New Slate

Hello anyone who may be reading. It has been a long time since I created a post. I admit, the difficulties of creating a blog whilst being in the horrible throes of schizophrenia was very difficult, and not all of my posts may have been understandable, or even readable. I am doing a lot better now.

The voices are quiet, so quiet I don’t even notice them unless I am waking up or going to sleep, as that is when my medication is waning in strength and time for a new dosage. It is quite plainly, heaven. It’s like looking in a lost mirror again, a mirror that shows my youth. Sadly, I will never have the time back schizophrenia and depression stole from me. But it could be worse. I may not have a life that I could continue living without the understanding of friends and family, and my exceptional doctors. The best doctor I had has been a nurse practitioner, and a few therapists.

Anyway I feel like I’m droning on. If you are struggling with voices, delusions, or anything supernaturally schizophrenic, as schizophrenia strangely warps your perceptions to belief in the supernatural, just sit back and drink from my lost madman’s cup. Or if you’re just interested in schizophrenia, here is a perfect place to start.  A perfect place to begin in experiencing the monster known only as schizophrenia.

I will be writing more from now on, so keep notified, although I am consumed with other projects of late. I hope to enlighten, inspire, and interest. So just have fun and read how the Eagle almost fell off the cliff, but flew instead.

 

Perpentach

I am having a hard time with the voices lately, or maybe it’s my depression. When I am not beleaguered by voices, I feel very depressed. It’s not that I miss the voices or anything, in fact I usually feel elated at first when I don’t hear them. Perhaps I am bipolar. I have definitely felt the roller coaster of mania and the sink of the lows. It was mega. Megalomania.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today, what I would like to share in this post. I have a purpose, a mission. I want to tell you about Angie and Floyd.

They would prefer it if I used their “real” names, but they’re not real people anyways, so I gave them pseudonyms. They were originally based off of real people, I think. They just sort of appeared one day and made my head their own. It felt like someone was invading my mind.

Angie is the positive one. At least most of the time. I think she’s in cahoots with Floyd, however. Floyd continually refers to her as his girlfriend. She’s never actually called him her boyfriend though, or at least not that I can recall. You’d think the feeling would be mutual. It’s strange the personas these voices create. Afterall, they aren’t really real, right? Something in my head created them though, so I suppose they are me, but they’re not, really. They are separate from my thinking. I usually cannot anticipate what they are going to say, and if I do it is instinctual, like trapping something, or like wrestling someone into submission. My body, or in this case my mind, just does things on its own. I think it’s because I have had arguments so many times. I kind of learned the ropes to a good argument.

Although it isn’t really an intelligent argument I have with the voices. Like what I have heard stated before, the voices can only use minimal sentences. Usually a few words or phrases they use consistently. They make the limited breath they have count though, by playing on my fears and insecurities. I will hear a, “you’re a pathetic loser!” or perhaps something more personal than that, that would only matter to me. What is consistent with the voices is their proneness towards magical thinking. Really that’s the only way the delusion they continually use to batter at my sanity can be called. They wish to be real people, who talk to me telepathically. They call it “the gift” or did until that started sounding stupid. I think it started sounding stupid when I first started calling it telepathy.

I don’t understand how they can continually think such irrational thoughts. How I, through them by proxy, can think such irrational thoughts. I think it has something to do with the illness. Delusions and hallucinations are high when brain chemistry is out of whack. Delusions and hallucinations are called positive symptoms, which add something, unlike negative symptoms, which take something away. I usually have more positive symptoms. I suppose I could give Angie the positive domain of symptoms and Floyd the negative. They are like twin empires of schizophrenia. Really Angie and Floyd are both positive symptoms, but it’s fun making characters for them. Hell, I could write whole stories about the voices in my head.

They weren’t the only voices in my head, although they are the main ones in my current life. There was one, who snuck under every thought I had and in a creepy voice stuck to it and warped it. It was sort of like having a tick in my head. He was based off of an old boss of mine. There was another that was independent of the other voices in my head, and was one of the scariest I have ever heard. Hearing it made my hair stand on end. It was the monster in the dark, the banshee in the basement. In the middle of the night, when I was trying to sleep, it would creep up to me and say, “Thanks for letting me into your room.” It didn’t help that I hallucinated and saw it once. Eventually, I became to like that voice. The initial shock wore off and instead excited me, kind of like how spicy food or scary movies become pleasurable. I would use it as my ally against the other voices. I introduced it into their hive mind and it would calmly say, “Thanks for letting me into your hive mind.” The worst voice was the one based on real fear and danger. A detective, who wanted to wrongfully imprison me, was the one that caused me the most harm. I was so scared of him and his cohorts, and when I hallucinated more in my vision and body they were big thugs who felt heavy and dark. In my mind they were going to arrest me. In the climax of that delusion I was on the brink of suicide. But they, like almost all the others, passed away.

 

The most prominent voice is Floyd. He’s the one who’s speaking in my head the most, besides my own voice. He has a very distinct voice. I used to think he was the only one there, and just changed his voice, but past experience shows that is untrue. I don’t know why my brain has singled him out, he represents only a minor character in my history. I suppose that’s what makes him so sinister. That some minor person is out to get me and ruin my life. At least he has shown himself to me, as you know the most dangerous enemy is the one you are unaware of. I do think of him as an enemy. Even though sometimes with kind words he tries to befriend me in an effort to put me off guard, all I can think of is how many times he has told me to kill myself. How many times he has told me he hates me, how many times he said he would hurt me, and how many times he said he has. Honestly, if he was a real person I’d probably hurt him badly. But that sounds insane, and that’s because it is.

 

There is no one there. I talk to these shadows, these dopplers, and really I am just talking to myself as I amble down a forested pathways in an effort to forget them. I just want my head to be my own again. It’s strange that talking about them is one of the best ways to get them out of my head. I think I’ll play some Fall from Heaven 2 and get them off my mind for awhile. To end with here’s a quote from one of my favorite insane leaders from the game,

Echoes of a distant past

Bodies die but voices last

Once held within a cell

Your mind is where the voices dwell

15 Tactics to Combat Hearing Voices

I have schizophrenia and hear voices. It is difficult living with something that you can hear and speaks to you which isn’t really there. My aim is to eliminate the voices or make them manageable. These are some tactics which may help someone who hears voices. If you are trying these tactics, you may not be able to do all of these techniques at once. Try taking one or two of them a day and practicing them. Write down important things that have to deal with managing the voices because every instance of hearing voices is different and my list doesn’t have all the answers.

 

  1.        Medication. Medication is often times a crap shoot. Each medication can affect someone differently, and finding the right medication can be tricky. The best way to get the best medication is simply through trial and error. If you are suffering hallucinations or delusions then medication is your first and often best bet for recovery. If your medication makes the symptoms worse or side effects become unmanageable then get help straight away. Do not see if it will change over time, as most likely they wont if symptoms and voices are worsening, although side effects usually get more manageable after awhile. Call your doctor and see if they can squeeze you in, tell them it is very important that you talk to or see a doctor. Remember that every medication affects someone differently. What works for someone else may not work for you. Keep trying different medications and don’t give up. Eventually you will find one or more that suits you. Always take your medication on schedule and don’t miss doses.
  2.        Avoid drugs that aren’t prescribed. Be careful of alcohol use, especially with certain medications. Alcohol and medication affect the same receptors so it is wise to not drink on medication because the medicine will have a weaker effect. Different drugs upset the balance that medication provides, and can mess with your mind and body. Even little things like caffeine or nicotine can change how the voices act, so be careful what you put in your system, especially if you’ve never tried it before and don’t know how you will react. Street drugs may cause you to relapse, so just don’t use them. Each time you take a drug that isn’t prescribed you are running the risk of a relapse.
  3.        Music and white noise. Music is an important ally, as music is contrary to the voices. Listen to music that you enjoy and gives you some sense of empowerment. Music can say something different than the voices, and makes it feel like it is on your side against the voices. Some music can be twisted by the voices, but concentrating on the words or tune can bring relief to the never ending torrent of thought that the voices are. Make a playlist of songs you enjoy and listen to it. Singing or playing an instrument also focuses your mind as well, and is a great way to blow off excess energy. Singing a simple song or humming can also give you a safeguard against the voices. Even thinking a song in your head can help. Having white noise helps quiet the voices. It is a simple trick that may help someone who hears voices. Try sleeping with fan on or having the ticking of a clock to distract you from the voices. Having white noise will help you fall asleep.
  4.        Talk. Don’t talk to the voices, talk with someone real. Talking with someone takes more concentration, especially if you are interested in what they have to say. If the conversation loses your interest, try focusing on every single word the other person is saying. Focus your mind on every little detail. Remember to talk to real people, don’t get sucked in by the voices. If you are alone, talk to yourself, and only yourself. Saying your thoughts aloud helps you focus your words and thoughts, and separates you from the voices. A simple habit, but it may help you find relief and relaxation when the voices are unbearable. If you cannot talk aloud, try texting or writing instead.
  5.        Stay busy. Staying busy is important. You don’t have to do something 24/7, but being distracted quiets the voices and helps you ignore them. Set plans and follow up on them. Cultivate hobbies. The voices are loudest when it’s quiet and nothing is happening, so try to do something that takes up your energy. Feeling tired after being busy will also help you sleep when the voices are loud, distracting, or disturbing.
  6.    Don’t believe the voices. They’re not real. The voices are hectic and manipulative. Sometimes they’re just confusing, and to believe them is a surefire path to madness. Remind yourself that they are only symptoms of an illness, and nothing more. Don’t believe that they are something deep and personal about you. Think of them as a bad cough, or just noise. Believe in yourself, not the voices.
  7.    Be open. Always let the people in your life know what you are going through. You are not alone. Letting people know what’s happening in your life helps them to help you. Don’t be afraid of social stigmas. It may be challenging at first, but getting someone to understand can be a worthwhile victory. Do not fight alone against the voices. Everyone needs a friend. You can also go to support groups where you can meet other people who are going through similar situations. I met schizophrenics and talking with them has been one of the best parts of my illness, and good parts of schizophrenia is very, very rare. Other people will take the time to understand you.
  8.    Be careful of your mood. Watch what you listen to and where you are. Being in the darkness alone can make the voices scarier, while being in the light with someone can make them less frightening. Put good, positive things in your head. Don’t ruminate on unpleasant things, whatever they are to you. The voices will seize on the negative things about you and your surroundings, so take care of your mood.
  9.    Take care of your body. Clean yourself and your surroundings, do not give into depression. Making yourself and your surroundings look nice can be a morale booster. Eat healthily and exercise. Doing these little things can make you feel good and increase your mood. Staying healthy is important, it gives you accomplishments that the voices cannot take away.
  10.    Have a mantra. Praying helps me. It gives me a sense of connection and clears my mind when the voices are rampant. It is like holding a railing near a steep cliff. The railing is there if I need it, and is always the same. Sometimes the voices make fun of me for praying, but it’s important not to give in. That means that saying my mantra upsets them, and is contrary to their will. Having a mantra helps me focus, and praying gives me a sense of connection and reminds me of my family.
  11. Read. Reading takes up more brain power, so the voices don’t usually speak when reading. In the worst of my schizophrenia it was hardly bearable to read, so I read aloud. Reading aloud helped me focus on my own words and the words of the book. Reading something about schizophrenia and mental illness may provide more insight into your fight, so learn where you can. Reading and learning something different may distract you from the voices if it piques your interest, so always exercise your mind and learn.
  12. Time. It will take time to heal. There is no magic solution to schizophrenia. It may take weeks for medication to work completely and years to fully recover. Time heals all wounds, so do things while you are waiting. Don’t let the voices take over your life. It will take time to heal. Don’t spend too much time trying to specifically get better. You will get better, in your own time. Remember to do things while you are healing.
  13. Therapy and treatment. Therapy is a good way to spend your time. You may learn more techniques to combat mental illness and talking with someone about your battle really helps. A doctor is on your side and wants you to get better. Find a specialist you can open up to and understands you. It may take awhile to get to know someone, but liking your therapist or doctor often provides the best results. A good way to find a doctor is to ask a nurse or doctor friend or in-law who they would send if their own family member was afflicted by the same illness. Take your treatment seriously.
  14. Be with your pets and loved ones. Animals give unconditional love easily, so love your cat, dog, lizard, bird, or whatever as much as you like. You’re loved ones will always be there for you. When you’re going through a hard time sometimes being with someone you love is all you need.
  15. Build a safety net of real people and ideas. Be with the people you care about. Think of them in your darkest hours. Find a way out of negative thoughts by having beliefs and ideas that are uplifting. These tactics and my family and friends are my own safety net. These tactics may be a good starting point for you, and can help you construct a safety net that is unique to you. Be sure to remember and write what you think of down! These tactics have helped me, I hope they help you.

Anniversary

Happy anniversary! I have one year of the diagnosis of schizophrenia under my belt.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you’ve been reading it you know that I write a lot about my past experiences. This has been a sort of therapy for me. I used to keep a lot of my old traumas a secret. I didn’t want anyone know what I had done or how I am. Ironically, as soon as I was finished with my legal difficulties I started hearing voices and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It was just another big secret that enveloped my life, but it feels good sharing it. I have old wounds, new scars, and big hole in my head where the voices come through. I think the weight of keeping all my old trauma a secret helped create my present condition that hears voices.

There are many reasons that I have schizophrenia. The most common is genetics. Somewhere down the line in my ancestry someone had schizophrenia, and I inherited it. Strangely, feeling that it is genetic is the lightest weight. It feels better that I had no control over it and that it happened on its own. Schizophrenia being hereditary is a good claim, but I also might have aggravated the symptoms.

I have done drugs in my wild high school days, the most common being marijuana. For awhile I smoked every day all day. This might have also created the environment in my body to have caused schizophrenia. Marijuana affects the same dopamine receptors that in a schizophrenic person misfire rapidly. Using marijuana in my changing teenage brain could’ve caused my schizophrenia, or at least unlocked the door in my genes to have brought up my schizophrenic inheritance.

But I have done other drugs… Not really even the harder stuff like heroin or cocaine. The hardest drugs I have taken were hallucinogens, and drugs like adderall or similar varieties of prescription pills, illegally taken bought from drug dealers or given by friends. The first time I was psychotic was because I took a chemical called LSA, which is in hawaiian baby woodrose seeds. It is similar to LSD but naturally made. I have had good trips and bad trips on other hallucinogens, but my LSA trip will stand out amongst the rest. The doctors in jail reasoned that I had drug induced psychosis, which led to me pleading insanity. I thought I knew the truth, about life, love, and everything. I thought taking those seeds changed my life, and they definitely did but not in the way I hoped. Being psychotic last February felt a lot like that drug trip. I felt like the whole world was opened up to me, I felt like a part of everything. My schizophrenia may just be a continuation of that trip.

But there is also the unknown. Schizophrenia is such a widely misunderstood disease that no one really knows what exactly causes it. I might have gotten the bad luck of the draw and gotten schizophrenia because of something else. There is a lot about the mind that people have yet to discover, and the unknown is the most frightening aspect about schizophrenia. Who knows what really causes voices?

The voices have said that they are other people with “the gift” and that my schizophrenia is really just telepathy. This is the hardest to believe, but when someone repeats it to me over and over all day then I start to wonder. I have many reasons why that is false, but still I wonder, if only halfheartedly. I think it seems so real because I don’t want anyone to know my secrets, all the things I’ve done, all of my schizophrenia. I know the voices aren’t real people, but what exactly are they? No one seems to know.

In the year I have had schizophrenia I have been searching for answers. One doctor said that the voices could be repressed feelings, another said they could be the exact opposite of me. My doctors have been more focused on the symptoms rather than the cause of them, which is good, I shouldn’t dwell on all the reasons why I have schizophrenia and am hearing voices. I have to keep on learning and talking with people to find the answers, and sharing my own story may help others find their own answers.

Thanks for reading my writings, I hope you find what you are seeking. I am creating a book with another person who has schizophrenia and will be using a lot of my old blog posts. Keep posted for when it will be released! I will announce it on my blog and other forms of social media. Have a beautiful day.

 

Normal

When you are a stoner, you learn how to lie. It’s a skill all in itself. It may be an unsavory skill, but it is one nonetheless. You learn how to lie to parents, to cops, to your best friends. Lying is an art in itself. What clothes you wear, what you smell like, how you act. Every little misstep in a pitfall that can lead to the truth. When your lying is closest to the truth is when it is most applicable. When you are a liar, you learn to always tell the truth. In that split second when you must lie to protect yourself or another, the lie is most potent when the liar is an honest person. Honest people are the best liars. You don’t expect a lie from an honest person.

 

But back to the topic at hand. Stoners have to lie, if you live somewhere where weed is illegal. It is not something that is pleasurable, but necessary if you wish to continue your stoner ways. You learn to lie at home, which is a practice that becomes possible in more dangerous situations. It isn’t fun to lie, but to always tell the truth is another problem. Where would I be if I told every single person I met that I have schizophrenia? People would instantly look towards the more unpleasant aspects of schizophrenia. I need to lie, to tell the truth would be too painful.

 

Schizophrenics learn how to act. I act like my voices are nothing, like they don’t even exist, when really they are tormenting me in every single quiet moment. I act like a normal person, to be normal is my highest goal, though I may never accomplish it. A normal person. Who amongst you is really normal? Normal is different to every person. I strive to achieve my own normal. Exasperatingly, my normal hears voices. I am a normal schizophrenic, who acts like a normal person.

 

I used to be a stoner, now i am a schizophrenic. I am normal. Normal. I am just like you. Live like a normal person. Live however normally you would. There is no normal.

Psychosis

Let me try to introduce a new feeling for you. Psychosis. Feeling psychotic is the worst feeling imaginable. It’s like your brain is being invaded upon. It’s like you can’t trust your own senses.

I saw a flicker of light on the ceiling. Was it real or imagined? I am in the hospital. On my way here in the ambulance I heard all the people who were antagonizing me. They were basically saying I got what I deserved, in a sad sort of way. The cop was tormenting me the whole time! I felt like my eyes were drooping and melting. I didn’t tell my parents anything. I didn’t want them to know I was hearing voices. They should know already, right? Everyone could speak to me in my mind. I was given a cheeseburger before going to the hospital in the other hospital that I ate with relish.

I was away. They finally put me away. I wondered how long I would be staying here. It was a quiet place to go insane. Another person screamed outside my room when my mom and grandma came to visit.

I drew a lot. Plaintive depictions of my delusions. I was a pretty good artist! I would look back on these and wonder how I created something so delicate. I ended up destroying a lot of these, because of delusions or because I didn’t want to think about being psychotic. When you’re psychotic all your skills go in the trash.

Sleeping was like living in a nightmare. I was always on edge. They said my big black nurse was going to rape me. My grandad was speaking to me in my mind, a specter, a ghost, the devil. They said they stole my book. The cop was my grandad’s bastard son. Everyone was being raped! Aliens and the CIA were after me! I was a shapeshifting time traveler. My grandad said he would watch over me. In the darkness I saw a pale outline sitting on the chair next to the bed. I saw the light of his cigar in the darkness. All these things and more.

I wrote a lot. It was something that helped me cope. When I went to the hospital the third time I had to sneak in a pen because they changed their policy. Someone must’ve done something dangerous with a pen. I was given the flimsy rubber pencil that could barely write. I was so thankful for that pen. Writing was the only way I could think uninterrupted. Besides writing, I slept a lot. It was good to sleep.

The first time I went to the hospital I didn’t tell my parents what was going on, I just said I was feeling very bad, which I was. I think they put me on some sort of medication. I was psychotic at that point. All the thoughts in the world were coming into me, and I sat on top of it. I really was the master of the universe, at least, in my head. It felt good to lose control, which I could do in the hospital. It was a terrible time for me, but at least I was safe.

The second time I went to the hospital was when I cut my wrist to try to kill myself. I had already talked to a doctor about the voices, and she put me on medication, but the medication just made everything worse. When I went to the hospital to get transported to the other hospital they bandaged me up and I told my parents about what was going on. The first time I didn’t give consent. This time, I just wanted help. They put me on a different medication that helped for awhile.

The third time I went to the hospital was recently after I had smoked pot. It made everything about the voices worse. I could barely think or hold a conversation, they were so loud. I was recently put on a different medication, and I should’ve given it time to work, but everything was so terrible and I just wanted relief. The doc put me on some anxiety medication.

Now I don’t think I need to go to the hospital, but I do think outpatient treatment could help me. My car isn’t working so I can’t really leave the house. I’m doing a lot better now, but psychosis is always leering at me in the edge of my mind. It is an invitation, a promise, a threat. I could leave all of you behind and drink from the madman’s cup. But instead I’ll just drink some coffee and write more for my book.

An End to Telepathy

I was wrong to label the voices as enemies. I will try to be good to them, I will try to break this circle of negativity. The voices pick up mean things I say and I pick up mean things they say. For example, when they started calling me a retard, I started calling them a retard. When I told them to shut the fuck up, they started telling me to shut the fuck up. This needs to end. I can’t be constantly at war with myself.

It is an endless conversation in my head. I have to talk with someone the entire day and it is draining. Sometimes I just want to relax and think for a minute. Sometimes I want to do different things. Sometimes I want something else inside my head besides the voices. It is terrible hearing voices. I will never have a moment of privacy again.

But it’s not all bad. Sometimes they’re funny, but only sometimes. Only sometimes it is tolerable. Most of the time they tell me to kill myself. They would rather die than live with me. I felt that way about them too. That is why I am on antidepressants. I couldn’t handle the voices anymore so I thought, what’s the point? But there’s no easy way out of schizophrenia. There’s no easy way out of life.

Life has been difficult for me since February. I started hearing voices and my entire world was turned upside down. I became psychotic and my life turned into a living hell. I am not psychotic anymore but now where am I? I am standing on the edge of sanity, and the voices want to give me a push.

I am close to breaking down. I am close to saying, “I can’t take this” and giving up. I am so close, but little things keep me going. My family cares for me and I cherish them. My friends are people I can talk to, which I do in good and bad. Even little things like coffee, tobacco, and music help me live. I don’t know what I would do without these little things.

Without my family I would live in a world of my own making, and it would be an ugly world. My world would be dominated and controlled by the voices. There would be no way out. I would be trapped behind locked doors that the voices can penetrate. The voices envelop my inner voice. They seek control, they seek mastery. I don’t really care anymore. If they want to control me, let them try. I’d like to see that happen.

The voices are always there. Well, a lot of them are. I won’t introduce them anymore. I don’t really know who they are. I don’t know what these other people want. Are they me or something else? They desperately need to be other people. They desperately want to force me into fear and paranoia. Paranoia haunts my walls. I am fearful of going outside. Things the voices say scare me. Most of the time it is just frustrating. I can get the better of them most of the time. But today I have been having difficulties, I have been driving over a rough patch.

Today the voices again half way convinced me that they were real people. I was always skeptical, but wanted to find truth. I had to be sure! I had to leave no stone unturned. It is one of the things the voices have told me the most. If anything I had to convince myself. I should be happy with what I have. They forgot a simple word they kept on saying, because I forgot it, and I guess that’s good enough. It doesn’t matter if they’re real people or not. It makes no difference in my life. Believing they are real people is more harmful than if they are real people. If they are real people, if you or someone you know is telepathic, try to be nice. This world doesn’t need any more negativity and hate.

I will never fall for their other person delusion again. It is an end to telepathy.

 

Disgraced Knight

I was always trying to find some hidden meaning to the world. I thought I could find some truth. My psychosis started with a search for enlightenment. I tried all sorts of things. The Bible, tarot cards, drugs, meditation, and other such methods. I never found any truth. In fact, my psychotic truth was that there really was no truth.

Now I hear voices in my head. They call out my name out and make threats, and it is hard to cope living with someone I don’t understand or know much about. I had to search for truth every day to find a meaning for my schizophrenia. But not anymore. I am done finding hidden meaning. The voices say I got what I deserved. Maybe I did, maybe my search for truth went too close to the sun and I got burned. I don’t really know what happened. Perhaps I was fated to fall from the beginning.

An ill wind blows through me. I am transparent, but only to them. My flimsy armor is no match for the chattering teeth rattling against my bones. I am a disgraced knight. I am a man in exile. I must wander the dusty wastes of my mind until I have found peace. Perhaps there is no such thing. I’m alright with that. I have accepted my illness.

Acceptance is only half the battle. I strive to fight the demons inside, my own personal nightmare. They want to stab me through the heart while I’m sleeping. They want to push me off a cliff. They want to ruin my life. I am not alright with that.

I’m talking to you, voices. This is no empty threat. I will destroy you. I will obliterate and dominate you. I will crush you like rocks into sand. You will never get the better of me again. You are not a real person. You are a product of an illness. You disgust me. You fill me with hatred. I have no love for you.

But what if I did feel love for you? Perhaps we could’ve been friends. Perhaps my mind would be a happy place. But you have gone too far. I can never forgive you. I’m sorry but you get what you deserve. An enemy I is I. I fight for, and against, myself.

Love and Voices

Be careful who you love. Love, especially unconditional love, can be one of the most dangerous emotions. I loved someone once. It was a one sided affair that ended in tragedy. Let me tell you about it.

After throwing my heart at Milagros and being rejected in a way that hurt more, by being faithlessly strung along in an endless delusion, I was wary of giving my heart to anyone else. I kept my love in a box, in a cage, in a fortress, inside of myself. I was impenetrable. After freeing myself from my delusions and building a wall where my shattered mind collapsed I had become stronger. I would let my emotions leak out in droplets, most of the time when I was drunk.

Drinking was my favorite thing to do. It let the pains of my past seem not so bad. But it also made me severely depressed when I wasn’t drinking or was coming down. I’d feel bad, then drink and not feel so bad, then feel bad again which lead to more drinking. It was a cycle of drunkenness.

I went to Europe at the behest of my father. He thought it would be a good thing for me to do with my little brother. He’s a little brother, but he is much taller than me. In Europe people could easily believe that he was of age and able to go out drinking. In some places, like France, drinking is available at a young age but in most parts of Europe you had to be 18. My brother was 16 and I was 22 when we explored the continent. We went out drinking and had a ball.

We met travelers and natives of all nationalities. I remember meeting people of Egyptian, Chilean, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, Belgian, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, British, American, Italian, Colombian, Argentinian, Swedish, Finnish, Iranian, Canadian, Ukrainian, Algerian, South African, Scottish, Polish, and Australian nationalities. There are probably more that I forgot to list. The world is a big place. It was neat seeing all these people come together in hostels and bars in Europe. I had drinks with lots of them.

When traveling you meet all these interesting people. They become friends for a day, before they go their separate way. The women were just gorgeous. And that accent! A woman with an accent is an attractive thing. Everyone was skinny. In Europe, and most other parts of the world, people are slimmer than America. I think travelers have to be fit in general. It comes with all the walking around. I got a lot of exercise lugging around my backpack and wearing out my shoes. I lost a lot of weight from walking from place to place, and general walking from being lost.

I got lost plenty of times in my travels. I had to find my way most of the time with a compass and a map. Every once in a while, when I was really lost and had WiFi, I would take out my laptop and check google maps for directions. I didn’t have a cell phone in Europe. American cell phone coverage didn’t cover Europe and I didn’t have a smart phone anyway. Because of this, I got lost a lot. Being drunk all the time didn’t help for the most part. I would always find my way eventually however. There were also always someone who would help a traveler out and give me directions. It was fun in a way, having to find my way around, if a little stressful at times. I felt in control of my direction, and not a slave to the internet and GPS. There were even some fun women who liked to get lost with me.

I met lots of interesting women in Europe. They would make your heart throb. It was also easier talking to them, you didn’t know them and they didn’t know you so you could just relax and be yourself. I was free from my past struggles, my past was just a bad memory, and I could forget them or talk about them at leisure. It is easier for me to talk to women, I think. Maybe I just like looking at them. I definitely like drinking better with women. And other stuff. There were beautiful women everywhere who were having fun. After being alone in misery for so long it was a breath of fresh air for me. There were also women for hire in the local red light districts in Holland. I was going to go to one of the whorehouses there, but I lost my way. Maybe next time I visit Europe.

I made a lot of friends from both genders. I made a few Facebook friends but lost them when I deleted my account. One woman who I really connected with didn’t have a Facebook like me at the time. You meet a lot of people when traveling, but all you get most of the time are fond memories, which is alright.

When I finally came home I felt a lot better. My small hometown felt a lot smaller. I would walk the entire distance of the town just going from one place to the next. I felt like I could go anywhere. The downside from traveling is that you have to get back into your old life again. I was back to not knowing what to do with my life again. To earn money and spend time I applied to a local grocery store.

It was easy work. It was annoying being told what to do and I wouldn’t listen if it was something petty, but it was nice getting out of the house and having something to do. I always liked it when it was busy. I could just get in the zone and get all the customers dealt with. I was a cashier. I had experience working as a cashier at the family restaurant. My dad didn’t need me as much in the winter so I was free to work elsewhere. Working at a grocery store is alright. It’s easy and doesn’t require much from you besides being polite. Looking back at my memories, however, I think working at a grocery store again would be my personal hell.

Whilst working I met a woman, let’s call her K. She was this cool person, I thought, who worked at the sandwich bar. I liked her. I don’t know why I did, I just did. I got nervous talking to her and tried hopelessly to joke with her and make conversation.

After a while working at the grocery store, at least four months, something happened to me. It was Valentine’s Day and love was in the air. I was writing a story. At first it started in my journal, as a pointless hope. I could write about anything in my journal. I added K to a story, as a what if I sent it to her. It felt good writing about another person, maybe for another person. I had difficulty writing previously. My words and the worlds I created would come out dark and scary. My past was ever at my mind, but I was avoiding it. Writing about this other person came easy for me. I had inspiration. I created a fictional bar that I ran in a fictional place. At first I wrote about the demons that would visit my bar, demons I would draw and create characters for. I had imps who ran my bar. I had a smoker demon who became my dog. It was a way to envision my darkest thoughts and deal with them personally. It was strangely therapeutic. Then K showed up.

I wrote her into my story. If I could go back in time I would end that story before it began. In a strange way I wish I never got into writing. My world was already fractured once, I couldn’t take it if it happened again. I retreated into fantasy. It was a dark world I created, The Land of Doubt. I recalled the name Balthazar again, after not using it for so long, and made that my main character in the book. Balthazar was me. I’d go on adventures with my smoker demon and try to find K. In the story I had stolen her heart and gave her my own as a replacement. It was supposed to be some strange romance adventure story. I made an ending that ended with a kiss. It was only for myself.

In the story, I angrily told K my darkest memories. I was wary of becoming obsessed about a woman, like what happened with Milagros, but K was always in my mind. I just wrote what I felt. Writing about my past experiences and about K started cracking my wall. The wall I built was crumbling. I finished my story, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I wanted to send it, but didn’t have the guts.

Previously whilst writing and I felt a strange sort of enlightenment. My words were coming into place. I was talking, while writing, to a fictional character I created. The Lord of Doubt. Otherwise known as Death. I came to a conclusion, after not thinking about truth or religion for so long, that Death was the one true god, because everything dies eventually. Death is an enigma, it has no real form, but I wrote it into my fictional bar as the Grim Reaper, the Lord of Doubt, Death. I talked to the creature, and realized that Life and Death are two sides of the same coin. I re-dubbed the creature Life, it grew skin and flesh on its features, and I had a conversation with it. It gave me a realization. This is what I wrote,

I still think of you as that skulled creature, Life. You’re smirking with me. I like talking to you. You make me sound crazy sometimes. People will eat that up. Thank you for showing me this.

I’m sorry I ruined your life. I was sick of you.

I needed a second chance. I really don’t mind living. It’s fun, although painful.

Life is pain, Balthazar.

I just want to take all the suffering away. I don’t want you to hurt and be hurt.

The gifts I give are two pronged, a double edged sword. You need it, to make the other half feel good. It can’t be helped… Though you want to. I wonder what you have in store for me.

Something good. You have something in store for me… I can sense it. What is it?

A present.

After writing that I felt itchy with anticipation for a while. I didn’t know why. I was getting something, I didn’t know what. I went out for a walk. Then I started hearing them.

K was talking to me, in my head. I thought I had gotten some sort of enlightenment. Again, this episode started with me believing I had gotten enlightenment, a theme typical to my mental illness. At first I was only talking to her, then I was talking to other people, and more and more and more until eventually I was talking to the whole world. It was megalomania in its prime. It felt great, there was no other word for it. It felt like I had cracked the code. It felt like I had reached the summit. I thought I had been given a gift from god.

The next day I was still hearing K. She was a voice in my head. The primary voice. She said nice things to me, loving things. It started to weird me out though. She was being so intimate with me in my head, how could I say anything for real? She was avoiding me in real life, she told me not to talk to her.

People said strange things to me in my head. I thought, again, I knew the truth about things. I thought everyone was talking to me in my head. I thought K was being raped by people, one of them being the owner of the grocery store. It made me so angry, but I said nothing, until one day.

One night when I drank a little too much, I cobbled together a lot of my writings into PDF format, and sent it to K. I said, “Here’s your fucking story.” I was frustrated with the whole affair. When I sent it, I heard a small little voice say, “I can’t believe you sent it!” I didn’t think much of the voice at the time, I thought it was just a strange random thought. Later this thought would become my own personal demon, Floyd. I asked K if she fucked the owner of the grocery store.

The next morning I felt completely see through. I felt like I had nothing. I went to work as normally, and didn’t say anything to K. I heard voices the entire time. Later, in the night, I quit the job. I went in just before they were closing and quit. I couldn’t deal with the supposed evil that people were committing in the grocery store.

The next day a couple of cops showed up to my house. They said K said that my story was grammatically correct. The cops asked me something, and I didn’t even catch it the first time. They asked me if I sent K a dick picture. I didn’t, and plainly said I didn’t. They said anyway the owner was angry that I insinuated that he had an affair with K and said I was banned from the grocery store. He couldn’t fire me because I already quit. I think K was scared that I sent her a book, or was angry at the content. Why the hell would she compliment it then? And why would she lie about sending a dick pic, to a couple of cops no less? I think she wanted me just to leave her the hell alone. And I did. The whole thing was just frustrating.

But I still heard her in my head. And other people. Lots of other people. They were always mocking me and insulting me. They told me to kill myself. Over and over again, K would torment me. She was like a splinter in my brain. I couldn’t get her out! I just wanted it to end. My love, again, turned to rot.

The next part is The Passerby, I. I will touch it up.

Back to Hearing Voices Again

I think the voices have gotten worse. They say it’s how it is in the world. That is very hard to believe. They say that I am a retard, and that I come from a family of retards. They say I had my light turned on, that I somehow got, “the gift” but that it doesn’t happen to everyone. Why wouldn’t it happen it to everyone? I think “the light” is from the Beatles, or me listening to Beatles songs. In the middle of all the voices is one voice, a “John” who says he wants to ruin my life because he has nothing better to do. I just don’t believe this. I can’t. If there is a gift, how come people get lost? You could instantly talk to anyone in your head and find your way. Things like GPS or phones would be obsolete, there would never be a need to invent such a thing. I shouldn’t even give the voices the time of day, but when you’re working and listening to them all day it can be hard to shut them off. This is why I am always listening to music, or singing any random song that comes into my head. The voices never sing anything new. They had an original idea today, though. They said, “I thought gloves were all the same” when I put a glove on the wrong hand. The voices are always surprising me in new ways.

They say that I was completely transparent when I didn’t have, “the gift” and that everyone knew everything about me. This again, doesn’t make sense. If they knew everything about me they would. People wouldn’t have to ask me simple questions. Teachers would know whenever a student is cheating or skipping classes. Cops and juries would know whenever someone is breaking the law. They say that people know how to block “the gift,” a feat that I don’t know anything about, besides getting myself distracted.

There would be simple scientific texts explaining this. Whenever I research anyone hearing other people in their head, I come up with telepathy or schizophrenia. I obviously don’t have telepathy. Telepathy is a super power, I told the voices they must all have super powers. When someone on TV on a show gets telepathy it is shown as an amazing thing, but often times a curse as well as a gift. It is shown as a miraculous event, something uncommon in everyday life. Again, the voices say it is because it doesn’t happen to everyone.

So that means there are many people living in the dark. I would be exposing their “gift.” I have not found any solid proof in this “gift,” only guesses and theories. The more likely answer is that I am schizophrenic. The voices would have me believe that people with schizophrenia just have someone with the “gift” who has a grudge against them, or got lost in the massive swirling hive mind that is the voices. It is a hard theory to believe.

It is also a hard theory to shake. This is one of the principle things the voices want me to believe. Why would someone else give a shit what I believe? Just to pointlessly try to ruin my life? They would have nothing to gain, and nothing to prove. It’s not like they would even have evidence of the fact they ruined my life. I suppose they would have personal satisfaction, but to what end would they go to accomplish that goal? This person, this “John” is someone I barely know and don’t know anything about. Why would he want to ruin my life? All I know about him is that he used to work at a grocery store and that he went to church. That’s all. Why would this person seek to destroy me? No one is that cruel hearted.

The voices constantly tell me to kill myself, but the voices have a more sinister motive than trying to get me to commit suicide. They are trying to prove to me that essentially everyone is evil and out to get me. They want me to believe the worst about everyone. They want to trap me in a fantasy world, a world that they conveniently create, even if it is just a warped version of the world we live in. This sinister plot against me, perpetrated by my own brain no less, is too heinous to forgive. The voices would want me to forgive them, so that they can betray my trust and hurt me all over again. I will not seek to justify their deplorable will, and I will not seek further answers into their stories. The voices are voices, and that is that.

But that is not the end. I will continue to fight, every single day I live, against these monstrosities. I will endlessly strive to outwit and outmatch them, to fight them to the bitter ends of the earth to control my fate. It is a battle for control in my head. The voices have underhanded ways of convincing me, whether it be reverse psychology or bullying. Their methods know no ends. They will try all of them and more, but I will never give in.