Part 9: Would the Voice in My Head Please Shut Up

The year I turned nineteen was a life-changing year. It saw my second greatest fluctuation in personality – the first being the year when everything at home fell apart, as mentioned in my earlier posts. I couldn’t see the world the same way again. I tried, but I just couldn’t. And very slowly, my life started to spiral out of control.

While everything looked fine on the outside, I was fighting a battle against myself that no one knew about on the inside. I began by isolating myself from people and spent a lot of time alone asking myself questions: Why couldn’t I be part of a different family? What did I ever do to deserve this pain? What did I do wrong? Why was I placed on this earth to suffer? Why would all the people who said they loved me hurt me like that? Were they all just lying? I had an infinite amount of questions that I would never find answers for.

Silence can be deafening. I’m sure any one who has been in that place will understand what I mean. There was a period of time when many of my nights were spent sitting in bed surrounded by complete darkness. I couldn’t sleep because every time there was silence, the voice in my head would start talking to me. It would repeatedly ask me all the questions I’d already been asking myself, and it would tell me things like life isn’t worth living for. I knew very well that voice wasn’t good for me but I couldn’t turn it off.  I was forced to listen to it throughout the night until the birds started chirping at half past four in the morning. Only then, when I grew extremely tired, would I be allowed to doze off for a few hours before waking up to decide how I would get through another dreadfully long day.

I soon became afraid of silence and the voice I heard in my head every time I was alone. When I was no longer able to put up with it, I found ways to put myself to sleep because only then was I truly able to be free from everything that haunted me. Being asleep was the only way I could find peace, and it was the only place where that voice couldn’t find me. I would sleep through all hours of the day, any time I was alone in my room. And to be honest, I don’t remember very much about this part of my life. It’s just a blur in my memory.

It wasn’t long before my poor sleeping habits caught up to me and started to affect my health. Then I went from one extreme to another. Instead of running away from that voice, I tried to distract myself from it by surrounding myself with people. I spent a lot of my time at work, even when I wasn’t working. With the rest of my time I started a video production group with a couple of friends, learned how to build websites, and spent a lot of time eating out and shopping with friends, going to the arcade and participating in activities that would keep me busy. I couldn’t be alone.

I recall one particular moment when I was dancing in the middle of a club with a few friends. The music was blasting and there were hundreds of people around me drinking and dancing. I turned around for a brief moment and as I stood there, I had an epiphany. I couldn’t hear the music; everything was silent. I was in a room full of people, but I felt completely alone. It was that moment when emptiness hit me and I realized that no matter how hard I tried to immerse myself among people and no matter how hard I tried to run away from that voice in my head, I simply could not run away from myself.

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