On Episode 129 of You, Me, Empathy, New York Times bestselling author Esmé Weijun Wang and I explore the exercise in empathy that is this Coronavirus pandemic, how constraints can be a useful force in our creativity, managing feelings of despair, 90s online communities, how beautifully resilient humans are, hallucinations as kidnapping the senses, and Esme’s stunning part-memoir and part-deep dive into schizophrenia, The Collected Schizophrenias.
This episode was recorded just as the Coronavirus pandemic really took off, and so Esmé and I talk about the collective anxiety of it, herd immunity, the 24-hour news cycle, how this time is impacting people with chronic illness and mental illness, and how this time illuminates the fact that we, as feely humans, are not meant to be individualistic; we’re meant to be connected and together.
We also gab about constraints and creativity, Daphne the dog (!), managing chronic pain by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable parts (“I can get through the next 5 seconds”), healing as a spiral staircase, 90s online communities like Prodigy and Live Journal, mental health stigma in Taiwanese culture, Cotard’s Delusion, the sensory overload of hallucinations, our medical understanding of schizophrenia, and Esmé’s award-winning book (which I think you’ll absolutely love!), The Collected Schizophrenias.
Thanks to Esmé for sharing her story!
- Esmé Weijun Wang
- Esmé on IG: @esmewwang
- Esmé on Twitter: @esmewang
- The Collected Schizophrenias
- The Border of Paradise
- Care Calendar
- Mental Health Association of San Francisco
- The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn Saks
- Day By Day Facebook group
- Sign up for The Feely Human Collective newsletter!
- Subscribe, rate, review You, Me, Empathy on Apple
- Subscribe, rate, review You, Me, Empathy on Google
- Get yourself a You, Me, Empathy shirt, tote, notebook, and mug!