It is Monday the 16th of March, 2015 – and I am here writing my first Blog Post. I can hardly believe it! I initially intended on leaving this off until the end of the year. I wanted to produce more Art, Writing, Poetry; take more Photos, have more Eventful Experiences to share; have my Blog Posts planned out; have done some travel (as yet, I have not completed any recent travel, although I do have some travel planned for later in the year: to go home to visit my family & friends) and I wanted to be organised. However, I eventually figured out that if I planned these things, but didn’t do them – I would have nothing to share on my blog. So, I started doing things…
Not the things on my list, but a whole bunch of other stuff: distractions. For example, going to a sports group, yoga, a coffee group and a support group. I decided that if I want to get past all the distractions, I have to bite the bullet and get down to it and start this thing. I decided I would start my blog, even though I don’t have much to show you right now, because it will keep me accountable to my audience (which consists only of myself so far) and it would hopefully act as an extrinsic motivational factor.
However, I do know that intrinsic factors are what really get us going. I’ve just realised reading back on the last two paragraphs that what I’ve written isn’t really fair, because this is meant to by a Lifestyle Blog, just as much as it is an Art and Travel Blog – through the lenses of someone who is very Hopeful of the future. More than that, through the lens of someone who was diagnosed with a “severe brain disease”, as my Doctors, Psychiatrists etc. refer to it. I have not bought into the storyline that it is going to be an ongoing problem for life (although that is often what the professionals see in their practices), because I have hope in God, faith in both God and myself – and thus, have been given a “good prognosis”. Personally, I believe I have the BEST prognosis, because not only do I have hope and faith, but I also have a lot of resources at my disposal. Resources most people do not know about, although many are aware of them. For example books on neuroplasticity, learned optimism and positivity, such as those by Martin Seligman and Norman Dooidge, M.D. I will put it out there directly. The intention of this Blog, is not only to Blog, although I do want to get that right. My intention is to build a business, as well as a community of like-minded individuals and those with opposing views alike. I want to sell my art, poetry, writing and anything else I can produce, such as music. I don’t yet know how to go about this, but I figure I will learn as I go.
Maybe you can help me, with some advice, guidance, links, suggestions, constructive feedback or ideas. I welcome any and all of this. You might be an expert and know a little or a lot about some of my interests, or you might like me, be a novice at these things, but still have something valuable to contribute – not only to myself, but to this community (God willing!). The dreaded diagnosis I was given is “Paranoid Schizophrenia”. When I share this with people (because I am all about debunking stigma, stereotypes, shame, guilt etc and promoting peace, kindness and goodwill towards humanity – and the animals too, but more about that later) they often say things like “I would never take you as someone with that”, “you’re not a schizophrenic” or “you don’t seem paranoid to me”.
The fact is that I always had a lot of insight into my condition – or whatever you might like to call it, and I knew straight up that something was wrong. I learned very quickly how to compensate behaviourally so that nobody would know I was unwell (I would go to the community centre and talk to real people about their lives, listen attentively and in a caring manner, play soccer, surf the web, paint, draw and socialise – meanwhile voices in my head were telling me they were going to come and get me and torture people I care deeply about – this was very disturbing, but I put it at the back of my mind and it diminished on it’s own over the course of a year, until I no longer heard voices, unless I opted to “tune in” to them). Why did I do that instead of “seeking help”? The answer is simple: I did not want the dreaded label I knew I would be given. To my surprise, when I was first admitted to hospital I wasn’t labelled a paranoid schizophrenic. Nor was I upon the 2nd admission. But on the 3rd admission after a year from the first onset, I was finally diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. I hated the label. I wanted to find every excuse under the sun for it to be something else: ANYTHING else. But no: once you have been given that label, it is very difficult to shake it. It is possible. I’ve heard of people being told they never had it in the first place – after considerable healing took place (usually through an alternative route to psychiatry).
Personally, I believe that will be me in 10 or 15 years. They’ll be asking, “were you faking it the whole time”? That is something I want to propose to you: perhaps I am faking it. Schizophrenia, although it is considered a severe brain disease is not the centre of my life. I am facing more pressing issues, such as anxiety (which could make the schizophrenia worse if I allowed it to). I face my anxiety daily. Sometimes I take breaks from facing it – and just chillax, but most of the time I am facing it. When I am doing anything other, I take time to breathe deeply, like a yogi – and think happy thoughts, go to a beautiful place in my mind, such as the beach, a tropical rainforest or a dessert (desserts can be beautiful, especially at night or very early in the morning when the dew is setting on everything). I have a lot of “free time” – although most of it goes towards learning about business, reading blogs, analysing blogs and trying to work out my writing style. Things like that. I also go to the groups I mentioned above, and more. I would like to share more about that later, although I feel the need to uphold the strictest confidentiality and not mention names, place names, groups or organisation names. I might edit some details later if it turns out ok to mention these things. Although I have so much more I want to write – and I feel that I really need to clarify what this Blog is about more for you, I feel the need to let it be what it is and go do something else for a while.
If you have read this far, I want to thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to share a little about my life with you – and I hope that you will return to read more, see more and particularly I want you to see my Art-work, as this is my greatest strength. I know that I can produce quality works, as people have approached me for commissions. I was much more practiced then, but I am in the process of building my skills up again – and I hope you will be here with me on the journey together to see the work improving over time. If you want to contact me for any reason, you can contact me at email@example.com Once again, thank you – and have an AWESOME DAY AND LIFE! 🙂