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High-Functioning versus High-Awareness

I’ve been told that I am “high-functioning” for a person who has schizophrenia. If I’m so high-functioning, then why am I back in a nursing facility for the seriously MI? I have no job and no prospects for one either. And, save for a daughter whom I love very much but with whom I have little contact, I have no family to speak of.

I know that I need to be in a facility — or possibly a group home at some point. I feel safer here than being on my own on the “outside”. So, how exactly does being in a nursing facility for the seriously MI, not having a family, and not having a career/job work out to being “high-functioning”?

I think “highly-aware” might be a better moniker; however, sometimes I even question that.

Just my thought for the day…

Ed

Living Poor Can Make You Rich (or Poor people are…)

Poor people are…(fill in the blanks)

How would you “fill in the blanks”?  I will share my answers in a moment.

I want to begin this post by letting you know that I grew up fairly well-off financially – especially for the small town in which I was raised.  My parents were both teachers and while we struggled a bit in the early years, financially speaking our situation got better pretty quickly.

By many standards, the house where I grew up was nice; the neighborhood was filled primarily with college-educated, fairly affluent citizens.

In 1989, I started my college career.  In 1994, I graduated having studied a pre-med curriculum.  My intent was to go on to medical school, and part of the reason for me doing so was the money and prestige that comes with that place in society.  I didn’t make it to medical school.

Know what?  I’m glad I didn’t.  Prestige, power, and dollars can be a pitfall for some.  I know they were for me.  And, they all led to one combined thought, feeling, and attitude:  “I’m better than you are.”

Shrugging that superiority complex has been a long, difficult process.  I thank numerous people for helping me along the way – too many people to count.  I also thank my disorder.  Without it, I would most likely be a very different person, a person that today’s version of me would have trouble looking at in the mirror.

One of the best things to come out of my schizophrenia experience can be summed up in one sentence: I’m not important.

Maybe a more politically correct sentence would be:  I’m no more important than anyone else.  And, even when I had money, I was no important than anyone else. 

That is one very important lesson that I have learned by living poor.

So, here are my “fill in the blanks,” kind of a before and after snapshot:

BEFORE

Poor people are – lazy, dirty, needy, unworthy of respect, less important, dangerous

AFTER

Poor people are – not necessarily lazy or dirty, not always needy*, definitely worthy of respect, equally as important as anyone else, humble, oftentimes brutally honest, community-driven (we tend to take care of each other), no more dangerous than the rest of the population, just trying to survive like most everyone else

*I put this asterisk after “not always needy,” because some poor people are in fact needy.  However, that isn’t always our fault.  Sometimes, due to disability or societal constraints and discrimination, we don’t get that lucrative job or that well-deserved promotion.  Besides, when it comes to “needy,” can you say “corporate welfare”?

In closing, many good things have happened to me because I am financially poor.  I have definitely seen another side of life.  And, this experience has made me richer than I have ever imagined I would be.

Hope you enjoyed this weekend’s offering and that you are well.

Take care and best wishes…

Ed

Update: The Good, The Better, and The Best!

Hello, All!  Nice to see that we have some new faces here.  Just want to give everyone a great big THANK YOU!! for stopping by my blog.  I really do hope that the information you find on here is worthwhile to you.

And now for a less topic-driven post, an update on how and what I am doing:

THE GOOD

This is really good news that I just received yesterday.  It was something I already kind of knew but to hear it from my psychologist was very gratifying and rewarding.  What did he say?

“You’re stable.”

Sigh.  I feel good.  The fight has been worth it.  There are still challenges that I face, but most of those seem to be related to my goals and ambitions for the future (more on that in a bit).

So, I’m stable. I mean, I’M STABLE!!  🙂  I owe a great big thanks to a lot of people.  One of those persons is a past psychologist of mine who allowed me to grow and explore and believe in myself.  Dr. Nancy, if you’re reading this, thank you.  It was my pleasure to work with you.  You taught me a great, great deal.

And, although we’re no longer on speaking terms, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my biological family.  Although our relationship may be irreparable, there were times when they tried.  And that is worth noting.

Lots of others I’d like to thank.  My South Carolina friend.  My California chat buddy…especially her, because of the crap she puts up with me!  (wink)  And, all of my friends from the NAMI message boards.  Thanks to everyone there, too!  And, to those of you who have spent time on my blog…thanks.

THE BETTER

Yes, it gets better!  I’m going back to school in the spring!  Going to take Introduction to Business, and if all goes well with that course, I’ll go for an advanced accounting certificate.  So, I am very excited about that!  🙂

THE BEST!

The best by far?  I get to see my daughter today.  That’s way better than any of the other great things that are happening in my life right now.

Hey, I hope that you are doing well…or at least okay.  And, if you are struggling on this day, please drop me a line.  You can post a comment here or I’ll leave my e-mail address at the end of this post.  If I can, I will try to help.  After all, we have two hands…one for helping ourselves and one for helping others (Audrey Hepburn said that).

Take care and best wishes…

Ed

typicallyatypical@rocketmail.com

Why I don’t post while…

I’m feeling symptomatic:

  1. These posts would be unsettling to most people.
  2. They would be edgy, sometimes hurtful and hateful.
  3. Some people cannot separate my disease from me.
  4. Sometimes, these posts might be more candid and revealing than I would otherwise like them to be.  Although I share much of what I have experienced here, I don’t share it all.  Perhaps, someday.

The reason I didn’t post on Monday?  I was feeling a bit “under the psychiatric weather.”  I was, as someone on the NAMI Message Board put it, experiencing a “hiccup.”  My reply to this analogy follows:

No offense, but if you can’t speak for schizophrenic relapses, what praytell are you doing giving advice on the “Living with Schizoaffective Disorder” message board??? That’s kind of like a wealthy suburbanite telling a down-and-out homeless person what it is like for them to be homeless!

Peddle your “advice” where it belongs. Until you’ve experienced “firsthand” what an episode of schizophrenia is like, your advice is as solid as a stick of butter in a microwave oven.

I’ll probably get plenty of crap for this post, but a mood “hiccup” and a psychotic episode stemming from sz or sza are majorly different things. Like I mentioned, if you’re going to give advice, give it in places where you actually may have a little bit of knowledge.

Best wishes…

eb

This is a very tame version of what I felt like posting.  For the entire manuscript of the thread, check out this website:

NAMI “Living with Schizoaffective Disorder” Message Board:What has helped prevent a relapse?

Sometimes, shit happens, right?  Yep.

Hope your life is going better than mine is at the moment.  Don’t worry, my feelings and cognitive perceptions will get better.  They always do.

Take care and best wishes…

Edwin

My Own Bath, My Own Kitchen, My Own Living Area, and… [Late Edition]

my own bedroom!!!  🙂

Two months and two days after arriving in Ottawa and after over 8 months of homeless shelter life, I finally have my own apartment, courtesy of the Housing Authority of La Salle County.  Thank you, La Salle County!

Actually, this opportunity came more quickly than I expected.  In fact, I wasn’t sure I was going to get it at all.  April 30th is the last day the shelter in Ottawa is open, and I was concerned that I would have to return to Bloomington for the summer.  Worse things have happened, but…

Thank you to Home Sweet Home Mission in Bloomington and the PADS shelter in Ottawa for really treating me with dignity and respect.  If you ever find yourself in need of shelter (let’s hope you don’t), these two places are excellent shelters.  Very clean, very well run.

So, the first few days were kind of rough at my new abode.  Got a little depressed/overwhelmed by the magnitude of the responsibilities I now have (along with finding my niche in a new place).  I slept a lot.  No thoughts of suicide or just hoping the next however many years I have left would be over; however, I did sleep quite a bit and found it very difficult to get out of bed.

That began 4 days ago when I moved in (Jan. 5).  This morning, I finally figured out what was wrong.  Yeah, the responsibilities and new neighbors threw me a bit, but I was missing something.  I had my smokes.  Nicotine, as I alluded to in a previous post, tends to calm us people surviving schizophrenia.  And, I was taking my meds as prescribed.  The missing link?  Those of you who have read my blog or who have schizophrenia or who have spent some amount of time with a survivor may know.  I’ll give you some hints:

  • You can get it at a grocery store and at most gas stations.
  • You might be able to eat it, but if you did, you might throw up.
  • Usually, it comes in a can.

The answer:  CAFFEINE!!

Needless to say, today has been much better for me.  And, I’ve only had four 6-ounce cups.

I did a full upper body workout this morning.  Ran a ton of errands.  And, even made it to my doctor’s appointment (ENT).

I feel good.

I plan on making this blog a weekly affair.  Below, I’m hoping that I can insert a poll to see what days work best for my readers.  Please, take a moment to vote.  Also, if you feel like leaving a message, feel free to do so.  My thoughts are that Monday would work, but I could easily be persuaded to choose a different day.  Your feedback is much appreciated!

I sincerely hope your world is as wonderful as mine!

Take care and best wishes…

Edwin

 

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