When I have time, I write small portions of a book taking space in my head. It is in first person and it is meant to look like an authors account of true events, or rather my life story. When I put it all together, it will be about a woman who struggles to cope with mental illness in a world that constantly judges. She copes in other ways too, but that’s the voices talking.
When I was young, I would question my existence. I would ponder the meaning of why. Why did we bother to do anything if we were just going to die in the end? What was the point? Why try?
I managed to press through the thoughts. I sought out other ideas, hobbies, and allowed myself to live a little.
Once in a while, the thoughts come back.
When I was younger, I wasn’t aware of the state I put myself in when questioning why I bother to live. What a sight it must have been for others to see me sad; so suddenly.
I’m better at hiding it now. I work, I form relationships, I seek some sort of happiness. It looms, the agony, the dread. But I’m better at pushing through – sometimes. Lately, it hovers longer than I’d like. Often, it clings and I can’t shake it, wash it, peel back its decaying skin. It hangs like the air on a humid day.
I become stuck. I stick to my thoughts. They control my fighting mind; the part of my mind that resists the constant question – why are you still here? Why hasn’t anyone found you in a pool of blood?
I’m not sure, but my resisting mind wants to know why these demons keep lurking around? What is their purpose? Why did they choose me?
When you think of yourself, others don’t find themselves into the equation. Depression, for me is a one way street. Ahh, but that isn’t really true because the anxiety in me only cares about others, and the looming psychopath in me wants to murder every soul I see.
Mental illness isn’t cute anymore. It never was.
I grew up in a time where it was a growing trend of weirdos who dressed in black and were always sad. They made depression somehow glamorous and soon nearly everyone I knew wore eyeliner and combed their hair over one eye. But what about the people who were trying to act normal because they fought real demons? Not ones that pretended to just so they could fight the establishment and in return draw attention to themselves because no one at home gave a shit.
I had parents who gave a shit, they just didn’t know they had to. To them, I was normal. I did normal things, had normal friends, and had a normal mind.
I actually wanted to be normal. Instead, I fought to live. My mind wanted my soul and it almost won, more than a few times. I prayed to die and hoped I wouldn’t make it past 25. In fact, I was certain I wouldn’t live past then. I was so sure, I started doing things to speed along the process. It never happened. When 25 came, I cried until I nearly went into a psychosis. I took some pills to wash away the pain, and I woke in a heavier dispair. I was with someone then. Someone who saw my crazy. They seemed to embrace it and I’ll never know and never want to know why.
At this point, I gave in. I stayed with this person and just became someone I wasn’t – normal. I thought I should so I could at least stop the voices. I had to stop the demons.
But they were still there. In fact they came on full force. I started taking meds. It was a tragic sight. I changed. The voices stopped. The demons stopped licking the gray matter, but the claws never retracted.
I started living. I went to therapy. I was normal. But we’re not really normal, are we? We just turn into zombies.
I made cakes, made friends, cooked dinner, and went to parties. I was a wife. Sometimes I was really good. Sometimes I really sucked.
The demons played sometimes. They broke the med spell and when they played, the voices were worse than before. I would cry until I lost parts of me that I’ll never see again. I broke. After I broke, I broke again and again until the meds were gone and I started to sabbatoge my existence. If I was miserable, so was everyone else. No one was safe.
My unstable life made the voices more active. I had boughs of hysteria,as the old school doctors would say, more often than boughs of sanity. I longed to be institutionalized. I joked about it. That’s what you do. You joke about how crazy you are so you can deflect your problems. People laugh with you and it reinforces the behavior until even you start to believe the lies. They are just jokes, you tell yourself. You’re not crazy.
So you live your life. Like normal people do, but your thoughts are more demented. So you hang around people who are almost the same. It makes you feel better about yourself.
They don’t know the truth. No one knows the truth. When you confide in someone, they disregard you and just say things that they think will make you feel better because in reality you’ve made them feel uncomfortable and now they don’t know how to act around you and you find your list of friends getting smaller and smaller.
Don’t worry, you have the voices.
I do. The demons are nice as well. I enjoy their powerful hold. Their tight, crippling grip of despair. In fact, I’ve grown so accustomed to their presence I’m not sure I’d know how to be without them -which actually scares me to the core.
I don’t know why I must torture myself the way I do. My brain becomes convoluted with thoughts and I struggle to put anything coherent together. The real disaster hits when my thoughts become dissolved into my work life. I mispronounce words, struggle to think clearly, and on time. When I do not write, I find myself going crazy.
The struggle is not that I cannot write, the struggle is I often lack the will. I suffer, although I do not like to say I suffer because it makes me feel weak, so I like to own up to my affliction and say that I have depression. Many who know me would never know. They call me high-functioning, although I would call it barely functioning at all. But perspective is all in the mind of the tortured; the tortured being me.
Lately, because of many stressful events, depression has hit me rather hard. What I really feel is my sense of worth spiralling through the thick, sticky darkness, and while I am falling, I am also becoming trapped. It’s a tough world to break free. I have to stop myself or I become worse. I suppose this is where the high-functioning comes into play, or rather just a deep realization of self. I know who, what, when, where, and how. It is just that I often allow myself to become trapped within the walls of my own mind and soon I start to think of ways to end my existence. I torture myself.
I wrote today. I love to write. It is often my only true solace. I have been writing since I was young. It didn’t matter the story, I just wrote. What happens to me now, is I often lose the joy that comes with writing, and I find myself writing so I do not become trapped, so the torturing will end. If only I kept doing what I loved, would I realize the torturing never had to start.
I must keep my fingers around the pen. I must keep my fingers on the keyboard. If I do not, I will find myself unable to write at all.
The torturing has subsided for now. I wrote over 1,000 words today not including these and it only took moments. Why must I torture myself for days, when relief is a few clicks of words and time? When I answer that question, I’ll let you know. Until then, keep doing what you love, lest you find yourself tortured.
I’m going through some things so my work is really depressing, but it does help me feel a little better which is all that matters. I hope your Tuesday is going well and enjoy.
My heart won’t let me be.
It aches, it screams, it bleeds.
I try to mend my woes.
I piece together, I sow.
Happiness is fleeting.
Life’s only meaning.
If only I could see
My heart beat is for me.
Just a little poem to free the soul.
It is chaos; this world I inhabit.
Holes, walls, and thorns leaving scratches.
I fall. I climb. I bleed.
I never find what I feel I need.
I’m trapped in a storm. I can’t breathe.
Save me from the fear creating me.
I will never find light.
I feel I am losing this fight.
Scratches are deep. The wounds wont heal.
Thorns are encasing; forming a seal.
I weep. I scream. Silence cleanses me.
I search for written words in my note app frequently. Ever so often, I come across a piece that has me questioning the environment of my life at that time. I ponder my sanity. I wonder how, after reading my own words, I made it through. These thoughts are answered in one simple phrase – I wrote it down. For me, my only solace are the words I use to express my anguish. For if I did not have the knowledge of a properly placed word, I would not have a means to express my emotions. I would become trapped in my mind with no hope for escape. With this, I give you a poem written in a time of deep depression. I assure you I am no longer in the web of this poem, for now.
When the sadness seeps in,
I cower with weak skin.
(no flames, no spark)
My bones are heavy.
My tears break levees.
My body sinks in this bed.
The covers claw at my head.
The sadness sweeps over
Like a brisk autumn breeze.
It sticks like a harsh winter freeze.
I beg it to leave.
It ignores my screams.
I ask for help.
(no one is here)
The sadness keeps people away.
My heroes kept at bay.
(no one touches what’s sad)
Sadness is what makes me.
Sadness is what breaks me.
Please know that if you ever feel like I have felt before and will feel again, there are people who will help you through it. You just have to let them in.
I was in transition mode from awake to not awake enough to satisfy my brain by getting out of bed to write the genius arrangements of words swirling in my mind. So, of course, I can’t remember a word of what I should have written down and then it occurs to me. Why can’t we invent a device that records our thoughts? Why can’t I strap something around my head and it wirelessly sends all my thoughts and moods to a related software program and then, the next day, I can reflect, or commit myself. It could sway either way, really. Then, when I have a stroke of genius at 2 in the morning, I won’t have to get up from my comfy bed and I won’t have to reach for a way to record my thoughts. Because honestly, my typing skills are crap and when my brain gets going, my fingers can not keep pace. This device would need to write at the same pace and also record other random thoughts and file them accordingly.
So onto the thoughts. Yesterday was a bad day and today isn’t really that much better. I’m depressed. Like don’t want to do shit depressed. I’m complacent, lack empathy, struggle to eat, struggle to enjoy stuff. It’s manic depressive behavior. I’m not like this all the time. Just ever so often. It’s enough to request a room for one. Padded, please. I don’t like it. I like to be a productive individual. Do things.
I talk to my friend yesterday and tell her I want to quit school. It is too much. Maybe what I said got to her because she dropped her current class. Well, crap. I don’t like to quit. But it’s easy. Just make a phone call, or don’t show up. Sorta run away from all the problems. Just look at life and say fuck it. I’ve done it a lot. In fact, I used to make a habit out of it. Well, I like to think I’ve moved past that ridiculous part of myself, but I think some habits are hard to extinguish because they are disguised. They are actually personality traits and you can’t break them. You can only hope to change them. So here I am, writing these thoughts, hoping to change myself.
I laid in bed last night and thought of how easy it was to quit and how much free time I would have to work and play. I started justifying all the reasons to quit. It was just a degree. Some piece of paper that said I was eligible to make more money at some job that would probably suck, all so I can buy things I didn’t need. That’s all life really is, right? Pushing yourself to the brink of insanity so you can buy a house, a new car, new clothes, and then live to the point of … of what? You work, pay taxes, and struggle. For what? So you can take all the crap you bought, with all the extra money you made, to a place where you’ll use it? You can’t. You’ll be dead. So what is all this for? The burning question. It brings me back to quitting. Should I quit? Well, no. The answer is no. I’m not going to pursue something so I can make more money to buy shit I don’t need, to impress people I don’t give a shit about. This is not the reason.
I’ve never done something profound for anyone else. Call me narcissistic, but I’ve only ever pushed myself to the brink of insanity for myself. To prove I could do it. So when I’m old, I can tell stories. I can tell stories about all those times when I wanted to say Screw This!, but didn’t. I will push forward for the one person I will meet later in life. They will need me. They will need someone who has struggled, who has been at the brink of throwing it all away, the brink of insanity. They will need someone to tell them a story about how life isn’t worth it. Don’t even try. I will put my face in my shaking palms and rub my temples and wonder why I even try. That person will mimic me and think the same thing. Think that the story is over. This person gave up, so will I. Then I will take my face from my palms. I will look at them in their weary eyes and speak a magic word. But. They will look at me with deep question. Knowing for sure the story was over, but suddenly, it isn’t. I will say, I wanted to give up, but I didn’t. I will finish my story of a life nearly defeated and instead of throwing it all away, I didn’t. This is why you don’t give up. You don’t accept defeat. Don’t do something because everyone else thinks you should or you do it because of false reasons. Do it for yourself. Do it to prove you can. So when a person who is down and defeated can hear your story and develop a story all their own. A story of struggle, but a story of success.
Life can suck. Can suck your energy, your soul, and you will have nothing left. Don’t let it. Just kick life in the face and say not today. I’ll try and remember my words as my depression tries to take hold. But I won’t accept defeat. Not today.
I also remembered all the thoughts in my head from last night. I just needed to start writing. No device needed. But if someone invents it, I’d like royalties or at least a magazine spot.
This poem was written almost 8 years ago. It was one of my first pieces of written work. I wrote to ease my depression; which is gone. I gave this to my therapist who loved it so much, that she made copies and handed it out to troubled women at a shelter. She told me they loved it and the women took the poem and hung it in their rooms. That made me cry. It’s not a perfect poem, but it has meaning. I hope you will look past the imperfections and find this poem inspiring, just as those women did – just as I do.
I once was sad and all alone.
Never a place to call a home.
My thoughts were lost and always empty.
I never had the chance to forgive me.
I could not control the pain inside.
I often wished I would die.
If these are words, to which you can relate.
Then you are reading this and it is not too late.
It’s not too late to turn around,
And pick your life up off the ground.
It’s not too late to make amends,
With the hurt that is buried within.
You have to focus and be strong.
It will be hard, but it will not take long.
It will not take long for the pain to filter.
Out of your mouth or even on paper.
At first, you will not want to do it.
You will fear someone will read it or hear it.
However, in time you will grow to learn.
Everyone has pain they want to let go.
You were just strong enough to let yours show.