Sunday, December 18, 2005


What is the use of all the B-ship-high-in-transit about the nothingness in real life?

Sometimes it might not be the best idea to have nothing since finance is a common issue in layman’s life.

So I did the share of my job today.

The end of this weekend’s Saturday session was supposed to be a benchmark for the temporary shut down of my brain for at least a couple of days, and, which, in my humble opinion, is what my brain wants.

After I got back home at around 4, I crashed in my bed and quickly fell asleep.

It was already 6:00 o’clock when I woke up from a dream about work…

While I was sitting on my chair, with my cigarette in hand, I heard the voice of my daytime boss telling me to relax and enjoy my vacation.

The voice stopped right after the message was delivered, leaving me in my room laughing at myself… (and I promise you that I will let her know about it, too. lol)

I did not really have much to pack. However, I was starting to be overcome by the emerging duckness.

As a result, I took out the list I made at lunch, started packing, checking off each every item that is necessary but not sufficient… Medications and retainer are two of the musts.

Just when I finally calmed down, watching a movie with a friend of mine, I got this phone call from my dear sister.

I love my sister to death. However, sometimes it is better to not hear from her for a long long time because no news is really the best news I could hear from her. :-X

What she had told me is something I would not have wanted to hear yet I would need to know.

Essentially, it has to do with people’s inability to accept the nothingness in life.

I was really really upset by all the negative possibilities that kept on pop up in my mind.

I actually had to take my Seroquel earlier to calm myself down and to prevent myself from going through a panic attack.

At same point, I said to myself…

This has to stop.

The mountains of possibilities will not help me getting settled with the inevitable confrontational moment.

Let me just put it down for as much as I could and let life’s encounters represent themselves.

Then, as I was washing my teeth, this thought occurred to me…

In life, we all deal with issues resulting from the nothingness complex.

It does not matter whether you are a teenager with budding propensity for abstract thinking, a lost soul in limbo under the attack of midlife crisis or someone in the golden age with a track record of achievements. As long as you are still kicking, this is something you would have to deal with either within yourself or in others.

There is not going to be a day when we could rest happily under the shade of “nothing” because it is the collective nothingness that determines everything.

This is why I am begging you… Accept your congenital nothingness and let’s move on to live!

How else could I request people to believe in nothingness is an essential part of life’s meanings?

Friday, December 16, 2005


Finally got back to home, quarter to 11:00.

Right now, I am having this Kafka kind of feeling… Can’t really describe it to you… You have to figure it out yourself by either reading his writings or watch the movie “Kafka.”

I had thought that tonight I might be able to get off early for a change.

However, when unexpected events occur, we just need to deal with it…

So, instead of coming home straight to be a couch potato, I went back to the office to be the computer junky.

Just as I am starting typing, I got this phone from my mom, asking me when I will be landing on the day before my birthday.

I was happy to hear her voice. However, I am not quite sure about which flight and when. As her continued to ask me for details, after I told her that I would inform them tomorrow, I found myself starting to get agitated… That is.. within minutes.

I, then, thought to myself… I am tired.

I had the realization when I was on the bus, on my way home.

When I found myself thinking about the Poem of Emily Dickinson, “Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me,” I said to myself, I gotta be REALLY tired to find comfort in the construct called death.

Of course, that might be the depression talking as well since the construct of psychosomatic must have some contribution to my back condition.

My day started late…

I turned off the buzzard that went off at 9:00 only to find myself waking up again at almost 11:00 o’clock.

In a rush, I got to the office, trying to get the handout ready for today’s open house.

After hours of struggle, I finally got this printer cable and was able to start to put the print job to work.

The computer I was using must have sensed my anxiety for it all of a sudden started to act out and didn’t work to do work (so the computer was actually projecting my feelings lol).

The event was supposed to start at 3:00 and people have started tripling in.

Half an hour before the deadline of 3:00, I found myself struggling with the machines that I am supposed to maintain, having difficulties getting publisher to show pictures and unable to send the document to be printed.

Then, at that point, I heard myself calling the name of this trustee who was one of the first to fund this project, asking him for help...

In retrospective, there are two reasons why I was murmuring his name…

First, it was my cultural belief that, after people pass away, they actually still come out to hang out.

Second, the entire place was so busy that I could only insource myself to get my beautiful purple house printed out. lol

Either I got through with the computer, or, I got through with that gentleman and that gentleman got through with the computer, the purple houses came rolling out and time for me to breathe some fresh air.

I went down for a cigarette, and, ended up, I lit the second.

The guy walked past by when my second was lit… “Smoking could kill you.”

Assuming he was commenting on my chain smoking, I responded, “Won’t do it again…”

Thereafter, things went quite smooth and nothing much was going on.

There were many people in this full-house event.

I was introduced to Dr. Gordon whom the campus was named after and I also met the strong lady behind the gentleman (See, behind each great man, there is a great woman).

I gave Dr. Brunner a piece of chicken.

I was in the same house with Dr. Ziegler, who is the mentor of one of my professors (yet, it is such a shame that I did not know that he was there).

I also thought about Dr. Maxine Greene who signed on her book for me, “To my best teacher.”

These are all people with a long trail of scholarly contributions and who have live their life to fruition.

So, on my way home, struggling to keep my balance on the icy sidewalk, I thought of these people.

I thought of the question my daddy posed me once so very often…

“What is your goal in life? What is your career goal?”

I was a bit too tired to think and, at the same time, too focused on keeping my balance on the icy sidewalk to elaborate on my thinking.

In a vacuumed state, on the sidewalk where there are few pedestrians, I thought to myself… “Nothing.”

My steady gaits translate into slow pace and, before I crossed the street, four buses went past the bus station.

Crossing the street, I had another idea, “Donating my brain to run some fMRI studies.” However, nothing is still the main theme.

So I stood along at the bus stop for a while.

All of a sudden, there are all these people coming down the street.

On one side of the shelter the pavement was all icy. On the other side, there is a clear path without ice.

As the crowd coming down the street, I stood by the icy side of the bus stop, telling them to walk through the other side because it was icy and slippery.

Some people took the advice and some people did not.

Among those who did not, some crossed the icy without problem while one fell on his kneel.

When the bus arrived, all those came after me rushed to get on the bus.

I found myself standing there, not in a hurry, and, checking out the sidewalk to make sure there is no one at risk of falling on the ice as a result of rushing towards the bus.

It has nothing to do with me being good or not.

It has to do with I have only 9 blocks to go and, for this short distance, I don’t quite care whether I have a seat, as long as I could arrive at the destination.

The bus came empty and left loaded.

I got on the bus and found myself this spot to stand.

At some point, the couple in front of me, in their late 50s and early 60s, I think, gave each other a kiss.

I saw them kissed each other and commented, “So romantic!”

They must have found that comment funny.

So, sometime after 10:30, I got off a crowded bus on which many people were heading towards Lincoln center.

A guy came running towards the bus and asked me to stop it.

I stood there waving at the driver who wasn’t paying attention towards my direction.

The man finally caught up with the bus and banged on the door.

The driver let him in.

I stood there, watched it happen.

I, then, hastily walked back to my building, thinking along the way, “it’s so very Kafka.”

Along the trip back home, I struggled to keep my eyes open.

When I first sat down at my desk, I felt like simply go back to sleep.

However, I decided to type out this writing about nothing and the to be found importance about nothing.

Then, the phone rang and it was my mother who called.

I realized that it is not really about nothing.

It is about accepting nothing as baseline, accepting the nothingness so as to do something.

This way, each every things is a bonus for the nothingness in life.

This is why, rain or shine, I have to move myself one step at a time and step by step I move.

Nobody else might care about that beautiful purple house of mine with the gradient coloring produced by a printer that is not smart enough to do duplex-copying.

Not too many people would care about the unequal distribution of ice on the two sides of a bus stop.

People might not pay much attention to my e-greetings.

I will not let my boss to work into the night because the replacement of my shift is hard to find during this period of time and at a short notice.

Yours bitch from hell is not trying to represent herself as a good Samaritan.

Rather, all these deeds under the disguise of altruism are loaded with self interest.

It is these events in life that grants me the Kafka moments.

Sometimes I know I am stretching myself too much, but, I kept on stretching if I could because, if there is nothing in the end, there is nothing to lose. Then, instead of sitting there waiting for the nothing to arrive, I might as well have some fun while I have time (ya, if I need to participate in a race, it would be the race with time and I need to remember that.)

Kafka moments are fun to experience and, backed by my birth right called death, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong for me to enjoy my Kafka moments.

(There is no guarantee that the pursuit for Kafka moments would rid me of my bitchiness though... lol)

At the same time, it was today that I asked another boss of mine whether I could work from home tomorrow should the MTA go on strike.

She told me that since I have been working into the grave yard shift the past few days, there is nothing wrong with me taking a break.

Little did she know that the work I want to get done is to compensate for the inevitable break in the airplane and it doesn’t really have anything to do with the work itself… 8-O.

Also, I have the propensity to make the best use of resources… and this includes the brain of mine that have the predilection of doing its own thing without my informed consent. (As a result, let me make the best use of it before it wants to retire itself prematurely lol )

If the long term goal is nothing expedite-able and nothing I intend to expedite, at least, I have my short term expectation.

In less than 3 days, I will be busy finding way to kill time in the airplane on my flight home. I think I could move myself to get some more things done before I could legitimately put my brain at rest.

To end this lengthy ratological discussion… I just want to say… Let me go night night now, which is something I should have done two hours ago, and terminate my Kafka thing in the half awakening state.

Sometimes I need to give myself the leisure of dreaming about trying to keep myself awake instead of sleep talking… lol

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The contribution of medications

The day started alright.

I stayed in bed for a little bit more because I sort of got a cold, my gum did not feel too well and I, to be honest, did not really want to wake up.

Got out of the bus, I found myself not yet able to think.

I figured that it is either I was still in a state of sleep walking or the effect of the morning pill, Zoloft, had not kicked in.

Arriving at my office, I found myself not quite sure how to get the engine started.

After the consumption of a full cup of coffee, a chocolate scorn, and a smoke later, I found the inner meow awaken, ready to tackle the tasks at hand with no reservation.

With the help of my second coffee of the day, I found my brain firing away and my mood elevated.

Later in the afternoon, I finally made it to the class. The body getting tired though the brain was still working.

Getting back to work, I was back to feeling the ordinary sense of hyperactivity.

The only difference observed was… I could not stop crave for food. I searched through the refrigeration looking for food.

Food was the only thing in my mind… I want food.

When I finally got settled down and when people in the office were gone for the day, I sat down to do my time for the night shift.

Gradually, I found myself getting more and more tired.

I wanted to go home. I was ready to crash.

Despite of the sense of amotivation, I strived to hold on the last thing I have called “discipline.”

Interventions applied to human beings need to be grounded on theories.

Research questions, hypotheses and evaluation measures have to be derived from sound theoretical framework.

I could see the skeleton and now is the time to beef it up with meat.

“Attachment” is the key word submitted. Using attachment as a key word returned thousands and thousands of publications.

It was a long long time ago when I last touched the attachment topic, in theory and in practice.

The last time I tried to search for literature about attachment, I had not crossed the boundary of sanity and insanity.

It was the same feeling I had the other day when I put on that bright orange t-shirt of mine with words writing across--- “Fugitive (You never saw me). The same feeling I got, the day before, when I found the picture of mine as the bride’s maid at my best friend’s wedding.

The last time I walked down the street with this shirt was in 2001. The text written on the shirt was my statement for all those people who were watching (both in reality and in imagination).

In the picture taken at my friend’s wedding, I was the replacement bride’s maid who happened to fit into the dress my friend’s parents brought from Taiwan while the other friend could not fit into it.

The last time I touched the attachment theory was long before I walked down the street with that orange shirt and before my friend’s cousin, after the wedding ceremony, described me as a geisha because of the heavy makeup applied to the face above that overseas dress.

Both the shirt and the wedding picture were acquired at a precious time of ignorance.

It was a time when I did not know that I could be psychotic. It was also a time when I was in the dire of the onset of my psychotic episode. It was a time when I thought I knew something about psychopathology.

At the same time, it is amazing to see my mind generating nonsensical questions such as, “Is God trying to tell me something.” It is even more interesting to see how a mind could group a bunch of insignificant events together to come up with some indicator of some sort of significance.

Let me get back to my ordinary chore of the day so that tangential thoughts could not lead me off the track of reality…

After I reshelf my babies (I mean laptops and their accessories), I hurriedly packed up my stuff so as to head back to my rat nest for I felt that I was about to crash.

Carrying my heavy backpack plus a bug full of 5 pairs of shoes doesn’t really make it easy to walk (courtesy of my beloved boss and her ever growing daughter lol).

I found myself dragging my two feet and all the weights above them worse than usual.

It almost feels like I was the hunchback in Notre Dame, sluggishly moving down Broadway, when the weight of the backpack could no longer help to adjust the posture.

Dragging myself down the road, I moved passed these two lady carrying a conversation on the sidewalk.

I overheard one said, “… and a short career.”

I thought to myself… “Are they talking about my short career at my new position?”

I, immediately, corrected myself, “Delusional.”

I was able to immediately let go of that incidence because I found myself starting to be crushed by the invisible weight placed… overall.

1-2 more blocks later… An image came into my mind and revealed to me the key to the puzzle.

Why have I been feeling this way?

I saw the remaining part of the Zoloft before I placed it into the pill cutter this morning.

I could see the 50% line on the remaining portion of Zoloft when I was putting it down.

I must have thought to myself then… “Today is a lower dosage day.”

It also occurred to me that I had skipped my dosage on Sunday because I woke up late and did not rush to go anywhere. That day, I did feel pretty depressed and did get caught by the benchmark though of depression… “Am I but wasting the resources on this planet?”

More over, it has been a week or two since the dosage of Zoloft is cut back down.

That explains why I have been feeling so very tired so easily and so frequently recently.

In my mind, I heard myself saying, “I’d rather be a happy psychotic than a depressed neurotic.”

That had almost turned to be one of my motto.

The only minor problem now is… Unfortunately, I might have to go through sometime being a depressed psychotic.

The system, again, is trying to reach a state of equilibrium. Just I don’t know when… and I will not allow myself to talk like this again for there is food, exercise, coffee, cigarette and etc that would eventually help me to reinvent… (got the feeling that I gotta give my positive self a chance to throw in its two cents.. lol)

Never promised you a rose garden, eh….


Friday, November 4, 2005

Million Dollar Baby

It is a strange feeling.

When I was waiting for the bus to go to work, I had a sudden realization…

It is Thursday again and soon it will be the weekend.

Time just flies and I am not even quite sure what I have accomplished the entire week…

I went about my daily chore and soon it was about the evening.

Knowing that four of the movies I borrowed from the library were actually due yesterday, I, unfortunately, had to shuffle the studious students out earlier so that I could bring the videos back to the library before closing.

In a rush, I got back home, got back out and arrived at the library on time.

The fastest way to deal with the adrenaline rush was the cancer stick.

Getting home early for a change is actually fairly relaxing.

I fixed myself some veggies with noodles and put on the movie “Million Dollar Baby.”

I had thought the movie to be one with a good ending… In my expectation, the million dollar baby will finally, after all the obstacles, win that championship and get that money. I thought, after the movie “π” I saw yesterday, tonight, the movie will bring the mood up for a change.

But, alas, another sad movie…

Legally blonde might have been a safer bet to ensure the stability of the swinging mood.

In a season when the exposure to sunlight is cut short, this would not really be on my recommendation list for people with the propensity for seasonal mood disorder. lol

At some point, in the movie, the million dollar baby went back home to visit her family.

Her mother said to her, “They know what you do. They all laugh at you.”

I thought about myself and my blog.

“Will they feel the same about my blog?”

Non-sensical a question again since “they” is a third person pronoun and it is we who really constitutes my reality.

Lucky enough, my daddy would even pull money out of his own pocket if I were to publish a book about my psychotic existence for this is not a book for me.

Rather, it is a book for people I know who could not have lived a life with my degree of functionality.

I know, if my uncles who lived their life as schizophrenics could know or comprehend, they would be more than happy for me, if not, proud of me, simply because I live.

Yes, at times, this though would sneak up my mind…

My blogging has nothing to do with letting people know that mentals could also be functional.

Rather, it is a way for me to persuade myself by making the implicit thoughts explicit, and, to reinforce their impacts via feedback through the heptic (typing), auditory (my thoughts are presented in auditory format in case yours are different lol), and visual (text are visual inputs) channels.

Which is the real cause is again a non-sensical question to be addressed.

So, what else have I done recently?

I see myself to start finding meanings again in attachment theory.

Since information stored in my long term memory might not be as accurate and complete as could be, after I got home, I browsed through the book shelves looking for the old texts addressing the issue of attachment theory and its implications.

Unfortunately, can’t find any.

It is not because I have never had texts of this sort… Rather, it’s a result of the exit strategy…

When my parents went back home this time, they brought back with them most of the materials relating to the psychology discipline.

Well, shall I not find a full time job, this, at least, would cut down much cost on shipping and handling… lol

Unfortunately, that smart move is now sort of back firing at me for no reference is available in need.

I won’t be bothered though in the face of the inconvenience for the pendulum of outcomes swings… sometimes in the favorable direction while other times in the less well received direction.

Could only leave it to time to balance out the spreadsheet…

By the way, I think in another 2 weeks or so I could start considering cutting down on the dosage again based on the following two observations:

  1. First, the degree of obsession about other people seems to have become mitigated 
  2. Second, I am becoming more bitchy, which is an indicator of the breaking down of the belief system about being monitored moment-to-moment. (Yes. The only time when I am totally understanding and all angelic is when I am psychotic. In a “normal” state of mind, I am actually reasonably bitchy. meow meow meow lol)

Thursday, November 3, 2005

The Patterns: Re-thought

Yet, I see the patterns and I can't yet let go look for The Pattern.

Easier to say than to lol 



After I got home, I decided to take a break and watch a film.

The film I chose to was “Π” (Pi).

What a smart choice.. lol

In case you don’t know, this is a movie about some genius mathematician who was well endowed with psychotic symptoms.

The scary thing was… I could connect with the experiences of the lead actor through out the film.

The delusions. The hallucinations. The lost in the twilight zone between reality and imagination.

The obsession about the patterns and the pattern.

I watched the film and I felt sorry for him.

The medications did not seem to work too well and the side effects were too strong.

He needed modern antipsychotic medication and hospitalization.

His brain worked and he would not let go.

I thought to myself…

This is the reason why I promise myself to be dumb down to the lowest common denominator for I am and will not be him.

I will take a bath and smell the roses.

He finally realized that it was his brain that he had to let go…

Yes. When the time comes, one needs to let go.

Genius or not.

Entering the gate towards psychosis, genius or non-genius, all equal.

All that one could hold on to is to be—functional.

All else is vain and non-sensical...

Well, except for being human and do the humanly deeds such as caring for those who care for you....

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Sweet Charity

When Lucy came over last week, she bought me a full-price ticket to see the show Sweet Charity. (Oops... I feel heartache... lol)

I met Lucy in Vancouver where after I took on the identify of a Lucy.

She is among the ones that I could call a friend for life.

You could leave them along for thousand years. Those whom you could go without contact for thousand years and would reconnect immediately after you get back together.

(She and her sister, whom now have two kids, have been such wonderful friends to help me through the time when I was going through the magaimact experiences from that big time jack ass from hell and the drama after drama invoked by the thing called love invented from my pre-psychotic piece of mind lol).

It must have been late 1996 or early 1997 when I last saw her.

It must have been 4-5 email correspondence we had before we met again with each other.

She has now grown to be a real business woman though she hasn’t lost her style of being spent-thrift when she knows how to.

I remained to be the cheapskate from hell through all the years due to the life’s lessons.

The show she eventually decided to see was Sweet Charity featuring Christina Applegate whom was the gorgeous blond in Married with Children.

The pinky theme would have not been one of my first choices for the in-line status for box offices.

Funny enough… This production was one of the very few productions I could relate to in too many a perspective… and in too many a song.

To sum it up in power point format:
§ Somebody loves me.
§ There is a better life out there…. I will get out.
§ I am the bravest individual.

Check out this link for clips of the songs
(Sorry, dial up connection at home doesn't allow me the leisure of browsing through items that require broadband connection... :-x)

Believe it or not, there is gonna be one of this day when I find someone to love me, when I am finally out there with a job that gives me insurance that even covers the teeth, and when I could look at myself and say, “Gee, you are one of the bravest individual that I have ever seen.”

I don’t want a tragedy like the love promised by dying together found in Aida.

I want a comedy that allows me to reinvent myself from who I am regardless of anything (be it what others could accept or what I really could accept.)

And, yes, quoting what I eavesdropped from the street this evening... I am done playing and it's time to grow up to do.......

P.S. I was gonna buy this shirt for Lucy for it was much like her style.


Monday, October 10, 2005


Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.
--- Death by Emily Dickinson

I heard myself reciting the first part of this poem on a daily basis (it might have something to do with the fact that it is the first two sentences that I memorized lol)

Death does frighten me for it sets an arbitrary end to all that I could do in this life.

In other words, I am racing with nothing but the time… the limited amount of time granted to me by both life and death.

I believe in reincarnation (my cultural indoctrination).

However, what I have fears for is the failure to contribute anything to the collective good and do nothing more than wasting the limited resources on this planet. (BTW, such fear might be either the manifestation and/or the origin of depression. lol)

Next life is next life and what about this?

Ever wonder what mental health conditions could teach you? lol

Gotta get back to the task list and try to get done with the to-do list before I forget it... :-x

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Now I am compact

But now I am compact. Now I am gathered together this fine morning.

I still move. I still live.

I will not be afraid.

Let the silent army of the dead descend. I march forward.

I read one poem. On poem is enough.

Oh, Western wind. When will thou blow?

What is my destiny being?

I am just a single, passing being.

I said, “Consume me. Carry me to the furthest limit.”

From The Waves, Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Let me not speak for myself

Let me not speak for myself and let the big bad wolf speak for me for resonance could be an indicator of projection.

I am not included.

If I speak, they put their ears, waiting for me to speak again, in order that they may place me.

I am alien. External.

Yes. I will reduce you to order.

I look straight back at you, men and women. I am one of you. This is my world.

It doesn’t matter what I say.

I am also a girl. Here in this room.

Because we have only one desire, to arrive at the station.

Without desire. Without envy.

I have arrived. I am accepted. I ask nothing.

To be loved by Susan…

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Constrained yet focused

My dear Seroquel has gotten me pretty well drugged out. I have been having this feeling that there is a helmet over my head again.

I also observed today that the span of my short-term memory has gotten shorter and shorter. I, thus, have to use the mnemonic strategy commonly used by people experiencing memory loss… notes taking.

I also found myself to start my single tasking state of being. My limited cognitive capacity is sufficient for me to perform one task at a time. As a result, there might not be sufficient processing power left for me to think about other tasks and causing me to tunnel into whatever I am focus on, absolutely undistracted.

This is actually a very interesting experience.

You see, today at work, it was found that a camera was missing. Blessed with a delusional state of being, my brain was more than willing to start building up any workable conspiracy theory.

However, my predilection for psychotic symptoms has taught me to stop the built up of any mental model of that sort and I will neutralize my worldview with all efforts.

As I was walking back to school with my new boss, I had to focus on discussing about whatever we were talking about. The constrained cognitive capacity, thus, required me to shift my limited processing power to issues other than that missing object.

My conversation with my lawyer, my almost 2 hour long class and the technical issues with the computing equipment at work all push things happened earlier in the day so far that things happened this morning seemed to be thousand year old history. (Could this be termed the distorted sense of time? :-O lol)

At the same time, I did not feel tired all that easily today.

If you have seen me these past few days, you would have found me yarning up a storm every so often.

However, after the class, as I was coming back to the office, I had the realization that the tiredness has gone back to the “normal” level. I was more than happy as I was climbing up the stairs. That was the point when I happily said to myself, “Now the system is used to the dosage!”

Even since the dosage was up again, I have tried with my best effort to see whether I am failing to do for myself the things they do for me in the hospital.

I have, since, tried make sure I go to sleep early enough so that I could get at least 9-hour sleep.

I also make sure I take my vitamins and get some sort of exercise on a daily basis.

Most importantly, I have to make sure I eat well for I saw in my empirical experiences the importance of dieting and nutrition.

It was the other day when I posed this question to my therapist that I have now acquired this method of dealing by viewing many things as delusions and hallucinations. The good thing with this psychotic worldview is that there is only one way of handling… ignore it and forget about it.

At the same time, it is my fear that, with this strategy, I might simply try to avoid process the issues that might worth processing. Also, is it really me or is it the artifact of medications that is directing my dealings?

I believe this is a good enough question to ask and, if I could test it out one day, I would sincerely wish that, like results found in the numerous hypotheses of my dissertation, I would not be able to reject the null hypothesis.

I would like to also bring up here one of the things that happened as I was on my way home last night.

Walking down the block, these two people passed me by. I heard one of them saying something like, “… there are people jumping off the building.”

The story built up in my beautiful mind (lol) was that… “She is referring to me and she is saying that my condition could not be compared with those people with suicidal ideologies or who, sadly, act on these ideologies.”

Some questions are not worth addressing.

Yet, there are issues worth addressing.

When it comes to mental health condition, all mentals are equal because nobody’s suffering is less than the others, even though some people’s experiences might be more damaging than the others.

I, yet, will no longer suffer because there is no point for me to believe such experiences as suffering. Otherwise, my life might be too miserable. Also, as what I told this friend of mine, gotta make use of the Zoloft that I have to pay for given that there is not yet a way for me to go off it. (Here speaks the cheapskate from hell… lol).

The first time I had a psychotic episode, I institutionalized myself. That was absolutely necessary because the academic preparations did not prepare me to be a psychotic patient.

The second time I had a psychotic episode, I was involuntarily institutionalized. It was also absolutely necessary because I had the attitude that I knew what it means to be psychotic.

The third time I had my psychotic episode, I could have gone into the hospital for a vacation. However, due to the scheduling of the commencement, there was not enough time for me to enjoy my vocational therapy.

The third time had never gone away, just as the symptoms of the second round had never cease.

The intensified degree of psychotic symptom could be counted as the continuation of the second or the third episode. However, that is discussion absolutely non-sensual (sp: adj of none sense lol).

Regardless, I am sort of proud of my performance so far in living with myselves (lol). I have to make sure I don’t become too cocky for life seems to have the tendency to takes its toll as the half glass makes too much noise.

Last night was the night when I listened to the last chapter of The Castle by Kafka. I was very mad at Kafka for he had left the book unfinished.

Given that I am no Kafka and I don’t really think anyone is gonna all of sudden discover the worthiness of my writing when I am six feet under, I am making my blog be the storytelling of Ratology where the process is what worth focusing because there would only be one ending (oops and ya, I have no intention of being a highlander lol).

It is my presence that I could contribute because, while the past is often overrated, the future will never come. (By the way, I also have no problem contributing more to the IRS if possible lol)

Some might wonder why I am not being more aggressive in building a career, etc.

Well, this is one of my careers to research my own state of being to death (and literally lol) with the wishful thinking that it might add something to people’s understanding.

Don’t worry too much for I am estimating the timing… the timing for change. Before the arrival of change, each everyday, I build a little bit and I see the building stone in everything.

I will also refrain myself to pick up Proust' way --- lifelong procrastination (and I shall keep that in mind, too).

Enough of the Ratprincess Meow for the day (as opposed to Virginia Wolf lol)...

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Sunday, September 18, 2005

I had an epiphany late this afternoon…. which actually made me feel really dumb… :-O

The thing is… I never really woke up today even though I was supposed to be at work before 9:00.

I did manage to finish reviewing some proposals that have been submitted to a prestige conference in education. However, I was so not awake that, in order for me to finish reading these papers, I had to use the text to speech function of Dragon to let the computer read the proposals to me, rather than having to use my own eyes to read the text.

It is interesting that it seems to be so much easier to listen with my ears than to read with my eyes. This leads me to suspect that my extensive experiences with auditory hallucinations might have contributed to my bettered listening comprehension skills, rather than that of listening. lol

After I finally got back home, I had to take a nap before going out to see a play with my friend.

The idea of taking a nap had started forming while I was walking down Broadway on my way home.

I, all of a sudden, had this extremely dumb epiphany that it has to be the increase dosage of Seroquel that contributes to my tiredness and the need to take naps in order to keep me awake.

I felt so very dumb down by this epiphany because this should have been a common sense, rather than an epiphany.

While parts of me feel that it wouldn’t be bad for me to go into the hospital since everything would be taken cared of, another part of me do enjoy the freedom of living at large and not having to be kept on the gated 8th floor and be deprived of computing equipments.

I, then, tried to figure out whether there are things they do for me in the hospital that could not be done outside of the hospital.

The blog is equivalent to the journal we are encouraged to keep. The proposals I evaluated is equivalent to the discussion session about the daily news. My encounter with the new computer-related toys is equivalent to my beloved vocational therapy sessions. Furthermore, preparing donuts and coffee for students at my new job is equivalent to me volunteering to prepare the night time snack (i.e., sandwich) for my fellows in the coocoo’s nest.

The only difference is… I have the freedom of hopping on the train or subway. I also have the leisure of going to see a Friday night play rather than playing bingo, watching a video, and enjoying the Friday night party behind a locked door (This is the part that I have problem with).

I was not gonna drink alcoholic beverage since, in theory, one is not supposed to drink alcohol when taking medication.

However, after the play, I went with my friend to a bar for a quick drink.

I ordered Malibu with some kinds of juice.

It is not about the drink. It is about me having the ability to order a drink and drink it.

I have no intention is consuming more alcohol in the near future. However, I reserve my right to take a drink

What worse could it be?

I already have hallucinations and delusions. I am also already loaded with the highest dosage I could take.

Since the increase of the dosage, the hallucinations have been granted me with more breaks from them.

However, it would take a bit more time when I am so very drugged out by the controlled substance that I shall be too cognitively incapable to even dream about hallucinations and delusions.

Laugh all you could laugh and joke all you could joke. At least that would prove my mental condition to serve a purpose... lol

With or without a highly capable brain, I will still stand on my two feet and move on without hesitations.

Some days I might be not as quick and other days I might not be as competent to multitask. However, I will be functional either days (So am I trying to brainwash myself? Maybe. Yet, as long as it works and I shall see).

By the way, after my last posting, I turned around, not able to fall asleep.

All of a sudden, I had an insight. The posting was motivated by anger.. The anger that is associated with my inability to control the occurrences of the symptoms.

The anger is not even anything worse addressing. It is like the question, “who are they?” Non-sensical.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Dosage up, but, I promise you that I will not fall

Upping the dosage.... again...…

Thursdays are the day for me to get my check out on my mental health condition.

Used to be, I only have to walk a few blocks to get to the 8th floor of the student activity building where my beloved psychiatrist and therapist are located. Since I took on another part time job this past week, the trip has turned much longer since I actually have to take a bus to get to my dear professionals and to get back to work.

During the meeting with my psychiatrist, we came to the agreement that I have to up my dosage again. Essentially, I have started to acquire this telepathic capability (which could be translated into hallucinations). It also doesn't really help when I am sort driven up the wall by the anxiety induced by the auditory hallucinations that makes me feel like haunted by the spirits of speech.

Following are some of the delusions I observed today:

  1. They are taking this laptop away (:-O) 
  2. They are upset by my comments about the importance of validity in measurement and evaluation 
  3. The guy who cheated me by selling me the 5 dollar cigarettes (instead of the 3-4 dollar market price) got busted by the police 
  4. They are not going to give me an interview 

How do I perceive the whole situation?

The first thing I said to my therapist as I entered her office tells it all:…

"I have been busy commuting between the 8th floor here and the 8th floor at work.. as long as I don't go to the 8th floor there (the hospital) since I sort of enjoying being out there."

At the same time, do not ask who "they" are because that is a question quite non-sensical.

So, I went on about my business waiting for the night to fall.

The condition might fluctuate and the dosage might have to be adjusted. I will have to face the annoyance caused by the symptoms.

However, I will not fall for I have now determined that the only thing that could take me down is life itself.

All else in life is but delusions and hallucinations. Contents associated with these symptoms do not worth my attention for I have promised myself to live my life to the fullest any given today because, even though tomorrow is another day, nobody knows what will happen tomorrow.
Yes, Ratprincess reiterate... the ephemeral nature of life does not grant us unlimited resources and time to spare (at least, not everyone is lucky like Marcel Proust so that his procrastinating nature also procrastinate the arrival of death).

This might be a statement too strong to make... Yet, the terminal divide is, guess what, life and death.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Having changes in the dosage is never easy.

Last night, yours truly, Missy Fatty, decided to reduce the dosage of Seroquel by 1/4 because I have been feeling like a walking zombie for the past week or so. I have also started to get hit by cognitive constipations. Amotivation, flat affect and the sense of disassociation are some other added values.

It is a good excuse to say that one should always prioritize one’s health above all other pursuits. However, there comes to a time when cost-benefit analysis needs to be reconducted and alternative measures have to be taken.

I know this is about the time when I have to recalibrate myself and refocus on my long term goals. However, please don’t ask me how I know it. It is because the delusionals just have a way of knowing. (lol )

I woke up this morning with a headache.

It could be due to the fact that I had to wake up earlier than I normally would since I had to take my daddy to the airport. It could also be the cold that I caught or the weather is too hot. It could also have been contributed by the reduced level of Seroquel in me.

When I was sitting outside of the gym, being annoyed by my headache, I all of a sudden discovered that I could think, I could feel, and, I am back living in this world.

I could feel happy and really feel that sense of happiness again!

However, little did I know that the headache was the precursor of the roller-coaster kind of emotional ups and downs that I was bound to experience for the remaining part of the day.

When I was on the exercise machine, I was happy… very happy.

The regained ability to experience feelings and to think in sentences made me feel happy…. Of course, credits might also need to be given to endorphins.

When I arrived at work, I felt the resurge of motivations… to learn, to work, and, most importantly, to seriously start looking for a job again!

At that point, I had gone from a walking zombie to a headless chicken….

Well, I am not quite sure whether it is better to be a zombie or a chicken without a head. However, I think I might vote for a decapped chick at this time. lol

The auditory hallucinations did come back and they were causing some mild annoyance. However, they did not go nuts….

After I was high on drug (ya, Seroquel it is) for about 5 hours, I started to get hit by anxiety and more anxiety. At the same time, anxiety often manifests itself in me as high level of irritability.

This is why I do not claim myself to be angelic and would rather admit myself to be a b-from-hell. This way, when I am nice to people, people would recognize my niceness due to the deviation from the norm. lol

The highlight took place when my mama and I were shopping for some shampoo and conditioner.

At some point, I started getting really irritated by my mom’s questions and talked to her in a really loud voice.

I did not want to be nasty. However, it was really difficult for me to control it.

I apologized to my mom as we were walking back home. I told her I did not mean to be so… Just the change in my brain chemistry makes it difficult for my self-control.

She listened to me… and tried to make fun of it…

However, I could not appreciate her good will… I sighed…

I know it is too lame an excuse to blame everything on brain chemistry.

What about self-control, self-determination, and all those terms depicting how one’s will could weather it all?

Unfortunately, sometimes we might have to subdue to the forces of nature (or artificial nature lol) before we can take it back to ourselves.

I don’t know how long it will take before the neurochemistry arrives to a state of homeostasis. The only thing I know is that I hope this is not to be a long wait.

Monday, June 6, 2005

On the Street, a few things about delusions..

I was supposed to meet with my lawyer today. However, earlier in the morning, her assistant called me to reschedule our meeting.

Since I am on my way to return the demonstration unit (laptop), I decided to sit in the shade and start to do some typing.

This is the same spot I sat at about one month ago when I started trying to learn to deal with the auditory hallucinations and delusions.

I decide to start doing some experiment on myself and try to see how I am viewing the world surrounding me.

As I turned on my laptop, I realize that there are quite a few wireless hotspots nearby. As a result, I decided to get connected to the campus access point nearby.

While I am sitting here, rambling away, and looking at the pedestrians walking by, I am also sending IM messages to a friend of mine about going to shop for a vacuum cleaner for him.

The coolest thing was that I actually could tune into one of the net radios and start playing music on my machine. Well, with the heavy traffic in the background, it is sometimes close to impossible for me to really hear the music… Yet, just for the sake of trying it out..… lol

So, is there anything new that I hear and see?


Except for the heavy traffic on the street, there is not much going on in the vicinity.

Well, it is over-exaggeration to say that I perceive nothing going on the environment.

Once in a while, when I see people in group of more than 1 person (lol) engaging in conversations, I would still have the sense that they are talking about me? However, I do have to admit that the sense of paranoia has reduced drastically since weeks ago. In other words, I think or, at least, hope that this is a positive sign of my recovery from my positive symptoms.

When I was recovering from my first psychotic episode, it was very difficult to deal with the gradual break down of my delusional system.

As I mentioned before, at the point, I thought people knew me and were constantly discussing about my conditions. I thought many a thing has been promised to me including employment and green card sponsorship.

When I eventually realized that those were but my delusions, it was not too easy for me to handle.

Even though these were not real. For me, those promises were real for all those times.

It is a real sense of loss that I had encountered and the intensity of grieve is no less than what one might feel in real life situations.

I asked my psychiatrist whether there was any way to help me deal with the sense of loss. He told me that I just had to live though it, just like any other experiences in life.

That day, after I went back to school, I went online, trying to look for some support groups that specifically deal with the issue of recovery for patients with delusions. Unfortunately, my attempts were not successful.

There were and still are support groups for patients with depression, with addiction, and with many other things. However, at that point of time, I did not find too much facility provided to help people with the given condition.

Maybe people with delusions just don't walk to talk about their delusions, especially when they realize those beliefs were just their delusions (Believe me, it took me years to finally stop feeling ashame of those delusions of mine).

It is an interesting idea to be discussing about the issue of virtual loss. The loss of materials, fame, etc, as a result of delusions are just like the loss of gains that could have been materialized shall one be smart enough as to sell the equities at the highest point. Unfortunately, there is no gain shall there be no transactions.

If you want to understand the feeling of loss associated with delusions, just think about that sense of grievance you had to go through the last time you failed to buy low or sell high on the stock market… lol

Unfortunately, not all losses are virtual, and, when these losses are materialized, the truth might be far too cruel for the recovering patient to handle.

A lady I met in the psychiatric ward in Taiwan had a loss that could never be recovered.

I was having my internship for my bachelor’s degree then. Among the patients, there was this lady who was extreme eloquent and well educated. It was over 10 years ago now and, at the point, she had obtained her master’s degree in special education.

She was working at some school before she was committed to the hospital.

She seemed all fine during our conversation and I saw nothing wrong in her based on my observations.

One day, I asked the staffs about her condition as I was trying to go over her chart. I was informed that I could choose anyone else as my case study except for her.

She had delusional disorder.

In her delusion, Satan was coming down to take over the world. She observed the clues from everywhere… including the messages hidden on TV shows.

Satan wanted to use her baby daughter as a vehicle to destroy the world.

To prevent Satan from achieving this demonic goal, one Saturday afternoon, she crushed some anti-hypertension medications and mixed the powder in ice cream. She fed her daughter with the ice cream and she, herself, downed the remaining.

There are other details that I wouldn’t go into and what I have provided you with were actually in the news.

The bottom line was that she lived and her daughter died.

During time when she was in the hospital, she still had that delusional belief about the Satan’s intents and she had no regret about her own deeds.

It was not like she was a psychotath and she was being relentless and lack of remorse. She was just entrapped in her delusional system.

One day, she came out howling from her meeting with the psychiatrist.

The staff members came running after her and put her on extreme degree of monitoring.

Ya. That was the day when the medications and the interventions finally broke through her delusional systems.

She finally realized that the price that was paid for her mental health problems.

Could you blame her for what she has done? Yes and no.

Before we even come in to make a blame, she has her own grieve and self-blame to be taken cared of.

For the past few weeks, I have been trying to look at the positive side of the positive symptoms.

Why am I telling this story today?

The reason is simple.

Don’t discount the suffering of people have to go through to cope with their mental health problems.

At the same time, please also don’t discount the damages that could be done as a result of mental health problems.

Real harm could be done even though the beliefs are unreal. The best way to prevent virtual losses from being materialized is by self-understanding and professional intervention.

So have I had any real loss as a result of my psychotic episodes?

Yes. I was offered once a full-time position years ago and I was supposed to teach a class before my full time appointment.

Then I went through my full-blown psychotic episode the second time.

I went to teach a class or two and I never went back.

The first few sessions, I did not go because I thought that the president of the school had channeled with me and he had made arrangements to cover for me. After my delusional system was dissolved, I finally contacted the dean to apologize for my sudden disappearance.

Could I blame them for blaming me? No, because they have a school to run and I was the one who was being irresponsible.

Am I going to blame myself? Yes and no.

If I were to blame myself.. it would be my ignorance that is to be blamed.

Sunday, June 5, 2005

When feeling down

When feeling down

Trend of thoughts…

Do nothing
Think about nothing
Feel lonely
Want to cry for nothing
Want to stay in bed doing nothing
No boy friend
No job
No future
No life
Lost soul in limbo
Useless on this planet
Amounting to nothing
Time to quit
I should stop trying
End of discussion


John Doe

The other day, as I was waiting for the green light on Broadway, I saw a homeless guy sleeping on the bench in the middle of the street.

This is the guy that I thought to have passed away and, all of a sudden, reappeared in the neighborhood back a month or two ago.

He was sound asleep… like a baby.

When I was looking at him, I fell really happy because he seemed content and happy in his dream. He still had that plastic thing around his wrist, which is a trace of hospitalization.

His condition seems to have worsened since his first appearance in the neighborhood (of course if my perception is correct...).

On a good day, I wonder whether there is anything that I could help him with… Unfortunately, it is difficult to help people unless they want help.

On a bad day, I wonder whether I am any better off than him… thinking how content he looked in his sleep (I know, this is a thought too very ungrateful given the amount of support provided to me. It is just my depressive trend of thought).

Saturday, May 28, 2005

On 四塊玉




一言以代之--- 提不起又放不下.

更糟的是, 在這條路上, 我們又被逼著去斟衍什麽是該提起的, 叉什麽是該放下的?

連這也放下吧! 可是, 這又是知易行難.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Ratological Book

This morning, I missed half of my therapy session. Somehow, I had this smart idea that I would be able to wake up to attend a 9:00 session when I made the appointment. Also, I had this belief that my session was actually to take place at 10:00.

As a result, I woke up at around 9:30 only to find out that I slept through half of the session. I was late but I still made the effort to go in.

During the extremely brief session, I mentioned to my therapist about the flooding approach I have undertaken this round. Essentially, I am trying to flood the others with so much information that they wouldn’t want to pay attention to me. Yet, it is closed to impossible for people to get overwhelmed by my bloggings, given that, most people already have enough to read (thinking back at my never-ending effort to keep up with the back-issue magazines) and there is a very slim chance for anyone to be really paying attention to my writing.

The person that I truly want to overwhelm is myself.

You see, there is only so much reflection, interpretation and rationalization that I could perform. It is because my thinking is constrained by my prior knowledge as well as my creativity.

I knew that, at some point, the Goddess of language would take back its unlimited supply of spring water and my ratological discourse would eventually arrive at the state of depletion—like the IP addresses (lol).

It is irrelevant whether it is the medications that are asserting their influence or it’s the discourse that has gone dry. Why? Dasein or being-there is the answer.

The day of the graduation was a hallmark for me.

For the past few months, I have been juggling with the uncertainties about what is to happen after graduation, after my employment status expired, what I am supposed to do after I fall off the pay roll, and, what is to happen to my mental status. It is the expectation of my being a “official” lost soul in limbo that was killing me.

After the commencement, all those uncertainties are realities. I, thus, could happily live my life being there without having to worry about the expectations and speculations.

When expectation is not the focus of my concern, there is no pressure to push, to struggle, and to fight.

However, I do not mean that one should be lazy and use it as an excuse to not live one’s life to its fullest.

Rather, dasein allows me to set everything aside and take my time to process things step-by-step and one at a time--- sort of like, we slowly drove and he knew no haste. Now that I am there, all that I have to do is to be there and do whatever I could do there.

However, please don’t take me wrong by thinking that Dasein grant us a stress-free zone. There are still stressors, like in any other point in our lives—graduation is stressful, exams are stressful, and so are weddings.

At the same time, like what my therapist told me earlier in the year, the past few months has been proven to be a great learning opportunities. It allows me to look back at my own experiences and beat the horse to death (like what I did to my dissertation lol).

Sensing that my thoughts have gone dried, either due to the flooding effect or the influence of medication, I decide to have a paradigm shift in my writings.

It was yesterday when a professor of mine came into the office to look for my boss. I took a few courses in psychopathology with her before.

I was sort of difficult for me to bring up the topic.

I told her, “I want to write a book about mental health issues. I have done some writing so far. I wonder whether you could provide me with some feedback.”

My professor said, “Of course, any time.”

I sent the URL of my blog to her through email.

Yes, this is a paradigm shift. When creativities go dry, I will do some literature reviews to support my thesis. And, eventually, with adequate feedback from people I know, I will be able to publish a book—a book that will be instrumental in mental health education.

I had always wondered what I could amount to and I have always want to contribute to the common good. One major fear in my life is to live a useless life that does nothing more than wasting resources.

By sharing my experiences through blogging, I know I have made some positive contribution to 1 person or 2 (so I was told). However, by publishing my experiences as a textbook, I will be able to reach a greater population (isn’t that what textbook is for? Something students are forced to read lol).

Thereafter, I could tell myself, life has done me good by allowing me to make a little impact.

Since the expectation of my life has been met, I no longer need to dream about winning a Nobel Peace prize as an indicator of my contribution to the common good (lol). Finding a publisher might be something more realistic (lol).

Monday, May 23, 2005

Headsets: Unterweg Zur normalization

Today, I took daddy and mommy to the airport. They are going to Costa Rica to visit my uncle.

After I sent them off, I got onto the bus. There was a guy talking on the phone, with one of those hands-free headsets on.

This reminds me of a scenario I encountered the first time I came out of the coocoo’s nest.

At that time, the hands-free headsets were just starting to become popular.

One day, as I was strolling down the street, I saw this well-dressed gentleman engaging in some pretty serious conversation with no one else.

When I saw him conversing with no one so very enthusiastically, I thought to myself, “He needs medication.” It was not until I walked past by did I realize that he had the headset on and was talking on the phone.

Through out the years, the hands-free headsets and cell phones have gradually turned into commodity. It is very seldom, nowadays, to walk down the block without noticing people in the cell-phone nation.

In other words, it has become a norm to see people engage in discussions, quarrels, and story-telling about their entire life while no discussants are in present.

I came up with this brilliant idea after I encountered that well-dressed gentleman on headset, whom was misdiagnosed by me as someone with positive symptoms in partial remission.

What is that brilliant idea?

Let me go side track a bit first (As you might have realized, my writing sometimes goes all different directions. It is my dream to become Marcel Proust II... just don't have his SES to live his kind of life lol).

When I was volunteering in the psychiatric ward in the hospital, I was told that the duty of the volunteers was to engage in normal conversations with the patients. Essentially, the volunteers are instrumental in reshaping the patients’ modus operandis in how they interact with the “greater population.”

This is partially done by ignoring patients’ discourse about topics such as religion, politics, and their mental health conditions. At the same time, neutral topics such as the weather conditions and sports are promoted.

It is hoped that, eventually, the patients will be conditioned to engage in conversations with “normal” topics, rather than the more controversial ones.

However, it was very unfortunate that this tactic did not always work. How long could a discussion about the weather last? How many times could you engage in weather-related conversations with the same person?

The icebreaker might work for the patient with amnesia, whom struggled to remind himself of who he is by stacks of pictures. However, such a topic might turn to be too old for the narcoleptic patient, who used to be a professional baseball player and ended in the bed because his body could not stay away for more than a few seconds.

Also, since I am not a big sports fan, it was sort of difficult for me to talk about sports.

Moreover, a lot of times, patients would get released from mental health institutes while positive symptoms are still actively present. Some get released because of financial issues. Others try to be released because they yarn to get out of the confinement of the hospital. This could be done by trying their best to be normal, to cooperate with the staffs, and, to let the staff members believe that they no longer experience positive symptoms or the severity has turned minimal.

How do I know? Because I am one of them and I do not believe I am the only one.

What about the staff members in the hospital? I believe they know it, too. I figure their role is to keep the patients till they are stable enough to go and live at large.

It took me months after I was released from the hospital to come to the realization that what I believed was going on in this world was but my delusions.

I recall that weeks if not months after I was released from my first hospitalization, one day, I finally was able to tell my psychiatrist that I was feeling depressed. It was because I did not know how to deal with all the things I was promised and lost due to my hospitalization. These included a scholarship to complete my study, a job offer from Microsoft (Don't ask me why it was Microsoft but not Intel or Cisco lol), an honorary degree from some department, and, the sponsorship for a green card. The only thing I did not think about was finding myself a rich and handsome husband (Let’s call it teenage rebellion lol). I felt sad because people have forgotten about me and nobody cared anymore.

My psychiatrist looked at me and told me, “It was your delusion.” Just like what he told me before I institutionalized myself.

It took me some more time to finally accept the fact that it was my delusion because it was my belief and it was my mental model about the world surrounding me. I even went into depression for my delusions (Yet, I hope it was my premonition because I did get a grant to sponsor my psychotic dissertation after all lol).

Based on my naïve theory about how things work, I believe that, a lot of times, patients are released from institutions while positive symptoms are still actively present. It is the hallucinations and the delusions that make people screaming and yelling at the pedestrians, or talking to themselves.

When people encounter these fellow coocoos of mine, it is inevitable for them to regard them differently. How people react to the abnormal behavior, unfortunately, will impose extra amount of stress and will further reinforce the build-up of these patients’ hallucinations and delusions.

Yours truly, thus, came up with this quixotic idea.

What about giving the coocoos a headset before letting them out? In this case, their self-talking would be normalized and it might help to off set the stress induced by how the outside world views them. If there is enough funding, we should even give them a CD player so that they could focus their attention on the music rather than the hallucinations and delusions(lol).

Will this work or not?

I don’t know and it is but a hypothesis of mine. One thing I know is that, even if it might work for some, it will not work for all.

By the way, there was something I learned from the whole 9 yards. The road to accept the fact that nobody really cares because it was my delusion is the same as handling the fading of the novelty effect. As a result, my psychotic experiences help me to deal with the fact that visitors to my blog site has gone from 25 hits per day to 0 hits (lol).

More specifically, what I learned was, today’s news is tomorrow’s history. The only thing we could hold on to is our life because, as long as we are still kicking, life goes on and I continue to write.

This leads to the second positive impact of mental health problems—providing a secure environment for learning and exploration while there is nothing to loose (lol).

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Impaired Metacognition: Part II

Today, my family were invited to a function discussing the relationship among the States, Taiwan, and China in Flushing.

During the day time, I was all focused on listening to the speakers, not at all distracted.

What do I mean by not getting distracted? At some point, one of the speakers used the expression “the tunnel” and “barking at the wrong tree.” Those are two of the expressions I used in the previous postings. Even though I know they are common expressions in everyday English, I could not help but think, “Was he making references to me?” However, I was able to refocus on the talk and not engage in further deliberation about the given matter.

As it approaches the dinner time, my imagination (or, more specifically, my unconscious imagination) started to go wild.

The longer I sat down at the dinner table, the stronger the sense I got about the possibility that people were talking about me and my stories. When people in the far away table were engaging in their conversations and enjoying the festivity, yours truly could not stop to feel that I was the center of their conversation.

I was cognitively aware of the irrationality in my perceptions. I tried to control the build up of my irrational thoughts. However, I was loosing control over the delusions of references that were popping up left and right.

Granted, some people were looking at me, at the dining table or on the street. The perception that people were looking at me does not, in and out itself, constitute delusional experiences. What makes the experiences delusional is the bias with which my perceptions are interpreted.

When most people perceive that other people were looking at them, competing hypotheses would be generated to explain the given perception. Following are some examples of the plausible hypotheses based on my naïve theory of human mind:
People look at me because--
I am cute and they are attracted to me
My top is too flashy
I have something on my face—food or someone’s lipstick.
Most of the times, these would be the dominant hypotheses used to explain the perception that other people were checking me out, provided that the perception is valid.

Or, I should say that these are the hypotheses I could think of when I am “normalized” (lol).

However, despite of my awareness of the aforementioned alternative hypotheses, my state of mind makes it impossible for me to reject the null hypothesis that people checked me out because they knew about my stories and they were talking about me. Of course, auditory hallucinations make it even harder for me to reject the null hypotheses (Guess this is the story of my life, reenactment of the results of my dissertation lol).

Where am I going with these BS?

As I mentioned before, it is assumed that metacognition is comprised of the monitoring and controlling components. Moreover, it has been suggested that impairment in metacognition might have contributed to the occurence of delusions.

When referring back to the above scenario, it seems that my self-monitoring capacity remained intact—
I am aware of the irrationality in my interpretation of the events
I am aware of the competing hypotheses that could be used to explain my perception
I am aware of my bias towards the null hypothesis
I am aware of my own inability to make adjustment to my biased modus "interpretation"
I am aware that some of the things I hear are actually auditory hallucinations
So, where did I go wrong?

If the metacognitive model holds true, I would say that what went wrong was my ability to perform self-control, rather than self-monitoring.

For me, self-monitoring concerns one’s ability to observe one’s own state of being. In other words, it is at the perceptual level and it requires analytical skills.

On the other hand, the so-to-speak breakdown in the self-controlling mechanism is manifested in one’s inability to make appropriate adjustment to one’s interpretation about events, provided one’s self-monitoring capacity remained intact.
In plain English, I might agree with the notion that there is some impairment in the controlling component of the metacognitive model when I can not change how I interpret my experiences despite of my awareness of the biases and irrationality in my frame of references.

However, is this really impairment in my metacognition?

I don’t really think so. But, of course, that is but my really tired and loco interpretation.

Referencing back to the classic cognitive theories, we would find that one’s past, to a certain degree, dictates one’s modus operandi in the present. It is because one’s past resides in one’s long term memory in forms such as schema, scripts, mental models, and patterns of attribution.
As people continue to interact with the environment while referencing to their long term memory, the environmental effects make it inevitable for people within similar environments to become more alike and people in different environment to move along differential developmental tracks. Cross-cultural differences exemplify the outcomes of the simultaneous process of diverging and converging at the macro-level.

At the same time, as I have elaborated in previous postings, just like Rome, delusions are not built in one day. At the micro-level, s time goes on, it is inevitable for the delusional to develop a propensity to attribute observations in a way that is deviated from the norm. As a result, provided with the same environmental cues, delusionals might gradually develop a pattern in attending and interpreting environmental inputs that is different from that of a normal person.

In other words, both the normal person and the delusional are capable of performing metacognitive tasks, namely, self-monitoring and self-controlling.

However, a context is required for one to exercise his or her metacognitive skills and the context contains both the environmental inputs and one’s past experiences. Given the same environmental inputs, provided adequate ability capability of performing metacognitive tasks for both the delusional and the normal person, I feel it should be one’s past experiences that result in differential experiences, rather than the impaired metacognition.

Of course, my analysis might not be applicable for all delusional cases. For instance, when a delusional is extremely distracted by hallucinations, the distraction might result in the reduced amount of cognitive capacity that could be allocated to perform metacognitive tasks.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the plausibility of instilling falsified beliefs through my writing since my analyses have been based on data gathered from myself N=1.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Yesterday was the day of commencement.

It was a very interesting experience because, after all the years of not seeing the light in the end of the tunnel, I see the beginning of a tunnel in blackout again—the pursuit to find a full time job.

Guess, life is all about getting in and out of tunnels. lol

Before I got hooded, I, along with my fellow new born doctors, was informed that we should make a point of not to trip down ourselves on the stage since it had never happened before.

When they made that announcement, the lady next to me and I both had this great idea, “Well, since that was a route never visited, maybe we should try it out….” (Didn’t they say exploration facilitates learning lol)

Ended up, I did not have the guts to tumble in front of the whole room because I do not particularly like the pains associated with falling.

I was happy and I did show my happiness on the stage.

As I walked on to the stage, even before my name was called, I sent my kisses to all my families, bosses, and friends.

I was so happy that I gave a happy hug to the Dean, the President, and the trustees.

As I came down the stage, I saw my boss and I threw my arms around him to thank him and all the people at work for all their supports and caring.

I think the cap and gown had put me in a hugging mood cuz I could not stop hugging people all the way into the reception.

So now I am a doctor… finally, it is official.

What am I going to do next? When could I find a position that would allow me to make use of my full potential and to do something better for the world?

The tunnel is still dark. Yet, thank God that my lighter still works (lol), and, at least, it shades some light into the road ahead, though, the scope is limited.

My family and I bumped into my boss George on his way home. We were talking about the graduation ceremony for the doctoral candidates.

The name of George Weiss popped up in our conversation.

George Weiss is the founder and “funder” of the say yes project, which provides people in the lower SES with the assistantship to pursue higher education.

I told my boss that what George Weiss does is exactly what I want to do and what I have been dreaming of.

One day, if I could amount to something and if I could have access to adequate resources, I want to start a foundation. The foundation will provide support for theory-based and scientifically tested projects that aims to better the life of people who live with mental health issues.

What would be the underlying themes behind these projects?

One word—Education (even though it is something so very easily forgotten lol).
How could education better the life of people with mental health issues?

  1. First, knowledge is power, to a certain degree. The knowledge people acquired might help them better understand their own problem and, consequentially, their self-understanding might be translated into the development of help-seeking behavior: both in-sourcing and out-sourcing. As a result, they would be able to achieve their full potential and contribute to the society—I call this the conservation of human resources.
  2. Second, enhanced education could allow the general public to gain a better understanding about mental health issues. This would help them demystify their understanding of mental health problems. Moreover, there is a need for a paradigm shift in how mental health problems are conveyed to the general public—and this shift goes back to the aka “positive psychology movement.” Other than educating people about how debilitating mental health problems might be, people also need to be informed about cases that demonstrate the resilience of veteran patients.
  3. Third, we are living in a world where information technologies have turned into commodity (at least in the developed countries) and computer skills are turning into basic life skills. There is a need to find a way to incorporate information technologies as part of the treatment plan. Of course, before we identify the issue of “how to”, there is a need to locate long-term source of funding to ensure the sustainability of the outcome.

    Of course, there are many more things I could think of.

    Yet, I gotta stop thinking at this point since I might trip if I look to far ahead… lol

    Mama is calling… Time for my beauty sleep!
    BTW, I will work on the second part of the analysis on the metacognition model. Gotta put it off for the family reunion and some other mundane tasks in life...

    Wednesday, May 18, 2005

    Impaired Metacognition: Part I

    Tomorrow is graduation. When I woke up this morning, I started to feel the stressful kind of feeling. As a result, I postponed all the appointments I made for this week till tomorrow to offset some stress load—including my therapy session… lol

    Last night, I was trying to work on some writing about metacognition and delusions.

    I once read that it was suggested that people with delusion might have impaired metacognition.

    Since I have not been exposed to the source literature, I decided to look for some journal articles, which address the specific issues. Well, like what Confucius said, it is useless to engage in my ordinary reflections without learning something.

    However, the article I picked up was not the original article that proposed the role of metacognition in delusion. The article actually aimed to refute the given proposal.

    In short, metacognition is one’s awareness about one’s own thinking. For instance, it has been proposed that metacognition includes both the monitoring and controlling components.

    If we refer back to the cognitive model presented in an earlier posting, I would argue that metacognitive skills are stored in long term memory and will be called into working memory when needed. Since metacognitive skills are not a given, one would assume that practice would make perfect and, thus, would enhance one’s mastery in metacognitive skills.

    But, what does the impairment in metacognition mean?

    Well, after I finished reading the first 20 pages of the article, I decided to give up my writing and went to sleep. What I learned after all those pages was that it was originally hypothesized that delusions arise because the delusionals mistaken their imaginations as their beliefs. In other words, there might be impairment in the delusionals’ ability to perform self-monitoring or to control their perceptions gathered through the self-monitoring process.

    Well, please don’t quote me since I was half falling asleep while trying to figure out what ideas they were trying to convey.

    When I was trying to fall asleep, I was so happy that I am only delusional but not those whose profession is to understand what delusions are (lol).

    Actually, as I was plowing through the writing, I started to have the feeling that the way they presented the arguments is fairly similar to how my delusions came about during my first psychotic episode (Oops, sorry, it was just my delusional thoughts. Please also believe me when I tell you that I value all theories and their implications :-D).

    There are a sound structure and sound logic behind their arguments. Yet, somewhere along the line, I started to wonder how they had come upon the beliefs the researchers held and that really required some imagination (Don’t take it offensive. The way I see it is that imagination is sort of the basis of my dissertation.).

    When I was on the subway today, I tried to understand my experiences based on the metacognition theory (As I mentioned before, the tactics I use nowadays to distract myself from the delusion of references is by focusing on understanding the experiences). At the same time, my discussion with a friend of mine on the train helped me big time in clarifying my understandings.

    As mentioned earlier, one major thesis of the theory was that the delusionals tend to mistaken their imaginations as their beliefs.

    When I look back at my own experiences, I find it difficult to agree with such thesis.

    It is my belief that the development of delusions is highly correlated to the experiences of hallucinations. However, hallucinations should not be labeled as imaginations for the following three reasons:
    One has no control over the occurrence of hallucinations,
    One could not actively generate auditory hallucinations (well, it is possible to generate internal voices but I will not label these as auditory hallucinations), and
    Hallucinations are real sensory perceptions (Please don’t tell me that the voices I hear are imaginary. You can double check it with some kind of brain imaging techniques).
    At the same time, it is my belief (or imagination lol) that hallucinations are the building blacks for delusions because the contents of hallucinations could gradually contribute to the development of a “delusional mental model” about the world surrounding the delusional. The sensory perceptions provided by hallucinations could eventually lead to the strengthening of the hallucination-related contents and result in the propensity for the delusionals to retrieve hallucination-related contents when trying to interpret events in their surrounding—this goes along with the Network Association and Attribution theories.

    The consistent non-imaginary inputs (unless you want to call the hallucinations as the unconscious imagination) would eventually provide the delusionals with sufficient grounds to form their beliefs. In addition, sometimes things people say and do might actually coincide with one’s delusional worldview. These could serve as confirmation for the delusionals' hypothesis testing.

    If you hear people saying that you are beautiful 1 millions times, you eventually will start to believe it. Moreover, I bet there will be at least once when someone really say it to you in plain English.
    In other words, what the delusionals have are actual beliefs but not mistaken their imaginations as beliefs.

    Is it abnormal? Have you heard of this thing called learning, education or brain-washing (lol)? After I spent this past 7 years in my school, I have learned to believe the implications of constructivism. Would you attribute it to my impairment in metacognition? (lol)

    With my postings today, I am only providing my response for the imagination and belief part of the thesis for the metacognitive model. I will have to sign off now since I have to wake up early for my graduation ceremonies tomorrow.

    Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the plausibility of instilling falsified beliefs through my writing since my analyses have been based on data gathered from myself N=1.

    Sunday, May 15, 2005

    My parents

    Some of you might wonder... all these dirty laundries that you reveal, do your parents know about it?

    Yes, I told my mom as she arrived two weeks ago. She was happy for me except for her concern that I might get too tired.

    Daddy just arrived last night and I haven't had a chance to chat with him about it. Yet, I assume that, while I was still sleeping this morning, mom must have told him my recent condition, etc.

    Earlier tonight, as I was working on the previous writing, daddy asked me, "What are you writing?"

    I told him, "I am writing a book."

    I told him to not be mad (the Asian cultural thing remember). He asked, "Why should I be mad?"

    "I am writing a book to tell people all about the mental health problems I know and how we might be able to prevent and intervene their occurences."

    Daddy smiled happily.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2005


    Last Friday, for the first time, I officially showed someone my blogs. Today, I told my co-workers the URL to my blogs. In other words, I am making an effort to make the documentations public.

    Sometime last week, the system analyst asked me when I will show her my blogs. I told her, “Give me one week.” Both she and another friend of mine asked for the URL again yesterday. However, I told them again that I was not ready.

    What do I mean when I say that I am not ready?

    First, I want my verbal diarrhea to be meatier. I am not discounting the importance of phenomenology. Most postings up to this weekend are more descriptive and have been analyzed based on my naïve theory. However, I felt such narratives would be insufficient without my two-cents that ties back to the theories I used for my dissertation.

    Second, I want to make sure that I am stable enough to take the pressure. The increase of the dosage totally helps because now it feels like I am wearing a helmet. lol

    The first time I went psychotic, I wanted to take on the world and to show them how strong I was. Two weeks ago, I started my blogs because I wanted to take on my positive symptoms. Along the way, I came to the realization that I was barking at the wrong tree. It should be me myself that I take on rather than anyone or anything else.

    This is not the first time and, unfortunately, this will not be the last time that I feel the entire world is preying on details of my condition.

    The issue is not when I could stop the fear of being identified or when people could stop viewing mental health conditions as a weakness in one’s character or a stigma.

    Rather, the question to be addressed is when I could start accepting the variations in my own life. Anything else is irrelevant.

    Being in a transitional state in my life does not make it easy for me to deal with such an issue. Ironically, this is the best time because I am done with my dissertation, will soon fall off the payroll, have not found a full time employment, and, have one more week to go before my graduation ceremony-- I have all the time in the world while running out of time. lol

    So, I said to myself, “Bring it on and let it go.”

    Let go of what? Let go the fear and train myself to get with it.

    Will I be able to train myself this life skill successfully this time? Maybe.

    One thing I know is that, even though some might suggest people to ignore the auditory hallucination, I have, to a certain degree, trained my auditory hallucination to start using first person narration.

    Ya, you want to talk. That’s fine. Just say, “I do research on myself” but not “She does research on herself” anymore.

    Will the outcome carry over to the next episode? I am not sure.

    At least, I believe that practice makes perfect. There are always second chances.. :-O lol