Why Not Seth, The Artist On The Steet?
I was in SF last week with my friend and business partner, Jeremy. It was a usual day, walking and passing dozens of homeless people on the street until I saw one with a sign that caught my eye. It said something like:
“Just got on meds for my mental illness. Please help.”
It wasn’t exactly that, but it was close. I walked another 15 steps, stopped Jeremy from walking, and told him with a tear forming from my eye that I can’t just pass him and not do something. It spoke to me, Jeremy understood, so we went over to him and asked him what he wants to eat. He said a hot dog with mustard. We left and returned 10 minutes later with three hot dogs…one for him and two for Jeremy and I. We wanted to eat with him.
When we gave him his hotdog, I dug a little and asked what he had. What he was on meds for. He told me he was on meds for bipolar disorder. He told me he’s had episodes that he can’t describe. That they feel psychotic. I asked him if he’s heard of the meds I’m on and he said yes. We were speaking the same language, me and Seth. That’s his name. He’s not just a homeless guy. His name is Seth.
Except, Seth didn’t have the support I had. When I had my first episode, I had my family do everything in their power to figure out what was wrong with me. When I was diagnosed with psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar with psychotic symptoms, and eventually KLS, I had a family that was always there. Especially my mom and my high school best friend, Samantha.
Seth didn’t have that. Seth had his first episode, and instead of getting help, he was perceived as crazy. He didn’t have a mom to fight for him. Instead, he had three divorces, none of whom knew what he had. Now he’s on the street, still not knowing what lives inside of his head.
Why me? Why couldn’t Seth have the support I had. Would I have ended up like Seth if I didn’t have this support? See, Seth had amazing drawings in front of him. He’s a gifted artist, and no one will ever know because he’s on the street with a mental illness he can’t figure out. Neither could his three exes. Still, he goes to the library every other day to practice, learn, and stay in touch with people via email. I got his email and I plan to help him sell his artwork online. He deserves to have a shot, just like I had.
Why me? Why couldn’t he have the support I had? I would be just like Seth. It makes my heart cry 😢.