On the family Zoom last night, O asked us if we had internal voices. That is, when we were thinking, or when we thought of songs, did we have a voice inside our heads talking or singing to us? It turned out that we have varying strengths of internal voices in the family, and that those of us with less strong internal voices tend to vocalise more, such as humming or singing songs out loud. One thing I started asking myself was if there had ever been a study which had looked at the strength of people’s internal voices and linked them to depression, my main question being if it was people with the strongest internal voices who were the most depressed. My reasoning was that those of us with really strong internal voices might as a result overthink and create this vicious circle of creating our own anxieties that way. What strikes me this morning, linking this family conversation with the conversations I had with my therapist, is that my main problem always was (is) that the negative voice in my head often had (has) the upper hand and tries to wipe out any self-esteem I had (have). I haven’t checked if there are any such studies. I probably won’t, because I think I’ve proved the case to myself.
The storm fortunately left us relatively untouched except for some broken bottles when the recycling bin was overturned. And this morning there was a Blazing Saddles moment when one of the cats came out into the garden with me for the first time since the storm eased a little. She wandered up the garden path as she always does, and came to a flower pot which had been blown onto the path and its contents of plant cuttings strewn out around it. She stood there, puzzled, sniffed at it, and turned round as if it were an insurmountable obstacle, totally ignoring the fact that there were yards of free space around the pot through which she could have walked further down the garden. Strange girl/woman/cat. And recently, she has made it a habit of hers to jump up onto the back of the sofa in the evenings, and walk past the back of my head before jumping down onto the sofa and dropping onto her side to let me stroke her. Before that, she just jumped up onto the cushions from the front before lying down. Perhaps she has caught my habit of making everything more complicated than it needs to be.
The rhythms and tides of life are so changeable. There have been moments this week when I’ve felt unencumbered by anything, moments when I’ve felt that everything has been as it should be, and at other times I’ve felt like the incoming high tide is about to overwhelm me. It’s always like this, and it always will be.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 7