To The Victor Go The Spoils


From My Personal Notebooks: [May 1, 2012]

The Delusional Thinking Process

To The Victor Go The Spoils: In the old days of war, the winning army pretty much got to loot the countryside and take what they wanted—wealth, harvest, women, whatever. Those would be the spoils of victory. In a relatively civilized setting, we use it more symbolically or metaphorically. The winner (victor, the victorious one, the one who gets the victory) gets whatever benefits go with the actual winning of the title, prize, award, office, or event. They could be formal or informal–that is, they could be a designated part of the prize (a gold medal, a contract with an athletic equipment manufacturer) or just tag along with it (celebrity status, free gifts, media attention, boost in their love life).

Dear Readers,

Not to focus on the illness of schizophrenia when I don’t need to, but noting some things I learned as I came out of my latest episode of delusion and minor psychosis, with paranoia being the overarching element.

Early this morning, refreshed, and now out of any episodic states related to my illnesses. I’m now able to access what it was like, when yesterday I had blended back into this more normal life experience—in order to demystify what happened in my mind and why, and thus how to cope even better next time, and also so I can try to figure this whole darn craziness out. I’m always looking for answers, solutions, and understanding, the more I grow, and grow more comfortable with this illness, primarily schizophrenia.

While the paranoid and delusional beliefs, along with my awareness of them, are also present, I had done some thinking.

About delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia, then I’m going to start my day, meditate, have fun, and attend my psychologist’s appointment in a couple hours, maybe edit a bit of one of my upcoming novels, but stay off the computer for the most part, I hope, I hope!

Seems that hallucinations, delusions, and, in short, a psychotic feature I might label more simply:

  • Black/White
  • Good/Bad
  • Good/Evil
  • Devil/Jesus
  • Antichrist/Christ

I think that I have had several categories and that one scenario will stand out yet many will actually overlap.

Whether it’s:

  • Religious
  • Grandiose/Celebrities
  • Aliens/Conspiracy/End of the World—Doom

Some of my notes during my episode, and more as I was coming out of it through my coping tools, of which these days I have many. I’m discovering that my delusions are for the most part rooted in some grain of truth. This while in a way, my entire worldview, if mapped out—the processes and the storyline, I believe likely has a lot more so-called (in writing) of a back-story, and subtext, metaphors, and symbols. As a writer who knows about the craft, I think my knowledge helps me understand some of this schizophrenia material, because I’m finding, being perhaps slightly biased, a correlation between writing theory and practice, starting with the idea I am so fascinated with: story—in general.

Some kind of historical context (Jung’s theories play a large part)—

It’s “to the victor go the spoils.” The spoils of victory are the extra bonuses, perks, and treasure you get for winning.

In the old days of war, the winning army pretty much got to loot the countryside and take what they wanted—wealth, harvest, women, whatever. Those would be the spoils of victory. In a relatively civilized setting, we use it more symbolically or metaphorically. The winner (victor, the victorious one, the one who gets the victory) gets whatever benefits go with the actual winning of the title, prize, award, office, or event. They could be formal or informal–that is, they could be a designated part of the prize (a gold medal, a contract with an athletic equipment manufacturer) or just tag along with it (celebrity status, free gifts, media attention, boost in their love life).

Killers will kill for money and power.

Think of this: The other way around as our schizophrenic realities will often distort: “to the spoils go the victor.”

Thus let’s amp that up to a more grandiose context perhaps: War and global catastrophe.

People are out to get me (paranoia) for money, power and status. And I often believe that this is true.

Then the storyline, and maybe it’s because I am a writer, though I often will bring the story element out of my writing, warping time, and place, settings, characters, as in my film On the Bus, or some of my novels available online, and some still to be published traditionally.

Story, story, story. Schizophrenic Storyline, Delusional Thinking Process… Healing Process. Processes. I believe that is the root of it all. That the storylines for me—and I would think for most suffering with schizophrenic or psychotic disorders, or thought disorders—the storylines are personal, synchronistic and overlapping, symbols, mythology, and connections, even coincidences take on a very deep and again, personal meaning, a very deep and personal context.

Digging a bit deeper into the vulnerabilities of psychosis, again, now that I am not currently experiencing one, though my heightened, or metacognition often lets me know if and when I might be, but not always.

Symbolic stories. A tattoo of a cross that someone has might make me think that he (or she) is God—then I might confess my sins to a complete stranger, but if aware enough, these days I can usually keep that to myself, and believe wholeheartedly that yes, indeed, this person with the tattoo is God, no doubt, but I’ll just keep that secret to myself. This goes for any delusion, yet this will then leave me, and us, susceptible to actual theft or simply vulnerability since if and when something of ours, or mine, is taken, stolen, I am somehow really and truly wronged, no matter on to what extent, I often feel trapped with my secret of knowing this, “but have to pass it off as, “OK, this isn’t real…if that man is likely not God—the man with the cross tattoo, then no, my pack of cigarettes was not stolen.

Kind of frightening because if I saw my house burning down, I think I would likely see and believe it was real, and this particular symptom is a common one for me, but if it really was burning down, I would think I would likely not do a thing about it, especially while in fear and stress from the event that I am experiencing, real or not. The police would come and I’d be locked up for being schizophrenic, for making a fake 911 call, I’d be scared with overlapping reasons to be scared.

May we all remain centered.

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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