For those people who find themselves struggling through life with little or no support, the ability to enter into compelling self-discussion might just be the saviour.
Talking – whether or not somebody is there to hear it – is regarded as the most efficient means of dealing with hardship; clinical psychologists charge exorbitant fees to essentially sit and listen as their client unloads upon them, sometimes without even needing to offer any form of insight.
This is the beauty of talking; it allows the speaker to hear the issue spoken aloud – instead of bouncing arbitrarily around the inside of their skull – thereby enabling them to perceive it from a variant angle and perhaps with a different outlook to the way they have been viewing it in their head.
In the original ‘Talking’ I postulated that ‘talking to oneself is a sign of active imagination’; now giving strength to this assertion is the fact that, of all the world’s famously habitual self-talkers, I can find none who are/were dullards.
To elaborate, no person who has ever been guilty of merrily mumbling away to nobody in particular has ever seen the world in entirely black and white; thus the minds of self-talkers are not strictly superior but certainly, they are inherently more flamboyant than their dually-conversing counterparts.
2017 saw a number of self-inflicted deaths in the Rock Music Fraternity (RIP Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell) yet nowadays, this kind of revelation is received not so much with shock or a sense of outrage and loss, as it is almost with a feeling of acceptance or resignation, as though the terms ‘rock star’ and ‘suicide’ have become grotesque synonyms.
Today depression or ‘mental illness’ is accepted as an everyday condition but what is furthermore acknowledged is that, ostensibly selective as its debilitating effects may be, it can affect anyone.
Horrifically most people have come to expect that rock stars – indeed musicians in general – are a less stable variety of human and are probably more given to self-harm than other, regular, untalented or generally uninspired, folk; so here’s the thing about that: musicians are artists, developers, creators of passion; developers of beauty – a musician, composer or other artist’s mind is therefore able to perceive things that ‘ordinary’ folk might find difficult to comprehend, meaning they are more susceptible to emotion thus tend to feel things more strongly than others and in most cases they do require the support of frequent communication.
While it is true that an extensively creative mind is vastly different to the mind of one less gifted in this respect, it does not necessarily make them ‘more given to self-harm’; it simply makes them more tender, more able to recognise emotion and yes, it probably does make them somewhat less able to cope with hardship – without the aid of a voice.
Rock’s famed ’27 Club’ boasts names such as Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, and Cobain (incidentally, all renowned self-talkers); of whom all died in their 28th year and all, presumably, suffering from severe mental illness.
The recent awareness on this topic has gone some way to ‘normalising’ the issue yet, even with as much publicity as there has been including widespread encouragement to ‘talk to someone’, I believe that for a younger mind afflicted by this blanket of gloom with its bleak and perpetually overcast skies, ‘talking to someone’ might still be too far out of reach.
In which case the answer is simple: Talk to Yourself; Listen to Your Issues, Understand Why You’re Hurting, Tell Yourself What You Need.
Be your own best friend because ultimately, no one knows you like you do.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Fey Lin Good
Photography by Torque Power