Mental Health

Life musings again…for World Mental Health month part 2

It’s closing in to midnight & I’ve had back to back sleepless nights and days which has not only physically exhausted my body but has not made emotional exhaustion easier. Normally if one is in good shape the other can continue for a while on it’s own but that hasn’t been possible for me as both shoulders have become heavier. As always the higher one climbs the thinner the air and judgements from those who can’t breathe at the same plane will always continue to exist.

Of course now I don’t have to worry about those who’ve ‘converted’ by their constant interactions with me offline and online. But those who have not still requires me to climb down the ladder…actually the entire mountain all over again and revisit views and stereotypes that I thought I could handle. But the truth is far from what I thought. It doesn’t get easier or lesser by the day. It still hurts even if one might say ‘I don’t really care because I can’t afford to’. It does touch a spot when it is obvious that the other questions your ability as a person…your capacity to be normal with your schizophrenia and it doesn’t matter how well you’ve worked your way up to prove it to the world there are these moments that will remind you about the ugly truth your label will continue bringing you. Just one label is enough to put a black cloud over you and all of a sudden everything that you stand ‘awesome’ for, the stuff the world has applauded you for, or the inspiration you’ve indirectly managed to bring can gets cosmically twisted…making you question the notions of karmic bullshit and life purpose.

Making you question what really is there for this world. Perhaps they do not deserve the crazy ones like us then. Perhaps there is something we inherently know and in the attempt of share it with the rest, it puts us in a lot of dilemma and mindfulness fucking that it gives the very essence of spirituality a run for its patriarchal nonsense (which of course only a few will recognize) since mystics themselves seem to think that they are swimming in better waters than the psychotic. Somehow everyone speaks of balance but doesn’t see that the so called ‘psychotic’ could likely be balancing the mystic out because there are waters the claimed mystics would never survive in because they’ve never have to swim in it.

To me a mystic will only remain a mystic and that will be their only reality where as the so called psychotic has the perfect opportunity of choosing to remain one for the sake of amusement or choosing to move towards being a mystic with yet an opportunity to resume to their earlier identity. Now this sounds like a pretty good deal eh? (not leaving aside the fact that we’re good at carving even newer identities with foolproof plans that save us from normalcy)

SO finally after 7 years of advocacy work in Mental Health (through The Red Door & not counting years before) I’ve realized that financially stability will not come through charity models, nor do I wish to be taken as charity. Not at least when living with the grandfather of labels in mental illness. I’ve always wanted to prove a point in everything I choose to pursue and this one is going to be the next step.
In fact, people don’t want to donate or support a cause as I don’t look schizophrenic and I do not appear to be in ‘suffering’. This forced me to see life differently with many rejections that came along.
My Ashoka India Fellowship stipend ended this year which means I will have to think/work hard on figuring out my bank balances, as I am not going down the road of functioning as an NGO.

After much thought and discussion (which happens every single year) with the co-founders and advisors of The Red Door, we’ve concluded that 7 years of ‘social work’ has paid off through torn pockets and sleepless weeks. The Red Door has actually reached a level where our work has influenced and inspired others (now I can boast) and yet continues to explore more creative themes and realities.

And it’s also time for me to focus on making a living through my artwork which has existed in the background of The Red Door in the last 7 years. I’ve only made one art work all of this year and it’s pretty frustrating creatively and energetically – since it all started with the voices for me.

So here’s a to a new beginning, and yet more sleepless days and nights to another creative enterprise in the making while still continuing The Red Door.

Thank you all for the ever growing support, believe and love! I know I suck at keeping in touch or even blogging at a particular schedule…but I think that’s exactly what schizophrenia is 😉 . It operates on it’s own course.

Here are 9 galleries of my art works which are now updated.
Thank you to a few individuals who helped me save many of my earlier works. And thank you to the rest who kept encouraging me to not give up on my art…or more so indirectly on my voices.

Each one has a story to tell and few will be included in my sequel which is quite a tough thing to put together. For now I can share my whole journey through these images here. 🙂


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