To Dance With Crazy


18 May 2012

The sequencing in this post might be a bit difficult to follow due to my exacerbated and disorganized thinking—executive order of thought due to my condition with schizophrenia. I present this writing as it is and with best intentions, as usual.

My goal: to attain an ounce, a moment of seemingly impossible peace of mind, through complete honesty, self-love, acceptance and self-forgiveness, and by any means necessary.

“We often stumble through life trying to force miracles, when there are miracles happening around us all the time.”

— Charles Holt

I began to ‘think that I’m thinking,’ while in the midst of schizophrenic upheaval, that my only option might be for now, and to remember upon the next day, and those that follow: to do my best, even better than my best, perhaps acting at first so that I shall become afterwards. While I see no way out at the moment, I trust I will get “out” and return, even if to only have another day like today again, but just not tomorrow.

Positivity, an “overload” of it, almost forcing it just as much as I force these words out—I mean I’m really going through it now, and part of what I do—rather try to do—is to really get in there when the times are tough thus to portray these states of mind, schizoaffective, mentally ill, anxious, disturbed mindscapes, and so to bring it all to the surface… Stemming from my need to write, to write as much as I can, to “force” it out— the letters, choosing to get out of this current state of mind to then impart what I can from the non-disturbed mind once I’m there and ultimately back to usual. The usual experiences with which I’m better acquainted.

As I sit here in complete solitude—100%. I still know that I am literally not alone.

Therefore, neither are you.

You are never alone. Never.

Always…never.

Details and specific introspection might not be accessible for me to write out, as I am currently way deep, since this morning, in a spell. A sensitive schizoaffective spell—an episode; one that I will one day, very soon poke fun at in order to cope, though it sure feels like no joke right now. Yet as I write this out, an inner laughter dawns on me—a sensitivity-based, “OMG!” kind of laughter—“Wow, this is one hand of cards I’m holding today and the worst poker face possible…”

But I’ve got to win this one.

Am I seen but not heard? Heard but not seen? I’m in complete privacy, here and now at home. Dealing with this hand of cards. My ‘Joker’ is Schizophrenia. Might have to bluff here. Well, I’m ready to throw it all in. All my chips. Taking the chance.

To Dance with Crazy

I’m going to win. I know it. This evening, I am going to take my chips and gracefully walk out of this well-fixed casino rigged in favor of the casino, not the player. I’m playing. But this this is like live TV, and I’m “on the air.” Live and real-deal. Playing the ‘Reality’ version. It’s the only way I can see it happening. And that, my friends is my ‘bluff’ face. However it comes out. I can’t bluff the truth. I just can’t. Not these days. No way at all.

“Can I see the complete absurdity yet pure “possession” that this illness has on me?”

-Silence

“Come to think of it, my mind is the problem. The disease.“

-Remain Silent

…Indeed, those are just thought patterns. Thoughts—that’s it. Not the Word of God we’re talking about.

But, wait; my mind plays tricks on me. I might not be able to trick Schizophrenia, but I can play with my mind. I’m creative and I have a wild imagination, to say the least. Let me give it a shot…. Let me try to laugh.

OK, I cannot.

Literally, on the fly, I’m smiling now. That’s a sure start. One player out of the game. Wow, I did it! But it didn’t feel genuine. (I am writing this, as I come out of this episode, as I would on The Real Me podcast. I‘m live. I’m in real-time.)

Huh, time: it’s coming upon 9:00 PM. I can see. A clock. Senses. I have senses. Random thoughts coming and going like bubbles in the air. I laugh (inside)—Bubbles! Now, as weird as this is, and as real as it is, I’m now smiling… Believing it’s real, and that the smile is on my face because I am happy. That’s it. OK, I’m getting there. Alone, it seems, but nonetheless… Another player at the table folds.

I need to return. To come out of this episode. The smile—it’s still on my face. Now I really believe in it.

I believe.

That’s a good thing!

Going to try for a “lonely giggle” now—to see if I can turn this smile and giggle, into an honest-to-God laugh—here in my office, the Hot Club, with nobody in sight, just doing this because I want it. I want to come back. Weird? Creepy?

Heck, it’s been a minute now, and this smile is still on my face. Holy cow, I’m remembering—from some guided meditation I did a few weeks ago, the narrator suggested turning a smile into a full-on laugh and just keep it going until the laughter becomes me.

This would be such a bizarre series of events for me to post publically, but to hell with it. I am self-helping and sharing it, to perhaps thousands of people whom I cannot and will likely never even see, for real, face to face. In this comfort zone, I have everything to gain. A moment of peace, if that alone—that will do. I feel like I’m watching a hilarious stand-up comedy show now—just right now. I am laughing out loud just because I want to. I need to. No matter how long I laugh.

I am laughter.

Next: the “stay in the moment” idea swirls, asking me, and I reply…

“Yes!”

Out loud—I’m saying:

“I say, ‘yes,’ to this present moment.”

Nothing to lose. Nothing.

I’m going for it. Going to say, to shout, I shout and laugh, ‘Yes,’ to this present moment and then just say whatever comes next. If I can, I’ll shout out anything, as long as it’s positive and for my own good.

A minute has now passed and I’ve been sitting here on my green couch, and I feel it—believing in all of it. I ranted, smiling and laughing—I said, I yelled, such things, “I am a person. I love who I am right now. I don’t care if I have schizophrenia. I am a good person. I care about my self. I feel great. Right now, I am terrific. Right now, I don’t care how weird this sounds. I’m doing my part in this, my way, and I want a mirror now. I feel happy. Now. Now. I am now. I am in the moment. I love this moment. I sitting here talking to myself, and now I want a mirror to actually follow some of the suggestions I read about in self-improvement books, being myself and being exceptionally weird, and I want to talk to myself—visually!”

I often narrate aloud my moment-by-moment experiences, to myself. But not like another personality. The same one, in fact, perhaps just slightly dissociating, which is actually quite common with affective disorders such as schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder. No matter. Now another 5 minutes have passed and I honest-to-God just talked to myself in the mirror, in the blue bathroom. I’ve got to say, it was hard and beyond “weird,” but I did it. I did it because I felt it was simply what to do and you know what? I’ll have another episode—I can play around with that likelihood. I mean, I have schizophrenia for crying out loud, but I just did what I did. And I admit I feel a bit better.

I call out, now back on the couch, “I am Jonathan and I feel terrific! I love my life. I love. I am!“ Et cetera.

About 20 minutes earlier before my most bizarre of all behaviors, looking into my eyes, in the mirror, 100% sure I was going to be sharing all of this on Porcelain Utopia for all to see. To see whatever ‘they’ [you] might, or might not see. No worries, no judgments. This is how I’m coping. And I am succeeding. Again. I’m proud. Certainly not a committable offense, is it?

Text message from my wife just came in: “Hey J, wanted to know how you were feeling, any better? I love you.”

I typed back, “Getting there, can you wait for the next post on Porcelain Utopia?” I hope to show it—in words. Words. Weird. Words. I am being myself. I’m kicking butt. This all started after I woke up from a disastrously disturbed nap—spells, and whispers of paranoia, disjointedness. Then I got to where I am now, as I’ve written so far, bringing me to: This is why I do it—

What I’m learning from this day-long episode of paranoia, depression (after a manic morning), voices, hallucinations, side effects, and onslaughts of disturbances and thus the last two blog posts I truly believe in, even if I can’t be better tomorrow than I am today, even if “God” was not the right metaphor, I trust what I posted, and this is why I run Porcelain Utopia, The Real Me podcast, and so on. I do it for myself, for my state of mind, my own meditations on the human condition, while mine—my condition—is exacerbated with schizophrenia, I then, with nothing to lose, do my best and that’s all I can do, to put it out there. My assumption is that many other people might have too much shame, or fear, or a job on the line, or… something holding them back. I understand completely if that’s the case.

It’s still May: Mental Health Month. This kind of thing is my calling—all that I do—is. It’s my purpose. Yes, my “calling.” This—on a personal note—this schizophrenia, with personality disorder—not otherwise specified, autistic features, Tourette’s, compulsivity, and trauma issues have plagued me for the better part of my life—this can become so difficult. So… so… so extremely difficult. Not only for me, but for those who care about me, and all others who suffer and their loved ones, too.

This time, I’m learning that I am more shame-based, at heart—for whatever reason, and that it takes an extremely gentle person to deal with me. I can behave in ways that might hurt others’ feelings, or cause them distress. This is all derived from my being, I believe, an extremely sensitive individual—I mean to the n-th degree.

Extremely sensitive to everything. Every little thing.

I learn through these horrible episodes and I let you all in on them when I’m able, because just knowing for myself that if even one person on the other side of the earth might read this and, I don’t know, but it’s worth a shot—if only one person, time and space making no difference—is comforted, if anybody might not feel as alone as they might have before, and who might not feel completely foreign to their own selves, and experiences, whether he or she is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, the President of a country, or a homeless person on the Internet in a shelter in a Third World country.

This LSD-effect-like episode I am literally enduring right now—I’m not venting, that’s not my attempt. I just want to—need to—share my experiences when others who might, just might, have the same kinds of experiences, and might not be able to or want to share them. This is still who I am, with schizophrenia or not, and no matter what. I come through, and I will, always. I will, and I trust that you will, too. If not? You are, at least not and never will be alone—even if we never know each other. I just feel it.

I just know.

Please excuse any formatting errors as I post this from my mobile device.

Jonathan Harnisch

 

About Jonathan Harnisch

Author | Mental Health Advocate | Schizophrenia | Artist | Blogger | Podcast Host | Patent Holder | Hedge Fund Manager | Film & TV Producer | Musician
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