As I sat, biro in hand, about to take the plunge for the first time ever, and turn one of the little niggling voices in my head into an actual character, and actual person... I contemplated briefly whether doing this would somehow make that voice REAL. By giving it a face and a name, would I loose control of it? Was this schizophrenia? And even more worrying than that... was I already scizophrenic because I had identified that I DID have 'voices' in my head?
Well, as you can see from my previous blog, the final decision was to ignore these concerns and get to drawing, and I can honestly say, around a month on, that it's been one of the most helpful things I've done so far in my quest to sort out my head!
So what if it's a little crazy?! I called my clothing brand Kooky after all, I AM a little crazy and I'm quite happy with that... who wants to be normal any way? Normal is predictable. Normal is knowing what you're going to get every day. Normal is 9 to 5 desk job, breakfast at 7am, coffee at 11am, Emmerdale, oven chips and hair straighteners, and that just isn't me.
And apart from all that, who hasn't, at some point, said 'I was in two minds about it' or 'Part of me wants to'? Who hasn't laid awake wishing their head would just shut up for a moment? All I've done is taken this on a step and created characters around the parts of me that have little subconscious arguments with each other every time I need to make a decision. It's more of a creative process than a schizophrenic one. I can safely say this now because, having created the characters, far from feeling like I've lost control of them, I have in fact felt like I am far more IN control!
The outcome of this process has been to separate my thoughts into sections and then understand where each one is coming from. It's felt like I've taken the confusing ball of conflicting thoughts, pulled out strands and ironed them flat so they're all nicely lined up instead of knotted in a big messy tangle!
The next step my therepist suggested, was to actually talk to each character in turn. Ok, so now I really DID feel crazy:
'Oh, hello me, how are we?'
'We're not too bad... fancy a chat?'
'Well, yes why not I haven't had a proper chat with myself in a while!'
Hmmm, you get the picture. Glad I did this when I was on my own with nobody watching!
And yet, despite how utterly ridiculous this sounds, I honestly have discovered things in doing it, that I had never understood about myself before!
I found that I am angry at my inner angel- she doesn't care about me, she only cares about making everyone else happy and I am tired of putting myself aside and spending all my energy worrying about what everyone else thinks. So we came to a decision that though I still need her because her selflessness gives me bravery and conscience, we are going to try and think of ME first sometimes, avoiding the massive guilt complex I usually get when doing this.
I found that my depression (now called Miss Darcy after Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice) carries around all the hurt I have ever felt and because of this I try to shut her out and ignore her. All she wants is to be acknowledges and accepted, and we made a compromise that I would listen if she needed to be heard, as long as she wouldn't get her nails in and cling on, not allowing me to let go of feeling miserable.
And finally I found that I never really believed in the sexual part of me, who is now called 'Lady'. There she is, this fantastic, confident, sexy woman who lives to make herself happy, and I have consistantly ignored her in favour of the more negative sides of myself. She simply asked me to have belief in her.
But mostly, having these imaginary conversations has allowed me to accept that each one of these characters is ME. I AM the selfless angel, I AM the daydreamer, I AM the angry, acheing depressive and more importantly, I AM the sexy woman who believes in herself!
And that, my friends, is a GOOD thing to achieve.
I will also just round this little ramble up, by saying that there is in fact a whole school of psychology based on sub-personalities. So, if anyone else (like me) is feeling a little wierd about talking to themselves, you can at least rest easy knowing that brainy people throughout history have done the same thing!
Have a look at some of these websites if you're interested: