December 31st, 2017, just before the new year, I was told I have auditory hallucinations. What this means, for me, is that I hear voices in my head almost constantly. They tell me things like “You’re weak,” “You’re ugly,” “You act like a little girl. It’s no wonder people don’t take you seriously” and so on. This particular discovery was especially hard for me to come to grips with for obvious reasons. “People are gonna think I’m crazy. Maybe I am crazy.” The most harrowing aspect of the experience was a memory I had when I was about twelve-years-old.
I was on a camping trip with my church and I met this goth girl. She had dark make up around her eyes, she had pointy hair and she told me she had schizophrenia. I had never heard of that before so I asked her to explain it to me. She did and the first thing I thought was, “Wow. What a freak.” I never said that to her. I never spoke to her again after that encounter with her. “If she’s a freak, what am I?” I thought as I was crying in my therapist’s office.
I have to admit, after having to explain the voices to my therapist (what they sound like, how many there are, whether they were male or female) I do not feel any less crazy. But instead, I now understand what that girl was going through. She had to listen to voices countlessly telling her to harm herself or any number of horrible things just like me. I now know never to judge anyone by the state of their mental health and that I am not crazy. For the most part, I am just like anyone else and that is okay.
About the author
J.M. Cools is a writer with Coffee House Writers and Sitcom World on Medium. She is currently writing a novel on Wattpad, “If Lips Could Kill”
Feel free to email her at email@example.com.