“They’re not real. They’re not real.” You try to tell me. 

You don’t have to convince me. 

And yet, at 3 am every morning, when the whole neighborhood is fast asleep, and you’re no longer here to remind me…they share my bed with me, their voice like a ringing in my ears. 

Their companionship is truer than yours, more persistent than all your corrective voices put together, their presence more constant than my dead husband’s ever was.

Call them my friends or my disease. Like my shadow, my smell…they accompany me my every waking moment. 

{Sometimes…I wish I believed in God. Maybe this will make more sense?}

You can find brief descriptions of different kinds of Hallucination here. For a longer and more literary read, you can also consider reading Oliver Sacks’ book on Hallucination, which he discusses in this podcast. [Please note, when they talk about drug induced hallucination, it’s important to remember, as they themselves briefly touch upon, that knowing that the hallucinations are medically induced and will soon end helps to make them bearable for a neurologist like Oliver Sacks (and makes for good stories later). When listening to such stories, one should keep in mind that those who experience hallucinations induced by psychosis, trauma or other psychological causes, don’t have the luxury of knowing when and if these visions/ voices/ sensations will ever end, and may sometimes experience them all their lives. By sharing this podcast, I do not want to undermine the long and painful presence these hallucinations make for many people’s lives who cannot get rid of them as easily as Sacks did. But of course, when discussing a book on radio, one tends to focus on the more juicy parts of it.]

Here is another interesting article that provides personal accounts of auditory hallucinations and discusses the Hearing Voices Network, which is an interesting concept that has come up in some parts of the world. These networks act as support systems to those experiencing auditory hallucination or voice-hearing and view them “not as a pathological phenomenon in need of eradication but as a meaningful, interpretable experience”.