As the tug-of-war flares up inside me
I feel both, the forwards momentum, and
The screaming fear pulling me back
“That way hurts”; “That way is unknown, scary”
And many other words, whispered so secretly I can’t quite make them out
Being so exhausted, it’s too easy to let go and be pulled back
When did I last win this game anyway?
The joy and energy of victory are long forgotten.
Yet others join in on my side, grab the rope and pull for a while
Close friends, online friends, strangers,
Who all have my best interests at heart
Others who believe in me
While I try so hard to feel their faith,
To feed off the encouragement they give
And for the strangest time, I feel so little.

This Body.

This complete mind body
Trapping me here
In exhaustion and sleep
I heard it slip out
“Triggered by anger”
But not willing to reveal
I accept and understand
Therefore it is my choice
To be here, my decisions
Are responsible
To keep the peace, on one hand
Leaves the other side in turmoil
My body is saying
“There is no peace”
Right now
Not acknowledging this
Perpetuates the battle
Raging hidden in me
The honest way forward
Is to reveal the carnage
Open up to peace negotiations
And not count the cost
Just find the way to end it
Without further casualties


[ Today, after two days of mind/body exhaustion and struggle, writing it out to survive, I listened to myself and heard the quiet answer. The guidance I need. ]

Two Sides of Battle. 

As I start to relax, rest, listening to calming music

The emotional pain jumps at me

over the fading barriers of my conscious protection walls

My body spasms from the shocks and I struggle to be accepting of a self that this happens to

Broken, hurt, undesirable, criticism fights against the push of acceptance

The battle for me is fought over and over again, each day, in many ways

I’m not yet comfortable with either side winning

Life is a Battlefield.

Today is a big battlefield
Mid morning still
and fighting my way
to function
to move
to manage some office work

The physical and mental
versus me
Constant battling

I work so hard
to get to my desk
to think
to draw some lines
Challenging myself
to achieve
just a little bit more
than I thought capable
just minutes ago

I reach out in my pain
and struggle
And even though they aren’t here
encouragement is sent back
gentle support
pride, in me
And humbled
I choose to shut out
the loud negative inner voice
wanting to curl up and sleep

The lone soldier
perhaps winning the war
Labelled a hero by others
Just doing what needs to be done
in the moment
caring little for himself
just for the job that he has been given
The job of surviving

Battle Cry.

I would cry out for help
If I thought I was heard
If I thought I mattered enough
For anyone to care.

For I don’t understand any of this
How could another possibly comprehend
the torment, confusion,
the nothingness
And the all pervasive incompleteness
of my existence.

The words in my head are that no-one listens
No-one even reads what I write
So none of it matters.

Except the battle
Stop fighting and I will truly crumble
into nothingness
So the war itself has meaning
A purpose I don’t understand
like any soldier.
I am the conflict
Both sides of the fray
I am winner and loser
I am casualties and victories
When I win, will I lose too?
If I lose, will I celebrate victory?
Or like all wars
will there be no real victor
just widespread collateral damage?

Time to take the moral high ground
Conscientious objector
to all this destruction
Make peace
Be the change you want to see
Find who I truly am
Quietly and determinedly
Make love not war.

[Artwork by David Rosen]


Feeling broken. Can’t function properly, whatever that word means at the moment. Couldn’t get myself out of the house today. Tired, worn out, unwell. But more-so, battling the constant negativity that assails my thoughts. Vision clear enough to recognise their unreasonableness, but not to do anything more than barely manage to push them out for a time. Negativity about everything, feeling like a grumpy old man, but knowing the head is skewed. Memory has been rusty for so long, but can now barely recall what happened before last night’s sleep. Everything seems to take twice as long, including trying to feel better.

Existing through this in-between space.
Neither energetically happy nor suicidal.
Neither functioning artist nor pile of trash.
I know the extremes, and
I know this familiar place in the middle.
The scariness is that
I don’t know where I am going.
I’m a person, in pieces.
Fragmented and falling.
Won’t someone put me back together?
Match up the edges and find how they all go together again,
Make me whole.

shattered glass falling

Another Battle.


Quiet the raging dragon
Full of fire
Hot headed
Of singular purpose

You are the monster slayer
Armour and weapon equipped
Intimate knowledge of
Its weakness and strengths

The manoeuvres of battle
Are in your blood
Muscle memory
And instinct

This long conflict
Is yours, but not alone
Gain strength
From cheering supporters

Acknowledgement is Half the Battle.

Acknowledging a problem
Is difficult when
Your brain chemistry
Is messed up

You know something is wrong
But you don’t want to admit
To what you see
As a health failure

Blaming yourself
Thinking others will
Blame you too
Not good enough

Trying to trick yourself
To bypass stuck thoughts
Getting to – “It’s ok
to feel this way”

When you shout back
“It’s not!
What’s wrong with me
That I can’t get better?”

(Understandable anger
Tired and run down
From all – This
internal fighting)

Be kind to yourself
Do what nobody else can

[…to be continued…]