Sunday, 6 August 2017

The Cyclone - The Thoughts And Voices I Hear, The Hell of Mental Illness


The Cyclone

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Trigger Warning: Mental health problems. Self harm. Suicide.

The Cyclone - The Wizard of Oz

You've had a good day you say? Met with friends? Climbed a tower? You're happy with your life are you? No you're not. Idiot. You can't do it. You can't keep going like this. It's all going to go wrong you know. Come crashing down around you. Tonight. Now. It's all gone wrong already. You just haven't found out yet.

It's true. I had climbed a tower. Grey's Monument.
Get that feeling in your stomach? You know it so well. Let's start to ramp up your heartbeat too shall we? Just try to tell yourself it's not real. Try to say it's anxiety and that it's not rational. Yeah, go on. Be rational. You can do it. … Of course you can't. So have a few more beats per minute just for attempting.

You're useless. Never going to amount to anything. You can't do people. Can't do skills. Can't keep up appearances. Can't keep up pretending to yourself that you'll be able to keep those friends or develop those relationships into something meaningful. You can't. Because you're a useless piece of shit aren't you?

She's going to leave you too. Look. She didn't say that in just the right way. She's not said enough. It's obvious. It's over. Christ, you might as well call it off yourself because she's going to do it for you eventually. You're going to be abandoned. By her. By them. By everyone. As soon as they see through you. See just how evil and twisted you are. You're going to be alone so what's even the point of keeping on trying? Remember those friendships that didn't work. The people you don't see. What's that? You don't see them because you moved town or changed your interests and left their club? What does that matter? It's you. It's your failure. It's your own stupid fault and it's going to happen again. She said today she wanted to meet for a drink. She didn't mean it. Who'd really want to meet with you if they knew you? And those people who want you to come for lunch next time? It's only because they don't know you. If only they knew. Stop kidding yourself. You deserve to be alone and you will be alone. Yeah, abandoned. Left. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about.

Oh no, don't try to fight this. Don't get rational on me. I'm not going to let you think your way out of this. Here. Some more stomach pain and just for a laugh let's spread it out across your whole chest. Few more beats per minute too. Palpitations! Yes, have some of those. Then you can worry yourself that you're heading for a proper heart attack. Might kill you too. But that's okay. That would be better, yes?

She doesn't love you. She's just waiting for the right time. Don't try to deny it. Don't look at the evidence. I don't care about evidence. I care about panic. Panic. PANIC. Just get on with it and panic.

Here. I'm happy to assist. We're happy to assist. Hey, I've been joined by my friends. I've got friends you know. United in a cause. You've got nothing. Don't look at them. Stop it. Don't look at her, or her, or her, or him or anyone else you might try to think of. Don't think of how much you feel at home with those writers or actors or those other nice people. Don't try to remember how she made a point of inviting you out with a few friends to celebrate her birthday and how good it was to be there. You bitch. I told you not to go. We said to stay away but you went anyway. Bitch.

We're going to talk louder. In unison. In chorus. In a total disharmony. Abandon. Pain. Sorrow. Anguish. Happy. Sad. Happy. Sad. Sadder. Sadder. Sadder still. Until all is sadness. Apart from the anguish, anxious, and what the hell is the point of it all? Don't you go hoping that the drugs are going to take you to sleep. Just imagine what we can shout at you and scream at you and even sing to you before then. And maybe we'll give you nightmares.

A few more beats per minute and would you look at this? Look at that person in your room. She hates you too. Naturally. And look at this crowd. Wandering up and down in front of your eyes as the walls close in upon you. You're going to be squashed, squeezed, all life removed. And you don't even know who you are do you? All that work you've done to work it out. You're kidding yourself. It's all pretend. Even she said that. Oh? She didn't? Really? She said that. That's how you should interpret those words. Even she doesn't think you're real and you're not. Sham. Fake. Fa├žade hiding nothing. You're just an ignorant cipher, a null set, an emptiness wider than the sea. What are you going to fill it with tomorrow? It's all a distraction you know. Because as soon as you stop you'll be back to square one and we'll laugh at you so much tomorrow night. As you deserve.

She's going to leave. They're all going to leave. Apart from those people walking in your bedroom. Looking at you. Reaching out their hands to you. Calling to you.

It's fortunate for you perhaps that you're not even in your body and you can tell yourself that the whole thing isn't even real. Get back in your body this instant. It's not over yet bitch.

Had enough yet? We've got more. Lots more. The tales we will tell.

There's a way out of course. You know it. Remember. See here. These images. Your arms. Bloody. That's right. Cut. Cut. Cut. It's easy. How about it? We'll even go away for a while. Fetch a blade. Play with it. Stroke yourself with it. Press it in. Testing metal against flesh. And slice. Find peace.

Hey, it's better than the alternatives. Here's one. Why not go out for a walk now? What? No, we don't care at all that you're drugged and want sleep. Get up. Go walking. It's not far to that bridge over the motorway. That's nice. Or even better, that bridge over the river. Why not go there? It's pretty there and I know you love pretty things. Make up for your own ugliness. Ah, shit woman. Don't try to tell us that you know you're not ugly. Don't tell us to go away. Don't tell us that you know better. Hear us laugh as you tell us you're a good person and that people like you and that you have skills and life's worth living. Just don't. We're not going to believe you. Not when you should believe us.

How about it? One jump and it'll all be over and you won't have to hear from us ever again. No more anxiety. No more abandonment fears. No empty places. No more battles as your emotions rise and fall with everything turned up to twelve on every fall. Kill yourself girl, and we will never speak again. That'll make your life much easier.

You refuse? Idiot. Stupid bitch. Okay. If you insist. But the blade. Or just scratch yourself. Then you don't even have to get out of bed. Or hit your head or your wrist. Just do something.

Do it. Do it. And then you'll have peace.

View from the tower.  My life is very good.
The drugs kick in. Sleep wins. Peace comes without harm. Tomorrow I will fight again. Tomorrow I will take one more step to being free from the voices, free from the hell that it can be inside my head.

I will win. Rational evidence will win. I am a good person. People like me. I'm not going to be abandoned. I have skills. I have joys. I have purpose, meaning and am finding more. And I do know much of who I am – having had a long battle to find out. I'll fight my over-reactions again tomorrow. Stave off anger and try not to over-react.

I won't self-harm. I refuse. And I'm not going to kill myself no matter how loudly the voices scream or the images they show me.

Don't worry. I'm staying in one piece. I may not climb a tower tomorrow. But I will climb. And I will triumph in some little way.

One more day. One more step along the road to healing.

Tomorrow night the voices, the anxiety, the fear may strike again. But I will win. They're not real. They're just thoughts. Neurons firing and old neural pathways that haven't yet collapsed to be replaced by the life I'm choosing to live.

I know that the healing may be difficult. As I type a voice tells me it will be impossible. They lie you know, the voices. They lie. Find a small part of truth and twist it so far out of context, out of shape that even that truth is a lie. There's not one thing they say that I should believe. Not one. It doesn't matter how clever they are about it. It doesn't matter whether they're coaxing me or screaming it so loudly that I'd block my ears if it did any good. It doesn't matter what they show me. It doesn't even matter when they tell me to do things.

It's all lies. Beyond the lies, I know better.

So sleep takes me. For a while I can live in Oz. But whether I'm in Oz or Kansas or even in Newcastle Upon Tyne I know my life is good. I can kill the witch. And I can kill the cyclone in my mind.

I can. And I will.

No you can't. You ridiculous charlatan.

Yeah, I can. It's all going to be okay.



[1636 words]

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