Saturday, January 5, 2019

Poem: In the Water

Always I let you bring me
Down
Down
Drowning me

Always I let you flip my body
‘round
‘round
Owning me

Grab me by the throat
Beat me with my silence
At what point did I become so tolerant

Silver lining no kids involved
Twice that problem you resolved
Writhing pain from the pills I took
Two souls I killed, I read the book
Father, please lead me to hell where I deserve to cook

Promises of a future family
When the time is right, “Wait, just you’ll see!”
More souls will die, don’t care ‘bout mine
Mourning murdering my babies all the time

Complicit, explicit
Can breathe no more from inhaling all your shit
No God, no family they’re far from done
No rescue boat so I escape alone

Follow the waves till I find the bay
"The time is here," I hear my babies say
Sand between my toes one last time
Why look back, no soul left behind

I let myself bring me
Down
Down
Drowning me

Down
Down
Drowning me

Friday, December 7, 2018

Struggle Forward

Struggle: this is a word I am familiar with. Sometimes too familiar, sometimes way too familiar. Hourly I find myself asking, “Will my struggle always be real?”

Talking with my counselor earlier this week, he said something very Oprah-esque. “You either struggle backward or you struggle forward.” As my counselor and Oprah would encourage me to do, I reflected on this statement.

Since childhood, I have struggled with severe depression and general and social anxiety, terms and conditions wrapped up into the taboo subject of mental illness. My mental illness has been a secret I have long tried to hide, unsuccessfully so for the poor unfortunate beings who have been around me as I wreaked havoc in my own life (i.e., self-sabotage). Good grades, great friendships, positive choices – fuck that. I would experience the sweetness of living well just long enough to struggle tremendously once I lost it.

Set back after set back followed my poor choices. Binge drinking and drug use, missing class and failing courses, and throwing away friendships for the smallest of infractions, if any infraction at all, left me bitter, drained and alone. And while those choices were chipped into existence by the fractured state of an untreated mind, I still made those choices. It was in those times I was struggling backward.

Yes, today I struggle but the difference is in the direction. I have a therapist and psychiatrist working in unison to help heal my head and heart. I have a few trusted souls who will listen while I cry and speak out loud the hurt I hold inside. And I have my writing, my dear old friend always in reach who gives me the courage to share my story. Like a ribbon-less helium balloon on a windy day, I am releasing the burden of hiding my mental health “secret” with every word I write.

With my reflection complete, in this sweet moment I understand I am struggling forward.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Junk in my Trunk

Between Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and an article I read in The Mission Newsletter, I am writing for the sake of writing. Because that's how books are written. The author writes. Writes a lot. And I have not been writing. Anything. But now I am. Could this post get any worse? (spoiler alert: possibly)

In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert lists just a few (20+) common fears that writers may have about their aspirations. After reading the list and checking off most of the non-existent boxes that no one asked me to do, I went to sleep. I'm sorry for the build up but I want my writing to be authentic. It was late and I was tired so I went to bed. But! The next day while I was double checking the accuracy of the previous night's checked boxes (i.e., the list-o-fears) I had an ah-ha moment. A weird one, you'll see.

I realized this: the recording playing in my head (the one stuck on repeat) features many of the same fears that I very accurately box-checked from the list-o-fears. But these fears are attached to my writing. I have never been so excited and thankful to be afraid. Just stay with me.

Not everything gloom and doom in my head and heart is about my lost childhood, current relationships, feeling lost...wow, that all sounds so pitiful. Anyway, my ah-ha moment I'm attempting to put into words is that I have fears and negative self-talk not directly related to the current topics I talk about in therapy. I have junk about writing. Writing! I can handle some writing junk. I feel less overwhelmed knowing that a sizable amount of  junk in my Trunk of Life is manageable and not depressing, starting now. Like right now.


Oh, you kind reader from across the inter-web! Hopefully there are more than just one of you. And hopefully you will return to read more of writing for the sake of writing, but I promise it will be better. Actually I can't promise that because.....ah, my writing junk is already getting in the way!