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My brain. Much of who I am and how I see the world involves my brain. I love the way it puts words together that represent my experiences and my feelings and figures out a way to share those words –blogging, magazine articles, and journals- with the world. I thank my brain. I reveal in the beautiful thoughts it can tell me about people, trees, and the color of your dress- yellow with tiny white daisies. My brain helps me sort through feelings of deep love like I feel for my husband, or grief when I lose someone, or that uplift in spirit when I witness an act of great kindness like someone helping a vulnerable person to find a bus, or get a meal, or pay the extra money they owe but don’t have at the check-out counter in the grocery store. My brain. It is a love and hate relationship. It can trick me with delusions and hallucinations – voices only I can hear. Schizophrenia. I battle with it every day. Everything beautiful can turn ugly in an instant. My thoughts of altruism and joy can turn to thoughts of paranoia, anxiety and fear. I read that schizophrenia decreases your gray matter over time, and so does taking anti-psychotics. That means I may not always be able to put complex ideas together. I may forget more than just the name of a television show I watched last week. I may forget what I did yesterday, or the day before, or important dates, or people’s names. I don’t get to choose how my brain will deteriorate but it is almost certain that it will at least in some capacity. How to love and hate a brain at the same time? How to thank it for the happiness and curse it for the psychosis? How to celebrate and use it to its full capacity while it is still strong? I need to document. I need to research. I need to read. I need to work my brain and show what it is capable of so that when I lose a piece or a part of it, I have proof for myself that it once a sharp organ with great flexibility that gave me endless hours of pleasure. To say good-bye to a piece of yourself that you may not even be able to realize is gone but others will is to swim in a sea of deep water where you can’t even see to your feet.