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Everyday | By Xaphanx | Contest entry

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avatar Xaphanx
Level 23 : Expert Mage
This is my entry for Chiaroscuro's writing contest
This piece is very personal for me since I have chosen to write it over a very touchy subject. I hope this piece will cast some light on what everyday life can be like for someone like myself, that has a mental illness. I want to make it clear that this is my own personal life I'm describing - it can be so much different for any other person, even with the same illness.

Now I won't ramble on for any longer, on with the story~

Word count : 4165 words

Everyday by Xaphanx

My alarm goes off and I blindly hit the snooze bottom. Another night with little to no sleep. Nothing new there. I roll over onto my right side, to check the other side of the bed, but nothing or rather no one is there. I lie there an stare at the empty space before I sit up and pick up my phone. “I can snooze it one more time without getting into any trouble,” I think to myself and put the phone down on the nightstand. I let out a deep sigh as I look around in the dark room. Last night had been horrible. Not really anything out of the ordinary thought - or well, what can I say, not out of the ordinary for me at least. I fall back into the bed and turn to lay on my left side for a bit. I slowly close my eyes, just to get a few more seconds of rest. Sadly my prayer wasn’t answered, and the voices in my head begin to throw mud at each other. After a while, they go from going at each other at full force, to start throwing hurling insults at me instead. “Useless, weakling, incompetent, stupid” I open my eyes and stare into the whiteness of my wall. The voices are just getting louder and louder. I let out another deep, semi-frustrated sigh and sit up in the bed. I pull my legs up to my chest and hold onto them with my now shaking arms. After a while, the voices turn from words into loud, frequency noises - where they just grow louder and louder. I do a quick movement with my right arm and the sheer force of my hand hitting my face, makes the noises go blank. At least while the pain from the slap stings. It forces my brain to concentrate on something else. I sit for a while and stare at my hand trying to think of a better way to get rid of them but I get stopped in my train of thoughts when my alarm goes off again. I give the phone an annoyed look out of the corner of my eye before reacting over and turn the third alarm off. “Time for coffee” I then mumble to myself as I swing my legs out of the bed. The wooden floor is cold as always, so I quickly find my socks and put them on. I stumble down the stairs, skipping the broken step while I try and rub the sleep out of my eyes. By the time I get down into the kitchen, I can see that the time on the stove is off again. “I have to remind Patrick to fix that” I mumble to myself as I walk over to the electric kettle. I grab the handle and open the lid - after noticing there isn’t any water in it, I walk over to the sink and fill it up so there’s enough water for at least one cup of coffee. I then walk back to the other end of the kitchen table and turn the kettle on. While I wait for the water to boil, I locate my coffee mix in one of the cabinets. I find a long spoon in the top drawer and leave it on the table next to the now jumping kettle. I quickly walk over to the big cabinet and find my travel mug. I have to make the coffee-to-go today since I’m running a bit late but then again it is Monday, why wouldn’t I be late. Mondays always suck, even more so when your so-called weekend has been plagued with visions, lack of sleep and too many voices to count. I hear the click of the kettle turning off, it makes me jump slightly. I make my way over to the kettle with my mug in my hands. I quickly drop a few spoonfuls of coffee mix into the mug and then I pour in the boiling hot water. I leave the rest of the warm water in the kettle. I then walk over to the fridge, grabbing the milk from one of the shelves in there. I pour a little milk in, then stir the drink with the spoon. I throw the now used spoon into the sink and grab the lid for my travel mug, closing off the mug. “Now that’s done - time to get ready for school” I say to myself. I leave the coffee by my keys on the top of the fridge so I know I’ll remember them both. I avoid looking in the mirror when I walk into the small bathroom. I know for a fact that I look terrible. I grab the toothbrush and the toothpaste. Once that’s done I move onto fixing my long messy hair. I would pull it into a messy hair bun, but my skills with hairstyles are close to none. I end up just leaving it down like always once I have gotten through it with the brush. I find my deodorant and perfume and quickly put it on. I keep my eyes down while doing all of this. I can feel there’s one standing behind me, I just know. I grab a hold of the table in front of me and lick my dry lips. I can feel my eyes moving from the corner of the mirror to the centre. It like I have no control of my own body anymore. I try and force my vision to move back down into the corner but nothing works. They hit the centre and I can just stand here, inside my own head and watch them focus on the dark shadow that’s hanging behind me. It’s hanging down from the low ceiling in a robe, just dangling slowly from side to side. For a while, everything just goes completely quiet. The only two things I can hear is the sound of the rope creak from the weight and my own heartbeat. I start to panic as the sounds grow louder and louder. I try to break free from the horrible state, but nothing works. I hear a chuckle coming from the shadow behind me and I look up into the mirror again - the only thing there’s changed now is that the shadow is now staring at me with a huge grin on its face. I stop breathing, and I force my eyes closed. I sink onto the floor as the chuckles grow louder and louder. I cover my ears with my shaken hands, trying to make everything stop. I am on the brink of screaming when I get pulled all the way back into the real world. My alarm on my phone is going crazy in the kitchen. I look up and let out a deep breath. The shadow is gone. All of the sounds are gone. I’m back to normal, at least, for now. I pull myself together and walk back into the kitchen to turn off the alarm.

I find myself running into the classroom as the bell rings. Coffee in one hand, the bag with the laptop and books in the other. I find my usual seat in the back of the class, in the far corner and sit down. My classmates are chatting happily with one another, they always do this until the teacher shows up. Me on the other hand, I only talk to my best friend if she’s at school but today she’s sadly sick. So I’m on my own at least for now. Hopefully, we aren’t doing any group work today, I don’t think I would be able to handle much more stress. Flashbacks of the night and this morning's visions and voices start to flash in front of my eyes again. I shake my head a little and decides to unpack my laptop and books for this class. Thankfully the teacher turns up so the class starts - that should distract me from my own misery. I start taking notes on the laptop for the topic we’re going to be working on. It would seem like we have a report due for next week. “Great - just great. That’s gonna go so well with all of the other reports I have laying around...” I think as I mentally kick myself. I really do my best to follow along with the homework and assignment but sometimes, like in these past couples of weeks, my mind has just been going crazy. It’s like it’s getting worse and I feel so helpless, not to mention useless. I’m pulling myself away from people, even the ones that are closest to me. I sigh and look up at the whiteboard. So far not even one of my notes are making sense, I’m just writing everything he writes down but I can’t understand a word he’s saying. I shake my head a little and reaches out for my travel mug. Thankfully I still have half a cup left of warm, nice and renewing coffee. I take a big sip. Enjoying the feeling of the warm liquid going down. There’s something comforting about it, I’m not sure what it is, but most of the time, warm drinks can make me calm down a little. It doesn't work when I’m completely gone, but after I have been all out in the other world, it’s nice to have something to ground yourself with. I set the mug back on the table and continue to take the useless notes, just so I’m actually doing something. A thing I have gotten good at is pretending. Pretending everything is okay, that nothing is wrong, that everything isn’t falling apart in my hands. None of my friends knows that I haven't slept for real in like five days now. None of them knows that I hear voices, sees shadow people and just generally feel like I’m being watched all the time. I have been meaning to tell my best friend about it but it just seems so…so unreal, like I doubt that she would even believe me. It’s kind of funny actually - what I fear more is what people would think of me if I told them these things, I’m not worried about what is happening, or why it is happening. Or well, no that’s a lie, in fact, the sheer thought of the subject makes me shiver. Like I have no idea on what’s wrong with me because I know for a fact that this can’t be normal. Having strange dreams are one thing but seeing and hearing things when you’re completely awake is just strange and abnormal. I thankfully have an appointment at the doctor soon. Hopefully, they will listen to me so this can get fixed. I’m so worn down and I just feel more and more empty by the day. But it’s not like there’s anything new to this. Like as far back as I can remember I have been seeing shadow people - the thing that has changed now is that they are more threatening. Pushing in closer and closer, giving me a hard time breathing or even moving. I shake my head, to shake the bad memorise off. I try and turn my attention back to the class but now after this little “break” I had been on, I find myself so far behind in my notes that the only thing I can do is give up for today. I lean back into the wooden seat and look out the window. Like a typical Monday, it has started to get all grey and cloudy outside. I shrug and look back at the laptop. It is late winter, after all, the weather is bound to be a bit cold still. Not that I mind the cold, I enjoy cold weather and rain more than summer and sun - but like most people, I wouldn’t mind walking home with dry clothes. I try and turn my attention back to the class and the topic we’re having but I’m slowly getting an annoying headache. As if things couldn’t get any worse, I start to hear low whispers forming behind me. I hold back an annoyed sigh and try to ignore them this time around. At first, it would seem like they got the message and stopped whispering but it doesn’t last long. A manic laughter comes through and all hell breaks loose. Both of the female voices are now going at each other's throats and I’m just sitting here hoping no one hears or notices my distress. The voices grow meaner and more crude by the minute and all I can do is to sit and take it all in. “Just look at how stupid you are! You can’t even keep up with the others. What a waste of space! Hahaha” I hold both hands up to my ears in a desperate attempt to stop the yells but I what I get out of that is more stupid comments “Aww, look! She’s trying to stop us by covering up her ears! Poor little thing, can’t you tell that this is only in your head? Or are you really that incompetent?” I let out another low sigh and look around. My eyes land on the clock on the wall. It’s almost time for the break “ Thank god” I mumble to myself and bite my lip. I can deal with this noise for a little while longer, then I can go home and relax. I live fairly close to the school, so I always go home on breaks. Either to get food or just to get away from people and stress. I slowly start to pack up my things, not bothering to turn off the laptop completely. I take the last sip of the coffee there’s left, and I end up making a small face. It had gotten cold. While I try and get over the cold coffee, the voices are still going at it. They have just become more, robotic and static sounding - while getting louder and louder. But there is an upside to this, and that’s that when they’re done with this ‘stage’ they stop after a while. Like they can’t keep it up for too long, and then they need to rest - and that leaves me at peace, from sounds at least. The class finally ends and I collect my things in the bag and get up - I just want to get out of here. Get home to my apartment and just away from everything.

I end up not going to the last classes I had in school. I simply went online on the schedule and said that I had fallen ill. I just couldn’t deal with being over there for another 4 hours. I promised myself that I would go and take a look at the rapports I had. Like it would make up for not going to school somehow. Instead of making something to eat, I grab the electric kettle again and re-heat the water that’s in it. When it’s done I grab one of my many special themed mugs and pour the warm liquid in before I get the coffee mixture once more. When I had mixed the things together I head back upstairs. The place is still empty but my boyfriend should be back home in a couple of hours. I just have to kill the time until then. I start the computer - while I wait for her to start up completely, I take a sip of the much-needed coffee. Once the computer is ready, I head to Spotify as one of the first things. I turn on my speakers and put on some music. I turn it up a bit louder, just so I can really feel the drums and beat. At least with this, I know where the sounds are coming from. I lean back into my chair and starts checking different websites. I end up just staring at things on Pinterest for like an hour before I get up and walk over to the bed. I let myself fall into the soft but messy covers and just let out a deep breath. Before I even get to register it, I have fallen asleep.

I wake up to the sound of someone walking up the stairs. I can feel the panic rise for a couple of seconds till I see that it’s just the boyfriend that has come home. I sit up in the bed and greet him with a small smile. “How was your day then?” I ask him and we just chat a bit back and forth for a little while. He then walks over to his computer and presses the start button. He then turns around to look at me before he asks me “So how was your day?”. I look down a little before I answer “Well, boring. Nothing new there. Class sucked and I feel like I’m losing my mind. I can’t wait till I go to the doctor for that chat about all of this”. He simply nods and tells me that he hopes it will help me out too. It hasn’t been that long since he had been to the doctor himself. Different reasons of course, but all they could do for him was to give him vitamin pills since there wasn’t anything major wrong. We stop talking and I lay back down into the bed. I let out a sigh and try to concentrate on the fact there are only two more days till I can go see the doctor. I end up falling asleep once again. I wake up to Patrick asking me what we should make for dinner. I sit up and tries to think about what we have in the fridge and the freezer but my mind is just too foggy at the moment. I end up standing up a little to fast and I can feel my head spin. I quickly sit down on the bed again till the dizziness is gone. “I’ll go downstairs and check what we have, we might have to go shopping though” I then say while standing up again, this time a lot slower than before. I make my way downstairs to the kitchen. I check the fridge first. Nothing really in there so I check the freezer. There is some chicken in there but it won’t be able to get ready for dinner today anyway. I pull out the box of chicken and put it into the fridge. Then at least we have some meat for tomorrow. I walk back to the end of the stairs and yells to Patrick that we have to go shopping for some groceries. He yells back that he’ll be down in a couple of minutes. I just nod to myself and start to walk over to my shoes in the scullery. I pull on my jacket and my skull hand gloves. By the time I’m done getting ready for us to head out, he comes downstairs and does the same. We walk out the door and I quickly lock it behind us. We always bring a shopping bag with us when we go shopping, it’s just easier that way. After about five minutes of walking, we find ourselves at the front doors of the store. We head inside and quickly adds some bottles of ice tea to the bag. I don’t really drink water so we have to buy a couple of bottles once in a while - just so we have some in the house at all times. We walk down to the butchers place to find some meat for dinner. It doesn’t take us long before we find something that’s on sale. “This should go well with the rice we have and if we get some milk we can get some sauce on the side as well,” I say in a low voice. As we make our way out of the store, I get this chilling feeling of people speaking about me, which makes me look behind me. But since we are at the store this late, the only person there is the cashier. I shake my head and head out the store, hurrying after Patrick who had walked a bit ahead of me. I grab his free hand and we walk back home in peace - at least most of the way. I always get these visions of me getting run over by cars. Or them driving into my boyfriend right in front of me, without I can do anything about it. Most of the time I can shake the visions away after a while but some of them stay around for so long it’s unbearable. I can feel a small, warm tear rolling down the side of my cheek. I just let them run. I’m getting used to this feeling of just being useless to stop anything that it’s getting kind of a way of living. “But what a way to live…” I think to myself. We make it home and I let go of my boyfriend's hand. We empty the bag for the groceries we got and then we start preparing for dinner. It takes us around fifteen minutes until the meal is done and ready to eat. We head back upstairs with a plate each and sit down by the computers. I just turn on some random youtube video to watch while I eat but it doesn’t take me long before I’m full. I have eaten half of the small plate full of food I had gotten. I push the plate with the leftovers over to Patrick. He just gives me a look of “You should eat some more”. All I do is shake my head and turn my attention back to the screen. We sit by the computers for a couple of hours more before we both heads off to bed. But sadly like most days, once it becomes nighttime and it’s time to head to bed, I just can’t relax enough to fall asleep. After around thirty minutes of turning from side to side, I get up and walks downstairs. I check the front door when I walk past it to get to the bathroom. The door is locked. I let out a sigh of relief and walk into the bathroom. After I have done my business I wash my hands. I avoid looking into the mirror, not wanting a episode like this morning happening again. I dry my hands off and heads out the bathroom. When I pass the front door, I walk past it at first, but with my foot on the first step of the stairs I turn around and look out into the kitchen. I let out a small sigh and walk back to the front door. I check it once again and it’s still locked. I shake my head of my own stupidity and make my way back to the stairs slowly. I move the covers to the side once I get back up to the bed. I crawl back into the bed and pull the covers up over my head so that I am completely covered. I lay there for a while until it gets a little bit hard to breathe then I remove the covers from my face. I turn onto my right side and look at Patrick’s back. I kind of catch myself wanting to ask him if he’s sleeping or not, but I decide not to. I know he takes forever to fall asleep so it wouldn’t be nice to wake him up - at least not for that reason.

I turn over so that we’re back to back. I try and close my eyes but after a while it gets old. There’s just so many things running through my head. Things, like we could have someone break in and shoot us, comes into mind. I shake my head and think to myself “Stop being stupid” but it doesn’t really stop it. Instead, it plays like a small movie in my head. Masked men running up the stairs, yelling and screaming at us to get out of bed. Then when we don’t react at once, they start shooting. I really have no idea where all of this comes from. Must be movies or something because where I live it’s not normal to have guns. I pull my knees up so they touch my chest “I don’t think I can go to school tomorrow…this is just one big, messy bad circle” I reach out for my phone and check the time. The white digital clock stares back at me “00:40” It doesn’t even surprise me anymore. I normally falls asleep around four or five. “Just two more days, then you can go see the doctor” I whisper to myself. “Just two more days till you get some real things to hold onto through all this. You can do this…. You have to…”


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