The voices. They come, they go, at times a whisper or a pleasant hum in the background, at others louder and more distinct. I know they aren’t real, the voices are the product of some sort of short circuit in my brain. But they are real, at times an unbearable cacophony so frightening that I will do anything, even die, to make it stop. The medications seem to work sometimes but antipsychotics come with unpleasant side effects. At the moment I am most bothered by the constant fatigue and deterioration of my fine motor skills. I really can’t decide which is worse, the voices or the side effects of the medication designed to reduce the voices.
As my mental illness evolves I am struck with the frightening reality that a day may come where I am not capable of taking care of myself any longer. As unnerving as that thought is, what is even more bothersome to me is the idea that I probably will have to let people close to me know the severity of my illness before that day comes. I’m not sure what to share, who to share it with, or what the best way to bring it up will be. Clinical terms like auditory hallucinations, Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Schizophrenia are scary sounding to people who are unfamiliar with them. I know I need to be careful who to tell and how to tell them. I need to find someone level headed and reasonable that isn’t going to turn on me when the going gets tough. I need someone who will do what is right yet will also follow my wishes for treatment whenever possible or practical. I need someone who will act in my best interests and not what will cause them the least effort or hassle. The last year has taught me much about those around me and who my real friends are. The people I put my trust into abandoned me when I needed them most. Although I have a job and work in a team that genuinely seems to like each other and I am closer to old friends and family than I have been in nearly two decades, I have never felt more alone.