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Have you ever had a nightmare?
I was not always like this. No, once upon what seems like forever ago to me now, I was perfectly healthy. Nothing wrong, my mind clear and free of worry.
But as I said that has seemed to be so long ago that now I’m not sure I ever was really without this debilitating sickness. Sometimes I wish I could completing forget about that time in my life because now that I am so far from being healed the memories of being alright seem to mock me.
The worst part, well one of the worst parts about my infection, is that I can’t seem to be able to hide it very well.
It just seems that if anyone spends more than an hour or two with me then it becomes very clear to them that something is less than ok with me.
At first they try to ignore it, out of come decency or because they feel awkward when around a person like me. I admit that before I became not so healthy I also would have been uncountable by someone like me.
Never mind how hard they try to, eventually they just cannot continue to overlook my unfortunate difference.
So when people finally break down and ask me to explain what it exactly it is that is wrong with me, as they inevitably do, I like to ask them a simple question.
“Have you ever had a nightmare?” I ask them.
I have yet to meet one person lucky enough or a big enough liar to answer no to that question. So once they do nod their heads, their eyebrows raised and faces full of confusion, I then explain to them just what my life is like with this cruel condition called schizophrenia.
“Well,” I say to them as they look on at me in their utterly bewildered state. “My problem is a lot like your nightmare. The only difference being that I never, ever get to wake up.”
And that is all I say to them. Not because that is all I could say, but instead because that is the most effective thing I can say before I loss their volatile attention.
I mean I without a doubt could tell them more, so very much more.
I could tell them all about all the things I see that they, being the more fortunate people they are, don’t see.
I could tell them all about everything I hear, all about all the things I can’t stop hearing, that they don’t have to hear.
I could tell them about every last hellish thing that lives in my disturbed mind!
I could try and tell them how terrible it is, how frightening, how miserable to never be able to shut any of it off!
To never have a single day without dealing with any of! To never have peace! To have no control over my own thoughts! To never be able to be the thing they all so blatantly take for granted every single day as I suffer, to never be normal!
But I know, oh how well I know, telling them all of that would do no go. It would be no better than merely comparing my life to a nightmare they once had.
Because they could never understand. No, they could never understand what it’s like for me. Even if they really wanted to they would not be able to understand.
And if you really understand what it is like for me then I’m so very sorry for you. Because if you truly comprehend what I go through, then you must be a schizophrenic too.