Rob is 65 years old and lives with his dog Max on a small rural property. After 40 years as a mining engineer, he has recently retired and is enjoying life in the slow lane. He spends his time walking Max, tending to his chickens and going for drives in his Ute around the countryside.
Rob has a close circle of mates who live locally and he has known for over 30 years. Most of his mates are also retired or are working part-time so he is able to catch up with them regularly throughout the week whether it's at the local men's shed, the pub or having them over for a BBQ.
Rob has been hearing voices since his twenties, and believes it's been passed down to him from his father and paternal grandmother who also had a similar shared experience. He mainly hears voices that are critical and warn him of danger, but on occasions he hears nice and encouraging voices. He is now able to cope with them more easily.
A game changer for Rob was when he realised his most critical and scary voices actually have the intention of protecting and keeping him safe. This has made it easier for him to be more compassionate towards them. Now he often thanks the voices when they warn him of danger, reassures them he is safe and finds this not only calms himself but also the voices. Rob also practises mindfulness to keep himself in the present and enjoys going for walks and describing what he can feel, hear and smell.
At times, Rob finds that the voices can be really convincing and due to this he sometimes struggles to know if they are telling him the truth. When he is unsure, he finds it helpful to ask his mates who he trusts for their advice, or if they are not around he questions what the voices say to him, or does some research on the internet.
As Rob's life has slowed down and he has more time to engage with the things he loves like spending time with animals and with his mates he has found that the voices have less power over his life and that he is the one in control.