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

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?

Loving an Addict

The night we met he was too high to remember any of our names the next morning

We were in 8th grade and he had spilled Coke on his white t-shirt and somehow I still found him charming

At the time we were both about to hit rock bottom with no way to find a way back up

Some days I worried his heart would stop on him

I’m sure he worried I would end it all while he was sleeping

He is now a few years sober and engaged to a wonderful woman

Don’t get me wrong, I love her to death, but some days I feel like I was the one who got her hands dirty

But I don’t know, maybe she saved him

He tried to visit me when I was hospitalized a year after we met

They wouldn’t let him see me because he wasn’t family

I still have the card he wrote saying he loved me

Some days I wish we stayed but others I realized we would have engulfed each other until there was nothing left but ash

I am just glad he is still alive even if we remain strangers

Daily Prompt: Conundrum

My friends are dying and no one wants to fix them

We are rural white kids who are suppose to save ourselves with money and resources we were not given

Suppose to be the example for the rest of the country of what not to be when they grow up

Debates being sparked about communities collectively trying their hand at poisons we have seen the affect of already in the deaths of our brothers and sisters

We are suppose to stand together but how can we when none of us can stand up on the shakiness of rock bottom

Anthony started because there was nothing else for him to do

Jake started because he had grown up watching his parents doing it daily

We lost Brooke to it less than 24 hours out of rehab, moments into her 16th birthday

We all don’t choose the same drug but we still end up dying

People tell us the harsh realities but won’t lend a hand when they see us slipping

How can we have a debate on what to do with the drug epidemeic when we still treat addicts as criminals?

We are sick just as anyone with pnemonia but no one wants to help us

They are watching us die from the sidelines

via Daily Prompt: Conundrum

Daily Prompt: Flee

Fleeing my problems runs in my veins

I come from a long line of runners

Five years ago the only way our I saw was letting go of my physical being and they would not let me go

Not long after my cousin found his son trying to leave the same way I was going to

The darkness swallowed us whole, there is no light in a world like that no matter how many times you try to turn it on yourself

My uncle fled to the wilderness of Northern Canada for a year because he could not bear the memories of war unless he faced them himself

At one point my father was more alcohol  than he was human, not sleeping for days on end The only way he could cope with that same war was pouring himself into his work and another drink

Two cousins both fled the real world by injecting until they would wake up dopesick aching for another hit

My grandfather kissed the bottle more than he kissed his wife

My father was the only of the 5 to forgive even if he was the one who trudged through hell longer than the rest for the sake of his own father

Fleeing reality is my greatest hobby and I will be lucky to not end up in a casket

My friends and I dance with the devil every time we reach the clouds but where we are from you are lucky if you make it out of that town without making a hobby of smoking enough pot to solve unemployment

You’re lucky if you make it out without dabbling in the most controversial drug of our time

And with my family history I am lucky it is just that

via Daily Prompt: Flee

Addiction’s Science

I only knew how to run from my problems

Leaving with a puff of smoke

Addiction is one hell of a monster

When they saw me falling they ran the other way

Wheezing laughter follows me, my lungs are no longer the color of healthy

They only want it if it’s pretty

A couple months ago a girl from my hometown overdosed on heroin

Leaving parents mourning their baby hours into her 16th birthday

I hoped it would open up a conversation about addiction’s realities being a brain disorder rather than the common misthought that it was a moral failure

My friends and I spent our high school careers smoking under bleachers and in dugouts to soar with the clouds or to take away the edge even for 5 minutes

It could have been one of us dead first because no one was willing to treat the spirits haunting our heavy hearts

Mental illness and addiction go hand in hand and self medication was our only salvation when no one told us we weren’t the failures

We knew full well we could die because that’s what we wanted

We were failed in the lack of education on our illnesses leaving us splintered trying to leave the grip of addiction

The only way we knew how to cope with the lights in our brains going out

Leaving with thoughts of ditching this world for the afterparty that was the afterlife

I am my parents

Which is to say I am all the broken people who came before them

My father and I act so alike sometimes you cannot tell the difference

Both too arrogant to admit so we keep it to one is copying the other

I inherited my mother’s face and the simple forgetful that follows her

Thus writing everything down, making arbitrary sound beautiful

The volume control in my lungs came broken just like my father’s and both of us refuse to fix them

Art came from my mother’s inheritance

She photographs

I do anything to stop my hands shaking even fore a little while

Capturing moments I am sure I will forget in the palms of my hand

Transferring them to any medium that will listen

I was given addiction I thought I was too smart to recieve

Neither parent is to blame but one knows firsthand better than the other

My father, his father, his siblings, my cousins all taste something sweet in the  bitter destruction of livers, lungs, and hearts

The distance I put between my mother and I for everything I saw, everything I felt

In hopes it would hurt her a little less

Will sting me after she’s left us

As I look in the mirror to see her reflection staring back at me