Haven for the living Princess and the Pea


Mental health

A day in the city

The big day is here. I stagger out of bed. I’m already one down as I didn’t fall asleep until sunrise. I open my wardrobe crammed with clothes. Some drop to the ground as the doors open. It makes no sense that I have so many clothes as I never go out. Most days I never get dressed. I guess I just see the potential in every single item. Whether that makes me a hoarder or an artist depends on who you ask. It’s important for me to keep my options open, to know each item is there if I ever need it. But my options are anything but open now. I cannot find what I want and the task of getting dressed is completely overwhelming. It is overwhelming just being in my room, a physical replica of the turmoil within, as though my mind has been turned inside out. Continue reading “A day in the city”

Empty veins

I will probably need to give this post a trigger warning, though to reassure anyone who is concerned, I opted instead to bleed with words.

Empty veins

I examine the blue veins highwaying my wrist

where your fingers rested a paper-slice away from my life force.

Veins visible and dramatic beneath my anorexic physique and translucent skin.

Veins like roots protruding the surface,

my insides and my dreams laid bare

for you to tender, if you wish, or slay. 


I imagine slitting these veins.

These veins, once bursting with your love.

These veins now waterless river channels meandering to my heart.

Emptied as fast as they were filled.

Helplessly waiting for the next rain fall.

Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

Dying more and more as each day drags on.

The angel and the devil,

the villain and the hero,

Are one and the same.

So I push away both

and return to a solitary world

behind closed doors,

behind the stillness of night, my only friend,

and behind my bags yet to be unpacked.

Bags stained with the sour taste of my final day

when the silence, perhaps, said all there was to speak.

A real life Hogwarts

As I was watching Harry Potter the other evening, I was thinking how this hospital to me is very much what Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is to Harry. I’m sure all who have stayed in a psych hospital can attest to that strange feeling separation, or insulation, from the world beyond. Your sense of time changes and mental health is no longer something you have to hide. When you leave there is a distinct feeling of crossing a veil much like platform nine and three quarters. The hospital is a parallel world, and a world I’m finding I much prefer, despite the difficulties I’ve had in here. Continue reading “A real life Hogwarts”

Merry-go-round of life

Cars swirling round and round

Their whir a daily greeting

soon to be followed by the clunk of the cleaner

rattling down the hallway

Lingering, like the pong of chlorine or artificial fragrance,

Scrubbing and vacuuming floors barely trodden

Replacing towels unused

Over and over. Continue reading “Merry-go-round of life”

An invisible scar

“All those years drifting in space
I have known you well, yet I’ve never seen your face
You turn around, looking at me, laughter in your eyes
And now I can see”
Hayley Westenra, ‘Across the Universe of Time’

Some people grow up believing they’re dumb or ugly. I grew up believing I was a rapist. When I was five, I was accused of sexually assaulting my friend. The story, woven by my friend and her mother like venomous spiders, spread through the principal’s office, the classroom and the school yard, and I was no longer allowed to see my friend. The story did not end at the school gate too. It spread into the houses of mutual friends, into the neighbourhood which I unfortunately shared with my friend, and other schools we both found ourselves at years later. I had a number of friends taken away from me due to the story. I was watched in the yard by teachers and when I went to play with them I was told I had to play somewhere else. I had my enrolment declined at one school due to the story. I had my reputation stained. My friend and I both went to the same high school- the local, Catholic college for girls. Here the story was used as a reason to bully and exclude me, and a couple of my friend’s friends- her assassins- threatened to hurt me if I were to come near her or if she were to get expelled for her slander. As a child I often had dreams that none of this ever happened and we were still friends. But then I would wake up to this reality again. I was told that I was as good as a criminal, a message drilled into me every single day. My friend’s mother did not drive and walked everywhere with her children. Whenever they’d approach our house, her mother would lead them onto the grassy terra strip on the opposite side of the road where they would pass our house as far away as they could possibly get without trespassing on our opposing neighbour’s property. Her mother continued this routine for the rest of her life. Continue reading “An invisible scar”

An account of a “mixed episode”

This is an account I have written about my recent “mixed episode”. I agree with Kimberly over at (a great read by the way) that there’s not enough written about what these actually feel like. I also think they could be better diagnosed; I am only just learning about the mixed features of my own depression which have been overlooked by professionals all these years.


It is not ordinary depression nor is it mania

But a concoction of the two,

A mad science experiment,

Where the worst aspects of both have been combined. 
Continue reading “An account of a “mixed episode””


Every day she’s so depressed and angry and in pain. All she wants to do is sleep but today she was woken by her mother’s guests. Now she must lie awake and suffer. She suffers silently behind closed doors, closed blinds and under the blankets of her bed while laughter fills the house. Her dark room is both her refuge and torture chamber, the darkness seeping into every bone and tissue of her body to the point the pain becomes physical. She breathes and exhales darkness. There are no tears; she lies in a dried up riverbed, thoroughly scorned and beaten by life.

dried river 3

Chronic anxiety: a reflection

If our emotions were M&Ms, my box would mainly be the one colour. Don’t get me wrong, it would certainly contain a range of colours to reflect my rather broad emotional vocabulary, but there is one which is well out of proportion to the others and that is anxiety. I have felt it so much and for so long now that it’s just become my “normal” state, and to be relaxed is a privilege. After having little luck with various therapies, relaxation strategies, and anti-anxiety herbs, I’ve just about given up and accepted that I will take this anxiety to the grave with me. But while reading Heller and LaPierre’s “Healing Developmental Trauma”, I came across a different perspective on chronic anxiety which might explain why it’s so ingrained and difficult to change in some people. Continue reading “Chronic anxiety: a reflection”

My experience with depression

I would like to start out by expressing just how deeply grateful I am for having been allowed the opportunity to write on this blog. However I find that I am nervous and unsure as this is my first time writing anything on a blog like this. Nor am I a wordsmith by any measure so I hope that I can deliver as expected.

My name is Ned. I am 26 years old and live in the Dandenong ranges. I recently had my very fist experience with depression. It started about a 3 months ago and lasted for about 2 and a half months. I understand that two and a half months is not a long time nor was the severity of my depression, knowing people with long term depression of a much harsher nature, so I do not mean to come across as being petty or attention seeking. However being the first time that it happened I felt very confused and worried as to why I felt so different all of a sudden. I normally feel as though I could take on the world. Even on my off days I can muster the mental fortitude to discard my worries and carry on with a positive outlook and a smile. But I found that I had lost my ability to do so. That was how it started. I would come home form a difficult day at work and would find that there was no resurfacing. I felt as though I was perpetually flat and no longer had any excitement in my life. I was over everything. All the things I would normally look forward to seemed to no longer interest me. Even the things I didn’t look forward to, such as working on Sundays, I would often be able to march into with a confidence and a ‘get it done and get out alive’ attitude all started to seem too much. I began to feel isolated and alone despite having numerous and close friends. These were all things that I had never felt or experienced before.

Continue reading “My experience with depression”

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