I’m going to the thrift store to buy a cape.
I want my cape to be long, calf length, with a little tie around the neck and a collar that stands up. If I could find something made out of grey wool, it would be perfect. Grey would match most of the things I wear. I want the cape to remind me that today, I am becoming a superhero.
I think my superhero name will be Stigma Buster.
My superhero powers will be words both spoken and written. My superhero equipment will be a tablet, a laptop, desktop computer, and a pen and notebook.
I will take this oath in front of you, and that will be my final step to accepting this superhuman role that I have been avoiding for the past twenty years. I know you didn’t bestow this great privilege upon me, I was born into it. My only hope is that I can do this job well, and not let down the millions of people who are counting on me. I know the full consequences of the position, and I am ready for my oath now. Go ahead, swear me in.
I, Rebecca, do here by commit to take on the superhero role of Stigma Buster. I promise to use all the equipment in my possession along with my superhero powers, words, to overcome stereotypes and jokes about schizophrenia where ever and whenever I encounter them. I also commit to take my medication and guard my health so I can be a successful example of someone living a “normal” life with the diagnosis of schizophrenia. I will work hard to become a writer and speaker, so other people living with the disease can look up to me as an example.
People may call me “crazy” behind my back, or even to my face. I may lose some friends and gain some enemies (even Batman had the Joker). After over two decades of hiding my diagnosis and fearing what others will think, I will take my chances.
I choose to believe people will take the side of the underdog. I choose to believe that people, when they see me, a superhero, swooping in to take a stand against stereotypes and hurtful jokes, they will join me, and thus gain some of my superhuman pixie dust that will bring joy and good will into their lives.
While I am at the thrift store, I will look for other capes, because I am hopeful that there will be an onslaught of applications for the role of Stigma Buster Sidekick. Get your pens ready, I’m taking applications now.