Friday, October 5, 2007


Days with weather like this will always remind me of my homeless days -- overcast and dreary, and threatening rain. The temperature being less than optimal and feeling rather chilly. One time in my tent comes particularly to mind as I was trying to stay warm on a cold and rainy night. I had rode my motorcycle in from the country to update my blog at my late grandmother's house. I drove home in a driving rain, freezing cold. I could feel raindrops like shards of cold, biting glass leaking into my shoes making my socks grow wet. It was mid December and was threatening sleet with the temperature just hovering above freezing. I finally made it back to my campsite out in God's country and wrapped up in my warm sleeping bag after changing into dry clothes. My feet were icy blue and cold after I took off my hiking boots. It took hours to finally warm up. I wanted to build a comforting fire, but the rain prevented this. Long hours were spent sleepless and shivering. I would have done anything for a warm hotel room, but was running low on money.

My father started giving me a new pill last night causing me to sleep ten hours or more. He would not tell me what it was saying, "Trust me." I do know it makes me sleep like I haven't slept since I took Zyprexa.

I talked to my father about the voices I hear. It was a rare moment of introspection and revelation, and one that I have never shared with him nor anyone else. Not even my psychiatrist or therapist. I am always in fear that I would be locked away in a mental hospital for revealing such things.

"What do your voices tell you?" my father asked, intrigued.

"To do terrible things like steal or lie," I replied. "To act out impulsively."

"But you don't act on them," dad then said. "You never get in trouble. You never have."

"I know, but they are always there. They make me cringe. I shudder every time that voice tells me to grab beer and run from the convenience store. I feel it is my destiny to end up in jail and I have urges to do something that will put me there."

"How long have you had these voices?"

"Ever since I was a small child -- 1st grade. They used to constantly tell me that I was going to hell when I was a youngster. They are haunting."

My father gave me a hug and told me, "I wish you would talk more openly about your schizophrenia so you wouldn't have to deal with this stuff alone."

"I'm scared," I replied. "I am scared that people will judge me and think I am a bad person who does bad things. My voices are so negative and criminal. It is like publicly decreeing your deepest, darkest secrets."

I walked my father out to his car to say goodbye. I felt I had said too much and have probably written too much as well. I was embarrassed. Very seldom have I acted on the voices and they are manageable with my medications -- just nagging urges in the back of my mind which I try to ignore. When I was off my medications, I would drink heavily to subdue these voices.



LM said...

What concerns me is the fact that your Dad is playing doctor and prescribing meds for you. Even though he is a pharmacist, it is not right for him to do so.

Anonymous said...

it was a good thing to talk to ur father. feel better?

Josie Two Shoes said...

Good Morning Andrew! At first I was a little unhappy about your Dad always making you take medications without identifying them. But then I realized that he probably does this because he knows how inquisitive you are, and you'd soon be looking them up on the net and filling your head with worries over possible side-effects etc. Medication is a hard enough issue for you now. If what he gave you made you sleep well, hallelujah. When you can't sleep it is hard to think clearly, I know. I am so pleased you told your Dad about the voices. How could anyone think you were bad because of this,when it is a symptom of your schizophrenia. It is clearly not your fault. I think it's amazing that you do manage to override their direction. You have such courage and determination, Andrew. I admire you so much!

Portia said...

i can understand how that would be frightening and frustrating. i am glad the conversation with your dad seemed to go well.
i hope you & maggie have a great weekend:)

PipeTobacco said...


While I am glad you have had a good talk with your father, I must state categorically that it is not appropriate for your father to be giving you drugs that have not been prescribed for you. Of all the things that have gone on... I think this is the most revealing. Your father may be a pharmacist... but that is NOT a doctor, and what he is doing is NOT appropriate.

You often talk about his berating you for drinking because in his words it will "mess up your meds". Seriously now, what does he think taking a different sedative, sleep aid, or whatever the heck he pulls off his shelf at any given moment will do to "your meds"?

I think your father means well, but I think that his actions in medicating you are horribly wrong.


Stacy said...

I completely agree with "josie two shoes". I am so happy you told your father about the voices. It must be very frightening. Please don't think that people would judge you for it. You can not help it. Mental illness is a terrible thing and I really feel for you Andrew. I am so sorry that you have been having a tough time. I wish there was some "magic pill" that someone could give you. My heart goes out to you.

mapiprincesa! said...

I am a new reader of yours as of today. Thank you. You have so much courage to write and I will continue to follow your journeys. My cousin suffers in much the same ways that you do. He is in his early 20s and your writing really helps me to understand what kinds of things he must be experiencing as well. He, too, has a loving father, my uncle, who takes care of him, although sometimes he hates his father.

--a new friend

Pen and the Sword said...

That would definitely be hard to cope with. I know I have problems with thoughts racing so fast in my mind and jumbling all together so often that I often have troubles sleeping. Pills that induce sleep scare the hell out of me. I am sure with your illness your father most likely felt it necessary to not tell you what it would do. I am glad that you shared this today, Andrew. Never feel ashamed. You can't help what is going on with you right now. You have friends here who care and carry you in our thoughts :o) Happy Friday!

madamspud169 said...

You've told me about the voices you hear in this post & I do not think the worse of you. I do not think you're a bad person & the fact you do not act on the voices makes me think even more highly of you. You battle with many demons but your innate decency & good guy traits shine through that is something to be proud of.
I just wish you could realise what an amazing, decent man you are & how privelidged I feel to know you through your blog.

Thank you

Beatrix said...

Mirar lo bueno que hay dentro de tí , a pesar de todo, es algo muy especial. Sigue luchando.

lynn said...

Andrew I pray for you.
God loves you.

Lynette said...

I am glad you told your Dad about the voices. Maybe the voices are like secrets that are told. They lose some of their power when they are exposed for the world to look at.

NATALIE said...

I think it is good you got that off your chest as well; I can't imagine, it must be very troubling to experience that and I don't blame you for self medicating to get rid of them..,

CJM-R said...

I work with children and teen-agers who hear judgement here.

Button Fuzz said...

You should check out the book "A beautiful mind" about an Nobel prize winning economist who goes through a deep struggle with schizophrenia and talks about how he learned to deal with the not real.


My dear friend Mr, 4th, if I will try to work on not caring what others think when it's negative, will you? People that judge have the most issues of all-even if they seem hidden.
I can understand your hesitation because you never know when things may change, but rest assured, you are kind and a great person-lest the judger be judged himself!! :)
THinking of you!

Rhea Li said...

I had this one voice who kept the bad voices away my. she's gone and now I have this one voice that I see with a body that looks just like me. she keeps telling me how i am going to die. i've told my mom and family about them. as much as it hurt for me to tell someone, i knew i had to or else i would be dead and would have hurt so many people's lives. in the movie ninja turtles(the original), splinter says," the path to inner turmoil begins with a friendly ear." i believe that. so i found a friendly ear that belongs to my mom.

Chema said...


I think is fantastic that your expectations at that moment were totally opposed to your current reality. I wonder how did you keep the hope during the years.