The Hall of Infinite Possibility

I had this crazy dream. 

I was in a room filled with stars, which led to an endless hallway lined with sparkly, shimmery doors. At first I thought I was in the hall of akashic records, but then my invisible guide said to me, telepathically, “no, child, it is not history you will find behind those doors, but possibility.” 

I then understood that each door opened into a different reality. I became instantly filled with a kind of overwhelming excitement that I hadn’t felt since my childhood. The doorways were infinite. The possibilities were infinite.

My imagination ran wild envisioning all the magical and mysterious worlds I could discover. Would there be benevolent creatures beyond anything dreamt up in the movies? Would there be fantastical alien landscapes with pink skies and purple clouds you could float around on? Which door would lead me to utopia? 


I couldn’t contain myself any longer, and threw open the first door on my right. I was sucked, (quite literally, as if being vacuumed up) into its reality, and a moment later I ‘woke up’ in my childhood bed. Before I even opened my eyes, I knew who and where I was, and instantly felt disappointed with the familiarity of my surroundings. 

I was 10, living in a shitty outer-suburbs duplex with my mother, and she was very angry with me for reasons I couldn’t tell. Everything seemed to be normal, except for two things: one, my stepfather was nowhere to be seen, and two, we had moved out of that particular house when i was 8. It then hit me; in this reality, my mum never met my stepdad, we never moved, and my brother was never born. That ain’t cool, I thought, and closed my eyes and willed myself back to the room of stars.

I experiemented with a few doors in close proximity, and quickly found, to my dismay, that they all led to slightly modified versions of my predominant reality. In one version, my grandparents had died early in my life, leaving my mother and I a sizeable inheritance. So we had money and an increased quality of life, but the abscence of my grandparents left a large void in our family unit. In another version, I stayed in my hometown, married my high school boyfriend and had three kids by the time I was 21. 

After going through several doors and versions of my life, I became frustrated by the lack of diversity in my human experience. “How many doors do I have to open until I find a completely different reality, seperate to myself?” I shouted in desperation to my unembodied guide. “I don’t want just another version of my own reality, I want to experience a new reality!” I wanted a new family and body and ancestry and personality and desires. I wanted to experience life as someone else. “But, child,” said my guide, “that is the whole point of being alive, of being a person, of having an individual and unique human experience.” 

“What do you mean? What is the point?”

When our eternal being decides to separate from source to become embodied and live out a human life, we do so because it gives us the opportunity to manifest and materialize our infinite possibility.” I still wasn’t getting it. “So why can’t I explore some of that infinite possibility?”

“Because for this life cycle, you’ve chosen this body and this path. You chose this one specifically for a reason. You need to fully explore all the potential of this particular life… before moving on to another.” 

I got it. It finally made sense. I still wasn’t thrilled about it, but I understood why I was confined to this body and it’s variant realities. I needed to remember my original life intent and make the steps to restore my path before I could even think about moving on. Prior to this moment, I’d been stuck in inaction; my guide showing me this room was her way of giving me a gentle nudge, a friendly reminder of all the potential I was squandering and all the possibilities of this human life.

I woke up. 

A Better Son/Daughter

For the first and probably last time on this page, I wanted to post something- specifically, a song- which was not actually written by me. 

I’m not in the habit of sharing other people’s work, as there will always be an infinite amount of better writers than myself to quote and praise, and I feel it takes away from the authenticity of my personal blog.  

However, this is not just any song. 

 I discovered this obscure little indie gem many years ago, and the lyrics could have been plucked directly from my soul and written in my blood and tears. It is closer to my truest self than anything I’ve ever read or written; the words resonate within me in a way I can’t entirely explain. 

I had the tremendous honour of meeting Jenny Lewis, the singer/songwriter behind this track, about three years after I first came across it. I got to tell her how much the song meant to me, how it simultaneously inspires and deflates me to hear my innermost struggles so beautifully articulated by someone else. “It pleases me that you love the song,” was Jenny’s response, “but it saddens me that you relate to it.”

So without further ado, I present to you my life’s penultimate theme song- I hope you get something out of it.  

“A Better Son / Daughter” 
by Rilo Kiley

Sometimes in the morning I am petrified and can’t move
Awake but cannot open my eyes
And the weight is crushing down
on my lungs, I know I can’t breathe
And hope someone will save me
this time

And your mother’s still calling you insane and high
Swearing it’s different this time
And you tell her to give in to the demons that possess her
And that God never blessed her insides

Then you hang up the phone and feel badly for upsetting things
And crawl back into bed to dream of a time
When your heart was open wide
and you loved things just because
Like the sick and the dying

And sometimes when you’re on, you’re really fucking on
And your friends they sing along and they love you
But the lows are so extreme that the good seems fucking cheap
And it teases you for weeks in it’s absence

But you’ll fight and you’ll make it through
You’ll fake it if you have to
And you’ll show up for work with a smile

You’ll be better you’ll be smarter
And more grown up and a better daughter
(Or son) and a real good friend

You’ll be awake, you’ll be alert
You’ll be positive though it hurts
And you’ll laugh and embrace all your friends

You’ll be a real good listener
You’ll be honest, you’ll be brave
You’ll be handsome, you’ll be beautiful
You’ll be happy

Your ship may be coming in
You’re weak but not giving in
To the cries and the wails of the valley below

Your ship may be coming in
You’re weak but not giving in
And you’ll fight it you’ll go out fighting all of them…

The End of Anxiety

Oh hello there anxiety, my oldest friend
Back for an unwanted visit again?
I thought I told you, I no longer have fear
I’m stronger than ever now, didn’t you hear? 

You were like a cloak that I wore all year round
Heavy and stiff, always weighing me down
But I cast off that cloak and I’m learning to breathe
So if you don’t mind now please, I’ll ask you to leave 

Oh what’s that, anxiety? You’re Constricting my throat? 
Reducing my voice to a whimper and croak?
And now comes the part where you get in my head
Try to convince me I’d be better off dead

But I’m smart now, anxiety, I know that’s not true
The days of you poisoning my mind are through
I won’t let your vitriol dictate what I do
And the only thing better off dying is you 

So I’ll let you visit this one last time
But then you can fuck off out of my life
You weren’t invited, and won’t ever be
So thanks for the memories but now you must leave.

2 am is for lovers


 

Let’s together be wild and disgraceful 

Allow ourselves to come undone 

Though our passion may overwhelm us 

Though our fire may blister the sun 

 

Let’s escape to our secret universe

Where our entire existence is us 

Where outside of these four walls

Nothing is or ever was

 

Though sadness once seduced me 

And melancholy held me tight 

Now 2am’s for lovers

And Lust’s reclaimed the night
 

Let’s embrace these sacred moments

Share lungs and single breath

And when the daylight hour approaches

Together die a little death.

@totallyborderline

The Little Psychonaut

Some of my more eagle-eyed followers may have noticed that I recently published, then  removed, a series of posts related to my DMT experiences and transformation into a psychedelic moonchild. 

I started totallyborderline as a way of dealing with my mental health diagnoses and reaching out to others with similar issues. It’s been an incredibly cathartic, albeit narcissistic journey, and one that will continue throughout my life. As such I will continue to document it on this blog. 

I realized after 3 DMT-related posts that I had more to say on the subject- so much more. My mind has been opened to a whole new way of thinking and a lot of weird existential shit is flowing through the floodgates. In fact, I had enough material and thoughts on the stuff to fill its own blog.

My current fascination with spiritual pursuits is certainly intertwined with my mental state, however it is such an intense subject that I decided it best to seperate the two. If anyone cares to follow that journey, please head over to Little Psychonaut and check out my DMT Diaries. 

For everyone else, I’ll try and refrain from clogging this feed with trippy ramblings of transdimensionsal time-lords and star children- no promises. ✌🏻️ 

A Most Unlikely Love 

I’m not usually one for romantic displays, neither giving or receiving. I find them mostly to be unbearably cringey and I’d just, like, rather not

I’m also terribly inarticulate when it comes to writing on matters of the heart, so I don’t normally bother, which is why I was surprised to come across a love letter to Boyfriend in a secret folder on my phone. Apparently I wrote it six months ago while in a particularly wistful mood, and promptly forgot all about it.

My usual reaction to finding something like this would be to either delete it, or put it back in its hiding place forever. But its resurfaced right on the eve of our one year anniversary, which seemed quite serendipitous, and in lieu of an actual gift I thought it would be nice for me to share it with him (and the Internet, I guess). 

Dear love, 

I’ve recently come to a realization about you, and us, and the effect you have on me. My life was always full of chaos but since we’ve been together, I’ve felt surrounded by a calmness, a sense of rightness, a profound feeling of being home.  We’ve known each other forever, although it’s only been the last six months I’ve actually started to know you. Since then I’ve written poems for you, essays about you, and opened up in a way I haven’t been able to for many years. To say you’ve influenced me positively is an understatement. 

Up until now, I took for granted that this creative resurgence was attributed to the newfound romance in my life. Now I understand that it was not just the act of falling in love, or the warmth of being loved in return, but it was the lover himself that was my muse. 

I’ve been deeply affected by love in the past, the emotions it’s stirred within me, the layers of myself that have been revealed, but the object of my affections was never really the source of inspiration- rather, my feelings and internal responses to the act of loving, and then the recovery from the emotional annihilation of heartbreak, was always the catalyst to my creativity. 

This is because until now, my lovers have all been of a certain ilk. They fit the ‘bad boy’/ alternative/ slightly damaged mold that I had cast for myself as an ideal partner; I now understand that this was largely due to my poor sense of self-worth. I didn’t see any value in myself so I instinctively picked under-achievers who wouldn’t challenge me (or themselves). I never thought i was nice enough for a ‘nice guy’. 

But through the thick ashes of failed relationships, I emerged at the end of my twenties slightly burnt, but also a little wiser, a touch more self-assured, and completely content to forge ahead into my thirties as a single lady. My newfound confidence and lust for life was pure, I wasn’t seeking to please anyone but myself, and I guess all these subtle changes over time was now resulting in me sending out vibrations on a higher level, and thus becoming attractive to a similar (aka better) quality of person. And that’s when you came back along, quietly and effortlessly slotting yourself into my life as if there was always a special spot reserved there for you. 

We’d always been on the periphery of eachothers lives, and once we became an ‘us’, it felt like I’d been wandering the cold for countless winters, frostbitten and pneumonic and searching for warmth, only to discover I had a box of matches on me the whole time. A chance reunion, a few almost-missed advances, a clumsy seduction; all the little moments leading up to that first kiss are etched in stone in my memory, because it was such an unnasuming beginning to something so life-changing. Our compatibility caught a us both off guard, but from that first kiss, from the very instant the match was struck and the sparks flew wildly, we knew we were inevevitable. 

When we first met eight years ago, I had no idea who I was or what I wanted from life. You were in university trying to figure it all out. We were both with unsuitable partners and would have saved a lot of time and heartache if we’d just ran off together then and there. But instead, you just asked to take a photo of me and I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do. 

The picture I eventually got to see was a revelation. For the first time, I was able to see beauty in myself, in the image of me you created. Instead of obsessing over blemishes or messy hair or any of my thousand perceived flaws, I was able to admire the shadows and light as it bounced off my face, enhancing certain features and pronouncing my youthful vulnerability. For once I could look at myself as something other than  repulsive. That photo now resides in a frame, above the actual antique chair pictured in it, in the home we now share together, and it’s still my favorite photo to this day.

This lovely bit of serendipity was the catalyst to my realization. Its presence makes me reflect on the notions of randomness and destiny, and reconsider my thoughts on true love. Because now I know that you haven’t only been a positive influence on me this last amazing year- you’ve actually been inspiring me since the day we met. 

It’s not always obvious, it’s not always grandiose, but every single day, my life is better because of you. I’m better because of you- more genuine, less reckless, softer. My carelessness is countered by your perfectionism, my impulsiveness by your sensibility. 

I used to think it would be the highest honor to be considered someone’s muse, to be alluring enough to inspire a work of art, but now I realize that the true gift is to have a muse of your own. To be blessed with the company of someone who motivates and inspires you, someone who makes you understand the love songs, and sing them without a trace of irony- that’s an honour. To have Someone who gives you the courage to lay yourself bare, even though you’ve been hurt in the past, even though you know you could be hurt again. Someone you can feel so connected with, you lose yourself a little bit. A person to miss when you must be apart, and make your heart swell up impossibly big when they come back. 

So I say thank you, my most unlikely love, for affecting me. For letting me in on the secret of secrets, the reasons the movies keep being made and the songs keep being sung, for knowing me and letting me know you and for giving me the most wonderful us. 
 

Reflections

Around a year ago my life started changing. Improving, some would say. 

I’ve been barreling clumsily down a path towards awakening, and during this entire period I’ve had an insatiable hunger for knowledge, which I’ve been devouring through essays, scientific reviews, books, pamphlets, literally anything related to existential psychology and expanding consciousness. 

From all of this manic research, combined with my own experiences and rumimations on the subjects related to the higher self and the inevitable questions everybody has about the ‘point’ or meaning of life, I believe I’ve started to piece together pieces of the puzzle. 

Ive been shown glimpses of the code, the sacred geometry, the patterns literally weaving together the fabric of existence, through my experience with DMT. My focus for the past few months has been trying to develop some form of understanding and integration of the complex messages I received.

Im still in the infant stages of my esoteric education, so a lot of it is still far above my current ability to comprehend, and it’s challenging to retain the knowledge of the things I do understand, so I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on some of the key thoughts, teachings and theories that have resonated with me since commencing this journey of mystical weirdness.

• Good and evil exists on this earthly plane in equal measure, however it is better defined as light and dark. I’ve seen the yin and yang symbol a thousand times throughout my life but now when I come across it, I understand it’s deep meaning. I’ve struggled my entire existence with my own darkness, allowed myself to become consumed by it at times, at others fighting hard to suppress and smother it. 

I’m realizing now that neither is the correct way to go about it. In order to live a fully integrated life and move towards fulfillment, i must find a balance with my emotions and find a way for both sides of my nature to exist in harmony. Darkness shouldn’t be willfully ignored or attempted to be squashed deeper down into a hidden recess. But in equal measure, it should not be exhalted or glorified, but rather, in order to attain emotional balance, one must acknowledge their darkness, and then find a way to accept it. 

Acceptance means more than just tolerance. To truly accept your darkness, one must have the same attitude as the sun towards the moon. Existing side by side, understanding that each is as vital as the other, the sun content with it dominion over the daylight hours and happy for the moon to own the night. It is the way it is, both serving an equal yet opposite purpose, just as it within ourselves.

•There is so, so much more to this life than we can perceive in our third dimensional form. This whole universe is an energetic life force, teeming with endless possibilities, layered with infinite dimensions and realities. 

DMT has shown me glimpses of the ‘energetic imprint’ of the fourth dimension. Every single solid thing, every life and piece of matter in this world, has a trail or ‘aura’ around it, and all these auras bleed into and feed off each other. Things that I once perceived to be bland, innanimate objects, such an an aircon unit, were suddenly no longer in solid state but wavy and gaseous, with an energetic aura and ‘personality’ to match. 

Our feeble 3D senses would be overloaded if we were able to perceive all of this information all the time- imagine constantly ‘hearing’ colours and ‘seeing’ sounds whilst still trying to function within our societal constructs. One would surely go insane. 

However, there are abundant ‘points of access’ for us to experience these heightened states of awareness, and I feel it vitally important for every individual to tap into it at some stage of their life. The more we open our minds, the more we allow in.

• Our thoughts manifest our reality. This is a mind-meltingly difficult concept to grasp, and it’s the one I’ve been most preoccupied with lately. The way I understand it is this: human beings are a way for our higher self, which is an unembodied life force, to experience third dimensional consciousness. It is an opportunity to explore the complexities of emotion, through physical experience, and a progressive linear timeframe in which conflict, growth and resolution can play out.  

Information is received to the human brain via the lens of the five senses, and based on our previous experiences with whichever sense we receive, we apply emotion to that information. We then respond physically to the stimulus based on this emotion. Our response and actions have an immediate ripple effect on our surroundings, and thus our reality is formed. 

By this logic, the only way to drastically change our current reality is to first examine our thoughts, and become aware of the subconscious emotional factors influencing our responses. Once we identify thought patterns that are no longer serving us or aiding our advancement, we can work on altering these thoughts and manifesting a more positive reality.

Word to the wise, once you go down this line of thinking, you  inevitably become embroiled in the world of quantum physics. It’s a mysterious and confusing world, and I believe it’s the scientific link between our spiritual and physical selves. 

Much like the yin and yang, I’ve always been vaguely aware of Quantum’s famous double slit experiment but didn’t really get it.  I was reintroduced to the concept recently, and thanks to my current awareness of these things, I actually could grasp it, and my brain is still exploding over the implications. Schroedingers cat, observer-based reality… these are no longer abstract ideas for me but truth.  If you’re not familiar with any of this, I’m afraid you’ll have to do the research yourself as I’m way under qualified (read: not intelligent enough) to explain it. 

• Finally, I read last an article last week that really interested me. It was theorizing on how DMT affects the pineal gland, and that the bombardment of geometric patterns is actually a kind of chakra-activation. It’s a ‘visual language’, deeply rooted in our subconscious, and once the imagery has been recieved, it works like the secret signal activated in a sleeper cell; your third eye has been opened, you are offered a glimpse into the realm of the divine, and things will never be the same.

This is certainly true for me. The first time I experienced the spectacular mandala and chrysanthemum visual display, I felt a deep sense of familiarity with them, almost a bond. Like reencountering a beloved childhood tv show that had been long forgotten. 

I could write endless nonsensical volumes on all the concepts and ideas I’ve been obsessing over, but brevity is something I’m trying to work on. At this point in my awakening I have far more questions than answers, and that’s ok. The more I question the nature of reality, the more illusions shatter on their own.

 I know that I’m exactly where I need to be at this exact point in time; so far down the rabbit hole I can no longer see the way out, but unafraid of what lies on the other side. 

For more on my experiences in the realm of the psychedelic, please check out my other blog which is devoted entirely to the subject. The DMT Diaries

How watching ‘Derek’ makes you a better person 

An avid consumer of media, I’ve always had a particularly passionate love affair with television, and the little window of escapism it offers to an otherwise drab existence. The bright colors, the beautiful people, the drama, the chaos, the neatly-packaged resolutions. It was all so much more appealing than my lame little suburban life in Australia. I was intoxicated with Hollywood glitz and glamour, and coveted the lives of my television counterparts.

Of course, my viewing habits have matured with age, and these days I find myself less drawn to glossy melodramas and inclined towards more substantial viewing  (that being said, I did waste five embarrassingly recent years of my life on ‘Pretty Little Liars‘, captivated by the endless riddle of A’s identity and the attractiveness of the leading ladies, all the while painfully aware of how ludicrous the show actually is). 

My quest for enlightenment and a life of meaning is often  thwarted by a tendency towards shallow frivolity, and evidence of this is littered throughout my Netflix watchlist. 

Television serves many purposes to many people- at its worse, it can be a mind-numbing, soul-sucking agent of dribble, used for biased agendas, exploitation, promoting shitty ideals and reinforcing negative beliefs onto the spongy brains of the uninformed. At best, it can be absolutely life-affirming. It can bring around a new way of thinking by shining a light on an issue or concept you had not previously encountered. It can inspire the biggest of belly laughs and move you to tears. The greatest example of this kind of show that I’ve come across is Ricky Gervais’s Derek.

I initially avoided this show based on the mistaken belief that it was, essentially, a piss-take on disabled and ederly folk. I was familiar with some of Gervais’s work but was unaware of his personal status as a prolific atheist, animal rights activist and humanitarian. I therefore had no reason to believe him above portraying a disabled character for a few cheap lols. Thankfully, after hearing a coworker constantly gush about the show and insist I give it a chance, I discovered I was completely wrong, and fell head over heels for this incredible character. 

For those who have yet to experience the magic of Derek, the basic premise is this; a middle aged man with undisclosed learning difficulties, lives in an aged care home, where he helps out with the general running of the place, but mostly provides support and love to the other residents and workers. The home is run by the huge-hearted Hannah, who is a living lesson in selflessness. 

 The hilarious Karl Pilkington costars in the first season as Dougie, the maintenance guy, who is basically just Karl with a bald-cap and even greater sense of disillusionment ( “Life is pain. From the moment your head pops out someone gives you a slap.”)

Rounding out the main cast is, Kevin the repulsive, drunken cretin who is spared from homelessness only by Derek’s insistence that he be allowed to stay at the aged care home, and Vicki, the teenage kleptomaniac who is forced to volunteer at the home as a part of a community service sentence. It all seems reasonably light-hearted, and is quietly hilarious from the get-go. 

We are drawn to this motley crew of underdogs and we find ourselves wincing with embarrassment and giggling uncontrollably at the situations they find themselves in.

 But a few episodes in, we discover that this is much more than just a clever mockumentary, this is actually a series with substance, and at its core a poignant message that should not be ignored. 


The key to Derek’s appeal as a character is his simplicity. He knows he’s a bit different but it doesn’t matter. One of my favorite moments  is from season one, when a council inspector enquires as to whether Derek is handicapped and would consider being tested for autism. “If I am ’tistic,” Derek responds, “will I die?” Hannah assures him no, he won’t die. “Will I change in any way? Or will I be the same person?” He’s told yes, he’ll still be the same and no, he won’t die. “Well, don’t worry about it then,” he says nonchalantly. Case closed. 

In another scene he addresses his ‘low intellect’ while talking about his late mother and the things she taught him. “She told me that kindness is magic. I’m not handsome or clever. But I am kind.”

 And he is, always, to a fault. To everyone, deserving or not, no matter how they respond in turn. He’s kind in situations that I could never be kind in, to people I could never be kind to. And as result, things change. People change. Kindness changes them. 

They become kinder people in return, they spread it around. I feel like this is a universal truth that we all understand at a fundamental level, but collectively, as a species, have sort of forgotten about. It took Derek to remind me. I would watch, tears streaming, lump in my throat, and be like, ‘oh, yeah’. 

They should be teaching it at schools. Sure, the humor is often R-Rated and Kev especially is offensive as fuck, but the occasional crudeness of the comedy provides the perfect balance to Derek’s earnestness. It makes the sincerity palatable, rather than shoving it down your throat like an after-school special. 

I can’t speak highly enough of this show. I’ve never wanted kids but I love Derek so much I’m almost tempted to have them, just so that I can make them watch it. 

Kev’s constant vulgarity is beset by occasional moments of brilliance – who knew that a character best known for lines such as “8 ounces of pure blood sausage coming atcha!” would also be capable of such insights as, “I’m a coward, a failure I guess. But I’m not a failure because I didn’t succeed- I’m a failure because I didn’t try.”

This theme, suggesting the deep-down goodness of everyone, is prevalent throughout the entire show. We witness it in the evolution of Vicki’s character from the first to second seasons. I initially thought she was a bit of a write-off, a useless ‘thot’ there to provide a bit of comic relief with her millenial-style airheadedness, as evidenced in her early exchanges with Hannah: “So what do you wanna do for a living?” 
“Oh, you know, Kardashians n’ that.”

And that’s the whole point, it’s so easy to write people off as a losers, unworthy of our time, we all do it. But after Vicki finds herself bonding with the residents and Hannah gives her 100% on her volunteer evaluation form, we see a different girl begin to bloom (“I’ve never got 100% on anything before,” she says tearfully). Hannah’s relentless kindness and belief in Vicki changes her, gives her the ability to believe in herself and quietly become a better person.

We are forced to face our own mortality through watching the elderly residents of Broad Hill on their march towards death, and heartened by the staff’s dedication to giving them as comfortable and dignified exit as possible. We feel a stab of shame as Hannah laments their plight, “Just because they’re old, just because they’re poor, they’re forgotten about,” and it breaks our hearts a little because we know someday we’ll be old and forgotten, and we vow to be more thoughtful towards the ederly in our lives and appreciative of our relative health and youth.

There’s a thousand other examples of unexpected kindness and life lessons in this show, my favorite involving Kev and a tin-can dog (I challenge you to watch that episode without bawling), but I don’t want to spoil everything for the unacquainted. Suffice it to say that every single character will surprise and move you in one way or another, and the underlying message always prevails: kindness is magic

There is really nothing more important you can do with your life than to be kind. Or, to quote Derek (who himself was quoting a Chinese proverb):
“If you want to be happy for an hour, take a nap. If you want to be a happy for a day, go fishing. If you want to be happy for a year, win the lottery. If you want to be happy for a lifetime- help other people.” And if you want to be reminded on how to be a good person- do us all a favor and watch Derek. 

Grown Uprising 

 Something weird is happening to me. I don’t know how or why or when it started, but slowly, progressively, mostly against my will, I’ve started becoming.. dare I say it… an adult

I’ve tried to ignore it, but the signs have been cropping up for awhile now. I recently whipped up a cheese and fruit platter- for myself. That’s right, not for the benefit of a fancy visitor, it was just the snack my old lady brain desired, and I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t even Instagram it.

A few weeks ago, I set up a Direct debit for my phone account so now my bills are never overdue- which means my phone is never cut off. This is a revolutionary concept. Over the years the team over at the Vodafone billing department have become like a family to me- I certainly have more conversations with them than I do my real one. The automated ladies voices that informs me, ‘sorry, you have call barring activated’ is as familiar to me as my own mothers. I’m gonna miss those guys.

Last week, I broke a tooth, and instead of ignoring it for several months and allowing it to become a far worse and more expensive problem, I went and got it dealt with a mere two days later. Not only that, but I scheduled it for my weekend, so that I wouldn’t require any additional time off work. How’s that for an ethic?

Ive never had health, life, or home and contents insurance- but in what is probably the most telling hallmark of my incline into adulthood, I’ve been doing extensive research on the matter. I can now conduct entire fascinating conversations with other adults about policies, health funds, and assets, whereas a few years ago, a mere mention of any of those words would make my eyes glaze over as I backed away slowly.  

I think a big part of my resistance towards growing up is because of how terrified I’ve always been of it. Turning 30 used to feel like the most ominous thing ever, and now that I’m here I of course realize that it’s not as lame as I’d though it would be, but I feel like I’m betraying my younger self by not hating it. My instincts tell me to Fight the Power! Forever young and wild and free, right? Raise hell! 

So I’ve tried to deny it. I’ve tried to act like I’m still a wayward youth. But I just don’t have the energy to do the shit I used to find enjoyable. The idea of spending a few hours, let alone an entire evening, in a nightclub, paying $13 for a shitty vodka in a mason jar that instantly gets spilled on you by a hipster dancing ‘ironically’ to a 90s pop dubstep remix, navigating my way through a sea of Kardashian-esque girls with fake boobs and hair and nails and lashes and lips and tan, and guys in their collared-shirts and Vans sameness, the pickup lines, the awkwardness, wanting a ciggy and having to squeeze into a sardine can of cancer with a thousand other banished smokers; I’d rather hang out in actual Hell, I think.

I used to think that living fast and dying young was a romantic and beautiful notion; I yearned to be like Kurt or Amy or Jeff or any of the revered ’27’ club, fellow misfits, people who felt eternally misunderstood, creative savants who lived their life recklessly, like a piece of performance art, crashing and burning gloriously right up until the bitter end. 

Thankfully I outlived 27 and outgrew my desire to die forever young and pretty. I realized that annoying phrase uttered by every adult ever –   “time heals all” is actually true, and now I can annoy the next generation by saying it to them . 

In fact, in the past six months, I’ve not only survived the transition into adulthood, I’ve actually taken steps to live even longer. I’ve quit smoking cigarettes, a habit I’ve held half my life. I stopped taking psychotropic medications and sleeping pills. I’ve started making healthy, home cooked meals at least once a week. I’ve made a conscious effort to drink more water every day. And the funny thing is, I haven’t had to make a huge effort to implement any of these changes, it’s like I just  started paying attention to my body and prioritizing my wellbeing, and once I did that the changes started to occur naturally. I’m practically a health guru at this point, and considering renaming my blog ‘totallywellness’.

So clearly I’m beginning to relax about this whole getting older thing, fancying myself as ‘reluctantly refined’. I told myself I’m aging effortlessly, gracefully, becoming a more well-rounded and capable adult without even really trying. Allowing nature to take its course, if you will. And feeling pretty smug about it, to be honest. After all, I’m doing way better than I ever thought I would be at this age- I’m not dead and I’ve never even been in jail.

And then… I make the mistake of going on Facebook. I scroll through the lives of my peers, dozens of whom have also hit that milestone age this year. A few jobless deadbeats, with children and drug habits they can’t handle, a few with mediocre middle-class existences. But what was surprising to me was that the vast majority of my fellow triple-decade compatriots are actually kind of killing it.

 One has a disgustingly cute year-old baby with the man of her dreams, and they’re this cool little nomadic bohemian family who spend half the year in their chalet (at a snow town called Mount Beauty, for fucks sake)  working at a ski resort, and then reside at their gold coast beach house for the warmer months.

 One is engaged to a model, has two gorgeous and well-behaved kids from a previous marriage, and is a doctor that owns his own radiology clinic and is currently doing pre-production on a feature film for a screenplay he whipped up in his ‘spare time’.

All of a sudden my ‘interest in health insurance’ doesn’t seem so impressive. Maybe I’m not as mature and adulty as I thought?  Im not sure whether to feel jealous or inspired by these examples of higher echelons of successful adulting. 

Oh, well. I’ll ponder it further while I go smoke some weed and eat fancy cheese. Fight the power! 

Welcome Homeostasis 

A few weeks ago, I made the decision that I no longer wanted or needed to take my medication anymore. I’ve had a lifetime plagued by anxiety, depression and insomnia, and have tried nearly every drug in the book to treat them, with varying results, mostly underwhelming. Last year, however, the game changed. It turned out all of my various psychological afflictions were linked, symptoms of a bigger problem, and I finally had a diagnosis and a name for my particular brand of crazy- Borderline Personality Disorder.

 I was put on a cocktail of medications and went through months of intensive therapy, where I learned about mindfulness, emotional intelligence and coping strategies. For the first time ever I began sleeping, uninterrupted, the whole night through. My shakes and tremors virtually disappeared. I began to feel more balanced and in control of my moods, and minor inconveniences no longer sent me into nuclear meltdown. Basically, my quality of life was vastly improved after my diagnoses and subsequent treatment, and I’ve been a vocal advocate of therapy and medication ever since.  

So why on earth, one may ask, would I even consider going off those miraculous little chemical compounds? Am I stupid as well as crazy?  Perhaps I’m one of those people who finds the peaceful life boring and thrives on drama and misery?  Maybe I just decided it was time for a good ole’ fashioned derailment? 

As exciting as that all sounds, the actual reason is because I just couldn’t deal with the side effects anymore. Back when I was in peak psychosis, a little fatigue and cognitive dullness seemed a small price to pay for a magic pill that would take away the mania. Prior to taking them I felt like I had completely lost control of my mind and physical reactions. I would have muscular convulsions so severe that I’d be unable to walk for days after; I would find myself desperately tearing at my skin, convinved I had to peel it all off because it was suffocating me. The meds, in particular Seroquel, took it all away. My mind, once a chaotic hive of activity, slowed to steady, monotone hum. The constant tears dried up, I could take a breath without it hitching, and it felt like a big warm cloak had been thrown over all my pesky emotions. It was the chemical equivalent of sweeping a problem under a rug, and it was peaceful and lovely. 


However. Having to carry around a heavy cloak all the time gets really exhausting. It weighs down on you, makes you flushed, affects your ability to think straight. Plus, cloaks are seasonal; while it would make sense to wear one in the winter (you know, if cloaks are your thing), it would be illogical, uncomfortable and weird to drape yourself in that heavy shit through the blistering summer months. As your environment around you changes, what was once your savior can quickly become your burden. 

I always just kind of assumed that my psychological issues were something I’d struggle with every day, forever,that they would always be intense and unmanageable. But it turns out the extremities of my disorder are just as ever-changing as the weather. Storms don’t last forever and neither do psychotic episodes.

Just when I’d almost resigned myself to the endless winter and given up hope of seeing the sun again, the seasons changed and so did everything around it. I am forcibly reminded of the impermanence of life, the inevitability of change, and the crucialness of adapting to it . I came to realize, that as my mental state was no longer in crisis and my mind had calmed, it made about as much sense to continue taking such a powerful antispychotic drug as would wearing that fucking cloak in the Australian summer .  

The sedative effect on my cognitive function was turning me into the walking dead. Every single day, my full-time job was trying to stay awake (as well as, you know, my actual full time job). While driving I’d alternate between micro-napping and slapping myself in the face as the perpetual motion made me unbearably sleepy. All my free time was spent in bed, I would constantly sleep through my alarms and I was always running late. I was a mess, and I knew I needed to do something about it. My warm, protective cloak had become my straightjacket.

I couldn’t find any jobs that entailed sleeping all day, so my only other option was to ditch the pills. I started by tapering off for a few days and then thought fuck it and just went cold turkey, on all the three anti’s as once (depressant, psychotic and convulsant, for those playing at home) as the idea of dealing with three seperate detox’ s and withdrawals was far too unappealing. My boyfriend naturally disapproved of this method and advised me against it, as would most sensible people, but honestly I just wanted to get it over and done with. Throw all the shit to the wind and see where it lands. That’s an expression, right?

I probably should have consulted my doctor, or psychologist, or psychiatrist, anyone with higher medical credentials than myself really, but I didn’t want to be talked out of it, and also I’m super lazy. So I just lied and told people that I did speak to my doctor and he said it was fine. 

The first week passed by with deceptive ease, and apart from a touch of the night sweats and lethargy I didn’t seem to experience withdrawals at all. This lulled me into a false sense of security. I was all like “I don’t know why I was even worried, this is ain’t no thang!

Unfortunately this feeling of being unmedicated and fancy-free was short lived, and the following week I took a brief, but memorable little sojourn into hell. I woke up crying and shaking three days in a row, the bedsheets soaked through, filled with a deep sense of impending dread which would rot in my belly for hours. The room would tilt and sway dangerously, giving me a constant sensation of vertigo and light-headededness, and the brightness of daylight was almost unbearable. I had no personality or emotions to speak of, I was just a grey puddle of nothingness in humanoid form.  I googled ‘withdrawal symptoms from seroquel and Lexapro’ and I had every  single one on both lists. I was too tired to look up the ones for Lamotrigine. I sensed I was losing my ability to function, and this was confirmed when a co-worker made a comment which I knew I found funny, but I couldn’t remember the natural human response to humor. Instead I stared blankly at her, not blinking, for about 40 seconds, after which I suddenly remembered the concept and barked the word ‘LAUGHING’ in her face. It took me another twenty seconds to actually recall how to perform the act of laughing, so I did, but I had now forgotten the joke and so instead I just made loud maniacal noises that I thought laughing was supposed to sound like and then had no idea why everyone was staring at me with a mixture of concern and fear. I took the rest of the week off work and slept for three days straight. 

As the second week drew to a end, I started to feel better. Not only were my symptoms abatating, my head was starting to clear. It felt like a deep fog in my brain was finally starting to disperse. I could think. I could feel. And thankfully, I could handle the feelings. 

Now, I must not fail to mention that I embarked on this little mental health experiment of mine while my life and circumstances were very stable (at least by my somewhat lofty standards). I have the greatest and most supportive partner, which makes things immeasurably easier. There is no significant conflict or turmoil in my career, home life or health, and although I came to the decision to withdraw rather impulsively, I did it at the best possible time, for what I believe was the best possible reason. I want to experience the highs and lows of my life completely, without the cloak, without the pills controlling and masking the receptors in my brain.

It’s still early days but so far, I’m incredibly happy with my decision to go rogue. I wasn’t sure if my brain had the ability to generate serotonin on its own anymore, so that’s a victory (and, to be fair, quite impressive when you consider how much chemical abuse it’s  endured over the years, both pharmaceutical and recreational). In fact, this is the first time since I was seventeen that I’ve been unmedicated. I still have a long way to go and only time will tell whether I’ll be able to sustain this current contentment, but for now I’m just keeping the cray at bay and enjoying the reprieve. 

I’ll keep the cloak safely stashed, just in case, but I have hope that there will never be a winter cold enough to need it again.