I wanted to answer that question not only for someone who wants to know the answer, but I wanted to define it for myself…. as someone who has it.

The short answer is schizophrenia is the condition in which someone hears voices in their head on a daily basis.  Sometimes they are saying good things, sometimes they are saying bad things and it really all depends on how your doing that day what kind of mood the voices are in.

I had one of the voices tell me the other day that she is going to say to me whatever she feels like saying at that moment.  I was in the shower.  Sometimes it’s easier for them to communicate with me when there is background noise like a shower or the faucet running.

Schizophrenia for me has been a blessing.  It’s better allowed me to distinguish right from wrong and to make more of the right decisions.  And the voices approve of those better choices and bless me for it.  Like the decision to quit smoking.  They blessed me for that just today.  Just because schizophrenia is not normal doesn’t make it unhealthy or bad.  It’s the person with the schizophrenia that can make their lives either good or bad depending on their decisions and what they do with what they have.
Schizophrenia for me is really not a good or a bad thing.  It’s just the way things are.  And it’s a frame of reference for how I’m doing.  When I feel like I’m doing good the voices will many times agree.  When I feel like I could do better they have something to say too.

Schizophrenia is when you hear the voices of public figures in your head, and you hear those people who are close to you in your head… and you hear all the public, neighbors and even people you don’t know…. they are all in your head.  And many of them have something to say.  And if your not doing well they will not be ashamed to tell you they want you to die, and that they would like to kill you.

So you take the good with the bad.  Like everything else in life.

One of the things schizophrenia has taught me is to be grateful for everyday.  And I thank God daily for another day.  I have been told to die in my head so many times and I feel like I could be dying right now… that it sometimes seems like I really could die at any moment.  One of those pains could overtake me and that would be it.  So I’m grateful and just want to be good and a strong role model for my children.  That’s why I’m quitting smoking.  I’m also writing a book on it.  Stating my progress each day.  Today I started over at day one.  I want to go two weeks without one.  I have a vaporizer that I think will help me through the mornings because those are the toughest times not to smoke.

Schizophrenia doesn’t have to be a disability either.  Sure when I wasn’t working and hated working I tried to get social security disability… I was denied and set out to repeal the decision.  But the desire to get money, the necessity promoted the opportunity to work and I found a job, thanks to my brother.  I do have a lot of help from my family, thank God… but I am still attempting to become independent and make enough money to pull at least my own weight.

Because sadly, I do not pull all of my own weight right now.  My wife is the primary breadwinner.  I give her as much money as I can, but I would like to be able to pay at least half of the bills.  That way I’m pulling all of my own weight.  We would still be helping each other and relying on each other, but our lives would both be better if I could make more money.

So I don’t look at schizophrenia as a disability but rather a trait that helps me write, work, and live a good life.

It can even be spiritual at times.  The voices talk in mysteries sometimes and it’s hard to make sense of what their saying.  Like a dream that isn’t literal.  You can learn about yourself from it, but it’s not to be taken too seriously.  You have to get on with what you think your meant to do here.

Schizophrenia is just a daily hallucination that either helps you or hinders you depending upon your outlook.  Personally I often look to God for help and I credit all the good things I have in my life not to my own hard work, but to God Himself working in the world today.  The way I look at it is we are all here co-creating our lives with each other and with God and working hard we are destined to make something good of ourselves.  I think we all just have to learn to benefit from whatever happens to us, good and bad, and be grateful for life.  I think the point of life is to learn right from wrong and do everything in our power to make the most good out of our lives that we can.  To help God make the world a better place.

And the world will be a better place if we grow.  And we can grow by learning to face our problems more than we run from them.  If we can learn to consistently face our problems, and the pain that comes along with them, we will grow in our lives and will be in a better position to help other people.  And the problems will never end, there will only be better problems for us to work on that will result in a better quality of life when we solve them.  And God willing we will solve them.

But back to what schizophrenia is and isn’t… schizophrenia should have no bearing on how much money you make in your life.  It may add flavor to your consciousness but it’s your own thoughts and actions that will determine the quality of your life.  That’s the way it is for everyone and schizophrenics are no exception.

I should also say, in reference to those people who are overwhelmed by more intense schizophrenia the government should give you money, as they do.  Even though it’s not much… they should still give something, and they do.  I’m happy to contribute something to the government that’s going to help take care of and heal our sick people.  Taxes are a good price to pay when it’s going to help make our world, or at least our country, a better place to live in.

Schizophrenia for me has been a blessing.  It helped rearrange my life and get my priorities in order.  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I think I only did it to myself with the decisions I made and messing with people not thinking of the consequences.  Messing with myself.

I always say “We all get what we deserve” and life will teach you that.  And in the end there’s a judgement to see how you did.  But life will make you suffer, whether you have schizophrenia or not.  We all have to deal with pain.  What makes us good is when we learn and improve.  There’s no sense in crying about it.  I saw on a couple different fire trucks a sign that said “don’t cry, just supply”.  That’s a good quote for when people are going through hard times and you have a job to do.  Just supply.  Yes!  Firetrucks are good.

But schizophrenia is when you hear voices in your mind and they seem to have their own consciousness and their own intelligence.  They are not always nice but personally I couldn’t imagine life without them and it makes for an interesting adventure.  It makes the game of life special everyday and I look forward to more improvement and positive change in my life and the lives of others.

May we all bless and be blessed.  Thank God, Amen.