I don’t remember. I don’t fucking remember much of the events which have led me around myself for 40 fucking years. When I say I don’t remember, I mean that I don’t have a visual recallable representation of a lot of my experiences from childhood. I just know what it felt like, I just know the fear and the anxiety, the wanting to leave, the wanting to get the fuck out of there, the but not knowing how to. And I have incorporated these experiences into my psyche, they have become a part of me, they have contributed, overwhelmingly to all the negative attributes that are haunting me to this day. My self-esteem is so low, I cannot imagine anyone but friends and family, saying that my writing is any good. My ability to connect with other human beings, is somewhat immature and awkward, though few people seem to actually see through my cloak of (false) confidence. My relationships are rife with struggle, misunderstandings and an inability to properly communicate both my needs, wants and my hurts. It feels as if I am living in a bad dream. One where I am stumbling around in my old apartment but I can’t find the door, I can’t get out, I can’t get anywhere. There is a slight blurring at the periphery of my vision, a mild disorientation, everything is dark corners, there is no where to go, the stink of animal fear is palpable and coming off of me, my desperation is obvious to the me that is the witness of the dream, my lack of options, obvious, the need to get out feels insurmountable and overwhelming. But I cannot turn away, I cannot wake from this life of self-reproach, I cannot numb myself enough with drugs or sex or porn or TV or music or books or the games on my stupidphone or meditation or the creation of art. I feel like I am the walking wounded, the living dead, a man living out his pain, in every expression, every heated word, with every breathe and there does not seem to be an end in sight. Every now and then, the Millwood bridge seems like the right place for me. I feel I have many stories inside on me that might be interesting to relay or cautionary in theme to share. Here is one of them.
However, I do remember much to my surprise and my misunderstanding when I first heard about, learned about the symptomatology of various forms of mental illnesses, I was taught that there are both positive and negative symptoms or effects of having diagnosis’ such as schizophrenia or bi-polar. When I first heard this I thought, “Oh, wow, there are positive symptoms, positive effects, of having a mental illness”. From the medical model, what it really means though, is that having negative symptoms means, that something has been taken away from you, something is lost to you as a result of this confluence of brain function, emotional response, range and intensity of emotion which all converge to change the way you present yourself, your being, the way people have known you to be, something that was there, has now changed, is now gone. These can be activities you were once interested in, sports, hobbies, aspirations, goals, social functions like the ability to trust, the ability to form intimate relationships, that ability to lead a “normal” life, those are some examples of negative symptoms, negative effects, something lost. The positive symptoms, the positive effects are things that are added on, things that were not already there but have shown up in the period before the diagnosis, often leading to the diagnosis. These can include hearing voices that others don’t hear, responses like severe paranoia, seeing things that others do not see, anxiety and social phobias, and depression both mild and major, these are all positive effects, things that are added on to who you have been know to be by others and who you have known yourself to be.