The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me. – Blaise Pascal
Silence is terrifying. Yes, having three or more voices screaming at you in all your waking moments is awful. Even the good days when it’s only one or two voices, it can be taxing.
That’s not even including the noises that go along with living in a house with six other people and bad insulation. Toddler crying, kindergartener yelling, sister watching a video, dad in a work meeting, mom bustling around in the kitchen, brother pacing.
But nothing quite compares to the terror that accompanies silence. On one of my meds I encountered silence. It was the first med I have ever taken. After a short time of taking it, the voices faded out of existence. So did my fantasy world. All gone.
It was horrifying. It was like half the world’s population had ceased to exist. The silence loomed over me like a shroud. It suffocated me.
I wanted noise. I needed noise. I played music. I listened to podcasts. I put music on my phone and laptop at the same time.
I might’ve kept on this medicine and become used to the silence, but one side effect became more than I could handle: unbelievable levels of anxiety. I was in a constant state of flight or fight more intense than what I had known before. I stressed over the littlest thing and catastrophized beyond reason.
For example, I was scared I would not be able to open my locker at work because I would forget the combination, and that when I asked my boss for my combination she would yell at me and then fire me. It was illogical. My boss had never yelled at me. She liked me. I had been opening my locker for weeks, and had only had trouble the first few days because I had never gone to public school so I had never had to open one of those spinning locks.
I was terrified of that scenario. It kept me up all night and then I collapsed into exhaustion during the day, napping excessively. The medicine was a sedative, which certainly didn’t help.
And I mourned the loss of my fantasy world. More about that later.
So I was a mourning, masking, anxiety-ridden mess who could not function.
I could not stay on that med. It was called Abilify
Post 14 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)
This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.
For the whole series, follow this link.