Living Left of the Dial

I’ve been attacked online because I was “a 50-year old schizophrenic librarian” that “No one would want to date.”

I find it curious that the only revered occupations in society are that of JD or MD or of an office worker. That public service isn’t viewed in the same high esteem.

Or maybe the haters on the Internet take pot shots because they’re insecure about their own lives in relation to other people. This is most likely what’s going on: a touch of jealousy that those of us diagnosed with schizophrenia or another mental illness can be happy, healthy, and successful.

This success threatens other people when they realize we can run circles around so-called normal people.

I champion that to be truly happy a person must “follow their bliss,” not what others in society tell them they should do.

If you’re an artist, paint. If you like music, sing. If crunching numbers is your thing, become an accountant.

Either way: the secret to success in life is to do what makes you happy and to know that you can make a livable salary doing this.

Be proud of your efforts, even if they’re baby steps. Though like I’ve alluded to elsewhere I understand that people diagnosed with mental illnesses face herculean efforts to be taken seriously in society and given the same rights so-called normal people take for granted.

“Only silence is shame.”

I do hope more people will consider speaking out.

I do hope more people will join me in championing that individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia can lead full and robust lives.

Something has to change. Fighting the stigma and hate in the world might be a battle that can’t be won. Yet I’m willing to fight this good fight.

Silence=shame.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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