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If You Are Going Through Hell, Keep Going

Uplifting, inspirational and heartfelt audio-essay regarding the famous saying, If you are going through hell, keep going.

Getting Through an Episode

Getting Through an Episode by Jonathan Harnisch: The curtain opens. I am Jonathan. I have schizophrenia. I don’t want to make a big introduction. Perhaps some of you have read my work before. For me, schizophrenia is similar to what I have read. In the early material, from such turn-of-the-century psychiatrists as Kraepelin and Bleuler, there seems to be plenty of subgenres or comorbidities with this condition, which I have had since I was a boy. I believe my traumatic upbringing—at least for me, though not my sister, who was brought up in the same environment—likely set off my illness. A series of other, seemingly ongoing traumatic events in my adult life have created complications, as my doctor would call them. I experience manifestations of other mental health conditions from autism to borderline personality disorder, and my case, for lack of a better word, involves many symptomatic days and times, which often cycle rapidly. For example, my moods can fluctuate up to 30 times per day, with concomitant autistic experiences, and muscular manifestations and malfunctions. A significant number of the comorbidities of which I suffer, not only just happen and I deal with them, but rather they create reactions to even the simplest things. I battle through daily life. I experience confusion with electronic devices, which is likely and appropriately a common symptom of schizophrenia itself. I may need to reply to an email and I forget how to, or I go to turn on my computer and I forget how to find, much less press, the power button. At the opposite end, on another day, or even another hour, I am capable of solving advanced logic and mathematical problems. While I often forget the simplest things, I have a photographic memory. Let me back up for a moment… I left off my last essay, mentioning that I would be back writing during my next episode. And I am having an episode right now. Schizophrenia might be considered an umbrella disorder, though I am not a doctor of any kind. I consider myself an unemployed artist with a botched trust fund and a life that, in terms of conventional reality, doesn’t actually exist, so I create delusions, or in a way a double self—not a multiple personality, which is one of the myths of schizophrenia; this double reality, despite all the chaotically misfiring neurons in my brain, helps me to have experiences that replace the uncomfortable truths or situations that I prefer not to have. To exist. To be not myself, though loved ones have told me that there is a core, an “oversoul,” that is intact throughout my schizophrenic life. My thought has trailed off slightly while I was about to write one last bit on my episode, primarily consisting of paranoid thinking that I should keep on writing through my now former episode until I could break through it. That is what I do. I archive my writing. Often, and only when I am feeling symptomatic, I go back to the categorized collected written words that I have been documenting since I was a boy so that I can see what happened through my point of view and so learn how to cope better the next time. I take my writing to my therapist, explaining what happened. I often bring up with him that my life is incredibly synchronistic with my books, which consist of a series of 36 alibis of what makes me who I am so that I can know. So that I can understand and so that I can keep going and move the hell onward as I always do. I always come back. My intention for this essay was perhaps that it would be another inserted chapter in my literature, my books, my documentaries, my life, my art, and my reason. But that thought has now trailed off as well… and I had only begun what I referred to as what was not my beginning, or my introduction to this piece. What I would like to do now is simple: take a ten-minute break. Time goes on, with people coming in and out of my office and interacting with me, communicating. My goal now is to return to my laptop and recall the 5 minutes after my last break; I mean my cigarette break when I wrote the initial thought that trailed off. Things change. Holy cow, things change. I am back. But I can’t stop now without completing this piece, my three-act play, my opera, where I am not the conductor but feel I should be, naturally, if I did not have schizophrenia. I was the violin section. I was beating the melodic tom-tom drum. I was the full orchestra performing live, both alone and with an audience. Together, all the musical instruments communicating with each other, creating a rusty fragmentation, if you will, communicating with me, at my core. I’ll take a break now, and I will recap how I got through this one, this brief setback, and the five minutes that changed everything. I know I can recall what happened. And I will. I never intentionally abandon what I am doing at any moment. Again, I always move ahead. There is at least some sun after the storm. If I can stay on track, or if not, while I still play this out live, some might be able to see the stream of thought that is my specialty, where I present a typical day living with schizophrenia. And I’ll call it a good day at this point. I can’t lose what I already have. If I do, I will grab something else and run with that. In summary, if I am able (for thoughts still bombard my psyche, overlapping and wild) I will, and if not, I will just move the hell on. And let this go. I should have better things to do than to examine my day-to-day experiences with schizophrenia. And you know what? Maybe I will. However, I can’t leave anyone hanging. The show is not over yet. The chips are not down. I will simply do my best to finish on the stage, close the curtain, and become the director, the switchboard operator in my head. I have nothing to lose now. I am at war. Just not in combat; I am now in reserve. So let’s get to some meat, the heart of this, and some completion. Something. Anything. It is all so confusing and stressful. Stressful? Damn right. But it fuels me. It fuels everything. No matter what those 5 minutes involved, from overlapping tears and a hardcore crying spell, followed by re-centering a crooked picture on the wall, to having a can of soda and a smoke, a cigarette smoke mind you. Nothing more. I can laugh now. Maybe it doesn’t matter. My brain chemistry changed, all on its own. I am back again. I have returned another time from within the hallways of going deep into Wonderland, and back and forth. That is something I am used to. The sun is now out, at last and at least for now. Until, well, we’ll just see what comes next. Roll credits. Insert title card: The End. Fade Out.* *Amendment: There is no end. I walk off stage. The seats are empty. I am back in real life. Well, sort of. The story of my life with schizophrenia continues. The curtain draws shut. You can also find Jonathan on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, which is his preferred social media site. Author Jonathan Harnisch has written a semi-fictional and semi-autobiographical bestselling novel, Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography, which is available on Amazon and through most major booksellers. He is also a noted, and sometimes controversial, mental health advocate, a fine artist, blogger, podcast host, patent holder, hedge fund manager, musician, and film and TV writer and producer. Google him for more information.


A meditative exploration that takes place within the subconscious mind of Jonathan Harnisch, a brilliant man whose waking hours are tedious and dull, but whose dreams are lucid and powerful.


5 Days in Corrales - First Edit-HD

I have been quite busy today once again, here on Wednesday, August 12, 2015. I invite you to view this first edit of an otherwise never been seen before glimpse in the halls and vaults of where my creative gifts derive from the initial outline inventing the patent for the first virtual retail interface in 1991, as a school project, in layman's terms, it means I created online shopping when I was 15 years old. The documents will be published relatively soon to the public, sometime this year, after some 25 years, which have now passed. Further my literary works, film, fine and visual arts and obscure creations of my otherwise madness, "brilliance, genius," what-have-you. This film is private with access only to my friends on my new Facebook page, as I keep busy with the stock and bond markets in Europe this evening in from US, complete my next film called The Dream for release in 2015 and write my third and final draft of a piece I wrote 20 years ago, for The New Yorker, which I will also share with you soon.


Audiobook | Heart of the Sunrise by Jonathan Harnisch | Second Draft & Intro

My apologies for not publishing the second of three drafts total of Heart of the Sunrise which upon completion of Heart of the Sunrise Third Draft, it will also be its final draft written with intention for publication in The New Yorker and similar magazines and writing contests and I will be working on its corresponding notes, query letter, synopsis and outline. Thank you. ?From the previously published First Draft: “Heart of the Sunrise” is a chronicle of my struggles with mental illness and my efforts to use writing and writing therapy to work through these difficulties, and the story of Georgie Gust, a fictionalized version of my teenaged self. Georgie Gust attends a prestigious prep school, where he wrestles with his Tourette’s Syndrome as well as his romantic feelings for the beautiful Claudia. Claudia is an intelligent and mature young woman who is willing to look past Georgie’s tics and see him for the inquisitive, intelligent young man that he is. As their relationship progresses through midnight excursions off school grounds, the exchange of passionate letters, and profound conversations about philosophy and God, Georgie also struggles to confront the truth about his other afflictions and what they mean for his future. You can find me on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, my preferred social media site. I have written a semi-fictional and semi-autobiographical bestselling novel, “Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography,” which is available on Amazon and through most major booksellers. “Heart of the Sunrise” is the next installment of my “Alibiography” series. Other books of mine include “Sex, Drugs, and Schizophrenia,” “Glad You’re Not Me,” “Porcelain Utopia,” “Freak,” “Of Crime and Passion,” and “The Oxygen Tank.” I am also a noted, and sometimes controversial, mental health advocate, fine artist, blogger, podcast host, patent holder, hedge fund manager, musician, and film and TV writer and producer. “Heart of the Sunrise” had begun as a work of non-fiction, in which the author describes, through a series of short, deeply personal essays, his struggle with mental illness and the general sense of alienation brought on by his altered perception of reality. Through this writing therapy, the author attempts to reconcile the exhausting nature of his affliction with his desire to create art and engage with the world around him. Taking the reader on a profound journey through the mind of someone wrestling with schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Tourette’s Syndrome, among other things, the author shares insights as he seeks catharsis. The story of Georgie Gust comprises the latter, main portion of the manuscript. Switching to a fictionalized narrative, the author tells the story of Georgie first by providing a detailed character analysis and then following Georgie through his time at prep school. Although his Tourette’s Syndrome sets him apart from the rest of his classmates, it does not deter the mature and beautiful Claudia from pursuing a relationship with him. Seeing Georgie as more than a series of tics, Claudia recognizes him for the unconventional intellectual that he is, and together they explore a number of theological and philosophical questions that defy neat and simple answers. Nevertheless, Georgie and Claudia’s encounters, whether they take place wandering illicitly off campus at night, through letters and emails, or simply in the hallways and classrooms of their school, have the power to change them both forever. However, Georgie must also confront the fact that there is more troubling him than Tourette’s Syndrome, and that this, too, may irrevocably alter his fate. When We Were Invincible
Heart of the Sunrise
A brief meditation on life and death.
Victorian Dream
Georgie begins narrating his story in earnest, beginning with an attempted suicide attempt and flashing back to his diagnosis with Tourette’s Syndrome. Unhappy at home with his family, Georgie enrolls in boarding school at Saint Michael’s Academy. He gives the family of a prospective student a tour, and when they arrive at his secret “crying place,” Georgie is surprised to learn that not everyone necessarily has or needs a private place to cry. Disconcerted, Georgie realizes this is one more thing that sets him apart from his peers. However, he does befriend Shawn, the prospective student, when he enrolls at Saint Michael’s, and the two boys engage in adventures like sneaking off campus in the middle of the night, wandering around town, and engaging with drunks and bums, those whom others might avoid. Claudia, Georgie’s girlfriend, joins them on one of these evenings. Shawn soon leaves the couple alone, and together Claudia and Georgie walk the dark, deserted streets talking about the existence of God.
In class, Georgie is underwhelmed by the intellect of the other students; only Claudia’s mind impresses him. Claudia is equally taken with Georgie; she sees past his Tourette’s Syndrome and admires his sharp, inquisitive intellect. Together, they explore profound questions of meaning, philosophy, and theology, as well as their deep feelings for each other. However, even as they declare themselves, Georgie struggles to articulate to Claudia that what troubles him is much more than Tourette’s Syndrome, and while their relationship may leave an indelible mark on his soul, it’s what’s happening inside his mind that may change the rest of his life.
Dreaming of a Ridiculous Man
Jumping ahead in time, Georgie recounts what became of him in the years after leaving Saint Michael’s.
Something Altogether Different to the Preceding
A Literary Look Into What’s Forthcoming
The author concludes with a recounting of his current situation and tenuous mental state.