The book is a diary he kept during a schizophrenic episode during 1998 (which was before I met him, so no, I’m not the girl in the book). It chronicles the episode through to its eventual abatement. He was about to begin his Honours year in philosophy at Melbourne Uni at the time, so the writing is informed by the philosophers he was studying and the books he was reading.
In a way, the book is kind of a found object – it’s not a novel or an autobiography and as such it hasn’t been sanded down to make it into a ‘story’. It’s more a window into the mind of someone with schizophrenia as they go through an episode and come out the other side in one piece.
I didn’t know Paul had schizophrenia when I met him (it’s not one of your standard pickup lines, really). We’ve been together for over ten years now, and there have been some times during those ten years that have been very difficult. To be honest, I don’t really want to think about them. We have got so much better at managing his schizophrenia together over the years, and I don’t like to think about how I could have been so much more useful in year one if I had year ten’s experience to draw on. It sounds a bit lame, but I want to think about 'now', and 'next'. And I wouldn’t give up a single moment of those difficult times if it meant I had to be without Paul today.
So come to the launch, buy yourself a copy of the book, and help us celebrate where we are now and where we’re going – Paul has passed his PhD in Philosophy, regularly has poems published, works hard, looks after our son Luka, puts up with my jokes, and makes me a very, very happy woman.
Diary of a Schizophrenic
Friday 3rd September 2010, 11:30am-12:30pm