Co-worker during lunch break:
Phew, there are are a lot of loonies here in the large city, right? It’s really weird when people on the train start talking to themselves!
You know, I moved to the city because in my small town I used to be the weird one. Here I don’t stand out.
Well, alright but you’re not one of those who should be on medication. You’re not paranoid. Those people who think they’re being watched, I really pity them. Horrible thing.
Oh please! They don’t really get what’s going on anyway.
I don’t tell them that I know the feeling of being watched, the feeling when you think you’ll get caught any second. Or that sometimes I can’t feel my own hands but instead those of other people when flashbacks haunt me. I don’t have actual hallucinations but more than is nice I am able to imagine what it’s like when your own perception doesn’t really match up with reality.
I notice that my co-worker still seems to be waiting for an answer and go for:
Things like that might happen faster than you think. Do you remember “former colleague”? He had paranoia, I often wonder what would have happened if he had gotten better help.
What, so he just lost it? I remember him being totally normal. Not like this guy who banged his head against the wall the other day – crazy!
I sometimes bang my head against the wall.
He doesn’t seem to hear me. Then:
Do meds actually help?
I bite back the question what “normal” is as well as the remark that he only perceives me as “normal” because I keep up appearances and instead I briefly explain that many mental illnesses are treatable with meds quite well even if some of them might make you feel low or tired.
One can only be glad to be healthy, right? In my village we don’t really have that…
I indecisively shrug.
Should I really cause him to have sleepless nights by telling him about the scenario inside my head? A scenario in which we lunatics don’t keep up appearances for once and show him that we’re absolutely everywhere for a day?
Unfortunately he also can’t understand why I answer his offer that I can talk to him about anything with just a very sweet smile and a silent nod a few hours later.