I occasionally hallucinate, particularly when there’s serious stress going on. Nothing disturbing, I don’t have voices telling me to do unspeakable things to the animals, nor do I see visions that cause car accidents. I do hear things- sounds, not voices, sometimes music-type sounds (but nothing I can recognize like say, Dvorak or Jethro Tull) or voice-type sounds like babbling in a distance. All easily identified as a hallucination. I also smell things. It can be entertaining and frustrating at the same time. For instance, right now, this morning, I am smelling fresh baked bread. Like it’s in the kitchen, ready to come out of the oven, it’s that clear to me. No, I am not baking. Neither are my neighbors. I know this because one neighbor is a widower who’s idea of cooking is a warmed up Stouffer’s (and I can identify those easily, plus his kitchen is too far on the other side of his house for me to smell anything), and the other neighbors aren’t home. I’ve smelled bread as a hallucination for going on 20 years now, and have learned to accept it. The only time it’s a problem are times like RIGHT NOW when I’m hungry, and nothing would taste better than a slice of homemade bread, with summer savory baked into it, slathered with fresh butter. And no, a piece of store-bought won’t do.
The good thing about these hallucinations is that I can identify them as such. Even when I hear the voices or music, I know that’s what they are. There is a lovely bit of my mind that stays coherent and…hm…logical, so even when the rest of the brain is acting tooky, there’s a bit that maintains order and reason and can say “Peggy, your desire to run down anyone with the temerity to wear spandex pants in public whilst weighing over 200 pounds is unreasonable…ok maybe not unreasonable, but certainly illegal. Don’t do it.” It has kept me out of alot of trouble in the past, and I will continue to listen to it. Smelling bread baking might spur me into action to bake some bread, and that kind of makes the whole household happy.
The only time the olfactory hallucinations caused an issue was when I was pretty sure I could smell the methylmercaptan in natural gas. It is the stuff they add to make it stinky so a leak can be identified. Terry has a much more sensitive nose than I do. He can totally smell things no one else can, and he could not smell it. I insisted, and even got a little frantic (Y’know…NATURAL GAS! Explosions! Doom!)so he humored me and got everyone out. He even called the gas company, but they couldn’t find anything…so we decided my brain was having a little joke (hahaha.).