Let me run you through a day in the life of my personal brand of schizophrenia:
7:00 am: Wake up and lay in bed for awhile. Although I live alone, I hear footsteps throughout my apartment. I start wondering whether someone broke in during the night, so I get up to check the lock. Not only is the dead bolt still latched, but the chain is also still in tact; however, the footsteps are still in the kitchen, and I have to check the door and whole apartment at least three more times be sure I’m alone.
7:30 am: I’m taking a nice hot bath, but, as the water is running, I hear a conversation happening just outside the door. I know no one is there because I’ve checked the door, but I can’t help but hear a few people debating about the use of leather vs. cloth seats in cars. I dip my head under the water and try to ignore what’s not there.
8:00 am: Is there something crawling on my leg? When I look down to inspect, there’s nothing. This will happen at least once every half hour throughout the day, so I won’t continue mentioning it.
9:00 am: I’m eating breakfast, and I taste metal when I’m eating my toast, so much so that I can’t finish my food.
10:00 am: I’m walking to campus, and the way gravity is pulling me goes from under my feet to slightly off-kilter to the right. I feel like I’m going to fall over because something is pulling me that way, so I need to sit down and wait out my equilibrium resetting itself with my head in my hands to keep myself from puking from the dizziness.
10:30 am: The voice in my head named Nero starts telling me, as a response to girls walking slowly in a group in front of me on the sidewalk, that I should disembowel one, choke the second with her intestines, and curb stomp the third while she cries from watching her friends die. I try my hardest to ignore him, but the voice gets louder and more demanding, even after I have already passed the girls.
11:15 am: As I sit on the toilet, the tiles of the floor start to get larger and smaller, which almost makes me sick.
12:00 pm: I’m talking to my friend who flaked on me a few weeks ago, and Nero is trying to tell me what they deserve for being a shitty friend, which just so happens to be running their face over until it is as flat as a pancake.
1:15 pm: As I’m sitting in class, the teacher’s words begin to not sound like English, and the jibberish I’m hearing makes it impossible to concentrate on the lesson and what I’m supposed to be learning.
2:00 pm: I finally have my appetite back after the metallic tasting toast, but I cannot help but think that the people behind the counter put something I’m allergic to into my food because of how insistent I am that they exclude it. After inspecting my food and taking it apart bit by bit, I’m ready to eat my mound of slop, which is getting cold.
3:00 pm: I see more of my friends, but the voice in my head just keeps screaming the worst insults at them. I can no longer concentrate on what they are saying to me, which means I cannot hold up my end of conversation, so I awkwardly excuse myself and hear the conversation roar up again once I leave. The voice in my head continues to tell me that I’m worthless and even my friends pretend to like me.
4:30 pm: I’m home once again, but I hear a tapping on my window, as if someone is trying to get my attention. Although I live on the second floor, I still need to check for other life at least four times.
6:00 pm: My foot feels like it’s on fire, which distracts me from doing the reading assignment due tomorrow.
7:30 pm: When I try to read again, all the words on the page float away and melt together into a black jumbled mess, so I still can’t focus on my homework.
8:00 pm: Something smells like it’s burning in the kitchen, but I have only started thinking about cooking food.
9:00 pm: I’m starting to get tired, but, because I haven’t been able to focus on my homework, I can’t sleep quite yet. The voice in my head continues to berate me and tell me how worthless I am to the human race. Suicide is brought up. Once he knows I have heard this thought, he starts detailing all the ways I could kill myself, all of which I have access to.
10:30 pm: I’ve managed to complete my homework, but it’s not my best work. I try to wind down for the night, but I feel someone standing over my bed and watching me browse the Internet. When I turn around, no one is there, and I need to check the door again to make sure it is locked.
11:30 pm: I am falling asleep, and, at the final moment before I am actually unconscious, I hear a knock at my door. When I get up to check to see if anyone is there, not even the motion detection light is on in the hallway, which makes me anxious.
12: 45 am: As I really am falling asleep this time, the voice in my head chimes in to make sure my final thoughts are ones that set me apart from everyone who actually does love me. My last thought before going to sleep is him telling me I either need to kill or be killed to be truly happy.
Because I’m schizophrenic, this is my reality; this happens every day. Just as you see your hand in front of your face, the voice in my head as well as the auditory and visual hallucinations occupy the space of my world.