Here is a story I just published about my experiences with psychosis and schizophrenia. I publish it on a non-mental health related writing platform to bring more awareness to the outside public. I know a lot is written here about schizophrenia, but maybe some of you will relate to my experiences that I try to depict as close to truth and reality as I can. Share your stories too!
Part One - Paper Flowers
It started when I was thirteen and fourteen, I began retreating a lot into an inner world. I don’t think it had to do with family drama, I just became rebellious. I watched a movie about a goth and immediately decided I was going to be a depressed
poetic writer. But I couldn’t fit in no matter what I did, so I chose to be an
outcast. Before I went to high school I was kind of shy and people didn’t know
how to react. I was slowly retreating into more convoluted thoughts and dreams
about other identities. I was exploring my identity and personifying ideas…I
think the true problem was that I was depressed, rebellious, and reckless with
my behaviors sometimes. I had no self control or impulse control, and it got worse
My parents decided instead of me going to HS in my hometown I would go
to a boarding high school in Ohio in the middle of some farmer town to pick potatoes
and learn about organic farming and Quaker stuff. It was my anti-establishment
activist mother’s idea…and thinking back if I had been more mature
and self-sustaining then I would have appreciated and enjoyed it to some extent.
The boarding school was also haunted and I’m sensitive to spirits. I recall
hearing knocking from inside a closet and my roommate handing me a pill before
I woke up in a different bed, refused to eat food and drew paintings that I tore up.
I kinda just slipped out of orbit.
At times I thought it was crazy that I was diagnosed with chronic paranoid
schizophrenia at age 16. I was dabbling with tarot cards and trying to overcome
it, but after awhile I had an information overload, I was having cold and hot
flashes, I was delirious it felt more like a fever than actual psychosis to me. Then I
calmed down, was hospitalized, was put on medication against my will and eventually
decided that certain medications were ok, and that it was ok to be dependent
on something to cope. It taught me to control my impulses, I saw therapists
who mostly just boosted my self esteem and confidence to try harder to put the
pieces back. I’ve been living a shattered life for a long time.
And yet of all the times I thought it would never end or get better, I found
hope or that small silver lining and that really does make all the difference. It
makes you stronger to have overcome depression or thoughts of suicide, and pills
don’t cure that only you can find a way to overcome certain things. I think if I had
lived any other way of life, I still probably would’ve come to some crisis eventually.
That’s a part of growing up, it’s a part of who I am. I ask big questions and am
blessed with hard challenges. Some of it has made me bitter, but most of it has
made me stronger.
I think a lot of people are drawn to that, and growing up a lot of dreamers
and thinkers have an existential or depressive crisis. I constantly felt punished.
Over time I took Abilify and my memories did suffer in the short-term but I became
more rational and smarter. I’m actually Bipolar with Adhd. I take a low
10mg dose of Adderall and am using that to increase the skill I lost through this
deficit and interruptions in education. The first sign I was having symptoms actually
were noticed by my math teacher who said my Algebra grades went from
straight A’s to failing in a matter of a month, and I was also having problems with
fatigue. I just felt like my mind was falling away.
Despite all this stuff is probably common and depressing, I’ve managed to
make a lot of progress in the 10 years of battling this illness, and I think at 25-26
is when your brain starts fully maturing and your mind can manifest a lot of new
ideas and solidify old ones. That’s why the age 25 is an important age of experience
but also of forgiveness. If you have high aspirations don’t let them go, but
work towards what you already have and try and build a foundation on what you
know and learned. Reflect on all the accomplishments of your life and all the
things you’d still like to do. Have hope don’t give up. Set a standard and example
for the people who have no heroes. That’s what I want to be, a role model.
Part Two- Hidden Narratives
She was fourteen when her parents sent her to that horrible school.
Then she came back to the world, and nothing could explain the pain, depression,
anger. She slowly began losing her mind, and on the day she cracked she
screamed about the greenhouse where the bomb was dropped, where the students
had poured her a strange drink nights before and then told her to leave,
cheering after she was gone. Waking up, numb and confused. “What happened?”
She didn’t know how she got there, and it felt strange as if she hadn’t slept. She
had a fleeting image of walking around the halls with the same two men in the
But their faces were so clear, and her behavior so odd. She went home that
night, and told God she was going to destroy herself for this. Her parents thought
she had schizophrenia. For two weeks the pain of depression didn’t end. Nothing
felt like anything, everything felt like nothing. They shut her up in a hospital
where the nurse would go to her bedside and ask her to take pills for sleeping, but
she was sleeping better and wanted to go home. They kept giving her more pills
and she wanted to remember, and it kept forcing her to split apart. The memory
was erased, and then after more torment and assault, she was a chronic paranoid
Part Three: Poetic Memories
Everything has withered, dried up, & become a void of dispersion. The hatred,
the anger, the force of his mind or the dark ink scribbles that I can’t simply
muster anymore. The beauty of the rain drops or the bitterest downpour, soaking
me to the core with vapid discontent. No drug could satiate nor satisfy the barren
volume which sits within me. My thoughts skim through fleeting moments of
what was before and the urgent sense of sanity, which could never have claimed
my mind. I feel broken like a violin; voicing her song to no one but the creaking
floorboards. If I could only summon the Lords of the universe to sweep me away
from the numbing chill of depression. If I could dip a brush into India Ink and
smear my portrait across the infinite canvas that has become my life–to be born
again in the wild thunderous storm of madness.
Instead, I remain listless as the fog mows over the evening sky, an intrepid
traveler of clouds. Meaninglessly I conjure words to realms which are too far
from this lake of disarray. The world spins and twists itself betwixt the hands of
oblivion, but if only we knew ourselves better. A blur of watercolors descends
upon this oceanic view of the neither-nor woman. I see a bright room lit by an undesirable
opaqueness, where the listless fallen are nursed back to life. I pray to
Heaven and his convoy of immortals, though I never am sure if he has heard. The
voices have all gone to sleep, have been banished to never-land. Once a child of
innocent insanity, now slipping past the moon as the shadows dance upon her in
a circle of understanding.
She watches clouds gathering droplets of rain from her eyes. She knows it
is because there is something wrong with it. Unsure if she’s angry or relieved, the
woman goes and sits on the porch like she had for so long. Staring out into the
beautiful green and blue, her sobs release as she pleads with the Lord for forgiveness
from her ignorance. They buy Maggie flowers on Sunday, purple ones that
look like daisies. That night their children dream of blood pouring from the sky.
Angry voices leap at them from the shadows.
How can she begin again? Like before, after the cleansing had left her mind
barren and her skin cold to the touch. Would it be wrong to suspect father’s accusations?
Her sorrow descends like a dark cloud across the horizon. Her mother’s
sobs are heard from the room below; her father silently curses the evil demon
dancing dancing in the dark, twisting anything they can touch, breaking hearts.
How strange that she had to lose touch with everything she once loved so dearly.
Now the words mean nothing. A mother with secrets.
Where was the shining spark that kept her alive whether it drove her to
madness… fighting a false war for a false product or are we armed against something
more sinister? Is this how you take your property back? Ignorance is cowardice.
When he looked out from his big house, did he ignore the flowers? It’s not
fair, said the daughter, to blame me. I hate this disease as much as anyone. The
dollar bill is more cruel than a pill to wash away the memories. It’s not that she
wanted the child back, it was that she had no choice but to give him the world in