Too many similarities

There’s too many parallels

Too many that mix and match

Are you playing a game?

Or is it the same-self invention?

Making something from nothing

Or nothing in common

There’s no way to tell

And I’ve no choice

But to lie in wait

And listen

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National Psychosis Summit and Mexico

Today I went to the National Psychosis Summit organised by Rethink. It was amazing, but I’m knackered and stressed out about traveling tomorrow, so I’m going to update on that when I’ve got a chance but it may be a while away. Wish me happy holidays, with any luck my psychosis will subside as I lie on a sandy white beach and I will return in a fortnight a new woman.

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Let me sleep

I really hope I sleep. I’ve taken a couple of diazepam, hoping this will calm me enough to quieten my voices and let me drift off into a peaceful and long sleep.

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Thinking like a virgin

Let me tell you something. I might have had a rough patch as a teen that devolved into a nightmarish young adulthood, but I’ll confess, I had a good long childhood.

What I mean by this, is I never felt pressured to have sex. Or if I was I had no problem saying ‘no’. I’m not sure I even had my first kiss until I was about 14, and when I lost my virginity (past the legal age of consent I might add, and I didn’t do anything else before that…) I was completely ready to do so.

Fast forward to my terrible downward spiral and I felt out of control. I felt enormous pressure to have sex – it’s ‘normal’ as a young adult and drugs, grief and mania made me a little promiscuous. I’d forgotten my values, to some extent and I’d forgotten myself.

I’m not saying my way is the right way for everyone, but it’s the right way for me.

Yes, it’s a natural urge, and I’m not being puritanical about it but there is more to sex than just the sum of its physical parts – or at least I believe there should be. I’m not even sure I believe in souls, but it is a union between two people, and there should be a deep connection there, at least for me, I prefer it. It’s more than just being naked, it’s about being vulnerable with someone that you trust.

Incredible sex is incredible, but incredible sex with someone you care about and who cares about you is earth-shaking.

So I’m regressing.

I’m treating my body like a temple; there’s no reason to go unless you’re there to worship.

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Suspicion

I try and watch my suspicions. If anything, because suspicion can escalate to paranoia, I have a tendency to ignore my instincts.

But something doesn’t add up. Or adds up to too much. Is there too much coincidence there, or is someone trying to communicate with me and be clandestine about it? Perhaps it’s nothing, perhaps it’s an analogy for a greater truth.

Either way I’m keeping my eyes open.

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Right

So, clearly I need to stop stressing about my sleeping pattern. That is only going to make it worse.

I’m not sure what time I got to sleep, but I did, and I’ve woken up before midday so that’s a good thing.

I need, perhaps, to occupy myself better at night. I’m able to concentrate on reading so rather than panicking and getting upset, that is what I’m going to do.

Also, I’m thrilled today because yoga is really doing it’s job. My waistline has dropped to 24 1/2 inches. That’s 1 1/2 inches lost in two weeks. I do feel more at home in my own body, and my arms and upper body are a lot stronger. I’m actually liking what I see in the mirror for a change.

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At a loss

I genuinely don’t know what to do anymore. I’m shattered. I’m stifling yawns.

I’ve been running and done 1 1/2 hours of yoga.

My body is tired.

I’ve eaten well today.

My brain is tired.

But as soon as my head hits the pillow, and I try various breathing techniques and try to clear my mind I end up listening to my voices for two hours and completely getting caught in them.

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Ring-around-the-roses

I’ve had names ringing around my head for a couple of days, the same ones over and over.

(When I say in my head, I mean my voices have been saying the same names.)

So, logged into my old MySpace account – those names were my friends listed on that account. I’ve been worried about people stalking me through social media recently, so I have, thankfully, deleted that account. I’d like to note that I don’t think I’ve logged in since about 2007 judging by the photo, so how I’ve managed to memorise those names is beyond me.

I think the key here, is just listening to these voices and making sense of them. They might annoy me, they might frustrate me, but they’re telling me something.

I don’t mean to go all Pocahontas on you, but, can you paint with all the colours of the wind?

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Home is where the heart is

I got asked a very interesting question today by a friend.

Would you move for love?

An old uni friend did just that. She picked up and moved to Spain to live with her Spanish boyfriend. Now, she’s always moved around as a child, her family is scattered in various places. Does she have any regrets? No, I don’t think so. She has a wonderful boyfriend, they are clearly sublimely happy together. I had the pleasure of visiting her in her home, and it made me so glad to know she was that happy.

Would I do it?

I have a very solid support network here. I have friends all over the country and the globe. But home is where the heart is. After moving back to my childhood home, my family has been my rock. They’ve supported me with food and shelter, given time, affection and even put in extra hours (I’m welcome to wake my Mum if it all gets too bad when I’m awake alone at night.) My extended family is close, and having them in the know and there if I need them is a great comfort. I do come from a very loving family, and although we’ve splintered off a little since the death of my grandfather, I know I can always count on them.

So would I do it?

It depends, doesn’t it? I’m cautious of a whirlwind, I know I can get caught up in things and swept away. But if I met the right person, who could give me the support I need, then I suppose yes. It would be a big risk for me (moving away) but if it’s one that is ultimately worth my while (i.e. can be there for me) and I’ve got a safety net, then yes. Home is, after all, where the heart is.

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Shamanism and Schizophrenia pt.1

So, today I’m starting my new journey to get better.

It’s so interesting to read about different perspectives on mental illness from another cultures point of view.

In western medicine, hearing voices is a bad sign. The way it’s dealt with is to medicate and numb the brain to stop it from happening. But having started a bit of reading online, it’s clear that there is something lacking in this approach. I know it doesn’t make sense, and perhaps it never will but there is something compelling about shamanic rituals and healing, and perhaps I should approach this from a different perspective.

Let’s assume I am sensitive to the world around me, which I do believe I am. Let’s also, for arguments sake, say that my psychosis is a spirit answering a calling. I’m not sure whether I could ever believe this is the case, but there’s nothing wrong with a ritual – I loved choir in church without really believing in God, so this can’t be that distant a jump.

“The spirit sees in us a call for something grand, something that will make life meaningful, and so the spirit is responding to that.”

From JasonGaddis.com

This I can completely understand. I do what something more in this life, I want to touch other peoples lives in a way that is profound. I always have.

On that website it goes on to talk about a ritual in which the healer (or patient, by western terms) goes to a mountain of their choosing,  picks a stone and carries it with them to symbolise the presence of the spirit, and to align themselves with it.

This is going to sound completely off the wall, but I had a dream the other week, in which I was being chased through a desert by lions. In Mexico. My friend, who I am going to visit told me there is a desierto de los leones in Mexico City. After a quick Google, I’ve found out it is a forest.

I’ve always had an affinity with woodland areas, growing up somewhere as beautifully green and woody as I have has instilled this love of nature in me. It seems pretty clear that desierto de los leones is where I am supposed to go. So I’m pretty excited for this journey I’m embarking on.

I’ve made a reading list, if you’re interested to find out more about non-conventional healing and attitudes towards mental illness, and I’ll be working my way through these:

  • The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia – Stephanie Marohn
  • Hearing Voices: A Common Human Experience – John Watkins
  • Holistic Mental Health: A Comparison of Traditional and Alternative Treatments for Mental Disorders – Dave DiSano

If any of you have any book recommendations for me, please feel free to comment. And I apologise for the way this reads…it’s not got my usual flow to it, probably because I’m struggling to wrap my head around the concept.

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