How many times have you seen a quote about seizing the opportunity, or living life without regrets? It’s come to the point where these sayings have little to no effect on us; the internet is littered with them, and they usually take the form of a syrupy sentence with the backdrop of a sunset. I tend to dismiss these hackneyed quotes of inspiration.
But today I cannot.
Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 is no easy read. Some might even call it torturous.
This book belongs in the home of every writer.
Whether you’re a fledgling or a critically acclaimed novelist, you will find yourself returning again and again to its irresistible lines of advice, of caution, and of motivation. Continue reading
The short answer: no.
The long answer:
Heading into my third month of taking meds, my mood has been wonderfully stable of late. My most recent holiday was the best I’ve had since I started varsity, and I didn’t even do much. Note the word, “stable”: I am not dancing in the rain or running through meadows pretending to fly. I just feel “normal”. And normal has never felt sweeter.
What constitutes being an arsehole? Maybe you were already one before you were depressed, or maybe your idea of rudeness involves dirty looks or forgetting to say, “thank you”. Whatever the case, your mood drops (and fluctuates) when you are depressed, so you’re bound to act differently – whether you’re aware of it or not. Continue reading
When I try to think of a way to describe depression, the first word that comes to mind is gravity. Gravity becomes stronger; it moves beyond the point of keeping me grounded. Now it’s trying to push me into the ground, a great big hand reaching down from the sky and forcing me down. Suddenly, I am lying down, an unresponsive lump on the bed, a few dribbled sentences sitting before me, waiting in vain to be refurbished.
This morning, the washing machine overflowed.
Since moving out of campus residence and into a flat with my friend, I’ve encountered most of what I’d heard about from other students. I’ve dealt with raucous neighbours, wobbly internet connection, lousy half-arsed meals, water shortage, and units on the electricity metre fading so fast you’d think we owned a jumping castle. On the bright side, I told myself, we’ve never had a problem with the washing machine.
By the end of this week, our flat was a disaster. My roommate and I had pushed through a pile of deadlines, and our poor living quarters had suffered the consequences of this. When under pressure, we do not clean*. The monsters loved the mess; they gained courage, climbing in through the window, smashing a wine glass, stealing our food and spilling crumbs all over the floor. Continue reading
Sometimes we wish our minds would just switch off, which is near impossible. Here are some tracks to allow your mind not to shut down, but to wander.
Ludovico Einaudi – Fly
Einaudi’s minimalist pieces are simple and yet they never cease to instil emotions you might not have known were hiding. The tentative strings play silently as the piano echoes on, a delicate yet purposeful pattern that takes you to other places. It’s difficult to dwell on the mundanities of daily life when your ears are being blessed by Einaudi.
Radiohead – Daydreaming
The name says it all. This song is dreamy and wistful, swirls of sound and texture merging to form something that promises to take each listener on a different path. I’ve attached the music video below, because it’s beautiful, but I’ve found that exploring this song without visuals is something of a surreal experience. Continue reading
Today marks the one-month anniversary of me failing to maintain a blog.
I’ve been beating myself up about this, and I figured an honest update is the only way to about it. I wish I could to attribute my absence to sheer laziness. If that were the case, maybe I’d snap out of it and dish out some decent posts.
I am not okay. In fact, I am very un-okay. That’s the premise of this blog: to discuss experiences with mental illness and show others that these experiences are normal, and shitty, and manageable.
I anticipated this blog to be cathartic, a way of sharing insight with others and in turn, viewing my troubles in a new light and tackling them. But in terms of mental health, 2017 has, as it were, shown me flames. It’s affected my academics, my physical health, and my social life. It has also affected my ability to work consistently on this blog on mental health (let us bask for a moment in the sweet, sweet irony of this).
Social awkwardness is a general experience that many students feel, whether they have actual social anxiety or not. Social awkwardness is prevalent on campus, but there is no one way in which students experience it. This is the first of a series on Anxious in which I will be speaking to students at UCKAR about how they navigate this space with their social awkwardness.
Nikita-lynn Ruiters (2nd-year, English and Psychology)
This year has been a challenge for Nikita. Her social anxiety has heightened since last year’s student protests, as she was caught in a stun grenade attack, leading her to experience PTSD. Music and writing have helped make her world a little calmer. (Photo: Guinevere Shapiro)
“Social anxiety makes me more aware of certain things. If someone is having a panic attack, I will be able to help them through it. I see the world differently to someone who doesn’t have it. I’m weary of people, so I don’t get attached too easily. Continue reading
I picture it: the sting of the liquid, clear as water, as it fills my glass. I top it with something sweet and fizzy, spinning my straw around to stifle its unforgiving burn. The crowd rumbles on, a slurry of mismatched.conversations, gestures, and hot air. My chest feels tight and I lean in closer towards my friends, clutching my drink, fingers icy. Within minutes my glass is empty and I sit back, awaiting the calm that follows the burn. It feels like nothing is happening; then suddenly the words are streaming from my mouth like glitter, and my smile becomes laughter. I shrug my anxiety off and turn my back as it slinks off to a corner.
I have used alcohol to rid myself of a prominent aspect of my identity. Be it one drink or three, I’d usually feel lousy in the morning after having returned to myself. Continue reading