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.
The undercurrents are turbulent and mysterious
Unknown to everyone listening and passing by
The sound of change battles
Silent clangs and persistent effort
Thrown around by emotions
Bruised by the day
Nowhere safe to settle at night
Only just surviving
Holding on by the tips of my fingers
Fearful of one slip and I will plunge down
To unknown depths, to unknown deaths
I want to function
I want to have the energy,
to get out of bed
and make something of the day.
Seeing support and instead
annoyed by Platitudes
that suggest happy life
is just a matter of choice,
Because they know nothing
of mental illness,
the inner hurdles that present each day.
I want help with loss,
with mental dysfunction,
and just trying to cope with some days.
I know it’s hard
for anyone else
to understand my struggles,
but it’s possible
to approach my pain and restriction
with compassion and love.
because of what’s going on,
I can’t get anything positive
to sink in.
My only anchor
are friend’s words of support
that have stuck with me in the past,
that have already
attached themselves into my brain.
Those days when I believe my thoughts too much
When I hate myself
For who I am, what I am, where I am
When I want to hide away
But I get up and move forwards anyway
When I don’t even bother asking why
Just step one foot forwards, then the other
I see a house extension that needs completion
More draft-proofing of the old house
A list of fix-up and repairs that seems to grow endlessly
Things that just don’t work because other jobs are incomplete
An outside deck and paving to finish off
A rear garden that needs to be kept under control
Neighbour’s bamboo reaching over the fence
Caring for pet bunnies, keeping them entertained and comfortable
Trying to declutter the house
Wanting to sell off items to clear space and gather needed funds
Required bicycle maintenance, my preferred form of transport
An old computer that is currently inoperative
A new computer that is not yet operational
A month’s worth of laundry waiting to be put away
The list I see goes on and on and on
And lost in there somewhere, is self care
Blurred into dealing with hidden illness, mental and physical
And this current exhaustion and emotional overwhelming
Missed work hours, missed income,
Clients relying on me despite my fatigue
How do I keep my head straight through all this?
It tries to overwhelm me
But mostly I just let it go, it’s all I can do
Fumble through trying to work this day out
To survive just a little longer
For what, where am I headed like this?
It doesn’t feel like living, not what I want life to be.
And yet, I can manage to say to myself
Today I am coping with, that which previously chained me down in bed
It seems the only hope I have, but I don’t know what it means
Most of the time
I feel nothing
And search longingly
(21 March 2015)
I need to put up my walls
Shut down emotional contact
and protect myself
Because all this pain
is breaking into my sleep
as well as my waking life
And I’m becoming a zombie
exhausted and numb to any feeling.
We are not connecting
despite my efforts
Conversations are aggravation
to both of us.
And she expects me
to function normally
When I clearly struggle
to function in any way at all.
Don’t look back
Lest you trip and fall
On the tangles of negativity
Grabbing at your feet
Slowly if needed, but
Keep momentum positive
Let thoughts backward
Be of today’s joys
Or yesterday’s positives
For energy to propel you onwards
The pain and exhaustion
Is fleeting, don’t dwell there
Move onwards, each moment
Find your better times