During this early period, I toyed with the idea of joining the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The website proclaimed: “Join NAMI today! When you become a member of NAMI, you become part of America’s largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness.” I just couldn’t join. Maybe it’s that I’m not a joiner by nature, but the message I got from NAMI’s website is that mental illness is a lifelong commitment with no escape hatch: “Individuals with schizophrenia face enormous challenges, including society’s stigmatization of people living with schizophrenia, and the discrimination that results from these prejudices.” Why, for heaven’s sake, instead of celebrating people whom they seem to regard as chronically disabled, don’t they say that they are dedicated to helping people with serious mental illness get over it and get on with their lives? Why not, indeed?