"The more thankful you are, the more successful you are."

What do you do when you love to swim more than anything else in the world?

You dedicate your life to it, of course.

I was just 19 when I started a pretty lucrative career as a commercial deep sea diver in Singapore. I was living my dream exploring the South China Sea. Nothing stood in my way.

Or so I thought.

Five years later, I was living a nightmare: Pacing a psychiatric ward, trapped in a world of illusions, delusions, paranoia and depression.

I was 24 years old when I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I was convinced my life was over. Once I even tried to make sure of it with a fistful of sleeping pills.

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the mind of someone who is completely disconnected from reality? Is it really possible to live a “normal” life after being diagnosed with a mental illness?

Yes. I am a living proof.

My name is Bill MacPhee. As a recovery expert, I’ve spent years educating others about mental illness. For 20 years I published SZ Magazine, dedicating my life to helping others with schizophrenia who struggled to recover from an illness they thought they could never come back from.

I travelled throughout North America to share my story so family members, mental health professionals, and people with mental illness could see for themselves that living a full, rewarding, happy life is possible after a diagnosis.

Now that I’m retired and no longer publishing SZ Magazine, I’m helping families affected by mental illness in other ways, including online video discussion groups for parents and caregivers.

Through these discussion groups, you’ll find support and fellowship from others caring for family members with a mental illness. Together, we’ll work on recovery strategies and building alliances to face challenges, celebrate victories, and move forward.

I’d also love to see you in my Facebook group, “Helping Parents of Mentally Ill Children.” It’s a positive, supportive space to share with other parents and caregivers. Plus, every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST I do an interactive Facebook Live with special guests to talk about recovery. Come join us!