By Michelle Hammer
Having Schizophrenia and making it through college is not easy, but I had Lacrosse. Playing Lacrosse in college saved my life. It did. I know some people won’t get it. But being an athlete meant something important to me. It made me feel needed. I felt like people depended on me. I was someone to look up to. I worked hard to be the best player I could be. When I didn’t perform well, I got upset. When I did something good, I was relieved. I tried my hardest. It wasn’t an easy journey, but without lacrosse in my life, I don’t think I would be living right now. I credit my coach for helping me. She never gave up. She helped me realize that I needed to take my medication regularly, which changed my life forever. Lacrosse saved my life. Follow my journey.
MY FRESHMAN YEAR
I would run at night. Go out at 11pm and come back at 1am. My roommate would worry about it being so late. I would use running to get manage my mania and my anxiety.
MY SOPHOMORE YEAR
I go on and off a medication that’s very subduing. I eat a lot of sugar to give me energy because I think the medicine is making me tired. When a senior tears her ACL I become a starter on defense. the first game I started, we lost to a team we shouldn’t have. I took a large amount of medicine on the bus ride back home. I didn’t realize I was in crisis.
MY JUNIOR YEAR
I am under a lot of pressure to work as hard as I can, and be a role model to under class men. However, I act out at practice, and get in fights with my coach. One day, I had a bad game, and we lost in double overtime. I then stole a surgical blade from the sports training room. I called my best friend, who had graduated and told her what I had, and plans I was thinking of doing with it. I go home and decide to throw the knife away. 5 minutes later my head coach and assistant coach show up at my front door. I didn’t realize I had a complete panic attack, that made me want to self harm.
MY SENIOR YEAR
I decide I am going to take my medicine regularly when I am supposed to. I am behaving at practice, as well as when I am spending time with my coach. Other coaches are noticing the change in me, in addition to my own coach. I am being a leader on defense and teaching younger teammates how to play effective defense. My coach notices my improved behavior and asks me to be captain. I then realized how my life journey of lacrosse has saved my life.
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