All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


2 Comments

World Hearing Voices Day: A few of Audrey’s favourite things…

To celebrate World Hearing Voice’s Day, I asked each of my voices whether or not they’d like to write a post themed around ‘a few of my favourite things’. I didn’t stipulate how they should interpret this as I wanted the post to be in their own voice.

I’m aware that allowing my people to write their own posts will be confronting to many, but World Hearing Voices Day is about celebrating hearing voices as part of the diversity of human experience, and including my people is how I’ve chosen to start some conversations today, so feel free to ask myself (or Audrey) any questions in the comments field below.

Note: The reason this post is a couple of days late of World Hearing Voice’s Day is because, after writing it, Audrey was not entirely happy with how it turned out so requested it not be published. Since then, she has been feeling guilty that she is the only one of my primary voices who didn’t share something so asked for it to be published regardless.

A few of my favourite things…in Lego!

by Audrey

veryhungrycaterpillar

As you can probably tell from this post, one of my favourite things is Lego. So much so that I tried to theme this post around this most wonderful of creations.

As for some of my other favourite things, first and foremost there is Lego Batman, which regular readers of this blog are already aware of.

My second greatest passion after this most swoon-worthy of superheroes is books; reading them, holding them, smelling them, doing everything I possibly can to them. And not those annoying eBooks, but proper made from paper, sweat and tears books!

I’ll be honest, the picture I chose to illustrate this particular passion isn’t quite what I’d wanted. Although I have nothing against this children’s book, my love lies elsewhere, namely in the realms of historical and contemporary literature, but this was the only example of a book constructed out of Lego that I could find, so bear in mind that it is illustrative of my love of books rather than very hungry caterpillars!

For the record, in case anyone is interested, some of my favourite books are: Far from the Madding Crowd, The Broom of the System, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Tree of Man, David Peace’s Red Riding Quartet and Dante‘s Inferno (which is illustrated in the slide show at the bottom of this post).

Moving away from books and Lego Batman (just so you’re aware, a book about Lego Batman would be the kissquite possibly the most magnificent thing in creation!) my heart lies in art.

I cherish the work of the Renaissance and Impressionist painters but care not a jot for what many people call ‘contemporary art’. I also have an appreciation for Aboriginal art, including painting and sand-painting images in this style myself.

In fact, adorning a wall in Andrew’s lounge room is a mighty platypus that I painted a few short months ago.

The remainder of my favourite things are quite common and altogether rather tame compared to my companion’s posts. However much I appreciate the female form, I wouldn’t dream of posting such images as Shay did and however much I enjoy berating Andrew from time to time, I wouldn’t upset him by rubbing it in the faces of those he writes for. No, if you set aside art, books, and Lego Batman, my soul sings whenever I am outdoors; walking along the banks of a river, watching birds swoop through the sky or simply basking in the sunshine in the middle of a flower covered meadow.

Alas, there are few meadows nearby, so I’ve had to make do with regular trips to a public park that has a quite inspiring lake, populated by some quite evil little ducks. Birds that definitely make the list of my favourite things!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Facebook Profile - WHVD

Advertisements


Leave a comment

World Hearing Voices Day: A few of Shay’s favourite things…

To celebrate World Hearing Voice’s Day, I asked each of my voices whether or not they’d like to write a post themed around ‘a few of my favourite things’. I didn’t stipulate how they should interpret this as I wanted the post to be in their own voice.

I’m aware that allowing my people to write their own posts will be confronting to many, but World Hearing Voices Day is about celebrating hearing voices as part of the diversity of human experience, and including my people is how I’ve chosen to start some conversations today, so feel free to ask myself (or Shay) any questions in the comments field below.

A few of my favourite things…

by Shay

This is a sequel to what I consider to be his greatest post. Why he wastes his time writing ream after ream of self-analysing jargon instead of simply posting images of the female body is beyond me. Hell, he’d get more readers if he did!

So I guess it’s up to me to ask this time, butt is it art or porn?

Note: Due to the presence of partial nudity (i.e. NSFW artistic images of the female posterior) Shay has put in his post, I’ve added the ‘read more’ tag in order to protect any innocent or simply not wishing to look eyes. To view the remainder of his post, simply click the link below…

Continue reading


3 Comments

World Hearing Voices Day: A few of Vanessa’s favourite things…

To celebrate World Hearing Voice’s Day, I asked each of my voices whether or not they’d like to write a post themed around ‘a few of my favourite things’. I didn’t stipulate how they should interpret this as I wanted the post to be in their own voice.

I’m aware that allowing my people to write their own posts will be confronting to many, but World Hearing Voices Day is about celebrating hearing voices as part of the diversity of human experience, and including my people is how I’ve chosen to start some conversations today, so feel free to ask myself (or Vanessa) any questions in the comments field below.

A few of my favourite things…

by Vanessa

favouritethings

(Sung to the tune of ‘My Favorite Things’ from ‘The Sound of Music’)

Musical Theatre and The Dark is Rising
Bitching, belittling and chastising
I love to abuse Andrew and pull his strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cheesy Rom-Coms and things Harry Potter
Reminding Andrew he was a squatter
Saying things that I know really stings
These are a few of my favorite things

Shouting and screaming and yelling quite loud
Anything that hurts him makes me feel proud
If I were a bird I’d beat him with my wings
These are a few of my favorite things

When the bug bites
When the wasp stings
When I’m feeling mad
I just remind him of my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

Facebook Profile - WHVD


1 Comment

World Hearing Voices Day: A few of Meadhbh’s favourite things…

To celebrate World Hearing Voice’s Day, I asked each of my voices whether or not they’d like to write a post themed around ‘a few of my favourite things’. I didn’t stipulate how they should interpret this as I wanted the post to be in their own voice.

I’m aware that allowing my people to write their own posts will be confronting to many, but World Hearing Voices Day is about celebrating hearing voices as part of the diversity of human experience, and including my people is how I’ve chosen to start some conversations today, so feel free to ask myself (or Meadhbh) any questions in the comments field below.

A few of my favourite things…

by Meadhbh

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is a photograph of a few of my favourite things. There is a Disney Fairies colouring book that Andrew’s support worker gave me as a present. I’ve left the book open on a page showing Silvermist, as she is a Disney Fairy who looks like me. As you can see there are lots and lots of colouring pencils and oil pastels that Andrew brought for me because he knows I like to draw and paint and colour things in with lots of bright bright colours. The wooden spoons are there because wood is awesome and I’m always pestering Andrew to eat lots of healthy salads which he serves up with the wooden spoons, so when he does that it makes me happy. The big purple ball with googly eyes is a ball that I lurve that we use in Andrew’s Creative Therapy group. Andrew got it for me after we watched Despicable Me because he knows I love screaming it’s so fluff-y! like the girl does in that film. There are also two plastic dinosaurs because dinosaurs are awesome! There is also a little green fluffy dinosaur that roars and vibrates when you pull its cord which is the greatest thing that has ever existed! I love it when Andrew reads me Roald Dahl, so there is a Roald Dahl book I love which has lots of awesome coloured pictures in it and there are DVDs of Monsters Inc because I love Boo and How to Train Your Dragon because I love Toothless. There is also the Zelda game Twilight Princess because it is great fun and makes Andrew happy, which is something that is my favourite thing. To top it all off is a map of Westeros because Dragon Mummy is awesome, a hairbrush that is the colour of my hair, two little ornaments which was a present from one of Andrew’s friends to me and Cheeky Naughty Monkey (Ceenem for short) who is my monkey. I hope you think they’re all as awesome as I do! Thank you.

Facebook Profile - WHVD


5 Comments

World Hearing Voices Day: What it’s like to hear voices…

hh2322

Rainbow Ocean © *Thelma1 (Image chosen by Meadhbh)

“If over 280 million people hear voices…why don’t we talk about it more?”

Tomorrow is World Hearing Voices Day; a day to celebrate hearing voices as part of the diversity of human experience. It challenges the negative attitudes towards people who hear voices and the incorrect assumption that hearing voices, in itself, is a sign of illness.

In the past I have ‘come out’ via this blog that I’m a voice hearer. Back in February I introduced you to the five main people who make up my ‘menagerie’; Meadhbh (pronounced as Marie), Audrey, Vanessa, Shay and Jessica, as well as at numerous times shared my adventures within a Hearing Voices Support Group and several posts looking at the whys and wherefores of my various voices. But at no stage have I explored what it’s like to be a voice hearer.

So, in celebration of World Hearing Voices Day, I wanted to spend a little time beginning a conversation about what my voice hearing experience is like.

My voices are real people

The one thing people need to understand about my menagerie is that they feel like they are real people. They are not simply omnipresent noise, but individual beings that have their own emotional spectrum. Sometimes they are happy, sometimes they are sad, sometimes they are acting as if it’s their time of the month and sometimes they’re acting as if they’ve had red cordial streamlined into their blood stream.

Each of my people have their own likes, loathes, loves and hatreds. They are all passionate about different things and each has their own opinions of me, and of the things I’m doing/should be doing.

My people are as real to me as your friends and family are to you

The easiest way I can think of to describe what it’s like for me to hear my voices is to ask you to imagine yourselves talking to one of your family and friends. They’re sitting beside you, mindlessly chatting about things that have happened to them, things they want to happen, disasters that have befallen their lives or the hotness of their latest celebrity crush. Sometimes their voice will rise or fall depending on their levels of emotion; sometimes they’ll shout, scream or cry, other times they will become all coy and shyly quiet.

Now imagine you are sitting around the table with three or four of your friends and/or family members. Sometimes there will be people talking to each other and not to you, but you can still hear them whilst you’re carrying on a conversation with someone else. Voices will become a din, questions will fly and sounds will overlap so that you may not catch everything that is said.

This is what hearing my voices is like.

Sometimes there is just one carrying on a conversation with me. Other times, three or four will be talking to me at the same time or, more often than not, three or four will be talking to themselves and to me at the same time.

But unlike your family and friends, my people have no respect for what I’m doing when they’re talking to me. I might be undertaking a job interview, or using the lavatory, or trying to sleep, or trying to have a conversation with a support worker or psychiatrist. And there my voices will be, nattering away, offering their opinions and advising me what I should do with no regard to my feelings or current activity.

Can you imagine how confusing (and frustrating) such a constant stream of voices could become?

My voices are a layer of support people often forget about

And can you imagine how beautifully supportive such a constant stream of voices could be for someone who is so isolated and alone?

Over the last several years I’ve not had the same level of support that most people take for granted. I haven’t had best friends, acquaintances, partners, girlfriends or random human beings to speak to about all that’s been happening in my life.

Virtually all of the chaotic crises I’ve experienced have been dealt with on my own with little to no advice offered by people who love and care about me. Likewise, I’ve had no-one to share the beautiful and happy times I’ve experienced; except my menagerie, who have been with me through it all.

Granted, for a large portion of the last seven years my people have been deeply abusive and critical of both myself and my actions. To them, I was doing nothing right. To them, for a large portion of the last seven years, I should have just toddled off and ended my pointless life.

However, since I began to explore the Hearing Voices Movement approach, there has been a distinct change in the time I’ve spent with some of my people. Certainly, Vanessa and Shay have been as frustrating and abusive as usual, but Meadhbh and Audrey have become much valued confidants and ‘friends’ in my ongoing journey.

At various points they have made me laugh when I’ve felt sad, supported me through difficult anniversaries by taking my mind off events and helped inspire me when I’ve felt most lost.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I would dead without the support these people have given me this year, but I certainly wouldn’t have been able to deal with my recent relapse as effectively had they not been so supportive and friendly.

Something that I know I’m deeply thankful for.

I have no idea what the future holds for me and my voices. However, I do know that Meadhbh and Audrey are both deeply excited to be celebrating our first World Hearing Voices Day together. To them, it’s the equivalent of Mother’s day; a day where we can celebrate their existence and all they’ve done.

So to celebrate, we are helping run a BBQ that my Hearing Voices Support Group is running in our local town and have a couple of themed posts coming that they would like to share with you all.

So wherever you are and whatever you may be doing tomorrow, remember that over 280 million people hear voices…so maybe it’s about time we all started talking about it a bit more! :)

Facebook Profile - WHVD

~ For more information on World Hearing Voices Day, visit Intervoice: the International Hearing Voices Network  ~