if i could, i would lift this illness off my shoulders and shove it in the garbage. sometimes, i like to pretend that that’s actually a possibility if you want me to be honest.
if i could, i would make a latte out of the rare moments i love myself so every morning i could drink it, and remember all the times i wrote hopeful poetry and actually kind of believed it.
if i could, i’d find the root of my problems. i’d travel back in time, and i’d stop this where it started.
if i could, i would fix my vision. so maybe i could see the world as it is. and not as i interpret it.
if i could, i would consider myself in recovery. but i’m not. maybe someday i will be. but right now, i’m just trying to survive. okay?
if i could, i would make my heart into a garden bed and plant it full of hope. so every day, when i go outside, i could see it rising with the sun. warm. and safe. and golden.
i’m by your front door. i’ve knocked five times. and you said you’d be there, but i guess no one’s home anymore.
god, it’s cold. and maybe i’m not good enough. maybe i’ll never be good enough. i don’t know.
but at least the sadness doesn’t pound in like this. instead, it’s just… a numb deadweight in your chest. and it drags you down, and you’re lying on the ground staring up at the sky. but don’t you dare cry–
that’s stupid. i know it is. the grass is never greener on the other side. but i still can’t help but believe it is. just a little bit.
i’m lying in bed. 11:37p.m. and i can’t help but listen to the endless purr of the dial tone.
because maybe company will distract me from everything else i can’t help but know.
except i’m not stupid. so mostly, i just stare up at the ceiling. watching my past replay in slow-mo. every time i failed, every time i was stupid enough to let it go–
and i can’t help but think that maybe i was just made to be alone.
i’m watching you laugh through one-sided glass. and i can’t even imagine who i’d be. if i knew someone who made me happy like that.
i don’t have someone like that, though.
Something I wrote about a lot of stuff I was feeling last year. (These kind of feeling still affect me, but for the most part, it’s better.) It’s not really something I’m currently struggling with, but… it felt important to write, anyhow. A small homage to the person I used to be, and how far I’ve come, I guess.
i’ll say whatever you want, okay? i’ll nod. and i’ll smile. and i’ll laugh, and i’ll probably regret it later, but whatever. and my heart pounds like i’m running out of time, and half my body feels paralyzed, and i just want to be free. so if you’ll let me out of here, i’ll be whoever you want me to be.
i’ll freeze my lungs and lie through my teeth. i’ll forget everything i ever thought i believed.
and then i’ll start to fall apart, and it’s all happening too quickly, and i’m not sure what’s really going on, but in my head it’s all just one massive car accident, and i am at the centre of it. because i did something wrong, and i know it.
and never mind, okay? forget it. what i said. it was stupid.
i penned this free-write poem after a really hard conversation. not because the topic matter was hard in any way, just because of anxiety. because my mental illness just has this way, of making the littlest things feel like the biggest deals in the world. i started to panic afterward, and… then i wrote this.
it’s a cold day. and you don’t know what you’re doing with your life anymore.
and you bury your face in your hands. and curl up in a ball on the floor. and wrap yourself in blankets until you don’t remember who you are anymore.
and the clouds slowly darken as the leaves melt on your shoulders. and you run out to the ocean in the middle of the storm, and all you can do is roar. because it’s all turning black and white. and how do you process something when where there used to be clarity now all there’s left is darkness, and some flickering neon lights?
and you stare up at the ceiling. and wonder if this is what it feels like to shrivel up into nothing.
wonder if this is really it. wonder why out of all the people it could have been you had to be sick.
it’s a cold day. and your hands go numb. and the wind blows through your hair. but go ahead. tell yourself you’re doing better.
trigger warning: brief self-harm mention, blood used as a metaphor
after beth crowley
when i think of standing at the edge, there’s one specific moment i remember. 2018. early november. and you’re doubled over the counter, and you’re supposed to be grabbing… i don’t know, a can opener. but you can’t. because you can’t breathe. and you’re on the floor. and then you’re crying like the world is over. and you say you think you might be paralyzed. your mom asks if she needs to take you to hospital. you say no.
and sometimes the worst part is that i remember being happy, too. i remember being a kid, and i just don’t get it. how this sad, broken thing can exist in the same body as such a happy person. who loves to write and read. and who laughs. and who dreams.
it’s been almost a year since then. and i still have bad nights. and i still hurt myself. and i still glorify my own illness; dipping roses into blood and calling it aesthetic. but it’s also gotten better.
and if i got through it once maybe there’s some kind of hope that 2018, and 2017, and 2016 will not be forever.
and on the dark nights, you tell me that it’s going to be okay. and that we’re in this together. and i’m going to try. over and over. until i can breathe again. until i can speak again. until i remember why i’m alive again. until it gets better.
this is based off “2007” by beth crowley, a song that makes me get all emotional and that i’ve been listening to a lot of late. if you’re curious, you can listen to it here–although trigger warning for discussion of suicide and just general heavy topics.