In My Head


Plain white walls, a single bed pushed by the corner,
Cries and screams of the residents, hide in the bricks and mortar.
The putrid smell of anti psychotics fill my nostrils,
As I sit by my bed, stabbing myself with my nails.

Every day I sit there rocking back and forth,
More often than never, I question my worth!
Those big men in white bind me in a white piece of rug,
Which makes it look like I have myself wrapped in a hug!

All I can hear around me, is a buzzing of conversation,
As I lie in my bed, heaving under the weight of heavy sedation.
The ever-present paranoia fills me with feelings of dread,
From the scenarios I conjure up in my head.

I close my eyes, and this world ceases to exist,
I’m teleported to an alternate universe, even if I resist.
I think I hear the opening of a door,
Maybe I should get up and go explore!

I walk toward the creaking sound,
Silently, I observe my surroundings as I look around.
I open the door and see myself standing on a podium,
In the midst of an overly-filled stadium.

Wait, I think I’m the next President of the country,
And here I thought I was just an anti psychotics junkie!
Delivering a speech and taking the holy pledge,
I’ve started the long journey walking on a sleek ledge!

Here, in this alternate world, what I say is heard,
People like me and trust my every word.
Oh! This world is so much better than where I come from,
Where I’m kept in confinement like a disgusting worm!

The scene blurs and shifts,
It’s been long since I’ve been seeing past the rifts.
The rifts between fiction and fantasy,
I have trouble comprehending and defining reality!

I walk further and further to reach some place,
When I finally meet a familiar face!
But, how is it possible? She has been long dead,
I think I just made her up in my head.

No matter how hard I try to escape,
My brain just seems to escalate.
I can feel the panic creeping on me and taking over,
As I struggle to maintain my silent composure.

I turn around and see a number of faces I’ve met in my life,
Some friendly and some just plain vile!
‘Freak!’ ‘Retard!’, their chanting merge and pierce my ears,
So shrill, I’m almost reduced to tears!

These voices are killing me slow with the words they spoke,
All my rationality is being stripped and flying away as smoke!
I can hear them calling out my name,
But I keep my head bowed in shame!

I cover my ears and fall to the ground, screaming!
As I wake up to hands prodding me, I realise I was hallucinating!
No! It’s okay! I’m not crazy!
Just the world around me, is a little hazy.

I open my eyes and see those men in white,
Obstructing my blurry sight.
Syringes in their hands they hold me down,
As I struggle against their grip, in my sheet-y hospital gown.

They inject me with those despicable anti psychotics,
The medicinal substitutes for sleep inducing narcotics.
When my eyes shut in my defence, all I see is red,
Oh! I need some refuge from these voices in my head!

I see my baby sister again,
But it’s just a trick played by my brain!
“No! No! It can’t possibly be real!” I cried!
I know this because I was there when she died!

“But still, you didn’t bother saving me, did you?” She asked.
The sharp point of the knife she held, flashed!
“I’m sorry!” I kept repeating like a broken record,
Choking back tears on every second word!

I can see her coming at me wielding a knife, 
Maybe that’s the end of my life.
But when I blink, I’m back to lying on my bed,
And I think I just made this up in my head.

I don’t really think I know myself anymore,
Is there someone who can tell me who I was before?
Before I had to be chained to my bed!
Before these voices started partying in my head.

As I lay staring at the white ceiling,
I feel myself reeling.
Before I know it, I’m thrashing around,
With a resounding scream, I fall to the ground.

Someone stop the fire that’s consuming me!
Someone please help and set me free!
Strong hands grip me tight,
As I regain my sight!

When the sun goes down, we all get lonely and sad,
When you hallucinate outside your dreams, you know it’s bad!
Will these voices and urges go away, if my mind is dead?
Or will they remain tattooed inside my head?

Again, my eyes droop, and I feel myself being pulled
These voices beg me to let go & I wonder if I should!
Slowly, you can watch me as I disappear!
Everything is a buzzing, incoherent hum that I hear!

And just like that, I see the end of my ledge,
I have travelled far, and ended up at the edge.
One step, and I’ll be gone off the rails,
To the point of no return, leaving no trails!

It’s as if I’m at two places, at one time,
One, where I’m confined. The other, where my darkest desires hide.
One foot here, and the other in the alternate dimension,
Leading to the disproportionate division of my attention.

I can feel the cool metal of the cuffs chaining me to the bed,
I can also feel my heart beating when I stand at the ledge!
I can feel the docs wheeling me for shock therapy from my cell,
I can also hear the remote sound of ringing bells.

Beyond the ledge, I see the faces of all those I’ve ever lost,
I can be reunited with them! But at what cost?
Am I ready to take the final leap?
Am I ready to fall this deep?

Before I could finally decide what needs to be done,
If I really wish to be reunited with everyone!
A shock jolts through my entire frame,
It’s as if I’m ignited by a flame!

The pain of the shocks is too hard to bear,
My body, to the mere touch sears!
The walls reverberate with my ear-splitting screams,
Shattering the world I conjured up in my dreams!

All of a sudden, there is silence all around,
The flat beeping of the ECT machine is the only sound!
Oh! It looks like I’m brain dead,
Maybe, now I can escape those voices in my head!

As my eyelids drop, so does the curtain on this world,
A brand new world, in front of me unfurl.
This world you live in, drops dead,
I think I just entered an alternate universe in my head.

I can still hear the voices, but they are fading,
Until they are nothing but a piece of merged muttering!
I can see the white light that promises peace,
Maybe, now, my suffering will decrease!

I walk closer to that bright white light,
Which now seems to blind my sight!
Just when I’m about to enter, I feel a barrier
Was I not assigned a soul carrier?

Oh! It’s just another one of my mind’s trickery
My suffering is tied in a never ending loop of misery!
Those voices softer now, revolve around me in a block,
When my senses return, I realise, the beeping was just my alarm clock!

Shreya Vijay


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