Up until I was 9 years old, I would intermittently hear a voice in my head that was not my own. The voice was distinctly different to mine, and always negative. It would self criticise or urge me to do things I knew to be morally wrong. The most peculiar thing about the voice was that it took no effort on my behalf to produce. My own thoughts always felt like there was a process that required effort to bring them to the forefront of my mind, this voice appeared as though it was spoken by another. The sentences felt predetermined like they had already been constructed.
I remember very vividly at 9 years old, becoming very frustrated with the voice. I stood in my back yard, internally screaming at the voice to be silent again and again, and it did. In a flash there was silence, to the point where my head felt like an empty room. I wasn’t used to the quiet and that voice never returned. It almost felt lonely in my head.
When I got older I had intermittent bouts with auditory hallucinations where I would hear perfect symphonies, usually at night when drifting off to sleep. They were so clear that they sounded like they were emanating from a radio in the corner of my room. I knew they weren’t there, but for some reason they never came with the feeling of fear. I also recall sitting on a bus at the age of 15, and hearing the sound of a crowded room, with about 100 voices chattering away, I was the only person apart from the driver on the bus.
These experiences were always very brief, and few and far between.
My last hallucination was during an intense bout of psychosis in 2015, and was my first visual hallucination. I was walking down a pavement after jumping out my mums car in a crossroads in a moment of frustration and distress with my condition. I was trying to run from myself. What appeared to be a homeless man with a dark complexion approached me, and asked me what was wrong. I explained that I had been sick most my life, and I wasn’t sure I had the strength to continue. He looked at me, and smiled and told me ‘everything is going to be okay in the end Ren.’ I had not told him my name. There was something so overpoweringly sincere about this simple message, which brought with it an overwhelming feeling of inner peace, and in a flash, he vanished.
My rational brain always linked these experiences to what the doctors have told me, that there are parts of my brain compromised by the autoimmunity in my body. That the myelin sheaths surrounding the complex electrical system that conduct my thoughts were damaged and compromised, causing these lucid experiences that I knew did not exist inside the physical world.
The part of me that edges away from logical and rational thought always attributed these thoughts to some kind of otherworldly intervention, that made my thoughts the battleground of some spiritual tug of war.
For a long time I never really acknowledged this part of myself, for with it brought the danger and stigma of sounding like a crazy person.
I decided with my latest release, to the best of my ability, to capture and express this chess match of thought.
Hi Ren comes out in just over 24 hours.
I can’t wait for you all to hear it.
“Hi Ren” keeps growing, reaching #18 in trending music videos in the UK, with over 5M listens in the first week alone.
Check it out below and follow Ren on social media for his latest releases.