So, how many of you saw the 7-year-old girl, January (Jani), on Oprah recently? She is a severe schizophrenic, and I've spent the last two hours reading her father's blog (http://www.janisjourney.org
), watching the video and reading the articles about her from the LA Times, and finding what I could on Oprah's website.
I'm amazed at all these poor parents are struggling with, and it just reinforces something in me. When I was in 9th grade, my best friend was quietly removed from school, finished the year at home with a private tutor, and then shipped off to a private school for the remainder of high school. I later found out she was bulimic, then anorexic, depressed, suicidal, and practiced self-injury. All of these things were a secret that I still feel like I should have picked up on.
From the time I learned this (about junior year), I vowed to learn as much as I possibly could on the subjects. I read, read, read. Even taking the personal issue out of the equation, I find these things to be terribly interesting. My favorite things to read about (non-fiction, that is) include mental illness, eating disorders, and substance abuse.
For the longest time, I wanted to work in a hospital with people who struggle with these things. Now, as a CNA, I am dying to go back to school. I like my job enough, but I know I am cutting myself short-- I am doing work anyone could do, probably killing my back at 23, and making what doesn't even come to $18,000 at the end of the year.
I always said I wouldn't be a nurse because my grandmother was, for a couple years, and she thinks she was God's greatest gift to humanity because of this. (Yet her husband is probably the worst cared-for diabetic you've ever seen in your life. Some nurse she is.) Anyway, I didn't want to listen to the "following in my footsteps" talk, or get the "Finally! You're doing something with your life!" comments. My family is disgusted that I have a 4-year degree and am wasting my time wiping 80- and 90-year-old butts every night at the nursing home. Truth be told, so am I, but this is what happens when you are forced into a major you don't like!
I feel like catching this family's story was just another point in the right direction. I believe I am going to go back to school, and I believe I will be an RN. I believe I will work in a hospital or a rehab clinic for eating disorders or substance abuse, preferably somewhere warm! I believe that all of those pieces fit together for a reason, and whether it's soon or down the road a ways, I am looking forward to getting my foot in where it belongs.