I found out today that George is telling all of the gang down at the shopping center that I am “crazy” and that I have schizophrenia. I met up with Rosa this afternoon and she sheepishly asked me about it.
“You know that older black dude you always hang out with?” She asked.
I left Rosa and the shopping center with my feelings hurt and with a sense of being betrayed. I rode my mountain bike on over to the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting hall with a lot of pent up anger welling up inside me.
“He was telling Big S and a few others today that the reason you are on disability is that you have a few screws loose.”
“That loose lipped son of a bitch,” I replied. “I can’t believe he is going around telling that. I trusted him with that information as a close and confidential friend.”
I have hinted to Rosa that I have mental “issues,” but have never come out and said it. She thought it was mainly my struggle with staying sober as she struggles with the same crazy issues surrounding sobriety.
I left Rosa and the shopping center with my feelings hurt and with a sense of being betrayed. I rode my mountain bike on over to the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting hall with a lot of pent up anger welling up inside me. Wanda was sitting behind the meeting hall, smoking a cigarette on the back porch, as I chained my bike to the metal post out back.
“You are quiet tonight,” She said.
“I am pissed off mad.”
“Talking about it always helps.”
“It is really not something I want to talk about,” I told her tersely. “It is just too personal to share.”
I don’t want everyone in AA to know I am a schizophrenic. I love Wanda to death and care about her deeply, but she has a tendency to gossip. I feared this juicy little tidbit of news about me would just be too tempting to keep secret.
I sat in my AA meeting and could not concentrate. We went around the room to share tonight. It came my turn to speak.
“Hi, I am Andrew and I’m an alcoholic and I am going to pass on speaking tonight,” I said huffily.
“Thanks for just being here,” Several people said as we then continued on around the room.
The meeting ended and I rode my bike home feeling better and better with every passing mile. I just had to take a time out. I know it’s odd that I talk so freely about my mental illness on this blog, but then again, I don’t have my real name or photo plastered all over it either. These people that were told about my illness today are people I have to deal with on a daily basis. In a perfect world, disabilities would never be discriminated against, but we don’t live in a perfect world. In my many years of dealing with having a mental illness, I have found people to be very judgmental and gossipy when it comes to you having a debilitating mental ailment such as schizophrenia. They will all think you are some kind of crazy maniacal serial killer. I am not a violent person at all and would never harm a flea. Try telling that to the general public and my so called friends though.