NOTEBOOK: The Voices
The voices are telling me to shut up. They say I talk too much. They say I’ve said too much already. Recently both my doctor and my psychologist told me I was doing fine, and I felt pretty decent at the time, but almost immediately I felt the familiar noise in my head return, the screaming, the abuse, the criticism. The voices hate that I wrote a book about them. They love that the book got rejected. They say it serves me right. You shouldn’t talk about these things. They’re private. They’re subject to non-disclosure agreements. Commercial-in-confidence.
This is why I’ve not been here. Why I’m not writing. I go to do some writing, and immediately a voice speaks up, and I’m plagued with self-consciousness. This hyper-acute sense that I never stop talking about myself, that I’m the most conceited man in Australia, that I need to shut up or find something else to write about. I’m full of embarrassment. I have a powerful urge to delete everything. I won’t, because there is a part of me that believes there is something good there, but at the moment the noise in my head is what’s keeping me from even looking at the manuscript to do the needed rewrites.
I know the voices are lying to me. I know not to pay attention to them, to disregard them. To regard them the way you’d regard the TV in a doctor’s waiting room—face away from it, ignore anything you hear, concentrate on a book, etc. I know the drill. I’ve been through this routine many times, and I’m good at it. It’s how I got this far. You ignore the voices. You can’t make them go away. They are hardwired into the physical structure of the brain. They are there for keeps. You have to find a way to coexist with them, and you do that by tuning them out the way you you tune out the background noise of a radio playing somewhere nearby.
This is me sneaking out after curfew. I’m typing very quietly, as if by torchlight, under the bedcovers. I can’t promise I’ll be back here as often as I’d like. As we speak, my weight has entered the 110 kg range, which means I have lost almost exactly 55kg, and have only 10 kg to go. My head is extremely messed up about this. The brain capacity lately that would have gone into writing has gone into thinking about weight-loss. Seriously. I am ALL-ABOUT weight-loss at the moment. My day revolves around the midday weigh-in.
And, hissing away in the background, always, always, the voices yelling and screaming at me, hurling their abuse, telling me I’ve said too much, that nobody wants to read my writing, that I should burn it all, burn it all now, right now, while the urge is fresh in my mind.
I’m not going to burn it, even if just to spite the bastards.