The Looks & Stares

I’m walking into town just like any other day I have done a hundred times before. I took the scenic route from my house walking down the pleasant road to get to the high Street. I reach the end and as I turn the corner into it, a man looks at me strangely as he passes by. It’s the expression on his face that bothers me but I decide to just shake it off.

I continue on to the shopping centre; I am treating myself to a manicure today where I’ve been going for some quite time now. Heading towards it and thinking of my French manicure, I suddenly noticed that around me there are more than one person this time that is staring at me, to my left, to my right. I’m receiving a few odd looks from men and women too. It’s really peculiar. I decide to head to the toilets to check myself in the mirror. Maybe something is stuck to my face.

I inspect my face, nothing out of ordinary there. I look at my back and my front in the full length mirror, I look fine, unless I’m going blind. I just don’t understand the looks I am getting, so again, I shake it off. The Beautician is several shops from the toilets so I’m hoping this bizarre staring stops. I’m not even 50 yards from the toilets and this time a young kid is looking at me rather fearfully and hides behind his mother’s coat. I look up, she also has the same look and she cradles her son in closer to her. I decide to put my head down as i walk and look at the floor as this is really getting to me now.

With relief I reach the manicure parlour. But where’s Suzie who’s supposed to be doing my nails? The girl behind the desk, none to pleased with me, informs me that “time is money” and my appointment was 3 days ago. She tells me to call when Suzie’s in on Wednesday as she won’t give me another appointment. I leave the shop even more confused. How could I get the days so wrong, it’s not like me. I know my memory is not the best but still.

Once more, as on cue, I get the strange looks all the way home. I try and keep my eyes averted from meetings others gaze but I still see the looks. I get back home and decide to call my mum. After telling her all that’s happened today, she gives me no reason about my experiences, but instead tells me to go to see my Doctor. My Dr?, like he’s going to be able to do anything. I love and respect my mum so just to keep her happy I do as she asked. I’ve an appointment the next day and decide that I won’t sleep in case I miss it like the manicurists.

I’m sitting in the surgery and again the others waiting keep looking at me. I can’t take this anymore and just before I’m about to snap at them, Dr. Watts calls me in. “What?” I shout at him, he’s doing it too. “Amy” he asks me, “have you been taking your medication?” I reply no because I was better and didn’t need them anymore. The Doctor goes on to say that my mother called him this morning and told him about what happened yesterday. Great, now people are talking about me now as well. He hands me a prescription and tells me to come back in a fortnight. I tell him fine and walk out.

2 weeks later I am back in Dr Watts’s surgery. No one looked at me funny on the way here. The people in the waiting room give me no sideways glances or stares, and I am relieved. I go in to see him and after my consultation, I understand. The psychosis had started to come back and my mental health had deteriorated. The tablets he gave me made all the looks and stares go away; I really should carry on taking them even when I feel better in myself.

The thing I hate the most about mental illness is that when you become unwell you don’t realise it. It’s strange how it works. When you have a cold – you know you have a cold. But when your mind starts getting ill, you are unable to notice it, at all. But, others around you do. So, I’m just glad I called my mum that day and saw Dr. Watts. If I hadn’t of, within a week, I’d have been committed.


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Self Prompted: ‘Everyone is staring at you, why?’

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