyone else and we know when something has changed. I have experienced depression and anxiety for most of my life. Those things are familiar to me and I was a professional when it came to hiding and dealing with the symptoms. However, about a year ago, things began to change. It wasn’t until the last few months though that I took a close look at myself and realized something was VERY different. I started hearing voices about a year ago. At first, I didn’t know I was hearing things that weren’t real. I first discovered that little fact when I was outside my mom’s house and heard someone say “hello”, but there wasn’t a soul in sight. I started to become more aware of the things I was hearing. It wasn’t as bothersome until the paranoia set in. I was afraid to leave my house, always feeling like I was being watched. Sometimes, I can sense a presence near me. I have even smelled things that couldn’t possibly be real. One day, I was sitting on my couch, feeling no certain type of way, and I was overwhelmed with the scent of my deceased brother. He always worked in restaurant kitchens, and his smell was very unique. I began seeing things that weren’t real either. I saw a woman in my kitchen and a man in my bedroom. I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder and then psychosis was added to that diagnosis. However, it didn’t seem to fit quite right. At my last psychiatric appointment, my diagnosis was changed to schizoaffective disorder, depressive type. This seemed to fit my symptoms completely. The validation was nice in a way because it wasn’t just in my head. I knew something was wrong and I was right. However, it also made me feel sad to have something that isn’t curable, that wasn’t caused by anything other than genetics. I’m glad I made a promise to myself to get help this year and be open and honest with the doctor and my loved ones. So far, I have kept my promise, although it has been very difficult.