I have voices in my head.
I think that makes me weird, and honestly I’m okay with that. The Voices keep life interesting. Their presence also makes me somewhat unique, if in no other way than the voices themselves are unique.
For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me. I never really mentioned the Voices for fear of judgment, worry that no one will believe me, and (the biggest issue) lack of trust that anyone could possibly understand. I don’t talk about the Voices with friends or at parties. I don’t tell anyone that “the Voices helped me figure this out.” The fact I HAVE Voices is permanently added to the list of “things you do not mention on the first date.”
It’s an act of consideration, really… I try to be fair and not creep people out. Most would have a hard time understanding that my “sitting quietly and thinking” time is less like a single chair in an empty room, and more like a family meeting. With eight people attending. And they all have strong opinions, they all “know what’s best,” most of them dislike one another, and most of the time they’re fighting about something stupid.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more comfortable talking about the voices. I think partly that’s due to being more comfortable with myself, my reality, and the cards I’ve been dealt, but even more than that my comfort level can be attributed to realizing just how much The Voices are a part of who I am. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the world while listening to their dialogue. They also help me to analyze all sides of a problem, to see multiple perspectives. I’ve solved COUNTLESS problems that seemed impossible to resolve by letting The Erins argue it out during my otherwise preoccupied hours.
Over the last couple years I’ve learned to distinguish and identify the voices. I read somewhere that having voices in your head is fairly normal, and you’re not really crazy unless you NAME THEM. I totally named them. Label me as you see fit because of it, but having named them helps me a lot to understand from which part of myself the thoughts are coming from. I’m able to identify WHO is talking, to decide how much weight to give what is said, and what thoughts to dismiss when I hear things that aren’t productive or uplifting.
And now I’d like to introduce you to them.