Laughing. Talking. Sharing our day. My father and me sat in my den last night enjoying each other's company. "I love how you wrote today about thinking you were the next Mozart," he said. "The grandiosity schizophrenics share reminds me of all the religious people standing on street corners crying the 'end is near.' They seem to think they are so important, as if touched by God. Your mother was the same."
"You have to also remember I thought aliens were traveling light years to visit me," I said with a good hearted smile and a laugh – even I almost have a hard time thinking I believed that. It sounds so clichéd for schizophrenics. I had probably watched too many episodes of the X-Files.
"Your writing has just been wonderful lately," he then said. "It reflects how well your real life is going."
"Thank you," I said, beaming with pride.
I love getting accolades from my father about my writing. Comments from strangers on a blog are nice and encouraging, but nothing is the same as one of the nearest and dearest people in your real life telling you such words. It has been years since I had done something in which my father was so proud of me.
My father left and I curled up on the couch with Maggie as the TV droned quietly. I had such a wonderful day. I felt happy. I could take joy in the small things in life. I seem to have this zest for living these days that I haven't experienced in the 35 years I have been on this good earth. "You're growing up for the first time in your life," were my father's words that echoed in my mind. He was right. My development as a young adult stopped with the onset of schizophrenia in my early twenties and my subsequent alcoholism. I was a perpetual adolescent in a man's body – a strange combination of boy and man. Adult feelings. Adult emotions. An adult life. It is all so exciting and I feel as if I have discovered an undiscovered country filled with exotic lands to explore and strange indigenous people to meet. A Columbus in my own time.