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Hearing Voices on Vacation Was Tolerable with an Escape Plan

Hearing voices on vacation is becoming routine for me. So this year, I planned ahead. See what I did when hearing voices on vacation threatened our fun.

I wish I didn’t hear voices on vacation, but I know I do. Every year, my schizophrenic and schizoaffective symptoms come with me on vacation. They pack themselves up–even my schizoaffective voices. But I didn’t let hearing voices on vacation ruin my fun. Here’s what I did.

My Family Made Hearing Voices on Vacation Easier

My parents, husband and I always take a week-long trip to Door County, Wisconsin, in the summer. This year, one of my brothers, Billy, came along. I heard schizoaffective voices twice on the trip–better than on some previous trips.

The first time they tuned in was at a restaurant. Luckily, we had almost finished eating when I started hearing voices. I had just finished eating a delicious burger. My husband Tom had finished his fish tacos. Then I knew. I can always tell when they start because I see patterns everywhere. I especially see eyes.

One crucial thing we did differently on this vacation to cope with my schizoaffective disorder was that we took two cars everywhere—one car for me and Tom in case I had to leave early and one car for the rest of our crew. So when the voices interrupted, I just tugged on Tom’s arm and he knew we had to go. The rest of my family understood perfectly.

“You have to skee-daddle?” Billy said.

My parents just said, “See you back at the cabin.”

Later, I told my mom what was going on.

The second time I heard voices on my vacation, Tom was grilling steaks at the cabin and my mom was making potato salad and a cherry pie. I started hearing voices while watching the steaks cook on the grill. Tom was the only one who knew I was hearing them.

After he had finished grilling, we took a walk together around the grounds of the wooded lakefront resort where we rent the cabin. I saw eyes and faces in the lush foliage around the grounds. The voices lasted through dinner. I don’t act differently or even have a weird expression on my face when I’m hearing voices, so no one knew but Tom. It was nice that I didn’t have to deal with the din of a restaurant crowd in the background. My dad put on soft, relaxing music to replace the blaring of television.

My Escape Plan for Hearing Voices on Vacation Made All the Difference

Okay, so, yes, it was a bummer to hear voices twice on our vacation. But having an extra car and an escape route made so much of a difference when I had the episode at the restaurant. I didn’t have to sit in misery waiting for the rest of my family to finish eating. It also helped other times when I was just plain getting antsy and needed to leave and go back to the cabin. Plus, the whole family wasn’t packed into my mom’s SUV going from place to place.

I had a really nice time in Door County this summer. Planning for mishaps, instead of expecting things to go perfectly smoothly, made the whole trip really relaxing.

I hope this article helps you plan ahead for mishaps instead of simply denying they’ll happen and then not knowing what to do when they happen.

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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