So here’s something I don’t talk about often. I hear voices in my head, and I don’t think that I am crazy, and I don’t think that they are dangerous, I think they are beautiful pockets of inspiration on days when I am feeling sad and alone.
I used to talk to myself – out loud – as a child, a young woman, and even now, I find it incredibly therapeutic but I also find it really frustrating.
Last night I was pretty sure – although I could have been dreaming – that I had a full-blown conversation with Tom Cruise about the power of cannabis and my struggles with mental health. In this dream / not so much a dream, I told him that in the last 6 years, while I’ve been waiting for my friends, family, and protectors, to catch up to what I’ve known my whole life, I’ve been busy building this website.
Now they have. Now everyone I love knows what I have always known, and honestly, I’m so fucking tired. I feel like I’ve been running this marathon alone for so long, and now finally people are listening and I just want to go to sleep. I just want to wave my hands and say “yup, glad you caught up, good night,” but the problem is that the voices have questions. They have so many questions, and the questions THEY have, all stem from the same insecurities I have.
It’s so easy to tell the world that humans’ are just flawed, but if behaving in certain ways because you’ve been taught to behave that way, it’s not a flaw, it’s conditioning.
We are not “flawed,” human beings are not broken, even after trauma and abuse. These are words that we use in order to explain how we’re feeling, in order to make what we feel, emotionally, and make sense, in an intellectual way.
I’ve learned recently that the heart and the mind and the soul, are not always on the same page, and even when they are, oftentimes, we’re left with a sense of confusion because what feels good to us, what feels right, is uncomfortable for others.
The beauty of being human comes from the fact that all of us are different, that each of us has our own thoughts, journies, and experiences, and that each of us takes the information that we’re given as we evolve, and turn it into something that scares the fuck out of those who can’t imagine living the way we do.
There is a man I know who I have never particularly liked, not because he’s a bad person, or even because he’s done anything wrong to me personally. At his core, he’s a good man, he helps out where he can, he drives people to recovery houses, and he gives a lot of himself to make the world a better place. But our values are very different.
Not because we don’t believe in making the world a better place, but because each of us has our own approach. My approach is to accept everyone regardless of what their faith is, as long as they don’t hurt anyone, I’m on board with your vibe, but in his world, everything has to be just so, everything has to be according to the way HE does things. I don’t like this so much.
He’s a good man, and I’m a good woman, our beliefs don’t navigate that, but because he refuses to…be willing to meet me halfway, our conversations have always been filled with hurt feelings, and the inability to connect. Now, I can easily tell you that it’s all his fault, but the truth of the matter is that I am just as stubborn as he is. I believe what I believe and you’re rarely going to be able to change my mind.
That’s the way humans are, but I’m 100% convinced that I’m the one who’s right because I am always fighting for the people who feel they can’t fight for themselves, right? So clearly I’m right and he’s wrong.
Or am I?
When we feel that what we value, is being questioned or challenged, then we get our hackles up, and we start putting up walls that prevent us from hearing what anyone else has to say.
So for instance, my former doctor would tell me that hearing voices is a bad thing, that it’s a sign of a mental health breakdown, and yet I feel better than I have in years.
Why should I believe I’m sick, just because you say so? Because you’re trained in these matters? What if I am genuinely not like anything you’ve ever seen before, what if I’m a brand new kind of human, would you accept this theory?
It took me a LONG time to start eating fish, largely because of my mom’s “situation,” (read ex-boyfriend), who used to try to force me to eat it. I didn’t like the way he cooked it, so I refused to eat it, this caused many battles. Now it’s one of my favourite foods. Because I have a CHOICE!
Tom Cruise once said “When someone says (medication) has helped them, it is to cope, it didn’t cure anything. There is no science. There is nothing that can cure them whatsoever,” but Tom Cruise isn’t a doctor, and his perspective, although completely valid according to the life he’s led and the lessons that he’s learned, and the conditioning that he’s grown up with, isn’t going to be the same as mine or Brook Shields.
Each of us has totally different and valid experiences that other people might not even be able to fathom or understand. And because our experiences are different, we’re convinced often that because WE Didn’t see it, it didn’t happen.
That’s not the way the world works, and I think we’re going to see a lot more of that as we continue on this journey. When it comes to our mental health, I’ve learned that what works for some won’t absolutely will not – work for others, so we have to learn to adjust and to make room for those who do things differently than ourselves.
The way that we perceive the world changes as we grow and evolve. Our perception changes, the way that we consume information changes as we age, and we turn around and say something that SOUNDS profound, but that doesn’t necessarily make it profound, it’s just that the person hearing what we’ve said, hasn’t heard it said: “that particular way before.”
Everyone is running around TRYING to find out what’s “wrong” with me, meanwhile I’m breaking Boundaries and creating art and they’re asking “how?”
I don’t ever feel the need to explain myself so that people will be on my side. it was and will never be about that. I do the work that I do on myself, and I write about it, so that others who are coming n the door after me, have a framework to help them discover what works for them. I never expect nor want anyone to do things the same way that I do them. I just want to explain why I do them, so you understand me better.
I want the world to validate my experience – I won’t deny that, I want people to say “hey you, I see you and I understand why you do what you do, I hear you and you know what I like it,” BUT I ALSO WANT, the same for my friends and family. I want the people I love to have the same chance that I do to share their stories, to show all of us why THEY are the way that THEY Are.
It’s not enough for me to just have money and fame, it’s not enough for me to “just” have, I want to explore, I want to challenge, I want to change the way that people think, and I want to create a world where everyone has a small slice of the same pie, instead of a large slice of a bunch of different pies.
Each of us has these majickal fantastical, impossible-to-believe abilities, we just have to know which doors to go through, and in order to learn what’s safe and what’s not, we have to actually shut the fuck up and listen for a little while.
I respect that there are people in this world that have different beliefs than I do.
“Hearing voices is a sign of bad mental health, it’s a warning that someone is struggling….” is it though? Or is that diagnosis entirely dependent on the person and the situation?
There are 7.753 billion people on this planet as of 2022, according to World Bank, so are you really going to tell me that you’d be much happier with
I will share ALL of myself, but I won’t allow you to pretend that MY parts don’t exist, so you feel more comfortable or powerful. I will respect your journey and I need you to respect mine, if you can’t do that, then I wish you the best.
This world that we’re living in is quickly turning into the dystopian classical that we love to consume. Divergent is one of those films that I fucking love to hate. I hate it because the major Black girl role is played by a beautiful brilliant woman who knows her power and puts every cell of that power into the role only to be one of the first killed which of course ignites a rebellion.
Why is it always the death of Black folk that ignites the rebellion? Because Jesus was Brown and God is a mixture of every race of every living creature that ever existed. God is everything, it’s in the rain, the sorrow, the fire, the pain, the hurt, the love, the laughter. God is “everything,” and nothing, all at once.
Some people see God as a saviour, others as a weapon, but few have ever actually sat down to listen to what GOD they/he/she/them have to say, for themselves, and when people say “you know, I think I heard God speaking to me,” people smile and say “that’s beautiful,” while also simultaneously (and often not quietly) saying “that sounds psychotic.”
If I told a doctor that I hear voices, they’d tell me that I sound psychotic – and we all know this is true – but if I explain my reasons for believing that the voices are actually here to help me, to hear me, to inspire me, challenge and push me, they might take all their training and still believe it.
But I ask you this: If the only way that I might recognize you is through violence, and fear, if I know that I can hear your whispers in the middle of the night, only to wake and find you gone, with my door broken or my chair moved on my balcony, or a tiny green rose on the stove, or my cannabis missing, or my dog died, or furniture missing from my house, why am “I” the one whose psychotic when there is proof that these things have happened?
And furthermore why do I have to prove that someone is stalking me and breaking into my house – and my head – in the middle of the night or on days when I sleep during the day, instead of you just believing me?
Because we’re conditioned to fight, flight, OR, ignore, the signs of danger, in order to keep ourselves more comfortable. “I don’t see it, feel it, hear it, taste it, smell it, or know it, so it doesn’t exist at all in any universe,” is no way to live.
We Live As if The World Were What It Should Be To Show It How It Can Be – Angel
These are some of the most powerful words in the universe. When we take them at face value they just sound beautiful, but when we separate the words, we get the true weight of their strength.
We: All of us, every single one of us, yes even you.
Live: More than existing, more than just being here, but being present, being in the moment, understanding the power of the fact that wherever you are, no matter who you let see through your eyes, only YOU will see what YOU see, the way You see it.
As If: Imagine. Be creative, – if you could sit next to your very favourite WWE Superstar, but why couldn’t you? Why couldn’t it be YOU that is chosen to sit down with Oprah? Or with Barack Obama or Michelle? Or your neighbour? What if YOU…
The World: Which world? Whose world? Your world of ours?
I’m not going to finish the rest, because I want you to. I want you to take that phrase written by a team of writers, on a fantastic show, spoken by a brilliant Dragon befriending, world-changing actor, and I want you to discover what they mean to you, one by one.
That’s how we do it. Together, alone, all at once, and in little chunks, until we find something that works for us, that makes us feel like we can actually heal.
Someone once said that the darkness never goes away, and that’s true, it really doesn’t, I spent the day in tears yesterday, telling my story out loud to the walls of my apartment HOPING someone might hear me enough to do something with what I’ve said.
Today I actually believe I was heard, and it feels fucking weird, but it only feels weird because I’m not used to it. I’m not used to it because the world has taught me that I don’t deserve to believe in myself, I don’t deserve to be happy. We fought past the darkness, and we might find our way back to each other again, but we might not. Either way, I’m done with the hatred, my revenge is living my best life, regardless of whether or not I make you Uncomfortable.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall