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Posts tagged ‘schizophrenia’

Ms. Hyde


There is a song by Halestorm called Mz. Hyde and I found that I could identify with it a bit. Living with Bi-Polar disorder, well sometimes I am Ms. Hyde and sometimes I’m Dr. Jekyll, just depends on the day, sometimes the moment. And, one really never knows in advance which girl you will be dealing with, including myself. 😉 Dealing with Schizophrenia hasn’t been easy either, seeing & hearing things that I swear are real and really haven’t had many in my life who can relate. Here’s a poem that talks about my struggles with Bi-Polar & Schizophrenia, how it shapes my life, and how I refuse to let it hinder me.

Yesterday I was all sunshine & roses, just as happy as can be

Today, well it seems that’s entirely a different story

And tomorrow might just bring a whole new wave of emotions

They say it’s due to a chemical imbalance in my brain, but I refuse to take their potions


Once upon a time, before I truly understood what was going on inside of me

The things that went on inside of my mind terrified me, the voices wouldn’t let me be

Back then, I was ashamed & kept much of went on inside of me to myself

I didn’t want to know what would happen if I let my feelings fall off the dusty shelf


I was already labeled a freak for being poor, smart, & one who cried so easily

To many in school & even at home, it seemed my feelings were viewed as measly

So the voices within & the books I read were my best of friends

I could journey beyond with them to places where evil lost and love won in the end


I found I’d rather live my life in fairy-tales, where the characters seemed so real

The joy I found there, knowing they didn’t judge me never lost its appeal

I wanted to have friends in the land called reality

But very few seemed to have interest in truly getting to know me


As the years went by, the darkness within my mind grew

Some knew I had issues, but as to what they were, no one had a clue

There did come a time when I did turn to medicine & therapy

I wanted to have a mind that was at least somewhat healthy


Pills really did more harm than good in the end, so eventually I quit

Though therapy did often help out, that I can truly admit

It helped to have someone unbiased for me to talk to

Someone that didn’t freak out about my mind hosting a wild zoo


It’s been years since I have taken an anti-depressant or seen a therapist

I decided that I wanted to find a way to live without those aids to assist

I turned to writing, music, prayer, photography, talking it out, & even meditation

So now I am happy to say that I can lead a happy life without costly therapy & medication


My own brands of therapy have proven to be quite successful for me

Anyone who really knows me has told me the positive changes are easy to see

I found that opening up about my struggles has been a good thing after all

I just had to find the courage to break down that giant wall


Gone are the days I let my mental health issues hinder my life

Yes, there are days when it’s difficult to handle the inner strife

And it’s true that being a part of my world can be difficult at times

But those who have stuck around found it worth it to listen to my rhymes


Within My Mind


Within my mind, there are many moods, thoughts, feelings, fears, and dreams. It reminds me a bit of the movie, What Dreams May Come starring Robin Williams. Sometimes it’s so beautiful and one can’t help but be entranced with what they find. Melodies and harmonies that pair together like no other and vibrant colors that can light up the night’s sky, truly I could paint you a world that you’d never want to leave. And then there are times when I would barricade you from the entrance.

My mind can be a dark and scary, full of nightmares…combine every horror movie I have ever seen, every dark thought and fear, and you still haven’t a clue how bad of a place it can be. Sometimes it’s an angry place, though sometimes it’s just so full of despair. Don’t wade in the waters too deep. They may seem serene, but notice the chill in the air and the dark clouds that surround you? Don’t be pulled down, the voices inside me warn you. The ever changing winds can carry you from blissfully happy to sickeningly depressed to unhinged anger and then back to that peaceful place so fast you have no idea what just happened.

Overall, these days my life is fairly good and I do count myself as truly blessed. This doesn’t take away the demons that battle within me, but it does make it easier to fight them off. When it gets truly horrific, I go to God in prayer and He does help me. They’re never gone for good, but they can be kept at bay. Living with bi-polar and schizophrenia has not been easy, but with every passing day, it gets easier to deal with.

Over the years, I have been able to replace medication with music: both listening to it and singing it, writing, reading, taking walks, having long talks with those most trusted, prayer, and also a confidence within myself that tells me my illnesses do not own me. I will fight it for as long as I live and I must say this, I really have come a long way from where I was. I remember a day when most of my statuses were depressing. I really couldn’t see just how beautiful my life could be. I wanted a good life, but truth be told, I held it at arms length because I was scared of getting close to anything good. I am not scared anymore. Life isn’t always wonderful, but the journey is amazing.

Thanks to all who stick by me, who ignore the caution tape, and proceed full steam ahead…standing by me, weathering every storm, not just there when all is calm and peaceful. Seriously, thank you. Your friendship, loyalty, and love have been the sails I have needed many times when I wondered how I’d get through. And the most thanks goes to first, my Lord, my Savior for always being there, for always seeing me through, and for giving me such amazing blessings like family and friends like you that read these things. 😉 Also, thanks to my love…he knows that battles within me, and all he does is hold on tight when he needs to….promising to stand by me and his promises have always held true. Thanks to my closest of friends and relatives, both those who struggle the same way that I do, giving me people who can relate and truly help in ways I can’t explain….and those who don’t understand, but it doesn’t matter to them….you love me, you see the good in me, you pray for me, you help me through. For all each of you do, know this…I am thankful and I love you. ❤

Unapologetically Me


Throughout my nearly 35 years, I have been criticized, much of that came from me. When people put me down, I took that a step further. I have been known to be my worst enemy. (Though I think that is true for many.) People tell me to accept them as they are, but some try to change me. For so long, I have bent over backwards trying to please people. I have now realized I am tired of being so many things to so many people and not what I ought to be to myself. The truth is, even I have been guilty of trying to mold someone, even slightly to meet my needs and I know it’s been wrong of me. I think we’re all guilty of that, even when we say we accept those we love as they are, we often don’t…not fully.

Well I am going to work harder at truly accepting others as they are and this extends to myself as well. I am done trying to please everyone. People have tried to emotionally toughen me up over the years, constantly telling me I am too sensitive, emotionally needy, and that I need to grow a thicker skin. I often felt like I was viewed as too weak and those views became my own. I am henceforth done apologizing for “crying over spilled milk”, getting offended when people say or do something that hurt my feelings, being too mushy, and for being too emotionally needy. I am flawed in the eyes of many, even my own, but I know that I am a good person at heart. I may talk too much at times, have annoying habits, be more stubborn than a toddler who refuses to give up their favorite toy or take a nap, and so on. I can admit I am so far from perfect, but I have to say if you want me to accept you as you are, then I ask you do the same for me. Let us compromise, not who we are, but in how we treat one another and not because we have to, but because we want to.

When manic, sometimes I fly off the handle and later, feel bad about it. When I am truly wrong for how I have treated someone, I will go to them and apologize. I won’t apologize for who I am, but I will apologize when I am in the wrong. Sometimes I can be crass and insensitive, even though my very nature generally is quite sensitive. I suppose that’s a part of living with bi-polar disorder. My moods fluctuate on a whim and I can be quite unpredictable. Which me will you get this afternoon? Will she differ from the woman you saw this morning? I used to take medication to try to “fix” myself and have sought out therapy as well. The medications usually turned me into merely a reflection of who I am and/or they made me physically ill. Therapy did help, probably helped more than any other “treatment”. However, lack of insurance and/or money usually interrupted things. Over time, when I went without, I began to find other ways to deal with my Schizophrenia, A.D.H.D, O.C.D, and Bi-polar disorder. I found ways to not let it hinder me, but instead, it’s often nurtured my creativity. Yes, sometimes I lose control of myself, but usually I do just fine. I am done seeing myself as broken or needing to be fixed. It’s all a part of who I am. Some people truly need medication just to function, to be able to do their day to day tasks. I am not trying to say there isn’t a place for that, but I have been able to get to a point I can live a fairly normal life without any of it. I am proud of how far I have come. I am not who I want to be, but nor am I who I once was and I am happy about that.

I am usually known to be compassionate, giving, tender, the one to go to when you’re upset and need a friend, the one who will understand, the one who won’t judge, and the one who always has a smile ready. My disorders do not define me, my very core goes way deeper than any of that. Those who have taken the time to truly get to know me see I am more than any of that and that I am more than who I was. They see the potential of who I could become, but also love for who I am right now. We have our moments when we clash and yeah, wish one could be more or less one way or another. Like I said before, I really want to work on that. I love my friends and family for who they are. We all change a lot over the course of our lifetime and sometimes it’s because of how those around us have influenced us. I think in the end though, our changes should never simply be to please others. Our changes should happen not because we feel we have to do so, but because we want to. No matter where you are in the course of your growth, you should be unapologetically you and I will be unapologetically me.

Voices That Won’t Win

The voices inside my head have got me so paranoid

Leaving me feeling quite annoyed

I wish that I knew how to silence them for good

Oh how I would if I could


Sometimes the things they say frighten me

Twisting everything that I see

Other times they tell me I’ll fail at something I want to do

“Oh girl, why do you try? You surely haven’t got a clue.”


Sometimes they feed my anger, egging me on

Telling me to do bad things, making me their pawn

Now most times I don’t give in

I have sworn not to let them win


Every now and then, they comfort me like a dear friend

Each insecurity, they find a way to mend

I often feel so torn inside

In whom can I truly confide?


Many would say I am a freak

I fear there’s no one to give me the solace I seek

I wish these voices within never existed

They leave me feeling so torn apart and twisted


Within the darkness inside, there is one light

One that helps me get some sleep at night

When I pray to God up above

He conquers the voices with his love


Now and then I forget to seek His hand

Thinking that alone I can make a stand

Then the voices pull me into waters deep

Gnawing at my soul, causing me to weep


I wonder at times if this will ever end

God, your help please send

Don’t leave them for me to conquer on my own

“Oh child, don’t you know, you’re never alone.”


Some days are a difficult for me, I must admit

Though overall I am usually able to keep my wit

I tell this to you all now because I’m no longer ashamed

To tell you about these voices within that can’t be named


They don’t define me

That is something I finally see

I hope you can see that’s true

Let my heart show you with the things that I do

It’s not, “I am” for that would define me….


Upon talking with someone this evening about mental health issues, I realized he was right about something and wanted to address it.

Mental health issues should NOT define someone. Saying, “I am bi-polar, schizophrenic, A.D.H.D., etc” sounds more like a definition of who one is. When one has cancer, they don’t say, “I’m cancerous.” When one has Cystic Fibrosis, they don’t say, “I’m C.F.” So, why do people so often say, “They’re bi-polar.” or even those with mental health issues say, “I’m schizophrenic.”? I have been guilty of doing this myself. Yet, I do not let any of it define me, control me, or own me.

No more, “I am bi-polar.” or “I am schizophrenic.” I have bi-polar disorder and I have schizophrenia. But like a cancer patient, there are treatments. Though I have gone the traditional medication and therapy route before, that’s no longer my routine. It does work for many and I don’t knock it for those who truly need it. However, in society today, doctors are so quick to dope people up. Medication isn’t always the answer and it’d be great if they would explore all possible options. I stand behind those who truly need to take the medicine to lead a normal life, but not behind those that don’t.

Living with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia hasn’t been easy. I have had these problems since childhood and at that time, didn’t know what was going on. I was so confused and scared. I didn’t understand why my brain didn’t work properly. Once diagnosed first just with depression and anxiety issues and then later with bi-polar and schizophrenia (as I slowly opened up to one psychiatrist about the voices and visions), I let it beat me. So often, I would use it all as a crutch, an excuse to do the things I did. I have had trouble keeping jobs, friends, boyfriends, relationships with family members going, etc. My mood swings were out of control and I saw no way out, no way to control things. I figured that would be how my life would be, forever spinning out of control. The visions and voices frightened me, to the point I have lost so much sleep over the years and for a long time, no one knew about them, no one, not even family or close friends. Only over the last year have I begun to confide in others about this because I am no longer ashamed. It is a part of me, so I am done hiding it.

Like I said before, I used to take medication for the bi-polar and depression. I have taken so many now, I have forgotten some of them. Some worked, some didn’t. When I’d have a lapse of insurance or just not feel like it, I’d not take them anymore. I’d try on and off to battle my brain without or sometimes I was just tired of trying period. I have also been to more therapists and psychiatrists than I can remember. I will admit, it’s been nice to have a non-biased opinion now and then, someone to talk to who didn’t know everyone in my life, someone who could be objective.

Things are different now. I have successfully lived and battled with it all without medication for roughly four years. In the beginning, I didn’t know how to work around the disorders. I didn’t fully understand them or myself, so I suppose then I needed the help of the medication and definitely the therapy. But, little by little, over the years, as I grew and changed…I learned how to triumph. I decided that I was strong enough to not let it win, not let it beat me, not let it define me. I am so much more than any disorder. My arthritis, bad vision, asthma, etc don’t define me either. What I have or deal with is not me, it’s just a part of me, not me as a whole.

I am Carissa. There are many facets to me. Not one single part can truly tell you who I am. You have to get to know me and see every side of me to really get a good picture. I am many things to many people. I am a mom, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin, an aunt, a friend, a girlfriend, a passerby on the street or at the store, a singer, a writer, a photographer, a bowler, a dreamer, a winner, a loser, a Christian, a believer, a doubter, a listener, a talker, an Empath, and so on. Even with all of that, there is still so much to who I am. So as I first stated, I am Carissa. Not one thing about me will ever define me, even if others out there think otherwise.

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