My name is Joseph A. Peragine, and I am a paranoid schizophrenic. On October 22, 2000, I tried to kill myself in a severely hallucinogenic state due to undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia. I was suffering from this illness for many years leading up to that day. Every October since I started my recovery in 2000, I reflect on my life and am extremely thankful that I was fortunate enough to have been given a second chance. Every October, I especially make it a priority to tell my family and loved ones how much I love them. Every October, I take the time aside to appreciate the smallest of things, such as breathing, eating a home-cooked meal, being able to brush my teeth without a security guard supervising me, being able to carry a two-minute conversation (that was a huge goal of mine at one time), being able to pick up the phone, or drive somewhere to connect with the people I care about.
These are the tiny things that all of us take for granted, as we get lost in the rat race of life. Every October, I especially appreciate these little things. And most importantly, every October, I promise myself that I will make a difference in the world through my living example of beating the odds and conquering this severe mental illness. I was not given this time to neglect my life again. Every second counts! So I make it a point to make it count!
I have dedicated my life to educating and creating awareness of paranoid schizophrenia by letting people inside my mind and into my world through my journal of my entire story from ages six to 31. By creating my autobiography titled Time to Face This World: The Schizophrenic Diaries of Joseph A. Peragine, I sincerely wish to humanize this severe mental illness. I would like to live through the positive example that there is always hope for recovery.
Time to Face This World: The Schizophrenic Diaries of Joseph A. Peragine is my story.