They keep him up all night, they remind him of his failures through the day, they point out the instances he would have done better. He can’t sleep, the voices won’t let him. Some are laughing at him, others keep speaking with him. He doesn’t know where they come from or who they belong to. He can’t figure out how many they are and isn’t sure whether among them is the ‘voice of truth’ and the inner voice. He wishes he could identify at least one. He knows it would have been better if it were the bleating of the sheep he is supposed to be counting.

They get him out of bed at 5am, it’s not a day he would have willingly wanted to be up at this time. He has to snooze for an hour on a normal day why be up this early on a free day. They remind him of the many tasks ahead that he needs to work on, the unfinished business. They forecasts the calls and texts he will be getting through the day, those he won’t have answers to, not because he doesn’t want to answer but because circumstances never provided answers. He knows it would have been better if it were the sound of his alarm getting him out of bed.

They follow him to the bathroom. He can’t hear his toothbrush rubbing on his teeth. They are now too loud. They remind him of the worry, they take him back to when it all started and give him a step by step account of how deteriorating this has become. At some point one gives him hope, gives him a smile, but that doesn’t last long, because it is his own voice just not loud enough for anyone else other than him to hear. It would have been better if it were the sound of water out of the shower.

They follow him on commute to work. He would be planning on a normal day, maybe budgeting during this time, smiling at the thought of spending the day with great colleagues. It can’t happen, not with the voices that remind him of misery, not with the voices that speak inadequacy, not with the uncertainty that comes with listening to them. It all started at the point where all was supposed to be rosy, but to get to the rose he had to go through a thorny stalk. It would have been better if it were the honks from others on the road.

They sit with him in the office, it almost feels like all his colleagues have are voices. They tell him this isn’t right. They tell him this is not what he was cut for. They tell him he jumped in a bit too early, maybe he shouldn’t have considered it at all. All moves, one after the other, each seems to drive him deeper into the woods closer to the monster. Every opportunity that appears to be helpful turns into a greater tangle in this maze. It would have been better if it were the sound of his keyboard as he goes through his days’ work.

They get him out of his evening nap, actually the startle him. The sound of the barrier makes him think they are coming for him finally, the adult voices sound like they are scheming. It seems like he may never find the rest he thinks he deserves, the peace of mind and heart he religiously asks God for. He wishes it was the sound of the innocent children playing after a long day, the child he wishes he would go back into every day.

Voices…they only speak trouble, worry, inadequacy, uncertainty. It would have been better if it were the voice of truth, the voice of hope, the voice of assurance.


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