The more you show others about yourself the less you’ll have to hide, and so long as you remain your true authentic self, you will always be loved for who you really are. Not someone you pretend to be.
It has been several weeks now since I first set up this blog, selecting a template, adding gadgets and widgets, and selecting a color scheme. But ever since my initial set up, I have not returned to place not even one post. What should I talk about? That is what I wondered. I wondered this because I wondered what I should share on this blog and what I should not. How is it possible to write a blog about your life, the life that inspires your artistic process and not talk about your interaction (good and/or bad) with others who you share your life with? I do not live my life alone. It is impossible for one to write about their life and not include their interactions with others (good or bad) in their writings. But how do you write about your interactions with others and still maintain your integrity in your writing, without revealing too much about others, without revealing more than what others around you are ready to share?
I had a conversation with my husband tonight, asking him what would be acceptable to share on this blog. At this point, my husband does not wish for me to discuss our marital relationship on this blog, so I will have to respect his wishes. But aside from the husband issue, I am an open book.
In this blog I will try to share as much about my life as a mother, as a schizophrenic, and as an artist, with as much candor as possible. I feel that it is important to discuss my schizophrenia and not hide it from the world because I believe that there is much stigma and stereotypes associated with mental illness. If a woman or man can speak about his or her cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure without shame, shouldn’t the same be allowed for the mentally ill? It’s no wonder why so many of us who are mentally ill remain in denial after being told by a medical professional that we are sick. It’s because of the shame associated with the illness, and so we refuse to take our medication because after all, if we took medication that is intended for the mentally ill, wouldn’t we be admitting that we were mentally ill? But no, not us, not me, I’m not sick, I’m not mentally ill, I’m just like you. I don’t hear voices. And to prove it, I won’t take my medication!
It’s true that that’s how some of us who are schizophrenic think. Some of us who are embarrassed on account of the illness, some of us who are ashamed. But we live in a society that teaches us that we should be ashamed, don’t we? But let me tell you something: Despite what society may teach us about the mentally ill, I am not ashamed.
Schizophrenia is genetic. It is a predisposed, genetic illness that is no one’s fault. And it is real. And it is an illness that I suffer from. And I know that it is not my fault.
In fact, I’ll say it again, it is no one’s fault! People with schizophrenia do not bring the illness upon themselves. I myself have never smoked a cigarrete, have never pumped any drug of any kind through my veins, and I also do not consume any alcohol of any kind, (not even wine coolers or rum cake!) but I still ended up with this disorder.
So what goes on in my brain exactly that makes me schizophrenic? Well, too much dopamine. Dopamine you say? What’s that? Well, it’s a chemical that is stored inside that brain that can sometimes be produced in excess. And when this happens a person becomes schizophrenic.
I started hearing voices when I was twelve years old, but at the time, I didn’t know it. I thought that the people that I heard were really people harassing me, talking about me spreading untrue rumors. I didn’t trust the sincerity of many of my friends as a result, and did not think my friendship with them was real. As a result, I did not form very many close friendships. But chances are that I really did have true friendship with my friends in middle school and high school, but just didn’t know it.
I never told a soul about the fact that I believed rumors were circulating about me in middle or high school because I was ashamed and I wanted everyone to believe that I had friends. And I never confronted the people that I believed were spreading rumors about me because I was afraid of getting beat up by one of them. So I kept my head down and remained quiet, until I graduated from high school and waited until I was accepted at Rhode Island School Of Design, my first college, and became a freshman there as a new student. But to my surprise the voices, the “rumors” had followed me all the way to RISD(acronym for Rhode Island School of Design). And here at RISD is where I had my first (documented) schizophrenic episode. But more on that later in my next blog posting. Meanwhile, HERE!, enjoy some of my latest artwork!