THIS WEEK IN REVIEW: 28th of June – 5th of July

Brought to you by Nadia Gurlfriend and Alexandra Neill.

Self-medication
by Nadia Gurlfriend

Self-medicating is probably the most fun thing you can do when you’re so depressed you’ve forgotten what fun feels like. There are a myriad of ways to make yourself feel better, or get rid of all your feelings, depending on what sort of problems you have.

As a veteran of self-destructive behaviour with a fun list of mental disorders, I’d like to share some of my experiences with you. Rather than an endorsement, think of this as a cautionary tale: I’ve done a lot of stupid things to my body so you can choose the least stupid and then do that.

Alcohol
Price: Cheap to moderate, depending on how much you hate yourself/how ashamed you are of drinking coolabah dolce rosso alone in your living room at 4pm.

Legality & Availability: 100% legal if you’re 18+ and not driving, and widely available in many forms.

Pros: Alcohol is a tricky one: it CAN numb your feels and make you forget how alone and insignificant you are in the universe. If your psyche is rife with irrational fears and an inability to interact normally with your peers, good news! Alcohol makes other people much less terrifying!

Cons: As Harold the Life Education Giraffe-Puppet taught us in grade six, alcohol is a depressant. Consequently, it can make you even sadder. If you’re not a happy, friendly drunk, potentially avoid trying to drown your feelings, because as the Queen of Feelings, Maya Angelou tells us, “the bastards learn to swim.” Side effects also include hangovers, puking, embarrassing public nudity, long-term liver damage and possible death.

Verdict: 7/10

Weed
Price: Reasonable. If you’re paying more than $15 a gram you’re being seriously ripped off, and if you can smoke a gram and still be functioning you need to find a dealer with less shitty bud.

Legality & Availablity: Technically illegal, but widely available. If you’ve got less than 5g on you you’ll get a warning, possible fine and no criminal record, but honestly, if you’re white and middle class you could probably blaze up on the hood of a cop car and get away with a slap on the wrist. (Please don’t test this theory)

Pros: Weed can calm that frantically racing serotonin-deprived brain of yours to something resembling normal human pace. THC can elevate your mood, lower your blood pressure and do weird shit to your short-term memory, making you happier, less likely to have a cardiac, and possibly help you forget the ultimate futility of life. In some places doctors can even prescribe you cannabis, putting the “medic” in “self-medication.” It’s also less addictive than virtually any other drug, and doesn’t really have a comedown or hangover, which is nice.

Cons: Sleepiness, the munchies (see: emotional eating, below), lung problems if you’re a pot smoker, potential link to psychosis, and lack of motivation. Although if you’re depressed you’ve probably got a lot of the first and last ones going on anyway.

Verdict: 8/10 – minus points for illegality and causing general inertia, but it’s still my favourite.

Prescription pills – downers, painkillers, etc.
Price: Subsidised by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, so not too high if you’ve got a prescription. A bit higher if you’re buying from someone who’s not technically a pharmacist.

Legality/Availability: Totally legal if you’ve got a script, and if you haven’t, people probably aren’t going to ask to see it. If you’re actually diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or similar mood imbalance you can probably get a prescription for valium or xanax from your doctor. Pharmacies are everywhere.

Pros: Can create a sensation of floating on a cloud, high above your worries. Benzos have the ability to mellow out the most high-strung type-A personalities, and also stop you from crying into your pillow. Plus, unlike weed and alcohol, prescription pills can numb your emotional pain while still allowing you to function pretty much as a regular human being. Perfect for your high-functioning depressive.

Cons: highly addictive: painkillers like oxycodone are known in the US as “hillbilly heroin” and have been the downfall of many a soccer mom. You can also build a hefty tolerance over a reasonably short period of time, culminating in you still feeling anxious, but just a little sleepy. They’re also pretty easy to OD on, and it’s not fun. Don’t do it.

Verdict: 8/10 – minus points for the addictive properties and ease of overdose, but overall amazing for being self-destructive but still functional.

Food
Price: food comes at all prices, but for extra shame points choose the cheapest, nastiest, greasy fry up you can. That way your body will feel as crappy as your mind.

Legality & Availability: 100% legal, and you can get it anywhere, any time.

Pros: Food will fill the gaping hole your ex-girlfriend left inside of you. If, like me, you eat your feelings, there’s a food for every emotion. Sad? Industrial quantities of carbs can help. Lonely? Saturated fats will be your friend. Angry? Rage-eat something really chewy. Actually feeling ok for once? Celebrate with sugar!

Cons: Nausea, stomach cramps and discomfort. That sticky, slightly shameful feeling when you’ve finished the second pack of tim tams and you need to hide the evidence – kind of like how you feel after masturbating at your nanna’s house. Possible side effects also include weight gain, diabetes, and not being able to finish your giant bowl of mashed potatoes because your tears have made it too watery.

Verdict: 10/10 would recommend. Food is the best.

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The Kempsey bypass
by Alexandra Neill

There was a time during my first year of uni when the six hour drive from Newcastle to my parent’s place in Grafton contained approximately four hours of near continuous roadworks. This is not an exaggeration. I could only drive at 40km/h. It was shit.

My reward for living through this hell is that I now get to reap the benefits: namely the shiny new Kempsey bypass.

This spectacular, unblemished sweep of the Pacific Highway replaces several dozen kilometres of single-lane potholes. It is magnificant. I think I am in love with it (sorry boyfriend).

But wait! There’s more! The best part of this marvel of modern technology is that it means I never have to drive through Frederickton EVER AGAIN.

Now I’m sure Frederickton is a nice enough place. They make pies or something (whatever Frederickton, no one cares about your dumb pies). But due to it’s awkward location between my personal point A and point B, the only thought I have ever had about the place is this : “For fuck’s sake I have been driving forever what do you mean I am ONLY IN FREDERICKTON.”

Good riddance. All hail the bypass.

★★★★★

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