Splitting and Merging: The Schizoid Mind
Surviving Schizophrenia is all the resume I need.
Disclaimer: I don’t usually identify as being Schizophrenic, although I am identified as such by my medical records. Sometimes I enjoy speaking the language of medical diagnosis, just like certain operating systems are more suited for specific tasks than others. Though, I usually prefer to describe my “Schizophrenic” behavior in terms of Spiritual Emergency or Spiritually Transformative Experience.
Trying to figure out what level someone is connecting with you on can be confusing for anyone, but especially for someone experiencing schizophrenia. One symptom of schizophrenia is increased preoccupation with metaphor. Perceiving an intended meaning may become difficult. Unconscious material (and other mysterious forces) flood and overwhelm the conscious mind. This is similar to what happens when you dream. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of twenty, but I don’t experience it as a constant state of being, so I don’t always identify as schizoidal. During schizophrenic states my behavior can seem confused. If someone were to ask me “Would you like some water?” I might interpret it in a number of ways other than someone wondering if I’m thirsty. The water could take on alchemical properties, emotional qualities, a “yr a thirsty bitch” connotation could be fun, or maybe I’m working for an interstellar agency and water is code word for paid vacation on Venus.
Formulating an answer that is complementary to all possible realities – an incredible feat of creativity – is not only helpful in passing as sane in all potentially existing worlds, sometimes it feels like a matter of life or death. When I’m “manic” I become increasingly interested in playing with, mediating, preserving, and collapsing multiple realities – there’s no way to validate one reality over another. So, I try to achieve a plane of consistency for all possible realities to coexist. Crisis arises when I’m unable to generate an encompassing reality which would conserve freedom of dimensionality. A split into one dimension or another requires me to split also. Hence the Greek prefix skhízō, meaning “I split”.