I am also indebted to a stranger who reached out to me with compassion and concern during the peak of my "psychosis". A little kindness in the right place goes far. That individual is also aware of the impact they had on my life.
I am further indebted to the internet itself and the wealth of material it delivered right to my doorstep from some of the most innovative and brilliant minds in psychology and psychiatry: Carl Jung, John Weir Perry, Marion Woodman, David Lukoff, Loren Mosher, R.D. Laing, Maureen Roberts, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Anne Baring, Rufus May, Daniel Fisher, and numerous others.
I am especially indebted to other ordinary human beings like me who have an intimate understanding of the experience that is known as psychosis/schizophrenia in this culture. They have been some of my greatest teachers...
Isaiah's friends didn't know what to make of his god trip so they dropped him at the doorstep of the local psych ward. According to Isaiah, he then underwent more than 200 electroshock treatments and more than 200 hours of insulin coma therapy for the crime of believing he was god.
I always respected Isaiah for he was one tough cookie, but I also gave him a wide berth because he was rumored to have killed his psychiatrist. For all I know, Isaiah himself started that rumor. I can see where it would have had a certain degree of usefulness for him. It helped ensure that others -- like me -- kept their distance. After all, Isaiah didn't mind his time spent dancing with the gods; it was the human beings he didn't trust.
Isaiah has never recovered from the trauma of his treatments. In spite of wherever he's been, he's managed to secure a small parcel of land for himself in a beautiful setting, a wife, and children. For what it's worth, Isaiah also happens to still believe that he is Jesus Christ and I, for one, am not willing to argue the matter with him.
It took Hazel eighteen years to move through her schizophrenic process. She identifies an empathic therapist as being instrumental in her recovery.
Patricia is not only recovering; she is assisting in the recovery of others.
Michael jumped off a bridge two days before Christmas. He was the teacher who taught me why it's important to share my experience with others -- so they feel less alone in theirs. Michael was 31 years old. I will never forget the anguish of his father.
Benjamin had died due to a rare complication of anti-psychotic medication known as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. The cause of death on his autopsy report was listed as, "Natural".
Benjamin's mother didn't quite know how to wrap her mind around such a word. How could the death of her beautiful son be natural? How could he die as a result of the treatment that was supposed to help him? How could those within the medical community dismiss his death so callously as being "natural"?
Benjamin was 25. His mother is currently recovering.
Marek is recovering.
xxxxxxxxx has had great difficulty coping with what I call the encounter with the abyss -- a point of annihilation that can be part of the "schizophrenic" process, wherein one experiences oneself as nothing at all. He also has anger at having been cast into this experience that may well mean that no one will ever look at him the same way again. This part of him, angry and alone as it may be, gives me hope. Somewhere, xxxxxxxxx knows he's much more than a label -- he is a human being, having a very human experience.
Our encounters were brief, few, and in between. Still, there was an intelligent mind and a sensitive heart behind that chosen cyber name. I think of him often and hope he finds his own recovery -- in his own way and his own time.
Some of you may have noticed that there is an absence of "feminine voices" represented in the sample above. I've wondered about this myself and have considered that among the females I'm aware of who have had "psychotic" experiences, they are frequently given the label of "bi-polar". This matter remains a curiosity to me.
Music of the Hour: Vincent
Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Recovery, The Recovery Based Model, Hope for Schizophrenia Sufferers, Psyche Bloggers Carnival