On Being Lit: A Personal Essay on Mental Illness and Compassion

On Being Lit: A Personal Essay on Mental Illness and Compassion
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Note from our VP of Content: Now that we’re a few weeks into WEIRDOS, I wanted to introduce you to the inspiration for this whole section. Or, reintroduce you. We’ve actually published this piece already. It was one of the first stories I decided to publish from a cold pitch after I started working here, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Theo captured a special kind of magic here. It is, in short, a beautiful and humanizing look into the eye of madness, and I believe you will become even an incrementally more considerate person by reading it. While most of what we’ve done so far in this section has been industry focused, I figured now’s a good time to start showing you just how far down the rabbit hole we’re going to get. Enjoy! – Jon This essay has been re-published with the permission of the author.  The fine line between sanity and madness blurs as a jittery librarian in downtown Miami with body sores, unkempt hair, and tattered clothes gives fiery sidewalk lectures. Onlookers who recognize the senior librarian shake their heads as they toss a dollar or a get-well note into a tip jar with the hashtag #litwithfire scrawled on it. As the 57-year-old hippie throwback from San Francisco rambles on about spiritual warfare, chem trails, and legalizing weed, a struggle between rational and irrational thought plays out on the public stage. I am Theo Karantsalis, a longtime college library administrator who has suffered from serious mental illness since childhood, or for about 50 years. This includes multiple suicide attempts, drug addiction, and bizarre behavior resulting in police standoffs, countless trips to jail, dozens of lawsuits, restraining orders, and lots of psychiatric intervention. A crumpled doctor’s note in my pocket is a reminder to take medicine…

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Source : On Being Lit: A Personal Essay on Mental Illness and Compassion

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