Laying in bed... that's how it all started.
As I lay there that night, I felt my body stretching. I began to freak out, thinking I had the power to will my body to be a different shape and size.
It was late that night, around ten pm, and I quickly got off my bed, gazing ahead of me at a mirror.
I saw something that totally terrified me.
My neck... it was stretching. I screamed as I looked in the mirror, quickly touching my neck to feel it felt normal.
But my eyes... they were seeing something that wasn't there.
I turned away from the mirror, and quickly lay back down in my bed.
At that time I slept upstairs in the converted attic to bedroom with my little sister. She slept on the opposite side to me, and we'd often talk at night to each other, being separated by a wall that jutted out between both our beds.
To be honest, the attic bedroom was not the best place to be at that moment and time.
It was often dim, and had only one window that let in light.
As I lay on my bed, breathing in and out panicky, I heard his voice.
I froze when I heard that deep voice enter my head, and I swallowed.
I asked, frightened, "...God?"
"It is me."
A normal person would freak out at such a moment, but I... I just dived right into it.
"What do you want? Am I going to die?"
The deep voice laughed at me, and I felt a rush of exhilaration.
Here I was, talking to a voice that seemed to have a life of its own, coming into my head and proclaiming to be God.
At that time, I believed in a God, but not Jesus or the Christian God, Yahweh.
The voice kept me up most that night, but in the morning I was no better.
I think it was that weekend, when I first heard the voices of two teenagers that claimed they had died, and had reincarnated into me, to live their lives together, through my consciousness.
Speaking about it now, makes me realize how gone I was in madness.
The boy's name was Zack, and the girl's, Melanie.
Melanie had told me that she had been a popular girl at school in the nineties, and Zack was seen as a loner. They had died together in a car crash, brought on by her jealous boyfriend.
I was entranced and amazed at their story, and how they were talking to me so effortlessly.
It truly felt like they were there. That all they spoke of was real, and that I was in an amazing reality with these new friends, and their stories I would never get bored with.
My brother was in university at the time, and that day my mum and dad brought me to his campus house.
I was off in my own world though, and climbed a wall, balancing on it like it was some sort of tightrope.
I remember Melanie and Zack talking to me and telling me what to do all that time, and without much resistance, I did as they asked.
I even let them talk through me, as I believed that they were going to be within me for the rest of my life.
They seemed cool and intriguing, whereas reality for me normally felt dull and uninteresting.
When I went back to school that following Monday, my concentration had completely disappeared.
Instead, I was left with a sudden onslaught of paranoia.
I believed, that I could read people's thoughts. Whether on purpose, of by just looking at them.
My crush at the time was sitting a few desks ahead of me, and as I gazed at his turned head, I could hear his voice say in my head.
"I love her,"
Normally I would've been thrilled to hear this, but the twist was my mind was telling me he was directing that at the teacher.
I looked ahead of me to my English teacher and heard her think back to him.
"I'll see you soon."
My mind was concocting its own bizarre reality, and was telling me as if it was truth that the two of them were part of a secret underground cult for good looking people.
I remember hearing my crush's thoughts say, "Should we invite, you know who?"
I turned my eyes back up at the teacher, but before my mind could make up her answer, the bell rang.
Everything at that time felt like a blur. Different voices would come and go. Many morphed themselves into newer voices and even more maddening delusions I mistook for real.
Sometimes when I was scared, at that age I would sleep in my parents' bed for safety, at least for the feeling of safety.
As I lay there in the morning, I saw my mum's face opposite me, and in that second, I swore her face started to morph into my crush's.
As she spoke to me, all I could hear was his voice.
I went about my day, trying to make sense of this new strange world I lived in. I didn't know at that time, but I was slowly starting to go down the rabbit hole of complete insanity.
At that time I had still a little control over my body and movements, and my beliefs weren't totally out there... but as the years went on from me, I would find that my mind invented more and more new universal realities to get me stuck in and away from the real world.
The ecstasy and mania I felt every time a breakdown happened, brought me right into the madness like some sort of super drug.
Some of the breakdowns and mania would last for months, others just for weeks. But as soon as the match had been lit, there was very little I could do at the time to blow it out.
Just like a stick of dynamite being lit at its string, it would end with my life being blown way out of reality... leaving each time me having to pick up the scraps and start again.
But this time, at age sixteen, I was already willingly falling deeper and deeper into the oblivion of all my common sense and rationality.
I was a girl on a high, and every high brings and an even harder landing.
It would be in a few weeks, my first stay at a mental ward.
But far... from my last...