Color – facing numbness

By Pavithra

I wrote this poem below a few months ago.

I felt angry inside — why are there fewer words welling up inside of me? Why can’t I feel the intensity of sadness, of the beauty of the rising sun, the happiness rising in me over the sweet simple things in life?

Why is everything quieter?

Why do I not stay up nights with tears rolling down my face, or me wishing in my heart of my dreams, my heart full with hope?

I felt so much irony inside of me. I questioned who I was. I still do. What is my purpose? When my heart seeks for me to create — why is it that I battle social anxiety? When my heart seeks for me to get up and laugh and dance, why am I afraid? Why is it that I feel the science I pursue stifles me, chokes my energy, and is against the energy I believe I have been granted inside of me?

I realize now healing comes with a form of silence. overcoming trauma may mean my I subconsciously miss the chaos. This is confusing, but I am now aware.

I also realize I miss the time I had to write, to read, to dance, and the space I had. I know I must in the next stepping stone of my life, choose one that is far from the bustle…the treaded path I have run in circles. The streaks of mud, the mini pitter patter of my footsteps from long ago. My feet have grown, and yet my path hasn’t. I have taken circles after circles, tricking myself into the belief, that this must mean growth for my inner heart.

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Structured Journaling for Health

By Megan

Battling an eating disorder as well as general anxiety has been difficult through the winter months. I’m not ashamed to admit that I needed professional help to get myself on the right path but I was also willing to try any method to help myself feel better.

I’ve always been a bit of a sceptic when it comes to journaling and the whole idea of writing down my gratitude. What is the point of physically writing down the thoughts in my head?

Journaling is ‘simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly’. It was recommended to me that I give journaling a go as a form of self care so I thought I would give it a shot and see if it really made a difference.

I was gifted a beautiful Wellness Journal for Christmas that had a double page spread to fill out each day. I set out to write in my journal as often as I could in order to test whether journaling and writing down my gratitude could really improve my mental health.

My journal begins with a space for my daily intentions so I usually fill this out the night before. This helps me plan my day, meaning I start my day on a positive and productive note. My aims and goals are clearly set out in writing and it is satisfying to be able to physically tick off and cross out my tasks once they’re complete. It’s safe to say that this section has really kept my mind focused rather than allowing myself to float through each day in a cloud of anxiety and negative thoughts.

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The Market of Disposable Jobs, Disposable People

By Jay

Organisations running and participating in the job market force workers to think of themselves as commodities. Contractually, one can take up a temp job and leave it when one chooses. It can, supposedly, be used as a stepping stone or as a trial. The job market creates the illusion of people and work as both being disposable and without cost, except time.

The reality is that not all work and work environments fit this mould. Work that involves significant training, support or responsibility cannot simply be treated as disposable. Frequent turnover of workers will diminish quality and damage morale.

Even if roles require limited training or support, people have emotions and economic needs that makes itinerant work difficult for most. Organisations understand this and the supposed flexibility of work, especially, temp work, is, often more true for the organisation than the individual.

Once a worker is on a temp contract for a few months, financial and reputational requirements may mean that they have to suspend their search for a secure job. Leaving too soon can affect their chances in the future. Moreover, workers have emotions and will feel a duty to colleagues and themselves, especially, when welcomed and trained by supportive peers. Only the most strong-willed or emotionless can dispose of a job, however mundane, without a sense of repaying or contributing for the opportunity. There is fear too, of a negative reaction from disappointed managers and colleagues.

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The Self and Language

By Jay

When the mind is disrupted by fear, numbing most thoughts, language and emotions, the self is suppressed or disassociated. I feel an empty shell. When colleagues talk, especially, those with seniority or some other dominance over me, I lock into their eyes, nodding and murmuring. I am trapped in front their words and eyes, barely able to move or stand straight. Even at the end of the day, when I’m due to go home, I am enmeshed in the words of others and am only released when they stop talking.

I can’t find a self to express a view; I should be off now, or some other personal view, except, to agree and reinforce, with a timid smile. Most thoughts and words that come to mind seem forced and hollow – they will be spoken so emptily, that they are not worthy saying. In my vulnerability and emptiness, I seek to gain their admiration and to hold back any angry attitudes. And, yet, in my stiff, smiling and agreeing avatar, I feel a contemptible fool and fraud, deserving of anger or contempt. I wait for it, growing ever more stiff and anxious, and nodding and grinning more.

What courage it would take to try and find myself amidst the mind numbed by vulnerability, anxiety and trauma. It would mean revealing the confusion and irrationality of my mind. I would stop pretending and admit to colleagues that I can barely find my way around the building, unable to navigate due to some dysfunction of my brain. It would mean admitting to my vanity in wanting admiration and respect and letting out my monotonous, ponderous words and thoughts into the air, open for ridicule or contempt. It would mean telling my manager that this job, despite everyone’s support and kindness and, despite their great need for staffing support and clear hopes that I will stay longer-term, is not for me and that I will likely be leaving soon to try another role.

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