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So, you've got schizophrenia? Surprisingly that's not all entirely bad. This has some advantages which the "normals" don't generally experience. The first and most important thing is that now you know you're not normal, you need not pretend to be normal. You can BE YOURSELF! Too many people try too hard to be what they think is normal.

This freedom effect is so good that I have found people visit me to experience the localised "be yourself" environment which I have generated here.

Now about PARANOIA. I used to suspect that people were looking at me, watching me as I walked along the street or browsed round the supermarket. But now I've started dyeing my hair interesting colours
(green / purple / bright orange etc) this isn't a problem anymore as I KNOW people are looking at me.

Another advantage of having schizophrenia is that you get to meet a lot of interesting people. You get to go to different places and have meetings at which curious things happen. And if you talk about odd mental things that are happening to you the good folk there listen to you rather than looking totally gone-out.

Evolution. Nature continues to produce diversification of new species. Every now and then something odd happens and a new variation of existing species produces an advancement. What if schizophrenia shows the way to a new advancement? Being able to think so many things at the same time sounds like an advancement.

It's your schizophrenia. You can use it to your advantage. If you don't believe me you can put it to the test. I have found I can think up astonishingly diverse ideas by playing music very loud through headphones, in bed, in the dark. It works a bit like a do-it-yourself total sensory deprivation unit. The extended creativity produced defies normality.

Now, what to do about VOICES IN THE HEAD? I used to do what they suggested, but after a bit it turned out that this wasn't a good idea. Anyway, if they really had been premonitions of the future I'd have won the lottery! So what I do these days is to try to consider carefully whether something is actually sensible or not. I can usually argue the point and come up with a reasonable decision, even if this looks a bit odd in the discussion.

While I've got the chance, I'd like to recommend a
hotel. The food is good and the accommodation comfortable. I've stayed there a couple of weeks. However, one of the odd things about the hotel is the fact that the doors are sometimes locked. I've been reliably told by the staff that this is for the safety of the guests.

Another hotel I'd like to recommend is the one I'm hoping to set up (can this be a delusion of grandeur?). I intend to buy a huge derelict mansion somewhere and set up in the hotel business. So
if you know of anywhere likely please let me know.

Sense of humour. Having schizophrenia I have the advantage over normality that I can see life from a different aspect. I can see sometimes that something is funny even though some people can't see it. I laugh. They look.

How do I deal with the DELUSIONS? Well, you might say, how do I know they're delusions if I'm fooled into believing them? What happens is I
write a diary. Not just once a day, but whenever I want, sometimes more like ten times a day. I can look at what I wrote earlier in the day and say "Did I believe THAT?"

Finally, what to do about EXTRATERRESTRIAL ALIENS, and government spying organisations, and that sort of thing, the classic "they" that you might suppose are "out to get you". The thing about such forces is that whilst powerful, they almost certainly have a limited budget and limited resources. The thing to do is to exhibit interesting behaviour which will make them go to an immense amount of trouble and fuss and all for nothing. I have been known to do some very odd things which any paranoid-catchers would find very hard to deal with.

Watch this space for more interesting stuff. I've got more to say!

This article was originally published in Perceptions Magazine when the magazine was called "VOICES' VOICES", and the original didn't have so much direct hyperlinking in. ZYRA can be visited at this character-review on the Perceptions Forum site and at Zyra's own website which is quite interesting/odd/strange/large.