Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Road More Traveled

The midnight hour has long since passed. I look at my watch as I walk and it reads 3am. I am on mile three of my nightly hike and am running out of steam. My old nemesis, schizophrenia, has hit me hard tonight.

"Does it ever end?" I say to myself as I hike. "I get so tired of dealing with this damn disease."

Thus is the cyclical nature of my mental illness. It ebbs and flows much like the tide – many times hitting me when I least expect it.

"I now know why so many schizophrenics commit suicide," I say, furthering my conversation with myself. "Death is the only peace of mind from this terrible affliction."

My paranoia strikes hard as I walk down a darkened back street on my way to my home. Haunted by my vivid imagination and the misfiring synapses of my mind – I am tormented by the voices in my head.

"You deserve to go to hell," they say. "You are a terrible person. God hates you."

Shadowy figures meld in and out of the darkness. I shudder in fear.

"You deserve to die," the voices continue. "Why don't you just end it all? You would be doing the world a favor."

I look at my watch again turning on the indiglo feature to light its face. The time is now 4am. The last hour has passed by in what seemed like a millisecond. I am walking by that little convenience store run by the Middle Eastern men. A lone neon Budweiser sign blinks in the window beckoning for me to come inside and buy a few beers. I am drawn to that mesmerizing light like a moth to a flame.

"One beer won't hurt," I tell myself. "Alcohol will calm the voices and let you sleep."

"No, dammit!" I then say as rationality hits. "You may never be able to quit drinking again you fool."

The voices in my head play on my foibles and increase in intensity. I finally arrive home, take a shower and sit down to write this. A lone tear erupts and rolls down my cheek as I try to capture in words what happened tonight. The nightmare that can be my life and the intensity with which it is lived is more than I can bear. It is times like these that I would normally turn to mind altering substances to change how I feel and alter my reality for a brief few hours – anything to feel better or just different.

"One day at a time," I tell myself as blissful and escaping sleepiness overcomes me. "Take it one day at a time."


KYRIE said...

U just hang in there my friend. Hope things will get better for u in the morning.

Moonlink said...

May G-d Bless and Strengthen You, Andrew. Each Struggle Brings Strength.

Moonroot said...

You are a strong and brave man, Andrew. As Kyrie says, hang in there. I hope you will soon feel better.

Cheryl said...

You are stronger than your disease and you prove that every day.

Jenn said...

Why are you not taking a sleeping aid every night? You need it! Lots of people need them and they help.

Andrew said...


I am worried I will get addicted to them or abuse them.

Rae said...

Andrew ... mental disease, in all it's forms is an absolute bitch. In many ways it's like going into the depths of hell, here on Earth with other people walking around, talking, telling you you're going to be OK, or that you're a hopeless idiot.
I know, I'm preaching to the choir, but I just want to send my good wishes for a better day today.
As for that liquor ... you're right, one day at a time.

Harmony Sweetpea said...

Woah... what a journey you have had so far. I am glad I stumbled across your blog. It is unfortunate that scitzophrenia is one of the few mental illnesses that needs to be controlled by drugs no matter what but you have most of your life ahead of you. By sharing your experiences with others, you might be helping others to stay strong too.

Rich said...

Living life on life's terms is no easy task. Coupled with mental illness it is an even greater task.

HAng in there Dude!!

Melanie said...

it has to be so tiring, andrew. it stinks that you have been dealt this hand. you do a wonderful job, most of the time, of making something beautiful out of it anyway, but of course the reality is that you have to fight all the time, don't you.

your dad being a pharmacist, surely he is aware of some of the new over-the-counter sleep aids that are non-habit-forming. maybe...?

i hope you get some sleep today. i wish someone could have been there with you in your fears last night, although perhaps that would have just made the paranoia surface.

Josie said...

Andrew, I am so proud of you for not giving in to the voices. My heart hurts for your pain, but I see so much strength in you - somehow you always find the courage to go on.


I feel your hurt. Please don't hurt yourself though, even when your disease instructs you to do so. You have a tremendous gift, a tremendous talent brought on by your disease, and it'd be an awful shame to waste it. You will be okay. You are strong. You are respected so highly in this blogging world. You are cared about.
You are you for a reason.


I think you're crazy just like me said...

Andrew, I am awed by your struggle, and so humbled by you sharing your journey. I wish you strength for everyday and night. I too am glad I stumbled upon your blog.

C. R. Morris said...

This reminds me of a song. The Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns. None of what is being said to you is true. I know we believe differently, I am a Christian and I know that you are loved deeply by God. Hang in there.

austere said...

Bravo once again for withstanding the voices..proud of you.

Doctora Yvonne said...

I feel a lot of compassion for you. I´m so sorry.

Still, you can write about it and this is a very healthy thing you can do with your disease..