There are nights where I lie in bed, staring up at the ceiling and I ask for help. Sometimes the voice comes; sometimes it doesn’t but, in the times where it does, it gives me the reassurance that I need to, at the very least, make it through the night, and then to keep going the next morning. I talked, in my previous essay, about the mysterious voices in my head and the God voice is one of the two distinct voices I hear. The other is some kind of demon that I’ve talked at length about in my other writings, but the voice of God, as omnipotent and wise as it is, is still a symptom of my psychosis. (more…)
Throughout my ten years of living with schizophrenia, I’ve been privy to a number of strange occurrences as a result of my illness. These occurrences can range from delusional thinking that people are out to get me or that I’m much more important than I actually am. There are numerous other strange facets of the illness as well, but there’s one that has stuck around since the beginning: the voice of reason and rationality that sits in my head. I’ve tried to explain this any number of ways that never seem to do the phenomenon justice, but I’ve come to just think of it as the voice of God. I only call it that because it seems to have the answers I’m looking for when I pray for advice. It’s a seemingly always sensible voice that guides my thinking back to the reality of the situation in times of crisis and it’s been there with me since I had my first major episode. (more…)
Imagine you’re living your life, everything’s normal until, one day; you come across a pretty significant coincidence. Maybe you moved to a new city and you don’t know anyone and then, one day, you’re at the coffee shop and your old girlfriend from high school comes in. You haven’t seen her or talked to her in years and you didn’t know that she lived in the same city. Imagine it’s a few days later and you’re at the grocery store and you run into her again, this time at the checkout. You might ask yourself why you keep running into her, but you excuse it with the notion that this may be a metaphorically small town. Imagine now that you’re going to work and you see her pass by in her car. Why does this keep happening, you ask? Is she following you? Did she put a tracker on your car? (more…)
I’ll be honest: it hurts to be called “crazy.”
In living with mental illness there are always certain things you have to deal with, from ongoing symptoms to anxiety to the numerous side effects that come hand in hand with many of the medications out there. It could be argued, though, that the label “crazy” is among the hardest to deal with. (more…)
Editor’s Note: OC87 Recovery Diaries is proud to welcome Mike Hedrick to the team as a regular contributor. We will feature a piece of Mike’s writing on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, in addition to essays from our guest writers. Mike writes openly, candidly and often humorously about his mental illness with the hope that his work provides strength to millions worldwide who are like him.
Mike’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Salon.com, the Washington Post and several other major publications. Published in 2013, Mike’s book, Schizophrenic Connections, is available on Amazon.com.
Having schizophrenia hasn’t been a picnic. Over the last ten years I’ve struggled with so many different complications, nuances, symptoms, side-effects and annoyances that it would take a multi-volume encyclopedia to lay everything out. Lucky for you I’m limited to 2,000 words. (more…)
My name is Mike Hedrick. I’m a writer and I’ve lived with schizophrenia for ten years.
I can remember sitting on my couch, having just smoked marijuana, my mind darting sideways and upside-down when I noticed the sound of the refrigerator’s compressor clicking on. It made a jarring, machine-like hum and whir and continued on for several minutes. There were tiny variations in the whir though and, from somewhere inside my head, it occurred to me that this was the aliens. The aliens were communicating with me through the hum and whir of my refrigerator’s compressor. Though I didn’t know what they were saying, I sat down at my brother’s synthesizer and punched out a long warbly note that I hoped would do the job. I wanted to say, “I hear you”, I wanted to say “I get it.”
If it wasn’t aliens communicating with me, it was the government, having placed cameras and microphones all around my apartment, so small and so well hidden that not even tearing apart toasters and smoke detectors yielded any results. They knew what I was saying, and they could see what I was doing. (more…)