I’m happy to report that much good has happened. I shower every day. I have clean clothes every day. I live in a decent home every day. I have tons of friends. I am sober. I am taking my meds on time. Life is good. I still talk to imaginary people and frankly don’t give a damn what other people think about that. Life is GOOD. I have a job I love. I have many things that give me superficial appearance of normalcy and best of all I have a higher power which provides me with a strength that I don’t need to worry about all that material stuff. God will take care of me. Friends too. I’m not afraid of being seen talking to no one any more, I’m still shy though. I don’t think any of my friends or co-workers, most of whom have no clue what my kind of mental illness is like apart from your common cold depression, give a damn if I talk to people who are not there or not. For all intents and purposes, I am now a card-carrying member of society. It’s just that I still talk to people that don’t exist and now I don’t care what other people think aside from some shyness. And if when I do get caught, I make a conversation out of it. It’s really no big deal after all.
I am afraid that people will see me talking to imaginary people. I often speak very animatedly to imaginary people that no one else can see. I wave my arms and nod my head. My mouth moves as if it was speaking. I am dead silent when I talk to imaginary people. To someone on the outside, it looks as if I am acting crazy. How do you define crazy? Do you see me as a crazy person, psychotic even? I was at Starbucks a few weeks ago, somewhere between 5 AM and 6:30 AM, I was fighting myself hard to not talk to imaginary people. My mouth was closed, yet my mouth still spoke. If you were looking at me, then you would have seen me moving my mouth, lips shut, it would have been an odd sight I think to others to see a man visibly distraught and chewing. Of course, I wasn’t chewing at all, I was just fighting hard to be normal, to look like a man sitting quietly in contemplative thought. I don’t know what anybody thought because how do you ask? Do you say, excuse me, sir, did you notice me over by the fireplace acting kind of weird? If they say yes, do you mean, “oh, don’t worry sir, it’s just my mental illness”? Bet that would be awkward for everybody and if they said, “no I didn’t notice you until you asked,” wow, that would be even more awkward because if they didn’t think you were weird before, they do now. That’s part of my mental illness, assuming that everybody notices me and that they feel that I’m crazy. I mean cmon, who would be comfortable in a room full of strangers while talking to imaginary people silently. I do engage in my conversations quietly, unfortunately for others, their talking is done out loud. Those poor unfortunates who speak out loud have an even harder time than me fitting in with the general public. I can’t imagine the pain of those who talk out loud, my silent talking is painful enough, and sometimes I get caught by the public talking silently, I notice people staring sometimes. Am I crazy? I am suffering from a few brain disorders called Bipolar Disorder, OCD and I suffer paranoid delusions. I just want to be normal. That means having and enjoying peace and quiet without imaginary people intruding upon my conscious thoughts. I would like to be looked at only when someone finds an undefinable quality in me that they find attractive to themselves. I want to be physically active and have a 20 to 30 hour a week job and have more than one friend (I have a best friend now, but I believe that people should have several people to call upon for fun and in misfortune). For ordinary I would settle for a slightly messy house and car instead of the trash heaps of garbage that I live in now. I would like to be able to shower every other day, every day might be too much to ask for. I would love to have clean and fresh smelling clothes every day, except maybe weekends. It would be awesome to have a 50-gallon aquarium like I did as a kid and have the motivation to care for it. Be pretty neat to have a girlfriend (never had one), girls were attracted to me when I was a teen and in my early to mid-twenties before I became overweight thanks to Depakote, a mental health med. I have now been overweight for almost 20 years, still can’t beat being a healthy weight for nearly 30 years. Gee, there’s lots of ways that I would define normal. I can only describe normalcy for me, not for you. A good start would be to stop talking to imaginary people. A final note, there’s talking to yourself and talking to imaginary people. Everybody talks to themselves including me, it’s just that I talk to imaginary people more than I talk to myself. If all I ever did was to talk to myself I would be normal.
Nathaniel D. Homier
Bipolar with paranoid delusions and obsessive-compulsive disorder and is on the autism spectrum and is also Deaf/Hard of Hearing.