Yes: I think that I succeeded because I have a diagnosis of SZ not in spite of it.
You have two options in how you respond to a diagnosis that could change your life plans:
Give up and buy what other people are selling: that there’s not much you can do.
Or like I did you can become more determined to defy everyone’s expectations.
That’s the difference: the diagnosis motivated me to try my best to succeed.
Before the diagnosis I always wanted to live an artist’s life in the city. After the diagnosis I quickly realized that I could do this because it was under my control whether I at least tried to do this.
As long as I gave my goals my best shot, it wouldn’t matter if I failed. The same goes for you. The only real failure is the failure to try.
As a kid, as a younger person, I lived on Staten Island–the borough where the cop killed Eric Garner in a choke-hold. It wasn’t the place I wanted to continue to live.
It was a world of white conformity in every way–devoid of color; devoid of culture. I wanted to escape ever since I was in college.
After I was diagnosed I realized that if I acquiesced to the life plan I was being sold [collecting SSI forever and forced to live in public housing] I wouldn’t ever get out.
Take this tip from me as to what I did next:
I had the courage to risk change because I believed that tomorrow could be better.
Know this as I did then:
Whatever you want to do in life is under your control because it’s up to you to take action to try to get there. The choices you make today will help you get to where you want to be tomorrow.
Start your engines. The road is wide open.