The Mighty Logo

My Reality of Hearing Voices

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or ideation, the post below may be triggering. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Every night before I go to bed, I check there’s no one hiding behind the shower curtain or in the wardrobe. Just as I am about to drift off, I hear them. Voices lingering in the walls. Muffled chattering coming from afar. I stay curled up in the same place, whispering for them to leave me alone. Not tonight, I beg. I lie awake for hours trying to make sense of the noises filling my ears.

Some days they get loud. I’m making breakfast when the bellowing comes. “Fucking hell you’re useless, jump out the window already,” or “Charlotte there’s someone watching you outside.” Screaming, I clasp my hands around my ears and fall to the floor. They shout louder and louder. I’ve been told they are not real many times, but when the medication wears off and they start bickering about why I’m not dead already, it’s hard to ignore the fact they’re just in my head.

My Facebook is full of pictures of me smiling with friends. No one sees the me standing in my living room throwing things around as I tell the loud booming voice to shut up and leave me alone. When I have a psychotic episode it isn’t all sunshine and roses — it’s tears and screaming and losing a grip on reality. It’s becoming paranoid and being too scared to do anything.

To all the people who have witnessed me having a meltdown, I’m sorry you had to go through that, but I’m so glad you were there to comfort me. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to challenge the screeching voice. I wouldn’t have been able to stand up and say, “I’m not listening anymore.” Thank you to the people who assure I’m better than the voices I hear. I’m better than what they tell me.

To me, hearing things that aren’t actually there is a scary, scary thing. I am filled with paranoia on a daily basis. That’s why I am so grateful for the wonderful friends and family in my life. They give me the hope to live.

If you know someone who’s experiencing things similar to what I’ve talked about, then please tell them it’s all going to be OK. You can beat the voices. They took over my life without a second’s notice, but now I’m taking back control.

My names Charlotte. I’m not my mental illness. It’s just a small part of me I acknowledge is there but don’t let weigh me down. I’m a fighter and survivor. If you’re ever struggling, just look at how far you’ve come and realize you can go a hell of a lot further.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via ladi59

Originally published: March 28, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home