Oh, Those Poor Neurotypicals and Their Delusions

by Jay Paul   [Note: A "neurotypical" is a person without a condition such as developmental issues (autism, etc.), cognitive issues, or what is typically called "mental health issues"—a so-called "normal" person.  Neurodiverse people—people with conditions such as autism or schizophrenia—add valuable insights and thinking to human culture that derive specifically from their conditions.] Oh, those poor neurotypicals and their delusions! Thing is about neurotypicals, they don't know  they're deluded. We schizophrenics often realize we are, and guard against it. For instance, neurotypicals typically think the sky can't fall simply because their culture tells them so. But it can. Chicken Little was right. Maybe Chicken Little was schizophrenic. At any rate, I say the sky can fall because sometimes the sky is clouds. Clouds fall as rain. Hence, the sky falls. What's more, in the 70s Skylab fell out of the sky. Some may say that there is a differ

Feelin' Groovy

Generally, I will only post in here on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, but I'm feeling this today, so here goes! ____________________________ Yeah, I am stealing from Paul Simon, the songwriter, for my title today. I have been reflecting on the posts I write on this blog, and it occurred to me I am falling into one of the stereotypes about someone with schizoaffective: that we "struggle" all the time. I know I don't. I know many of my friends don't. In fact, I am part of a writing group with other diagnosed people, and the instructor once confessed, after she got to know us, that before she met with us she thought it would be something like "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Instead, she said, it was just like anywhere else—just people with their usual joys and foibles. I am well aware that there are plenty of people with mental illness I don't see because they are shut-ins for one reason or another. And I can personally attest to the pain so-called me

Mentally Ill People Are Not More Violent

by Jay Paul They were volunteers for the day at a community center I go to for people with mental health issues. I was giving them a tour before they started their tasks. One woman seemed twitchy and nervous and looked at me with wide eyes. She knew I was a member, which meant she knew that I had a diagnosis of a mental illness. At the end of the tour, I asked if there were any questions. Apparently, her fear overcame her courtesy. She rudely asked me what my diagnosis was. I considered her for a second, and then decided to tell her, if for no other reason than to show her a schizophrenic can be calm, reasonable, and together. I told her. Then she continued to be rude. She asked about the threat of violence at the center. I considered going into a long-winded explanation about the harmful myths connecting mental illness and violence. But I decided a little shock would be best. I simply said, "Once, a few years ago, I saw someone give another member a little push. That's it.&qu

What is the Color of Grass?

  A friend of mine recently asked me what a post on this blog had to do with schizoaffective. The honest answer was, "Not much." What I am trying to present here on this blog is the full panoply of my thinking and feeling so that I am not reduced merely to being a man with a diagnosis, and to show some of the rich possibilities of a schizoaffective life. In two weeks, I will again address mental health directly. On April 22 I will post on "Mental Illness and the Myth of Violence" and in early May I will post on how happy I have been lately, to counter the stereotype that we with diagnoses are all miserable. This post today has little to do with schizoaffective, at least on the surface, and a lot to do with esoteric matters concerning Soto Zen. However, it addresses interesting issues about the relation of language to conception, perception, truth, and so on. So I assume it will be of interest to some of you. I recently wrote it for a Zen group I am a part of. It is

New Schedule

 I have been posting on this blog every Thursday at noon. From here on out, I will posting every second and fourth Thursday of the month at noon. I need some more time to dedicate to my other writing projects. See you on April 8.

Fenced In

Lake Michigan from Algoma, WI Sometime in the next decade, none of the three of us will have a reason to return to Green Bay. We grew up together there. One of my two friends, I have known since first grade, the other since about 8th. We sat masked for COVID on the back porch of the house of one of my friend's parents, a house I first visited 43 years ago in order to tape some Ted Nugent albums. We are all in our mid 50s. Our parents are either dead or not doing so well, and the in-laws or parents are all that keep us coming back. Soon, they won't be with us, and our siblings all live in other cities. I had the acute sense that, in spite of not having gotten together as the three of us in about 20 years, this was closing in on the end of something. One of my friend's father died almost 50 years ago. We were in Cub Scouts at the time. It was my first encounter with death. Our den mother led us scouts to his house, where we stood outside and sang. He came to the large picture


 At my most rational, I approach being diagnosed with a mental illness as a chance event that happened to me. Based on what I know of current research, it had a lot to do with genetics and with something in my environment—perhaps a virus, perhaps stress, nobody knows for sure. But what is clear is that it is not my fault. I hardly intended this, and I have been trying to deal with its arising in a responsible way. So far so good. But I, like most people, am not always rational. Since having a bad bout of delusions and hallucinations five to seven years ago from which I've recovered, I have moments of searing shame. They are usually triggered by a memory of some minor rudeness or inconsideration on my part from years ago. I first cringe at my minor failing and then think, "Everybody hates me." I may partly think this from paranoia, I don't know. But then I need to work myself out of the hole. I was talking to my therapist about this last time we met. We concluded that