Posted in Poetry

1 in 103

Stepping out of the shower, I feel the aura coming on like a freight train.

There’s barely time to think.

I just about have time to wrap myself in dignity, before rapidly falling into the abyss.

I fall into break-neck blackness, like a dream, a feeling of falling backwards, I lose my footing.

And yet people do not believe that this is real.

Just as real as the near-miss knock of my head against the sink;

Just as real as the depths of despair I feel, knowing that this is only the beginning;

This is my life,

And life for 1 in 103.


Like a baby learning to walk for the first time, I stumble out of the bathroom,

But unlike a baby I’m not stumbling towards the open arms of a parent.

I’m not stumbling towards the open arms of comfort, safety;

Instead I am alone.

I stumble to my bedroom, where I am alone.

And I fall.

I lay on the bed. I made it, only God knows how.

I let the tide wash over me as I sink into the soft sands of the quilt.

The mobile phone in my hand, I lay like a starfish on the beach;

My limbs are stuck to the grains beneath me.

Somehow my thumb has hit the “alert” button on my home screen, because when I finally come up for air, I hear a woman’s voice:

“Hello? Hello?”

Gasping for air, I speak to the Saviour within my hand;

Her soothing tones calm my frantic panic.


Only after I hang up, do I crumble.

I’ve finally hit the ground, and I shatter into a million pieces.


I’m Cece Alexandra and I have Epilepsy. Since being diagnosed, my life has changed significantly. After studying and teaching Humanities and Literature for all of my adult life, I was bullied and lost my job a month before qualifying to become an English Teacher. Once you fail the Teacher Training course in England, you cannot ever retrain; I then became too sick to work because of my Epilepsy. I am now currently studying an MSc in Mental Health Psychology with the University of Liverpool. My disability provokes me into raising awareness for invisible disabilities, which I also actively partake in with Epilepsy Action. Part of that awareness is to help fight against invisible disability discrimination - I believe that this behaviour is not cognitively unconscious; modern society is actively partaking in a hierarchy of disabilities and I believe that there is not enough psychological research to prove this. I am also clinically interested in Cultural Psychology - particularly Collectivist Culture, and wish to pursue this further in my academic career.

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