life rattle show no. 1346
Presented on thursday, juLY 9, 2015
hosted by laurie kallis
"Not Still Me"
Life Rattle No. 1346 features three stories by new Life Rattle writer Larissa Fleurette.
Larissa Fleurette was born in Mississauga, Ontario in 1990 to parents of Chinese descent who immigrated to Canada from Malaysia and Singapore. She is the eldest of five children who were all born in Mississauga, where they continue to live. Larissa’s favourite things to do are travelling and writing (she hasn’t had the opportunity to do both together but she hopes someday she will). Larissa is passionate about mental health advocacy, having been diagnosed as a teenager with depression with psychotic features, a condition she lives with to this day. She is grateful for this, as she has discovered wonderful life lessons and met amazing people since being diagnosed.
Tonight we feature three stories from Larissa Fleurette’s recently published collection, Becoming Silver Girl. In these stories, Larissa writes with great candour and courage of her struggle with mental illness. With quiet composure she recounts experiences so unnerving it can be difficult to turn the page. Yet, her intelligence, her faith and ultimately her optimism, leads us forward, along with her sixteen-year-old self, through some very dark places.
"Not Still Me" follows the first steps of a sixteen-year-old girl’s grim journey into the acknowledgement of her illness and through the mental healthcare system.
"Schizophrenia" has sixteen-year-old narrator admitted into an adolescent psychiatric unit. Through her eyes, we see and hear two teenagers discuss diagnoses, medications and their futures, and we grow to understand that we are no different from them, as they are no different from us, some of us must simply face higher hurdles. One especially high hurdle is a doctor who, almost casually, hands out a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
"Daniel" shows us more of the unit, we meet more young patients and hear more of our narrator and her life, when, finally, a psychologist takes the time to delve deeper into her experiences and draws a different, far more considered conclusion.
Please Note: Tonight's story contains language and situations suitable for a mature audience. Listener discretion is advised.