Five thirty.

At last the mood of the day is mellowing out as I relax and kind of coast the rest of it. I haven’t thought anything very deep today, and my feelings were up hill and down dale, peaks and troughs from the time I got up this morning. I believe there’s something wrong with this situation, and maybe what began as schizophrenia has changed to a mood disorder like bipolar or schizoaffective disorder. I think it’s true that everything is in constant flux, even if we need something eternal and immutable to keep ourselves grounded and stable: the one necessitates the other. To be honest, I don’t feel so intelligent lately and can’t offer any wisdom; and besides that, I was never all that smart to begin with. It’s the first of the month and Pastor retires on the 25th, so as a result I feel kind of rudderless and lost when there’s nothing to respond to anymore. The biggest shock of all is finding that my delusions have mostly gone away. My life today is not like life 15 years ago. The present is inevitably the present; and probably every attempt to box up the facts of life or sandwich them in the covers of a book will ultimately fall short. The only thing like a true almanac is the body of work by Waldo Emerson, or more like a Declaration of Independence for American writers and thinkers. He was the pioneer, and everything else has been a postscript or appendix to the main messages of self reliance and firsthand experience.



Seven o’clock.

The third day of not taking the Vraylar is beginning to tell on me. In my journal during the wee hours I wrote some very strange gobbledygook ideas on religion that assumed the Bible is historical and true, God is real, and a lot of stuff that doesn’t sound like me at all. So I’m going to take the drug again starting in a few minutes. Later I have to call my sister but I hate to do it because she’s a devout Christian and this aggravates my illness so badly.

Now I’ve fed the dog and taken the Vraylar. I remember a person many years ago at my workplace whose name was Uriah and whose parents were religious fanatics from what we could determine. A coworker swore within his earshot, “Holy mother of God,” and that was the breaking point where he decided not to work for us. On the wall of our cubicle hung a little figure of a devil which, Sandy told me, had frightened another day laborer for our area. There are lots of examples like this, but you see such things in the workplace everywhere, and most people just shrug and are insensitive to them. Of course, the times two decades ago were very different from today, when the spiritual life was booming, to the detriment of the mentally ill people just trying to live. And that’s how I feel whenever I have to call my sister for a conversation each week. As for having joined a church, it was a mistake based on a misunderstanding about recovery from alcoholism. It seemed like the only game in town other than AA.

It always seems I’m between the frying pan and the fire, a sea monster and a whirlpool. Sometimes it’s good to let it go and look at tangible things alone: simple matter.

Polemic: Invisible


On second thought, the gold of pure philosophy doesn’t put food on the table.

Two hours ago I could barely hobble to the store around the block, having lost a night’s sleep. When I got there, Lisa asked me if I was getting enough to eat, and I replied that I had plenty of food at home. She pursued that a lot of others were having a rough time since their Snap benefits were reduced, and some women would get pregnant just for the hike in food stamps or whatever welfare they received. She said it was ridiculous, but I don’t know if she meant to blame the mothers or rather the situation of the government. I know which party I would condemn, and it’s not the women on welfare. Again I see that I am not alone in abject poverty, yet the ridiculous thing is I have an education, but because of the stigma of my illness, and because I am honest about it, I’m totally screwed. What’s the difference between the dungeon for schizophrenics and the chains of poverty and prejudice?

Either way, we’re locked up and forced to be invisible 🫥 to the public. It’s completely fucked.

Deceived that I Am Deceived

Quarter of three AM.

Years ago, in a weak moment, I sold my box set of The Great Deceiver, a collection of live recordings by King Crimson. I remember how carefully the clerk at CD World examined each of the four discs to determine condition and value. In fact, they were immaculate. She finally offered me $30 for them, or maybe $35. Originally I had paid twice that for the new box set, and at the time, I didn’t have internet, so my friend Roger ordered it for me from the DGM website. My mother had just passed away. But I resorted to selling it around 2010 to support my alcoholism.

The longer I live and experience life, the more I doubt that a delusion is really a delusion. When I was younger, I had lots of bizarre superstitions, yet they were no stranger than the beliefs I see in other people; and such thoughts exist in our language and culture. I think the difference is that to a psychotic person, delusions are reality, and are felt as palpably as the literal objects and things around him. Other people can refer to religious ideas and laugh at them, and scoff and make fun because the words are not real to them. These ideas have mere subsistence in the language we use. Yet in a schizophrenic’s mind, the unreal assumes a reality like the experience of a waking dream or nightmare. The only remedies are medication and the passing of time. To persist and to endure. 


Five twenty AM.

Last night I heard the swoosh of swallows in my chimney. They’re back again like they are every year, and they will hang around until late fall. Another thing I notice is the same little bird is up singing an hour before dawn, so she must have insomnia. Of course, I wouldn’t know about it if my own daily rhythms weren’t a bit askew. But is it odd for a person to be attuned to sunrise and sunset each day? Yes it is, if it’s normal to have the television on every waking moment. Tv is an expense I do without. To each their own. I imagine that my life at home is something like the German peasantry two centuries ago, before electric light was invented and the people told stories to the rhythm of the night. At least it’s nice to think so. It suggests to me that schizophrenia serves an evolutionary purpose. The first books I obtained when I became ill were a version of the Arabian Nights and a complete Grimm’s. I still don’t believe these are just for children…

For Katie

Wee hours.

I woke up at midnight after having a nightmare, so I’m not in a hurry to go back to sleep. For the past half hour I’ve been sitting here like a vegetable, watching as the thoughts cross my mind. Often life isn’t fair when events get very bizarre and everything falls apart at the seams. But I’m resolved to be done with religion and every form of superstition that a lot of people indulge. We all need to be more responsible for our ideas. At least I know that schizophrenia and the church do not mix, and doing so usually creates a huge mess of confusion and complexity. And at least I can choose to be more responsible myself.


Noon hour.

My Vraylar medication blocks brain dopamine so well that I can’t feel anything spiritual. Obviously this condition will influence what I say.

Do we want to conceive life as a big something or a big zero? This was the argument of Victor Hugo in Les Miserables. Unfortunately I have to take the medication, so I’m kind of stuck regarding the religion thing. I wish it were not so.

With dopamine levels, it’s feast or famine. Is there a happy middle ground between these extremes?

Language and Lost Time

Quarter of nine at night.

I had a series of bad dreams of being persecuted, but why is harder to nail down. It was because of my inquiring intellect that a man was trying to poison me. He believed that I was not a team player but some sort of traitor. The setting for the dream resembled the shipping and lab areas at my old workplace long ago. Was I really guilty of a crime, or was it just my presence or existence that raised the alarm?

After my nightmare, I got up and checked the thermostat, whose clock said “21:11.” Then I made a little discovery. The cover to the last Rush CD shows a clock that indicates “9:12,” or in military time, 21:12. Either by chance or by design, the birthdate of my sobriety was September 12, or 9/12 of 2017. I guess I should listen to Clockwork Angels. As it stands, I’ve got the CD still in the plastic for a kind of time capsule. And maybe I should save it for later.

Nine thirty five.

Now I’m thinking that I’ve been through the mill with this illness and for a long time, with alcohol. No one knows exactly what causes schizophrenia: it runs in families, but also they guess it has something to do with immune system problems. Its onset is triggered by stress. All I know is it’s a pain in the derrière. Sometimes in my sleep I remember the hospital stays in 2016 for alcohol withdrawals and other health complications, like arrhythmia as a side effect of antipsychotic medication. I lost track of how many times I’d been in the hospital for these issues and suicidal ideation; it blurred together in one big nightmare. But luckily I never went to jail and by a fluke I’m still alive and able to write this. Only a couple of times did I lose my coherence: my facility for language mostly stayed intact, even through the looniest experiences. Thus the light of language is by far my greatest blessing, because without communication a schizophrenic is really screwed.


Eight ten.

The weather report says rain, but I don’t see any, looking out my door… My brother believes what he sees on television before he’ll take my word for anything. We need to pull the plug on television and get a firsthand grip on reality. Trust the evidence of your senses and judge for yourself… I disclosed to someone about my illness in an email this morning. Time will tell how she takes the news. Disclosure is a crapshoot, but hopefully the dice are not loaded… I knew someone with a schizophrenic brother who couldn’t read Kafka or Dostoevsky due to his paranoia—

Gloria called to cancel for today. She feels miserable since her shingles shot yesterday. So my mind was made up then to go to the store on my own. So saying, I went on foot and only got a little wet on the return walk. Inside the market, I ran into Melissa, who likewise hasn’t felt well. It’s turning into a theme for the day.

Nine twenty five.

Maybe it’ll be an easy day today. I spent yesterday feeling stressed out on music matters. In time I will delete my post on Craigslist and forget about it. It isn’t worth the hassle and all the explaining I have to do.


Wee hours.

I feel like some kind of alien; as if my head resembled an elephant’s. I’m not feeling understood by many folks, and this gives me a sense of my loneliness. Does everyone maybe feel the way I do?

I’ve finished reading the little Whitman volume. Next, it might be interesting to dip into Montaigne or Camus, if I can get onto his style of aphorism. Each of Camus’ phrases seems disjointed and apart from the others, so it’s difficult to follow his argument as a whole… My memory of past psychotic episodes has become hazy, though I know it involved ideas of hell and Satan a lot, and the experience felt very real to me. The more I verse myself in Western culture, the better I can grapple with those ideas. Probably the fear of an infernal afterlife keeps most people from doing what they might otherwise do. Years ago I saw Camus’ remarks on Tirso de Molina, so I actually read The Seducer of Seville, the drama of Don Juan and his fate of going to hell for his amatory crimes. What a strange story. It was the year following my mother’s death, and I read whatever I wanted when I wasn’t busy drinking… At this stage, I’d like to put the psychosis out of its misery for good and live without fear. Life on earth is hellish enough without expecting a hell in the hereafter. Perhaps it’s all just a dream, and all dreams are by definition unreal.