Feb 22, 2009
I see things that happen where people look for adversity where they need not. In many places. Perhaps even here. Myself included. The moment you define "the other side" or "how those people think" you've lost a chance to change their mindset or actions they do that you dislike. And you've lost a part of yourself. Just as I define myself sometimes as a non believer (although its complex I do use guided meditation and follow the principles of Buddhism, I just don't believe in a higher power or an afterlife) but I never called myself an atheist. I have a friend who is and the concerns he had about organized religion, some of which people of faith would agree with, were lost because the moment he heard about any belief system he mocked it. That's the wrong approach just as he didn't want to be approached that way. For myself I am interested in people's belief systems. Of all backgrounds. Perhaps there's something I can learn. Or political ideologies. I do vote democratic usually but I don't talk in terms of "red states vs. blue states". I don't think there are people who think in a manner so unlike me that I would have nothing in common with them. If I see someone who is in need of help and support I would provide it, no matter who they were. And if they were antagonistic I'd want to know why and have an honest discussion.
Such as my neurological disability. How did it begin? Well my neurologist who is a researcher did say I had some form of dystonia. I know. Photos show me with odd posturing as a child. And my mother said I "always had a need to pace". Actually I had akathesia. I always had a neurological disability and I was suseptable to certain medications. I found out from a dystonia group that Lamictal may worsen this. And my psychiatrist and I are seeing that's what may have caused the tardive dyskinesia. May. They are still looking into it. I was taking an anti-psychotic at the time which definitely can cause it. But eventually with all forms of dystonia better diagnosed they'll know what medications not to give people. Lamictal is perfectly safe. Its a good mood stabilizer. But perhaps I reacted to it. But just like I wouldn't say that soda with Nutrasweet is "dangerous". But for people with PKU it is. They didn't know years ago what that disability was. Now they test everyone at birth. People can't have a certain amino acid which is contained in Nutrasweet or it will set off this eventually fatal inherited disability. And many foods. And aspartame (chemical name for Nutrasweet) can make depression worse. Otherwise of course its safe. But then again as a person with schizophrenia I had to take an antipsychotic regardless. But as you know there will be better choices in research that will never cause movement disorders such as the glutamate antagonists. And it appears to me now that the Zofran I am taking had worsened the dystonic motions I have from tardive dystonia. Not permanently. And its still in clinical study for tardive dyskinesia. And its on the medication website that it can happen. But that's why I thought everything had "worsened". It didn't. I'll speak to my neurologist about it. They may have to change things.
But clinical studies aside, as a child I knew my thinking was "different". Then as I got psychotic thoughts as a teenager (at the onset of puberty) I knew something was really wrong. I thought I had "bad thoughts". I felt like I was a "bad person" even though I had done nothing wrong. I was afraid to tell people. I had the negative symptoms (trouble relating to people) of schizophrenia. I couldn't say hi back to people. Everyone said I was "snotty". I couldn't make eye contact. People said I was "shy". My stepfather (who is no longer alive) if I did these things when he introduced me to people smacked in the face on occassion. But I think back about him. He always would get "worked up" and "rant" at the dinner table. And he often "talked to himself". In looking back, I believe he had bipolar with psychotic features. And the day before I dropped out of college (I returned and graduated after starting medication) he said to my mother "I've thoughts like he does too". He died of a heart attack at work the next day. I never saw him again. She told me this story only recently. I do wish I could speak to him now. Not to be angry at him but to let him understand his disability and seek help. As I did for my mother and now she is in the recovery process for cyclothymia (mild bipolar). And in looking back, my neurological disability caused trouble for me too. People got angry and told me: "Sit still". "Stop pacing". "You'll just have to wait". I did get diagnostic tests but not all forms of dystonia could be diagnosed then. Or can be. That of course will change as medical understanding progresses. But what if people had known? Just like now there are times I need to walk. Immediately. Its physical and factual. I explain beforehand. Then they know. People need to know what a disability is. What "behavior" it causes. And if its destructive behavior as I did as a child when I was manic I wasn't "acting out". I couldn't help it. But it needed to be redirected. I am recovered now. But like all people I need to guide myself away from negative thinking.
I look back and think of one of the worst things I saw. There was a homeless man who was an alcoholic. A man in a business suit walked by him, pointed to the homeless man and said "Its his choice" in derogatory way. It wasn't. He was self medicating for a psychiatric disability. I thought of saying "sir if I didn't take medication and have the support of my family and a home I could be in that position". But although I was on medication (standard antipsychotics) then I couldn't relate to people quite as well. Now having made a full recovery (with glycine in Phase II FDA study) I would say something assertive. The man should have had a feeling of accomplishment. Perhaps he had come from a poor family and made his way in life. But he shouldn't put someone else down. He should help them out. To bring them up to where he was, not through charity or giving money but through constructive support. But should I obsess on this? I will never see that businessman again. But the same homeless man lives in my neighborhood. And other homeless people. What am I doing? Well in a nearby community they are speaking out against supportive housing for people with psychiatric disabilities who have recovered from substance abuse. I am telling them in public statements and negotiations not to. But not "against" them. The same homeless people that they see that concern them. They can be off the streets and have a safe place to live. There is no opposition in my life. I don't look for it. And the moment I do that's where I've gone wrong. And if someone approaches me that way I ask myself "what really upsets them"? If we are upset or see things wrong in society there's always a constructive solution. Sometimes something as simple as an e-mail or letter to the local paper or local councilmember when you see something of concern. Or walking away from an arguement. And questioning what went wrong on your end. Or finding someone who has disliked you and having an honest dialogue. In real world terms. There's no time in life for negative thinking. Or animosity. And each person who is ready to abandon it has taken a strong step forward.