Life is a Game if You Choose it to Be


Restored Post from April 2, 2011—

Therapy can be tough. I have always seen psychiatrists for therapy and not psychologists, all these years. I never knew there was any difference. Just that psychiatrists prescribe medicine and psychologists generally do not. The psychologist I see definitely listens more and seems to help in a different way with conflict resolution kinds of issues. My psychiatrist is terrific, as well. And just like my caregivers—they all are good to see and talk with for different reasons. They all offer a balance of good ideas, approaches, and energies. I am happy with all whom I work with for my mental illness needs, whether they are medicine adjustments, working on particular issues I want help with, or just plain companionship, and help around the house and with my projects.

My psychologist and I talked a lot about being better communicators, and since I felt grounded in relaxation and reality, it was difficult to bring myself to the places where I am not grounded so as to resolve some of the issues that come up, especially with communication techniques, when I am more manic or even psychotic.

As for now, all those in my support team have come up with certain “code words” like calling a “truce” when something uncomfortable comes up while talking or writing—something that is potentially a misunderstanding or coming from a place of anger or frustration. Something that feels like if we kept talking about whatever it is at the time, that it’s approaching a dead end of sorts, or rather a circle of never-ending non-resolution. We call, “Truce,” and take ten minutes to step aside and then come back to re-enter the conversation with refreshed minds. Then try again.

This technique seems to be working out beautifully so far, and if it stops working for some reason, then we’ll come up with something else. As they say, “Life is a process…” I love that idea. It’s comforting to realize that. The process is going well. It’s working. It’s making my days, my “new” life.

I recommend taking on whatever anyone has going on with their lives that doesn’t feel right, to tackle it. Life, heaven and hell, can be a deadly war or a peaceful war. But it’s all a challenge, almost a game, but only if you choose to see it that way, and if you are able to choose to see it that way.

Interesting note: I actually caught myself in a manic episode last night. I realized it (became aware of it, and identified) all on my own, took my PRNs and watched a movie (stopped working although that’s all I wanted to do—was to work) and still managed to get to sleep on time: around 10:30. Woke up bright and early and terrific, and celebrated my morning. Was excited about it. Exalted in my day ahead.

My commitment to lowering caffeine intake has been successful for several days now. Lowered my intake by about 75% or so. I don’t find much difference in how it affects me and I’m not one to get headaches, so I’m not suffering too much from withdrawal symptoms. I’m still sticking to waters, caffeine-free Diet Cokes, smokes, and balanced foods, so as to reverse the diabetes, which seems to be nearly totally reversed. I will find out in a couple weeks I think. When I get my next blood work-up. The last year and a half, I have lost 85 pounds, and it feels fantastic.

The diabetes is most definitely something I could deal without.

So, yes, therapy can be work. Can be tough. But no tougher than doing something you enjoy. And its focus is to help you. Who wouldn’t want that?

Stay positive and real. The next Real Me audio blog might be postponed (was going to bang out another one this afternoon but we have other things going on here on the Compound which might need to take precedence.) Will let you know. Basically I try for about three episodes per week.

As for now, continue to “get your daily dose of Jonathan right here and now!” and if you are looking for a totally awesome book about psychosis, I am currently reading The Far Side of Madness. I feel like it is explaining the interactions in my mind precisely. I am fascinated with how the mind integrates such concepts as metaphors, symbols, and myths. I am intrigued with how the mind involves the subconscious mind, and the ego, id, and super ego. John Weir Perry writes about such theories and ideas in The Far Side of Madness. The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia also tops my list for books about Sz. A lot of the information in these two books has been helping me regain my life and improve my state of mind and the states of mind of those I love and those who love me.

Be well, and celebrate today!

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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