Please Consider Supporting Me on Patreon

Hey Schizoblog followers,

Mike Hedrick here, your loyal writer. This past week I made a post about struggling to support myself and Matt left a comment saying a could join Patreon to get some help with my efforts on the schizophrenia blog.

My page can be found here: https://www.patreon.com/thehedrick

For those of you who don’t know (as I didn’t) Patreon is a tool used by creators to fund their projects through the support of patrons like you. When you pledge to support my work, each month pattern takes your pledges and allows me to use them for hosting the blog, paying my bills and general life satisfaction.  Read More →

The Thing About Solitude

This week The Atlantic shared a video in it’s Editor’s Picks series called ‘The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain’. It followed a young man named Leif Haugen, a forest service fire fighter who manned the Thoma fire lookout in Montana. For three months out of the year, Leif lives alone in solitude at the lookout on top of a mountain.

Watching the video, I couldn’t help but feel a rather fervent mix of desire and fear.

Living in solitude like that, with no one to talk to and nothing to distract you but books and chores seems like a dream to me. At the same time though, it made me wonder if, were I to live like that, I would get lonely.

It seems like it’d be a pretty deep loneliness too. Read More →

You Can’t Force Things to Happen

It’s been tough getting to sleep the last few nights.

I’ll go to bed and turn off the light and then the thoughts start pouring in. I’ll worry that I didn’t do the right thing in any number of situations during the day or I’ll worry about the work I have to do the next day or I’ll worry that no matter what I do, I’ll never be closer to my dream of buying a house in the mountains.

It occurred to me last night while I was lying there though, that you can’t force sleep. If you try to fall asleep and see that you’re not, that’s just one more thing to worry about. The sleep will come, it always does and there’s no point in trying to force it to happen.

The thought then occurred to me that that notion is true for a lot of things, love, success, peace and life in general.

Read More →

How to be Happy

Happiness is a tough one.

We spend a lot of our time and billions of dollars trying to obtain this goal of trying to be happy but, inevitably, we find ourselves back in the grind of it all, dreading going to work, dreading doing the myriad errands and responsibilities it takes to live as a human being in this multifaceted world.

The thing about happiness is though, it’s not supposed to be an all-the-time thing.

Happiness is like a chocolate bar where you break small pieces off every now and again as a kind of vacation from the real world. Read More →

The Devil on your Shoulder

I often equate having schizophrenia to having a little devil on my shoulder that likes to whisper nasty stuff in my ear.

He’s a cunning little bastard too. If he senses a vulnerability or the potential for anxiety he’ll start screaming.

In the eight years I’ve lived with the illness I’ve come to recognize these triggers and do a pretty good job of avoiding them. You can’t do it forever though and eventually the devil is gonna start screaming again. Read More →

Making Friends When You Have Mental Illness

I have a hard time making friends.

To my credit though and to the credit of my chronic mental illness, it’s hard to trust anyone that much when you think everyone is making fun of you.

This anxiety isn’t the only facet of schizophrenia that I live with, there are also the delusions of grandeur, the psychosis that the TV is sending you secret messages and the constant aching knowledge that you’re crazy. At it’s worst, it’s hard to even manage getting out of bed in the morning but with meds and a lot of work on myself those things don’t bother me that much anymore. Read More →

Relearning to Love Yourself

I have a confession to make. I have a reminder on my phone that goes off every morning at 8 o’clock that says simply, “You’re awesome”. This might sound dumb but you’d be surprised how often I forget that fact.

This is just one tool in my arsenal of tricks that I use to combat the depression and paranoia that come with a mental illness.

I’ve been in some pretty dark places and I’ve thought many times about putting an end to things when I’m having a hard time but then every day at eight my phone vibrates and I’m reminded that I’m awesome.

Therapists and gurus talk about the power of positive self talk and I’ll be the first to admit that I have as hard a time talking nicely to myself as anyone else but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t work. Read More →

It’s Ok to Take it Easy Sometimes

This past few weeks has been pretty chaotic for me.

Money has been an issue, I moved to a new city, my nephew was born, I got a new writing job, I had my 29th birthday, I had to housesit for a while and on top of everything else I’ve been working myself into a tizzy over a potential relationship which may or may not work out.

All said and done, I came to the realization last night that yes, I had done it, I had overwhelmed myself wholly and completely.

Stress can be a killer, even more so for someone who has a mental illness. Read More →

Diligence in Recovery from Mental Illness

Recovery is a long process. It takes time and it takes patience to achieve a relative balance and to find a measure of health after you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness.

When I was diagnosed eight years ago with schizophrenia I was so riddled by delusions and paranoia that I could hardly step foot outside. I was constantly worried that people were thinking things about me, talking behind my back and conspiring against me. In the thick of it, it was me against this horrible evil world, and to say it broke me would be an understatement. Read More →

Dealing With The Symbolism In Psychosis

In the midst of a psychotic episode, whether the result of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, one of the main motivating factors in our jilted decisions is the imagined symbolism in meaningless circumstances or objects.

I can remember when I was out on the streets of New York and Boston, deep in the midst of a major psychotic episode. I was convinced I had a mission to bring peace to the world, and though I was destitute, I wandered around following signs and colors and motions of passersby convinced there was some deeper symbolism or meaning in these insignificant things. Read More →