her name
sticks to the teeth

as did the cooking

as did the kiss.

his name

rounded yet comprised of broken sounds

as was his heart

as was his promise.


The Abandoned Hour – April 2014

Turn off the bright coloured lights, turn off the sultry, gentle glow, blow out the candles – it’s dark and that is alone.

Turn down the sexually inspirational music, turn down the radio, stop shit-talking – it is quiet and that is alone.

Your room is full of familiar strangers; friends that only love you for your fried mind – that is alone.

Close your eyes – there is no one.

Turn off the light – there is no love faked.

Turn down the music- the only beat is your own.

We condition our environments to make us feel the things we think we want to or should feel; the things we think will make us feel less alone. But really, it’s the same bedroom you cry yourself to sleep with loneliness in, 6 nights a week.

The only time when you will not feel lonely is when one person can walk in on your Wednesday night tears and it is silent and the light is neutral and your mind is your own and they love you like that, and you love them like that back.

my Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) experience

Pristiq was the first antidepressant I took, a little over five years ago. I was pretty young so the idea of an antidepressant was confusing and unappealing. The process was managed by my doctor and parents and I didn’t have much to do with the process of research or decision.

This medication was prescribed for the first depressive episode I experienced. I tend to think that due to the experience of depression being so unfamiliar, unexpected and debilitating, it was one of the worst episodes I’ve experienced, despite the fact that it occurred when I was in my early teens.

My confusion associated with coping with and moving through a depressive episode may have hindered any effect Pristiq may have had on me under different circumstances. I made no real effort to engage in therapy, due to the uncertainty of what i was going through, what therapy actually aimed to achieve and a fear of developing an emotional connection with a stranger.

I felt totally unaffected by taking Pristiq and experienced severe emotional, aggressive and self destructive episodes. I took the medication for six months and was engulfed by an unwavering depressive episode for the duration. At seven months, I asked to be taken off the medication without really having any objection to being on it. I was quite indifferent but could not see any purpose for being on something that made no difference to my mentality.

I had no side effects going on, coming off or being on Pristiq. Overall, it was entirely non-affecting. A few months after ceasing Pristiq, the depression lifted and I entered a phase of intellectualising and analysing what this episode meant for me and my life. I lived with an underlying sense of being dissatisfied, anxious, isolated and confused for another six months, before I experienced my second depressive episode. I did not take another antidepressant until almost two years after I stopped taking Pristiq.

my Cymbalta/Duloxetine experience 

Cymbalta is the sixth of six antidepressants I’ve taken in the past five years, and is the first of the six which has significantly improved my ability to live well. It’s not necessarily normal living, but it has been easier to confront my life than ever before.
I started taking it in January of 2016, during a depressive episode which felt inescapable. About six weeks after taking Cymbalta for the first time, my outlook had shifted and my mentality was stable almost all of the time. As months went on, I found it easier to rationalise and dissipate anxiety associated with school work, leaving the house, appearance, social encounters, irrational fears/mild paranoid thoughts. Now, after eleven months of Cymbalta, I am able to feel calm when approaching most situations (which I would not have ventured close to previously). This included completing my final school exams which I swore I would never do when I left school prematurely, a few years back. I have been free of any significant periods of depression since January/February. I have a totally new perspective of myself, a new liking for myself as I am, and a sensibility which was once foreign.

The downside to my experience on Cymbalta is a weight gain of 10 kilograms and lack of sexual sensation. For these reasons, I have been deliberating giving it up for a couple of months. Since the beginning of November, I have reduced my dose to 15mg, and ten days ago, took nothing. I have always been very sensitive to medication withdrawals, and even going from 15mg to nothing, sent me into a sickly state.

Day 1 was okay and I hardly felt sick until the evening, when mild dizziness and nausea set in. Day 2 was worse – sweats, increased heart rate, headaches, nausea, back pain, dizziness, blurred vision. Day 3 and 4 were terrible and prompted me to begin taking Cymbalta again, and assume an even more ridiculously gradual weening. I experienced aggression and anger, bouts of inexplicable crying and an increased intensity of all of the symptoms from days 1 and 2.

I have taken 15mg of Cymblta for the past three nights and I almost feel normal again. Normal enough to function in the activities I have planned for the next few days. My plan is to take 15 mg until tomorrow, at which time I will take 7.5mg for another week. This is very tedious and inaccurate as it requires breaking the smallest dosage capsule of 30mg, and doing my best estimation of the granules. It’s definitely an interesting, love-hate relationship I have with this medication. Overall, I’m thankful for the clarity it has allowed me to feel regarding my capabilities and capacity to do more, feel more, and be more than I ever thought I could.

thursday thinking after therapy

*please note that this piece is a personal experience and evaluation of my own circumstances. it is based on theories i have created, not fact.*

in my experience, there is a gap between the baseline of daily stress for ‘neurotypical’ people the baseline of daily stress for those with an atypical mentality/mental disorder. this gap is comprised of all of the things that people have to do to function in society, and how easy it is for a person to do these things.

for me, the increase in this baseline is created by all of the ‘normal’ things i have to remind myself to do. while other people may do certain things without thinking or even realising, i have a constant dialogue of what to do and when, and checking whether i did. for example, remembering to say hello is not an instinct when seeing other people, i have to re-understand the situation, acknowledge it and then work on choosing a greeting word which feels appropriate for the person and the circumstances, and decide when to jump in with the greeting.

over the years, i have noticed a pattern of extremes in behavior. i have always considered myself an ‘all or nothing’ person and have found it difficult to reach a middle ground, and compromise with my own behaviour. these two extremes are defined by my total lack of perception of normality. when i consider the extreme divide between my two behaviours, i find it difficult to understand which one i actually am and how to stick to just one.

when i attended real school, i would struggle to arrive on time due to my perfectionism relating to my appearance/work/person. i would not leave the house without excessive analysis of my appearance and re-dos if i felt necessary.  i was very unhappy and constantly confused about why i didn’t know myself. i remember constantly asking my therapist why i lost all sense of who i was when at school, and felt this overwhelming need to piece my personality back together when i got home. in retrospect, i tend to think this was as a result of seeing normality represented in other people and trying to emulate it without any real idea of what it meant or how it was achieved.

since existing in a more emotionally comfortable place, i have created a normality based only on what i feel – without the standards of the world. i have neglected fashion in favour of a single pair of loose, black pants, totally disregarded razors, forgotten how to apply make-up, eaten in more normal (and sometimes excessive) quantities which have made an appearance on my stomach and thighs. these examples are very simplistic (but accessible) representations of what this has meant for me. this is the self i am and it is easy to be, yet i do not see this person reflected in the ‘normality’ associated with functional people. particularly those who are or who aspire to be successful.

when i was the first extreme version of myself, my whole life was more challenging – the gap between normal stress and stress experienced by someone with a mental disorder was very large. this makes me think that perhaps having an atypical metnality and being comfortable with that requires a different baseline of normality, which often doesn’t allow normal functioning. if i were to begin to function at the level i am ‘supposed’ to, i would find daily tasks much more difficult than others might find them. i would have to suppress many of the coping mechanisms which are considered abnormal, and remind myself that i’m supposed to do a lot of the things which are considered normal.

lovingly – dec. 22nd 2014

sitting smoking cigarettes 
this dusty Sunday mourning is a mess

lick you clean of loveless lies

accept my compliments

with great surprise

it smells like alcohol inside

im kissing dewy spillage

from your cheeks

i am ‘so young’ but i dont feel it

take your twenty years

and dumb you down

pre-loved, ‘vintage’ sofa bed

you touch my hair

compelled by loneliness

and on the street im seventeen

and this honest goddess

sweeps me off my feet

hours pass and looking back

i see my misdiscription

of the zodiac

and here i rhyme pathetically

and hold your words to my chest