People are always surprised when I tell them I have schizophrenia. They even go as far as to argue with me as if my doctors have no idea what they’re talking about. “You can’t possibly have schizophrenia,” they say. “I know schizophrenics; you’re nothing like them.”
“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.” -John Green
In contrast to my post yesterday, wherein I talked about a man who believed you had to walk the line of sanity to be successful, today I’m going to talk about a guy who doesn’t believe that at all.
Last night, I attended the last stop of the Turtles All the Way Down book tour. Turtles All the Way Down is John Green’s latest book, a beautifully accurate portrayal of mental illness in all its terrifying glory, high school, friendship, and love. If you don’t know by now that John Green is my modern hero, you don’t know me very well. That’s okay. I will tell you all about it.
“Sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind but falling in love and not getting arrested.” –Hunter S. Thompson
Though I haven’t read nearly enough of his work, I’ve always been (more than) a little fascinated by Hunter S. Thompson. From Fear and Loathing to Kingdom of Fear—a book of his I did read—he has inspired me to be myself in more ways than one. I want to be a journalist because of him. I want to be a writer because of him. I want to be myself, because of him.
I’ve never been great at being social. I was a nervous child who rarely spoke out of turn. Add a paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis, and you have a recipe for anti-social behavior. I don’t even really comment on Facebook. I’m one of those incessant likers. I face the fear that something I say will not be appropriate or professional or socially acceptable. Every time I click “post” I have this anxiety that there will be something I said that will offend someone. I’m the same in real life. Sometimes I stutter or struggle to get the right words out, which makes me self-conscious. Balancing schizophrenia and Not Being Awkward is a challenge for me each day.
Do you hate Mondays? If you do, you should know that there are factors involved, such as sleep cycles, weekend “choices”, and a general negative outlook about our jobs. Personally, I am just as guilty at sharing those sad Monday memes on Facebook as the next person, but the truth is, I do not hate Mondays as I once did. I work with a great group of people who make me laugh. I really do enjoy seeing them every day.