“Heal Thyself”

Quarter of eight.

The weather is cloudy yet again this morning. Tomorrow is my sister’s birthday, so I’ll have to give her a call soon. She’ll be 74 years old. I really don’t want to drink again, so whatever comes, I’ll stick it out however ugly it proves to be. I believe that psychosis is what happens when elements of the personality are in conflict with each other. Beyond that, my knowledge is rather sketchy. My personal experience will have to guide me from here on out. There are no traditional psychoanalysts near me in Oregon. Only Jungian therapists, and they are mostly ignorant. What I’m looking for is a permanent cure for schizophrenia. Also for alcoholism. I think I’m on the right track. Maybe I can go online to the forum and discuss it with somebody else who has recovered completely. I remember one person who actually did that with the help of a therapist.

Quarter of nine. I don’t really know what’s driving my thoughts since my last talk with my sister. But I think I need to talk to her some more. Maybe something will be jostled loose and I’ll be free.

Wee hours.

I’m no longer doubtful. I was thinking back on being in ninth grade, all of the little clues to my identity. It’s almost as if willed by a god or something. All of the pieces fit now, except I still have to confront my sister. Maybe not on her birthday.

Ego and the Id

Wee hours.

I’ll be glad when the month of March is over with. It hasn’t been a rose garden for me. I’m so tired of being an amateur psychoanalyst. Instead, I’d like to de emphasize my mind and focus outward on the details of ordinary life. Maybe it was a conversation with my sister that threw me; but I was the one who called her up. Life is very hard and sometimes too long… Aesop is stretching out on his back on the carpet in front of me. He seems to feel pretty good, paws in the air.

Occasionally it occurs to me that a few beers might be nice. I remember having a couple of Hefeweizens after gigs at the Wild Duck dance hall. It would be close to two o’clock in the morning and I had earned it. I had an old Stingray Bass, translucent red with the three band preamp, that was a real workhorse. I put it through the mill with Satin Love and beyond that to other groups. When I was done with it, the red finish had become quite cloudy and not so pretty anymore. So now I consider the demise of rock and roll during the pandemic, how I may never play in a band again. Whatever I might desire, it seems not to be the will of the universe. Perhaps the universe has a plan for me? And then everything will make sense.

Self image: A Letter

Well tomorrow’s the big day. I was just playing my bass. The song I wound up with was “Yours Is No Disgrace,” an oldie by Yes from their third album. Now I’d like to listen to that one again soon… I thought last night that I’ve been under a great deal of pressure and stress since this year began. I agreed to do a lot of things that I probably should have refused to do, so it wouldn’t turn into a runaway train. From the start with Misty I got talked into stuff I didn’t really want to be involved in. For some reason I couldn’t say no to her. I spent the last weekend feeling pretty miserable, remembering the way I drank 18 packs in 2017. That was the year I finally quit drinking. I’m not sure what triggered these memories, unless it was just being stressed out.

You know, with the schizophrenia and everything, sometimes my life just seems hopeless and not worthwhile.

I think I’ll go take a nap right now and write more to you a bit later.

I’m quite certain that I feel so lousy due to having been manipulated and forced into this situation. Maybe I shouldn’t blame myself but rather Laurel Hill and all these government organizations that steamroll right over your human rights, shoving their version of what’s appropriate down your throat. And of course I feel mad and resentful about all that. So maybe the thoughts I had about drinking 18 packs were a desperate attempt to rebel and feel free. The same is true for reading Native Son. Underneath it all, I have very strong libertarian feelings traceable to my teens and twenties.

Perhaps I’m just a divided person? There’s the Robert before schizophrenia and after schizophrenia, but I want to believe in the continuity of my identity throughout my life.

Jiva and Ajiva

Seven ten.

The sky is pinkish brown from wildfire smoke. Yesterday afternoon I revisited a place on the web that serves as support for people with schizophrenia. But now, the appeal of this site has diminished for me because I don’t want to identify myself as mentally ill. Rather, schizophrenia is just an accidental attribute and not a definition for myself. If it’s true that the essence of any human being is freely created by himself, then why choose to mortify your own spirit? Even if I choose images from the zodiac for my nature, it’s still me who does the choosing. The one who esteems and assigns value is always oneself. It isn’t something external. We determine our identities and design our own fates through self expression. In the beginning is freedom of the will.

Eight forty. I’ve been over to the market and back again and seen a few people this morning. Suk worked the store himself because Heather went to a convention of beauticians in Washington DC. He said he’d like to see more customers in the morning because it makes the time go faster. I caught myself buying more food than usual due to increased appetite from my med. So I began to ponder selfhood and the issue of freedom: just what is the soul in its purity? It seems that part of behavior is material, like karmic particles stuck to the life principle, the monad, the soul. But you don’t have to be a slave to physics; you can override it as long as you are self aware. Across all philosophies, it appears that the individual soul is entirely responsible for its destiny by choosing certain actions, good or bad… I dreamed about my brother and a nephew last night, both of whom have serious problems with addiction. I only wish they could see the light and take care of themselves. The key to their liberation could be forgiveness. 

Uncreated

Six o’clock.

Still is ink black outside my window. Things are in transition for me, or perhaps a little on the rocks. The drought continues. The obsession with freedom has gone away or altered in some way. It may be enough to be alive just for now. My mind’s eye sees things it normally doesn’t, but then “normal” is a misnomer these days. I don’t know what I am or what I want from life; just a schizophrenic guy staying alive. Figuring myself out could take a while, so in this case, existence really precedes essence. The sky is turning lavender to the east. I remember times a few years ago when I was very patient, and people remarked about it. I spent much time Downtown with my peer support in the fall and winter early in my recovery… It’s Friday, and the store should be open. I feel like clay for the shaping, and yet I would resent it if someone tried it. Never trust a therapist to steer you. I hope that a perspective of my own takes shape as I adjust to this medication. As it stands, my selfhood is merely a pool of language and I feel like a Frankenstein creation. And now the heavens have gone gray, kind of like my own identity. I am void and formless: will a voice speak over the waters to declare it a day? 

Words in Stone

Quarter of nine.

My mind is made up to stay home today, no church. I don’t like the way Christians persecute gay people. Life is hard enough without the shadow of the Church hanging over those who don’t fit the same mold. It’s getting more difficult for anybody to figure out where they belong and what they ought to be. A person does well to be insightful and choose prudently for herself and not be led astray. Everyone wants the world to resemble themselves, and for this reason they may give us bad advice about who we are. Ultimately it’s up to oneself to decide on identity and tune out all the confusion from others. Personally I’ll never see another therapist again. Psychology is a cannibal; I don’t trust it at all because everyone seeks a mirror in other people. At some point the wilderness of reflections ends and you arrive at the stone of your foundation; but you must do this alone, like Zarathustra musing in his cave.

I don’t know if I’ll hear from my sister today or not; it depends on whether she’s alone at home. Her Bible is not the answer for me. Probably I’d just as soon be by myself today. Family for me is not the cornerstone of all beliefs and attitudes; I don’t owe them any debts of fealty to their narrow mindedness. The problem is that they don’t really think about anything. It’s all just a knee jerk reaction without being self aware. It’s even a taboo for us to “think about ourselves.” And that’s unfortunate. The inscription in stone over the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi reads, “Know yourself.”