What does it feel like to be rained on?
I’ll tell you.
Rain hurts. Rain burns my skin. Rain scars. Rain burns the scars until they are not scars anymore. Burns them until they’re not anything anymore. Just little gnarled nubs of what was once there. And then the rain burns the little nubs away. And then there’s supposed to be nothing left. I’m supposed to be gone.
But I’m still here. I have no body, and yet my imagination is still here. My imagination is still standing, with its two feet, on this hill. The grass on this hill is green, I see it. But when I wave my imaginary hand in front of my imaginary eyes to see if I am real, I only see grass. Green grass. Why didn’t the rain burn the grass? Why is the grass still green? Why is the grass still living and thriving, and I am…
Not? Not alive? Not here? Not aware?
No. I am aware. I am aware of this hell. I am aware of my invisible skeleton that is still alive, even though no one sees it. I don’t even see it. But I feel it. I feel me. And that means I’m real. Even if nobody else knows it.
Neesa Suncheuri works as a mental health peer specialist at a housing agency in Queens, New York. She is the founder of a Facebook discussion group for peer specialists and other recovery enthusiasts, entitled “What is Wellness? A Mental Health Discussion Group.” Much of her creative inspiration is rooted in her now-tamed schizophrenia. She is a singer/songwriter, and performs in various venues in the city. She writes poetry, maintains a blog and is currently working on a memoir. Follow her on Twitter at @aquariumspeaks.