As some who read this will already know, I am an author and a blogger, and for the past ten years, I have lived with a severe mental illness – schizophrenia.
This morning, like many times before, I’ve been scouting around the net for some inspiration and connectivity.
Googling keywords like ‘blog challenges’ and ‘writing prompts’ and ‘link-ups’, I’ve come across some interesting ideas and opportunities.
One of these is a link-up on the blog A Chronic Voice this month specifically for people coping with chronic illness.
The link-up comes with a set of prompts: five words to help focus post-writing. Let’s see where these words lead me.
When voices come, I resist engaging with them.
Regardless of how incredulous, insulting, antagonizing, confrontational they may be, I know that to ‘talk back’ to them is to step onto the path of delusion.
The essential lesson I need to learn and learn and learn again is that each and every voice I experience comes from me.
The reason why resisting conversing with voices and learning the lesson that they all come only from me present such a struggle is simple.
Imagine hearing a voice commenting (to put it mildly) on your thoughts and actions. What might be your first reaction?
Maybe you’d think, hey what was that? Who could that be? Where could it be coming from? Right?
Well in order to cope with my illness, I struggle always to avoid questions like those.
I accept support and I provide support, online and off.
Sometimes I find greatest relief in someone sharing their own similar experiences and challenges.
For that reason, I make an effort to share what schizophrenia is like for me.
The frequency and intensity (and VOLUME) of voices is very changeable.
I can go a whole week without much ado, or I can go days without relief.
Perhaps more importantly, my ways of coping have changed over the years and are developing still.
Thank you, Sheryl, for the challenge of expressing my experience through these prompts.
And thanks, everyone, for reading.
[click on the image to visit the link-up]