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Playing devil’s advocate with my mind


On a whim, the human race is subjected to external forces and situations. Emotional intelligence fails to intervene when it is most needed—worry and fear are unavoidable in the majority of us. Do the tiny little voices in your head frequently overwhelm and discourage you? Do you feel compelled to believe and succumb to those voices that tell you, “This is impossible” or “You should give up”? These voices are often louder when you’re stuck in a rut and don’t know what to do, or when you’re basking in the warmth of silence. 

The devil is a cunning beast who knows what pricks us and where to strike.

Some days are worse than others, pushing us against our boundaries. Does that mean we are giving the enemy all the power? In a society that advocates being perfect, it is far from acceptable to have flaws. If perfection lies in the eyes of the beholder, does any of this make me any less of a person? 

I’m curious as to what constitutes normalcy; in my head, I hear voices that tell me what, when and how to do things. Reality is hazy, and my mind can be either a living hell or a pathway to heaven. Whose body is it when I put my hands out in front of me? Then, something clicks.

When I tell others, they give me this encouraging yet pitying smile. Is it true that you don’t have any? Not even the one that says you should be happy and normal? I notice emotions and colors that others do not notice. My surroundings’ fluidity and movement perplex and befuddles me.

Everything is so overwhelming that one part of the voice screams in an increasing crescendo, while another part speaks quietly in a high resonating voice. Everyone is looking at you with a smile on their face once more. My heart rate has increased. The screams are turning into screeches and the whispers into ghostly whispers. I try to tell it to stop, but it won’t listen. I’m unable to move. I am a schizophrenic. Society rejects me, and I retreat into my shell.

When I first learned about schizophrenia, I thought it was really cool. After that, I watched a video. Have you ever seen someone whose eyes were filled with terror and confusion? Mumbling and swaying back and forth. Everything contains poison. You. Are. Useless.

Agitation and paranoia become second nature. You are the only one who can meet and see your friends. A cat scratches and claws you, leaving bloodied claw marks in your mind. “You must pay attention,” it says. You’re not sure what to think, so you follow it, but the dog is now barking. Then there was that adolescent girl. It’s all a bit too much. Confusion overwhelms you.

Different people say various things. I’m in the middle of a six-pointed star, surrounded by candles. My parents are crying and holding each other as a priest stands at the front. The priest begins chanting louder and louder, while the Enemy continues to screech in my head.

They don’t see what I see, and I’m becoming increasingly nervous. I cover my ears with my hands and rock back and forth. Why isn’t it stopping when I bang my head on the table? My senses of smell and hearing are both overwhelmed. My head is spinning from all of the colors and shapes. When I smash the mirror, the shards stare back at me like demented demons, telling me what to do and who I am. They scream, “you are worthless” and I have never been more scared. 

And, indeed! I’ve never been more terrified. This is the viewpoint of someone who does not have schizophrenia, and it makes me nervous just hearing about it. The more I learned about it, the more horrified I became. People who hear voices in their heads are mocked by the media; they don’t understand. Try being afraid of something, and it follows me everywhere I go, even to the deepest recesses of my mind. It criticizes me, and I am no longer in command of what I know. It compels and drives me insane.

Everything closes in on me as I am forced from one reality to the next.

I try to resist, but it’s like playing devil’s advocate with my mind.

It is always a battle between and within these voices. I’ve realized that most of the time, what keeps us from completing a task is that we end up listening to these voices and allowing them to make decisions for us. We miss out on what life has to offer and what we’re meant to be doing this way.

It is critical to recognize that life does not always go as planned. There are times when our relationships, academics, and careers take an unexpected turn. But that doesn’t mean we should give up because being the devil’s advocate would be a win for him. We must not allow these voices to prevent us from achieving our dreams and goals. Instead, we should treat them as guides and friends who keep us grounded when our goals become irrational, rather than as enemies who stop us on our way.

But never be the devil’s advocate to those voices in your head. Do not let them consume you and do not believe them. The Devil doesn’t need any more advocates.

Trust me, he’s fine.

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