Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Man With Paranoid Schizophrenia Shifts My Focus to View of Horizon

Dear Readers,

To give a little background I would label myself a fairly focused person. When I’m like that I tend not to look at any other thing, but usually walk with my head down, looking at my object of focus.

I am only slightly aware of my surroundings, perhaps only enough to stay out of a head-on collision. But I ignore persons coming my way, and have to force myself to acknowledge them.

The same holds true when I’m driving a car. You might say you’re glad I’m focused on the road. The problem is that I’m probably not as focused on the road as you might think.

What happens with a person that is focused like me? I was made aware of that one sunny afternoon about twenty years ago while driving down the hill of Claremont Avenue in Ashland, Ohio.

I work in community mental health and at that time I was with a man who has the disabling condition of paranoid schizophrenia. He was a wonderful young man who at times had bizarre behavior, but also was very observant and thoughtful.

I was my usual self thinking of my next task. The passenger in my car roused me out of my reverie when he encouraged me to look at the picturesque sunny horizon and the large blue water tower in the distance located atop a factory building.

The point is I had been driving that same way almost daily for about five or six years, and never once noticed the horizon view.

Here I was, an educated man, and people think of me as a sensitive and observant person. But it took a high school only educated person who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia to urge me to shift my focus to finally observe the beauty of a horizon.

As a result of my then passenger’s observance, I more often, but not always, look at the horizon while driving down Claremont Avenue.

"I was there when he established the heavens, when he drew the horizon..." Proverbs 8:27

See you next time,

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