No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. -Aesop
The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation is an excellent charity. If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental condition, please consider donating. 100% of your donation goes directly to research.
Imagine hearing a voice in your head every waking hour of every day:
Edd is walking down Spring Street. Edd is going into the library. Edd is scratching his forehead.
Now, imagine your mind rhyming every waking hour of every day:
Skittles, vittles, with some fiddles…leaves me hungry all the time. Riddles, diddles with The Littles…Buddy, can you spare a dime?
Now, add a section of signals to this ensemble, overt messages that you send to everyone in the room alerting them to your weaknesses and vulnerabilities:
If you challenge me, I will fold like a house of cards in the wind. I will bend to your every whim. I am easy prey. Grime in my toes, watch how it grows…touching it makes me grin. Edd is sitting with a book. Slime on my lips, licks make it drip…taste it again and again. Edd is reading the words. Challenge me and you will conquer.
Next, add paranoid & grandiose delusions to this growing symphony:
They are plotting to hurt you, to kill you. They are waiting for the right moment, the right place in time-space to hurt you. Their plans have been made, and they are waiting for the right time to… Dimes in my pocket, light up like a socket…when I graze them with my car. This is on my docket because I am a rocket…shooting to the stars. They are plotting. Edd is closing his book. Challenge me and you will win. Edd is opening his book. They are plotting. You have been sent here to bestow a special message to the world. Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with mirth… Edd is reading about caves and shadows and light. Let there be peace on Earth and let it start with my birth. I am easy prey. You can kill me with a Louisville Slugger bat of your eye, that is no lie, I see how you spy from the sky, please don’t cry, let me fly…when I die, hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away.
Then, add rapid-cycling manic depression to this concerto. Awake, alert, focused, energetic for three to four days — suicidal for three to four. Every week. For years. Without reprieve.
Finally, set a vise on your skull and imagine an invisible fist turning that vise slowly but persistently every hour of every day until you are certain that cerebral matter will erupt from your scalp. Imagine that there is no escape from this pain and the only way to survive is to clench your teeth and bear it.
Over 2 million people in the United States & Canada have some form of schizophrenia. That number leaps to approximately 21 million worldwide. This blog is about learning, compassion, and patience. It is about having a dialogue about one of the cruelest afflictions known to humanity. I hope you join me in this endeavor to know more and judge less because people everywhere — including people with schizophrenia — deserve understanding, respect, and kindness.
March 02, 2019
P.S. If you have some form of schizophrenia, congratulations on surviving the cruelest, most personally devastating condition known to humanity. Be proud of your accomplishment. You deserve it.