I am officially taking medical leave from school for this semester. And possibly next. I still don’t know how I feel about that, but I do know that I really don’t want to close the door on my opportunity for grad school. Terry and I talked this past weekend after there was a massive blow-up exchange between him and his dad. He doesn’t want to feel stuck somewhere. Honestly, neither do I. Part of the agreement of my taking this semester off is I begin my book and keep up on this blog regularly. The goal is to use this blog as part of my personal memoir, part current events, and part activism for the mental ill community. Mostly because I hate believing that “people like me” have limits. I really honestly believed for a short time last week that I would under no circumstances be able to make it through a graduate program, simply because of my mental illness. That’s crap. All of my role models have done huge things, Kay Redfield Jameson has a doctorate, Elyn Saks is a lawyer, Ken Steele started a program to help people in need in New York. What I am really passionate about is helping the mentally ill community.
There is a teacher at school who has changed his opinion of those with mental illness and testing accommodations 180 degrees. I have been thanked for that by no less than three people. It was my ethical integrity, my desire to do things the right way, that caused him to change his opinion of people in my situation. That is how I want to make my mark on the world, changing people’s opinions of what mental illness looks like. I want to be a role model for others on a large scale. Terry reminded me that getting my PhD can open a lot of doors for how I become that role model. In the meantime I am starting a book, writing a blog, and studying basic chemistry to try and regain some control over my brain. I still have hope for my future, even though sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. I won’t allow myself to get stuck again.