Seventh Grade

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Seventh Grade is a memoir zine written by Naomi Oceans in the Summer of 2007. The autobiographical story reflects over the period of a school year. It includes poems and copies of journal pages from that time, as well as quotes directly from Naomi's diary.

Back Cover

It was back when I thought is was going to grow up to be oh-so punk rock. My bullet belt rode on the hips of my black, tattered jeans. It was when my sweater was still sewn with patches to try to cover the holes. In fabric ink were names of bands that I thought only the grungiest kids knew about. I still considered The Gilman the place to be, though I hardly went. That was when I started to grow up.

I was only twelve and still a child when i first stayed at the hospital; I grew to never be afraid of the insane. I learned sadness was a cycle and once you spin off, you never know where you might find yourself. Some spend their lives never knowing and wrapped in a safe blanket of self pity. There’s a comfort in predicting that tomorrow there’s no way to fall lower. There’s a comfort in never caring what happens. And in that not caring, I found my cure. Losing my sobriety was probably the best choice I had made. I was able to self medicate and found myself, in time, dressed in something other than black. I don’t regret doing drugs, yet i regret making myself think I had to. My father told me once that sadness is a state of mind, but then of course it was my mother who had passed it down to me. I am an heir to so many of the diagnosises doctors like to sell. I am living proof that medicating someone with addictive tendencies is only teaching them, there is no real cure. Though I was put on anti-depressants and anti-psychotic medication, I found the permanent solution in losing dependence on any one person or thing. I learned to not need, and merely exist, enjoying who and what I found as they came.

When all the searching was over, when I was done with drugs for the time, I looked at myself and saw all the black hair dye had grown out and I started to wear short sleeves and faded jeans with fake pearls necklaces. Glancing down at a black and white photo from when I thought I was gonna grow up to be oh-so punk rock, I realized I had stopped wasting my youth in sadness and learned how to laugh again.