A reminder to myself

I wanted to post this as a reminder to myself, and I wanted to share it with you all because it’s an important piece of my personal history.
I wrote this poem in January of 2015, only a few months after i’d returned home from the hospital. After a suicidal episode.
It’s important to me because i’m still here, and on days when it’s tough – and believe me, there are plenty of those – I need to remember why i’m still here, and that I never want to return to that place ever again.
This is why I push on.

“I HAD 5 DAYS TO LIE INSIDE OF MYSELF
JUST MYSELF, NO ONE ELSE
EXCEPT FOR THOSE BEYOND THE CURTAIN,
AND THE ONES SITTING BEHIND THE GLASS OF THEIR
COMPUTER SCREENS BEHIND THE
GLASS SEPARATING THEM FROM ALL OF US
WE WHO ARE EMOTIONALLY CHAINED TO OUR BEDS
EXHAUSTED FROM BEING EXHAUSTED
ON MY THIRD NIGHT I WOKE TO
THE CHOKED SOBS
OF THE WOMAN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CURTAIN
SHE WAILS:
WHY DIDN’T THEY LEAVE ME ALONE?
SHE SAYS SHE’S DYING
SHE SAYS TO LET HER
HER CRIES ECHO IN MY BRAIN
FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT
AS I LAY THERE UNSLEEPING
I CAN’T TELL DAY FROM NIGHT BUT I WAKE UP
WHEN THEY TELL ME TO
AND THEN I’VE GOT DULL CRAYONS PINCHED AND BROKEN
BETWEEN MY DESPERATE FINGERS
AND A PILE OF BOOKS I’VE BEEN PICKING THROUGH
LIKE MEAT FROM BONES
AND A SOUNDTRACK MADE OF GAME SHOWS AND J-LO MOVIES
THE GIRL EXISTING THREE BEDS AWAY FROM ME
THINKS SHE KNOWS ME AND
SHE STARES STRAIGHT INTO ME EVERY TIME
SHE PASSES BY WHICH IS ABOUT
TEN TIMES A DAY
AND THE DAY SHE APPROACHES ME
TURNS INTO THE NIGHT THEY PACK ME UP
AND SEND ME OFF TO THAT OTHER PLACE
WHERE EVERYONE SPENDS THE DAY WALKING IN CIRCLES
SINGING LOLA IN BETWEEN CRYING, YELLING FITS
I HAVEN’T HAD A WINDOW TO LOOK OUT OF
IN FIVE DAYS
AND I CRACK MINE OPEN AND PRESS MY HEAD TO THE GLASS
THERE IS A TRAIN AND A SMALL CONTAINED LANDSCAPE
SAGEBRUSH AND CHAIN LINK FENCES AND A BILLBOARD
I AM OK
I THINK I AM OK
THEY TELL ME THAT I AM NOT NORMAL
BUT MY BRAIN IS STILL INTACT
AND MY THOUGHTS ARE COHERENT
MY EYES ARE DESPERATE
BUT THEY SAY I AM OK
THAT I WILL BE ALRIGHT
AND THEY PACK ME UP
AND SEND ME OFF
LATELY I DON’T KNOW FOR SURE IF IT WAS REAL
BUT I THINK IT MUST HAVE BEEN
BECAUSE NOW I AM HERE”

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