I had a dream that Colin Meloy sang over and over in a folk-like melody, Travel is an Open Heart. But I wasn't dreaming. Man clearing his throat. Little boy asking questions about grilled cheese. Aliens and other torn paged dimensions. In stressful times you have to say "May I!... May I raspy, May I," followed by "You're Shit Anna! Fat fuck." And so, the insults of rage continue. But, luckily today the mean voices decided not to come out and play.

I hear and or see things daily. In the corners my imaginary friend Nancy awaits while Harold sulks, pacing back and forth. The feeling of someone hairy touching me - rubbing my back, rubbing my arms - looking me over me as I write these words down.

I'm 31 and all this manifested from whispers of my name whilst sitting in front of my art locker in high school. Whispers of Anna, Anna. Back then I was 16, and maybe all this started when I was younger. A time when I would obsessively ask myself, why aren't I a squirrel? Self awareness, self existence seems to always dance in my head from time to time.

At 20 I was diagnosed with Psychosis than Schizophrenia, then at 21 I was diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder. The verdict rests it's case. At the time it destroyed me, the label, the stigma, the fact that I have to go into hiding under bunkers of superficial bullshit because of it. It took me two weeks to even look at myself and not think crazy psychopath killer; all the things that come with being mentally ill (but really it's not an illness it's a condition).

You would think after more than a decade I'd have a handle on all these things, but I don't. I struggle everyday. Repetitious actions keep me here in the moment. Exercise, as corny as it sounds, "exercises the demons." But in all seriousness, it gives a great breather; a vacation from my racing thoughts and voices. My daily meds are no longer lethal and debilitating as they once were. They're mostly vitamins and vital supplements like Niacin and fish oil, and of course there is the occasional setback of Xanax taken for emergency purposes - when change and stressful times are overbearing, breathing down on me and closing in on me. That's why it's very important to have a schedule, a set schedule. I would say that it's very difficult to embrace change.

This is who I am and  it'll always be a part of me till I die. I accept this and no longer fear what comes with it - just the misunderstanding and the stigma that some people have about it. Making mountains out of a molehill, I mean come on it's not a huge deal everyone struggles in their own way.

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