Quirky Works Too

As I near 50, I want to reflect on my vision for what is possible for individuals living with a chronic illness or quirky personality: You can live a happy, independent life. Your diagnosis is not a prison sentence.

You can find treatment that works for you and be the person you want to be–like I have.

The number-one value I offer you is that you don’t have to be an Ivy-League genius or a famous writer.

Like me, you can be an Italian American woman who grew up on Staten Island and owns a coop in Brooklyn.

You can have a love of “edgy” music, colorful clothes, and helping people at the reference desk at a library.

It doesn’t take a “drug holiday” to be your real self.

You can take medication and have a great life and act true to yourself.

Go forth. Destroy the stigma.

Having a full and robust life is possible.

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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