Monthly Archives: August 2017

Meta Mumbles from the Past

Iba and I were both surprised to learn that it was during the Chicago’s World Fair of 1893 when the competition between Westinghouse and Edison flooded the place with white light – that 3 new foods where introduced:

Hamburgers

Ice Cream Sandwiches

and

Diet Soda

How American.

Side note:  One day after the fair opened the bank panic of 1893 started.

Source:  Spanish American War Documentary, PBS.  YouTube

Have a better than average day

Side Eye

We select what we see

with careful unexpected ill intention

shapes our expectation

so everything is as it should be

rather than what it could be

it is those haunted strange occurrences

that cause a backward step

hard heartless hesitation

it seems

in the final accounting

we hold others to a longer stick

then we do ourselves

###

There it is all about us

Thou we exist in the ever now

The past lies behind,

filled with those who once were,

some still here,

and those long forgotten.

Forever unknown

silhouetted in the dark

that still

shapes the floor under our feet

Still standing

unknown, unknowing

in a world long dead

Uncomfortable teeth from which we shuttered our fleet fear

Eyes cast fearful forward

uncertain

self inflicted powerlessness

blinded by our own hand

left unable to shape a world made of clay

softened  by the sun.

A thing a child’s hand may shape

Without concern of the following day

We are prisoners of our own doubts

Our certain facts

Our self restraint

Wagging tongues lacking tact

Causing one to prefer

the critics corner

rather than risk the stage.

 

 

Another Adjustment

The next big adjustment I want to try and discuss is getting use to the idea that I couldn’t trust my senses, principally seeing and hearing but to a much lesser degree sense of smell and touch.

When a Mental Health Professional states to some one like myself that what they are seeing or feeling is not real, they, the Professional, don’t seem to understand what a profound task they are asking us to undertake.  People don’t generally question their senses.  As the old statement goes, seeing is believing.  Many of the Schizophrenics I have been able to talk to on the subject have made it clear to me that eventually they learn to play a long.  Imagine for a moment that some one told you that your family was not real, that they were a hallucination and, just for the sake of argument, you love your family, they were a vital part of your life, how would you react?  I am beginning to think that this contributes to the problem of medication compliance.  The is something about the hallucinations and the world they help the sufferer to create that is seductive.  Chronic sufferers have a hard time reentering the mainstream simply because they lack a certain social understanding leaving them feeling awkward.  Suddenly they crave that world they knew so well.  The regular world is an alien land and they are way behind the curve.

The second issue with the problem of accepting that one cannot trust their own senses is that a hallucination is so much more than just an image or a sound.  There is a complex set of other physical sensations that go along with them.  I remember digging out my Abnormal Psych text book to look up physiological phenomena that accompany mental illness.  Top of the list was Hypertension, somewhere else on the list I found Diabetes but no where did I find a discussion of these other sensations.  If the sufferer perceives a thing that is terrifying then their heart rate increases, the respiration increases, muscles tense and a liberal dose of adrenaline is dumped into their blood stream.  For people who lack any real awareness of their body this may result in nothing other than a panic attack.  On the other hand if they perceive a thing that is loved and is believed to love back they’ll get a very different set of feelings almost opposite of the last description.  They may even be a scent involved or a very rare touch.  In both cases these reactions are either instinctive, emotional or both.

I had a strange advantage, again I must pay tribute at least in word to abnormal Psych which I took my sophomore year.  I was already in a state of doubting my senses, particularly eyes, ears and touch.  I don’t think this was good for me in the long run as my Major at the time was Physics and Chemistry.  I think it might have promoted the eventual breakdown.  On the other hand it might have given me the tools to deal with this very issue.  The whole thing sounds crazy.  I could tell when I was Hallucinating and when I wasn’t.  I remember describing it to Meta like this:

Imagine that you are looking at a movie screen.  There are two movies playing on that single screen at the same time.  One film is black and white and it is a comedy/mystery and the other film is science fiction and in color.  Both sound tracks are playing at the same time and at the same volume.  One film is reality and the other film is not.  In time, a human with enough concentration and patience will be able to tell one from the other, in parts.

The weird thing about this is even though I could tell and know that a thing I was experiencing was not real my body still reacted as though it was.  This has taken a toll on me.

Also when I am away from familiar surroundings I must spend extra energy reality testing, some thing that Meta often helps me with, but often I carry out a silent survey of the area.  This is an effort to catch anything unreal before it creeps into the world.  Visual experiences creep into the viewers world generally from the side of the eye or the corners of the room and sneak up on you, at least that has been my experience.  If I catch the experience early I can’t circumvent the worst of the physical reactions.  Plus I don’t always see the people I am interacting with true. This requires a certain level of concentration and at the same time a social awareness to void appearing “creepy.”  The whole exercise is quite exhausting.

I have been trying to discuss this with the various individuals I work with through the clinic but they don’t seem much interested.  I can assume that their are many different reasons for this most of which are not unkind nor untoward.  For some reason I feel that it needs to be out in the world so I write it here.  Maybe some one can get some use out of it or maybe I am just crazy.

Either way, have a better than average day.

8/25/2017

Looks like today is going to be one of those days.

Our mental doctor passed just a little while ago an we are currently waiting for a new one.  This in its self isn’t a problem.

The problem we are dealing with today is a medication screw up.  Our old Doctor, Doctor Lee, still trying to adapt to the computer made a mistake with Meta’s prescription.  I’m not faulting him, stuff happens.  The mistake was a simple one that slipped by us.  He shorted Meta 15 pills on her Amoxapine which means she is currently out.  The problem is getting enough medication to last her until the beginning of next month.  This kind of a process with meds close to out and taking fewer meds so that she does go completely off her nut is nerve wracking.  She is trying to sort this out right now.  Her Medication situation just got away from her.

We, she and I, understand that this is the way the system down here works.  She and I are coping, generally, with our conditions better than most in the system.  In other words we are wheels that don’t squeak.  In simple terms it takes time for the staff, stretched so very thin, to get all their ducks in a row.  I can feel my own nerves starting to jingle as I am some how ties to her.

I wanted to get something up today and this is the best I can do.  Just thought somebody might be curious.

It will all work out.

Have a better than average day.

Not Words

We ordered dinner

in Marrakesh

in sign language

The language barrier created simple comfort

In

The illusion of quiet commonality

unlike the world of words

sighs and groans welcome

for there is a great deal in a not word

careful calculations

audio approximations

seeking to understand

what is being said,  could of said, not said

there are always other

words, choices, questions

leaving only

torn tiny torrent of torment

in the final cold cut notion

of being alone

the gulf of not said

loaded not words

impassible

Comments Inspired by the Last Post

Art is about the process, they say.

I suppose that this is true.

When I mess around with visual art.  Old fashion Art which is mixed media on board or paper, generally, the idea of the process seems obvious, to me.  It is a struggle to get a image, a thing, from my mind’s eye onto paper.  It is a struggle between the mind which can be crisp and clear to the hand which, in my case, is far less certain.  What comes out at the end, whether I like it or not, is the result of this process or struggle.  Sometimes I surprise myself, not to say that I am particularly good at it, just to say that the end product is both pleasing to my mind’s eye and it comes with a sense of accomplishment.

Growing up and through into my late twenties I also had a love affair with the written word.  In this case reading it for leisure or escape.  I was always interested in the act of writing.  It was a thing that I was passionate about.  Well as passionate as I can be.  I was just never very good at it.  It seems that English wasn’t my strongest suit so when I wrote it was simply for the love of the act, the process.  I think that it is this love that keeps me working on a thing in which I fully realize I lack real talent.  In the case of writing, skill counts as well, but skill takes time.  It has been a serious education.

Here is the strange thing.

After I washed out of college and the work force I found that I had nothing but time.  I certainly didn’t want to spend my days sitting in front of a television set or later a computer monitor.  So I continued messing around with drawing, mixed media and writing.  From my experience, for what ever that is worth, schizophrenia, I think, is an ailment that in part effects that way one thinks.  We like terms like chemical imbalance or genetic defect and we avoid idea about states of consciousness and the power of world view.  World view in this case being about how thoughts are ordered, logic and the underlying assumptions that structure that logic.  I used to like and think that being schizophrenic was like having a waking dream.

It took time to get my head together well enough after breakdown to begin to tinker with words again.  I think it took several years before I started to put pen to paper with any regularity.  It was a challenge that I enjoyed and over time I could see my words and their use improve.  The better my writing became the clearer my thoughts grew.  I don’t want to undervalue medication in my case, but medication alone is not enough.  Meds aside, the decades that I have been working on writing whatever thoughts I may have on my mind, mostly fiction, have led to a certain state of clarity.  Not to say that I am as clear as a person free of Schizophrenia, simply that I am far clearer than when this whole hootenanny started.  I have reached a point where all of the people I knew personally with this diagnosis are now passed, the last being Meta’s sister.  That makes me the last person standing.  This leaves me with a weird feeling.

I can’t say that this path will work for anyone else.  My conclusions are drawn from purely anecdotal evidence.  Instead I forced to admit that I am lucky.  This is so because of my interests, studies, experiences and college course work before my breakdown and my relationship with Meta after Breakdown.  Change any one thing in that mix and I may not have survived to 30 much less 50 something.

It is times like these that leave me wide eyed with wonder at the staggering complexity of any individual life.  That every life has something nearly unique about its existence.  This is not a question of God or not God, but rather the wonder we each should struggle to maintain so that we may get the most out of each life.  It is a way for baffling the mundane, the bad days, the less than adequate work, short comings and failures we are all confronted by.

I hope you have a better than average day.