“Firsthand Accounts” is a photo series that portrays stories of ordinary people from all walks of life. This project offers a voice to the voiceless — unique individuals seeking to share lessons from their life experiences. In turn, these lessons, or “accounts” will serve as “firsthand” evidence to bridge a connection with a wider audience. All personal anecdotes documented in this series were organically collected through chance encounters in downtown Austin, Texas.
The tragedy associated with addiction leaves its mark on those who are left living. But what kind of life is it when grief snowballs into melancholy because of addiction’s unforgiving hold and the ensuing senseless death? The following visual art series details the melancholy created by opioid addiction. The images detail a mourner weeping due to the loss of a friend.
Living in a civilization that offers no clear rites of passage to adulthood, we are left to craft our own. And this is often less of a craft and more of a crash, a clash with conditions that no longer fit our growing anxiety about who we are. Stranded without a vessel, abandoned on the continental shelf of your future, you are left to deal.
The following personal history piece focuses on the author’s journey in the mental healthcare system, through both psychiatry and psychotherapy. It also deals with how stigmatizing and detrimental the system (and the world) can be to those with mental illnesses. This memoir-style essay tells the story of the author’s illness like it’s the big bad wolf, and walks the reader with her on the journey to coping with it. It’s a piece that not only talks about the author’s individual reality, but also the greater reality of the world of psychology, psychiatry, and mental illness.
Does drug use encourage creativity and creation of art? Some classes of drugs appear to improve creativity or increase activity in the brain that could lead to more creativity. Other classifications of drugs may promote creativity, but could also lead to addiction and other negative health consequences. Do you think that consuming substances enhances your creativity? If so, can they be used responsibly?
Everything we do on this planet has expectations in one way, shape, or form. Deviate from that, and everything starts to fall off the rails. What happens when we keep pushing against that barrier? On the brink of an alcohol/drug-induced bender, the main character feels herself slipping further and further away from the habitual norm of society’s day-to-day life. The question is, is this so wrong? In “Living Room,” we explore what it means to have these sexual, political, and social transgressions in today’s climate.
The American opioid epidemic has become overshadowed by the Covid-19 crisis, yet it remains one of the worst public health crises in the nation’s history. Addiction is a part of the human condition; however, it can also destroy nearly all aspects of our humanity. The following poems attempt to reflect a similar countermanding by using contrasting styles, voices, and forms while continuing to raise awareness.
Dissociation is an experience of human existence that affects one’s sense of identity or perception of time, and can create a feeling of disconnection from one’s thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. How does a dissociated state impact our youth, our development, or (more integrally) our personalities?