I'm rerunning these Prozac Palace posts with the hope that anyone who needs to read this sort of thing will find it.
The material will also form part of my memoir. Offering it out is difficult, but necessary. Responses are probably also difficult, and not required, but they are appreciated.
From June 2007:
Can good things come out of mental illness?
Certainly they can. It varies from person to person of course, and it depends on what you do with what life hands you.
For me, my sister’s illness led to reading. I bought my first science fiction paperback at one of her sessions and was later introduced to Mad Magazine.
If memory serves my sister’s first visits to a psychiatrists began in the spring of 1968. I went along and waited in building lobby with an aunt. I can’t recall if there was drugstore or what, but there was a rack with paperbacks. I went over to it a few times. Eventually I decided on E. E. “Doc” Smith’s Masters of the Vortex. I never did finish reading it. It was the final installment of a series that I’d never heard of and wasn’t invested in. That doesn’t matter. I loved science fiction from that moment forward.
It seems to me that Dawn saw this psychiatrist for about a year. Her problems were eventually written off as growing pains (or so I was told) and she didn’t get any further help for several years.
Back to the good point. One fine day in the winter following the sessions my mom came home with Mad Magazine. Both parents had read it and both were smiling. They thought it was hilarious. It was and I was hooked.
From that day until sometime in my 20s I faithfully bought every issue. Its satire has stuck with me. Every so often I’ll recall a movie song or TV show title they skewered and smile.
Yes, it reminds me of life with Dawn. But it’s a good memory. Without her insanity I wouldn’t have been exposed to Mad.
Notes on the republishing of this post.
It didn’t literally lead to reading. I was already an avid reader. It affirmed my love of the written word and books gave me somewhere to go.
My use of “One fine day” and the post title “One The Lighter Side” are made with a very deep, reverential bow to Mad Magazine.