Socially Unacceptable Post 59: Cure

“You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.”
— Samuel Beckett

When I first discovered that I had almost all the possible symptoms of schizophrenia, a quick Google search delivered the devastating news there was no known cure for schizophrenia.

And now I am here to tell you, that if there was a cure for schizophrenia, I would not take it. Maybe if there had been a cure around when I was 12 and it first developed, I might have taken it. But not now.

I am schizophrenic. Without schizophrenia, I would be a different person. Sure, I might be more stable and perhaps even happier, but I would not be me.

What the media depicts of schizophrenia is not the full picture. Admittedly, there are many downsides to being a schizophrenic. Hallucinations, delusions, paranoia…the list goes on.

But there are good things, as well. When I was 12 and first started showing schizophrenia symptoms, my creativity increased exponentially. I went from writing cutesy stories about puppies getting lost in a mall, to writing about a sentient mass of energy that made beings out of its life energy that it then used to do its bidding. I created an elaborate saga about people who had the opportunity to use their limited autonomy to try to secure free will from a near-omnipotent god-figure, even while they knew that any modicum of resistance on their parts would result in divine wrath and punishment. Their only other option was to obey the god-figure without question, a choice that would cause their souls to diminish into nothing and their emotions to deaden.

I was 12. What the heck was I doing writing such a heavy topic into a young adult fantasy novel? That level of creativity simply did not exist until my schizophrenia developed.

That’s not all. Starting at about the same time, reading became a fully immersive experience. I would read and be able to hallucinate the scenes in extreme detail. I could feel the character’s emotions, their pain, their struggles. Touch, taste, smell. It is an experience beyond anything that virtual reality can offer.

The same thing happens when I watch movies or shows. Fully immersive experiences. Sometimes it’s overwhelming, but it truly allows me to understand the perspectives of the characters and awakens my sense of wonder.

I am not saying that schizophrenics should not seek treatment, whether it is through medication, therapy, social support, or something else. Managing symptoms is not the same as rewiring one’s brain to function like a neurotypical’s. Personally, I have found changing environments and living with an emotionally supportive and kind fiancée has diminished my most detrimental symptoms so much that I have been able to safely ween off the anti-psychotics I was taking. That is the path I have taken, but it is not for everyone. All schizophrenics must choose for themselves how they will handle their own mental illness.

And hey, if there are schizophrenics who would use a miracle cure to take away their schizophrenia, I can’t say I blame them. But I suspect there are many people like me, who have had schizophrenia integrated so much with their mind and personality that they are unwilling to risk losing who they are in the pursuit of stability and normality. That’s where I stand.

Post 59 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)

This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.

For the whole series, follow this link.

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