Losing my mind

Something about losing my mind has made me a very level-headed human being
“Shut the fuck up.”
I have thought this phrase thousands of times in the past several months
Standing alongside my home at three o’clock in the morning, with a cigarette in my hand, saying this aloud:
“Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up. Shut The Fuck Up!”
I used to talk to the voices in my head, but since I have learned that, just as my audible hallucinations are, it is best to be an asshole
“Bill’s crazy. Bill’s crazy. Bill’s crazy”
I heard this in the back of my mind, nonstop, for three months beginning in May of 2013. I wasn’t listening, but this is what I heard nonstop for three months
The voices, at times, recede in the midst of conversations, or writing, or extended moments of prolonged focus, but when one relaxes, turns on the television, or climbs back into a car after a dinner with good friends they resurface
This is why I will write a book a year for the rest of my life.
This is why I drink and smoke habitually and rarely relax at night alone in front of the television
They comment, and pick, and peel, at every thought that brushes across my mind
So for a long time I assumed the key was to stop thinking
After ten years of Tourette like thoughts and pointless self suppression I reached a point where I could maintain prolonged periods of Buddhist like emptiness at will
And do you know what I found?
That the high pitched voice squeaking “Bill’s thinking!” never ceased
So I learned to shift my focus away from the internal dialogue that is schizophrenia, and found myself at a rather noisy peace
I’ve come a long way from hours with a pillow wrapped around my head struggling for quiet on still nights
I’ve come a long way from evenings where the voices within my head were so loud they echo off the walls and I could not hear the sound pushed from my mouth
I’ve come a long way from the delusions and the electroshock
And the therapy works, and the meds help, and the focus I achieve is equivalent to peace
Don’t kid yourself with thoughts of violent schizophrenics locked in padded rooms, or unloading automatic weapons on theaters of innocent movie-goers
I am your typical schizophrenic
And I often hear insults in your voice after you walk away from a conversation with me
Mortality rates for those with my disease are through the roof
The side effect of this disease is stress and I will most likely die before retirement age
I will smoke my lungs black, drink my liver pickled, and take my meds as prescribed despite the side effects every day, just to sleep, until I die
I am strong willed, an educated student, a talented writer, and most likely the sanest person you will ever meet
Something about losing my mind has made me a very level-headed human being

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One thought on “Losing my mind

  1. Love this one too. So brutally honest and spare and yet awe-inspring that you would dare to put this out there. Good poetry is always about the personal and you, my bro, demonstrate that brilliantly. Luv, ya sis.

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