A Fierce Mind

October 22, 2009
“Hannah! I am so sorry, honey” Anne repeated, cradling my hand in hers and sobbing. “You were telling us about a devil voice. We didn’t think you were serious. Your dad thought it was because you were high. Who knew you were Schizophrenic?”
“Mom it’s okay.” I replied. “I am feeling really tired and weak. Can I rest for a little while? How long have I been here?
“Two days. Get some rest. Call me if you want anything, Okay?” she answered.
I nodded. She quietly got up and left. She looked very worn out—her hair unwashed and uncombed, her wrinkles were more visible because she had no makeup, and her eyes were poofed up because of all the crying that she probably had done for the past two days. She was a mess. I was partly to blame for this. I felt like I was trapped in a box with no way out. What I did seemed like the only solution at that time.
It’s been three days and the events remain lucid in my head. It was a cloudy afternoon out in California. Justin, my brother, had graduated from high school and my whole family was in our beach house to celebrate. They were all joyful and optimistic, except for me. I heard creepy voices and whispers constantly. Part of me died looking at my family enjoying and celebrating. I wanted to be like them—normal again.
My friends, Jackie and Sarah had arrived and were gossiping about some kid named Henry. They’re one of those that could tittle-tattle forever about anyone. I couldn’t stop overhearing about Jessie.
“Oh my God can you believe it? Jessie got caught” said Sarah, surprised. “Didn’t you know him well?” She whispered it so that no one would hear.
“Yeah back in the days. Not anymore. I don’t do that anymore, Jessie.” I tried to be convincing. “Trust me” I added.
Sarah and Jessie giggled. “Yeah right” Sarah said sarcastically.”Then how come you are like weird all the time?”
“What do you mean?” I have to admit, I tried to be as innocent as I could. I couldn’t tell them that I was Schizophrenic. They probably didn’t even know what that meant. I would have to explain to them that I heard voices and they would think that I was weird. Also, that would give them a reason to gossip more and the news about my craziness would spread around like California’s wildfire.
“Oh come on. Like you don’t know what we are talking about.” Sarah said.
“We are not stupid, Hannah!” added Jessie.
I had been having a headache for a while and I was getting pretty annoyed by them. I was tired of complaining about it to anyone, especially my parents. I wanted them to be happy and not worry about anything else that day. I went upstairs to my bedroom to take an aspirin.
“Well I have to go find my wallet.” I finally said. I admit I lied but I had to get out of there. “See you around. Have fun.” I added.
I dragged myself upstairs to my room. I reached to my dressing table after clearing my way through the flood of books and clothes on the floor. A deep, coarse voice arose behind me again, as I was opening the bottle of aspirin.
“You can’t really avoid me, Hannah!” he roared with the voice that had been haunting me for the past month.
As I was putting the bottle of Tylenol in my butt pocket, I screamed “Leave me alone”. “Who are you? What do you want?” I added turning back but no one was there.
The voice was getting frightening and I couldn’t hold back tears in my eyes. I wanted to come off strong and fight this gruesome devil that kept scaring me and taking control over my life —but I couldn’t. I was all alone. I had tried telling my parents but they just think it’s because of my drug problems.
“You haven’t done your laundry, have you? Look at this mess. It’s disappointing.” The voice continued. “You have to go to that party downstairs and be nice to everyone. You hear me?”
“I don’t feel well”, I answered. “Go away!”
“What do you mean you don’t feel well? Start moving now. You don’t have much time. You have to pick up your medications from the pharmacy.” He said.
He continuously kept on ranting and blabbering about all the things I had to do. It was a never ending thing. I had no control in my life whatsoever and that was starting to frustrate me. Wherever I went, the voice followed me like a shadow. I was getting paranoid.
I wanted peace, which I was getting neither from the strident party nor from my hallucinations. Therefore, I decided to go to the beach so that I could at least get rid of one of those noises. The voices kept following me. I wished that I was deaf so that at least I could have a peaceful mind. I didn’t know at the time what the voices were and where they came from. They were just nagging my mind up to the point that I wanted to kill myself.
The voice irritated me to the point beyond imaginable. I had stored so much anger in myself that I had to let it out. The clouds were gone and it was sunny now to the point that my khakis were burning. My headache hadn’t gone away and I kept on nudging my hair and pulling it to reduce the pain. I was fatigued of fighting back and I decided to give up.
I fell down on my knees on the wet sand. The waves were wrestling each other and roaring as they fell along my leg where the coldness would ease my pain and relax me a little. That was the only source of relaxation I had in a long time. Even though the voices were still there, I seemed to be able to ignore it and enjoy this moment in my life.
After a few minutes, it started to rain heavily and I started walking back to my house to avoid getting wet. The voice also had told me to do so. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I wanted the peace back so I ran towards the water and I was soaked by the rain. For about thirty minutes I was able to discard him out of my mind, but now he was back. My life was back to reality. I hated it and I could do anything to go back to where I was before.
Right then, I wanted the peace and relaxation that I had acquired before and the only way I realized that I could get that is if I could hurt myself. I reached to my butt pocket and poured four or five Tylenols on the palm of my hand. I was certain that it would work. I hadn’t thought this through—neither about my parents, my brother nor my friends. I was being really selfish because I was alone. No one knew what I was going through and I had to end this. Forever.
I quickly stuffed the aspirins into my mouth and drank the salty water. The feeling of disobeying the devil that had been conquering my mind was satisfying. I had never felt like it before—in a while. It felt nice. I felt like I had regained control over my life. I have a vague memory of what happened after that. I was feeling sweaty and my head was spinning around along with the world.
“Honey, are you awake?” came a friendly voice of my father. “How are you doing dear?” he asked while he was making a slow entrance towards me.
“I am okay dad. Thanks” I replied softly.
Along with him came a tall, skinny man with very nerdy glasses. He looked like he was in his early thirties. Not too old but very unfortunate looking. He was carrying an old leather suitcase and was wearing unpolished shoes.
“This is Dr. McDermott. He is a therapist.” My dad finally spoke. “Dr. McDermott, this is Hannah, my daughter.” He said looking away from me towards the doctor.
“Oh how lovely. Nice to meet you, Hannah” Dr. McDermott said. “I will take care of you from now on and the voice is going to go hundreds miles away from you.” He joked.
My father and I giggled along.
“I hope so” I said.

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