The Lively Bunch

It started one day in my junior year of high school. I remember it quite vividly actually. I can’t recall any particularly troubling circumstances surrounding this instance. It just kind of happened…

I was walking down the stairs of my school campus when I heard, “She is walking down the gray steps.” The voice didn’t really scare me or startle me. Throughout the day, this voice narrated my life, from large actions to small details. Everything was being narrated.

I spoke with my then school psychologist. He didn’t seem to be too surprised at all by it. He suggested that I write everything down like a story. Maybe by doing that, the voice would disappear.

The writing didn’t help for too long. As a matter of fact, the voice grew louder and more incessant. It wasn’t a bad voice, though. It continued on, describing the minute details in my everyday life. The voice was rather genius in weaving words together and illustrating even the dullest parts. Here, at this moment, I picked up a Creative Writing class and allowed my voice to run itself tired through sheets of blank paper. Poetry became a safe outlet for my voice and I. So, I didn’t mind it sticking around.

Two years of this went on. I paid little attention to it. After a while, my mood began to decline and I slipped into a crippling depression.

This is the part I’ve never talked about. I’ve never written this down. I hate talking aloud about it and I hate even thinking about it. However, it’s important to me now that I muster up the courage to do it.

My freshman year of college, he arrived.


Morris is a terrifying, haunting, demented and cruel voice. He is so awful, in fact that my mental health had declined rapidly from late 2010 to early 2011. My alcohol and drug dependency sky-rocketed, ending in suicide attempt, a 5150 hold, and 30 pounds lost off of my body in 4 months. That wasn’t weight I could afford to lose!

The majority of the time, he speaks directly to me, affirming my non-existent self-worth. On other times, I can hear him laughing to the others. His laugh alone makes me shake. Even Allie, my sweet southern-belle, could do nothing but stand in the umbrage of my mind, too afraid to stop Morris from intruding. When he arrives, I can do nothing about it.

For quite some time after that, it was the first voice, Morris, and Allie. The first voice is for the most part always with me. There’s nothing really associated with it besides basic narration and the occasional sad whimpers. Morris, thankfully, infrequently visits. When he does happen to arrive, I feel it hard to hold on to myself. Allie is with me always. Whether she is slightly perceivable or effusively social, she’s there.

There are about 3 other voices that chatter now, nearly everyday. Two male voices and a female voice. On a bad day, everything is targeted at me. “Look at you…what are you doing here…they don’t believe you…they don’t want you…don’t walk over there…don’t speak to that person…” On a good day, they are mostly limited to back and forth banter amongst themselves, like a loony cocktail party.

One of the male voices is becoming (what I like to call) a primary. He is slowly becoming more prominent in my day-to-day actions. I haven’t learned his name yet. When I do, I’ll let you know!

Over this past year, the voices have become unavoidable and extremely distracting. Work has become a challenge for me, though I am managing through it quite excellently.

Therapy is in my near future

I do wish we could chat longer, but I’m having an old friend for dinner.

-Sylvia’s Junkie


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