Mental Note Vol. 34
I just want to plug our writing contest one last time before the deadline this Sunday! We are, again, soliciting submissions from all mental health professionals and clinicians to submit using this form (here are the rules again if you would like a reminder). The contest has cash prizes of the following:
1st place: $500
2nd place: $350
3rd place: $150
The final deadline for the contest is this Sunday, on May 9, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.
Here are ten of our top pieces from the week:
“It’s 2:00 in the afternoon, and I’m hurtling down the highway, hoping the body I’m puppeteering will listen to me. Despite having driven hundreds of times before, and knowing that my arms indeed belong to me and are wired into my motor neurons, I can’t seem to convince myself I am in control. I fear that at any moment I could float out of my body; that the only way I’m able to stay on this planet, in this physical form, is through sheer willpower alone.”
“There will be a time where life gets so dark that you can’t see the path in front of you. Often, you won’t even realize that you’re traveling in the right direction until you get there. Life will be hard. Bad situations will compound on top of each other. Have faith; it will allow you to see the light in the distance. In the darkest moments, maintain hope.
“‘How do you not identify with the bipolar narrative?’ a friend joked, responding to a meme I’d posted about my two moods.
Of course, this was a false binary for comedic effect. I have more than two moods, I just tend to feel everything intensely. I’ve been this way since I can remember. ‘Stop being so dramatic’ and ‘you’re too sensitive’ were the looped tracks in the album of my childhood.”
“I was doing fine. I felt like my life was slowly starting to turn around and I could see some of the positives that had come out of the most difficult situation I had ever found myself in.
It had been 8 months since my abusive relationship had ended. For all the months that I woke up to the overwhelming pain of emotions, I could now point to minutes, even hours that I had been able to focus on something else.”
“For the past decade, I’ve struggled with a host of mental illnesses ranging from eating disorders to mood disorders and depression. And most of the time, I also spent looking for magic pills.
That one miracle solution that would solve all my problems and heal me, from one day to another.
My way out.”
“I remember the first time I tried cocaine. I fucking loved it. I got introduced to the pretty white stuff after a party by my model friend at the time.
Twenty-one years old, and I had found a new love. Our honeymoon phase lasted six months until we became toxic with each other, mostly me threatening to throw it in the toilet after a few days of bingeing, but coke reminded me it would never leave. Maybe our experience was curing my abandonment childhood issues.”
“I was quite a straight-laced kid in grade school. Back then, insults about people’s mothers were popular and in vogue. I could not fully appreciate that they were not meant literally. And when a friend insulted my parents, I got highly upset. The next time it happened, though, I laughed it off.
The two incidents occurred in the space of two weeks and made my friend remark upon the fact that I sometimes seemed like two different people. A factor common to how I reacted to that event and every subsequent instance was my mood. It strongly affected my response.”
“I remember my first psychedelic experience. I was in my late twenties regularly experiencing bouts of depression, drinking most days and losing myself in anxiety and purposelessness.
In a safe and nurturing environment, I took a medium to high dose of magic mushrooms and I was transported through an atmosphere of intricate, metallic, bronze and copper mandalas. Whilst marvelling at the beauty and luminescence of colours unseen in normal waking consciousness, I was struck by the benevolent guidance of the experience.”
“As a professional beauty and lifestyle writer, I have researched many fashion brands. Something becomes clear as I look at boutique indie brands, higher-end luxury, and sustainable brands: these brands are typically only for thin women.”
“I like to think of Charleston, South Carolina as New Orleans-light. I can satisfy my need for deep-south, gritty, gothic, haunted ambiance without feeling like the devil is following my footsteps.
I’m the kid who spent one night in New Orleans and changed my flight the next day. This empath just can’t take that much voodoo. But Charleston — I feel at home there. I’ve spent a lot of time in that city, but until last week, I’d never experienced it sober.
Thank you everyone!