S3: Fine Line - Episode 12 - Adrianne

Episode Information

Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness – Episode 12 – Adrian

[Intro Music]

Narrator:  Welcome to Season three Fine Line narrative histories about mental health and mental illness, a traveling exhibition and weekly podcast edited and hosted by Michael Nye, supported by Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. May you find insight and understanding in these voices. Episode twelve, Adrian.

Adrian: I’m always curious about life, what all happened and is to happen in life. And I also am curious about the brain, uh, especially since I’ve been diagnosed with schizophrenia, because it is a wonder how you think and function and how it works. So it does hold my curiosity. Well, things started changing with me around 1981. I went to a party and I smoked some marijuana. And shortly afterwards, I became very paranoid. I remember standing out on the porch and I thought people would try to attack me, which they weren’t. And then I took off and ran down the street. And then following that, um, I would sit in my room at home, and this went on for about two weeks. And I would cry. I would go to work, but I would always come home and just cry all the time. Also, um, things that I saw seemed very real to me.

I, I saw the devil with horns and a tail, and also he had a young lady with long hair taking her head and bamming it like on the desk. And I actually thought that I saw that. What I go through in my schizophrenia, I feel is a lot different from anyone else. Because at times I get beat up and I get hit in the head, and sometimes I rip my clothes off of me. And, um, just like I’m actually in a fight. It’s almost as if someone else is coming at me. It, I know it’s me in my hands, what have you, but just taking hold of my body and actually beating me up. No, I don’t really understand why that happens to me. Why, why I have to get beat up like I do. I don’t understand that part of my illness.

My deep seated fears are that I relapse or I will be in such a bad way and possibly wind up going to the hospital. And I say this because in my illness, even though I’m at home with my mom, I always go through it totally by myself. It’s scary. I don’t, wouldn’t do anything to her, but she always goes to her room and closes her door. So my deepest fear is that, well, that I don’t commit suicide behind my illness. Mental illness to me, is just like having a health disease because it can be treated with medication or by going to support groups or through psychotherapy.

Um, when someone sees my face and hears my voice, I want them to, to think that I’m really, really a nice person. I’m warm, not not phony, um, sensitive. Uh, my eyes are, are dark brown. I have a beautiful smile, and I’m really just trying to live my life in the way in which I feel I should. I feel like I know myself. But the thing is, I also feel like not totally. Sometimes I find myself sitting and saying, who am I? Really? You know, I, I like to get to know myself more. The real me, ..

Outro Music]

Host:  The humanities literature and stories are important, signs and symbols that we’re not alone, that others have experienced what we did, and that empathy exists. No experience of mental illness is the same. Each experience is unique, strange, and uninvited. So many men, women, and children live and die. And no one remembers the sound of their voice or their story. What is forgotten is lost. Season three, Fine Line. Mental Health, Mental Illness is about remembering, holding on to voice and story and image and presence. Thank you, Adrian, for your curiosity, your openness, and your courage. I’m Michael Nye. You may go to my website, michaelnye.org/podcast for Adrian’s portrait and transcript. Thank you for your generous listening.