Food for thought: The many voices of Schizophrenia

What is schizophrenia?

It is a mental disorder that most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction.

Is it just one voice talking or is it voices that drive the person insane? To me, it’s probably the latter.

See it this way. If only one person/voice talks to you at random times of the day, you could easily ignore it. But if a whole mob of voices attack your train of thoughts, you can’t think properly. You won’t know if that is what you are really thinking of. You’ll never know if that’s your practical mind talking or your naive, happy self talking. You are left suffocated in your one head. Even when you’re alone and sitting in a corner with no physical being talking to you. Basically, you don’t have your own space. Or your own ‘me’ time. Which is a queer saying now that you think of it, since all the voices are part of you anyway.

Lets say the voices aren’t a bad thing and the voices are just voices with actual characters and personalities in your head. Some voices are nice to you. They tell you nice things, like how you’ll be okay and that you’ll be fine. That everything is going to be alright. And somehow, after that voice speaks to you, you feel better and calmer.It’s the voice that pulls you over to see the brighter side of life and the situation. The voice that tells you you’re going live through everything and that you should be strong. It makes you smile.

In my head, that person is faceless. She wears a light brown chiffon dress and has hair just like mine. She smiles prettily and walks with grace. She’s an angel. She knows what I want to hear and encourages me. She never stopped smiling. I’ve never seen her stop smiling.

But if you are the same person, how would you know if you are the one feeling better? If that makes any sense at all.

I really have no idea either. It’s just a very relaxing feeling. Like someone is consoling you. Yet you’re by yourself and no one who provides physical touch has even come close to you.

Then there comes the voice that scolds you all the time. The voice that calls you a loser. It points out everything you’ve ever done wrong. It tells you you’re a failure and that you’re a horrible person. That you’ll never make it far in life. Its the voice that dares you to cut yourself.

The voice that says ‘Go one. Do it. Do you have the guts?’

The voice that says ‘The penknife is already in your hands. What are you waiting for?’

The voice that says ‘It’ll make you feel better after everything.’

It’s that voice that makes everything seem worst. The voice that adds oil to the fire. A bucket of water to a flood.

At that point of time, it’ll feel like a great idea. You’ll agree with it. You’ll think.

‘Hey. Why not?’

You don’t even stop to think of the consequences and when people ask you why you did it afterwards, you’ll be thinking. Yeah, why DID I do that? Then you’ll think it’s your fault. And guess which voice would be coming back to talk to you again?

This voice is always dressed in a black tank top and torn jeans. Her eyes are always half open. Looking down at me. Her hair is long, jet black and a little wavy. Her arms are either crossed or on her hips when she talks to me. Occasionally, her hand would leave her hips, using her index finger to chide me. The closest she got to a smile is a smirk. She laughs at me. Laughs at my cowardice. She’s a horrid person. I really don’t like her. I don’t like her at all.

Another voice would be the one that makes you really sad. The voice that makes you feel like crying for no reason at all. Its the one that tugs on your heart strings. It repeats every sad moment you ever went through in your life. Every sentence of the situation. Every memory that is cursed to stay forever a memory. I realize it’s sentences always start with the word ‘remember’.

‘Remember the time…’

‘Remember when the two of you…’

‘Remember those books…’

It makes you harp on the memories you had. Every sad past. Even the happy memories, it makes you cry over. When you’re supposed to smile over it, it finds a reason to get you down.

You: Look at that old married couple! How adorable!
Voice: Yeah. Too bad you’ll never be that happy.

You: Look at that family! All together and happy.

Voice: Unlike yours.

And the list goes on.

This voice has sad eyes. She’s always sitting on the floor and she only appears in my dreams. I’m always standing, looking down at her. She looks up at me. Her bows frown upwards, making her look pitiful and sorrowful. I never understood why she was always so sad. I asked her once. She just looked up at me and takes me into a memory of my past. It could be a happy memory or a sad memory. But either way, it always ends up with me being sad. Sad because the memory will only ever stay a memory. Sad because that happened and I couldn’t do anything about it. She doesn’t do anything wrong. She just restates facts.

There’s even a voice that makes you fall in love with it, believe it or not.

Only a few people know about him. Yes, I’ve actually told someone about him. Not gonna say who.

He tells me all the nice things it want to hear. He sings me songs in my head. Hugs me to sleep at night. He’s always around when I need him. He’s everything I want him to be. A vampire, a magician or the latest, a badass on a motorbike that picks me up after school. He plays every instrument and dances like a kpop idol. He’s the perfect guy. The highest standard every girl has and hopes to find. He’s my Ken doll that I accessorize.

He’s one of the nicest to me in my head. So nice I’m starting to abuse him. Because I can choose if I want to think about him or not, I don’t think about him for days, months even. He’s nice. He doesn’t come barging in on me and my thoughts, although if he doesn’t, one of the two will.

Yet when I think back. All these personalities and voices talking to me. I don’t see them physically. I only hear them. Occasionally I see them in my dreams. Who are they and why do they have a mind of their own?Why do they choose to torment me when we are the same person?

I guess it’s true then. That you stop being afraid of the monsters under your bed, when you realize the monsters are in your head.

Cherie.

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