Born This Way

In an earlier blog entry I talked about finding the work environment where you can be yourself and thrive.

My aim here is to give readers a shot in the arm of confidence so that you can Be Who You Are Not Who the World Wants You to Be like a magnet I bought attests.

The term Born This Way is a manifesto that everyone should be proud of.

I’ve been told over and over that I’m “the exception to the rule.” I feel crummy when I hear this. As if there is a stereotype of how people with schizophrenia live and act and dress.

Mumbling on the street. In tattered clothes. And what if one of us appears that way? We shouldn’t be viewed any worse than others.

This is what I don’t like as an author and a human being: I detest stereotyping people. That is: viewing everyone of the same race or gender or ethnicity or disability as having the same characteristics. Simply because of your interaction with one person of that race or gender or ethnicity or disability.

In this “disability box” outsiders use our symptoms as the proxy for who we are.

Outsiders can’t see beyond illness to accept us as “individuals who” have schizophrenia. Often it feels like our personality traits and our humanity are discounted as factors that enabled us to persist in the face of emotional challenges.

Our road might be harder yet that’s no excuse top give up. At the end of this blog entry I’ll give a link to an online Zoom event I cohosted at the 15th Annual Peer Conference in July.

The workshop was titled “Editorializing Lived Experiences: Creating an Authentic Voice and Impactful Message in Professional Writing.”

The key word in that title? Authentic.

To claim and assert our individuality is the only way you and can succeed in life and in recovery.

Maybe I knew this all along when I showed up to that day program in 1989 wearing vintage pajama pants in the summer?

The YouTube video of the Peer Conference Workshop is 1 hour 5 minutes.

You can watch and listen to it here: https://youtu.be/ktH1ZRi19gc

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. 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 athlete.

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