Like smoke, it fills the room

Alexandra Crawford

Schizophrenia is a complex word structure used by historical figures of psychiatry and fearfully used by people who either, from one extreme, know little or, from the other extreme, are certainly confused by the external symptoms of a person who is using words and word pictures that are too abstract and ambiguous to sense rapport and 'normal' and predictable function.

The structure of daily life in a social sense is a language of communication that predicts your preferences, your whereabouts and your welfare to others in your social group. Knowing the time of day is as important as knowing the day of the week in this framework. Unpredictability is a sense of fun but can also be frustrating and disappointing. Balance is an important concept within a framework of predictability.

With no social framework, there is nowhere to establish a share of 'balance'. Transitioning between an established lack of social framework and an effective sense of improved identity with a social group is therefore difficult to perceive, but is certainly not an impossible task for anyone who is prepared to exercise their capacity to receive good company and to be calmly patient with those who do not yet understand what good company is made from.

As an ex-schizophrenic I have discovered my acute symptoms were a struggle to understand what my surroundings were made of. By behaving differently did this mean I was bullied? In response to my behaviour was everyone telling me why they were responding or were they reading from a training script giving me an uncanny sense that they were 'robotic' in their approach towards me? This is sometime described by people who are not schizophrenic as "being talked at rather than talked to", and a good reference it is at that.

I realised I was capable of returning to a home I had rebuilt from the ashes of myself by referring to positive lifestyles that were devoid of the horrors of Biafra, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia and apologies for the many others who have died needlessly and for corrupt ideologies or simple lack of help and support when it was needed.

I suffered from the label of schizophrenia for years, the unexplained silence from all those around me who knew of my time in hospital. The label is like smoke, it fills a room and makes the people you know very difficult to see, so years after the fire has gone out how can they see me? How can I as a home builder build the things that need cooperation and collaboration? Simple answer is to open the windows and the door, move in different circles and socialise with people who understand by direct experience the experiences you have. Enjoy good company and bring your new confidence and good humour to the table. Invite people you know to enjoy with you a smoke free room in your new home.

Some people try to describe the indescribable in language, body language and action.

The society I currently live in contains high energy situations that are extremely dangerous; electricity, gas, high speed traffic, tall buildings, chemicals, breakable materials that produce razor sharp shards.

I need a safe theatre in which I can express and inspire others to receive constructive feedback. The sense of belonging in a living breathing world that supports us all both bodily and spiritually. Labels are a barrier of inequality in the moment (literally) of mutual reasoning.