Notes from the Asylum

19 Feb 2005 /
Abandoned psychiatric ward at Ellis Island

Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest.

— Alexander Pope, Essay on Man. Epistle i. Line 95

Thus we never live, but we hope to live; and always disposing ourselves to be happy.

— Blaise Pascal, Thoughts, chap. v. 2

My wife is schizophrenic. She’s mostly functional, but she’s crazy.

I always feel like someday things are going to get better, even though they never do.

Does that make me an optimist?


2 Comments on Notes from the Asylum »

  1. Rachel

    28 Nov 2008 @ 9:43 pm


    It’s hard dealing with loved ones that suffer from mental illnesses. But she needs you. You are an optimist. And I am sure you are a strong person as well. I hope things get better for the both of you.

  2. Nancy Simpson

    17 Jul 2009 @ 11:22 pm


    Yes, you are an optimist. The statistics are not promising, but statistics are not fate. Some mental illnesses do get better with time due to hormone stabilization, etc.

    You are clearly a blessing for her, as is your son. Hopefully, there are enough of those times that help you see what blessing she may have brought to you. Over the years I have worked with many seriously mentally ill people, and on the whole, they have brought me more blessings than I brought them. Many have an intuition, clarity, honesty and purity about them in excess of what we see in so called “normal” people. These traits are a rare gift.

    Best of luck to you and continue to do what you know to be the right thing.

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