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Yesterday’s encounter with discrimination really hit me hard.  I received a pep talk from a really great writer friend of mine and from some of the readers of this blog. Those things made a difference.

I have said this before, but it is worth saying again, people with a mental illness have to fight smarter and harder.

I am in the ring, fists up, and ready to go.

Several months ago, I looked in the mirror and yelled, “BRING IT ON!”

Yes indeed, bring it on.

I want to get back to work so I have started a certificate program online at UCLA.  I started it on Wednesday. It will take approximately one year to complete, and then I will have a certificate in creative nonfiction from UCLA.

I know that a certificate won’t help me get published, because publishing comes down to writing a really good piece, but it may help me get my foot in the door in terms of being hired as a writer for a company, or for a magazine.  I need to work from home though. That much is clear.

I know it is not the MFA I once went after, but UCLA is a good school. I think the certificate will help me in several ways: help me with the discipline I so desperately need, help me explore the different kinds of creative nonfiction, and help me with editing and reworking a piece (something I struggle with).  It will also help me write, and write, and write and have that work critiqued which will be so valuable in pushing me to the next level.  I think a writer can always improve and I think it takes other people’s ideas and suggestions to get them there.

To use a cliché, yesterday’s events had a silver lining, not only am I telling myself that I need to write better, and deeper, and smarter, and cleaner, but I was worried about something that has to do with the symptoms of schizophrenia that yesterday’s incident proved I don’t need to worry about yet.

Often times, people with schizophrenia develop a flat affect. I was worried that along with some of the other symptoms, this was getting worse in me as I age.  I have always been extremely animated when telling a story, and people have commented many times that I am easy to read. I thought I was losing some of that, in the same way my social anxiety has gotten worse, my motivation has decreased, and I have developed the desire to isolate socially. But believe me yesterday’s incident proved to me that my affect is not flat.

I was totally animated when telling the story to my husband and listening to his advice.  I was lively and engaged.  Good news.

I have a three to five page essay due, on an everyday event, and I am going to start working on it.

I am going to write the best essay I can. And for next week’s assignment, I will write the best essay I can, and the week after that the same thing.

I am going to fight smarter and harder.

Hey, I have schizophrenia, and if I can manage that…

I’ve got this.

Bring it on!