Tuesday, December 26, 2006
As The Year Of 2006 Comes To An End, I Find Myself Comfortable With My Position In Life, While Being Part Of The Canadian Mental Health System
Like everyone says, the older you get the faster time flies, the year pasted quickly and I had several accomplishments in the arts and personally. As I have taken my pursuit of the arts more seriously, while on dis-ability pension, I have made a little bit of money at it and had been part of my first larger group art show at a local Museum. Besides selling more than one piece of art work through out the year, I got to sell my own design of Greeting Cards at the hospital through Birks house Artists. Staff Members in Psychiatry were very supportive of me pursuing the arts and I made money for myself, the art group, a local charity and something going towards a homeless man that I am friendly with. Through the Adult Educator at the art group, I will be possibly part of animated work shops at the Museum des Beaux-Arts de Montreal through Jewish Family Services mental health programs. It was something very special to me, having been part of the spring art show at the Museum in 2006, it was the one event that really made me feel like an Artist. I think it had something to do with smoozing over my creations with a glass of wine in my hand, it had a feel to it that many an Artist has felt before me, I am slated for being part of another session and show at the Museum starting in the New Year, thus anticipating the experience again. I am also re-discovering photography through taking black and photographs with my camera. It is a new and exciting challenge as I have a way of capturing neat shots on film, shooting black and white film has given me a new direction in photography that a life time can be spent mastering. I was also part of a pre-Christmas expo/sale for a fund raiser towards charitable cause, I did not sell any thing, but the Curator made for another good contact in the arts and I am preparing for another one of her shows in February. Music wise, I plugged away at my guitar lessons and practicing, I have even started to work with training my voice to sing while playing. I am presently working at singing three songs while strumming out the cords on my guitar, along with getting into playing more instrumental bluesy jazz and learning finger picking techniques. Even my room mate says my guitar playing has come a long way and she is amused how I can actually use my voice a bit. I was proud of the little singing and playing I did for my parents at Christmas, their words of encouragement were precious to me, my hard work in music is given me something more workable for putting an art show together with my own visual and auditory creations. I even have a knack for playing haunting songs on my recorder, I have three of them and take to playing them every now and again. I have one song I play from a song sheet for the recorder along with creating pieces. I am also getting a pretty good handle on banging out drum beats on my goat skinned drum to practice playing guitar to. I make the recording and develop the skill in keeping time to my own pre-reordered drum beat. It has all made for an enjoyable challenge. After being single for a year and still living with my old girl friend due to economic reasons, I ended up getting additional income from the Provincial Government to assist with my dis-ability pension. This came through at year end to make for a better budget for investing in my art and personal needs, along with figuring I could start paying off a couple of bills from when I was struggling financially, when falling through the cracks in the system during the recent past. I always felt the impact of surviving in a low income bracket while being diagnosed with schizophrenia, at least I see a way out of it through the arts. It never took much to make me happy and I find myself content developing skills in the arts while working part time cleaning and maintaining a small office building self employed with my company. My company does not make enough to provide economic freedom but it has the potential to do so, that is why I got the extra Government benefits to help with my dis-ability pension. While applying for the extra money and medication insurance plan, my company went through a complete Government audit of income and expenditures. I make for a pretty good number cruncher, the Government Agent responsible for reviewing my income and receipts for operation told me, I did an excellent job with my book keeping and she only wished more people had their paper work in such a orderly fashion, thus she told me to keep up the good work! It made me feel quite proud again at year end, at least my company books are acceptable to the Government with limited explanation. I actually have money in the bank in my commercial account at year end and looking for continued business success in the New Year. I enjoy the freedom of self employment while trying to get out of poverty and make something of myself again, this time around as an Artist and Writer of schizophrenic issues. Medical wise, I came to year end with the camera up the butt again in colonoscopy. I am a regular pallup factory according to the Doctor. He had to remove twelve small ones this December. Once again they were not cancerous and I am still working on solving constipation problems from the medication. A good diet to solve this problem can be expensive, certain foods do rectify my constipation and I am trying to consume a balance of these foods, the constipation can be what is causing the pallups. I will be back registering for the Doctor's handy cam next year again come fall to a get booking for my year end inspection for health reasons. I think I have started to put on a bit of muscle again, it is about time, I think I should started doing my sit ups and push ups again. I had stopped when I under went severe Extra Pyramidal Side Effects in the spring and early summer of this year. I only get a small tinge of an attack every now and again while continuing under the schizophrenia research at McGill Medical Services here in Montreal. Regarding relationships with women, I created a three headed Mermaid in my head to keep me on my toes. Just something to grow with as I send so much time alone. The foundation behind my three headed Mermaid is a compilation of a woman from my past, one from the present that gives me a lot to thing about, while the third one is influential in making my future. It is all symbolic of characters to help me create in the arts. I started a painting through my cousin's influence on the subject. The first painting that I am presently working on is called "MILTA'S Accension", MILTA is the Mermaid's name! It keeps me dreaming of one day meeting someone and falling in love again. So my life is not bad for a single man at 46, I still have dreams and things to master and concour, it is like a "Battle of Evermore" to succeed against all odds, as one person once put it to me.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Some Humour Themselves At The Montreal General Hospital, How I Have Become Patient Turn Therapist
So here I am plugging away at my life just being myself like the M.G.H. knows me to be and I now find myself playing guitar while providing art supplies for a friend and colleague with brain cancer in Palliative Care. Part way into the fall semester with program scheduling at the Hospital, I started visiting a friend and colleague that was diagnosed with brain cancer after the summer. While under treatment in the M.G.H. Palliative Care for his condition, I first started playing guitar at his side,as he always used to listened to me enthusiastically when I played in his presence. Before long I fell into a schedule myself playing for my Buddy, at first it was a powerful experience getting feed back from his family that flew into Montreal to be at his side when he first entered Hospital. With the selection of music I have in my song book, it made for moving moments between family and attending Hospital Staff. One time while leaving my Buddy's room once, when he slipped into a recovery sleep during my playing, a Doctor commented in passing how I added a nice touch. OK I admit I have quite the selection of music in my song book, I have put it together with the old Music Therapist at the M.G.H., she left for another position to go and study her Doctorate in Music Therapy. My binder of music was pretty well put together under her guidance when she was either studying for her Masters Degree or while she obtained her Masters Degree in Music Therapy and I was being taught by student Music Therapists under her watchful eye. The selection of music is my own compilation through access to a music library with helping hands of a Music Therapist assisting me to build my own creation of selected music. The Music Therapists at the M.G.H. past and present have given me a priceless foundation in music theory that I continue to explore music under the guiding hands at the M.G.H. ,while committing myself to playing my guitar for myself and jointly for my Buddy with Brain Cancer.
Friday, November 17, 2006
A Reporter Did An Article On Me As An Urban Outsider Artist With Schizophrenia, Thus I Made The Montreal "Mirror" In Their Publication
As a struggling Artist that have defined myself as an Urban Outsider Artist with schizophrenia, I am proud to say that I had an article done on me by a reporter from the Montreal Mirror, it was quite the experience being interviewed and photographed! Small mercies come in mysterious ways as I have learned in my life, I was taking my cigarette break on the front steps of the building where I have a cleaning and maintenance contract for my company, a stranger asking for a light for his own cigarette really lite up my life. (Do not smoke like us, cigarettes are health hazards) Chris Barry, the reporter from the Montreal Mirror, was walking by in front of the building where I work, I had taken my smoke break at the right time! After firing up his cigarette for him, I told him I had something else for him as well. I reached into my inner pocket and took out my Loto Quebec folder, which I use for my own purpose, as a carry case for the book marks I distribute promoting my Internet presence and I gave him one of my book marks. After smoozing for a bit, he identified himself and told me he would like to do an article on me for the Mirror. The result was instilled thrill in me, the Mirror is an up and up publication that covers a fair bit of the art World here in Montreal. Chris does an article on different Montrealers every week, since he wrote about me, I started to be a regular reader of his article and the paper on the whole. I guess I used to brush through the paper too easily and miss a lot of good content, all these Montrealers with a cause or something, that I could have know about if I had just read more of the Mirror in the past. Here is the link to the article that Chris did on me, it was a different way of coming out of the closet with my schizophrenic issues.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Unearthed Some Old Poetry/Pros To Reflect On Part Of My Character
While being in touch with my Cousin from the Southern States, I started to share some of my poetry with her and decided to post a few poems to reflect on part of my out look during different phases in my life. The first poem was written in high schoo,l while I was young and ambitious and not yet enduring the life in the Mental Health System. The original version was lost back in early 1996 when I was hospitaized and my parents had to close up my apartment. At the time I had compiled a binder of different style writings which accidentally went to the Salvation Army with other old books. This version was written from memory when I started writing again around late 1996, it reads more or less the same.
Seeking a treasure like you
Is where I find myself now
Drawing on my heart's desire for it is you I would like to acquire
Because I seek a treasure like you
Love is a big chest of dreams
Locking away pure thoughts of passion
Mutually drawing within hearts' desire
For it is there that I will acquire
Such a profound treasure like like you
Are you seeking a treasure like me
Is this where you find yourself now
For is it me, you would like to acquire
Because I seek a treasure like you
It was around 1996, before I went into hospital, I wrote this following piece of creative work. I drew a piece of art dealing the subject of a hand that I wore around my neck in my youth to complement the writing. I had did the wood carving myself and always had a close attachment to it, from personal memory about its inspiration. This piece was also re-written once I started writing again after loosing the original with my binder.
The Mystical Hand Of Power
The long lost mystical hand of power
Is tattooed within the faith of time its self
Surrounded by a chain of humanary words
By the influence of the guiding light of each and every day
Symbolic of inborn mystical power
Creating and destroying life as we do
We forget that for every act, the mystical hand reacts
Surrounded by the ultimate chain of command
By the powers at hand that guide our nightly dreams
Hence for we create many a mystical way
Symbolic of a mirrored tattoos fate
The multitude of brands of power there is
Locked within faith and time it makes its own tattoo
Surrounded by the many hands of a humanary chain
If only we were truly able to define ourselves
By living by the tides of night and day
Hence forth we use our hands to pray
Symbolic of a guided mystical hand tattooing our fate
I can not remember when I wrote this next piece, it was sometime during my writing spree in 1996, it was my craving at the time to make a binder of writings from personal thoughts again, the artistic process really started coming forth in me during this time period, with me putting paint brush to canvas ten years ago this year.
The Forests Of Life
For what seemed like endless fort-nights
My growth was always stumped by these looming shadows over me
Casting their ill fated dominance over me
A thistle where it should be
Fending for its self in all the entangled growth
I survived this and that along with the inexact
And the hatchet from a passer by or two nicked me here and there
Licked my wounds and held my soil
Wondering when I'd have a thorny side kick
To share my survival plot of soil
Pollen blowing in the wind through the woods
Taking a mystical traveling trail
Like an out of body experience, seeing but not seeing
The pecullar thistle found his personal light
Lost but not in his own oasis in time
Searching for what was lost
To control the under growth in the mist
Of the hilly rocky rising path
That leads to the sky above
To grow in the forest of life
Then one day this forest mole brought a root to my soil bed
And somehow it got dropped and buried besides my warmth
I felt in my soul that I would have my thorny entanglement out of this
A compatible colourful rose I would hope would grow
While entangling our vibes of growth
Making our own picture in time
Locked away in the secrets of the forest of life
The union of entangled loving growth
In our own little forest of life
This following creation was written through inspiration from a photograph I took of Cardiff Castle in Wales. The way the trees were growing and shaped when I took the photograph, it looked like I captured faces in the trees and wrote about it.
Faces In The Trees
My castle walls stand high and proud
They protect all my secret treasures
Even if they are only my flowering court yard
And the water well that sits in its mists
The simple castle can become a fortress
When faces linger in the trees over the moat
Oh for the God forsaken faces in the trees
The haunting look of the dreaded wild
Formed through the growth of their leaves
Like a howling force in the night
Down upon my precious castle walls
The castle moat holds its own demons galore
Buried from I don't know where
For they too come blowing in the wind
And trapped in my shallows of the deep
To protect my brick work of my walls
So things from yonder get kept out that we don't want
How do you keep out all the forces of life
They seep in through the cracks in the foundations
And causing chilling drafts through the cellar of my mind
Fair is fair for I do go out in the forces of life
To gaze upon the faces in the trees
And then the leaves whisper among themselves
As much as I have my own eyes to see
So do the faces in the trees
But who sees who for what purpose
I know what I see but I can't help but see
But I know where I find my retreat
In my humble sanctuary in my castle walls
I wrote this little piece when my life was was going down hill not so long ago, before I gained control of my life again in the recent past with my present life style of being an Artist/Writer.
I found my little forest of life
And it grew in the inner city
A modest little comfort buffer zone
That we commonly call our home
The hatchet came here too
Like a dark thunder cloud's shadow
Hovering where it should not
The laws of the forest are a keep sake
Locked away in the heart of those that dwell in her
Causing nightmares in the under growth and shrubbary
I wrote this following some time ago as I way trying to heal from emotional wounds, I guess it helped me at the time, the pen soothing the soul with selected words, enjoy!
The Holy Grail
A supposed gifted man drank from a cup
During a supper that was his last
The gifted man bore his cross
And the cup lingers in the memory of man
The story spans many a life time
And the cup became the "Holy Grail"
Pursued for its healing powers within
And the cup lingers in the memory of man
Some say it is hidden away
Others speak of it getting lost in time and warring
Is it really the ace of all cups passed our way
Because a supposed gifted man drank from the cup in question
Odds to double odds, cups will dribble with rimming spillage
Rings of time found in wooden cups
Illustrate the power that can be found within
So we have the symbol of the "Holy Grail"
Can time its self launch another such cup
Or can another gifted man forge such a cup
To channel the powers of the wise
Bringing forth the healing powers within
Time is a great healer its self
And time also takes our life away
If the "Holy Grail" is lost in time
I heal by the powers found within the symbol of such a cup
The poetry or pros that I posted in this blog entry, reflect on different stages in my life and my writings are the written history of my thoughts and feeling about those parts of my life. Putting letters together and making words, developing those words into sentences, was always a very big part of my life. I hope the reader enjoys the selected writings, sometimes we can be for ever healing!
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Slight Re-occurrence Of Extra Pyramidal Side Effects Can Bother Me Some Mornings
I still get the muscle contractions from my lower torso to mouth every now and again, they are called Extra Pyramidal Side Effects (EPSE) caused by prolong use of certain types of anti psychotic medications. It usually strikes in the morning, when I am waking up and having my first cigarette of the day along with my cup of tea, I am comfortable with just having the random bout of EPSE compared to what I went through in the past with EPSE. Just a little note about smoking, "Do Not Smoke cigarettes", they are a serious health hazard that I deal with! While working with the Research Psychiatrist at the Allan Memorial Institute, which is part of McGill Medical Services here in Montreal, I have learned more about the EPSE and how to try and prevent them from afflicting me randomly some days. Caffeine is the main culprit in our diet that has the tendency to enhance side effects of medication, thus I do my best to watch my caffeine intake. Having Coke and Pepsi in my diet was not helping me in any way at all, they are both high in caffeine. After having been advised to watch my consumption levels and try and wean myself away from the soft drinks as much as possible, I did some research myself on the Internet. Carbonated drinks can be more hazardous to our health than we realize, it is not good for our bones among other detemental side effects. Here I am a high volume consumer of fluids, that never drank much plain water, more water based drinks are consumed in my daily liquid consumption. At one point recently, when I had the EPSE really bad, I was drinking about 2 liters of Coke or Pepsi a day, while not knowing how bad it was for triggering the EPSE. With the Doctor's advise, I tried replacing the Coke and Pepsi with Ginger Ale or Spirite while trying to cut down on my overall carbonated drink consumption. With working from home as an Artist, it was too easy to refill a glass of a carbonated drink and I had to really work on myself to get out of the habit of drinking them. I do enjoy that glass of Coke or Pepsi every now and again but I am trying to stay away from it as much as possible to control my rare bouts of EPSE. What does one drink to try and stay away from caffeine? My much loved cup of orange peko tea has caffeine, so does coffee! It is like jumping from the pot into the fire trying to restrict caffeine consumption, especially as a high consumer of liquids like myself. Recently I have not being drinking coffee at home, for I do not have a taste for instant coffee like my room mate does. When I am out and around the City, I am first to buy my cup of flavoured coffee at one of Montreal's many coffee shops. I used to make ground coffee at home in a percolator or with a drip filter to make a single cup. My brother passed me his old coffee bean grinder and I got into grinding coffee beans to make that aromatic cup of coffee, which I have not done in a sometime but longing for again. So coffee and tea are next to impossible to get out of my diet, I do drink a green tea for a change every now and again. The caffeine is not as high but it still contains caffeine that I am trying to watch consumption levels of. Naturally my budget restraints hamper me from purchasing fruit punches and orange juice or lemon aid. The way I drink cold beverages lemon aid and orange juice can give me heart burn if I get into drinking too much of them in a short time period. The beverage that I can consume at the slowest rate seems to be beer at times but like the Psychiatrist said to me, "I do not want you to replace a Coke or Pepsi with beer". I will have a 1.18 liter bottle of beer or two at home on a Friday or Saturday night depending on my mood. A bottle can last me about three hours or so, while sipping on it when amusing myself with the computer or the arts, I used to drink quite a bit more than that when I was younger and partying more. Now it is just my end of the week bonus to have my beer during the evenings on the week ends. From taking beverages as I have mentioned, I feel I am reducing my caffeine consumption to some degree. Staying away from the Coke and Pepsi as much as possible is the largest cut in my daily caffeine levels and I am not missing it as much any more. I did not grow up on soft drinks and was not so prone to buying them when living alone, it became more of a bad habit drinking so much of the carbonated drinks when influenced by room mates. So here I am now, sticking to my guns and trying as much as possible not to take carbonated drinks for health reasons, while still having my high average daily liquid consumption.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Interacting In This Post With Two Readers, So Some Questions About Schizophrenia Are Answered, Along With Comment About Me Proving To Being Mis-leading While Writing
I have been in touch with two people that have been reading my blog, first a person that took an interest in my art, and second my cousin from the Southern United States of America. The first e-mail sent is Jan from Calgary, Canada, which is copied and pasted below:
I read the latest entry in your blog and really enjoyed it. I admire you for your fighting spirit against all odds; and think you are very brave to speak out against the system. A system who's members/doctors/experts/practioners believe that years of book learning and lectures 'teaches' one about the workings of the human mind. If they are not open to listening/hearing and learning from people with the'condition', rather than from the words of tired professors and outdated textbooks, they can never accomplish 'helping' the people they call their patients. If they truly want to help improve people's lives they should realize they are not 'all knowing', and each person they treat can teach them something they never knew before. Treat the human being, not the unit sitting in a chair in front of them, so to speak. I think, more often than not, the people who seek improvement in a system are those whose lives are touched irevocably by the frustration of dealing with these medicos. Can their loved one get better? And if they can't, who stands up for them and protects them? Where do they turn to find out more? That's where you seem to be filling a void. You can't personally treat anyone, but you can help them 'maybe' understand -- and that's more than doctors seem able to do. People who have been touched by tragedy and pain, time and again watch their loved ones struggle, get worse, or go to their graves - with no one able to come up with a solution of any kind. The 'afflicted' suffer from neglect, worsened by indifference. They are allowed to slip away without a fight. Who will fight for them? I guess the fight is to the death, Doctor Goober. You have a lifetime to deal with this, and you are not alone. I can't say I know what you're going through, but I wish you could find someone who did. Are you eccentric? or is that another name for an individual with a unique point of view? In the mean time, keep moving forward - marching to the beat of your own drum.
Well am I eccentric? In some ways yes, it does not take a lot to make me happy and I can go off in my bumbling ways of creativity or how I take a stand on certain issues, I can be off the wall in another frame of approach to deal with a problem, this can make me come across as eccentric. The system is not always as cold as I may have portrayed it to be in my blog writings. I do have fond memories of the Staff that treated me, as they reached out in personalized ways. When I was in the Montreal General Hospital last and having to appear in Court for the "Court Ordered" injections, it was near the end of the month and I was going to spend my last $2.00 to get to Court, the attending Psychiatrist loaned me the return bus fare with a giving fatherly gaze of interest and tried for a year to get me an art grant for reproducing my apparitions/hallucinations. In the end, Birks House Artists seem to come out of it through the Montreal General Hospital's Out Patient Clinic, while the Hospital Staff are very out reaching, while supportive when I bump into them at my Music Sessions on the Ward. We very much grew as a unit, to get what was required for me to live a life that I deserve.
Part of second e-mail:
Now, for a list of numerous questions if you don't mind my asking. What sort of messages or purpose do you think your a/h are serving? How do you know they are of a religious nature? Are you aware when you are seeing an a/h that no-one else can see it, or do you have to inquire if anyone else sees it? If your meds don't stop the a/h, what do the meds help you with? Obviously some part of you believes you have schizophrenia, and some part of you doesn't? What part if any do you attribute to mental illness? Okay, that was a lot of questions, and I don't know if I have overstepped my boundaries, so I will close on that note and wait for your response.
The messages or purpose my apparitions/hallucinations seem to revolve around me maintaining a strong belief in my faith in a "Greater Power" or "Prime Mover", that has on occasion influenced human life. The a/h tends to make me somewhat mystical in nature and I view them as religious type apparitions because they seem to happen around items, buildings or people attached to Christianity. An example of this, is when I was uncomfortable in bed one night with my extra pyramidal side effects and got up to try and get some sleep on the sofa. While having the muscle contractions, a white light seemed to start glowing at the foot of the sofa where I was trying to rest. As I watched in my meditative fashion, the white light let it show me what it wanted to show me. Slowly but surely a ghostly image started to take shape. As it fully took it's form, in the out line and dept of shadow, it appeared to me as if the deceased Pope John Paul II was praying at the end of the sofa over me. While I was going through severe muscle contractions, I just tried to connect with the ghostly image and rested easy until I finally feel asleep. It was a type of religious experience at the time, as many of this type of thing is as it comes to me. I know that no one else is seeing what I am seeing due to the ghostly glowing type lights that I see. It is not like I will "hallucinate" a cigarette and go to reach for it when it is not there. When I was younger I have asked people on occasion if they see the ghostly light, when they could not I would drop the subject. What do the meds help me with? As my
Psychiatrist likes to put it, with the limited amount of medication that I take it, more or less takes the edge off so I stay relaxed when dealing with the subject matter. It also quelled emotions about the subject matter, when I was younger and did not have my place with it as of yet. It took time to evolve with the subject matter and the meds did help me from going into pyschotic states from trying to figure things out for myself too soon. As for believing that I am a person with schizophrenia and then part of me not believing. I now feel comfortable with the subject matter, even although I walk a picket fence between Science and God, thus I am now comfortable carrying the diagnosis at this stage in my life. I was not always easy with being referred to as a person with schizophrenia. The part of me that contributes to a mental illness is a mix between not being understood when I have taken part in my Shaman Antics, that semi psychotic state of discovery where a power of knowing a closeness to the spirit world comes alive. So my lovely cousin, I hope you got your answers to your questions and no you did not over step your boundaries, it was a pleasure finding the words to your keen interest in my condition and approach to it. I would like to thank the two readers I interacted with through my blog posting this time around, I hope it makes for good reading for interested parties.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
A Lot Of People Seem To Want To Write About Schizophrenia & Shamanism, To Bad They Can Not Communicate With Such a Person First
So I spent my Saturday night going through search engines on various subjects relating to schizophrenia, more people have something to say about the subject of schizophrenia & shamanism than I care to shake a Shaman's stick at!!! It seems like this is becoming a hot topic to write about, no Psychiatrist even provoked this subject when dealing with me, now we have all sorts of writers trying to be an authority on schizophrenia, why do they not leave it alone for the "persons with schizophrenia" to come out of the closet slowly but surely on this subject. Get strapped to a bed and pumped full of anti-psychotic drugs for having schizophrenic/shaman type experiences, then try and enlighten people on the subject, as I do! Like a Psychiatrist said to me in the parking lot of the Montreal General Hospital, "there are many ways to approach schizophrenia", plenty of people make money off schizophrenia, where as the person living with the condition usually lives in poverty. All that has to change and it will as the general population gets more insight into what gets a person is given the diagnoses' for. I have my own approach to dealing with my diagnoses, that tends to lean towards Shaman ideologies. Some of us that carry the schizophrenia diagnoses, hate the "hallucinations" that we live with, while others feel comfortable living with the subject matter of the "apparitions/hallucinations, as in my case. When I was a younger man, the a/h did lead me into a semi psychotic state of mind as I practiced a form of Shamanism in a belief system, to develop a rapore with the subject matter. If I was to converse with another person on how I felt about my a/h and what them meant to me, most people would find me eccentric as I find fellow persons with schizophrenia eccentric, when they are describing their relationship with our manifestations. Somewhere in all the vastness of the human mind, one can find a comfortable place of thought, to live a wholesome life with the diagnoses for the "hallucination". Yes in the privacy of closed quarters, I play around with my Shaman antics on a semi regular bases. The religious calling is in me, thus I do practice a form of Christianity revolving within a belief system that was built around concepts surrounding my apparitions/hallucinations. They gave me insight into the power of believing in something greater than myself, I owe a lot of this insight I have today, to my educational environment I was exposed to while growing with my diagnoses as a man. I could not except my sightings as mere "hallucinations", there had to be something more to it that no one had figured out yet, time its self gave me answers as I fought against over sedation for my eccentric approach to dealing with my life. If one considers the genetic approach to schizophrenia, do we have the genetic make up that tends to make more Shaman like, visionaries in a sort. Sure you can find all sorts of information on madness and genius, no one really treats the person with schizophrenia in this fashion. It was never mentioned to my parents that perhaps your son is some sort of engineering genius that has to be nurtured and harvested properly to make him a place in society that would pay his bills. When I first returned to Montreal with the diagnoses and got hospitalized here, I was pumped full of anti-psychotic medication with little or no talk therapy, while my parents were told I would amount to nothing but a disfunctional person with schizophrenia. At least in today's world of Psychiatry, there is more of a positive out look for the future of a person with schizophrenia in the long run. Drug therapy is only a small part of of a treatment plan, the individual with the schizophrenia diagnoses must continue his educational foundations no matter how hard it may be. As one develops an insight into different dogmas, in the various Doctrines in the educational field, he/she will be capable of conveying their own dogma surrounding the apparitions/hallucinations that they experience in a cohearent manner. When I spoke of the sightings of the visual nature that I witnessed, I was driven into being a cast away in the society that called me part of it. No one wanted to converse theoretically about the possibilities of the meaning to my a/h. Through this isolation and being somewhat of a social out cast, I continued my education in my field of expertise and expanded my horizons in other fields of study that seemed relevant to me gaining some understanding of my a/h. I could be having one of my a/h while talking to a person and they would never know, I kept this insanity to my self and maintained my own journal on the subject. I discovered that there does seem to be a pattern in dealing with the a/h that I had. It was like a Godly sightings of the unknown, that was there to fashion my mind to an openness to the unknown. The strong sense of engineering logic in me, kept me on a even keel, when I was drawn to the more eccentric side of my thinking process, over the nature of the visual images I could see that others could not. At times my Shaman antics of ritual, due to believing, got me in trouble with the people close to me, I never found a problem with these people and their organized religious antics over their own God. Due to having the schizophrenia diagnoses, people were always trying to pick holes in my character. Last time I was in hospital for extra pyramidal side effects, I even had a fellow patient arguing with me, that I was not even a person with schizophrenia because I was too high functioning. Doctors and Medical Staff that over saw my condition, have even tried to change my diagnoses' as I improved my life style with work and education. Try arguing with a Psychiatrist that you are a person with schizophrenia and not bipolar for a convent diagnostic treatment. The Medical Staff that were always pumping me full of anti-psychotic medication, did want to change my diagnoses when I started to make something of my life while on medication. Psychiatry is not one of the more exact sciences in Medicine, a lot of an individuals success has to do with the relationship he/she learns to have with the subject matter of the a/h. OK, so I see things that other people do not, like an ancient Shaman, I am involved in the arts like an ancient Shaman's role in his/her society, so I naturally feel like a bit of a Shaman in a modern society. The power of knowing things that I have not studied, came to me easily. An example of this is when I started doing an art design around what I call my seven colours of creation that I witness in the form of a/h. I took a circle of certain geometrical dimensions and broke it down into seven equal sections through geometry, adding my colours in sequence as they had meaning to me. Here I am years later in my art group at the Montreal General Hospital's Out Patient Clinic, and starting to study Mandala design as an Artist. Well, Lordy Lordy, I was doing this on my own with my colours of creation that I witness, as a way of having a focusing tool for them. Another example of doing something correct, with really knowing nothing on the subject, is when I put a cord progression together on my guitar on my own. The Student Music Therapist at the time, explained the music theorey to me, for what I had created. I had put together six cords, starting with C and played the sequence in what is known as the "Circle of the Fifth", I felt like a musical genius for a moment! For every little eccentric quirk the person with schizophrenia comes up with, it is not totally original, no doubt the concept can be found somewhere in practice in humanity or in our histroy, it just how well we stay sane pursuing the subject and developing our genius.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Walking A Picket Fence Through The Mental Health System, Like I Always Did, It Has strengthen My Character Watching My Step To Survive The System
Well, here I am once again turning to my blog on a Friday night, revealing parts of my character through my writings on schizophrenic issues. Hopefully through revealing parts of my own life while dealing with the schizophrenia diagnose, it will help others to understand something about mental health issues. In my blog writings I have come down quite hard on Psychiatrists, how should I put it? Someone had to point to the Psychiatrist's failing and the reality of the mental health system. It is like the song "Hotel California", once you enter the mental health system, you can never leave! For this reason, one will find that there is a shortage of Psychiatrists where ever you go. More people enter the mental health system as time passes, and the old timers can never break free. Some do but the majority never can. From my own personal experience, I have an understanding why, the Psychiatrists never dealt with the actual issues that lead me into Psychiatry in the first place. It has always been, "Take the medication, never stop taking it!" I end up getting really humoured out of it, the medication is to stop the hallucinations that Medical Professions say were the cause of me going psychotic. Here is some real humour, the medication never stopped my visual hallucinations, I still "hallucinate" by seeing the occasional ghost or religious type apparitions. After twenty three years as a mental health consumer, I am yet to discuss my "hallucinations" with a Psychiatrist. It is like they are not even interested in the subject matter. Ok, so I am forced to see a man/woman of science for a religious dis-order, the two do not mix to well, science and religion. After all, my first time going dellusional was from being shunned by the people around me for speaking about seeing a ghost and having witnessed a religious apparition. Everyone told me I was crazy and needed a Psychiatrist, even although a person would would be wearing a religious cross, I was crazy for even speaking of the subject. Forced into isolation from ridicule about the subject matter at hand, yes I went into my own head too much with out intelligent feed back on the nature of my experiences, which lead me into a semi psychotic state from drawing the wrong conclusion from my sightings at the time as a young man. I was thinking over time about a subject that I could not totally fathom at this point in my life and yes it drove me over the edge. One thing about being human, we are able to adapt to our environment, it took me time to adapt to a life of seeing ghosts and all on occasion. I was able to learn how to cope and dealt with the subject matter that I was faced with, that no one wanted to talk over with me. If I was to babble to my Psychiatrist about my recent sighting and how I feel about them, I would be pumped so full of psychiatric drugs, I would not be able to function to pay taxes like a lot of people in the mental health system. Going back sixteen years now, I tried reaching out to my Psychiatrist on the subject matter of my "hallucination". At the time, he was punching in figures into his calculator to convert one medication dosage into the correct dosage of another medication. His flippant response was "O'yea, you like playing with your hallucinations", while he continued working his calculator. The only thing I ever talked to my Psychiatrist about in my half hour visit, was medication levels and side effects. If I was able to verbally communicate this information, I was basically not going psychotic, too bad he/she could not see inside my head, if they could, a lobotomy would probalaly have been done. I always get the best of comments that help me, from Psychiatrists in parking lots of the hospital, instead of in the clinical setting of the Psychiatrist's office. Like I once discussed with a Psychiatrist out side of the clinical setting, if I "hallucinate" the things I do and create art out of it or get philosophical about it, who am I hurting if I do not go into psychosis over the subject matter? I can not remember the exact response, it was in the line of "Can not be done!" Talk about giving me the challenge of the life time, I responded with "How do you know I am not hallucinating now, which helps me size you up on this subject and direct the conversation?" The conversation ended, he had to go. Talk about closed mindedness, it was like I already knew the end result, I was stretching the boundary limits and would be cut off like usual. From the lack of conversation about my "hallucinations", I never knew that I had the rarest form of schizophrenia until a couple of years ago when I read it on the Internet. Shows how much talk therapy I have had over my "hallucinations", I learned how to cope and deal with them on my own while fighting so that I was not over medicated to the point where I can not work and pay taxes. Even now, while working with a research Psychiatrist, I think she feels that I am not on enough medication. Well there is no money for the pharmaceutical industry if all persons with schizophrenia were on my medication levels. I am on so little meds, they are not clinically effective. A lot of hard work on my part with going out and finding people to talk to about my "hallucinations", reading up on material by great Philosophers, studying in school and strengthening my theological foundations along with my engineering logic, to deal with the subject matter of my "hallucinations" to get me where I am today. How should I put it, I always wake up with a morning erection these days like a man usually does, compared to when Psychiatrists were pumping full of anti-psychotic medication. This fact alone is worth its weight in gold for self dignity and pride around my manly blessing. It is like I once said to a Social Worker, "Your medication makes me impetent, I guess it is not in your best interests to give anti-psychotic medication that would make a "schizo" want to screw like rabbits, then you would probably have another "schizo" to deal with". There was a silence on the other end of the phone, it was like "schizo's" are not allowed to speak up for things they believe in without getting a dead end in Psychiatry. So I believe in minimal medication levels and for the individual concerned getting a grip on their life through education and talk therapy. Here I am, I got my educational foundation as a Engineering Technician, working part time, trying to make something of my life as a Outsider Artist with my artistic talent via the Internet and local art shows. Having no signs of psychosis and my attending Psychiatrist insists on upping my medication level when I am starting to get extra pyramidal side effects slightly once again. Oh, because no other person with schizophrenia has succeeded on such a low medication level, if this education/talk therapy effect snowballed to make more tax payers out of "schizo's, pharmaceutical company's would start loosing money from lack of sales. I once met a person that escaped from the grips of Psychiatry, when they were treated for depression, she found her way with her life like I am doing , she is blessed with no longer having to take medication for depression and has a life! Rare as it is, it can happen, just as I can live on a minimal amount of medication, contrary to common Psychiatric practice. There are approxiamatly 30,000 persons with schizophrenia in Montreal, only a handful have their disability pension like myself because they have worked enough on a real job, I guess I did something right not totally listening to Psychiatrists! I hope they can take the constructive criticism as well as I took there over medicating. I could write a medical thesis on this very subject about medication levels verses education and talk therapy when dealing with "visual hallucinations" or "religious apparitions". Psychiatrists can drive me more crazy and depressed when insisting on upper medication than my "sighting" do. When I do not talk about my apparitions/hallucinations no one finds a problem with me, some women even like curling up to me and listening to me tell them about the spirits I see in the night air!!! Sure medication helped me when I was angry about being a mental health consumer that was always stone walled by the system. What? Am I the first to questioned mordern Psychiatric practise as a consumer with intelligencia! Even in the movie "The Planet of the Apes", there was the first ape that talked human words, just like I seem to be the first "schizo" to openly challenge the Psychiatric practise. I seem to be the only "schizo" thats says my schizophrenia is cured, all the others seem to find it a handi-cap, my only handi-cap is the stigma of psychiatry!!!
Monday, September 04, 2006
Back To More Guitar Lessons & Planning Art Strategies With Other Artists, As September Ends The Art Filled Summer
It proved to be a creative summer playing my guitar and doing the visual arts in sketching and photography. A friend of mine and myself used to get together a fare number of times each month during the summer to be creative with the guitar and pencil with paper through sketching out door scenes around Montreal. I even got out of the city for a weekend, to my 25 year class reunion from the Canadian Coast Guard College. I took it upon myself to prepare for the get together, by practicing to have a few beers again and still sound half decent on guitar, for around the fire pit on the farm where we have been meeting in Ontario. It was really good seeing some of the people that I went to College with, we ended up being quite the united class for moral support for each other, after we got through being the brunt of dorm pranks on each other in first year. That same moral support was there at the reunion for me with my plight to succeed as an sort of Urban Outsider Artist that has the schizophrenia diagnoses as an individual. Playing the guitar at the fire pit on the Saturday night was the first real taste of entertaining with my guitar. The experience put my sense of drive to succeed as an Artist into a super charged turbo drive sort of frame of mind. By applying the two form of the arts together I created a wordpad document with writing, along with a still image and a sound track in sound wave. I always wanted to put some of my guitar playing to a piece of art in the form of a painting or drawing, my enhanced personal drive got me around to doing it. Apparently I should get "Power Point" ,to put my sound track to still pictures as a document, this way it can not be altered as in Wordpad. When ever one goes to do something around the arts there is always an added expense somewhere, now I have to look into getting Power Point software to work with. Perhaps I will be able to learn more about it through my sessions with the Music Therapist at the Hospital. We have a new Therapist to work with us now, he is young and has experience in the digital age for music. Arrangements have been made for me to start music therapy sessions, I always get some new insight into playing music out of it. With the varying array of instruments available in the music therapy sessions, one always gets a new sound to work with during spouts of creativity. The guitar lessons are given over and above the regular music therapy sessions, I built my song book which I play from, through getting score sheets off the old Music Therapist that used to work at the Hospital. I should be starting with the new Music Therapist next week, then the art group that I am part of at the Hospital starts meeting again as well. Here too, we are getting a new Animator to over see our group to keep it in a productive direction. The School Board switched our old Animator to another position in the Mental Health System, he did make the art group a success from when we started meeting together, after three years together I believe, we were part of an art show at the Musee des Beaux-Art de Montreal. I was very proud of the works of art I created for this art show we did, as we all were of of works of art. I have even been offered money for some of the art I did for the show but I can not break up the set of seven works of art as a series. I have them packaged and stored here at home for now, I put one piece up on the Birks House Artists website on "Other Art" page , site located at: http://www.freewebs.com/birkshouseartists
During the summer I ended up getting a commission for doing a clay sculpture for someone, it will be the third peice I have sold besides greeting cards. It would be nice if we got an art show somewhere else, through the new Animator of the art group, as we strive to be in shows around the city. Finding that time really flies as I pursue the arts on my own, I am looking forward to inter-relating with more artists this session, I find new directions in the arts through bouncing off other Artists and experimenting in different ways. Between learning more on guitar through lessons and continuation of attending the art group this fall, I intend to take the challenge of the arts with a vigor through my natural creativity. Readers can view other art work of mine on my own website located at: http://www.angelfire.com/folk/docgmcreations , good viewing and enjoy.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Local Montreal Rumours Are Such, That Someone Thought That They Would Write About Me On The Internet, People Are Saying It Is All Slander, I am Yet To Find The Blog Myself, At Least I Write About Myself
There are some rumours flying around here in Montreal, that someone thought it was OK to use a blog to write slanderous material about me on the Internet. At present, no one has approached me to get permission to write about me on the Internet, apparently they are doing it anyway. No one I know personally is doing it, no one has any information about me except my ex girl friend's family, some of them always slandered me and called me "Schizo" to my face on more than one occassion. If anyone comes across a blog that has slanderous writings about Doctor Goober Modesty, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know the web address so I can take appropiate legal action. I have been slandered enough by certain people in my community, I do not think slandering a person in a blog is what blogging is supposed to be about. What, they have to write about me in a demented fashion, instead of writing about there own failings!!!!
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
In My Case, Spirituality & Mental Health Always Crossed Paths, Thus Leading To My Own Inner Peace
I found my own inner peace over the years as a mental health consumer, inner peace was very much apart of my life as I grew into my manhood, my schizophrenic issues just made my evolutionary course to Spirituality a little more challenging. Having being exposed to my religious apparitions/hallucinations in my early twenties, I was always left with a lot to think about regarding my spiritual beliefs. The preferred treatment for schizophrenia was always medication, spiritual counseling was never part of the treatment I received from the Medical Professionals that I dealt with. Even although I always claimed that I experienced certain types of visual religious apparitions/hallucinations (a/h). I often felt that I should have received some spiritual counseling from Medical Staff around my a/h. If you look at the history of Psychiatry, Sigmund Freud did not respond very positively to religion, drawing Medicine away from concepts of Spirituality. Bridging my own gap between the two with my own pursued sort of spiritual needs, I was always able to feel an inner peace for most of my life. In the "bp Canada" magazine, summer of 2006, volume 1,Number 4, (a bipolar consumer publication) there is a very good article on this very subject of Mental Health and Spirituality. I came across the magazine while attending my Psychiatrist's appointment for follow up with research I am part of on schizophrenia, through Montreal's McGill Medical Teaching Services. The magazine was in the clinic's waiting room and made for some interesting reading material pre-appointment. It is only now that the Medical Profession is taking a realistic look at the positive values of Spirituality in Mental Health. I searched out and always tried to maintain my inner peace with my personal spirituality that I believed in over the years. Like I mentioned in my last post, I was strongly influenced by the United Church of Canada teachings in my youth, through out my College years as an Officer Cadet in the Canadian Coast Guard studying engineering sciences, my only real praying was done on Remembrance Day for our War Vets that did not come back. I did have my Baptismal Bible with me in College, along with my Grandfather's Bible that he carried on him during his years of service in World War I, it always meant something to me due to my Grandfather being one of seven from his Battalion that survived the Battle of Somme in France. The Bibles spent time with me out to sea, always on my cabin book shelf, just in case I needed to turn to them for spiritual reasons. Reflecting back, I can see how they were there for me as a sort of spiritual force with out me reading them, power of believing I guess. They lead me to a vacation in the land of my parents heritage, Scotland. Playing with concepts of god was always part of my life, even in my drunken stoopers. In Ayr, Scotland, I met this young Lassie that I drank and danced with, then got creative with writing her a small pro, "Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow, say your prayers and let your belly fill with a ghost of olde!". Her name was Mary and I played with her intellect on what might Joseph have done to created a "Virgin Mary", I figured that it did not happen just out of the blue. I inspired her to pray for something I think and if it ever happened to look me up in Canada somehow under the signed name on the coaster for her personal pro, "Doctor Goober". I did not have the complete pen name with "Modesty" yet. After serving in the Canadian Coast Guard, I worked in the off shore oil industry, this is where a more spiritual types of experiences transformed my life into a person being diagnosed with schizophrenia. With returning to Montreal, the place of my youth, medicated to control a religious type of psychosis that was my schizophrenia. I was soon followed by the Montreal General Hospital and in the Day Center Program for Mental Health Consumers, medicated and searching for spiritual answers to my past. I wrote in a posting quite some time ago about reaching out to a Psychiatrist of Yiddish decent through art therapy. So I produced my first religious a/h in art, looking for help on the subject matter I had to deal with. No matter who had the final call on the validity of my claim, it was a very touchy issue to deal with. I have fond memories of the Psychiatrist at the time, leading the group in the Day Program to Notre Dame Cathedral here in Montreal, for a tour of the Museum and the carved wooden statues in the Cathedral its self. Looking at it now, my attending Psychiatrist of the time, played both sides of the coin, leaving me to build my faith with the price of time. I remember enrolling in Concordia University for a semester during this period as well, taking a beginners course in Theology and a writing course. It kept me flexing the muscle of the mind as I like to put it, the Theology course was under Jesuit teaching from the Catholic Church. Reflecting on the memory of my first class, the instructor with a Doctrine in Theology, asked us to introduce ourselves while commenting on why we took the course. When it was my turn, I responded with my name and saying "To help find myself". The dogma I got back was, "You will not do it here". Discouraging at first yes, then again the course was very influential in helping me grow spiritually over the years, did the Doctor of Theology believe in reverse psychology like my Canadian Coast Guard training, with now seeing what seemed like that was how my Psychiatrist of the time treated me as well. I went on to graduate from the Day Center and go into a Government of Canada back to work training program. At this time, I took a second writing course where I ended up doing a research paper on the Tarot cards, leading me to grow spiritually in a more empowering direction. I developed my own personal belief system around the Tarot cards over the years by applying engineering logic to the subject of Tarot card use. I still turn to the system of card use I put together, along with my now grown collection of Holy Books, when troubled spiritually with aspects of my life, while trying to maintain an inner peace. My variations of styles that my a/h from my schizophrenia have brought to me other idealogies that may not have come to me other wise, it did help me grow spiritually with the basic spiritual foundations that I had instilled in myself after my parents guiding hand. One time at St. Joseph's Oratory, when I went to the place with a patch over my eye for a scratched cornea, I took the eye patch off in a semi-psychotic state in prayer. I then went back to the Hospital emergency and got my eye tested. There was nothing wrong with my eye, there was no more scratched cornea. With a focusing test for reading the chart of letters, I had a pink a/h on the chart. I told the Doctor in emergency everything I did, including the visit to the Oratory and taking off the eye patch. That eye patch was put on early in the morning in the same emergency room, I went back late afternoon. The Doctor could not explain it, I have the medical records to prove my claim. I do not recommend anyone doing this, I could always ride on empty with my power of prayer, like I wrote, I was in a semi-psychotic state. Aristotle's Philosophy and Anthropology by other writers on the human beginning were powerful tools for guiding my hand with my personal beliefs as well. When we were coming out of the caves, we were believing in some sort religious system by the relics that we have been digging up. Religious concepts has carried us through time and now it is being re-introduced into the Mental System for its therapeutic value of consoling when there is not much else. One time that I was in the General's Psychiatric Ward, I read a articale from the Montreal newspaper "The Gazette", that was posted on the bulletin board. The clipping circumvented idealogies that when persons in the Mental Health System have family power of prayer backing them, they fare better than those that do not. My parents always prayed extensively for me through the years, I think Mom even spent some overtime at it for me. Spirituality is a path to self discovery and education that no man or woman should be denied, organized religion is a powerful force, so are the many rituals of the Holy Houses of the World. I once discussed power of prayer with a Muslim Psychiatrist, while getting an emergency side effect prescription at the Montreal General Hospital. The result was, you can create ritual and prayer over anything, it is just what you do with it, in a good verses evil World.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Re-reading Some of My Written Words, Leaves Me Thinking About The Concept Of "Soul Mates"
After reading some of my written words, I came across words pertaining to my Ex as my "Soul Mate". Funny how I believed in this for a long period of time, I find myself drawn to the conclusion that, yes, it was something I was always looking for. The concept of love and a "Soul Mate" grew in me over the years. For the better part of my adult life , I was the found at the back of the bar during the last waltz saying cheers to myself with my beer in hand, murmuring to ones self that, "I will have that last dance with a woman somewhere in my life time". That special bond of oneness with one that you would call your Soul Mate", for almost everything one could ask for. Being brought up with what I would call a stern United Church of Canada religious background, starting from my Sunday School Class attendance as a youngster, to always attending the seasonal Christmas Party at our place of worship while growing up. Then returning to be at a Church Service wearing my Canadian Coast Guard Uniform as an adult, I was always strongly influenced by my Church of Baptizmal. My ideologies around "Soul Mates" obviously revolve around the Church and Christianity, my concept has grown as I have, especially in coming out of a relationship where I felt I had met my "Soul Mate". It is like a preconceived notion in some, that they have to find their "Soul Mate" ,to be truly happy and content in a relationship. From my own experience, I slowly grew into the idea that I was with my "Soul Mate", due to having a preconceived idea that I was to find my "Soul Mate". Sure I created this thought out of my own wit while being influenced by society that I grew up in. My parents relationship was like the "first true love" for each other, which I guess I went looking for as well to some degree. I was not the type of person that went out just to hunt down a female counterpart, in high school the opposite sex never seemed to take any interest in me and I did my own thing preparing to leave my home town to go into the Coast Guard after high school, it was a steadfast thought from an early age. I had the rest of my life to discover the wonderful world of women and finding my "Soul Mate". Going out into the world from my home town, it was natural for me to think that I would get educated, save some money and then hopefully find my "Soul Mate" and get married in a Church to live happily ever after in wedded bliss. So far this has not happened to a large degree. Well, I did get educated, saved money while working on the ships while having the laid back attitude that somehow there would be some fluke meeting with a woman and I would find my "Soul Mate" as others have done before me. Why a "Soul Mate", well I always had a special interest in ghost stories and the Church. Faithful in my own personal prayer without showing it much, I always carried a mystic about myself, as I pursued my own personal faith in life and God or Gods. That concept of a special person that you find and desire to marry in a Church, grew in me to believe in such a thing as a "Soul Mate" that is out there for me. It was always hard for me to find date, never mind that special person that you would like to call your "Soul Mate". I had what you would call my first fling with a woman in a relationship when I was thirty, it was more of a relationship of convenience because she wanted me more than I want her at first. We had our strikes against us for we were both mental health consumers, the relationship only lasted nine months and was more a party on my part while holding down a job. The party ended when my "girl" decided to obliged another man that had been hitting on her while I was with her. I got the news of her fling with my room mate at a time, when I was alone all week-end partying and hung over Sunday morning. She came to me and confessed her adultery with my room mate while I was totally hung over. I had little or no reaction at the time which she took as a sign of my lack of love and fight for her. I think I was so hung over I asked her to repeat what she said, when she stated she spent the night with one of my room mates somewhere else. It was not a good reaction while lighting the first morning cigarette, I ended up a lone with my Sunday morning hang over thinking to myself, "Thank God I never saw her as my "Soul Mate". As time passed and I went through a relocation of residence and built a new life, I was drawn on occasion to going to a Psychiatric Drop In Center while holding down a job. During this time period, I was more inclined to accepting the Schizophrenia diagnoses and forgetting about my mystical foundations that were so dear to my heart. I was working as an electrical-mechanic and was going through a phase of terms of endearment with modern Psychiatry and accepting a meager life style with my schizophrenia diagnoses. While going to the Psychiatric Drop In Center, I ran into a French Canadian woman close to my age, with the same diagnoses as I have and we hit it off pretty good as we got to know each other. My ability to hold down a job as a mental health consumer often proved to be a handy-cap on the personal level, due to feeling awkward about not having a "state" free relationship, a girl friend on Welfare included the Province of Quebec in the relationship with rules and regulations for what is living together and what is visiting. I learned my first lesson about giving a key to your apartment to a woman that you are dating, things happened faster than I anticipated. The relationship lasted twelve months and during this time period I was always searching for that special link to make that "Soul Mate " connection. Sure we shared a couple of mass hallucinations together and other freaky stuff but we could never come to a common consensus on the experience, we seemed to beg to differ on more than I anticipated for. As time passed, while I insisted she got a job when we lived together, due to her Welfare cheque grace for living with a boy friend was about to run out and it would be my pay cheque supporting both of us, it was then she played with medication and birth control pills. I ended up fighting to have a fetus being terminated with an abortion, due to not having the money to support a mother and child, especially where we were both mental health consumers and she turning semi-psychotic. A mental health worker that was always close to my common law spouse at the time, helped get her into hospital for her mental health along with submitting to an abortion from my influential hand of judgment. The relationship was terminated when she went into hospital and I buried myself in my work and alcohol from the thought of being part of an abortion. I made life go on while I got back to my mystical roots once again while taking the kicks from modern society for having mystical foundations. I found myself looking into the bottom of my beer glass and praying for a "Soul Mate" many a night during the last waltz in the Clubs for several years. Then one night when I was kind of looking for a date to take to a company Christmas party eight years ago, my Ex and I started sizing each other up for being a couple. The dream of a special "Soul Mate came a live again, even more so when we mutually discussed how I promised I would go off into the Coast Guard and come and find her after conquering the World. It was a mystical vow we agreed we remembered making to each other a long time a go in a park across from the old Montreal Forum. The worst part about being a mystic and a creative poet/artist in a relationship, is that you create poetry with words and paintings expressing your love for your partner, self induced belief in your "Soul Mate" concept through your creative works, that is all the more hard to destroy in separating from a relationship together. I whole heartedly believed I had met my "Soul Mate", we were so close in many ways at first. The only way I can figure the seven year relationship is from the words from my Social Worker at the time of our relationship and its troubles that always seemed to be there, "her family is sacred to her and your education is sacred to you, they are not mixing to well". My Social worker at the time also said to me, "You two should take off together and forget the rest", which was impossible with my common law spouse having a child at home still. It did tear me apart in various levels of emotional being when breaking off with her and starting to live as just room mates. We used to say a nightly prayer together for each other, that I wrote for what I thought would be our enduring love and "Soul Mates" so to think. Too much arguing ensued during the relationship, it was like I was always trying to prove I knew what I was talking about and just did not come out of a cracker jack box as a "schizo" or something. I felt more bonded by my art I created around our love and the promise to come back and find her, hence providing for her child and not thinking so much of my own personal needs in my relationship. I discovered it is a basic human function to forget about your own needs while trying to provide for the child that is present, I gained a lot while growing personally in a different direction from my Ex, away from the one I fell in love with, that I have called my "Soul Mate". When discussing the concept of "Soul Mates" with a close friend today, he made the statement in referral to a person having possibly more than one "Soul Mate". What if? Many a person before me has felt that they were with a "Soul Mate" and it did not work out. So they were always looking for one just like I was and theorized just like me about being with him/her, it makes it all the more difficult to separate from each other, but some times we have to do it to save our own "Sacred Soul". In my own writing in a musical concept album, that I started about twenty years ago, I wrote about a magical link with a woman that was a "Soul Mate" so to write. Now that I have evolved in the way I have, I believe even more so in that Godly magical link with a woman that would make her my "Soul Mate". I chased the idea once and perhaps I will always chase it in my power of prayers to try and make that feeling come alive again with a loving person at my side. With my "Schizo" prayer power, strange things happen, I can see it but my Psychiatrist can not, it is my World of delusion. If I get a "Soul Mate" out of it in the end, I guess I will not be so delusional after all.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Mystical Experience In A Bar Prior To Getting The Schizophrenia Diagnoses Haunts Me More Today Than Back Then
After I resigned from my position on an oilrig from strange phenomena happening around me, I returned to St John's Newfoundland to my apartment and felt rather isolated. At this time, my life did not consist of doing very much, I did not have too many associates that were close to me and ended going out to the Bars to catch local Bands or those Bands that came to the "rock" to play on the local circuit. One particular evening in the Bar back then that I will never forget, was when I had a mystical experience that was hard to handle at the time. The Canadian Artist Cherie Lawrence, who had a TV slot in the seventies I think, was doing her gig in Bars during 1984. She was quite the attraction when she came to St John's, she put on a really good show in the Bar that she was playing in while in town. Of course I was in attendance for the show, I always had a weakness for female vocalist in song and I have to say she had the power of song in every song she sang. If I am remembering correctly, I had my mystical experience on the last night Cherie played over the weekend. I was not even consuming alcohol at the time, I was into tonic water and lemon for a refreshment when I went out to the Clubs, sort of staying sober in a hard drinking town. Anyway, I was standing close to the stage leaning on the long center island for holding drinks and ashtrays. I can not even remember what song Cherie was singing when I seemed to go somewhere in my mind and vision where I saw a total waste land in front of me. Everything was coloured in a light rolling red with its various shades between orange and red. The scene reminded me of a sunset with clouds that resembled a waste land, which I saw in high school, that I never forgot. The surrounding image of a total waste land as one would try to describe it, where I could no longer hear the music from the Band nor the chatter of the people in the Bar, I was off on some mystical voyage witnessing something I could not explain. I was held in suspension for a bit where ever I was, then I heard Cherie singing the words "Do not forget to be loved" No music or nothing, just her voice sing out from somewhere in the waste land that I seemed to be in. After the words were sung once, I came back to reality and was in the Bar again hearing the music and the chatter of the people present. I was left in a slight state of awe over it, while feeling nervous and all after the experience. It was almost like I showed the people present what I saw or something, it was a really strange feeling that I was left with. The night was close to the end of the stage show and I found myself a spot at the back of the Bar by the main entrance, I nervously stood there by the door not knowing what to make of the night's experience. Cherie Lawrence then came briskly walking towards the door where I was standing, as she went out the door of the Bar, she seemed to glance at me in what seemed like a bit of a nervous fashion. It really bothered me due to the experience I went through during one of her songs, why did she even glance at me while going out the door? I was nobody special or did something special happen that people knew where I went with Cherie's song. I may never know what all really happened that night, but I sure know what I experienced in seeing a waste land and hearing the voice telling me "Do not forget to be loved". So here I am twenty two years later, single and left haunted by this experience from so long ago. Sure it is human to be wanting love from someone, I always used to ask my Ex in our arguments "What do you love me for then?", it is like I never really felt love the way it is supposed to be felt. Many a time while out on the town over the years, I was haunted with being alone while Cherie's voice would run through my head singing those special words in the waste land that I seemed to have entered way back when. Here I am once again feeling haunted by this particular past experience, with not being in a relationship any more while searching in my head for a direction to obtain a better financial status than what I am presently in. Sure love can come in many ways I guess, to go looking for love is not the direction I want to take in my life right now, but the desire to be loved by a special woman again is dear to my heart. With all I have been through, looking for that special love of a woman, I am left with the image of the waste land once again with the words of wisdom ringing in my head. Where does a male turning 46, that carries the diagnoses of schizophrenia with no real assets except my intelligence, find that special love through a woman's desire for me. So that the mystical experience of so long ago, does not leave me haunted by the words "Do not forget to be loved" because I was never in a position to feel the love that I so desired.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Finding My Way With My Life Again While Pursuing My Art & Music For Its Therapeutic Value
It has been a couple of week now since I have made a post, my life is slowing returning to a productive routine like prior to my hospitalzation and struggles with extra pyramidal side effects. Finding myself with being in a reflective mood, regarding all that has transpired the last eight years during a relationship with my ex-common law, I chose to pursue my artistic endeavors for future plans. Hoping may be something will come out of it. As a person carrying the diagnoses of schizophrenia, I always tried to hold down a job putting my tools of the trade to work with competence. I had a good job when I met the last woman (Ex) that I fell in love with, everything seemed to go wrong after the industrial explosion at that place of employment. It was a mind blowing experience all the way!!! Just before the explosion at the factory, I was picking up some tools or something in the machine shop and stopped to chat with one of the machinists at work on a surface grinder. We chatted for a bit, then I said, "Well I better get a move on and get some work done before the Boss comes around". So I headed out off the machine shop, through the door into the factory, with a right turn to go through another part of the factory, I walked a small way and took a loading dock door to go outside heading to the place where I was working in the North section of the plant past the office. I was not long outside when there was a large bang with an explosion, smoke started coming out from everywhere, with being one of the factory's electromechanics, I started to return into the factory to investigate as production workers started steaming out coughing and gasping for air. I forget how things got organized, the machine shop wall and door I had just walked through earlier had crumbled with the blast of the explosion, we were finding each other and getting flash lights and fire extinguishers to go look for others closer to the blast. I was soon part of a small team fighting the fires and looking for injured men in the rubble. The plant Engineer and Owner were in close proximity of the blast and were carried outside injured. The electromechanics teamed together to control the fires and shut off the electricity. Soon everyone was accounted for and we pulled out of the smokey haze that made the air thick. The Firemen had arrived by the time we came out, they were preparing to enter and wanted one of us to lead them into the burning factory. No one wanted to go back in, so dumb old me volunteered to take them in to the part of the factory which was a blaze. They had their Scott Air Packs for breathing, while I only had my personal rubber faced dust mask which was not designed for toxic gases of an industrial fire. After a briefing and the firemen knew that we were going to be approaching a fire around a glue tank that could explode if over heated by the surrounding fire, we waited for the command to enter the building. So when all were ready and we were told to go, I lead the team of firemen into the smoke hazed factory to the section burning still. As we walked through the dark by flashlight, the glow of the fire ahead was upon us. The Firemen asked me to try and open the emergency exit that was close the the fire at the back of the building. I headed over to the exit crawling over rubble and taking a two step to give the buckled door the best of soccer kicks I could ever give on the opening bar. The door popped open right away, more Firemen were out side setting up equipment, I returned to the team I escorted in and I was told to go back out front and leave them to handle the rest. After sitting out front for a bit, I was crammed into an ambulance with several others to be treated in hospital for smoke inhalation. I was soon released after I started coming and going from my room to have a cigarette. In time I was called back to work to start the clean up and repairs, then my right leg started to get sore. As each progressed I started to limp more and more with my sore leg. After work one night, I went to the Clinic to see a Doctor. An X-ray was taken and a hair line fracture was found in my old healed break of my tibia and fibia in my right leg. The Doctor asked me if I had kicked anything or something, well I responded with my role in the explosion and kicking open the emergency exit. She said "That will do it". So I had to stay off my leg for a while and walk with a cain until the fracture healed. I could not get workers compensation because the dead line for claiming injuries from the explosion had past, along with me never telling the Boss I had a bit of a bump leg when he hired me. Do you tell the boss everything medical when he hires you? In Quebec, Canada you have a responsibility to tell your employer medical conditions for hazards on the job. I found out the hard way and ended up out of work with no money or anything. As the leg healed, I got another job offer for more money which I ended up accepting only to get screwed by my new Boss for knowing my engineering and making some other Supervisor look bad. Like a co-worker said to me when I was leaving, this company uses people, I feel for you, you know your job. I never really was able to land a decent job after that while always arguing with my girlfriend at the time, because of electrical problems in her home and the electrical fire I stopped in her bathroom in the fall after I was in the explosion the spring of the same year. When ever we argued over weather or not I new what I was talking about in building practice, someone always called 911. So I stood up for the Canadian National Building Code and my life went progressively down hill with 911 being called on me. At least now the Doctors I work with, respect my capabilities and expertise in engineering technology. I am more prone to doing my art and playing guitar as a form of therapy for my developed anger from being strapped to beds and sedated after trying to arue my engineering point with my girlfriend. The "Schizo" was never to believed or something. Other people always new best and it destroyed the relationship and part of my life. Ok, I got my disability pension out of it and I got more involved with developing my artistic talent. While the Art Group that I am part of is off for the summer, one group member and myself get together in a local park with my guitar and our sketch pads. We take turns playing guitar while the other sketches a scene of the park. I contacted the Music Therapist at the Hospital to get involve in the Music Therapy program, so I could get some more guitar lessons out of it. My guitar playing has come a long way since I got two semesters of lessons under my belt from student Music Therapists at the Hospital in the past. My art has also come a long way as well, since I started taking it more seriously. I am no longer scared of pushing a pencil and wasting paper or a canvas. When I see what I want to produce in my mind's eye, I just produce it or copy an image from somewhere. With being part of an Art Show with Birks House Artists at the Musee du Beaux-Art de Montreal, I feel more like an Artist somehow. The opening of the show was the fist time I displayed art outside of the Out Patient Clinic and smoozed with a glass of wine in my hand. I really enjoyed that sense of accomplishment, I put quite a fair bit of work into that particular Art Show and the Museum Animator seemed to be able to open my eyes more to the world of art. My art and guitar buddy in the park is starting to plan with me to do an Art show at a location that I have in mind through a contact of mine. It would be nice to put something together with the visual arts and having my guitar interlude along side. I always was a creative dreamer, it is just at this point of my life that I am starting to dream about doing things with the creative arts. I have no children, my only expense is me and ambulance bills that built up along with one unfortunate credit card from financial hard times. As I am turning 46, perhaps it is late in life to go diving into being an Artist. But what odds for now, if it proves therapeutic. I play a couple of old WWII songs on the guitar, that carry me onward through my memories of the battles and struggles of my past eight years, to find a new found happiness in the future.