Saturday, February 28, 2015

Slice of Life Challenge

Starting tomorrow, March 1st, I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge.My friend, Katie, recommended it to me.

A Slice of Life is "A story about a small segment of one's day; a poem that tells about a small moment in time; a collection of words and photos that describe a scenario".

So, it's my goal to complete this challenge, one post for everyday in March. I hope that I will accurately portray the small moments in the life of someone with mental illness and that while some are dark, many are beautiful.

I will be making regular posts as well so you will be able to identify the SOLC posts by this image:

Wish me good luck!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Survival

Just a young girl, about thirteen,
sitting in the tall grass, golden green.
Looking at the road,
watching the cars go by,
wondering if I timed it right
would I die?

Nineteen years old with two jobs.
The year my last innocence was robbed.
Staring at the stairs.
Would I live if I fell?
If I did it on purpose
could somebody tell?

Twenty-one, the pain and nightmares kept me awake.
He gave me sleeping pills to take.
Entrancing, bright blue capsules.
I decided to take more.
I hoped to slip away unnoticed
but he can't be stopped by a mere door.

The time came to own up at twenty-four.
Neither of us could take it anymore.
Covered in scars
I stepped forward to transform.
It took many tries
but I found my norm.

Twenty-six and it's still a fight.
Each day it's easy to lose sight.
But if you reach out for help,
if you put the effort in,
someday you will find yourself
comfortable in your own skin.

(Written 2.27.15)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Choice

Fury of swords
unseen inside
tearing, marring
the unveiled bride

Her wounds weep blood
that is not red
hidden in the tears
her eyes have shed

Within lies a choice
burning in her core
scorching, charring
a harsh resounding roar

Crying for mercy
as steel bites her skin
words of wisdom
fight to break in

But the choice is louder
ringing in her ears
sweetening its aim
reinforcing her fears

In the distance are eyes
which she cannot read
do the pray she will stay
do the beg and plead

Or do they anticipate relief
yearning to be free
no longer bound
by the falling, rotting tree

The choice cries out
begging to be made
as she silently screams
her insides are flayed

(Written sometime in September 2013 during my first hospitalization)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I am...

I spent some time today going through the many papers and things that I have collected during my many inpatient stays at mental health facilities. I found hand outs and notes from classes and groups. I found quite a few poems, some serious and some hilarious (Hairy Legs anyone?). I found phone numbers and addresses of people I don't have the faintest memory of (ECTs can do that to you).
 I also found some artwork done during recreational and art therapy groups. I'm honestly not an artistic person (even my stick figures could use some work) but surprisingly these were some of my favorite groups. Below is a collage I made which despite its simplicity was very inspiring to me. The message is elementary, this ain't a Gandhi quote. But it reminded me who I was at a time when I was a stranger even to myself. 




So the question is... Who are you?

Mirror, Mirror

Everyday
at least a dozen battles
all waged in my head
some days I think I would rather be
dead
But then God entrusted me with a gift
a weapon and a shield
a living mirror
to protect not wield
The mirror holds my future
and allows me to mold a past
I thank Him for this priceless gift
finding myself
in its looking glass eyes
it brings me peace and calm
Everyday a blessing
when this gift calls me Mom

(Written 2.25.15)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dead or Alive

Your obituary will read
"his victims are finally freed"

Your tombstone shall say
"blessed are those who got away"

And when you reach St. Peter at the gates
he will ask if you know love from hate

But even when you have died
we will be left with scars inside

Though you will someday breathe your last
we will always have the memories of your past

And while your blank eyes will not see again
you will greet us in our nightmares like an unwanted friend

Whether an earthly being or a violent wraith
dead or alive, we will never feel safe

(Written 2.24.15)

Simply Put

My words come out simple
brain, heart, soul, and pen
despite the pain behind each line
I fear my efforts are too thin

I am no Shakespeare, no Frost, nor Dickinson
I fail to be unique
I rarely leave my rhyming scheme
and when I do it's weak

But I'm not here to win a nobel prize
nor to be a poet laureate
I'm here to lay my demons down
because the truth can be exquisite

No more shame and no more lies
it begins with truth and acceptance
and if my story opens one eye
it's worth my lack of eloquence

(Written 2.24.15)

Monday, February 23, 2015

My First Hit

Twelve years old
my brain still growing
I started a drug
innocent and unknowing

Caught in an argument
cornered and scared
words said it anger
a heart unprepared

Each day it seemed
brought on these duels
two loving hearts
acting as two big fools

Sitting in the wreckage
fear turned to fury
not against my persecutor
but me my own jury

Alone in the darkness
my emotions were wrought
my body lashed out
knowing not what it sought

My fist met the wall
soon overcome by the pain
instead of drowning in it
I finally felt sane

That was the beginning
my very first hit
and though my methods changed
it stayed my biggest secret

Over thirteen years
I spent addicted
blade to my skin
teeth gritted

But it is never too late
not for you or for me
it's worth the work
despite how hard it may be

Put down the bottle
put down the knife
admit there's a problem
and start new life

(Written 2.23.15)


Mockingbird

We are women headstrong
who believe they are safe
because of their strength
but we are dead wrong

Quickly we dive headlong
into a thorny love
without a rebuff
just so we belong

We follow the mockingbird's song
and with the first strike
though we know it's not right
we begin to sing along

Your voice disappears in the throng
and you flinch when he falters
showing what he really offers
but his anthem is long

Anything but weak we are strong
but that alone cannot save us
we must find our voice in the dust
or be trapped by the mockingbird's song

(Written 2.23.15)

My War

My body is not my own
I share it with a darkness
that clouds my vision
and knows my every weakness

My mind is a battlefield
where dreams and nightmares wage war
where solidarity means death
and my skin keeps the score

My heart beats weakly
against the poison that's inside
although I still bleed red
part of me has died

My soul is a patchwork quilt
a Frankenstein's monster of my being
its scars tell a story
one I now know is worth repeating

My body is a temple
with the walls caved in
but I will be here waiting
for reconstruction to begin

(Written 2.23.15)

The Attack

Your artwork still hangs on my walls
your thoughts and words still ring in my ears
we once held hands
and shared our fears

It would've been one thing
if you had turned your back
but instead you advanced
ready to attack

You drew your weapons
your rifle, your gun
you fired your lies
and the war had begun

Now we're lost on a battlefield
separated by our names
my prayers are a battle cry
hoping to end your games

I await your final blow
a knife in my back
as you're shepherded by the blind
to hide the truths that you lack

(Written 2.3.15)

Little Girl

Little Girl
so brass and bold
with your weighted words
and eyes glass cold

Your spunk and your sass
what you think makes you grown
is tinfoil armor
against sticks and stone

Little girls lash out
to hurt those they love
those who help you up
are greeted with a shove

Your words lash out
snaring like barbed wire
laced with lies
adding fuel to the fire

Little girl so loved
stop fighting your blessings
hold on to childhood
and start confessing


(Written 2.3.15)