Go Away Daniel…

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My only friend in the world was in my room when I came up from dinner. “I know what happened,” he told me. “It’s not your fault.”

“Oh really?” My voice was hollow.

“They kept yelling. What did you think was going to happen?”

“Something that didn’t involve me trying to smash a plate in front of them?” He tried to speak but I didn’t give him the chance. “Daniel, normal people don’t just…snap like that. There’s something…very, very wrong with me, you know there is.”

“I can’t say there isn’t,” he admitted. “It’s not your fault though-”

“That’s a lie,” I interrupted. “If I did the work my school wanted me to, I wouldn’t be falling apart like this. I wouldn’t be such a fucking nut-”

“You couldn’t do the work!” Daniel exploded. “Cat, you’re not well. You’ve never been well. But that’s the only reason why you’re not doing the work. And you can’t control that.”

“But what if I could?” I retorted. “What if this whole thing in my head is just an excuse? I always make excuses for myself. I’m not feeling well, or I’ve missed that lesson, or Things are bad at home. I’m always ready with them. There’s literally nothing stopping me from keeping up, only my stupid fucking excuses!”

“They’re not-”

“They are Daniel.” I was shaking, but there weren’t any tears this time.

He reached for me. “No,” I told him. “Don’t.”

“Cat, please-”

“No!” My chest felt like it was about to burst. “You can’t help me…”

“But I want to.”

“But you can’t,” I croaked. “I’m sorry. But you can’t save me. I’ve already destroyed myself, and there’s nothing left of me.”

“There is,” he insisted. “You can push through this, you’re strong enough to push through this.”

“I’m not. I don’t push through it. I lie there and let it consume me. That’s the only way I survive it, if I can really call it surviving.”

“You haven’t lost to it though.”

“I have.” I looked up at him. “You seem to think that ‘losing’ is when you kill yourself. The only reason I haven’t done that is because I’m too scared to die. And now look at me. It’s almost funny.” I smiled crookedly, my stomach aching with the effort. “All I can do is lie there. My emotions have eaten away at me, and I’m just this hollow shell. I’ve still lost, Daniel. I haven’t killed myself, but I’m still dead.”

“No…”

“Please go,” I begged him. “Leave me alone.”

“I can’t…”

“Go!” I gasped. “There’s nothing for you to do. I’m already dead, why the fuck do you think that I can be saved?!”

He looked away. “That’s right. There’s no reason for you to keep counting on me. I keep saying I’ll be fine, and then I change my mind and lie there, because I’m too lazy to try and make things better for myself. Just go already!”

Daniel’s eyes were bright green and shiny with tears when he looked back at me. Were my eyes the same? “If I go, will you kill yourself?”

“No.” I meant what I said. “I don’t have the energy. Nor the courage.”

“Never say that,” he told me fiercely. “Never say that suicide involves anything like courage!”

I said nothing. “Please…” he sobbed. “I don’t want to watch you die…I don’t want to lose anyone else…”

“Then go,” I whispered.

He stared back at me as if I just stabbed him. “I’m not going to do anything. I promise. But I’m dying, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. There’s nothing left of me to save.”

Daniel gulped. For a while, it looked as if he wasn’t going to do anything, but then he turned away and went for the door. He looked back with his hand on the handle. “I know what you want me to think,” he said softly. “And this would be so much easier if I did think that. But I don’t. You’re worthy of love, worthy of living. You deserve so much more than what’s in your head. And I’ll keep believing that, no matter what.” With that, he closed the door behind him.

I could finally cry again. Because I had hurt the person I loved the most. The one thing Daniel wanted was to redeem himself, to save me, and I had thrown that away. I didn’t care anymore, about living. Nothing was worth trying to survive.

I was the most despicable human in the world.

What It Feels Like To Die On The Inside

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Maybe the monsters who lived under my bed when I was a kid managed to find a way inside my head instead. Maybe that’s what caused everything to go downhill.

You know what sucks? I’m not even trying anymore. I just don’t see the point in trying, when nothing I do is ever going to be good enough for anybody.

I wonder what it’s like to not feel worthless. To actually feel like there’s a reason for you to wake up tomorrow. Did I feel like that once? I can’t remember it now. Why do I have to feel like I want to jump off a cliff when anyone else my age is growing up, falling in love and shit like that? Everyone is moving on with their lives, while I’m stuck in this dark hole that I can’t climb out of.

Tonight, my parents were yelling at me, telling me how stupid I was, for not completing another one of my assignments, when suddenly, I lost it. I remember lifting up my plate and smashing it down on the table. Silence. I hope you’re happy, Dad said. Do you honestly think I did that to be happy?

By this point I’ve probably forgotten exactly what that is.

I think the thing I’d like the most is to know where the hell my life is heading. To know for sure that things are going to get better. Because even though everyone is telling me that, I can’t believe it. Because people say a lot of things, that doesn’t mean you should believe them. But when I don’t believe what they tell me, they get sad. And I hate myself for it; I wish I could believe them, I want to believe them, I really do. But I can’t. Not when everything else in the universe is telling me otherwise.

I’m such a fucking hypocrite. I tell everyone not to worry about me, that I’m perfectly fine. I even laugh to try and convince you that this is the case. But deep down, I’m hoping that you’ll see how I’m about to burst on the inside and how I’m silently screaming for help, and make it all better.

Because I’m falling apart, and I can see every piece of me hitting the ground and shattering around me. And it’s killing me.

Watching

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“Hey, you must be Cat?” the man asks. He has honest eyes, steely blue and he smiles kindly.

“Hmm…”

“I understand you’ve been feeling down lately?”

An image of driving a needle into my arm enters my mind and I flinch. “I…guess you could say that.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll be able to make you feel better,” he tells me certainly. “There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.”

You’re not the first one to try and convince me, buddy. I just grimace and let them wheel me off into a cubicle enclosed by curtains. I’m already hating this place, and I wish to god that I had kept my mouth shut. Then Lolly wouldn’t have admitted me.

Daniel gives my hand a squeeze and I can only look at him helplessly. Personally, I’m about to implode, but all I can think about is how horrible he must be feeling, watching me lie on a hospital bed, crying for no reason. I keep smiling and telling him it’s okay, but the tears may be a bit of a contradiction, as he reminds me. Still, I’m glad he’s with me.

I go in to see the psychologist and her friend Tig the nurse. “I’ve got a brother called Tig,” I tell him. I leave out the fact that he’s a thieving little shit who causes my mother to have emotional breakdowns.

After millions of questions which I’m lacking in energy to answer, they tell me their recommendation; I should stay in this hospital for a night or two and undergo a mental assessment.

Three hours later, I’m thinking Fuck this place.

The thing with hospitals is that people are used to pain. It’s nothing for them to see a teenager with tears streaming down her face huddled in a ball on the bed. And they ignore it, because there’s worse people than you right now. I get it, I really do. It doesn’t stop it from hurting though.

Nurse Priscilla comes in and tells me of the situation. The Mowa Ward, where they wanted to take me, is full at the moment, meaning I could be here for a few hours. She also offered me antidepressants to take the edge off what I was feeling. Remembering the effects of the St Johns Wort, I declined, and watched her give me a funny look.

They let me call people here, but I can’t use Internet. So I call the only two numbers on my iPad worth keeping. Papa Willis doesn’t answer, but Flash does. When I tell him I’m in hospital, his mind leaps to the worst scenario, and he asks me what I did to myself. I quickly reassure him that I’m okay, I’m just there for observation, and he calms down. He tells me that he’s so happy I’m okay, and for that moment, I felt a peacefulness that had been absent since I first entered hospital.

Then the fucking phone disconnected and the nurse took it off me. Bitchface. Never trust anyone named Tig.

I talk to another nurse for a while. I actually like her. She knows how horrible I feel, and she seems to hate hospitals as much as I do. She offers to bring me some ‘gourmet’ food, and I agree, remembering too late that food in this hospital is incompatible with my picky eating habits.

“Want a sandwich?” I hold the plate of cheese and salad sandwiches out to Daniel. He just raises an eyebrow. “Yeah, me neither.”

“When was the last time you ate?” he questions suspiciously.

“That would be lunchtime.”

“You didn’t have lunch.”

“Wait, I bought a chocolate before I caught the train,” I pointed out. “So it was after lunchtime. And I had a cup of tea.”

He doesn’t look impressed. “I’m not eating the sandwiches.” I fold my arms.

“I’m not making you,” he replies. “The nurses however…”

“They can’t force me to eat. I’m not anorexic.”

“You are suicidal.”

“That’s not the correct term, but whatever. It’s not a matter of not wanting to eat, it’s the fact that there’s nothing good to eat. I’ll prove it.” I begin drinking the apple juice. “See? I’m consuming sugars. This gets converted into glucose. Glucose gives me energy to have more nervous breakdowns. It also helps me stay alive, which I am now proving that I want to do.”

“I never took you for a picky eater.”

“Didn’t you?”

“I always thought that you were someone who took what you got and dealt with it.”

I just stick my tongue out at him. “Want the list?”

“Sure, why not?”

This conversation is somehow distracting me from bursting into tears, so I continue. “With me, I’m fine with anything as long as it’s warm. Toasted sandwiches are fine. The only cold sandwiches I’ll eat are peanut butter ones.”

He laughs at that. “Peanut butter?”

“Don’t diss peanut butter!” I pretend to be outraged. “Peanut butter was my childhood, I’ll have you know.”

“Very well, very well. So cold food is off the table.”

“Well, cold meats. I hate cold ham and cheese. It turns my stomach.”

“What about vegetables?”

“I prefer them cooked, but I’ll force down some salads. But I love roast vegetables. Carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkin. And hot broccoli and cauliflower is wonderful. Like I said, if it’s hot, I’m usually happy to eat it.” I wrinkle my nose. “Avocado is off the table. But there’s a legitimate reason for that; I’m allergic.”

“Really?”

“Yeah…I get violently ill if I eat it. My brother once gave it to me on pizza, and I vomited on him.”

“Sure that wasn’t on purpose?”

“The projection of the vomit was. Actual urge to vomit was not.”

“So that’s it?”

“Well, there’s sweet food as well,” I told him with a grimace. “I hate very sweet food, like donuts. I despise alcohol in Ether; not only is it very potent, but it’s horribly sweet.”

“How on earth do you survive in our world?” he asks incredulously.

“Immortality. And rat steak. Lots of rat steak.” It’s actually not bad, once you get around the idea of eating rats. Plus they’re a lot larger in Delirium than in Reality. The meat’s softer and more bitter than beef steak, but it smells really good when cooked properly.

“Kaya used to try catch rats in Delirium,” Daniel remembers. “She had more success with fish though. Rats were harder to kill without them rotting immediately.”

“Didn’t you have a go a hunting?”

“At the time, I pretty out of it. I’d just been broken out by a giant dragon and I had no idea where I was. I just ate what I was given.”

“Fair enough. I wish we could eat fish…”

“Fish is Helevian food,” Daniel points out, rolling his eyes. “Christan hasn’t even seen one, let alone eaten one.”

“True…but still. Fish hasn’t changed too much from Reality. I think I’d prefer it to rat steak. Plus it would probably be better for me.”

I’m vaguely aware of the nurses watching me as I have this conversation with my imaginary friend. But it’s the only thing keeping me in Reality, these conversations. They almost manage to convince me that things can go back to normal after this nightmare.

Nurse Priscilla comes back and takes my blood pressure. Again, she offers me medication. I deny again. I don’t trust myself to judge whether or not I need sedation, nor do I have any idea of what they’re going to do to me head-wise. What if they get rid of Daniel? Then I’d really be alone…

This makes me start crying again. I just want my friends, to be around people I love. I’m banned from Delirium, and I’m locked away from everyone I care about in Reality. I wish I’d never come here. I want to go home, wherever the hell that is.

You Are Not Allowed To Kill Me

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It’s happened again.

Ironic isn’t it? After a couple of weeks of positive thinking and telling myself that I’ll be okay, I’m now in that dark pit again where I feel as if nothing is going to make me feel better and that I might as well die.

I’m going to blame Robin Williams. He’s the one who got me started on thinking about depression and mental illness after all.

Long story short, I’m in hospital.

But it’s okay. I haven’t hurt myself. And Daniel’s going to stop me from doing anything.

I wish he didn’t have to see me like this. That’s why I didn’t tell him how I was feeling to begin with. I didn’t want him to think I was weak; at the time, I thought it was nothing, just another burst of depression over absolutely nothing.

Except by the end of the day, I was sobbing uncontrollably, and whenever I looked around the room, I could easily imagine all the ways I could kill myself. Maybe I’d stab myself with a sewing needle, or instead, use it to cut through the fly screen on my window and leap out onto the ground below. I never did anything of those things, but I could see them so vividly, I may as well have been doing them.

On Tuesday, I met up with Flash and I told him how much I wanted to die. Little did I know that he was watching. The same one who killed Kaya was waiting for me to give him the order to finish me off too. And I must’ve given him that order at some point, because I soon felt that sinking feeling that I had become accustomed to so much in my other Reality. I apologised to Flash for doing this, and I remember him crying softly as I died once again.

I arrived in the bright white space that was Limbo. It wasn’t Kaya who met me here though. Just the man who murdered her. “Take me back,” I ordered him.

“Whatever do you mean?”

“Take me back!” I snarled. “How dare you try pull the same thing on me! Wasn’t Kaya and Nereida enough for you?”

He merely smiled. “You wanted this,” he reminded me. “I was there when were crying out ‘I want it to be over! I just want to die!‘ Don’t tell me you didn’t mean it.”

I lunged at him and grabbed his throat. He laughed as I clawed at his face, tried to beat him senseless. “You think that’s going to take you back? You can’t reverse death, stupid bitch. Don’t you know that?”

“I didn’t want you to kill me! It’s not fair!”

Another dark laugh, and he threw me off him. I landed on my back, willing myself not to dissolve into tears. “Why on earth would you think such I thing? After everything you’ve seen, what reason do you have to think that anyone would want to help you?

“Since the age of fifteen, you’ve been dragged into the pits of hell itself, for no reason other than to be kicked and beaten like a dog. Your dear friend ended her life in front of your eyes, and you could do nothing to stop it. How many times have you been betrayed by those you’ve trusted? I’m not only speaking of my world. Those you love in Reality have always failed you in the end, haven’t they?”

I didn’t let myself say anything. “Your parents were destroying you bit by bit by the way they treated you, your schoolmates whispered about you behind your back, just for being different. You didn’t deserve any of that. But like I pointed out, it happened.

“You have no right to beg me to return your future. For you have none, Cat Madigan.” He turned away from me. “I’ll leave you to your own madness.”

A ball of fire blocked his exit.

“No,” I said.

He turned at me with his evil white eye and I could feel his presence in the back of my mind. Oh don’t be like that, my dear, his voice sneered. It doesn’t have to be like this, you know. Isn’t it so much easier to give in?

For that moment, I felt a wave of peace and calm wash over me, and I stumbled slightly. There you go… he said in what was meant to be a soothing voice. Now just go down…deeper still…

I was aware of him coming up behind me, his hand resting on my head, pushing me down into oblivion. It’s alright…it’s alright to just give in…

No.

I swung around and bit into his upper arm like an animal. Surprise crossed his face, something that I had never seen of him before. I could taste the rotting flesh of his arm, but I willed myself not to let go of him. He tried to rip himself away, but by doing so, my teeth sunk even deeper into his body and with a single clench of my jaw, I managed to crush the bone completely in half.

I spat the bloody limb out, and I looked at the expression on his face in sadistic satisfaction. “No,” I repeated. “You’re not going to kill me. You’ve taken everything from me, and I owe you absolutely nothing. My life is not yours to take. Now Neekah….”

This time when I lunge at him, there’s fear in his eyes. “Yes, I know exactly who you are,” I told him. “And I know whatyou are too. And you no longer terrify me. Now. LET ME OUT!

I gasped for air when I woke up suddenly. Flash and the sickbay attendant were there, watching me. “Oh…”

“Cat!” Flash’s face had tears streaming down it, and I couldn’t help but break down in his arms, just relieved that I was alive, that I could stop my own mind from killing me. I apologised over and over that day. I was the most selfish human being in the world, and nothing would ever convince me otherwise.

Apparently after I blacked out, Kaya came out, and the two of them managed to get me to school before Kaya couldn’t carry me anymore. Flash joked that she had finally done something besides snapping at people, but the relief in his face was clearly there.

I felt better the next day. I had a minor breakdown in Literature, but I believe that the positives outweigh the negatives.

Then the next day, it happened again.

The coordinator for the youth reference group that I was apart of was attending my session with Lolly. She told me that because I was in the beginning of my ‘mental health journey’, I wouldn’t be as useful to the group as the others, who had apparently ‘finished’ theirs. In other words, they didn’t want me there.

I ran out of the room and bolted myself in the bathroom. I didn’t want her to see me cry. Crying was something only certain people were allowed to see. After about ten minutes of pleading, Lolly managed to convince me to come back, after said coordinator left.

“I’m sorry,” she said awkwardly. “But if it’s any consolation, she said that once you’re on the road to recovery, you can come back to the group.”

I just looked at her. “I’m not going to survive this though,” I told her hollowly. “So what good is it to tell me that?”

“What do you mean?”

“What do you think I mean?”

“Are you planning to kill yourself?”

“Not at the moment,” I said. “I’d give myself a year. But…” I inhaled, trying to hold back tears. “Everything is building up. How long do you think I’ll have before my luck runs out and I snap, and no one’s there to stop me?”

“By snap, you mean…”

I raised an eyebrow. I didn’t care how rude I was being. Lolly knew exactly what I meant by ‘snap’.

“Right…if you went home, what would you do?”

“I’d try and talk to friends,” I said. “Or I’d go to Delirium and stay there for a while.”

“I’d prefer that you not to go into Delirium,” she told me.

And I’d prefer that my life wasn’t a complete shit heap.

“But,” she said. “If you can’t get ahold of your friends, what do you think you could do to distract yourself from those sort of thoughts?”

“I don’t know,” I said honestly. “I guess I’d do what I did on Monday and Tuesday.”

“Which is?”

“Cry into a pillow.”

“On Monday…did you fantasise about killing yourself?”

I explained how on Monday, all I could see were death instruments all around me. “It’s not something I would act on. But I easily imagine it, and that scares me, to be honest.”

She was silent. “Would…would you be willing to go to hospital?”

I thought about it for a moment, but I already knew that I didn’t have a choice in the matter. “I can’t tell you what I would do,” I said. “I never know what I’m going to do. On Monday, I thought I was going to be fine, but then I broke down in the evening, unable to think of anything but wanting to die. I’d like to say that I wouldn’t hurt myself…but I can’t tell you that without lying.”

“Then you’re going to have to come in.”

“…okay.”

She went out, and Daniel came barging in then. He immediately grabbed me up in his arms and held me close to him. “It’s alright,” he repeated over and over. I think he was trying to convince himself, rather than me. “You’re getting help now. It’ll be okay.”

“Will I?” I croaked.

“Look…” Daniel stroked my hair softly. “I know it’s going to be tempting…but I want you to stay in Reality for your stay in hospital. I’ll bring Ray and Noah in to see you, but I want you to stay there until you’re better.”

“Thommand will want me there,” I said. “He’s going to want me to be on the frontline again. He won’t care about me getting better.”

“Well I do. He’s not going to send you out into war without my say so. And in your condition, you wouldn’t be strong enough anyway.”

“Do you think you can stop him?”

“He won’t have a choice,” he ensured me. “Christan is a lot of things, but he won’t force you to go out into battle when you’re in hospital. He’d want you healed, and he’ll command Thommand to let you recover.”

I could only nod. At this point, it hurt too much to try and feel anything.

The Moment When My Mind Is Free

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Internet’s out again. Anyhoo….enjoy my quick update on my state of mind in Reality, which actually isn’t too bad at the moment.
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As soon as I entered my room I burst into tears. Then I saw Daniel standing at the head of my bed. “Daniel,” I croaked. I had no idea whether or not he could hear me or not, but I was at the point where I no longer cared. “I’m done with Reality,” I told him. My legs buckled under me, and part of me hoped that my head would hit the edge of my bed, and the blow would knock me out permanently.

Daniel caught me before that would happen though. He said something that I couldn’t hear and lifted me up. “I can’t hear you,” I sobbed, as he placed me on my bed. A second later, he was lying beside me, gripping me tight against his chest. “Not only do I feel like I’m dying on the inside, but I’m losing you too.” I gasped for air, trying to stay in control, and failing miserably. I don’t know whether or not he was speaking at all, but he was holding me tightly in his arms and that’s all I cared about. “Don’t leave,” I pleaded. “Don’t leave me alone with my madness…please…”

I felt his mouth graze my temple, and his hand rested on my head. I awoke several times that night with headaches which weighed a tonne and emotions that wouldn’t stop spinning, and Daniel, no matter how many times I lied and said I was fine so that he could go home, was always there. I remember that when I was crying myself to sleep, I was apologising to him again and again. I was so sorry for being a nutcase.
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Then I woke up feeling better.

But I knew I couldn’t take those pills again.

So I didn’t take them. Mum was angry, but I didn’t care, I was too numb to. I had experienced three days of utter misery in a row and I didn’t want to spend any more like that. Not even if it stopped my horrible emotions, not even if it managed to stop Delirium. For fucks sake, they weren’t even for Delirium, how could they be when I hadn’t even told mum about it? They were for depression, but all they did was store everything inside until it would all bubble over and HURT LIKE FUCKING HELL.

School was still distracting. My head was still fuzzy and I couldn’t think when it came to creative subjects like Lit and Textiles. Some deluded part of me thought that maybe the ‘medication’ was a trick, a conspiracy in to rid me of my creative powers. I quickly laughed it off though. It would soon return, my imagination, I hoped. If not, I would smash the bottle of pills in Mum’s face.

Maths was good. I had been moved down from 3A/B to 2C/D and we were doing the work that we were working on in 3A/B, only it was far easier to understand. For the first time in forever, I got through my work. In my head, I was thinking I can actually do this. I’m intelligent!….well, I wouldn’t go that far, but I’m getting it!

I was only vaguely aware of a low, familiar chuckle from behind me, and it took me two periods later to realise what exactly it meant.

I went straight to the library at lunch, and I entered the little corner room to find him. “I heard you,” I panted. “I can hear you….can I?”

Daniel hesitated. “I hope so,” he said finally.

“Oh thank god.” I threw my arms around him and just laughed for pure relief. I had this huge, stupid smile on my face and when I saw Daniel’s look of amusement, I felt slightly sheepish. “I’m sorry I’m an idiot. Last night I was probably incredibly emotionally unstable-yes, even more than usual,” I told him, making him laugh. “I thought that you were fading and that you were going to vanish, and I was scared because I thought I was going mad in my head- well, that’s not so different- but I was afraid I’d never see you again and-”

“Shhhh,” Daniel told me, before he kissed me. To my surprise, there were tears running down his face.

“Don’t cry,” I murmured after a while. “Only I cry. I’m the crybaby out of us two.”

“I’m allowed to cry, I’m a big boy,” he replied. “And I love you.”

…wait, what?

I looked back at him, eyes wide. Boys had said this to me before; Podge had, and one bad relationship years ago had also used that phrase as a way to try and coax me into unwanted activities. I believed Podge’s one though, even though I knew deep down that eventually he’d change his mind and move onto someone else. Daniel wasn’t like that, but still…

Not for the first time, I felt that rush of fear you get deep inside you, telling you that one day, the person you cared about the most would decide that he was wrong about you and leave alone in the world with nothing but a shattered heart and an ego beyond repair.

Damn anxiety.

“I…really can’t imagine why,” I finally replied weakly.

“You’ll figure it out,” he said cheerfully. “One day.”

And then my friends came in and we had to shut up.
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I had a Youth Reference Group meeting that evening, and after hanging out with Flash, Slenderman and Lady Delamore for an hour or two, I got on the train and headed there. That was where I learnt about the training session that Black Dog Institute would be holding.

It was training to become a Youth Presenter. Basically, if I got the job, I would go out to schools and talk about depression and anxiety. Initially, I decided that as someone with an aversion to speaking in front of people, I’d have to give it a pass.

However, as the meeting went on, I found myself more and more opinionated about things. We were discussing the idea of using a new statement to use for the logo.

“I don’t like this one,” I said flatly.

“How so?”

Where depression and youth suicide stops. It sounds too…authoritative.”

“It is what the organisation aims to do though,” the group coordinator pointed out.

“Maybe so, but it sounds like…like they want to eradicate it. I mean…” I inhaled. “To me, it sounds like that if I went there, they wouldn’t be so much helping me with my problems as much as…forcing me to stop feeling this way. It’s as if they’re telling me outright that how I’m feeling is a bad thing, and because of that, I’d feel reluctant to go there, if all they’re going to do is tell me that.”

“It does make you feel a bit ashamed,” Miss J agreed. She was a blonde twenty four year old woman who looked a lot younger than twenty four. “In fact, it nearly reminds me of those church groups that go around attacking homosexuality. I immediately feel as if I’m going to be attacked for feeling like this.”

We discussed it further, and before I knew it, the meeting was over. Miss J, on the way out, told me that I did well.

I thought about the training a bit more on the way home. Talking in front of people, after that meeting, didn’t seem so bad. I figured that although I suffered when it came to reading out lectures in class, my aversion to speaking aloud didn’t apply to things that I cared about. I could hold my own in an argument, providing that I was deeply interested and engaged in the topic at hand. And telling people my story, and how, no matter how bad things get, or how many mistakes you make, you could still rise above everything and keep moving, felt like something I really wanted to do.

That’s what I want to do in Reality, providing that Delirium doesn’t kill me. I want to learn how to help people through invisible illnesses that no one else can see. I want to teach people that depression and anxiety can’t be fixed instantly with a pill or a shot, and that the best thing that someone can do for someone feeling like this is to listen, and to let them know that you’re there. There’s so many things I want to be able to say. Maybe this training will be a good start for me.

I know I have my own demons. I know that I have days where I can barely function because of them. But I understand now that this doesn’t make me the psychotic freak that my family makes me out to be. And just because they can’t accept that I’m not like them doesn’t mean that everyone else is the same. Some may even understand, there are already ones who do.

Maybe I can never get rid of it, this mad world in my head. Maybe my demons will be with me for the rest of my life. Then again, if I lost them, I’d lose my only angel too.

My goal is not to get rid of Delirium. If it ends, so be it. But I intend to make my way through both of these mad, twisted worlds, and be able to smile at the demons and hypocrites within.

One day I’ll get there. And none of you can tell me that I can’t.