Voices, Fear and the Courage You’re Stuck With

Guess I was more moved/shaken by a play my girlfriend was just in on mental illness, because I just saw some photos and now I’m sort of messy.

Particularly that one story where one person hears voices while in their car and my girlfriend plays the part of their partner, who they call for support. I don’t hear voices. Though I did once (not due to mental illness but  a stupid drug interaction) and they told me I’d attacked a family member with a razor and that the cops were coming to arrest me for assault–I then proceeded to slash my wrists. Passed out, but re-awoke when I started drowning in the bathtub. Stumbled back to my room and passed out again, only to barely recall my roommate driving me to a hospital.

I was in some kind of ICU for a couple days, but I don’t remember most of it. Then came about 10 days in the psych ward, with huge bandages on my hand/wrist so I rarely got the usual question of “what brings you here.”

I don’t hear other voices, but some times I’m haunted by my own. The internal voice. Stemming from nowhere but my own thoughts and memories. It can often be just as cruel. There was one scene in the play where a “voice” suggests that the character would be doing everyone a favor if they just killed their self. That’s the worst voice, and it comes on nights like this. I usually hope to counter it by thinking of all the reasons why I’m worth being alive for others, but the hard thing of BPD is that you often can’t hold on to even a small reason for the importance of living. Thinking can’t remain in contradiction to feeling. So instead I just lie down hoping to fall asleep as a substitute for a suicide.

In a way, it also makes you a little fearless. Poverty, disease, suffering… they don’t scare me anymore. I thought about studying to work in hospice care. Some people think I’m crazy, wondering why I’d want to surround myself with the dying. Because it’s necessary and important, and I’ve felt my own heart stop beating and woken up choking on water and my own blood, think I can’t handle someone’s cancer?

Maybe I am that brave, maybe I’m not. Right now it’s late, dark and raining. I’m rereading text messages from my girlfriend and trying to stave off that feeling of being alone in the universe, to put it melodramatically. Herein lies the great problem of having BPD: separating the temporary feeling of being alone from belief that loneliness is an eternal fact.

Maybe I should write a play?

I’m not sure what happens when everything here ends
But I hope it’s like they say and I hope it never ends…


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