Almost one year from when I took Advanced Memoir with Edi Giunta, Edi gave me an opportunity to be interviewed by one of her current students Vania. Vania interviewed me once over the phone two weeks ago for what seemed like 30 minutes.Vania had an interest in memoirs written by women with Schizophrenia, like me. Edi connected Vania and I through my NJCU email and Vania’s gmail address. This past Monday April 25, 2016 Vania and I had a face-to-face interview in the conference room right outside of the English Department. I was so happy Edi asked me but when Edi asked me if I was interested I thought, of course I am. This is a major opportunity for me!
I emailed Char, the only other African American woman I know who is a member of Just Friends social group and of NAMI Mercer. I asked her how she felt about always being one of few Black members at Just Friends events. She said she has hope that some African American mental health consumers join NAMI Mercer soon. I thought she had a great point or thought. I feel like most people are nice and there are a few people I call friends or like as people that I can talk to. Our experience is one of being one of few Blacks at any event or volunteering with NAMI Mercer. There are a few new African American interns at NAMI Mercer that I have met. I have hope that maybe we will get more African American members of Just Friends social group and new NAMI Mercer volunteers!
I will publish a book length memoir that will have three parts. Part One will be about my early onset of Schizophrenia from age 13 or age 14 to age 19 when I stopped seeing Dr. Lavinson in 2000, Part Two will be about my life when I was in my 20s and Part Three will be about me from age 30 to about age 35 to age 39 probably.
I am about 270-275lbs. I like myself. I accept myself just as a I am. Not when I get to my goal weight even though I want to lose weight and not when I get an MFA degree or become more successful. I accept who I am the way I am, right now. Even if I only want to lose 60 or 70 pounds if I lose 20 and start walking I’ll feel better and just say if I don’t lose weight I am still gorgeous and worthy of love. I am worth knowing and loving just the way I am!
I have three composition notebooks filled with Process Journal entries of what will go into my book length memoir, Memories of Me. This is my schizophrenia autobiography I’m writing about my life from about age 13 or 14 to my 30s. I have come so far from where I used to be, too far from where I started from. It hasn’t always been easy but I would not say I had a hard life, just the opposite. I had access to more opportunities including being a memoir alumna and going to three Memoirfests in a row: December 2014. May 2015 and December 2015 at Edi Giunta’s house in Teaneck, NJ. Edi gave me many opportunities and invited me to follow her on Twitter and when I was taking Memoir with her she invited me to join NJCU Memoir a closed group on Facebook.
Vania and I had a phone interview last week. Next Monday at either 2pm or 3pm I hope we can meet at NJCU for a face-to-face interview in which Vania can ask me the other set of questions she has! I hope Vania gets enough information from me to get an A on her paper for Edi Giunta’s Spring 2016 Women in Literature class. Vania said she would send me a copy of her finished paper for her Women in Lit class. I am so glad Vania was interested in memoirs written by women with Schizophrenia, like me, Ayesha Karim and English alumna!
One of Edi’s students, Vania wants to interview me. She has an interest in memoirs written by women about their lives living with Schizophrenia. Edi sent me and Vania an email connecting us and I sent Vania an email that I was very interested in being interviewed. I told Vania a little bit about myself. I will wait for her to respond to the email I sent her a few minutes ago.