Tic “Tok”—The Friendly Sidekick


Restored Post from March 20, 2011

Once again, I call out my huge special hello to all who are reading, and keeping up with me. It means the world to me that you are there for me. I say that, because I do, in fact, use this blog, and my art in general, as a means of therapy, and you are all a much-appreciated part of that.

There is lots going on (as usual), and I do have quite a palate of media projects I’m juggling. Just recently, I recorded the second “episode” of The Real Me, which can be found on my main site, or via Reverb Nation. It sure is fun and rewarding. And thank you for all the interest right from the very start in the audio blog. Going to mix and post before the day is over, so be sure to look out for it. Today’s audio post includes my candid response to a listener’s question—a question I was touched to receive and one that I thought had a lot of importance. When it comes to society vs. the self when dealing with the understanding (or not) of mental illness and the available and reliability of treatments (or lack of) whether it is for Schizophrenia or Tourette’s or any mental illness for that matter. I think even mentally healthy people might find that we “consumers” (those with mental illness) deal with the ins and outs of the same basic waves and rolls of life—just perhaps to a different degree. I encourage my readers and followers to send me comments, questions, concerns, and the like.

Basically, we are all in the same boat. And the boat carries us through different storms and summers. It’s what we do with all our “issues” that set us apart and make us human—all of us. I think it’s accurate to think of those with mental illness and those without, to be different only by means of degree. Sensitivity, emotions, thoughts and reactions, or responses to conditions and circumstances are really just different as a question of “degree.” Too many people and lights at Costco—one might be slightly irked by this kind of environment, while others like me will often go into “I need safety, now!” and run the hell out of dodge ASAP.

I can’t afford the luxury of negativity… Negative thinking. Negative behavior. Negative feelings. They can be seductive. Like when going through a spell, I am getting better and better at getting the hell back to a sense of calm and peace the moment I’m aware that I without-a-doubt need to. Without choice, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, as they say, and within minutes, I realized that I had a choice: Stay here in “I’m groggy and sleep-deprived—Leave me the hell alone…” or “Let me find the peace inherent within me (I noticed one of my kittens, and couldn’t resist… the peace… He was adorable, snuggled up at the end of the bed… How could I not want that!)?

The “timer experiment” is going so well. I am addicted to it. I’ve been adjusting some of the details of the experiment, and so to suit me best. Been taking my breaks. Been working. Been letting go. This afternoon, I printed out a label for my old-fashioned wind-up timer, it reads in delicately bold print: “’TOK’ THE SIDEKICK.” One of my many playful nicknames is “Tic” so I couldn’t resist having a “Tok” sidekick. I carry Tok everywhere, and I love him.

Well, my next break is coming up shortly. What a relief that my breaks aren’t breaks from reality at this point, after so much treatment and help… tablets and onslaughts of trial-and-error. Getting it right. Getting my life, and every aspect of it, better, and more consistently better. A down day is bound to come. I’m still increasing the list of tools needed for Life’s ups and downs. I’m no expert. But no one else can really get inside here (in my head) so I am my own true expert, as I mentioned in a past blog.

One last epiphany if you’ll permit: How awesome that this moment counts and is real. That it works. Just right now. That’s all. And to for the first time in my life, I am catching a glimpse, at least for now, that “Letting Go” doesn’t mean leaving it to burn away. Letting Go is starting to mean to me that you are actually seizing what’s being let go. Letting go is beginning to feel like I’m actually doing something.

Something good and worthwhile.

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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