Hi, there. Thanks for visiting. I'm starting this blog as an advocate for mental and physical health. I'm a freelance writer and also own a home based medical transcription business. I was diagnosed in 1978 with paranoid schizophrenia and started to become acutely ill three years prior to that, unmedicated, frightened, confused, and in trouble with the law. I graduated from university with distinction the year I became ill. I've never regretted learning how to think at university. I struggled with my illness for 35 years and have reached the top of the mountain now, I think, or the other side, where the grass is greener and the path easier. There's hope for all of us, the whole human race, and never think there isn't hope or joy no matter your circumstances. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with mental illness in all its forms: depression, brain injury, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety disorders, etc. and your positive experiences as well as those lies and half truths society and even therapists would have us believe about ourselves.

We are different folks, and we are beautiful. The whole human race is beautiful. Let's celebrate life.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Am I more creative with Schizophrenia?

Back of black tee from Schizophrenia Society of Alberta

Tee shirt from the Schizophrenia Society
I wonder if schizophrenia enhances my ability to write creatively? I thought creatively before the diagnosis in 1978, but my experiences as a result of mental illness took the stuffiness out of writing and honed the more bizarre thoughts and emotions.

As a consequence, I'm now writing Sci Fi, fantasy and horror with sometimes equally bizarre characters. It's a lot of fun and I enjoy it.

My experiences as a result of the illness also gave me a lot more to write about first hand that many people never even dream about. I know what the Devil looks like and acts like due to my hallucinations and delusions. Of course, I don't really know. It's pretty real to me, though.

I also think I'm a special agent of God. I think I've been playing in a sandbox for 40 years and everyone else is taking care of me, sometimes sticking me with pins to see if I'll jump, sometimes whacking me across the head with a 2'x4' to get my attention, but most of the time seeing to it that I'm well looked after, I don't want for anything, and my friends and family are sometimes proud of the kid in the sandbox.

Now I'm out of the sandbox. We're all sons and daughters of God, my fundamentalist friends notwithstanding (e.g. one of them told me I'm not a Christian because I believe Buddhists will go to heaven, lol, her interpretation of her scriptures is a bit suspect and lacking in the milk of human kindness, methinks).

Two things I write about:

  • Creativity (music, art, literature, independent thinking, science)
  • The world is a global village  
With a tip of the hat to Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian educator/philosopher who proposed such a thing as "the medium is the message" and "global village" in the wild and woolly and unforgetable 1960s, which I lived through as a young woman, a young bride, and a young mother. No hippy me back then, perhaps now?

I remember the drug induced books like Travels with Don Juan. I don't need drugs, have never needed drugs, although I medicated myself with alcohol for many years from 1978 - 1993.

I have my own altered reality, thanks to this wonderful mad mad thinking which brought me to my knees on many occasions, made my teachers, friends and family despair of me, and finally gave me a gift of compassion, tolerance, and understanding as well as a lucid and creative mind.

Thanks, Schizophrenia. I couldn't have done it without you.

Remember that, Professor who thought I was half cracked up. I was wholly and completely cracked up. Hands off, watch me fly!