– By Nikki –

I hear a voice more harsh than a gunshot whispering in my ear.

“No one will understand, listen, or care about you,” it claims, wrapping it’s arms around my neck and dragging me out of the existing moment I am participating in. I struggle against the weight of the constricting arms that are slowly choking me to death. I try to to verbalize what is going on, but all that I see is your hard face not noticing me.

I close my eyes and allow the darkness to overtake me.

I don’t feel anything.
I don’t have an opinion. Continue reading “Light”

Fighting Back: The Daily Reality of Being a Woman

– By Nikki –

I walked out into the sunny area that I like to run regularly by myself. The day started out well with coffee and breakfast at home, but slowly I had begun to feel depleted by the weariness of my daily responsibilities. I had deadlines to meet, and time was creeping up on me.

I always start out my run by turning on my app that helps me keep up my mileage, and I usually find a playlist that encourages me to keep going even when I want to stop. However, today was different because of the stress my brain was putting me under. I was overthinking certain parts of an assignment I had to get finished for graduate school.

I felt my heart rate picking up at a faster than usual pace. My breath was coming out in small gasps. I slowed myself to a walk and attempted to find a different playlist. Failing that, instead of worrying about what I was listening to I gazed at the path ahead of me. The sun was out, and the normal harshness of St. Louis’s hot summer weather had been replaced with a genuinely nice and comfortable day. An 82 °F (26 °C) day in July? Rare indeed. The trees were green and beautiful.

As I contemplated the beauty of the moment, I felt myself stop walking before I even realized it. I snapped out of my daze to see why my body had stopped moving to see two very large men standing in front of me. Continue reading “Fighting Back: The Daily Reality of Being a Woman”

Breaking Out of the Box (of Politeness)

– By Megan, A Geeky Gal –

Every once in a while, I say something kind of funny or something pretty deep. It’s not often, but it happens. During a conversation the other day when I turned to one of my favorite CMP’s (Communications Major People) for some advice concerning a co-worker’s wife, I said this gem:

I’m trapped in a box of politeness and am afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Wow. If the way I approached people was summed up in a single sentence, this would be it. I have a strong desire to be “liked.” It kills my vibe when someone is upset with me, and I constantly think about what I could have done to make them not mad. This goes for dealing with people in public too, like Pesky Salesperson at Mid-Range Store. Continue reading “Breaking Out of the Box (of Politeness)”

Writing the Unreliable Perception of Time | 0.4

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Related: About Dysontopia

“Hey Matt, tell me about your day,” Nikki says literally everyday when I come home from work. I love the question, but I also dread the question. Why? I’m always falling short of making the detailed time-delineated list I aim for. Because, if I may be terribly honest, the life of a graphic designer is not that interesting. I mean it’s fulfilling, but there is just not much in the day worth recounting like some kind of epic tale.

Imagine a TV show about graphic designers. No doubt the special effects and production value would be out of this world, but each episode would be the same thing each time with just minimal tweaks. Hmm, now that I think about it, that could actually be really good. Think Groundhog Day meets Edge of Tomorrow meets The Office. Producers of the world, I demand to be a writer on this show! Continue reading “Writing the Unreliable Perception of Time | 0.4”

Facing Yourself: Escaping the Black Hole of Depression

– By Nikki – 

Mild trigger warning: if you struggle with depression or any related mental health issues, you’ll find this journey familiar. Be advised this post could be a difficult read.  

Imagine that you have been silent for the majority of your life. That silence turns into a big black hole constantly sucking away your desires, dreams, and goals. Life itself slows down, and you begin to see it stretch out before you and every person that you know is moving forward in life. You cannot move forward – you only look backward at the moment when everything changed, and you realize that you are stuck at the event horizon of that black hole. People on the outside see you and nothing has changed, but on the inside you are being stretched to the point of absolute destruction. You wonder if it will ever end. Continue reading “Facing Yourself: Escaping the Black Hole of Depression”

Thoughts You Have in an MRI Machine

“This is what hell feels like,” I said to myself five minutes into being stuck in a small tube, my head being shot by radiation in every kind of way. Hell is literally being bolted into an MRI machine, told to lie perfectly still while your limbs fall asleep, and listening to wicked sounds that would grate the nerves of even the most avid dubstep aficionado.

Continue reading “Thoughts You Have in an MRI Machine”