Courage to Leave the Voices Behind

Yesterday I told John that I didn’t want to spend $60 a week on private therapy anymore.  I told him I didn’t think it was worth it. My last therapy session I felt like the hour was dragging on slowly and I didn’t have much to talk about. Partly it’s because I’ve improved so much since I started private therapy last September. Every week I went, I had some new pressing issue to discuss with my therapist. Now, I don’t hear voices as much, and when I do hear them, I am almost able to ignore them completely. This is a tremendous improvement over last year and the year before when I was listening to the voices, having conversations with them in my head, and treating them as if they were real people. Now, the voices are nothing to me.

John & I went to a Buddhist meeting last night at the Buddhist center in Santa Clara. Once a month we have a World Peace Prayer meeting where people share experiences and we listen to guidance from SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. Yesterday I was researching information about Buddhism on the Soka Gakkai International website ( and found a great quote by President Ikeda. The quote reads:

Cowardice is harmful, for it delights the enemies of Buddhism and obstructs the advance of kosen-rufu (world peace). The fainthearted cannot savor the true benefit of faith; their ability to tap the power of the Buddha and the power of the Law [of the Gohonzon] in their lives is enfeebled.

I really like this quote because when it comes to talking to other people (even just in small social settings or with family), I am always terribly shy and often afraid to engage in conversation. I am easily intimidated by strangers, and I’m always worried about what other people might think of me. I have trouble thinking of something to say, and as a result, I often don’t say anything at all. In this sense, I need to have courage. I need to have courage in order to be able to talk to other people, make new friends, and share my experiences with others (aside from posting to my blog). I also enjoy talking to other people about Buddhism, but my own fear prevents me from sharing Buddhism with others. Even in public places like Target or the grocery store, I see other people shopping, but they seem like they’re living in a different “normal” world. I, on the other hand, often feel like I’ve been living in my own little “crazy” world surrounded by the voices. I need the courage to break out of the crazy voice-world, and leave it behind forever.


Swimming Hole


4 comments on “Courage to Leave the Voices Behind

  1. Hi Jen, I realize that you are feeling better now, but you might consider reducing your therapy visits to every two weeks. That would save you half the money and give you an opportunity to talk things through with your therapist during the times when you feel more vulnerable to your illness. My therapist is still on sabbatical for another month, but before she left I was seeing her every two weeks and for me it really worked well. It might for you, too. I plan to go right back to her and the same schedule when she returns. In the interim I’ve been giving myself therapy by talking into my trusty taperecorder and listening back. I’ve been doing that for years now because it has helped so much. You might try that out as well to help you also with your writing. Good luck!

    Kate : )

    • Jen

      Hi Kate! Thank you for the advice! I know that therapy is so helpful and valuable for me, and that it’s worth every penny. I think in the long run, I’ll be thankful that I did spend the money on it. I guess now, it just seems like we’re a little tight on cash, so it’s not as easy to come up with the payment every week like we used to. I’ve never tried recording myself. Mostly I just write!

      Thanks Kate!

  2. Alma

    Hey Jen,

    Just read the article you were featured in and wanted to let you know that I think it was informative, well written and encouraging. You expressed yourself well and gave great insight into your personal struggles and triumphs.

    Wishing you the best!

    Peace & Love,

    • Jen

      Thank you Alma! Thank you for all the wonderful compliments! It means a lot to me. I’m glad you liked my interview!


Leave a Reply