Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just a spectator

I've read that one of the biggest treatment hurdles for those with mental illness, at least for the ones lucky enough to have access to treatment, is getting them to remain med compliant. It's something that I'm currently struggling with. I often feel as if I have no say in what my brain wants or decides to do. It betrays me nearly as often as I feel the mental health "professionals" have; and right now, it's tempting me to go off my medication.

I haven't yet acted on that impulse, but my brain keeps reasoning with itself that I'd be better off without them. I can hear the voices in there, having the debate. Sometimes I'm keenly aware of the discussion and I sit quietly, listening as they discuss the pros and cons. Just a spectator in my own head, eaves-dropping in on a conversation I'm not supposed to be privy to. The voices are often the ones in control, not me. If they decide I should be off my medication, they will create an urge too powerful to fight against.

The voices are the ones that notice the things I'm too clueless to see on my own. After I dropped my daughter off at her boyfriend's house this past Saturday, I decided to run to Starbucks for some coffee. As I drove, I kept seeing men in front of houses, each talking on their cellphones. It wasn't just one man, nor was it an illusion. It was several men strategically placed along the route I needed to take. Each followed my my gaze as I passed. From the rear view mirror, I could see them stare after my car until I was too far away or had turned a corner, at which point they'd drop out of sight and the next man would appear. As if they were tracking me, transmitting my location to the next guy via their phones. They were trying to be inconspicuous, but the voices noticed them immediately and in turn warned me of their presence.

While I know the voices are inherently bad and usually want me to inflict harm upon myself, it's hard to ignored them because sometimes they are actually helpful and warn me when there's danger lurking in the shadows...or in this case, right out in the open.


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