There is something called the “liar’s paradox”. If I tell you that I am lying, it must certainly be true. Because if I am honest about lying, then I am lying, indeed. If I am dishonest about lying, then I have committed another lie. Either way, I lie.
Similarly paradoxical is the notion, “I am a schizophrenic who can be trusted”. Because I am schizophrenic, and I am the one writing these posts, they are from my own perspective, which, granted, is that of a mentally ill man.
Since mentally ill people have warped points of view, since, for many, they are hard to trust, you might feel that you can’t trust what I have to write.
This problem of the unreliable narrator has been explored in modern fiction. Most contemporary fiction posits that the main character, from whose point of view we experience the story, is imperfect, and that, in order to understand the work, we must understand his or her weaknesses.
Maybe, I am just playing games with logic, or with smoke and mirrors. The smoke disappears, and there is nothing left.
Or, maybe, the answer lies elsewhere.
I realized, when I spoke last with with my friend Matt, who has schizophrenia, that I used to not trust him entirely. And that, at some point, that lack of trust had faded away.
I now trust Matt very much, as much as I trust anyone.
Maybe it’s the case that mentally ill people can be trusted- that they can establish a legitimate point of view, in spite of conventional wisdom.
I would challenge you to believe what I write, and to have faith in Matt’s poetry and prose. I would urge you to listen to the many, many millions of people who have mental health issues, and to open your mind to the notion that they may be productive people, as well– at the very least, they are born, do suffer, and will die, and therefore they have perspectives worth hearing, and believing.