1.       a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress.

2.       assistance, especially in the form of food, clothing, or money, given to those in special need or difficulty.

3.       a person or group of people replacing others who have been on duty.

4.       the state of being clearly visible or obvious due to being accentuated in some way

I don’t know if anyone can remember but I once wrote a post when I’d been struggling with auditory hallucinations and I talked about how it feels after I’ve taken Lorazepam and it kicks in and the voices go. I explained that before the medication it was as though there’d been stormy seas in my head and when the sedative had kicked in, the waves were calm and quiet, and everything was peaceful.
I’m so happy (‘happy’ doesn’t even do it justice!) to be able to say that my head has been peaceful for a while now and it’s not from Lorazepam; albeit it is because of medication still.

When I began hearing a new voice that was telling me that my medication was poisoned and to stop taking it of course I was frightened but I also felt hopeless. I thought ‘if the medication isn’t working any more then what’s stopping me from hearing more voices?’ After weeks of me not taking my medication I finally confided in my Psychiatrist the new voice and she explained that had I told her immediately after it began, she would have increased me medication straight away and the relapse might never have happened. That was hard to hear so I try to focus on viewing it as a learning curve instead. Focus. That’s a word I haven’t been able to use for a long time!

Having silence in my head means that I can dedicate all of my attention to whatever I like. I can actually put my all into something. And you have no idea how bad it is feeling unable to try my hardest at things and use my full potential and capabilities where my work with I’m NOT Disordered, and its collaborations are concerned. I’d say that I’m actually a very dedicated person and when I do something, I put my all into it, but things are different when you’re hearing voices; they distract you and this hinders your potential. It’s like having a TV remote control and the voices are the mute button and when that function is off, the TV can go as loud as possible. With mute on, it can’t be heard. The ability to focus means I can enjoy achievements again. When I was hearing voices, an achievement was making it through the day. Now, I can land very much wanted collaborations and my success in my work results in the offer of even more amazing opportunities! I also get to spend more time with family and friends because once the voices are gone, I don't feel so crowded. Hearing voices it's as though I can never be alone; never get a minute's peace and quiet so I'm reluctant to spend time with actual people. 

Another thing I’ve noticed has changed now that the voices are silent is my safety. I guess this is an obvious one because you think that ‘well take away the thing causing her to self-harm and overdose and she won’t do it anymore.’ But the self-harm and suicide attempts went on for so long and happened so many times that it became hard to tell the difference between me wanting to end the misery that was my life or the voices telling me to do it. I’ve learnt that it’s sort of the same thing; the voices were causing the misery so without their commands I’m safe from both that, and the general impact they have on my life. Without auditory hallucinations I love life! I enjoy everything I do (even chores around the house make me feel great!) and I have a passion that I never knew existed whilst I was hearing voices. Hearing voices, I feel vulnerable because it does feel like there’s other people genuinely in my head, who are getting to see all of the thoughts and feelings that I might want to keep private.

Of course, I don’t have rose-tinted glasses on or anything; bad things still happen in my life. In the world. But I think I can cope with them a lot better without the hallucinations because I feel a lot stronger.

If you or someone you know is struggling with hallucinations please seek help and advice from your GP or by calling Samaritans
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