Prose Archive

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  • Brush Fire

    Trigger warning: Description of panic attacks and severe anxiety

    I had four back to back panic attacks the most severe I walked four blocks past my office stopped wasn’t lost, but said to myself what am I doing here, and started to boil in side as I made my way back towards my office. As I got closer, block by block the boiling of emotion like a volcano started to erupt and it did. It was severe, so severe I couldn’t see the medication I carry in my bag as my mind had left me, my mind had left me, rare.

    Damage

    I want to put my best foot forward, but I only have two feet with the same mind. Can’t move forward, can’t go back, can’t stop what’s going to happen and cannot change what already has happened. And my past actions have made huge holes in my life, and my thoughts and emotions have minds of their own and take control, leaving me with a vague feeling that something happened, I did or said something and I cannot put my finger on the insanity that is driving my life.

    Call for submissions

    This is a call for submissions for a proposed anthology entitled Headcase: LGBTQ Writers and Artists on Mental Health. We are particularly invested in making sure that we have a genuinely diverse array of writers and artists contributing; we want to include the voices of people of color, of youth and elders alike, of trans, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit people; people living with dis/abilities, low-income people, people whose intersectional identities are underrepresented in media.

    A Trans Woman’s Open Letter to Her Dad

    Hi Dad,

    It is time to address the last sticking point in my transition. I don’t need to remind you that I am making the single biggest step in this journey in three weeks (and yes, I’m absolutely certain). If required, I will go into greater detail, but you don’t want that and I’m not excited to have to.

    Fuck. Schizoaffective?

    The last few weeks have been chaotic for me. I’ve been in a mixed episode, and starting last week, I’ve been hearing voices. Whispers, chatter, and someone calling my name. All either alone, or only with my partner nearby, and she’s confirmed that they aren’t things that she’s heard. I’ve also been feeling like the crows that wake me up in the morning are mocking me. I’ve known for months that something like this was inevitable, but it’s still jarring to experience a psychotic episode for your first time.

    The Human Condition

    Trigger warning for mention of incest

    …I love the definitions of stigma and mental illness. They complement each other so well, don’t you think? Kind of like a cocktail, a drink made by mixing various spirits and/or fruit juices…and any hybrid mixture…and any number of different drugs used together to treat a condition. I personally like 1 part stigma to 2 parts mental illness: it has a nice little kick to it. Combine the three and well, whew, you have a real drink here. I – a person – can only be facetious about this. If I wasn’t I’d be blubbering all over this keyboard.

    Emily Carr, I Love You

    I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Winter Hammell. Her first post with QMH.org is an elegant story about pouring her feelings about mental illness into a single portrait.

    i drew the #6 sable brush across the canvas with the steady hand of a cartographer, laying down a bold stroke of phthalo blue lightened with a tip of titanium white.

    Holding the palette on my left thumb, clutching three brushes between my fingers, and one clenched in my teeth, i could taste the rich, luxurious oils. Drunk on the exotic perfume of linseed oil and rectified turpentine, i stroked and dabbed the canvas of gesso-primed Italian linen.

    Sadie

    We dance together, she and I. Sadie possesses the power to make everything good. Unlike me. I am the dark child, the tortured soul. She is a luminary, a child of the sun, grace personified. I can’t imagine what the world must look like from her point of view. So free, so unencumbered…she never says anything, never makes me feel bad. It’s part of her charm. But secretly I’m always waiting for her to leave me, to realize she’s too good for me, to get tired of my slow starts and spiraling moods and self-deprecation.

    DSM-V Criteria for Sexual Identity-based Delusional Disorder (Satire)

    Remember when homosexuality was in the DSM, listed as a mental disorder? Remember when being trans was in there, too, listed as Gender Identity Disorder? (Oh yeah, that last one is still in there!)

    Be As

    Trigger warning for graphic description of bullying

    Adrian noticed him looking and turned his face away his cheeks red. “I always get picked on.” He said quietly. “About being new, about my scar, about being ugly and anti-social.” There was a touch of bitterness in his voice and he looked away again, voice dropping to a whisper. “and about being ….gay…” For some reason, Adrian knew he could trust the strange boy with this fact.