Through The Schizophrenic Lens

Restored post from 2011:

*Just a post script days later: I hope we can all connect by Liking the “Porcelain Utopia Blog and Website” page, new on Facebook:


…And wow! Thanks so much to all readers–almost 200 shares–in first few hours! You all mean the world to me!! -J

Dear Doctor:

I know that I already have not just one, but many individuals who are 100% on my side. I have that. I know it, yet I still want it. It’s as if I feel like I don’t have what I know I have. This is the feeling I get, it’s almost metaphorical in that I either can’t see what I have or just, as they say, “Not happy with what I already have.” But I am happy with everything that I have. Yet I seem to still long for what I already have. This kind of idea is baffling. It’s baffling me, and might seem baffling, almost paradoxical to others. I wonder if others feel this way. The same for having people on my side—I have that. I’m thinking the effects of the schizophrenia are causing this distorted view—basically the view that the good that I have might not really be good. It is good. And everything is certainly ‘good enough,’ too. So what could this sort of schizophrenic mind trick be all about?

My wife, for example, she loves me unconditionally and is 100% on my side. I seem and feel like I know this but I still want it. Not more of it. I just want it, crave it—it’s like I still want what I already have. I’m not trying to belittle, attack or accuse anybody. I simply wonder how to cope with this kind of mind play when it occurs. Others, you, included, and my wife and support team do take how I perceive things—through my “lens”—both the good and the bad into foremost view and do respond to my needs—what I want and not simply what I might want out of petty desire. Yet I still want that. And the feeling causes me both angst and confusion—perhaps powerlessness, too.

So I ask, what is it that I’m missing or not getting here? The “Schizophrenic Lens” can be so distorting and literally not make sense—at all.

I deserve to be heard, for one thing. Not just seen. And I have that. Other people do see and hear me, and so many fully consider all my limitations as well as my strengths and give me the benefit of the doubt when they can. Some do not, but that’s just Life.

I don’t give up. I am not giving up. I’m invested in this, though lately, I’ve been in that mindset where I believe that, given the schizophrenia and the more negative impact it has had on my life and perceptions with reality—and there are many examples, I’m sure most are common, from grief, to loss, and the list goes on, but especially when things, especially in my own head, whether I realize it or not—that they’re more symptomatic and not real, I think to myself, “I just want to move to the English countryside and start my life over again, altogether,” you know? But I push through. If I would follow that impulse of moving away, literally and restart everything, that would turn out to be the most devastating thing I could do. I have all that I need and want right now. The distortion that the “lens” of schizophrenia causes, I can further illustrate, especially when under more than usual stress levels, and all of my senses become heightened, to frightening levels.

The other day, my room temperature was not heating higher than 70. The thermostat read 70—not 75, as I had set it—for 24 hours. What I saw was the digital number “70” on the thermostat. When my wife—and again, I’m not arguing, blaming of complaining—said (as I hear from others as well) that I “imagined” [that] (for example).

I need you to know that I saw 70 while my wife saw 75—on the same exact thermostat at the same exact time. I’m not “joking around” by mentioning this obvious delusion—which I fully acknowledge as such—it messes incredibly so with my already schizophrenic mind, or “lens.”

I know that I have Sz (schizophrenia) and I trusted my wife’s perspective more than my own, but just with that “little” day-to-day example, are you able to grasp the kind of impact that such a thing has on me? Then the spiraling down from there would consist of my questioning—in complete isolation—if all individual things in my life and experiences—my friends, even my own name—to question if such things are real or not, and knowing that I could never know the answers, except by hearing it—again, perhaps through the veil of delusion—from people I trust, then trusting if the answer or they are real or if they might have said, “Yes,” yet through my lens, I might hear, “No.”

Sent from my iPhone

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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