On the bus earlier, there was a couple whispering a few rows behind me. It freaked me the fuck out. Why? It reminded me of the voices I hear. The cruel, whispering words that shake me to my core.
I often hear whispering when I’m depressed, they’re malicious and make me feel extremely vulnerable. I feel out of control, like there is nowhere safe for me to go, because the voices I can’t escape, as they’re all in my head. I’ve had voices where I can make out what they’re saying, others I can’t. The kind of things they say are vicious. They prey on my insecurities and might even tell me to hurt myself.
When I can’t make out what they’re saying, weirdly, it’s worse. The mumbling and whispering scares me because they could be saying anything. My imagination runs wild. The experience feels ethereal, other worldly and there is the constant fear that suddenly a word will jump out from through the mumbling. That word could be a shout or a scream, directed straight at me.
The latter is what it felt like on the bus. The couple that were whispering, I couldn’t make out what they were saying. Then comes the paranoia. Is it that couple that are whispering, really? Or is it my own mind tricking me. If I could’ve heard their conversation, it would have put my mind at rest. Only hearing snippets of words, a quiet chuckle here and there really made me feel on edge.
Since I’ve been more aware of what I hear (I was in denial for years) I often doubt the world around me. If I hear a strange tapping, a voice, a shout out of nowhere I can’t stop but think if it’s real or from inside my own mind. It definitely disrupts my day to day life. I have to think rationally about what’s happening. It’s a difficult process, but I’m learning to manage the thoughts that accompany hearing voices.
On the bus, I reminded myself that those voices can’t hurt me and I’m stronger than them. It turned out it was the couple behind me and not an episode of psychosis. When I got off the bus it was a huge relief, but I still felt insecure and vulnerable.
It’s important to talk about these experiences, and I will vent on twitter and to my partner or close friends. Hearing voices for me is an insular experience, I’m the only person that is experiencing these exact sounds and voices. No one else will. So I find it vital to open up about what it’s like in those moments. Find someone you trust, that’s non judgmental, that you can show vulnerability to. It will make a huge difference.