I will not acknowledge this darkness clawing at my soul
I will not name it depression, grief or anxiety, which gives it form and offers it power
I will not give in when the desire to hide away, from people, from loved ones, from life,
Calls me incessantly and offers an uncomfortable ease to this troubled heart
I will not doubt my own worth
I will not question every part of my being that others see as positive
I will not make life-changing decisions based on the fear of my present.
There are so many ways to dive into these depths
And in the past I’ve tried them all, tested their effectiveness
So I know that path isn’t right for me right now
Despite the comfort of familiarity all of that could be
There is only right now, hunched over,
Wanting to stand tall, but bearing the weight of my world on my shoulders
So for every step forwards, and every step backwards,
I know my focus on the future will eventually win through.
Hope calls me forwards
I don’t recognise it’s shape, but the warmth is enough to draw me away from this icy cold.
Hoping for a mind unrestrained by this clutter and weight.
Hope is a quiet voice, whispering encouragement through the darkness
Leading me onto a new path
Reminding me of the light that exists out there.
Today, is just as times before. When I feel the pain of another’s story, long after my ears have heard. When I remember back to my own journeys through the pain of chronic ill-health. And the mental anguish of being unable to function for days, weeks, months. The self-imposed stresses. The very real stress of maintaining a relationship whilst unable to maintain yourself. Being unable to work, unable to generate income, unable to meet deadlines.
Unable. Disable. Needing more enable, but those days were rare.
I have known defeat, suffering, struggle, and loss. Somehow I have found my way out of those depths and stand here today.
Pain reaches forwards
Up from the past
Clutching and dragging me
Fearing all that
Now, as then
And I tell myself right now
These are emotional ghosts
They have no power over me
Except that which I give them.
Though I feel unsteady, unsafe
My comfort lies in others
Asking for help
Accepting supportive hands
Belief in my own inner strength.
These are my tools
With these now I survive
And prepare to thrive once more
This is my hope, my truth.
The required effort to
Externalise the internal
Share, as isolation rebuttal
Reveal the darkness
Expose lies and truths
All of this drains
All of this, necessary
The battle for survival
Begins deep inside
Striving for my own life
Sharing for other’s benefit
Hoping for collective strength
Believing that surviving
will be embraced by us all.
I need to speak
Even if no one seems to listen
I need to find my voice
When I don’t know what to say.
My story may be worn,
tattered, messy, and bruised
But it is the only one I have
Even if it doesn’t make sense
Even if it feels all too much.
I need to know I matter
I need to know that my heart,
my voice, my life matters
I need to know I have value
I need to know that I have purpose,
when it’s impossible to see.
I will embrace this
Rough edges and all.
All I have to do is begin to speak.
[ When I have fallen and can’t call for help, sometimes another spirit speaks for me. Based on words by Lexi Behrndt #oncomingalive ]
When I let you see the worst of me
It’s because I care about you
When my storms terrify you
I need you to stand firm for me
(18 March 2016)
No actually, I’m terrified.
What if this is it?
What if my life is going to be – this complicated struggle – through the foreseeable future?
I see all the negatives so clearly.
I pass by the positive aspects of my life with a mere glance and they are forgotten. Overshadowed and overwhelmed by the crushing defeat of my failures.
Everyday life, is not.
Living mostly involves managing a small portion of what I used to be able to achieve.
Unknown ill health, exhaustion, reactions to food.
And the deteriorated mental state.
Medication seems to take an edge off the depression.
Leaving a space filling with – all this other negative emotional/physical/mental detritus.
Just finding the energy to get by, to deal with ALL OF THIS, leaves so little spare for love.
For others, and, ultimately for myself.
So as I contemplate another week of juggling energy – for work, to live – for myself, to keep going – and just maybe, something left for others – I feel … I feel too much.
I feel overwhelmed and unequipped.
I feel lost in the swirl of a life where people make demands of me everyday.
And more than anyone else, I make demands of me.
Urgings that sit uncomfortably with a body that seems to require the opposite.
Some days, making personal decisions feels like deciding the fate of the world.
Some days I just need to take time out, to find myself, to find that core of me around which I balance, and build outwards from there.
(15 March 2016)
From the moment I awakened
My thoughts turned on me
Pummelling and belittling me
And I was helpless to defend myself
My body crashed
As my spirit was crushed
I feel terrible for having
So many days where
I just can’t function
Because I know
The pressure that it puts
On both myself and my wife
An awareness reveals itself now
Every day I put myself down
Tiny negative thoughts
Creep in even as ideas form
Denying my abilities
Subtly and consistently
Shutting down creativeness
With fear and criticism
My heart cries out in pain
At this realisation
Of damage done
Of stifled expression
Feeling helpless to change
So tired of hurting
So deep inside where I can’t reach
But what if I could?
Would I just try to
smash away the pain
smother it with anger?
Where is the love
Kindness seems so far away
Out of range.
And so follow my angry thoughts
Ending it will be my only relief
But rational mind says
“That only transfers the pain to others”
“You need to deal with this”
“Learn to negate its influence”
“To save those around you”
“And to save yourself”