I was in college and spent a lot of time experimenting with different substances, culminating at the point where I took a large amount of the main ingredient in Robitussin. It made me feel like I was the Creator of the Universe, freaking out the kids around me as well as my girlfriend. She broke up with me the next day, wanting me to get some help.
I checked myself into the hospital, missed an entire year of college, and began a regimen with various medications, from Risperdal to Geodon, all of which did a number on my body. That was 2002.
Much has happened since then, but it was mostly about me adjusting to the different medicines until I found the right combination that sort of worked for me (although my energy is not up to speed and I’m having problems with sexual functioning).
I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 2004, and have been on SSDI (disability benefit) for quite some time now. I’m a musician, and my dream is to make and play music about real issues in the world. I’m introspective, a deep thinker. However, I do hear a voice in my head, but it’s my own thoughts.
In my opinion, I think everyone has a voice in their head, but it’s a matter of how prominent that voice guides your life versus moving and using your body in the physical world. At what point does the voice of your thoughts command the things you do, and at what point are the things you imagine not socially acceptable to the ordinary world? In a time when life seems to be evolving at an accelerated pace, whether positively or negatively, what is the fine line between, for example, praying to God, and talking with God? The former is done in churches, and the latter lands you in the psych ward.
I believe my real illness is not schizoaffective at all.
This mark of a diagnosis that people use to pigeonhole and label you to fit in their box is their preconceived notion of reality. My real illness is that of Resistance, letting my mind linger on the things I care about, such as music. And I also desire to be situated in a better creative environment, rather than living with my family at thirty years of age. This is something I’m working on.
With my deepest willpower, I will eventually have the life I want to live and wean myself off of these meds so I don’t have to suffer through the side effects. Every human mind is infinitely different from others, yet we all share a communicative space with similar bodies. I am not mentally ill at all, just different. If I work hard at the things I do best and love, my dreams will be realized.