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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder
Michael David Crawford in front of Caltech's Robert Millikan Statue

Michael David Crawford in front of
the statue of Robert Millikan
at the California Institute of Technology.

Who I Am

It's taking me some time to get this page written.

First, I'd like to introduce you to a very special woman in my life. I was wed to Bonita on July 22, 2000 in Pippy Park, near the Fluvarium in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

I wrote the above paragraph in I think 2002; in 2008 Bonita and I split up. I remain sad that that was the path our marriage took, but really do feel it was for the best: she and I come from profoundly different cultures - me from Northern California and she from Newfoundland, a large island in the North Atlantic North-East of Nova Scotia.

I've been an amateur telescope maker since I was twelve years old. I had stopped grinding glass for quite a long time but recently picked it up again.

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from the University of California Santa Cruz where I was a member of Porter College. My first two years of college were spent studying Physics and Astronomy at Pasadena, California's Caltech - Ricketts Ex '86. I'm an Old Scurve.

Around the middle of Tech's 1984-85 Fall Quarter a friend of mine pointed out that my unhappiness was due to being a Caltech student. He suggested that I "take a year off to do some writing". I thought that was a great idea but I was well past the deadline for getting my fees refunded. I changed my major to Literature - and yes you really can be a Lit major at the Institute with the intention to take a Leave Of Absence starting in January, then to rent an apartment in Pasadena.

At the time I did not yet know that a deep depression I entered in January 1984 was the onset of Bipolar-Type Schizoaffective Disorder. To have it is much like having Manic Depression and Schizophrenia at the same time.

What happened after I changed my major to Lit is a long story that I've told elsewhere. I took a Leave Of Absence two weeks after I changed my major to Literature, left Pasadena towards the end of January 1985 then transferred to UCSC starting in the Spring Quarter.

I'm not yet in a position where I can make a living from my art and music. I've been working as a computer programmer for over twenty years. For eight of them I was the self-employed owner of a one-man software consulting corporation.

I suffer from a rare and poorly understood mental illness called schizoaffective disorder. Despite the pain it has caused me I have learned to live with it pretty well now. It is important to me that more people understand what mental illness really is both to reduce the stigma against it and to encourage those who also suffer to get treatment. You can learn more about it in my article Living with Schizoaffective Disorder.

A while back I participated in an online interview for a psychology class about creativity. Please read:

I was born in 1964 in Spokane, Washington, but lived most of my life in California. My father was in the U.S. Navy when I was young so we moved all over, even living for a year in Formia, Italy when I was six.

Bonita and I moved to Newfoundland the year of our wedding, and a few months afterwards we bought our first home in Owl's Head, Maine where we lived until the Fall of 2003 when we moved to Truro, Nova Scotia.

In August of 2006, I gave up my self-employment to take a Mac programming job in Vancouver, British Columbia while Bonita remained behind to continue studying fine art at NSCAD University. I started a weblog about my experiences called The Vancouver Diaries. I now live in California's Silicon Valley, but continue to blog at the now inappropriately-named Vancouver Diaries because I plan to return there someday.

I once did a lot of blogging at Kuro5hin right up until its entire data center was decomissioned and before that at Advogato.

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