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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Feeling A Bit Moody With Lack The Of Being Able To Work Like I Used To
Well here I am slipping into being in a form of a mood or depression! Mainly because I miss working a full time job like I always did while taking medication for my schizophrenia. Sure it is a full time job being an Artist/Writer but it lacks something compared to having to answer to a Boss and other employees. Part of it is the mental challenge of the engineering field that I miss, along with having a regular pay cheque with the usual amount of over time put in for the extra money. Hence the above image was done today at my art group, that I am part of at the Hospital here in Montreal. It turned out to be funny how the Animatrice of the art group asked us to do a piece of art surrounding our emotions, I have been feeling the crunch being stuck in my small room most of the time and it is becoming depressing. I always used to be up with the sun rise or before to get ready for work, even although I was taking anti-psychotic medication for my schizophrenia. I would be marching out the front door of my apartment around six in the morning with my red and white lunch box along with my stainless steel Thermos for my coffee for the better part of the day. I was always a proud tradesperson in my tradeperson blue attire and fully capable of applying engineering practice efficiently on the job to get something done to the best of my abilities. Missing this type of life style has lead me into a bluesy type mood which more or less is the early signs of depression. What am I going to do? Talk to my Psychiatrist about it, I would rather not, a Psychiatrist will only prescribe a pill or two for depression to keep me wired for sound so I am always happy, this will not replace all that I long for. So my image came out of my mood, caught between the Devil and the Angel in Canadian society, in nakedness just figuring out how to find my happiness again. Sure I pray to my Guardian Angel that God is merciful and I will get out of this slump. It is not so easy going out to get a job again when one is stricken with extra pyramidal side effects (epse). Just as an example, I had to cancel my dentist appointment yesterday due to having a bad bout of the epse. The Dentist cannot work on my mouth when it is having involuntary movements, it drives him nuts trying to work on me when I have the epse. So what Boss is going to pay me to stand around having involuntary muscle contractions instead of working my full grain of salt with the sweat of doing your job to ones full potential? Sure I have my self employment and clean and maintain one building once a week, sometimes there is extra work in the maintenence and I make few extra bucks. The work is all by contract and I am my own Boss. If I loose time it is no skin of the the Boss's back, I am the one that bids with my quote for getting the job done. If I loose time from having the epse, I am the only one that pays, the price is set with the quote my Boss accepts. I still look in the papers for that extra one day job or something around buildings, it is hard trying to explain why you are on disability pension at my age, I get the response sometimes,"You are too young, I am looking for someone retired that needs some work." Then there is the slanderous Devil that lingers in society around me, ever since I stood up for the Canadian National Building Code, when I caught an idiot doing bullshit work installing gyp rock over original hundred year old plaster and selling the old oak trim on the black market, I get slandered a lot of places I go around the city. I have even been slandered at my art group at the hospital or having my art work voted off the group's website, the Animatress let me put my art back up on the website when she realized what was going on. So here I am stuck in a 14' x 6' room most of the time, having a Psychiatrist that calls me delusional for seeing things that others can not, while pretty much living on a prayer trying to get back into one of my old tax brackets as an Urban Outsider Artist. Slander even floats around my art sometimes, funny how things never work out around me now a days, people I have tried to deal with, always come up with some excuse why not to deal with me in the end. So I pretty well brush it off as the stigma of Psychiatry along with the burden of knowing proper engineering practice around buildings. I wrote some of what went on around this building that drove my life down hill in a previous post. At least the local News on CFCF 12 Montreal puts plugs in for me every now and again, along with the radio station I listen to, CHOM FM 97.7 Montreal. At least these two media outlets believe in me trying to succeed in my life again as an Artist/Writer that carries the diagnosis of schizophrenia. With the little bit of local media attention I get, may be one day I will rise to a higher tax bracket through putting my art tools to work. I am full of ideas to produce in art, sometimes it is money and having the right connections to get that show on the road that will pay the debit ends that I desire. So living on my schizo prayer I plug away, as I plugged away hammering out this posting, believing in my heart I will succeed again and get off Government cheques for a living!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Attending A Lecture At The Museum Des Beaux-Arts de Montreal Proved To Be Enlightening And Personally For Filling

The Art Group that I am part of was invited to a lecture at the one of the local Museums here in Montreal, "Healing Through Creativity" was a lecture by Louise Lacroix, Associate Professor, Department of Creative Arts Therapies, Concordia University, Montreal. With hearing what the Professor had to say, I felt very close to her chosen words for the evening. The lecture dealt with the subject of giving enlightening evidence that "Artistic activity is a necessity and a universal tendency that can lead to a creative adaptation. " (Museum des Beaux-Art de Montreal Jan/Apr 07 booklet) I for one find my artistic activity a necessity for me through doing personal art dealing with Shaman antics. As the Professor pointed out at the beginning of the lecture, the Shaman of days gone by, helped carry on the tradition of the arts through visual and musical means while being the religious stimulator in local tribes in civilization. The drawing of animals on cave walls served the purpose of giving the cave hunter an understanding/appreciation of his prey that he so dearly depended on but lacked understanding of. I have drawn and painted my apparitions/hallucinations (a/h) as a way of helping me to have that ongoing fruitful relationship with them, along with assisting me in obtaining some sort of understanding of them by studying over time, even although I do not not have a total understanding of them in relation to what Psychiatrists say about my a/h. Having certain callings to practice religious ritual, my art becomes a part of it as I try an find answers for things I do not total understand. It is surprising what comes out subliminally in my art, sometimes I see it or at other times, something I put into the art unknowingly is pointed out to me and I find myself laughing at myself due to what I produced. The Professor went on to tell us how there is a new social movement to use art as medicine to help people with rapid change in our world. Doing my art is in itself a really relaxing experience, it takes my mind off things I do not want to think about but the story telling angle of my schizophrenic issues comes out through the arts leading me down a therapeutic path of self re-discovery and communication therapy. People seem to take more interest when they see a painting or drawing of one of my visual a/h, thus the experience I went through gets talked about instead of being bottled up inside of me to take to my grave. In this way, art is medicine to me while helping me become more socially interactive through the arts, this has its own therapeutic value with the predominant amount of isolation I have as an inner city dweller. At the end of the lecture there was a small art show in the community Hall of the Museum which was held by "Friends For Mental Health". It was their 25th anniversary that they were celebrating the occassion and a light snack and soft drinks were served after listening to speaker introducing the organization and thanking some of the volunteer staff from over the years. The web address of "Friends For Mental Health" is at: , the organization has quite the little bit of history behind themselves, it all started from a small group of family members that worked at making a difference in the mental health system. In my own way, I work at making a difference in the mental health system by telling how it was and is, walking my trodden path as a person with schizophrenia, so the path is less stigmatized for the next one of that is marching it trying to figure out life with the schizophrenia diagnosis. Over all it was a very good evening once again at the Museum and it was good not to feel so alone as a person struggling through the mental health system.