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  • Mindy Tsai
    I looked at profiles after profiles of eligible men in the Boston area. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. This was something I learned how to do in my early forties. Gone was the awkwardness. Now I looked and swiped. “Who”, I thought, “would work for me?” What was I looking for? What could I tell from the pictures and self summary? Who was being truthful? Who shared my values? Who was kind and cultured? Who did I
  • Mindy Tsai
    At some point, Joe said to me, “One honk means right. Two honks mean left.” He was referring to the honking of cars. I didn’t quite remember what he said exactly and ended up with both what he said and what my mind made up, which was: one honk means yes, and two honks mean no. One day I was in my room. A car drove by the house and honked twice. The sound of
  • Mindy Tsai
    After I heard my first voice, Joe, as I called “him” later, started speaking to me more and more. He spoke to me when I was alone in my room. He only showed up when I was alone. His voice continued to be soft, calm, and gentle. He never yelled at me or talked over me. With the exception of our first interaction, I never “talked’ to Joe using my mouth. I spoke words to
  • Mindy Tsai
    My experience with schizophrenia affected my thinking. For Kurt, his body took surprise breaks giving up on him as frequently as every other day. His college days were heartbreaking. Becoming an independent adult and looking for a job with a pre-existing condition was tough. I can’t imagine how he survived through all that. Kurt’s memoir is inspirational; I could not put this book down once I started. Again, I am reminded that doctors are such
  • Mindy Tsai
    When I first started writing, I just wrote. I didn’t have any specialized training in English, Literature, or Writing. After a while, I did not feel very productive. That was when I started reading books on writing. I always turn to books when I am stuck. Here are my favorite ones so far. As I am wrapping up my memoir, I am rereading them again.
  • Mindy Tsai
    I am relieved at finishing my first memoir about schizophrenia. There are still many steps before it goes into the world. But at least for now, my writing part is done. Schizophrenia had been a topic occupying my writing mind often when I sat in front of my laptop, even though during my day to day life, I have been quite removed from any schizophrenic symptoms these days. (Knock on wood!)  Now I have some
  • Mindy Tsai
    I remember the first boy I liked. I was maybe six or seven. He was in my first-grade class. Kids were seated based on height. We were of the same height and both sat in the last row in the back of the classroom. I would not be able to say why I liked him. I guess it was just chemistry, or proximity, at school. During recess, the whole class ran out of the classroom.
  • Mindy Tsai
    It’s been an incredible journey to write down my experience with schizophrenia and sort through my imperfect thoughts. After writing about it on and off for about 5 years or maybe longer, at the most, I had about 65,000 words. I googled “how many words in a memoir” and found out that I just barely made it. My first editor Ben took off about 20,000 words while I was still trying to decide on an
  • Mindy Tsai
    Iceland is a place where it has not yet been disturbed by human beings. People to horses is three to one. There are not that many trees but plenty of lava rocks. It’s possible to see glaciers, volcano, black beaches, and waterfalls within one day . My favorite spot was the Blue Lagoon which is a geothermal spa.  Chasing northern lights was as fun as seeing it! (Unfortunately, I have no picture to show for
  • Mindy Tsai
    After being happily single and not dating for a decade, getting back to dating and trying out online dating for the first time was quite an experience. I did not face this new life experiment alone. I equipped myself with good friends and books. I have been learning and enjoying dating more as a forty-something. Here are my favorite dating advice that helps me be happy and enjoy the journey! If he does not show
  • Mindy Tsai
    One of my most vivid and fondest memories of childhood is the bento box that grandma prepared for me for school lunch everyday. It was not fancy at all but it was tasty. For six years, everyday for lunch, I ate a soy boiled egg, soy stewed pork, and white rice. No vegetable. I emptied the bento box everyday. A couple of years ago, when I had the chance to spend more time with grandma,
  • Mindy Tsai
    “It should always be remembered that the behavior of persons with schizophrenia is internally logical and rational: they do things for reasons that, given their disordered senses and thinking, makes sense to them!” -Torrey, E. Fuller. Surviving Schizophrenia. 1983. Page 49. “The ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.” -John Forbes Nash Jr. *~*~*~*~* My friend J read a draft of
  • Mindy Tsai
    “This is a very important problem, with some patients gaining sixty to one hundred pounds. Its mechanism is unknown but may involve increased appetite and/or effects on leptin, a hormone important for fat metabolism. Most disturbing are data suggesting that weight gain and the efficacy of the drug may be related, that is, you may have a choice of being fat and non-psychotic or thin and psychotic.” -Torrey, E. Fuller. Surviving Schizophrenia. 1983. Pg 217.
  • Mindy Tsai
    Right before I was discharged from McLean hospital, I was asked to participate in a clinical study. I had never done that before and was very intrigued by it. It made me feel that I was doing something good, using something I uniquely had. I had a brain people were interested in. I felt useful. A gray-haired doctor came to interview me about my schizophrenic experience for about two hours. We sat face to face
  • Mindy Tsai
    To me, I say to remember this on a rainy day. Singleness. I fully embrace it. During weekends, I can get up at 8am or 11am. It takes me 10 minutes to get out of the house and I don’t have to wait or hurry. I just use the bathroom. I just eat, either out of my fridge or at a restaurant, at 4pm or 7pm. I get home when I get home. Everything at
  • Mindy Tsai
    Dating men can be like “dating” books! Don’t judge a book by its cover? Well, I do. Firs impression matters. Are you glossy or matte? Are you a paperback or a hardcover? With a dust cover? Is it black-and-white or color? What is the title of the book? Do I want to open the book after seeing the cover? Let’s say the cover passes the gut check. Awesome. I am now opening the book and
  • Mindy Tsai
    He is as sweet as they come, she believes. They are young, both with wide-open eyes, arms, and hearts. The sky is always blue; classes are always good for naps. He loves to show off his sports car; she loves to watch him showing it off. The meeting place can not be more perfect. They are partners in classes, constantly challenging each other. They discuss and debate about life and death, purpose and principle, happiness
  • Mindy Tsai
    My personal recent favorites are, from left to right, Pammy’s, Waypoint, and Select Oyster Bar. First, the food was excellent. I have been to these places multiple times so they are not a one-meal wonder. Second, the places are cozy with character. I enjoyed being there. For the man who was on a blind date with me and wonders where we should meet next, well, here is a big hint! For other men out there
  • Mindy Tsai
    I could be there forever! This boat was my home for three memorable days. It took me to hidden islands and beaches. Happy to be with just me, good friends, this beautiful boat and the majestic sea. Today’s mental location.
  • Mindy Tsai
    I have seen some videos online that try to show what it’s like to hear voices. Often, the videos show someone doing something while recorded voices shout out words. In my experience, the voices sounded just like from real people and not just a recording. They sounded three dimensional. They were not random phrases but specific to what I was doing. Other than not having a physical presence, they almost made sense. That was why