The Bottles On My Nightstand // A Prompt

There is a glass I leave open

Full of each positive thought I’ve had in the last few years

Some months it numbers less than others

Lying there open for whomever needs happiness in a moment of despair

Next to it lies a jug filled with each emotion that is not happy or her synonyms

There have been moments where it has overflowed into the glass next to it

I try to cap it in attempts to let no one else but me see inside

A few horror movie scripts could be made of it

This jug’s counterpart is a bottle filled of the years I don’t talk about

You know, the ones I erased from my memory in hope every one did too

But I know they will stay with me past the grave

All the years I didn’t stop hurting, even when I thought there was no hurt left

The memories play here in a movie about my own suffering, still waiting to be finished because I know there will be more years of this despite the little room this bottle has left to fit them in

One more bottle sits, filled with the good times

Capped off so I don’t forget

Moments I couldn’t stop laughing until I cried

Days my face hurt from smiling so much

I know there will also be more of these

Keeping optimistic it will fill before the years of suffering, I keep a larger bottle for the good days ahead

via Daily Prompt: Bottle

Prompt

I am but a puzzle of a family of artists and a mentally ill family

I am created of puzzle pieces fitting together, a mosaic of sorts

Coping with mental health via creation

Documentation of storms inside my brain created on paper and canvas

Manic states more than depressive

Mania is filled with color and ideas shifting around trying not to overthrow each other

Depression only looks for the darkness

Either state has me fixate on dying

How afraid of it I am or how I welcome it with open arms

Creating and destroying keep my hands quiet in every moment my brain decides not to be

via Daily Prompt: Create

A Time Capsule

For every year of mental illness I have endured

 

2009

Each scrap of food left on my plate

Turning into nearly entire meals

I am sure they have decomposed by now

2010

The bones starting to poke through

Her aggressive hands

The toxic words forced down my throat telling me I am nothing more than her friendship dictated

2011

The first drops of blood staining my bathtub

Dozens of razors, knives, and scissors representing an addiction and all the stark white scars they left behind

Frozen veins from each time she buried my heart further into the ground

Dozens of bruises carefully crafted by her hands

Every skipped meal my body would wish it had years later

2012

The hospital bracelet

Mapped out plans of my funeral, thought out in black ink in what I thought would be the last remnants of my life

Weeks of therapist visits and psychiatrist appointments

All the anxiety attacks induced by the slightest mistake

Every pill I tried with failure

2013

Each hallucination from bugs under my skin to phantom voices and sights

Fears of human touch and living

Hundreds of scars making a home of my skin

All the pills ingested to keep my head close to above water

A year’s worth of cigarettes

2014

Lost love and gained love

His gentle words turning violent yet tinged with roses

Each positive coping skill trying to overthrow the negative trying to still kill me

Intrusive thoughts whispering sweet nothings about how I won’t amount to anything

A year’s worth of cigarettes and additional scars

More pills

2015

The first joint I smoked

Scars and cigarettes engraved on my body

A love so volatile I thought I would drown in his poison eventually dying out

Learning to be alone and to be ok with it

Thoughts of death and self hatred

Trying to love myself the way I should be

A high school diploma

2016

Thoughts of death intermittent but acceptance of the day

Pills, scars, cigarettes

Another love blossoming and wilting

Anxiety attacks over nothing in particular

2017

Wishes of happiness but acceptance that happiness is a passing emotion rather than a permanent state of mind

Another year of pills, scars, and cigarettes

His words still haunting my dreams, waking up sweating, checking for his blood on my hands knowing he’s still alive somewhere

Flinching at hands on my face and arms

A constant state of being on my toes ready for fight or flight

Five

Five good things that have happened to me, 5 years and a day after the hospitalization date that kept me from committing suicide

1.) Relearning to laugh

By the time I reached my breaking point, I could not muster so much as a smile

Teaching myself to laugh again at even the smallest of things was a hurdle

Now I laugh loud enough, often enough for people to recognize it as me from opposite ends of halls

Laughing at minor inconveniences was one leap I made, knowing it would soon come easier

Yet I acknowledge that there are hard days I cannot let the tiniest of giggles out

2.) Falling in and out of love many times

Teaching myself that a lover doesn’t define you, but how fully you loved

How fully you loved someone who didn’t deserve you, someone who didn’t love you back

Giving too much of myself to the wrong ones

Giving away pieces of my love to people who needed it the most

Recognizing rock bottom in other people, giving them the shoulder when I knew I would have needed one

3.) Learning I was permitted to take up space

Knowing when people were trying to minimize my shine because they were uncomfortable with it

Using my stubborn voice to never back down

Just because I am a woman doesn’t mean I cannot posses the personality traits assigned masculine

Fiery, stubborn, loud mouth throwing sarcastic daggers that I have learned to embrace

4.) Realizing it’s alright to have emotions if they aren’t used to hurt someone else

Crying when I really need to, allowing myself to be angry when need be

I am not a robot and emotions are never as black and white as they seem

5.) Loving myself again, even if milestones are reached slower than someone else

My relationship with food is always tinged with the way my bones felt jutting out of my skin when I thought I didn’t need it

Days where I can look at food and not see the calories, fat content, sugar, etc. are days I count as good days

Days where I don’t calculate how much exercise I have to do with the extra food I take in are also good days

I have been allowed to accept the personality traits handed down to me, even if they are not seen in the brightest of light

Learning to accept myself at face value is a permission I am eagerly awaiting, but until then it is the baby steps that count the most

Mental Illness vs. Education

My high school was a cheesy 80s movie

My friends and I smoked cigarettes under the bleachers and in the dugout

Once even in a girls bathroom, nearly setting the school on fire

Three of us broke a window, forcing the school to bolt them shut the next year

I spent half of my high school career in detention, making it a miracle when I didn’t get any my senior year

Many of my high school teachers saw through it all and knew I actually had a brain smart enough to get into college

Many panic attacks in bathrooms, hospital visits, days spent in the guidance office, therapy sessions, psychiatrist appointments, and hallucinations in hallways later, I got to a university I never thought I had the chance of going to

College enjoys trying to break me down

The counseling center cannot take people like myself

Those who require “extended care” are referred to a center a town and a bus ride away, a place I cannot squeeze into my ever busy schedule

Friends have needed police aid to not end it due to inadequate care here for people like us

Getting out of bed is one thing but falling into the pit of despair is another

I cannot count how many times I thought of leaving this world since arrival, having to pull myself out of the darkness enough to know my problems will not be solved by ceasing to exist

I have not seen the world yet, no matter how many lovers leaving make me think that I have

No combination of booze and drugs can fix you but damn does it feel so when you are laying on your floor out of your mind

I thought it would all go away but some days it feels worse than years spent being a fly on the wall

I am lucky enough to still be in the world I built myself

Dear Trump and Co.,

My brain does not regulate chemicals the way it should

I thought someone turned out all the lights in my brain, causing me to only think in darkness

My parents watched my body shrink to nothing

Bugs crawled under my skin without actually being there

Threats whispered in my ear and blips of figures that weren’t there

You do not want to hallucinate with nothing but your illnesses being the perpetrator

I would have died by 15 without treatment

Insurance was the crutch that helped pay for years of therapy, psychiatrist appointments, medication, and a stint in the psychiatric ward

It has been nearly 10 years since the first bout of abuse was gifted to me

No, it was never on any birthday or Christmas lists

Since then I was handed two more on top of that, amounting to 4 years of my life handed to people I did not trust with it

I still flinch when someone reaches for me

When I hear his name or see his face, I feel my throat close up, my chest tightens, my hands burn bright red, shaking, I cannot stop the tears

I still can’t visit his work nor our high school

I can tell you it is not the fun and games it is made out to be, being mentally ill and being a survivor of abuse on multiple occasions

I am an addict

I am considered learning impaired because I cannot sit still enough without staring into space

I call it a different wiring of my brain, I am still smart enough to attend university

I just find ways to let my brain do what it is fully capable of that is different than what you want it to be

Do you still think I don’t deserve insurance?

As an infant I had multiple severe seizures, likely causing trauma to my brain which caused a dystonia

If none of you monsters know what that is, it’s a movement disorder

It is defined by tremors, convulsions of muscle, and involuntary movements

Some people cannot walk, but I am one of the lucky ones who can

I rely on medication to go through my day to day life without these involuntary movements

Do you want me to describe what its like having many of these throughout a day?

These movements for me last 5 to 10 seconds maximum

An arm and a leg freeze in awkward positions, both on opposite sides of my body

I am conscious and I can still move, but I cannot talk

I am fully alert and aware

But you don’t care about people like me

You had to protect people like yourselves from this inhumane legislation because you knew it was bad enough

But that wasn’t a hint for you guys not to pass it, now was it?

13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why the book and show of the same name is full of shit, from a mentally ill person

  1. When I was going to kill myself I did not have the energy to write myself into the follicles of explaining why I was no longer, never mind record 13 tapes for the people who buried me
  2. You could fold me up fragile as tissue paper, the most colorful part of me was the blood I fed to the drain, my skin was already the color it would become post mortem otherwise
  3. If I had the energy to record those tapes, it would have gone to finishing work because wanting to die all the time is exhausting, people are still baffled I always made it to school when I was 10 feet underground, numbed out to the world moving around me
  4. Love does not cure mental illness of any facet
  5. No I’m serious – the love I felt overpowered everything but my illnesses, I still vividly remember how his hands felt in mine and the reassurance that I wasn’t alone in the cold that inhabited my chest, but death breathing down my neck didn’t cease for a lover
  6. Pretty imagery does so much to erase the grimy reality of being mentally ill
  7. Bullies are not all jocks and popular kids, trust me
  8. No really, trust me on number 7. Enduring two years of bruises unexplained to my parents and eyes of those around me averted each time one of my friends hit me, I lived in fear. Another two of a lover filling his poison love into my lungs. All already outcast, they needed to feel power over someone.
  9. Not everyone dies, but not everyone lives comfortably after diagnosis either. Many of us float between, living in discomfort most of our lives until deemed “cured”, if our illness can be.
  10. You will never be fixed by someone else’s love. Seriously. I can’t stress this enough.
  11. Mental illness isn’t pretty, it won’t be flowers and muted colors. It will be patchy cheeks from crying and anxiety attacks severe enough to render you unable to speak until it’s over.
  12. No one is affected the same, I slept for 10 hours a night while my best friend didn’t sleep. Both avoiding food, bones hollow as a baby bird freshly hatched.
  13. The scars you leave probably won’t fade, no matter how much miracle concoctions and creams you try. Do not take a blade to your skin to be edgy, do not do it period. Take it from a serial self harmer. It becomes an addiction you cannot drop. Do not do it because you think it’s cool.