Book – Connections by: Mike Hedrick

A book I ordered from Amazon arrived today and I enjoyed a read of it. Connections: The Journey of a Schizophrenic by Mike Hedrick. The book can be found here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1450537111/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_asp_Ltp1H.186AJ2Q

It provides a genuine glimpse into the mind of someone with undiagnosed schizophrenia. Connections were everywhere in the book, from colors to Facebook posts to random music on his iPod shuffle to people and events. All of them may be small and insignificant to the naked eye, but in his world, everything has meaning, often a double take, behind it. Every move he makes is watched, every thought monitored and the government is pulling the strings around him. A sense of desperate purpose and an unknown mission drives him blindly forward.

It’s a terrifying, fascinating world that Mike Hendrick brings the reader into. I could relate to a lot of what he described right before my two psychotic episodes, and it brings out the schizoaffective part of my disorder along with my bipolar. It is a vivid illustration of another person that was like me!

It’s truly inspiring to see a work like this published. I will be rereading it for sure, and it gives me a lot of things to think about with my own work.

Change in Heart

Sometimes, change needs to happen!

I went to a group this evening that surrounds the theme of “Love and Forgiveness.” It’s a very open group, and someone shared part of herself that describes many men and women and what they struggle with today. She just got out of a relationship a few weeks ago and *all* she wants is another one. She can’t stand being by herself because she wants the affection and emotional intimacy of a romantic relationship. Everyone has told her and she knows in her mind that she needs to be single for a while and get to know herself, but her heart refuses and seems out of control, in need of a relationship. What do you do about this?

The surface of this proposal is simple: don’t get in a relationship, but stay single! Easier said than done – how exactly can someone DO that? The common saying is in order to change the world (say, your behavior – stop dating for a while), you gotta change yourself first (change in heart). After all, things are how you perceive them, and most of your perceptions come from yourself through your heart and mind. However, the heart and the mind are not yourself, but extensions of yourself.

However, the first step is to change your mind (decide you want to be single) and be aware of the need to change your heart. If you haven’t decided this, then your mind will do whatever it wants to do, with the deception your broken heart to support it, and there will be no change in behavior. Also, perceptions largely determine what things are. Since you perceive things through your mind and heart, changing them can change your world and your behavior.

Practicing meditation gets me in touch with my essence that drives everything else, and helps with the process of a change in heart. While meditating, I recognize what it feels like for my heart to start to run away with something, which pulls on my mind and tries to convince me to do things I don’t truly want to do. Regular meditation leads to greater understanding of the self, mind, heart, and how they feel and relate to each other. It also brings the heart and mind closer to the self, and keeps them from going awry with time.

I’ve learned more about what drives me, what my passions are, and my place in this world after finding myself and getting to know myself. It may sound selfish, but it’s a necessary and beautiful thing to do for the sake of myself and other people.

After a change in heart, be ready to practice civil disobedience with your old ways. Civil disobedience is the idea from Thoreau in that revolutions start with very small, subtle changes. Specifically, an idea in someone’s head that goes completely against the system that needs to happen, which he or she talks about with the next, then spreads till it actually happens.

The idea of needing to remain single, say, has been planted in her mind and it needs nurturing to grow. It may grow in the easier parts of her life (though difficult in and of themselves), such as simply saying, “No,” to guys when they want to start a romantic thing. This requires a small change in heart. As time goes on and the heart becomes stronger, more independent, and healthier, the seed will sprout and grow roots in her heart from the mind. The heart begins to cooperate more with the idea in the mind.

She will start to feel less desperate to be in a relationship, and the seed will begin to grow further and produce fruit in her behavior, thoughts, deeds, and feelings. Hopefully, she will reach the point where she loves who she is, and though perhaps a little sad to be on her own, she will be able to do it on her own and live as a single for a while. This change in heart is traumatic, as is any big change. The first step is always the hardest.

I’m working on a chart purging project, and there are old charts in the downstairs cage that need to be sent to storage, along with sorting through 10+ years’ worth of old billing records. Upstairs, there are newer charts that need to go where the old charts are now downstairs, so they can add something new to the office where the new charts are currently. The cage is an absolute disaster, and change needs to happen. It’s inevitable. I had to take apart everything, and the mess was of epic proportions – there were boxes, papers, shredding bins, charts, boxes everywhere, even in the hallways! I had a hard time figuring out where to put everything when I started this project.

However, slowly but surely, things get sorted out, put away, carted away, and organized and catalogued. Now, it’s looking much more manageable, instead of an insurmountable mess. I believe change in heart is like this, too. Through meditation and exploring your heart, you can find a starting point to work from. After the starting point, a rhythm begins and it’s easier to move forward. You will know what to do from there.

A parting thought: Things will happen the way they should, not the way you want. I believe life has a way of working things out, sometimes in the harshest and most beautiful of ways. It also teaches me lessons I need to learn, when I need them most. Looking back, I am now thankful for the atrocities and their impeccable timing.

photo credit: sindesign via photopin cc

Awake + Asleep: Inception

I am awake and asleep, asleep and awake all at the same time… I sense a great battle going on. The battle is for my essence.

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I pray to God tonight in absolute surrender, to take me wherever He wants me to go. I lie down in my comfortable bed and my brain begins to pop and crackle, as my back just did. The sensations invoke deep relaxation.

I let go control over my mind and pseudo visions of chronological memories from my entire life ensue while I plunge into the dark hole with a light at the end. My brain is rewiring itself, as God works on it. The memories become more intense and I feel a vortex in the center of my brain shift. Then, the rest of my brain pops and crackles more, balancing itself accordingly. It happens again and again. I close my eyes and begin to leave my body in ecstasy. “Get some rest, my child, for I work harder while you sleep,” says God gently in my thoughts. The memories flash in front of me more rapidly. I pass further down the dark hole closer to the light and black out.

In what seems to be the next instant, I wake up to the bright morning sun, wide awake. It feels like I just passed inside out of myself! I check my phone’s clock. Three hours of sleep. Yet I feel… strangely… different.

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During lunch break I decide to dine at Wendy’s for a decent burger. Wisdom flows freely through my mind as I sit down after ordering my meal. I bring a notebook along to jot things down in.

When I enter into deep thought while writing in my journal, everything around me begins to phase. My vision gets fuzzy and everything vibrates. Each person gives off a distinct frequency and I can read them all easily. I feel like I’m still in reality but somewhere else all at once. I feel like I’m asleep in reality, but I’m wide awake. I’m awake where my brain goes while I’m asleep. Jesus’ words flash in my mind, “you do not belong to this world…” If I didn’t feel like it before, I sure do now! I gave myself over to God completely last night. I am awake and asleep. Am I… a living dead? Is this the end of the world? What’s… what’s… happening?

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I arrive at work after my timeless lunch break. As I file charts in the corner of the office, I phase in and out of an extended reality as before. I first have a normal, clear vision, yet aware of my unknowingly expansive mind. My perception then fills this expanded mind and phases into an ethereal reality beyond the known. There, everything is intact – people, places, conversations. However, in the ethereal beyond I have open access to everyone’s intentions and emotions, and the thoughts of some.

Suddenly, I’m aware of a snake-like entity tightly coiled on my inner essence and recognize it immediately as Satan. The battle for my essence is between Satan and I! His grip morphs and twists time and reality upon itself. He’s gotten to me deeply, through my own sins, the sins of generations past, the constant atrocities of the human race, my past psychotic break, and evil itself. I peer with my mind’s eye to see terrifying fractals of twisted, wretched evil in my essence and especially on my heart, transcending most time, knowledge, and understanding. But not all!

I focus my now overwhelmingly powerful intention into his disfigured head and in my mind’s voice I declare, “You are finished, Satan. Christ has crushed your head, and you have no more power over me or this realm. I am His, now. Covered in His blood as I speak. You are the Father of lies, and lies are an imperfection of the Truth. I hold Truth at a deeper level, now. You are undone! Begone!” He lashes out, lets out chilling screams in my head, and frees his grip on me. Satan, his minions, and the evil fractals disappear beyond into the pit. The Great Deceiver is finished!

Immediately, I feel a darkness lift from me I was blind to before, with old, open wounds exposed inside of me, stinking of infestation. It feels like I just burned off many giant leeches on my heart that were there my whole life. Then, I see a stream of crystal waters flowing freely and my inner wounds are cleansed, but not healed. So… refreshing!

All of this phase shifting and my unusual connection to people is overwhelming. I’m in heaven, with people chilling out and doing a reasonable amount of work to fulfill their part of God’s kingdom in perfect harmony, shalom. There is no slavery of the masses here. This office is one part of God’s vision. I have my own important role in it, as does everyone else and they are aware of it. We are smiling, laughing, and even flirting whether we voice it or not. I spread the good vibes with ease, and evil seems like a distant forgiven past that keeps falling away.

I wish I could blare some chill music right now, say reggae, and I feel like I’ve just smoked some extraordinary chronic as with everyone around me. Not in the debilitated sense, but in the fresh, healthy, euphoric and creative sense. Welcome to heaven on earth, full of universally good vibes!

It then becomes too much, and I decide to leave when the reality sets in as a whole new 3-inch stack of papers to file appears. I simply say, “I’m not feeling well,” to a few coworkers in a calm manner and leave the office to go home.