I use the phrase “happens to be a schizophrenic” a lot. That’s because that’s how I see me. A person who has to deal with something else that 99% of the Canadian population doesn’t. I refuse to let my illness be the beginning and end of me.
A big problem with the perception of mental illness is that it is seen as something that defines a person, rather than just something that massively complicated that person’s life. That’s why I want to spend some time talking about me, because while I believe I have a lot to offer in the conversation that needs to be had on mental illness, that is not all I can offer the world. However, I feel strong that the conversation is very much served by being able to change the paradigm from “people who are mentally ill” to “people who have to deal with a mental illness.” I think, even though this blog is about the life of a schizophrenic, that it may help to see how rich that life really is.
To start: My favourite colour is red. I have liked it since I was a toddler (or perhaps even earlier but that is how far back my memories go). I enjoy the colour because I can brag how it represents love, war and communism. I find it representative of my strong will and mischief-making ways.
I love to read. I have a library. I have finally started buying ebooks because I simply have run out of closet space. One of the major bad things about school is that it forces most of my reading to be academic peer-reviewed papers, which while I actually do enjoy reading academic journals, is limiting.
I like silly things. I hate behaving a certain way just because it is expected. I think that being nice is a very important life skill. By nice I mean you do something nice for someone at random for the sake of doing a nice thing (and not because you want something).
I love making people’s day. I bring the gift of random chocolate to people. Or random Tea.
That ain’t even 0.00001% of me. And all of me, including the part of me that happens to be schizophrenic, must all be part of the conversation.