I wake up groggily from a nap, and bolt upright, running to the bathroom. I’m gonna throw up. No I’m not, yes I am, no I’m not. I’m hot, burning up. I’m never hot. I always have ten pounds of clothes on. People in the office are always making fun of me, saying I’m ready for a blizzard. I grab a paper towel, and soak it with cold water. Dab my face with it. A knock comes at the door. “Are you okay?” he asks, and I answer that yes, I’m fine.
I had an essay due on Wednesday. I had an essay due, and I didn’t do it.
For those of you who don’t know, I attend school part time in the evenings (and online). I also have a full time job that keeps me out of the house for about twelve hours a day (a full day plus traffic). When I told him about my stress levels, my dad told me that it’s too much for me, school and work. He says once I start a new semester, after a few weeks, I start to have a really hard time with hallucinations and suicidal thoughts and things. I thought I could handle it, but this week taught me a whole new lesson.
I’m so afraid of getting sick. More specifically, getting poisoned. I’m afraid of getting sick too, but the fear of being poisoned is debilitating. That’s really what schizophrenia is for me: living in fear. I live in fear of so many things on a daily basis.
In school, when we have a mid-class break and I have to go use the restroom, I put my water bottle in my bag. Not only that, but I memorize the exact position of the water bottle in my bag so that when I come back I can be sure it hasn’t been moved. I’m afraid my classmates are going to poison me. There is no reason why they would. I haven’t wronged them in any way. There is no reality in which they go around poisoning people; they’re good people. But no matter how unrealistic the notion may seem, I can’t shake it. So every Wednesday night around 7:30 I hide my water bottle in my bag and very carefully examine it when returning from the restroom.
“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.” -John Green
In contrast to my post yesterday, wherein I talked about a man who believed you had to walk the line of sanity to be successful, today I’m going to talk about a guy who doesn’t believe that at all.
Last night, I attended the last stop of the Turtles All the Way Down book tour. Turtles All the Way Down is John Green’s latest book, a beautifully accurate portrayal of mental illness in all its terrifying glory, high school, friendship, and love. If you don’t know by now that John Green is my modern hero, you don’t know me very well. That’s okay. I will tell you all about it.
“Sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind but falling in love and not getting arrested.” –Hunter S. Thompson
Though I haven’t read nearly enough of his work, I’ve always been (more than) a little fascinated by Hunter S. Thompson. From Fear and Loathing to Kingdom of Fear—a book of his I did read—he has inspired me to be myself in more ways than one. I want to be a journalist because of him. I want to be a writer because of him. I want to be myself, because of him.