I’m sat bolt upright in bed. I have no idea what time it is but it’s very dark in here. Voices are circling my head whispering things that I can’t fully understand, I’m trying to listen to them for some clues as to how to make them go away but they all keep talking at once so I can’t make out a single thing.
Like I said, it’s pretty dark in here.
There are definitely several distinct different voices, none of which I recognise, except maybe occasionally my mum is in there. She always was a bit over protective.
Because they are all talking at once I can’t focus on them. They also seem to change the subject as I try to concentrate on them, which isn‘t very helpful. The closest thing I can liken it to is when you’re on a mobile phone with bad reception and a broken speaker bit, except I’m on six or seven, and mine are imaginary.
I become aware that I have something between my teeth right at the back of my mouth. It’s small and hard. It’s spherical, I figure it must be a ball bearing. I’m just wondering, how did that get in there? Then it starts to grow, really slowly. It’s pushing my jaw open from the inside. I’m really panicking now…
My thoughts are swirling uncontrollably and incomprehensibly, I want to scream but unhelpfully I’m paralysed by fear. Besides, what would I tell anyone who came to my rescue?
It gets to the size of one of those big marbles and it suddenly dawns on me that this is a hallucination, it can’t possibly be real. I just need to prove it’s not real to my brain and it’ll go away. I bite down as hard as I can, in the mistaken belief that my teeth will pass through the non-existent magical growing ball bearing.
Now I scream.
It feels exactly like I’ve bitten down on a solid metal object, and my teeth never touched each other. The unexpected pain is like my teeth exploding. All I can think is, that was nothing like the hallucinations people have in films, in films you can‘t feel hallucinations. Fortunately for some reason the imaginary ball bearing has disappeared.
I suppose I better explain how I got here. Alcohol. Except while all this is happening I’m stone cold sober. The problem is that it’s the first night of sobriety in about a year and apparently my brain isn’t very happy about it. According to the doctor I’m currently experiencing hallucinations caused by classic alcohol withdrawal.
As weird as it sounds, this is exactly how my evening played out.
I’m still reeling from the pain in my mouth, writhing about on the bed like someone whose been kicked in the unmentionables, when the bedroom door opens and my ex-girlfriend walks in all drunk.
As you can imagine this really isn’t a good time, I’m not exactly equipped to deal with her right now.
She stumbles awkwardly across the room towards me slurring some story about being at a BBQ nearby and popping over on the way home, although I can’t be sure because it‘s hard to understand her between all the other voices I‘m hearing.
I try to pull myself together long enough to kick her out the room and give my housemates a lecture about letting her in - it’s a long story. But she sits astride me and starts to flirtatiously stroke my chest. Her touch intensifies the voices in my head and their circling becomes dizzyingly fast. I feel drunk with sensory overload. But I’m sober.
She starts to unbutton my trousers, apparently undeterred by the panic and confusion that must be written all over my face. This is too much, I’m not having regrettable sex with the ex, especially in the middle of a psychotic episode. I freak out and try to push her onto the floor. Except my hand flies right through her and she disappears.
Before I’ve had time to fully digest what just happened a man leans through the window, which is closed, and puts a selection of ginormous carrots on the bed. An impressively large one about the size of a television catches my eye and I start to barter with him, before suddenly realising that I just hallucinated my ex-girlfriend so perhaps this night-time mutant carrot seller is also a figment of my apparently insane imagination.
Instant panic. I throw my head into my duvet and scream as loud as I can to block out all the voices. I scream and scream until it seems too ridiculous to continue.
I slowly emerged from my duvet cocoon nervously surveying my room. Everything was normal. The voices and hallucinations were gone. Also thankfully none of my housemates have heard me, they already think I’m a bit of a freak what with all the drugs I‘ve taken in the last year.
Relieved that my brief brush with insanity was only temporary I lay back and try to sleep. Then I notice that my mouth feels a bit weird, almost like there is something between my back teeth… oh fuck.