Sandstorm of Delusions

Category: Memoirs Published Online Published: Monday, 29 October 2018 Written by Richard J Bell

Sandstorm of Delusions

Wandering the desert of delusions, the hot sand stings my face, as the windstorm howls its beginnings, I find shelter in the ruins of a village. Seeking refuge in a forgotten building, as the hot winds of the sandy storm billows around the walls of the ruins. With my back to the wall protecting me, I wait until I can see clearly and move on from here.

In the corner of the room, I can see the heat rising of the red sandy floor in waves; I notice it forming a mirage. Shapes start to form an image, of me lying on the carpet, trying to go to sleep, but the voices of paranoid schizophrenia are at my windows screaming.

In the mirage, I roll over and cover my ears as I hear a voice yell, “We know you’re in there, you idiot!” A tingly chill runs down my spine as I feel a heavy pit falls in my stomach as I recognise the voice.

Watching myself lying in the mirage, I realise it’s a memory of when I was housed after being recently homeless for three days. With no belongings, except for two suitcases, I slept on the floor for the first few nights.

Feeling an intense butterfly storm of emotions in my stomach, it takes over my body with a shaky feeling as I listened to the hallucinations.

“C’mon dumb arse, step out of the door,” said a male voice at the window, who I recognised as someone who I used to work with.

“Is he coming out?” asked the female voice excitedly, who belonged to the people I was living with previously.

“Come out and we’ll get ya!” screamed another voice.

Sleeping on the floor of the room, I did not know at the time, what was happening was a symptom of my psychosis causing the hallucinations. But as the mirage swirled, it became another memory of me seated on the couch. Still, the voices were at the windows, yelling and screaming, but I was seated there reading a novel.

As I opened the door to someone knocking on it, saw my mental health nurse Cate standing there for a home visit. In this memory, I am on medication, and explaining to how sometimes I know the voices aren’t real.

“I used to hear them yelling out of houses, when I walked up the street,” I explained to her. “But they are gone now.”

Cate then went onto tell me, “Richard, you have Insight.”

She then explained, how when people have “Insight”, they know all the hallucinations are not real; but when they have “Loss of Insight”, it means they think the voices are really people and not a product to their illness.

As I leaned on the wall of my shelter, with the red dust covering my shoes, I remembered I dipped in and out of the symptom called “Insight”. It would last for two or three weeks, then I’d experience “Loss of Insight” for two or three weeks. The memory in the mirage then faded.

Noticing the storm had stopped, I get up off the ground and walk to the doorway in the ruins that have sheltered me. Dust fell from the roof, as I notice the windstorm has subsided, the air had regained its clarity. But the view was a night sky full of bright stars of hope, forming the milky way, shining against the darkness. With this new clarity before me, I am determined to stay on medication and find relief from the voices within.

. Copyright © Richard James Bell 28th January 2017



Published in a South Australian based website called 'Mindshare' in February 2017

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