BLOG: Cats and Succulents

I don’t want mental illness to be all doom and gloom. I mean, maybe it is. It’s really hard. In the case of schizophrenia, there are hallucinations and delusions and paranoia. My anxiety makes me feel like many things are impossible. My depression makes me feel like a loser.

But I am happy. Most of the time. And I think that’s kind of the point.

Friends with schizophrenia and I have discussed how we want to write about different things. (I think I’ve mentioned this on this blog before.) How we sometimes feel that we have written ourselves into a corner by writing about schizophrenia and that’s the only thing we can write about now.

I think mental health activism is great because it is important for society to understand what it’s actually like versus what films and other popular culture portray it to be. And I love that not being defined by our illnesses is part of the conversation. I do hear it a lot. I choose to identify as schizophrenic, but many, many people don’t see it that way. They think I should identify as person with schizophrenia or woman with schizophrenia. I identify as schizophrenic because I own the disorder as part of me because it will always be there (until there is a cure). But there is so much more to me than being schizophrenic. Like I said, I’m so happy that people advocate for being more than their illness. But I don’t see them talk a lot about what that more is. And I think that’s an important part of the conversation as well. So I’m going to go beyond the illusive “bio” and tell you a little bit about myself.

I love anime! I love storytelling in general and anime has a lot to offer in world building, character development (see: personal growth), comedy (sometimes), and self-reflection. Some of my favorite anime include My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, One Punch Man, and Demon Slayer (I named my kitten Nezuko, after one of the main characters).

I love books. I can’t say I love reading at the moment because I haven’t been able to focus enough to read a book start to finish. (I can do comics and manga, but not literary fiction.) My room and my boyfriend’s room and my car are full of my books. I hope someday soon I can get back to reading because it really is my first love. I am fascinated with the art of the written word. I also have this odd fascination with first lines. The first sentence of a book that captivates you like no other. My favorite first line is from the young adult novel The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater:

Today is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.

I love art. Street art, instagram art, whatever. I follow this account on instagram @demon_artist, who, through art, tells the story of Demon and Moon, the most adorable couple. I’m not much of an artist myself (I’ve tried), so I mostly just color in adult coloring books. I did buy one of those paint by number things but I haven’t touched it. When I received it I found that all the little sections are so small it will probably take me ten thousand years to complete. I recently ordered a sketch box (one of those subscription boxes) and it’s being delivered on Thursday. So I’ll try again. Start slow this time. Hopefully it’ll take, because I feel kind of lame calling coloring in coloring books art. But maybe it is? I don’t know.

I’m a cat person, but I love all animals. I have two cats and my boyfriend has two dogs and we’re mom and dad to all four of them. I’m on a Facebook break right now, but part of the reason I’ve kept my Facebook is because of all the animal videos going around. I think my favorite is the one of the cat crashing his bike. I love bunnies too. I want one, but my dad will kill me. We have four animals at the moment, and one more is on the way. Also, my older cat Ronan is a bit of a hunter. He brings in birds, lizards, and mice all the time. I don’t see them getting along very well.

My favorite Disney movie is Wall-E. It’s the cutest ever. I also like Star Wars, though I just got into it recently. I also like the old Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns. I fall asleep to documentaries about true crime or science. I’ve recently got into collecting plants too. I love succulents because they don’t die, but I’ve branched out a bit lately and have a little space for all my little plants on top of one of my bookcases. I collect Funko Pops. I don’t dye my hair or blow dry or straighten or apply any heat to it. On the days I feel I need a little uplift, I’ll wear eyeshadow and blush, but most of the time I don’t wear makeup. I recently reduced the amount of plastic I use. I don’t use plastic bags, ziplocks, produce bags, or plastic utensils. I use bar soap and my shampoo and conditioner is a brand that uses recycled plastic for their bottles. I want to have a baby, just one. And I love pineapples.

There’s more of course – the human condition is very complex – but I won’t bore you to death with all of my nerd things. I just want people who are interested in what I write or what I have to say to know that there is so much more to me than schizophrenia. And that is probably true of anyone you meet with a mental illness. Just because I’m schizophrenic doesn’t mean I’m not a human being.