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.

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