A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My First CD: Yin And Yang

Play Yin And Yang 

This collection of music is from the early to mid 1990s during domestic violence, after domestic violence and in the beginning of psychosis.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Song: Powerless

Play Song

Lyrics

The First Step is to admit to defeat.
It's the powerlessness that knocked me off of my feet
And I fell, I fell, I fell to the bottom.
I fell, I fell, I fell to the bottom
Where I crawled on my hands and my knees
It was a place where I could barely see.

I know that I made my choices
Walked the path towards the gates of hell.
I walked blindly like the fool
The fool that I was.
I was old enough to know better,
But I followed my sickness to the letter.

The First Step is to admit to defeat
I am powerless unless I come to believe
That I am small, I am weak, I am lonely.
I am small, I am weak, I am lonely
And I fell, I fell, I fell to the bottom,
And I fell, I fell, I fell to the bottom
Where I crawled on my hands and my knees.
All this pain is finally making me see.

I am powerless unless I come to believe.
I am powerless unless I come to believe.
I know that I made my choices.
I know that I made my choices.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Song: The Crossroads

Play song

Lyrics

Sometimes depression lays me low
Takes me places I do not want to go
Down to the crossroads where I must decide
Whether to stay here or to give up and die.

Do I really have a choice?
I've said Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

God's will be done
I am joined by heaven to another person.
His suffering is greater than mine
But he fuels that fire all the time.

It's his turn to make the choice
That I made a long time ago
To give peace and love a chance
To grow.

Sometimes depression lays me low
Takes me places I do not want to go
Down to the crossroads
Where I must decide
Whether to stay here
Or to give up and die.

Do I really have a choice?
I've said Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
In heaven
Thy will be done
On earth.

Song: The Core

Here's a new song I just uploaded to SoundCloud.  It's called The Core

Play Song

Lyrics:

Years after he was born
With his eyes closed
He ate the apple from the Tree of Knowledge
Including the core.

When he opened his eyes
He covered his nakedness.
In shame and defeat,
Eden was no more.

Out in the darkness
Where the sun doesn't shine,
Where it's cold, dark and dirty
And he is quite blind.

So many people around him
It was hard to breath.
No one had all of the answers
And he fell to his knees.

He fell to his knees
And started to crawl.
He called out to God,
"What's the point of it all?"

Years after he was born
With his eyes closed
He ate the apple from the Tree of Knowledge
Including the core.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Song: Psychic Deconstruction

Play Song

Lyrics

Our connection       psychic
Flies in the face of       righteously
Romantic addiction        romantic addiction
It's a deconstruction        It's a deconstruction
From above
Of elemental misconceptions
Fed by the culture        shot into our veins
That we live in           we numb up the pain
Sexual addiction       any addiction
Is not a joke.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Me & Eddie

It's been almost 6 months since I wrote an entry in this blog and a lot has been happening.  I went to the AA meeting for about 6 months and then realized that it wasn't the right meeting for me, that I really needed to go to Al-Anon, which is a support group that addresses treating codependency.  I did not find any meetings close by and instead fell into an extended psychotic episode which I am still experiencing, though less intensely than I was in October, November and December.  During that time I deleted this blog, deleted my Artid account where I was showing some of my artwork on the internet, deleted my Soundclick account where I had uploaded some of my songs, stopped going to therapy, deleted my MacJournal program with all of my writing, stopped going to meetings, cut off contact with everyone, spent Thanksgiving and Christmas alone and stopped taking my medications.

The question is why, why did I try to nearly erase myself online and offline from contact with others. Right now I don't know why.  All I do know is that about a year before I started going to the 12 Step AA meeting, in April of 2013, I had an experience that changed the direction of my life.  I began channeling someone through my body.  I don't know much about New Age channeling stories and experiences, but basically it's where you believe that someone else, usually a spirit, is talking aloud through you.  In my case I believed that I was channeling a man named Eddie, a famous man, the lead singer/songwriter of Pearl Jam.  Eddie in my mind was a familiar entity.  He was with me all through the first 3 years of acute psychosis when I was not consistently taking the anti psychotic medications and had 3 psychotic breakdowns.  After I committed to taking the medications faithfully,  Eddie left as a multiple personality in my mind,what I thought was my main delusion, and so did most of my paranoia, but the voices remained in a different form and I suffered through some suicidal depression initially and serious depression for several years.

Taking the medications, going through depression and half heartedly finishing my BFA in painting and photography was what I consider my early recovery stage.  I wrote in a journal and when I re-read some of it I see that I had a lot of resentment towards "the voices".   For too long I was confusing "the voices" with my conception of a Higher Power, but I could not accept them as such because they were obviously a mixture of health and sickness.  And so I concluded that God was above these mysterious voices.  This helped me to get on with my life.  I focused on my spiritual path by embracing much of Buddhist concepts and some of their practices as taught particularly by Pema Chodron, the Tibetan Buddhist nun.  I pursued creative outlets by writing in this blog, painting and making up songs.  I also took care of myself by going to therapy and taking my medications every morning and at night.  My biggest spiritual practice and discipline was in keeping an audio journal on a nearly daily basis.  This was how I kept myself strictly honest and gave myself regular reality checks to make sure I was not veering into psychosis.  Writing honestly in this blog was my public honesty practice.

I'm not sure why about a year and nine months ago I began channeling Eddie, but the experience seemed to liberate me in some ways, giving me a focus and a purpose.  He told me quickly that he had been psychically connected to me the whole time, but had been in a withdrawn position.  I had learned during my first three years of acute psychosis that he had been a victim of incest and that he had turned into a sexual addict during his teenage years.  Because of sexual abuse when he was just a baby he developed multiple personality disorder and that disorder was never resolved.  What this meant in terms of our communication was that I now had some access to different aspects of his personality.  The main personality that I interacted with, the one that naturally called himself Eddie, was quite a healthy part in many ways.  Overtime we became friends.

Eddie was a precocious and quite mature teenage part and not a sexual addict, but his other parts were definitely addicted by the age of 14.  These different parts developed over time as Ed got older and these were the parts that needed the most healing.  There was no way that I could be psychically connected to this man and not engage in my own sexuality.  This was one of the distinguishing characteristics of my descent into acute psychosis - intense sexual feelings whether I touched myself or not.  The first three years were hard on me and I felt I had to masturbate on and off during those years before I committed to taking the anti-psychotic medications.  Somehow my sexuality, which was not an addicted one, was healthier despite being amplified through the connection to Ed and the Higher Power.  After my last psychotic break in December of 2001, I committed to taking higher and higher doses of the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa.  I detached from Ed.  I followed the more conformist view and practice that all I had been through was just a delusion, that I was not connected to another person named Eddie.  He faded, as did much of my paranoia, but the voices and the severe depression remained.

Being on such high doses of anti-psychotic medications, I became sexually dysfunctional losing much of my original sensitivity and I mostly detached from being sexual with myself.  This state, what I call my middle recovery state, lasted for over a decade.  When I began channeling Eddie, he asked me to return to being sexual and because I was now on a much lower dose of medications my sexual sensitivity had returned.  I felt directed by the Higher Power to do so, and I did.  Again there was something healthier about my sexuality compared to his which was still intensely addicted.  It was as if the Higher Power wanted Ed to feel the difference between very sick sexuality and a healthier one.  Nonetheless, the experience for me was at times outrageously intense.  While I enjoyed the pleasure and some of the connection to Ed, I also knew that it was still an abusive setup that I just had to endure while we both went through this experience.

The culmination of this experience was that I entered into a seriously extended psychotic episode.  I do not consider it a psychotic break because for the most part I do feel a strong connection to reality and to the Higher Power.  Another result is that I have a developed a rather mild dissociative personality disorder due to the physical/psychic sexual abuse that I went through.  I believe that it was important and God's will that I go through this in order to understand Eddie on a much deeper level.  I am now back on track, though still struggling.  I am committed once again to taking my medications and I have found a new online therapist who has a lot of experience with treating psychotic disorders; she is also a sexual therapist which is the kind of therapy I think I really need right now for my own understanding in my healing process.

I have no proof yet that I am connected to a man called Ed.  I have never met him or interacted with him in the concrete world.  He says that he is in a rehab for sexual addiction and that he is finally starting to heal by practicing recovery attitudes and behaviors.  If that is true, I am very grateful for that and all of my experience so far.  My main focus is to continue on my spiritual path by remaining strictly honest and living in the present one day at a time.