That's probably what one does for Schizophrenia Awareness, right? Become aware of someone who is schizophrenic, and maybe send them a basket of cheeses and cured meats? That's what I send my dad for Christmas and he really likes it.
I can give you his address.
Oh. Erik just pointed out that it is Schizophrenia Awareness, not Schizophrenia Appreciation Week.
Guess I better make with the aware-i-fying.
I do remember the first time I was aware that my father was having a break down. My mother had gone to a family wedding in Texas and we children were left with my father, who was behaving in a very silly manner, shouting at the TV, marching around the house singing, praying at the top of his lungs. I wasn't scared. On the contrary, I think all of us kids were very excited to see my dad in such a fervor. We shouted along with him, danced in parade behind him and happily acted as a sounding board for some of his more precarious ideas.
"What about this apple, Doll? You think this is good for eating?"
"No Dad, that's a ceramic apple." I remember giggling, "You can't eat that."
"No? That's not a good idea?" I laughed. I knew he was genuinely asking me, and I was delighted to be able to care for my father who very often was stoic and intimidating. "No, you can't eat that. Do you want a real apple?"
I remember my father's face lighting up and him grinning ear to ear. "Yeah, that'd be great!"
I was so happy to be helping, that my father's illness was more an opportunity to play and be close to him, than anything I ever would have considered a disorder. In fact, it feels strange even now to think of it that way.
"My father's schizophrenia is a disorder."
Yeah. That seems weird.
As an adult, I have come to understand what schizophrenia is indeed a disorder. I know that it can be a terrifying disorder that can torture both the patient and their family. My father's path through his mental illness has been horrific at times, as it has been for my other loved ones who suffer from a similar disorders. I don't mean to make light of any of their suffering. Right now my father is working to promote awareness of the humanity of the schizophrenic. Isn't it sad that we need to remind people that though schizophrenics may behave a bit differently than the majority of society, they are still human? But it's true. Too often when we see a homeless person speaking fervently on the street, or when we hear of disturbed people committing crimes for what are clearly delusional motivations, we forget that these people are humans who are not only disabled, but who are suffering. We need to have sympathy for them.
(The sound gets better in the video after a minute or two)
Ah, then my job here is done.
Thanks Dad! I love you!