Ten days ago I joined an online event celebrating World Hearing Voices Day.
I had been invited by someone I knew and they’d suggested I could contribute something to the event. They mentioned the talk I did for the Understanding Voices website launch last year and I felt excited about the opportunity to write a new piece reflecting on something I feel passionate about at the moment and also something I though might be somewhat relevant for the event.
At first I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to actually join the event live as it was in the night and I really, really value my sleep – and not getting it affects me for several days and sometimes up to a week afterwards. But the more I thought about it the more I felt that it just didn’t seem in line with my values and with the piece I wanted to write to send in something recording and not actually be present. So I decided to join
And I am so glad I did.
I have been part of the Hearing Voices Network since 2005 and have gone through various phases of excitement, inspiration and passion interchanging with phases of frustration, disillusion and exhaustion. I have thought at times of not being involved at all and stop talking about the whole hearing voices thing. Just shift my focus and try out new directions. But I never feel like I can really let go. Mainly because hearing voices is a massive part of how I experience and understand myself and the world and the hearing voices network is one of the few platforms where I can connect with people who care about this fascinating human phenomenon as much as I do.
Joining the online World Hearing Voices Day celebration brought back to me the immense joy of just making space for each other to share what feels important, hold the space and listen openheartedly and openmindedly. And just celebrate ourselves and each other in all our wonderful diversity without trying to change or influence each other.
I was taken by surprise that an online event could generate a sense of togetherness and celebration and I went to bed feeling grateful and humbled.