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!