Opinion: “Anyone Who’d Hear This Would Think I’m Mad. Well, I Am”

“I wish I had a physical opponent. People could then see I was fighting a war.” 

Anyone who would hear this would think I am mad. Well, I am.

When I was 16 years old, I knew that my world had changed. I did not talk about it with anyone, because I thought that no one would believe me. I quietly lived my life begging for a normal day. There was none to come. I told myself that a change might make things better; so I went away to a college 2,000 km away. This decision did eventually change the game.

I was 20 when I finally spoke up and admitted to my family that I needed help. I couldn’t live a normal life, ever, after that day. I had already been seeking therapy on and off for the past five years. Seeing a psychiatrist only made things more concrete.

I was finally diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. It’s the onset of schizophrenia, which is clubbed with another disorder. I faced it with bipolar disorder. Ten years have passed, and I am on the road to recovery. I still have a small level of normalcy around me, but I have a reason, a family that loves me unconditionally, even when the cloud of disease looms over my head waiting to burst and drown me.

“My world floats in and out of reality. I guess it’s a lot like being high all the time. Even the smallest tasks involve an astronomic amount of concentration.”

The worst part about my life is the fact that I can’t tell anyone. The possibility of a lack of acceptance scares me. People, even educated ones, usually only understand physical pain.  The only physical proof that I have is the tremor in my hands. But the doctors chalk it up to my smoking addiction. Yes, I have an addiction and I am not ashamed. Well, maybe a little, but then, I realise that it is imperative for my existence, or at least I think it is.

I would do anything to get off my medicines. The weight gain, trembling hands and no control over concentration drive me crazy every day. I will not go into the technicalities of the disease, because there is no point in it at all. Explaining these small things doesn’t make people accept me.

The experience is something right out of a movie. Think Mr India, and the fact that he exists but no one can see him. Or maybe like a ghost. My world floats in and out of reality. I guess it’s a lot like being high all the time. Even the smallest tasks involve an astronomic amount of concentration.

I had friends, at least until I decided to come out with my problem. When I opened up, almost all of them vanished into thin air. Some could not comprehend, some thought that I was lying, and some were scared, as if I’d kill them.

I would though kill to change my disease into a physical one; at least then people would believe and understand. I sympathise with people even with a toothache. All I wish is to be able to see my enemy and fight it with everything I have, rather than going on a war in my head with myself.

I just want a physical opponent, that’s all.

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