"I think the breaking point was in college when I started to get really paranoid and I was having trouble even leaving the house"
So, in high school I was kind of popular. I played football, I had a lot of friends, I was gregarious and outgoing, and I was just a likeable guy. Everybody seemed to like me.
The first inklings I had probably were when I would have some kind of thought and I would say it out loud to my friends and they'd be like, "What are you talking about?" Or, something that sort of half connected to the thing that was going on and I would express this thought and people were like, "That's crazy, Mike."
I think the breaking point was in college when I started to get really paranoid and I was having trouble even leaving the house because I was afraid of what people outside were thinking about me and I was afraid that they were going to cause me harm somehow. So, I'd go to the grocery store and I'd be freaking out and I'd have to get back home, so I knew something was wrong but I thought that I could fix it somehow.
I shared it with my parents, but I was also smoking a lot of pot during that time so they figured it was just the drugs that was causing the paranoia. I think the two kind of coincided and created sort of a perfect storm. I think I was a little loopy beforehand, but the pot just exacerbated things.
So, I knew that when I started making connections about things that didn't seem to exist, like when I would imagine that something was put in the world for me to see at that specific moment, when I started making connections like that, I knew that there was something wrong and I asked my parents if I could see somebody. But again, they thought it was just the pot. They had no concept of mental illness before my trip and before everything went down.
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