But perhaps I was fortunate in that I didn't know my diagnosis. I didn't find it out until I read my case notes long after I'd jumped out of the net and after many years of being medication-free and holding down a responsible job.
I didn't know during years of happy marriage, and while sharing many precious times with close friends, that I had an incurable illness which brings about social isolation.
I didn't know when I returned to study and got a first-class degree that I'd got an irreversible brain disease leading to severe cognitive deterioration.
I didn't know I wasn't supposed to achieve all that I had done by then.
I didn't know, until I looked it up in a psychiatric textbook, that people with the rare form of schizophrenia I'd been diagnosed with, are likely to end up as vagrants (well, I suppose there's still time for that. I'd better not push my luck too much!)
I didn't know that I couldn't possibly have gone on to live the full, happy, productive life that I was actually living by then.
So I suppose my journey to 'recovery' (whatever the word 'recovery' means) had been a bit like the flight of the bumble bee in a verse I remember reading once (I'm afraid I can't acknowledge the author or seek copyright permission to reproduce it because I don't know who wrote it):
Proof no-one can deny
That by accepted theories well
The bumble bee can't fly.
With fat and rounded fuselage
With such small, fragile wings
He cannot even leave the ground
Bees are but crawling things.
And though these facts may all be true
And proved by people wise
The bumble bee, not knowing this
Just goes ahead - and flies.
Well, interpret that as you will.