This is some of the work I’ve done in the past. Some is satyrical, most is dark but all is original and all is me. Please comment or contact me with anything you think, positive or negative I’d love any and all feedback.
How can I convince myself this is real life?
How can I tell it to you? How could I get you to understand? What words can I say, what part of the English language can I manipulate for you to understand? When you stand in the mirror, the eyes reflected locked on yours, you see it there, don’t you? You know, you understand that the person looking back at you is you. Right? Well what if you didn’t? what if you couldn’t understand that this is real life?
Imagine when you’re looking at yourself, you don’t recognise your own face. Imagine when you speak, the voice that exits your lips doesn’t register as your own. Imagine when you laugh or smile, you don’t really feel like it’s actually happening. It’s as if all the things around you aren’t actually around you.
Can you imagine being unable to convince yourself that this is real life?
We all have moments of it, of course we do. Where it’s like you’re looking down over yourself living your life. Like you’re not actually here, like someone else is speaking from your mouth.
But imagine it never really going away. Imagine being incapable of understanding that this is real life. Imagine knowing you know people, knowing their names, how you know them, what you think of them, but being completely and utterly lost about how we’re all alive and how we’re here and how you know them as a person.
Imagine having to remind yourself of your own name.
How can I explain to you the feeling of your skin touching your skin and not recognising the feeling? How can I get you to understand the voice in your head feeling foreign and unwelcome?
If I showed this to anyone, their reaction would be ‘I understand’. Or ‘yeah I get that sometimes’. But you don’t have it diagnosed, do you? It doesn’t affect almost every minute of every day, does it?
This is me trying to tell you what it’s like to live day to day life with depersonalisation disorder. This is me trying to make you understand that you don’t understand my derealisation.
Please don’t think I’m crazy. Please don’t think I’m just making it up. Please don’t say you understand,
We both know you don’t.
It is extremely rare. Admittedly, most common from people suffering from anxiety and depression. For me, tick and tick.
The worst part? There’s no way for me to convince myself of my existence. There’s no way for me to tell myself that this is really real. There’s no pill that I can pop which will suddenly bring the living back to life again.
The search for paradise
She’s lost. She stands alone in those dark wood the kids run away from. Her frail dress hanging off her skeletal form. She doesn’t remember how she got here. Doesn’t remember putting on these clothes or tying up her hair. All she knows is the cold drenching her, running through her veins, oozing into her brittle bones. All she can be certain of is the stinging numbness coursing through her. All she’s sure of is each step hurts a little more than the last, each step, more and more energy seeping out of her, she can feel everything around her slow until a second is eternal. She doesn’t know anything, she’s so lost.
After an immeasurable amount of time, she sees a parting in the trees. She hopes, prays, needs, for this to be the end of her journey. She has fought too hard, has struggled through too much, has almost broken but kept going too long for this to not be an end. She pushed herself through, makes it to the clearing and is greeted with this most astonishing sight. A fountain in the shape of a woman walking away, a stunningly detailed dress following in her wake. Luscious green grass a stark contrast to the dull, brown, frozen ground to which she’d grown accustomed. The flowers growing at the foot on the statue seem to seep vibrancy in their beauty: the most colour she’d seen for too long.
But no matter how long she walks she can’t reach it. No matter how long she walks, how fast, from what angle, the fountain and final peace keeps exactly where it is, the woman always facing away from her. After all that fighting, all that strength, all that struggle, no result or peace. She collapses to the floor, ignoring the aching of her bones, ignoring the pounding in her head, ignoring the shock waves of pain coursing through her, she can’t keep fighting anymore. After an eternity of sobs and tears, when she’s finally composed enough to stand up, to try again, the statue had turned. Looking at the face sent an electric shock through her, made her unable to move, or to think, or to breathe. She could only stare. Only fight the sobs gathering at the back of her throat. She turns and runs; runs as fast as her breaking legs can carry, sprints away, but whatever way she faces, no matter where she turns, the fountain remains constantly in front of her, coming no closer, but always in front of her and facing her.
After a forever of turning away and trying to hide she collapses again, her legs unable to hold her fragile form. She lays on that harsh, unforgiving floor, and, once again, cannot contain the heart-wrenching all-consuming brutal sobs forcing their way out of her, shaking her whole body, shaking her through and through. She wants to scream and to truly unleash and explode, to give in to the screams and to let out all those emotions and fears and questions, wants to escape the face on that god-damned statue that just won’t go away. Wants to understand. Wants everything to just go away. Wants to get out of this endless forest, this endless hell.
But in reality, she’s just a mass of skin and bones and raging thoughts, crying so hard all of her shakes and aches. After an eternity of sobs and frozen tears, she picks herself up, and reluctantly opens her eyes. And the face of the statue was completely changed. It was her mother, extending her hand to her on the floor, a loving and concerned face, her long hair, flowing out behind her, her long dress still cascading in her wake. She’s so confused and lost and scared and she doesn’t understand, but when she sees that face, there’s nothing in the world that could stop her from taking her hand. But as she reaches up, something does. The memory of the face that came before the face she loves so much. Such a distortion, such pain,
For the statue face was that of her own. The statue face that made her run from any safety, flee from any calm, sob until her lungs may give out, was her own face, but the features twisted and distorted until it was her in such pain, such agony, such turmoil that she wonders if the statue retained any sanity. Looking at that face reminded her of those dark times before the woods, those days there was no light, no peace, only pain.
But she takes the hand of her mother extended to her, takes it in fear of being left on the floor forever, takes it in hope for somewhere, anywhere, better. After this long walk, after this endless journey she feels so defeated and hopeless, this search for a better place, this search for paradise, well it had better have some results. She takes her mother’s hand, takes it and hopes with any energy she has left that maybe, just maybe she will have found it, maybe just maybe she’s just about earned it, maybe, just maybe, this is the end for her search for paradise.
She stumbles through her thick grey haze,
All the colour drained from her days,
And every time she lies ‘I’m fine’,
She dies a little bit inside.
Because though she wants to scream and shout,
She doesn’t understand the deafening loud
Inside of her tired, tired mind
So she just bottles it up inside
And whenever the chance does arise,
She gets out a pen and starts to write,
About a girl without a name,
About a ‘she’ who’s filled with shame,
‘She’ writes about a thick grey haze,
Which drains the colour from her days,
She writes about the lies she says
And the loud inside her head
But always saying ‘she’, don’t you see?
If you couldn’t guess: the girl is me.
The over reaction
My heart is in a race with the thoughts in my brain about which can be faster and busier and which can be more distracting. The swarm of bees in my mind are angry and buzzing with a violence that I’ve never felt before. My throat contracts and my lungs deflate as my head pounds with the blood filling it, sent there by my furious heart. My eyes fill with tears and my jaw starts to shake as I let the news sink in.
They wouldn’t serve pasta in the cafeteria at lunch anymore.
The one thing that got me through my day of uncertainty and unknowns, with the constant promise of that carbohydrate glory. The one thing that pulled me through these endless bitter days and after eating it, the one thing that kept me going, swept from my existence instantly. Have they no decency? Have they no compassion? Have they no care?
What will I do without the promise of parmesan and peace? How will I live without the flavour of fettuccini? The goodness of gnocchi? The marvel of macaroni? The lush lasagne? The scrumptious spaghetti? Each morsel of manicotti makes me see more beauty in every day. Each ort of orzo is another explosion of enchanting emmental which makes each day worth living.
And they took it from me.
With pure, unadulterated rage pouring through my veins, I march to the office where I can get things done, I storm to the room where I can rectify this tragedy, nay: this disaster. My feet carry me, at such a pace I’ve never felt before, carrying me to possibly the most important conversation of my Faulkner’s career. As the door bursts open, as I burst through, I have a speech laid out in my mind, one to put Martin Luther to shame. As the words tumble out in a flowing waterfall of glory, rendering them speechless, I am left with a sense of pride in myself and the mixture of confusion bordering on respect on their faces makes me know that my speech did exactly what it needed to. And all the lady does is point to the wall! She doesn’t congratulate me on my courage just to come and speak up for the little people, no well done on my eloquence and passion. With great indigence, I march my way over to the wall she was pointing at. On it, I am greeted with the same blasphemous sheet of paper that led me to this spiral. My eyes blur over the words until all adrenaline and anger in me filters away in an instant and I’m left feeling pure embarrassment. The lady just looks at me as I profusely apologise my way out of the door.
I misread the menu,
They’re still serving pasta.
She stands alone, until…
She stands alone. She always seems to stand alone. Her thick brown hair sweeps over her left shoulder, creating an aura of tranquillity and calm, her dress flowing in much the same way. She is the picture of peace…
And alone she stands.
He stands alone. He always seemed to stand alone. His broad shoulders hunched, the muscles in his neck taut with the strain of keeping up his heavy head, weighted with the thoughts raging. He is the picture of turmoil…
And alone he stands.
They stand together. Hand in hand, of one mind and heart. Despite his pained outside, he was merely biding his time, for he knew something better, some change, must be coming.
And then he saw her. And everything fell away. There was only her. Her hair cascading in a flowing halo around her serene face, her dress swirling, enticing him, her lips parted slightly, ready for whatever may come about, her eyes, the colour of emerald, glistening against the breeze, her toes overhanging the edge of that too high cliff.
And the deeper into her emerald eyes that he looked, the more pain, anguish, chaos, suffering that he saw. But he didn’t only see, he recognised, as it mirrored the pain in his own.
They stand together. Hand in hand, of one mind and heart. Despite her tranquil outside, she was burning too bright for her brain to handle, burning so bright she couldn’t see, feel, hear, think anything,
She only thinks those late-night thoughts we all suppress; the call of the darkness, threatening to consume you. She wants to scream, to burst, to throw herself to the floor and cry, sob, until it’s hard to breathe and even harder to think. She wants an escape, an out, just to not feel how she does.
Maybe to not feel at all.
So, her feet carry her to the cliff where she used to feel the most alive. She looks across the precipice and just stares at what lies below. And thinks, contemplates, wonders about if she fell, what would happen? It would be an escape, an out. And she hears a voice behind her, a strong male voice, zoning her back into the reality, although she’d finally thought of that escape she’d so badly craved.
And she sees him. And everything falls away. There is only him.
Standing, his shirt and hair ruffling with the wind but his broad shoulders set out against the pushing gale. His eyes seeming set and steady, hard and sure, and this conception is only accentuated by his sharp and well sculpted features. He’s looking with such intensity, she fears she may be blown off the cliff because it feels like the first time anyone has truly seen Her. Not looked at her, not seen her as a human or a girl: the first person to see Her as Her, as a person. He just looks at her with his deep hazel eyes and deeper and deeper into them she falls, losing any concept of time or where she is or what’s she’s seeing.
There’s only him, only this moment. And as much as that feeling consumes her, engulfs her, it terrifies her. And she doesn’t know what to do with the shock.
They stand together. Hand in hand, of one mind and heart. Despite their worlds and lives before each other, they are each other’s world, each other’s lives. From that cliff face, that one day, a whole new life was born, not for each as an individual, for them as a whole.
And as my mum and dad told me their story, as tears sprung to my eyes, I realised something, a simple sentiment, that’s shaped me in the most extraordinary ways.
Often, the darkness captures a beauty that no light ever could.