When You're Dead

Shadows. Dark memories that still hurt. Paranoia. Terrifying faces and figures that haunt me. No sleep.

A waking nightmare isn’t something many have to live through — and I don’t mean the everyday troubles people often find themselves in. I am speaking of the dreadful uncanny. The shrouded figures that watch your every move and lurk in every dark corner. Down every dark hallway. The feeling of dread that something bad is going to happen, but you aren’t quite sure what it is. And then your body becomes so worn that your eyes feel heavy, and you begin to give up because light doesn’t exist anymore.

And then you consider joining the shadows, if there is anything after that final decision.

I speak about this when I can. I try to use my own waking nightmares as a talking point — as proof — that there are people like me who exist. Who want to be heard and may not have access to the mediums I do. I speak loudly and clearly.

I’ve lost friends because of this darkness. I’ve often been told I’m too much, or that my past is too dark to confront. My truths are too much or too controversial for any bookshelf. Yet, I have to live this truth. And I know others do as well. And I try so hard to turn this darkness into something meaningful. Into a sign that others are not alone. That we exist and this world needs to understand how to help us.

But this is not a truth many want to hear. People like me are often ignored because our truths are too strange. We’re locked behind a door in a psych ward until we find a brief calm, and then we’re returned to face the darkness on our own — only to be expected back again.

The problem is that no one wants to confront the problem. No one wants to learn how to help rather than sweep it under the rug. And I’m not a celebrity. Our struggles don’t matter unless we are a star. And the stars will not speak for us, yet they get sympathy. When the nobodies speak, suddenly no one wants to deal with it because we’re still in the pit and can’t get out. We don’t have a shining success story draped in diamonds, cash, and fame. We aren’t sexy enough to sell.

I have been told by medical professionals that I am too much. That I’m going to do myself in one day no matter what they do.

And society won’t care unless you’re dead.

©2020 Shane Blackheart


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