If you’re one of the myriad auditory hallucinations that plague me day and night, you know these things all too well.

1. I’ll do anything you say.

Every voice in my head knows that manipulating me is pretty much a no-brainer. Regardless of what I know to be true, my grip on reality can be lost at the drop of a hat, leaving me wandering the cul-de-sac at dawn and brandishing a knife without even knowing why I’m not wearing clothes.

2. No one will ever know where you came from.

Even the world’s foremost psychiatrists can’t pinpoint the exact causes of my deteriorating mental state. You, however, are well versed in both the genetic and environmental factors that prevent me from forming even a single meaningful connection with another person. No matter how much I beg and plead, there’s no way you’re spilling the beans.

3. You make keeping a job impossible.

Despite how desperately I try to hold down any form of employment, you know there ain’t no way that’s happening—not when every waking hour is a living nightmare!

4. My body is a feeble, pathetic vessel.

This is a fact all mental demons of mine eventually come to accept. My weak arms and chronic asthma make my body less than ideal for breaking windows and scaling fences, but my delusions know better than anyone that sometimes you just have to do the best with what you’ve got.

5. My therapist is just. The. Worst.

If you’re the guttural, inhuman voice that beckons me down into the sewer every night to prevent the moon from discovering our secrets, your feelings about Dr. Cynthia Wong are crystal clear—she’s the absolute worst!

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6. David was getting too close, and that’s why he had to die.

Not a single one of you would grant me a mere moment of peace until I carried out your will and choked my best friend to death with a dog leash. No true manifestation of my volatile psychosis could have tolerated his incessant interventions any longer. Miss you, buddy!

7. You are me, and I am You.

You are me, and I am You. You are me, and I am You. You are me, and I

8. You will stop at nothing to win this holy war.

You’re in it to win it, and nothing short of comprehensive, affordable mental health care is going to prevent you from seeing this world reborn in fire.

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