The thing about paranoia is: it’s sneaky, because what you fear is not really impossible, but it is never certain either.

It’s doubt, slithering under your skin, coiling around your stomach, overburdening your restless mind, speeding up your heart – for the wrong reasons.

It’s a loop of questions, a fidgety stream of words, a fretful search for evidence, for proof of being right or wrong, for potential.

It clouds your judgement, it distorts your judgement, it causes prejudgment.

It’s an assumption, but your life revolves around it with actions, feelings and thoughts strong enough to make the nightmare come true. It’s just an assumption, but it becomes your reality. You start elaborating grief, when no death has occurred, you start accepting the change, when the change has never come to happen, you plan your future on a present that never was.

And there goes the additional disquiet that you cannot trust your mind. Are you imagining things? Are you the obsessive nutjob? Or is it your instincts talking to you? Are you the only one seeing this? Does nobody else know hot to handle these things? Is it happening to me? Is it? IS IT?

You know, deep inside, that perception is telling you something is missing, that you may not be right, that you may have dreamt it all up, that you shouldn’t freak out over things before they happen. Because you know, they haven’t happened yet. Because if they had, there would be facts. Not doubts, not sensations, not hunches, facts. In all their unleashed ugliness. But your fear is no more than sweet anticipation.

Your fear is a cover up. Your obsession is not what you fear, your obsession is an excuse, it’s so evident and undeniable that every soul in the world would grant you pity and recognise your difficulty.

But the issue is subtler. It’s tiny, it’s ridicule, it’s inappropriate, it’s shameful, it’s unacceptable. It’s human. Yet we can’t possibly face something as harmless as human weakness, so we hide behind the inhumane. We imagine ourselves victims of the highest crimes to justify our petty suffering. We deprive ourselves of the joy of life and confirm our necessity of punishment, of atonement.

And we hope, sometimes, that our haunting fears would come true already, so we could stop once and for all to hurt ourselves and let others do it, while we try to finally love and protect our own.