Those of you who know me for years know both that I am a writer and that I only really committed to writing after a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. Prior to that downward spiral in 2007, I was in a career and well on my way to big things at my university. After the diagnosis, I knew ever early on that there would be a lot of fear and social isolation. I was diagnosed at 25 and at that time I had written a few short stories, but little else. These early stories showed promise, but were little more than a hobby. After the diagnosis it was five long years before I wrote a word. I spent them trying to piece my life back together. Most of the time I just lived day to day trying to show my family that I wasn’t a danger to them. And it was certainly a fight to do so considering what other people with this illness continued to do. Fighting to destigmatize a mental illness can be a very hard and very steep uphill climb. But beginning when I was 30 I picked up pencil and paper again and began to write books.
I’ve written about what books I write and what stories I write elsewhere. You can even read such a short story on this site. The point is that the article I saw tonight really touched me. I experienced great isolation and rejection not because of anything I did to deserve it, but because people hear ‘mental illness’ and become very scared. So it is hard to make and keep friends. The internet makes that a bit easier I suppose, but I’m not online all that much except for wordpress and email.
Now do I have the creative genius of a van gogh like in the article? I don’t know. I figure it takes years to decades of consistent hard work to merit that term. I’ve been at it for four years and have yet to be published. All I know is that I have a drive to create and I devote each and every day to figuring out ways to bettering myself so that I can continue to create. This is what I am called to do. That’s the truth and I take the Holy Spirit very seriously.
I guess to wrap this up I’ll just say that I lament the fact that there are people out there around the world who dedicate themselves to destroying things. I dedicate my life to creating things. It is easier to destroy, but it is far more rewarding to create. I’ve said this before on Xanga, but if I was presented with a time machine and told I could go back in time and magically wipe out the onset of my mental illness and continue on the path I was on, I don’t believe I would change anything. Sure it sucks being the outcast at times, but the rewards that come from creating things that are completely new and unique…well they’re pretty big.
God Bless and God be with the people in Nepal,