Mind Map

I tried to create a map of the mind, but it got very confused. I have drawn up a description of how the mind works instead.

The heart (chitta) holds memories and past experiences. It brings up emotions and automatic responses to things (like feeling scared when we see something that hurt us in the past)
The intellect (buddhi) which decides what is true and what is false.
Discursive mind (manas) is that bit of the mind that is always thinking. The bit that we often consider to be ourselves.
The senses – taste, sight etc..
The watcher – which is our consciousness that observes what is going on in mind and outside.

If we give our attention to discursive mind it makes us unhappy. In a wise person discursive mind is just the bridge between the senses and intelect and the heart.

Unfortunately, we cannot see the workings of the intellect so we often ignore it and try to act upon what discursive mind is suggesting.

Mindfulness and meditation are ways of escaping the dominance of discursive mind and allowing the intellect to make decisions for us.

Today I am feeling strangely peaceful, discursive mind is quieter than normal. I want to encourage this and to use it beneficially so I am going to stop doing all this thinking and play my guitar.

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How Does it Feel to be Mad?

Yesterday I was hypomanic, or possibly real manic, or maybe a bit psychotic. Whichever it is, I was proper mad.

In the afternoon I was working on tidying the studio, but I had in my mind that I was going to do some self-harm – proper self-harm. It would have to be later, though, as I was going to the crossword club at 4pm for a couple of hours. In preparation for the SH I sharpened my kitchen knife.

When I got back from crosswording (I know, that isn’t a word, you can’t just add -ing to a noun to make it a verb) I ate my burrito and didn’t feel elated anymore. So I went out in the garden in the nude to get some FEELING into my skin – it is Autumn here and the temperature was about 10*C. So the cold on my skin made me feel good again.

I practiced the SH with just a light touch, then changed tack and drew what I wanted to do on me – it was to be diagonal cuts all down the right-hand side of my body. But instead of doing that I went and shaved off half my hair – the hair on the right hand side of my head. I was laughing as I did it. Laughing madly.

After that I went to bed, I had used a lot of energy and I felt tired.

But what is going on? Why have I got this ‘war’ against the right side of me? When I woke in the night (about 1am) I was considering cutting the right hand side arm / leg off all my clothes. Why?

It’s like psychosis – where a person has an unusual but very strong belief – except that I don’t know what the belief is. Somewhere in my mixed up mind there is an idea that something is wrong with my right hand side, but my crazy mixed up mind hasn’t deigned to tell ME what that idea is.

Or is this what having mania is like?

Maybe I have hit on something here – that mania is like psychosis without the reasoning.

I don’t know.

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Altered Minds, Altered Realities

I am doing a show on mental health called Altered Minds, Altered Realities as part of Camden Fringe.
I have schizoaffective disorder and I wanted to show people what it’s like to struggle through life with mental difficulties, and to thrive and laugh despite it all. So I talked to lots of people with different diagnoses and created this play of six dark comedies that portray six different mental illnesses.
But it’s far from miserable with humour, songs, poems and even jokes scattered through the show and some fascinating characters: there is Doug who cannot get out of bed; Larry is trying to solve a mystery and Gus is having a life and death struggle with a kebab.
Come and meet them at Camden People’s Theatre at 7:15pm from 22nd to 27th August – tickets from http://www.camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=620

 

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Promoting

Today I have been in the London town of Camden promoting my show ‘Altered Minds, Altered Realities’.

It is a show with 6 characters all with different mental illnesses and is always very warmly received by those with experience of mental difficulties. It is on at the Cemden People’s Theatre from 22nd August to 27th.

If you can make it, or know anyone in the area who might then please visit the ticket website here. http://www.camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=620

It is a funny show that I based on the testimonies of real people with mental illness, as well as a lot of my own experience too.

Altered Minds Official Image Portrait 300

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At Peace, but What Should I Do?

Since I came back from holiday, and have been enjoying the warm weather, spending a lot of time nude, I have found myself having a quiet mind.

It is a knack I seem to have developed: to be able to just stand still and let go of my thoughts and think nothing – or at least to attach to no thoughts.

But I don’t know what to do with this peace.

It seems a waste just to stand still and do nothiing. I should be using this to achieve something, or prgoress spiritually or something!

Shouldn’t I?

And what a change from a few weeks ago when I was struggling with anger and with anxiety. And anxiety does affect me at times this week – so much to worry about.

So it’s good to have these peaceful moments.

But what are they for?

Where do they lead?

 

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Fragile

It’s been ages since I posted – possibly because I have been mainly stable.

But now I don’t feel so good. I seem to be very fragile. The slightest thing upsets me and gets me agitated or worried or depressed.

For instance: I went to Brum on Friday evening, which meant cycling to the station here in town. Recently they redid the station, putting in barriers – but the cycle park is on the platfor,m so you have to get a ticket before you can park your bike. But they have a notice in the queue for the ticket office saying’No bicycles in the queue’, yet if you don’t have your bicycle in the queue, then where do you put it? So I took my bicycle into the queue (there was no queue, just me) and the ticket man complained and said I wasn’t allowed to do that. I got upset and shouted and was close to being judged abusive, I suppose – and that anger and upset stayed with me until I was well on my way toward Brum.

But it is annoying – what are you supposed to do with your bicycle? Yet I shouldn’t have got so angry.

And that’s not the only thing.

I burst into tears yesterday when I saw I had received an email I’d been waiting weeks to receive. I was scared it would be bad news and I was afraid to open it – but bursting into tears? That’s a bit much.

So I’m unstable – but still not taking Risperidone as I need to do so much work in preparation for Camden Fringe and Brum and other possibilities.

Sometimes I don’t want to live like this – it’s too hard.

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Ran out of Risperidone

I was taking Risperidone – 1/2mg a day. But when I came to order a repeat prescription I found that it wasn’t on the system anymore. I dithered a bit and then found that I’d run out.

I booked an appointment to see the doctor the very next day, and got a new prescription. But that day (yesterday) I felt full of energy and I got a lot done, I felt happy and optimistic. When it came to the night time – time to take my Risperidone – I didn’t want to do it.

And I didn’t do it.

And today I am feeling full of energy again. I have done loads this morning and I’m feeling hopeful for the future. The world is a better place. I am a better person.

So I don’t know when I shall take Risperidone again.

In the meantime – have a look at my new song and the little video I have done to accompany it. Just one of the benefit of NOT taking anti-psychotic drugs.

The Cricket’s Song

Cartoon Face smile

 

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