Now and Then

by Lynette Tyack


My name is Lynette Tyack; I’m 44 and have held a job at South-East industries for 8 years. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with depression and schizophrenia, which is mainly maintained by medication. Two years ago I experienced health issues and today I am a proud stroke survivor (I experience left side weakness and still have ongoing physio). For the last nine years I have attended Crossway Baptist Church, which I enjoy. I live on my own, in a unit (in social housing) and got to be living my dream of moving out by 40 years of age. I’ve always enjoyed writing, which led me to involve myself with the Scope Writing Workshops.

Conversing with my mental illness (2013)

I will never forget the moment you arrived . . .
It was late morning May 19, 2005. I was kneeling in front of the heater. Plugged in to a little radio but not really listening, as I was very sleep deprived, with weird things going around in my head.  When all of a sudden I felt/heard this whooshing sound and it felt like something crashing into my head.  In an instant somebody spoke to me, and I jumped up and ran into my bedroom, in the hope of escaping whatever it was.  Though that was to no avail as the voice followed me. I tried everything I could to make it stop, including by using every swear word I could!

The voice led me down the street, wandering up/down Blackburn Road – trying to find a place best to hear you.  Later that night at home, you got scary and started saying you will die in your bed tonight and that I couldn’t tell anyone or else they would die also. I took a chance and went to tell my parents (who were washing the dishes). Upon hearing that and based on how I was behaving that day, my parents rang our GP at home, he put us on the right track (also he had a son with schizophrenia). That day I was diagnosed with depression plus schizophrenia . . .

This piece was read as part of Origins and Superpowers,  a public readings event held by Scope and Melbourne Library Service in December 2015. A group of writers with disabilities who had worked with professional writers in the Telescope Workshops read selections from their work across the genres of fiction, memoir, poetry and non fiction.

Telescope is one of the arts programs run by Community Inclusion staff at Scope and it includes workshops, a writing prize, awards and public readings.