I am a gender fluid graduate student in my 30s. Ziya Tamesis is my pen name.
Ziya is of Arabic origin and means “light.” Tamesis is of English origin and means “dark one.” I often experience my mood disorder as my “dark side” – particularly as an unhealthy exaggeration of the inner Judge, which can help one make wise choices but can also be excruciatingly harsh. It is sometimes so harsh it would be more accurately called the Critic or even the Prosecutor.
My blog, a day with depression, is an effort to “shed light” on my experiences as a person with a mood disorder – to write about them candidly – so a pen name that combines “light” and “dark one” seems especially appropriate. I chose Ziya Tamesis as my pen name to express the idea of shedding light on my dark side, because I like the way the name looks and sounds, and because it does not already belong to someone else (according to Google search).
I used to have a list of my interests and hobbies here, but I feel the need to be honest: most of that stuff got pushed either to the back burner, or off the stove entirely. For a while I spent most of my time playing video games. Then I returned to school so I could train to become a music therapist. Now I’m an activist trying to figure out how and when (and sometimes whether) to finish my degree.
Music is reemerging as a primary means of fun and expression, and I enjoy other interests (including but not limited to video games) as I’m able. When possible I enjoy the company of my husband “Fox”, life partner “Banji”, and/or other loved ones. I also address my mental health issues in individual music therapy once a week; on this blog I’ve been referring to my therapist using the pseudonym, “Wakana”.
Fox and I live together in our own private area of my mother’s house and have access to the back yard. Living with Mom can be tense, but we have been working together to try and create as healthy a household as possible. Banji lives in their own apartment, a 5-hour drive away.
Feminism and activism are very important to me. Sometimes it can be painful and frustrating because I see so much that is wrong in the world – especially ways in which my country, the United States, is behind the other industrialized countries in important areas (such as civil rights, education, and healthcare). I’ve been becoming more involved in activism since mid-2016, connecting with others and working together to address the many problems in our country and state. It’s been life changing.
I love writing – thus the blog – and believe it may be a key to making a meaningful difference in the world.