Sleep

One night you wanted to sleep next to me to keep me warm but I was afraid I’d wake up screaming

I vividly dream when I’m down but I was overrun with anxiety and the buzz of mania, so there was just darkness preparing me for the grave

You cannot fully tell someone how it is living with what happened to you and its reprocussions

The best analogy I have is a locket bound around your neck with memories you do not wish to remember but you cannot take it off

No matter how much you scratch, tug, pull – it’s still there

I still have yet to explain to him how alone you are in addiction – the pain fading for a moment while you destroy some other part of you

And how you chose this because no one could hear you screaming

 

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Tango With Death

Someone asked me “what if you go to hell?”

I had to refrain from saying I had already seen it in the illness that took me away from this realm

Coming back to earth was a feat I still haven’t totally accomplished

I could not tell you the exact moment I felt death’s breath on my neck but 6 years on he still reminds me he hasn’t left

There are years lost in translation, still in the dark because I didn’t know how to turn on the light

You cannot bring the dead back but you can revive those on the brink

And I cannot shake the survivor’s guilt

There are people whose hand betrayed them and stripped them from this world who had more to give than I

The ground still knows the soles of my feet but it has forgotten yours

Hell was seeing you fade in front of me

Hell was replanting my feet on the earth after the voices told me to leave it all behind

Some days I still think of taking up that offer

And some days that is hell

Windows

Poets write a lot about people having windows you can see into souls with

Often about how the morning sun glitters through, covering everything good in gold and leaving the bad in darkness

But we are more stained glass than perfectly clear

Refracting light color coating parts of us that we don’t want people to see

How I felt guilty that my friend died and how 3 years later I wished it was me instead of him – he was much kinder than I

I wish he was still around so I could see the man he would have become

How my heart still aches for her to come back but I know she never will

I still dream about her but she’s hundreds of miles away barely remembering my name

How I regret getting sick like this

Suicide still hangs at the back of my mind as an illuminated exit sign, never leaving but not as prominent anymore

How I learned happiness after the man who’s outside was pretty but inside left me a ruin of who I was before

If only he cared to see me now

Souls are dark twisted things shaped by who we were and who we are

The bad parts of us don’t hide in the corners

College Heartbreak

I wish my mother was wrong when she said you never forget your first college love

Honestly I didn’t think I’d have to forget you

After your leaving, you disapeared from every record

Yet what else would I expect – you never wanted to leave a trail anywhere but my neck when you still loved me

People ask me if you survived past that year and I am as clueless as they – the only difference is our bodies were intertwined enough that fingerprints lingered months after drifting away

I don’t use those sheets anymore, I’m afraid they’ll still smell like you

Which would be the only thing you left me other than memories played on repeat trying to figure out how I could have made you stay

I told myself it was just bad timing

But I kept running over that day like a child running their tongue  over the spot a tooth once was

How I could tell by your distance

And the pain in your sea green eyes you were trying so hard to hide from me

You hesitated as if for a moment you were thinking about keeping our love in a locket around your neck

Now hidden in a drawer somewhere collecting dust

I have no idea if you exist on this earth anymore other than in memories

And sometimes that’s worse than mourning someone in the ground

His Smell

I cannot wash the smell of him off my hands and I do not mind

I saw you for the first time yesterday since I became entwined with him

You have no idea how exhilarating it is to be free from you

Not appreciating the sunshine I folded into your pocket on your darkest days to remind you better are to come

I tried to give you more than I had, heart overflowing with forgiveness because I have loved those sicker than you and they hurt me more than your hands knew how to

When I let you into the darkest corners of me, you told me to close them back off because they were “too depressing”

I gave and gave and gave, you just kept taking and taking and taking without ever giving

He is filling the cracks you were too lazy to glance at

My heart flutters against my chest, his light filling it to the brim

Cuddling up on the couch, he needs me more than you ever needed me

By his side I am calm, forgetting the storms further out at sea I weathered to get here

When I saw you I searched your eyes for whatever may be left for me in you

And I could not decipher the heartbreak

His fingerprints are still on my skin claiming his territory

My hands still smell like him

And I do not mind

Leaving

In a sea of people I hope your eyes find me happy

For I feel your presence everywhere I go

I so badly want you to be happy with your decision to leave

Yet I hope part of your heart is still broken – the part of it where I once lived

I shed so many tears for you for me to not want you to hurt

Loving you felt like drowning but I would continue just for you to keep loving me

I was so consumed by the fire I felt for you, blinded – I couldn’t see that it wouldn’t work in the end

The way you looked when you left is a painful memory plastered to my memory

I wish I could forget but I couldn’t help thinking about how beautiful you looked in the moments before

Oceans of green stealing glances, blond hair messed about by the wind through the car windows

If you regret loving me, don’t forget who you were then

Don’t forget what drew you into my arms

 

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

Love // A Prompt

We spent summer afternoons laughing our lungs out on the playground of your town’s elementary school

Those same nights spent trying not to get heat stroke in your poorly air conditioned room, with as many fans as we could muster

The first time we called ourselves a pair, our hands fit awkwardly together

Hearts thumping hard enough to break through ribs but trying to hide our feelings in front of all the people who so badly wanted this to happen

We danced around “I love you” for far too long to some people but it felt just long enough for us

Winter nights we spent in a snowy wonderland, snuggling up to each other for warmth

We grew into each other and the love we had bloomed

Love knows when two people who are meant for each other

We felt comfort in each other’s presence, not always needing words but just a gentle brush of skin or meeting of eyes across a room

Sharing jokes between facial expressions and gestures

As much as I hate to admit, he was home

The spring I tore myself away is still vivid in my memory

The sights, smells, the way the air felt

I didn’t want to admit how afraid I was that he might be the one

And that was the worst mistake I ever made

We both admit we still love each other

It’s just finding the path back to our love and watering it until it blossoms again

via Daily Prompt: Blossom

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