Laurie Oakley is a first-time author and simplicity junkie who delights in the rhythms of the so-called ordinary. She spends her days working
part-time as a personal care assistant and volunteers in urban gardens,
despite spending her nights staring at the ceiling wondering how she
will do that. She is the mother of two, plus one grandchild, and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
there was the shattered childhood
troubled marriage and broken home
followed by divorce
which led me, in the age of anti-depressants, to
talk to my doctor
whose remedy completely derailed
my social work studies.
Dropping out of college
I recovered a semblance of sanity through hard
physical labor as a drywall worker.
Then my children lost their father, unexpectedly
while my meds backfired again
affecting me for years
in ways doctors were helpless to recognize as
anything but my own weakness.
So, not being listened to when informing doctors or
shouting from the rooftops
fits in nicely with all of that
a new kind of role – professional victim
unheard and nothing more than
the end result of taking medicine
which can make one ill
something I had to figure out
on my own, over time
because no doctor could
figure it out.
Although I quit college
this career began
after all attempts at recovery failed.
My aim had been to work as a therapist
in a community mental health care setting
though by now
in the age of pharmaceutical solutions
this is nothing more than glorified babysitting –
to ensure they're still breathing
that they're taking their meds
that their information is entered
into the computer.
...so grateful, then
to have been struck with tragedy
just one of the many perks
of Neoliberal Empire
alongside record joblessness
its twin, homelessness
the loss of civil liberties
a militarized police
endless war funded
as infrastructure crumbles
from financial collapse to
with environmental degradation
and climate change
remaining largely unnoticed
by a distracted and medicated society.