Insanity is Inconvenient

R.K. Belford
Human Parts
Published in
4 min readAug 31, 2015

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There is this impression which ‘normal’ people have that insanity is somehow the result of personal deficiency. As if somehow having your shit together can prevent mental decrepitude from sneaking up on you. That having money or friends or a good family will offer some sort of protective barrier.

It certainly seems that way, right? Because the really crazy people you know are separated from family. They’re destitute. They’re those lunatics on the street, mumbling under their breath and yelling at no-one and everyone.

It doesn’t always occur to the normals that many of ‘those people’ might have had some or all of those things. It’s simply that insanity pushes them all away. It rejects them and whisks you away to be discarded.

It is really hard to form connections with people when you are mentally ill. Doing that requires opening up. Not just opening up and revealing who you are inside (which in itself is terrifying), but opening yourself to damage from the outside. Because other people are dangerous (feel dangerous); even if that isn’t their intention. When you are mentally ill, your wrongbrain tries to steer how those interactions unfold. It sabotages. It distracts. It exhausts.

About a year ago I started feeling things that weren’t there. Burning sensations. Popping sensations. Vibrations, numbness, and even feeling moisture on my leg when I could clearly see that there wasn’t anything there.

I was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, caused by my pre-diabetes. Unfortunate, but normal. Completely normal to feel things that aren’t there.

I’ve also been having auditory hallucinations. This isn’t new. I’ve had them to some degree on-and-off since I was a child and it’s probably why I was originally thought to have ADD (before finally receiving a bipolar diagnosis in my 30s). I could sit for hours, staring off into space. I remember performing really well on tests (at the gifted level), but struggling the entire time to focus as I pushed the sounds and images out of my head.

Hearing sounds that aren’t there means you’re crazy. It’s not normal to hear things that aren’t there.

Wshhhhh shhhhhhhh whisper shhhhh wuhhhhh shhhhh

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R.K. Belford
Human Parts

Actor, author, poet, pest. I write about disability advocacy, mental health & my messy childhood for Human Parts/Disability Stories/Endless Magazine/Multi Love