I recently wrote a piece about a very large corporation who, in my opinion, when afforded the opportunity, had failed to deliver a quality service to people with disabilities. In my piece I named the corporation and its branch I attended. On a friend’s recommendation, I submitted the piece to two well-known publications for consideration. Both declined to accept it, simply because they were not accepting new submissions (not because it didn’t fit or wasn’t good or wasn’t appropriate). I don’t think they even read it, to be honest.
The following is a review for an advanced copy of The Lithium Chronicles by Nicole Lyons. I was given a free copy of this title in exchange for my honest review. I was not paid for the review. These terms do not affect my review in any way.
I don’t typically read poetry. I feel like I say that a lot; in some of my other reviews I say I don’t typically read erotica. The truth is that I don’t typically read either, but I do have a passion for the written word, and Nicole Lyons writes gorgeously, so when I was offered the chance to read an advanced copy of her latest collection, The Lithium Chronicles, I jumped at the opportunity.
Nicole writes with desire and hunger, and these passionate qualities show through every word she writes. Rainbow Rowell once wrote, “She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” That is how I feel about The Lithium Chronicles. It is art, a collection of writing that makes you feel deeply and also makes you feel understood on a level that is not always there in society or our day-to-day lives.
I wake up groggily from a nap, and bolt upright, running to the bathroom. I’m gonna throw up. No I’m not, yes I am, no I’m not. I’m hot, burning up. I’m never hot. I always have ten pounds of clothes on. People in the office are always making fun of me, saying I’m ready for a blizzard. I grab a paper towel, and soak it with cold water. Dab my face with it. A knock comes at the door. “Are you okay?” he asks, and I answer that yes, I’m fine.
I had an essay due on Wednesday. I had an essay due, and I didn’t do it.
For those of you who don’t know, I attend school part time in the evenings (and online). I also have a full time job that keeps me out of the house for about twelve hours a day (a full day plus traffic). When I told him about my stress levels, my dad told me that it’s too much for me, school and work. He says once I start a new semester, after a few weeks, I start to have a really hard time with hallucinations and suicidal thoughts and things. I thought I could handle it, but this week taught me a whole new lesson.
I’m so afraid of getting sick. More specifically, getting poisoned. I’m afraid of getting sick too, but the fear of being poisoned is debilitating. That’s really what schizophrenia is for me: living in fear. I live in fear of so many things on a daily basis.
In school, when we have a mid-class break and I have to go use the restroom, I put my water bottle in my bag. Not only that, but I memorize the exact position of the water bottle in my bag so that when I come back I can be sure it hasn’t been moved. I’m afraid my classmates are going to poison me. There is no reason why they would. I haven’t wronged them in any way. There is no reality in which they go around poisoning people; they’re good people. But no matter how unrealistic the notion may seem, I can’t shake it. So every Wednesday night around 7:30 I hide my water bottle in my bag and very carefully examine it when returning from the restroom.