Three years ago after coming out of hospital I started to experience the presence of the demon. The demon is sometimes a clear voice in my head, but more often is a hellish noise; a clamour. If you have ever experienced noise that stresses you physically – like an ambulance siren that has made you wince – then you’ll understand that feeling of noise making you feel physically unpleasant. When the demon is around I get physical chills. I feel like someone is cheesegratering the inside of my skin. And all this noise comes with messages from the demon about how despicable I am – sometimes as a clear voice and more often as a direct transmission of the message into my mind.
The demon hates me and won’t tolerate me doing anything to sustain or nurture myself. Hence my difficulty dealing with the basics, like eating. The demon detests my creativity, and it’s when I’m trying to draw or write that I feel its presence most strongly. Since I started writing this blog just a few weeks ago I’ve never felt the demon voice so badly. It’s fairly scorching around my head making its presence felt – it’s simply furious.
I’m new to blogging, and I’m aware that I have a lot I want to write about past experiences, and John always raises points I want to respond to. But I thought I’d write about the demon while it’s happening. I wondered if I could get close to explaining how it feels. I doubt I can. I cringe in the face of the demon. It terrifies me. I feel that if I keep very still and do nothing it might go away. I get worn down dealing with it, but I have to deal with it to varying degrees the whole time. I wish it would leave me alone, but I don’t think it ever will. I asked it outright this morning –
‘What are you trying to do?’
I’ve tried ignoring the demon and distracting myself. That works for short periods of time (long enough to spend some time with a friend for example) but it only ever comes back. One night a few months ago I had to contact the crisis centre because the demon was overwhelming me and I was terrified. They gave me a fantastic piece of advice – if you’re troubled by noise or voices in your head it can help if you use your own voice out loud – humming, singing, or reading. So now I have a book of poetry at hand to read from, but mostly I negotiate with the demon. I pace up and down at home and talk out loud to the demon. I acknowledge its existence and its agenda and invite it to walk with me where I can see it. I will no longer tolerate it lurking in shadows. I also remind it what my agenda is – I’ll keep taking steps forwards in spite of it. I won’t give up the blog in spite of its howls. I remind it that it can’t actually destroy me no matter how much noise it makes. I don’t think it can hear me.
Really I’m trying to convince myself. Really I’m trying to hold a scary and precarious position. Times like this I get frightened because I feel so close to being defeated by it and giving up. I want to cry but am so worn down I can’t even do that. Everything I do has to be done in spite of the demon, and I’m so fucking ragged with it.