One of the odd things about NerdCon is the focus on John and Hank Green, an interest I do not share at all, but there were people there who were only attending to see a Green. They write books that I haven’t read, and I’ve seen a few of their videos, but the cult following is baffling to an outsider like me. I didn’t attend any of the Green events while I was there.
But maybe I should have. John Green posted the text of a talk he gave this weekend, and it’s quite good. It was about his battles with mental illness, and the myths around such illnesses.
In the end, I feel that romanticizing mental illness is dangerous and destructive just as stigmatizing it is. So I want to say that, yes, I am mentally ill. I’m not embarrassed about it. And I have written my best work not when flirting with the brink, but when treating my chronic health problem with consistency and care.
Now if only we had a society that believed in consistency and care…