Last week I was contacted by Dr. Tracy McDonough from The Schizophrenia Oral History Project (TSOHP). She wanted to know if I was willing to tell my life story. She told me that I could talk about my illness, or I could talk about anything I wanted people to know about me. The interviews are then posted on their website for other people to hear. I agreed to do the interview.
The call (recorded) lasted for just over an hour. Tracy asked me very few questions (just to keep me talking) and told me before we started that I didn’t have to answer any of the questions I didn’t feel comfortable answering. During the whole process, Tracy was respectful and sensitive.
Of course, I started the interview out with, “I am someone’s baby.” I did this so everyone who listens to the recording would know I came into the world the same way they did – we all have a similar beginning. Isn’t it important to recognize each other’s humanity above all?
If you do end up contacting them, please let them know that you heard about their work from Rebecca. If you have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, I hope you will consider participating in the project. Our stories, our real life experiences, our ups and downs and all around are what help to combat the stigma. As I so often say, “We are more like you than different.” It is an important message and one I hope you will share with others about your life.