• Sleeping Wide Awake


    When I think about being nineteen, I remember suffering clusters of panic attacks. I remember hospital visits and having far too many meds thrown at me. I remember that first idiot psychiatrist. And, in remembering all that, I wonder why I had to live that part of my life that way, why I endured such debilitating anxiety while navigating ignorance and contending fears that everything was a precursor to something much, much, much worse. Behind that are the shards of my teenage development. I could masquerade with peers that I was one of them (and still do), but there were always weird things I never quite understood. Periods of manic…

  • Sleeping Wide Awake


    This started with a voice. The threat of voices have long threatened my adult life. Going through my cluster of panic attacks and anxiety as an 18-year-old, I regularly saw a psychiatrist at a public hospital. One particularly horrible day, he told me I was heading for a nervous breakdown. Mental hospitals are full of authors who lost the ability to distinguish fiction from reality, he told me. Among other things, he asked if I’d heard voices. I told him I hadn’t but, terrified, asked him what I should do if I did. He told me not to listen to them. Around the same time, I had a friend who…

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