Wednesday, 24 July 2013

I hear voices (or, The Pub Choristers).

As a general rule, my head is the only thing louder than my dress sense. I think if you know me, that doesn't need much context (my favourite colours are glitter and flowers), but if you don't, just count your eyeballs lucky that they've not been subjected to it. My head has been louder today than the sum of everything I've ever worn- including those brilliantly stylish '90s years I spent in floral cycling shorts. Actually, my '90s wardrobe wasn't vastly different from my 2013 one.

Anyway, off the glitter and on to the grit. I hear voices. That's actually quite a brave thing to admit... it's taken me a long time to be able to say that here. I mean, right, just as an exercise in demonstrating my bravery on that, just try to picture how you see a typical person who hears voices. What do they look like? Do they hold down a steady job? If so, are they a professional? Picture their day-to-day living. Now, honestly, I'm willing to bet you've fit a tonne of mental health stereotypes without meaning to. That's not an indictment on yourself, you must understand I'm not judging; it doesn't matter how open minded you are or aren't, it's not really about that, it's more about society, I reckon. And, I suppose the people with mental health problems that do mean they talk back to their hallucinations and can't look after their hygiene are the ones who are more obvious than those of us who look 'normal'. I've had my moments though, I'm sure there are people who have passed me at certain times and now have an image of myself, oh, maybe banging my head in a flashback, or having a psychotic episode, or a panic attack, or have even just seen me at skeletal times, and now have essence of Condron tempering their idea of a mental health patient.

You know how when you walk into a really busy pub, the kind without music but with a lot of people, kind of like a Wetherspoon's of a Saturday night, you open the doors and you're hit by a million different conversations? And as you walk through, you hear snatches, but nothing really of note, kind of like human birdsong? That's what my head often sounds like. When I'm really poorly, or I've missed my anti-psychotics, I hear more direct voices and commands, and if I'm over-tired I find it even harder to sleep because as I'm drifting off my voices start shouting my name. Generally though, when I'm struggling, The Pub Choristers, as I've dubbed the voices, just get louder and louder until I feel actually compressed and cornered by the voices of this inner pub.

Today, there's been a lot of shouting on the ward and a lot of shouting from The Pub Choristers. I'm not really great at being around shouting and the such, which is a bit bizarre given my penchant from being waaaay overly dramatic, and the louder my environment, the louder the voices. Today the patrons of my internal pub have taken words from my past, things I wish I had never heard or that I never knew, and have screamed them over the external noise. Flashbacks, over voices, over flashbacks. They're shouting abuse, calling out things from different eras and making this- amongst everything else a person does of a day; breathing and walking and talking and the such- pretty hard to write. All I've been doing since they got bad is making myself sick, really, and I'm now just trying to work out if I must have vom'd my anti-psychotic. I have a bad feeling I did. Oh, tomorrow shall be fun.

Oh, balls.


  1. I love how open and honest you are Rebecca... I learn something new about you whenever I open your blog. I remember reading your blog for a year... thinking you could have cared less that I commented but then you wrote that sweet note on my FB wall about how they meant so much...

    I'm glad we have become blogging friends;-)

  2. An ex-girlfriend of mine hears voices, or at least she did for a time. She blogs here.
    You are not alone.